Day One APS: Atlanta Public Schools prepares for the first day of school

Welcome back to school 13-14
Approximately 50,000 students are projected to attend APS schools this year.

Day One APS – or the first day of school across Atlanta Public Schools – is Wednesday, August 7, 2013, for all traditional schools. Approximately 50,000 students are projected to attend APS schools this year. Students represent a wide range of academic levels, from our high school seniors, the class of 2014 to our preschoolers, the class of 2027.  The district is excited to continue to fulfill its mission, to educate all students through academic excellence, preparing them for success in life, service and leadership, during the 2013-2014 school year.

To kick off the school year, APS will launch a districtwide open house on Monday, August 5. Each traditional school will host its own open house for students, parents, employees, community members and partners at the following times:

  • High schools – 1-3 p.m.
  • Middle schools – 3-5 p.m.
  • Elementary schools – 5-7 p.m.

APS will operate according to a new bell schedule for 2013-14. Schools will have new start and end times in order to ensure that the district’s transportation services are equitable, efficient and consistent. The new schedule is designed to improve on-time arrivals throughout all regions of the city, increase student safety and shorten ride times for students with special needs. The new bell schedule is expected also to increase students’ breakfast participation. Although start and end times for elementary schools will remain the same, the times for middle and high schools will change. Please see schedule below.

  • Elementary schools will begin 8:00 a.m. and end 2:30 p.m.
  • Middle schools will begin 9:05 a.m. and end 4:05 p.m.
  • High schools will begin 8:30 a.m. and end 3:30 p.m.

Following are several reminders related to transportation services across APS:

  • The 2013-14 bus routes are now posted online at http://www.atlantapublicschools.us/domain/5364. The routes are based on addresses for students who were registered for school by July 12. For students who registered after July 12, permanent bus stops will be assigned on August 23. Then bus routes will be updated and communicated to parents and student on a weekly basis.
  • Students who are not eligible for APS transportation are those who reside within walk zones or attend school on general administrative transfers.
  • The walk zone for elementary students is one mile within the school zone. The walk zone for middle and high school students is one and 1/2 miles within the school zone. Exceptions may be granted only for hazardous conditions as determined on a case-by-case basis through investigation.
  • Students at Forrest Hill Academy will receive MARTA passes instead of APS bus transportation services.

During the upcoming school year, teachers and administrators in every school will be working hard to continue implementing the new Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. In addition, several schools will mark the new school year with a milestone:

  • IB authorization for Jackson High School   As a newly authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School will begin offering IB courses to rising juniors and seniors this fall. The school earned its new designation on May 28, 2013, and became the second APS high school to offer the IB program of study.

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    The Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy and the B.E.S.T. Academy at Benjamin S. Carson will seat their first class of 12th-graders.
  • Inaugural graduating class at single-gender academies – The Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy and the B.E.S.T. Academy at Benjamin S. Carson will seat their first class of 12th-graders. Both of these single-gender schools opened August 2007 with sixth-grade students only and grew one grade a year. The class of 2014 will be the inaugural graduating class — or legacy class — of the single-gender academies.
  • Dual-language/immersion programs – Two elementary schools in APS – out of only six selected in Georgia – will participate in a dual-language/immersion program. At Perkerson Elementary and D.H. Stanton Elementary, half of the school day will be taught in English and the other half in a foreign language, starting with students in kindergarten and growing a grade every year. Research shows that foreign language study improves students’ performance not only in their native language, but also in other subjects across the curriculum.
  • Hassle-free, streamlined expansion of federal meal program – APS will implement the Community Eligibility Option (CEO) for free meal reimbursement during the upcoming school year. As a result, 58 of our school campuses will offer meals at no charge to every student on campus. The benefit to families and students is that they will no longer need to complete meal applications for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The benefit to the school system is the reduced administrative and printing costs from no longer having to distribute and process meal applications. The CEO program will help ensure that every child has access to free breakfast, lunch and an afterschool snack every day in schools that have 40 percent or more of their students eligible for free meals. To view the list of participating schools, please click on the following link: http://talkupaps.com/2013/07/12/58-aps-schools-selected-to-pilot-free-meal-reimbursement-program/

This past summer, APS offered summer courses for the first time through the Atlanta Virtual Academy (AVA). Now, students have an opportunity to register for fall courses, which begin August 26. To participate, students must obtain approval from their counselor and register by August 16. AVA is a tuition-free online learning experience that is designed to increase the number of flexible learning opportunities for students and increase the graduation rate. High school students can earn credit toward graduation by taking regular or Advanced Placement courses or making up failed courses. (Note: during the summer before entering high school, eighth-graders may take online coursework in personal fitness and health.)

Online courses operate much the way traditional classes do; students complete lesson activities, do homework, participate in class discussions and take tests. However, in an online environment, students study at their own pace and use the Internet to complete assignments — all while receiving support and encouragement from a course instructor. Through email, telephone or the Internet, course instructors are available to students and parents throughout the entire length of the course. For more information about AVA, please click on the following link: http://talkupaps.com/2013/07/30/atlanta-virtual-academy-fall-registration-2013/

Several APS schools will experience relocations and construction during the 2013-2014 school year.  They include:

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Bunche Rendering
Bunche Middle School will relocate this school year to make way for 64,000 square feet of additions & 85 square feet of renovations, inculding a new gym, softball field, science labs, an auditorium and natural grass football field that can be used for soccer and lacrosse.

For the 2013-2014 school year, two APS schools were closed: Atlanta Preparatory Academy (charter school) and Parks Middle School. Two charter schools will open: Westside Atlanta Charter School and KIPP Vision Primary Academy.

Listed below are the principals who were approved by the Atlanta Board of Education from January 14, 2013, to July 1, 2013. The principals were appointed to permanent positions except where noted. An asterisk (*) next to the name indicates that the principal served on an interim basis at the assigned school during 2012-13. Two asterisks (**) next to the name indicate that the principal served at another APS school or in another capacity within APS during 2012-13.

New APS Principals
Crim-McClendon, Susan* Woodson ES
Crooms, Tiauna** Brown MS
Davis, Charlotte (interim) S. Atlanta School of Law & Social Justice
Evans, Carol* Finch ES
Gibbons, Keisha* Boyd ES
Hale, Duane Price MS
Herrema, Paula* Inman MS
High, Noletha* Deerwood Academy
Howell, Anthony Forrest Hill Academy
Hunt, Marshall Scott ES
Hutchins-Jones, Eunice* Slater ES
Jones, Timothy B.E.S.T. Academy HS
Lawrence, Reginald* West Manor ES
McKeever, Vonda* Benteen ES
Mitchell, Melanie* Humphries ES
Muhammad, Patrick Grove Park ES
Parks, Gregory * Usher-Collier Heights ES
Pickett, Toni* Connally ES
Proctor, Kenneth** Sarah Smith ES
Rimpola, Raquel* Fickett ES
Rowe, Frederico Continental Colony ES
Sims, Caitlin** Parkside ES
Smith-Salter, Aquannette Towns ES
Taylor, Clara* D. H. Stanton ES
Usher, Tommy* Garden Hills ES
West, Charnita Dobbs ES
Wheeler, Maureen Hope-Hill ES
Womack, Hajj* B.E.S.T. Academy MS

The vision of Atlanta Public Schools is to be a student-centered, high-performing urban school district where all students become successful life-long learners and leaders. Welcome back!

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