Weekend Sports Recap: BEST Academy Pulls Major Upset

BEST vs LCS (8-18017)
Katerian Legron of B.E.S.T. Academy hauls in a long pass on Friday vs. Landmark Christian School. B.E.S.T. defeated Landmark 53-7.

B.E.S.T. was definitely “best” Friday night.

B.E.S.T. Academy lead the way for Atlanta Public Schools football teams over the weekend, as the Eagles trounced Landmark Christian School 53-7, Friday night at Lakewood Stadium. Landmark, located in Fairburn, was ranked as the No. 4 Class A private school in the Atlanta Journal Constitution Top 10 poll last week. Last season, Landmark beat B.E.S.T 34-24.

B.E.S.T. was led by senior running back/defensive back Blaine Gibson (10 carries, 125 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 tackles, 1 fumble recovery for a touchdown), senior athlete Katerian Legrone (5 catches, 103 yards, 1 touchdown), senior quarterback Nakia Davis Jr. (106 yards passing, 1 touchdown, 39 yards rushing, 1 touchdown), junior defensive end Richard Benton (6 tackles, 1 sack) and junior safety Sanchez Banks (3 sacks).

Here are the other results for APS schools:

Carver 50, Lithonia 14
North Atlanta 21, Grady 7
Calhoun 17, Douglass 14
Heard County 42, South Atlanta 16
Wesleyan 63, Therrell 14

Also over the weekend:

The South Atlanta softball team won in a forfeit over Drew Charter on Friday. Drew did not have enough players to start the game. The Hornets are the defending Region 6-Class AA champions.

Seven APS Football Teams Open the Season Tonight

It’s time! Week 1 of the 2017 football season is here and seven Atlanta Public Schools teams will hit the field tonight:

Carver at Lithonia (DeKalb County Schools), 5:15 p.m.

BEST Academy vs. Landmark Christian School (Private school in Fairburn) at Lakewood Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

South Atlanta at Heard County (Heard County Schools, Franklin), 7:30 p.m.

Grady vs. North Atlanta at Grady Stadium (North Atlanta is the home team), 7:30 p.m.

Therrell at Wesleyan (Private school in Norcross), 7:30 p.m.

Douglass at Calhoun (Calhoun City Schools), 7:30 p.m

Also this weekend:

The South Atlanta softball team will host Drew Charter, today at 5:30. The Hornets are the defending Region 6-Class AA champions.

The volleyball teams from Douglass, Grady, Washington and KIPP Atlanta Collegiate will participate in a tournament at Tri-Cities (Fulton County Schools), today and Saturday.

Office of Safety and Security Launches New Program to Expose Students to Careers

By: Alicia Sands Lurry

The Atlanta Public Schools Police Department, in partnership with APS schools and members of the Atlanta business community, will launch its new APSPD Exploring Program this fall.

Thanks to a recent $5,000 donation and another pledge of $5,000 from the American Federation of State, Federal, County and Municipal Employees Association (AFSCME), APS students will soon be exposed to various professions to enable them to make responsible decisions about career choices.

The donation will specifically pay for memberships of students and officers in the APSPD program. While the typical police exploring programs focus on law enforcement, the APS program will expand its focus to other careers outside of the law enforcement arena.

“We want our students to have exposure to real-world experiences that will give them healthy choices to become their best selves in whatever career they choose,” said Dr. Marquenta S. Hall, executive director of the Office of Safety and Security. “We believe as role models, we can influence students’ choices through relationships with others who want to support student success from a holistic perspective. Our Exploring Program is one-of-a kind and the first program we have chosen to embrace because it aligns with our social and emotional framework.”

The initial launch will begin at John Lewis Invictus Academy, as well as Long, Sutton, King and Bunche middle schools, with school resource officers serving as the program leads.

For more information, or to support the program, please contact Atlanta Public Schools Police Chief Ronald Applin at ext. 2177, or at ronald.applin@atlanta.k12.ga.us.

APS Students and Staff Will Experience Unforgettable Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21


On Monday, Aug. 21, Atlanta Public Schools students, staff and community members will experience a solar eclipse across North America, a rare event that will be visible for the first time in the continental United States in 38 years.

According to National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), the solar eclipse will be viewable in Atlanta around 1:02 p.m. and end at 4 p.m. A total eclipse is expected to occur between 2:30 and 2:40 p.m. This phenomena happens when the moon casts a shadow on Earth, fully or partially blocking the sun’s light in some areas.

To help maximize this uncommon occurrence, APS will extend the instructional day by 30 minutes to provide opportunities for elementary, middle and high school students to experience the solar eclipse while ensuring student and staff safety. In addition to ordering 50,000 solar glasses for all students to safely view the eclipse, the district has created a teacher toolkit containing grade band-specific activities and safety tips.

Many schools will also expand the learning around the eclipse by integrating activities into their lesson plans. Schools will share their plans and experiences with the eclipse on social media. Be sure to follow the experience on all platforms using the hashtag #APSeclipse.

For more information about the 2017 eclipse, please visit: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/









Heritage Academy Gets Media Center Makeover

Heritage Academy received a media center makeover on Wednesday, courtesy of a corps of volunteers from AbbVie, facilitated by The Heart of America Foundation.

When students return to Heritage Academy Elementary School on August 1, they will be learning under a new curriculum model with newly refurbished media center to go with it.

On Wednesday, more than 50 volunteers from the pharmaceutical company AbbVie and the AbbVie Foundation worked all day to makeover the school’s media center and bring it in line with its new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum. The project was facilitated by The Heart of America Foundation, which organizes volunteer makeover projects for schools in communities which have historically been economically challenged.

