The Week with Dr. Lisa Herring Week of September 14

Good day, Atlanta Public Schools!

I’m Dr. Lisa Herring, Superintendent. Welcome back to “The Week” where we provide you with a video summary of the news and information you need most from Atlanta Public Schools.

As we near the midway point of our first nine weeks of school, I remain appreciative and impressed with the dedication and engagement to quality teaching and learning amid the virtual environment.

When we announced that we would be starting the year with a virtual instruction model for at least the first nine weeks, I also explained that the district would provide Health Data Checkpoints every month to guide whether we would remain virtual or move into face-to-face instruction or a hybrid model.

We are working at this time to identify the groups of students who would be our priority for in-person instruction once we have emerged from substantial spread. Given the challenges faced by our early learners and special needs students in the virtual environment, it is likely that these populations would be our Tier I focus for coming back into our schools.

Our first Public Health Data Checkpoint, presented at the September 8 meeting of the Atlanta Board of Education, is available at:

In addition, APS parent and families should anticipate a letter this week with more information.

Although we continue in a virtual environment, we remain committed to attendance. In fact, September is National Attendance Awareness Month, which focuses on the connection between school attendance and academic achievement. This year marks the eighth annual nationwide campaign to increase awareness of chronic absenteeism by educating students, parents, and communities through information and activities.

This year, attendance brings its own special attendance challenges, and so this month really focuses on the transition back to school for both students and families.

APS recognizes that by focusing on the whole child, significant gains can be achieved in student performance and the likelihood of students graduating from high school will be increased. Although we are operating remotely, student attendance is captured when they log onto virtual classrooms.

In an effort to bring awareness to the importance of attending school every day, APS will be using #SCHOOLMATTERS in social media postings. Staff and schools will use this hashtag to highlight what they are doing to promote students’ daily logins onto their assigned virtual classrooms. You can help us with this initiative by watching, following, and using the hashtag #SCHOOLMATTERS.

Atlanta Public Schools wants to ensure that all barriers are removed so that children can login and have access to an education. If you are a family in need of assistance, please reach out to your school, and they will direct you to the appropriate staff member for support. Supports and resources may also be found at our Day 1 2020: Return + Learn site at  

That’s “The Week” for this week! Thanks for the engagement and support. Also, please remember to complete your homework assignments: Take the Census and Vote for Go Teams.

Please BE WELL!

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