1.26 Atlanta Public Schools Weekly News Tip Sheet (Week of January 25, 2021)

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 26, 2021

Atlanta Public Schools Weekly News Tip Sheet (January 25 - 30)

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!


APS Adopts School Bus Tracking App for Improved Student Transportation Experience

Here Comes The Bus® provides parents, students and administrators with real-time tracking and alerts



Atlanta Public Schools (APS) has joined districts across the state and nationwide in launching North America’s leading school bus tracking app, Here Comes The Bus (HCTB), an award-winning school bus technology, to ensure students and families enjoy safer and more convenient school bus experiences.


The app launched on Monday, Jan. 25, when APS began its phased-in return to in-person instruction for PreK-2 and Special Education (low incidence K-12) students.


APS joins Cobb, Fulton, Paulding, and Valdosta City Schools in leveraging HCTB in Georgia. The bus tracking app is powered by CalAmp, a global technology solutions pioneer, which will more intelligently manage APS’ student transportation.


The user-friendly HCTB website and app will enable families of students accessing regular bus service outside the walk zone to their boundary school to locate their child’s school bus on a smartphone, tablet, or personal computer. With this service, families will know when the bus is near its designated stop, so they can send their children out at just the right time.


“The APS Transportation Department has maintained a goal to provide improved customer service with a bus tracking application, and we are now happy to roll out Here Comes the Bus,” said John Franklin, APS Executive Director of Transportation. “We recognize how this technology can keep students safe, help families plan, and improve our transportation efficiency.”


The Here Comes The Bus app, developed in 2015 by CalAmp’s subsidiary, Synovia Solutions, already serves about 330 school districts across North America, including some of the largest and most dynamic in the Southeast and beyond. APS will outfit 402 buses with CalAmp GPS-power fleet intelligence devices that power an intuitive Synovia software solution behind Here Comes The Bus.


According to Franklin, APS will transport 11,708 students who have indicated they will use school bus service. The District transports students to and from 66 school buildings.


Atlanta joins dozens of other school districts relying on CalAmp GPS-powered fleet intelligence technology to drive a safer, smarter and more efficient student transportation fleet. The district will also be using Synovia’s tablet- and app-based Trip Inspection module that delivers an improved experience for daily state-mandated school bus inspections.


“We know schools rely on our technology to improve the way they do business and to keep students safer as they travel to and from the classroom as well as during sports and other activities,” said Jeff Clark, senior vice president of product management for CalAmp. “We’re proud a district as large, diverse and dynamic as Atlanta Public Schools has placed their trust in CalAmp and Here Comes The Bus to provide improved services to their community.” 


Media can access Here Comes The Bus assets here.


APS to Host Virtual Charter School Fair, Thursday

Parents are invited to learn more about APS charter schools at a virtual fair, Thursday, January 28, 7-8:30 PM.


The fair will be held via Zoom and will include breakouts.


Participating schools include:  Atlanta Classical Academy (K-12), Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School (K-8), Centennial Academy (K-8), Charles R. Drew Charter School (PreK-12), Kindezi Old Fourth Ward (K-8), Kindezi West (K-8), KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (9-12), KIPP SOUL (K-3 and 5-8), KIPP STRIVE (K-8), KIPP Vision (K-8), KIPP West Atlanta Young Scholars (WAYS – K-8), Wesley International Academy (K-8), Westside Atlanta Charter School (K-8)


Pre-registration for the event is available at http://bit.ly/registercharterfair



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.  


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.





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.