1.11 Atlanta Public Schools Weekly News Tip Sheet (January 11 - 16)

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                                                     

January 11, 2021

Atlanta Public Schools Weekly News Tip Sheet (January 11 - 16)

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 Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring and the Atlanta Board of Education Release Statements on the Recent Events in Washington, D.C.


Statement from Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring (Released 1/8/21)

Like many of you, the events at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. disheartened me deeply. Words fail me in my attempt to condemn the actions. I, like millions of other Americans, unequivocally denounce the actions against our government.


I believe that when anyone among us resorts to violence, insurrection, and hate, we have failed. Thankfully, Congress came together only hours later to complete the essential democratic process of certifying the presidential election. Still, I am painfully aware that there are many more feelings of concern, anger, frustration, or confusion that might exist, especially within our children.


As your superintendent, I want to speak to our collective duty to focus on one of the most critical responsibilities: the education of our youngest citizens.


To read the full statement from Dr. Herring, please visit her blog.


Statement from the Atlanta Board of Education

The Atlanta Board of Education denounces the assault upon the U.S. Capitol building and our democratic system of government. Unfortunately, we are in this position because of failed leadership by our president promoting the treasonous notion that people should take matters into their own hands in attempting what is nothing short of insurrection. 


We are committed to teaching our students and youngest citizens the attributes and values of a strong democracy, particularly the notions of civility, civic engagement, and citizenship. For our nation to be strong, it is incumbent on us to teach our students the history of our nation and encourage them to understand the importance of our form of government and institutions.  


At the same time, it is also important to recognize that our students witnessed a significant disparity in how law enforcement responded to the rioters of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday versus how law enforcement responded to peaceful Black Lives Matter protests from last summer. We knew this disparity existed in our society, but to see it happen when one of our Nation’s most important institutions was under attack was traumatizing for many.  


This is a reminder that there is much more work for us to do to root out systemic racism in this Country. As a Board and school district, we are committed to doing our part, and ask that Atlanta’s families and staff remain committed to doing their part as well. 


Eight APS Students Chosen to be POSSE Scholars for 2020-2021


Eight Atlanta Public Schools high school seniors have been awarded full, four-year college scholarships to some of the nation’s most prestigious schools by the national Posse Foundation.


The Posse Foundation – which was started because of one student who said, “I never would have dropped out of college if I’d had my posse with me,” –  identifies, recruits and trains exceptional young leaders from urban high schools and sends them in multicultural teams (“posses”) of 10 students to top colleges and universities across the country.


The APS students earning Posse Scholarships worth more than $1.7 million this year are:

  • Inaya Abdul-Haqq (Henry Grady HS): Boston University
  • Kevon Cheeke (Fredrick Douglas HS): Boston University
  • Dailyn Minter (Charles Drew Charter HS): The College of Wooster
  • Stephanie Nino-Suastegui (North Atlanta HS): The College of Wooster
  • Somarr Elliot (Charles Drew Charter HS): The College of Wooster
  • Miala Wilkerson (Coretta S. King Young Women’s Leadership Academy): Bard College
  • Hollis Fluker (Henry Grady HS): Bard College
  • Colin Froe (Atlanta Classical Academy): College of Wooster


As part of being selected as a Posse Scholar, students will receive peer support while in college and pre-college workshops to prepare them for college while they are still in high school. The APS students are among a group of 60 high school seniors from metro Atlanta who will receive Posse Scholarships. They advanced through a three-round selection process that began with 300 students, and will be honored during a virtual ceremony next month.


The Posse Foundation is a national initiative with program chapters in Atlanta, the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City and Washington, D.C.  A generous grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation helped launch Posse Atlanta, the program’s fourth site. 



Cleveland Avenue Elementary School Wins $5K Grant from RedefinED to Support Virtual Clubs

Cleveland Avenue Elementary School has been awarded a $5,000 grant from RedefinED for the purpose of creating and supporting virtual clubs for students in grades 2 through 5.


Attending class is a fundamental part of school, but it is only one facet of a student’s educational experience. As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused virtual learning to become the norm, students are learning from home and their social interactions are minimized. School clubs are critical during this time and are needed to create a safe and engaging place for students to interact.


The RedefinED Innovation Fund: Pandemic Education & Restart is a new grant opportunity intended to support the Atlanta education community by addressing immediate needs created by the pandemic and advancing innovative ideas that reimagine education for the future.


Clubs offered through the grant will include a mini cooking club, Junior Einsteins Science Club, fit club, math club, drama club and art club. The clubs will meet for 30-45 minutes each Wednesday through the end of the school year. Students are signing up now and the first club sessions will begin January 27.



Pre-K Lottery Applications Open Now Through March 15

Do you know a child who will be 4-years-old on or before Sept. 1, 2021?


If so, consider taking advantage of a great opportunity to ensure kindergarten readiness. Our free, full-day Pre-K program prepares 4-year-olds for kindergarten and provides an early path to college and career.


The Atlanta Public Schools Pre-K Program lottery is now open for the 2021-2022 school year. Applications will be accepted from Jan. 11, 2021, at 9 a.m. through March 15, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. 


Seats will be filled through a random electronic lottery drawing on March 26, 2021. Results from the drawing are emailed to applicants after a verification process is complete. Pending official verification, the release of the lottery results could be delayed. Visit EnrollEarlyATL.com to learn more.




Charter School Applications Accepted Now Through March 1, 2021


For parents looking for a spot in an Atlanta Public Schools charter school for the next school year, the charter school application process for the 2021-2022 school year is open now through March 1.


“Last year, we developed and implemented a new more centralized system that allows for more equitable access to school choice options for families and makes the whole process of charter school enrollment in APS more efficient and transparent," said Matt Underwood, executive director of the APS Office of Innovation. "As a result, the District has better data about charter school applications and enrollment patterns.”


Families can find information for all APS charter schools and apply to multiple charter schools with just one application. Learn more and apply today at ApplyAPSCharter.org.  



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.