2.8 Atlanta Public Schools Weekly News Tip Sheet (Week of February 8, 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                                                     

February 8, 2021

Atlanta Public Schools Weekly News Tip Sheet (February 8 - 13)

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 Provides More Food for Families with Saturday Pop-Up Meal Kit Distribution

Last weekend, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) officials provided approximately 300 meal kits, a total of about 2,100 meals to children, during its first Saturday pop-up distribution of seven-day meal kits to children ages 1-18 in the city of Atlanta.

Last Saturday’s event was held in the parking lot of the Wayfield Foods location at 3050 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, SW, from 10:30 AM to noon. The location and time for the next Saturday pop-up meal distribution event will be announced this week.

The new Saturday pop-up distributions are in addition to the District’s regular weekly meal distribution program, which occurs every Wednesday at 10 school sites and on school bus routes throughout the city. The APS Nutrition Department provides students with fresh fruits and vegetables and meals of high nutritional value specifically targeted for the growth and brain development of children.

Photos of last Saturday’s pop-up distribution may be found here.


APS Partners with Local Company, Zep to Welcome Students Back to School Safely

Thousands of students will have returned to in-person learning at Atlanta Public Schools (APS) as of February 16th after a long hiatus of virtual learning. To help make this return a little easier, Atlanta-based Zep, Inc. is contributing to APS’s comprehensive Return + Learn reopening plan.

Zep, Inc. is a leading innovator, producer, and distributor of maintenance, cleaning and sanitizing solutions for food & beverage, industrial & institutional, retail, and vehicle care customers. Zep possesses a large portfolio of premium brands built over an 80+ year legacy of developing the most effective products trusted by professionals and consumers to get the job done right the first time.

As part of Zep’s long-standing relationship with APS, the company is supplying hand sanitizer to all APS classrooms. Zep will roll out in-classroom awareness and education tips to select schools on February 16th including Maynard Jackson High School, Emma Hutchinson Elementary School, Crawford W. Long Middle School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School and Frank Lebby Stanton Elementary School. Zep experts will help teach proper hand hygiene, which according to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), is known to reduce transmission of respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by up to 21%. These schools will also be provided with back-to-school safety kits, including reusable face masks, tote bags and a postcard highlighting best practices for hand hygiene.

On February 17th at Ralph J. Bunche Middle School, Zep will also distribute hand sanitizer to parents or guardians through Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), a program that offers free healthy meals and other products to students at various curbside pick-up locations and designated school bus routes.

Additionally, educational posters with safety tips will be distributed to schools in the district, and digital mobile billboards will run throughout Atlanta, featuring creative, rotating headlines. The billboards will not only speak to the unique education sanitization program, but also spread joy and smiles around the city, especially those returning to in-person learning after the better part of a year.

“As students head back to school, it is important that we have measures in place to ensure their safety,” said Rachel Sprecher, Executive Director of Partnerships and Development, Atlanta Public Schools. “This program is designed to decrease health risks to students and their families and we are grateful that Zep identified this need and is generously providing the community with assistance.”

“As a parent with children in the APS, I know intimately how challenging it can be sending kids back to school during this time,” said Gary Gastel, Chief Marketing Officer, Zep. “We’re in a unique position to provide local community support and make the reopening process safer by supporting hand sanitizer availability for educators, students, and parents alike.”


Tuskegee Global Airmen Academy “Glides Into Aerospace” with Special STEM Deliver from Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech came to the campus of Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy like a wrecking ball, or perhaps more like a blast from the past. Tech’s official automobile mascot, the Ramblin’ Wreck, is a 1930 Model A sport coupe cared for by Tech students since 1961.

On the morning of Friday, Feb. 5, the Ramblin’ Wreck parked in front of the newly remodeled TAG Academy, a $30.5 million facility and campus upgrade that encapsulates the school’s namesake with an aviation theme and architectural finishes that honor the school’s Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) pathway.

It is because of TAG Academy’s commitment to STEM that the Ramblin’ Wreck rolled in for a special appearance to spectacular STEM students.

