The Week with Dr. Lisa Herring – Week of March 8

As we talk about The Week in Atlanta Public Schools, I want to thank the parents, the teachers, the staff, the students, and the community members from the Carver, Mays, and Douglass clusters who have already participated in our Cluster Conversations.

During these conversations, we engage in an honest, in-depth discussion about the district’s challenges and triumphs. This collaboration lays the foundation for reimagining the future of Atlanta Public Schools.

The conversations continue next week – from 5:30 to 7 p.m. each Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, as shown by the schedule on your screen.

Please join and lend your voice and talents to our mission to graduate EVERY student ready for college, career, and life. Learn more on our social media channels and our website at http://www.atlantapublicschools.us.

Post-Spring Break Plans

As a reminder, Atlanta Public Schools follows Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on travel and quarantining. As such, we ask those who intend to travel during Spring Break to get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.

As we continue our focus on protecting student and staff health and safety and in light of an anticipated high volume of student and staff travel during Spring Break from April 5th through 9th, we are taking the precautionary step of transitioning to virtual instruction for the following week, April 12th through 16th, to help maintain low rates of COVID-19 spread in our schools and buildings.

To repeat: All students will participate in classes virtually from April 12-16. Please take the necessary steps to prepare for virtual instruction that week.

To help inform our decision, we surveyed our staff about their Spring Break travel plans. Among 4,900 response, 59% of our teachers and 53% of staff indicated that they had travel plans. In addition, the week of April 12 coincides with the dates of the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine for staff as part of our mass vaccination event at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Remote teaching and learning that week will provide more flexibility for our staff to receive that second dose.
We remain committed to offering in-person instruction this school year and will return students and staff to our facilities in the safest way possible.

I am grateful for the efforts of our educators and staff who have supported in-person learning along as well as virtual teaching and learning options since January 25.

Vaccination Update

With the opportunity to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, we move even closer to better health, safety, and well-being for everyone in our community. Educators and school staff are now eligible for vaccinations in the state of Georgia.

Through our partnership with the Fulton County Board of Health, we have secured up to 8,000 allocations of the Pfizer vaccine and are scheduled for the very first days they are available in Fulton County. That means we can guarantee appointments for the vaccine for all of our employees.

The vaccination will be delivered in two doses. The first dose
will be administered at the Mercedes Benz Stadium beginning on Wednesday, March 24; Friday, March 26; and Saturday, March 27. The second dose will be provided on Wednesday, April 14; Friday, April 16; or Saturday, April 17.

Again, our employees will be among the first in Fulton County to get this round of vaccinations. We are so grateful to the Fulton County Board of Health for their partnership and want to say thank you for all that they do to help keep our community healthy.

Race2Read Update

Finally, a Race2Read update!

Last week, I introduced you to our partnership with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta to improve literacy and our challenge to the APS community to read more than 10 million minutes.

This week, we passed the halfway mark at 5 million minutes! Congratulations! Remember, join the campaign and log your reading minutes at Race2Read.org!

That’s “The Week” for this week. As always, be engaged, stay healthy and, of course, please be well.

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