11.16 APS Weekly News Tip Sheet (Week of November 16, 2020)

Office of Communications and Public Engagement
130 Trinity Avenue SW | Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Ian Smith, Executive Director
404-802-2855, office
404-603-6934, cell



Seth Coleman, Media Relations Manager
404-802-2891, office
404-406-5570, cell


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     

November 16, 2020


Atlanta Public Schools Weekly News Tip Sheet (November 16-21)

Editors/Producers/Reporters: The following is a list of events, programs, accomplishments and/or initiatives occurring in Atlanta Public Schools (APS) this week. Please use it as a guide as you develop your coverage plans.

Members of the media are invited to attend all events on the Weekly APS News Tip Sheet. If you have an interest in these stories, please contact Seth Coleman, Media Relations Manager.  Thank you for your interest in Atlanta Public Schools!


Atlanta Public Schools Expands Academic/Wellness Interventions

Expanded Interventions Begin Today, November 16, Across All Schools


APS expanded its ongoing academic, wellness, social emotional, and positive behavior intervention support for its highest-need students today across all schools. The District developed guidelines for each school to provide targeted, face-to-face interventions, and schools have developed plans to meet the unique needs of their students.

APS also recommended schools establish a “care team” that meets weekly to evaluate and coordinate their school-based interventions. This team will play an important role in ensuring students are receiving the interventions they need. The care team will review academic, behavioral, and wellness related data to identify students most in need, coordinate problem-solving conversations with families, and triage intervention services to ensure eligible students are matched to the needed academic, wellness, and engagement intervention. See Superintendent Herring’s latest blog, this Intervention guide, and these FAQs about Intervention for more details.


Atlanta Public Schools Receives $175K Grant from PNC Foundation to Support Student Technology, Connectivity

The PNC Foundation once again has stepped up to show its support for Atlanta Public Schools (APS) through a generous $175,000 grant to support Pre-K students and their families in accessing devices and connectivity.

APS’s Office of Early Learning supports 55 classrooms operating across 35 schools through the Georgia Pre-K program, a rigorous, full-day program that is free to families. As the district is currently operating under an all-virtual instructional model, through at least January 2021, access to technology is vital.

“We value APS and recognize their significant efforts to assist students and their families during these uncertain times,” said Eddie Meyers, PNC regional president for Greater Georgia. “As advocates for quality early childhood education, it’s important that we do everything possible to give these students access to the technology resources and wrap-around services needed to succeed academically.”

As parents continue to grapple with the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, APS continues to receive new students and students with new circumstances, all while functioning in an all-virtual learning environment. The funding provided by this grant will allow APS to help ensure that new students are quickly able to access technology, such as IPads, and connectivity, through mobile hotspots. 

This is a critical need for ensuring high-quality instruction for the District’s youngest learners and will remove barriers to digital access for our Pre-K students. This gift extends the support that the PNC Foundation already offers to APS’ early learners through the Grow Up Great program, which provides enriching and high quality learning experiences for students.

“This fills a crucial gap, particularly as our newest students continue to enroll in our program regularly,” said APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring. “PNC is a long-standing partner that has contributed to our district in a variety of ways each year, including through enrichment programming, support of arts and STEM programs, and more. We are extremely grateful for their generosity and for their long history of supporting our students and schools.”


APS to Host Virtual Parent and Family Engagement Conference This Week to Celebrate Parent Engagement Month

Atlanta Public Schools will host its second annual Parent and Family Engagement Conference, beginning today, November 16, through Thursday, November 19, in honor of Parent Engagement Month.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s conference will be virtual. It will feature two sessions nightly, 5:00-6:00 PM and 6:30-7:30 PM. Topics and presenters are as follows:

Monday, November 16

5:00-6:00 PM | Handle with Care: Grandparents Online!
Danielle Stewart, Founder and President, Community Empowerment Foundation, Inc. Jason Allen, Lillie’s Foundation

Register Here

6:30-7:30 PM | The Possibilities are Unlimited
Edith Abakare, Department of Special Education Parent Mentor, Atlanta Public Schools

Resister Here

Tuesday, November 17

5:00-6:00 PM | Virtual Family Game Night Fun!
Shirley Pattman-Stubbs, Gifted Support Teacher

Dr. Quail Arnold, Coordinator, Gifted Program, Atlanta Public Schools
Resister Here

6:30-7:30 PM | Supporting Your Grieving Student
Liz Carson, Program and Outreach Manager, Kate’s Club

Resister Here

Wednesday, November 18

5:00-6:00 PM | Talk With Me Baby
Amanda Bisgaard, Family Literacy Program Manager, Hands on Atlanta

Resister Here

6:30-7:30 PM | Mindful Living 365
Ottavia Lang, Parent and Family Engagement Liaison, Atlanta Public Schools

Resister Here

Thursday, November 19
5:00-6:00 PM |
The Challenge of the Male Presence in Education
Christopher Williams, MBM Consulting

Resister Here

6:30-7:30 PM | Engaging Our Latino Families – From My Hometown to Yours
Betsy Cowell, Katya Orozoco, Luz Baqueiro, and Joana Garcia

ESOL Community Specialists, Atlanta Public Schools
Resister Here

Parent and Family Engagement Conference Flyer-English

Parent and Family Engagement Conference Flyer-Spanish


Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning Provides Child Care Resources for APS Families

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta Public Schools has received support from generous benefactors and partners in order to provide the highest quality education and support possible for our students and their families.

The District’s Department of Partnerships and Development has made numerous connections to create systems of support for APS students and their families.  One such connection is with the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECL), which provides two services essential for many of APS families, as part of an initiative called Bright from the Start.

Many of our families need high-quality child care during the period of virtual learning. The DECL’s Quality Rated tool helps families find child care in their area (or even along a commute route) that has been evaluated by credentialed early childhood experts and identified as “high-quality.” It also provides additional information about cost and services and even provides a toll-free referral hotline at 1-877-255-4254.

Quality Rated’s licensing and star rating systems allow families to easily identify child care and early education programs that are caring for and educating children based on what research has shown to work. Regardless of their star rating, all Quality Rated programs are meeting or exceeding a high set of standards. The tool may be accessed at www.QualityRated.org.

Limited scholarships are available for children ages 0-4 through Quality Care for Children and PAACT: the Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive. Contact partnerdev@atlanta.k12.ga.us for more information.

Many families of older children also need additional resources to pay for child care. Again, the Bright from the Start initiative has another resource: SOLVE Scholarships.

These need-based scholarships provide financial assistance for families with students enrolled in a Georgia public school system primarily engaged in virtual learning. Scholarships support working families with children ages 5-12 (kindergarten through grade 6) by paying for care, supervision, and support during the school day while students are engaged in virtual learning.

SOLVE Scholarships can be used at licensed child care learning centers, family child care learning homes, and providers with an approved day camp exemption. The scholarship is good for three months but may be extended if the school system continues to offer a primarily virtual learning model.

Learn more at www.decal.ga.gov/CAPS/Solve.aspx. The District will continue to find and connect resources for our students, parents, and staff. Visit the APS Parent Resource section for more information.



About Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 51,000 students across 87 schools and five programs. The District is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 64 traditional schools, 19 charter schools, six partner schools, two alternative schools and five alternative programs. To learn more about Atlanta Public Schools, follow us on social media – Twitter (@apsupdate), Facebook (Atlanta Public Schools), and Instagram (apsupdate) – or visit us online at www.atlantapublicschools.us.