“We are so excited to begin our pipeline into aerospace and engineering with the support of one of our newest partners, Georgia Tech’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering,” said Principal Yolanda Weems. “Our goal is to streamline our focus on STEM and provide opportunities for our scholars to engage with current aerospace engineering students and experts in the industry.”

Georgia Tech partners include Kelly Griendling, Steve Ruffin, Lori Skillings, Kelsey Gulledge and Ethan Rossman. Thanks to the new partnership, TAG Academy second graders got a front seat experience in the Ramblin’ Wreck. Jahnquez Puckett and Carmin Lowe, students in Michelle Denson’s second-grade class, also presented their model airplanes—one made of notebook paper and another made of a plastic bottle and construction paper.

In alignment with Atlanta Public Schools’ COVID-19 safety and mitigation protocols, second graders wore their masks the entire time and were escorted to the mascot car in small groups in front of the school building.

Throughout the District, students in grades PreK-2 whose families chose to return to the school building for in-person instruction started class on January 25. Students in grades 3-5 and grades 6-12 whose families chose in-person instruction are scheduled to return Feb. 8 and Feb. 16, respectively.

So, while second graders enjoyed the Ramblin’ Wreck on campus, fourth graders who have not yet returned to school received a special STEM delivery from Georgia Tech — right at their doorstep!

TAG and Tech staff rode in an APS school bus – with the Ramblin’ Wreck following behind – to personally deliver STEM kits to fourth graders. The kits included all the essentials needed to build their very own gliders: a sheet of cardboard to construct wings and a tail; a thin rod for the body of the glider; Playdoh to help balance the weight; and tape to hold it all together. Their mission: use these materials to build a glider that will fly straight for at least 10 feet.

Principal Weems explains that it’s all a part of the “Gliding into Aerospace” initiative for fourth graders.

“Through this partnership, our fourth graders are looking into the future of transportation, where every day travel and delivery tasks can be achieved in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way,” Weems said. “The TAG and GA Tech teams came together today as one family to kick off our ‘Gliding into Aerospace’ problem-based learning. Complete with the Ramblin’ Wreck, we traveled through the community to hand deliver the supplies students will need to complete their goal. Incorporating fourth-grade science and math standards as well as concepts of aerospace, scholars are being tasked with producing a functioning model of a glider that can travel a distance of at least 10 feet, all while progressing through the engineering design process.”  


Airbnb to Host North Atlanta High School Students for Virtual Field Trip and Virtual Career Day, Tuesday

Airbnb and Atlanta Public Schools are working together to create virtual educational experiences for students. This month, Airbnb will host a virtual field trip and virtual career fair to help inspire remote learners.

On February 9, North Atlanta High School arts classes will take a virtual field trip through Airbnb Online Experiences, unique and interactive virtual activities designed to help people learn new skills and connect with others from home. Students will learn how to interpret some of their favorite songs with American Sign Language from Airbnb host Matt Maxey, a Georgia-based performer and founder of DEAFinitely Dope. Maxey, who was born with severely profound hearing loss, learned sign language to help navigate his dual identity as a minority in both ability and race. In 2014, Matt created DEAFinitely Dope to support others who felt marginalized and ignored by mainstream America. His brand would soon blossom into national recognition and world tours with award-winning musical artists.

"Even during the pandemic, we have remained focused on providing our students with thoughtful, rigorous and engaging instruction and academic experiences,” said North Atlanta Principal Curtis Douglass. “We are extremely grateful to Airbnb for stepping up to help us live up to this goal. We're looking forward to an amazing day for our students, thanks to Airbnb!"

Additionally, on February 16, Airbnb will host an interactive panel discussion about careers in the technology and creative industries. Members of Airbnb’s Experiences team and Public Policy and Communications team will share their career journeys and answer questions from South Atlanta High School, Atlanta College and Career Academy, Carver STEAM and Carver Early students.

“Airbnb is committed to strengthening the communities in which we operate. One way we can work toward this goal is to increase access to information about the many types of careers in the technology industry, and to inspire remote learners through Online Experiences,” said Chloe Myshel Burke, Airbnb public policy manager. “We’re excited to work with Atlanta Public Schools to host these remote learning opportunities for students across the district.”


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.