Have a Safe and Happy Winter Break!

With the Winter Break upon us and 2015 drawing to a close, I encourage all friends and stakeholders of Atlanta Public Schools to reflect upon the difference we make in the lives of Atlanta’s children. I am thankful that we, as a community with many talents, have come together to share those gifts with one…

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Our first step in building a new Safety and Security Department

Late one Friday this past September, our Atlanta Public Schools community was shaken by a senseless shooting that took place outside of Grady Stadium during one of our football games. Two months later, video footage of a violent fight at one of our high schools headlined the evening news. Far too often, my phone buzzes…

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Ready, Set, Learn.. The New Atlanta College and Career Academy

Being ready means you are set.  You’re fully prepared.  You can now take that next step. At Atlanta Public Schools, it is our mission to ensure our students graduate ready for college and a career. This week we received phenomenal news that APS students will benefit from a $3.3 million grant from the Technical College…

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Get Ready for Mother Nature: Winter Preparedness in APS

None of us can control Mother Nature, but we can do our best to plan for inclement weather. This week marks the beginning of Georgia Preparedness Week (Nov. 30 through Dec. 4). My number one priority is to make sure Atlanta Public Schools students and staff are safe and ready to learn and to teach.…

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Being Thankful in APS

As all of us in Atlanta Public Schools prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday and our district closes for the extended (and, I think, much deserved) break, I think about the reasons we celebrate. The brisk weather encourages us to gather together as families and friends and put a brake a bit on our hectic lifestyles…

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Understanding New Georgia Milestones Assessments

This morning, the Georgia Department of Education released the results of the first-ever administration of the Georgia Milestones assessments based on the new Georgia Standards of Excellence. I am sure many educators, students, parents and stakeholders have questions and are seeking clarification for what all of this means for the state and Atlanta Public Schools.…

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Today We Honor Heroes: Veterans, Military Service Men and Women (and Uncle Ralph)

As superintendent, I often tell people that I have the best job in the world … and I do. Working with other dedicated professionals, many of whom are military veterans, who are passionate about preparing our students for college or the workforce, is such a fulfilling experience for me. That is why I feel it…

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APS Graduation Rate on the Rise

Last night I couldn’t sleep because I was so anxious about the release today of graduation rates for Georgia and Atlanta Public Schools. We tracked students all school year, and the very strong predictive data had me very encouraged, but I still wasn’t quite ready for the news I received about our graduation rate numbers…

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Time to “Max the Vote” for Toomer Elementary School!

Kindergarten students are incredibly curious. Whenever I visit kinder classrooms you notice two things – they love to ask questions and they love to move! Emily Max and her kindergarten students at Toomer Elementary School are no different. When Emily decided to apply for a $100,000 grant through the Farmers Insurance Dream Big Teacher Challenge…

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Applauding Our Teacher of the Year Winners & Finalists – Maximus deberi puer reverential!

Maximus deberi puer reverential. Translation: The greatest reverence is due a child. In this case, because of their dedication, the greatest reverence is due our teachers. Every week I have the pleasure of visiting classrooms and watching teachers dive deeply into history lessons, conduct science experiments, simplify complex mathematical concepts and immerse students in foreign…

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