Volunteers painted the walls of the media center, including reading nook areas, created literacy-themed signage murals for the walls, installed a green screen for video projects, organized books and built a “makers space” complete with a three-dimensional printer and a Lego wall.

“Reading is a big part of our culture here, and so this plays right into that,” Heritage Academy principal Trennis Harvey said afterward. “This will be our first year as a STEAM school, and so this space fits everything we are trying to do with our students.”






Anti – Defamation League Recognizes Atlanta Public Schools at Annual Torch of Liberty Corporate Breakfast

Carstarphen with ADL Award Group Photo

ATLANTA (JUNE 22, 2017) – Today, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Southeast Region awarded its Stuart Lewengrub Torch of Liberty Award to Atlanta Public Schools and Dr. Meria Carstarphen at the annual Torch of Liberty Corporate Breakfast.

“This award recognizes the incredible work that Atlanta Public Schools has done over the past two years to implement ADL’s No Place for Hate® program throughout the entire school district,” commented Shelley Rose, ADL interim regional director. “52,000 students have been inspired to stand up to hate by this program.”

No Place for Hate is an initiative of the Anti-Defamation League offered free to schools. The initiative is designed to rally the entire school around the goal of creating a welcoming community committed to stopping all forms of bias and bullying. In 2012, as Austin Independent School District Superintendent, Dr. Meria Carstarphen was so impressed with ADL’s No Place for Hate® initiative, she announced plans to bring the program to the entire district. That passion and commitment continued when she became Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools in July 2014. In 2015, Atlanta Public Schools, through the leadership of Dr. Carstarphen, introduced ADL’s flagship education initiative system-wide. APS continues to see progress as they work aggressively to address and prevent bullying and cyber bullying, as well as educate against all forms of hatred.

“The No Place for Hate initiative provides our district with a clear framework to fight bias, bullying and hatred, leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive climate,” commented Dr. Carstarphen in accepting the award. “We are sending a clear message that hate, bullying and disrespect have no place in our schools. We want our schools to be places where students, staff and families feel safe, welcomed and respected.”

The Anti-Defamation League Southeast Region annually presents the Stuart Lewengrub Torch of Liberty Award to an individual, entity or company making outstanding contributions to the welfare of our community. The award, which was renamed in honor of Stuart Lewengrub who served as the ADL Southeast Regional Director from 1965 until his passing in 1995, symbolizes ADL’s profound commitment to translating our democratic heritage into a way of life for all Americans.

Atlanta Public Schools would like to thank the Anti-Defamation league for recognizing the districts efforts in creating a safe place for our students.

Credit: Anti-Defamation League Press Release

Two APS High Schools Earn International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme Designation


Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School and North Atlanta High School have earned the International Baccalaureate (IB) Career-related Programme (CP) designation to offer APS students the opportunity to combine IB courses with CTAE pathways and earn the IB CP Certificate. Both schools join 139 other schools in 23 countries around the world which currently offer the program.


The International Baccalaureate (IB) Career-related Programme (CP) is an innovative international education pathway that offers a rewarding blend of academic subjects and career-related studies. Tailored to students who want to focus on career-related learning in the last two years of high school, the CP develops applicable, transferable, lifelong skills that prepare them for higher education, apprenticeships or employment.  The CP enables students to:

  • Follow their chosen education and career pathways
  • Combine academic subjects with their personal and professional interests and skills
  • Engage in learning that makes a positive difference to their community
  • Think critically and creatively
  • Communicate clearly and effectively in a variety of situations
  • Effectively work independently and in collaboration with others
  • Consider new perspectives and other points of view
  • Apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios and situations

North Atlanta and Maynard Jackson high schools join 10 other IB high schools in Georgia, where the IB CP Programme is offered in more schools than any other state in the U.S.

The CP offers schools the flexibility to select the career pathways they want to offer. Under the new designation, North Atlanta will offer the following career pathways: Audio Visual Technology and Film; Business and Technology; Graphic Design; Information Technology-Web and Digital Design; Information Technology-Programming; and JROTC-Army. Maynard Jackson will offer: Audio Visual Technology and Film; Engineering and Technology; Graphic Design; Information Technology-Web and Digital Design; and JROTC-Army.

“Receiving the IB CP authorization is a big deal for our students and the North Atlanta community,” said North Atlanta High School Principal Curtis Douglass. “This allows us to serve students through the IB Programme in the 11th and 12th grade who want the academic rigor in preparation for college while focusing on an established career pathway.  Additionally, it will make our programme more diverse and interesting to students that are hesitant to enter the IB Diploma Progamme.”

The IB Diploma Progamme at North Atlanta is the oldest in the southeast, having originated at North Fulton High School in 1982.

APS Selects BD.

All CP students are required to take at least two Diploma Programme (DP) courses. Typically, the DP courses selected align with students’ chosen career pathways. CP students must also complete four core components—language development, personal and professional skills, service learning and a reflective project—in order to receive the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme Certificate. De­signed to enhance critical thinking and intercultural understanding, the CP core helps students develop the communication and personal skills necessary for success in the 21st century.

“We are so proud to offer the IB Certificate Programme in addition to the IB Diploma Programme authorized in 2013 for all interested students,” said Maynard Jackson H.S. Principal Stephanie S. Johnson. The CP provides opportunities for students interested in IB to complete an IB Career Related Certificate in subjects such as Audio Visual Technology and Film, Engineering and Technology, Graphic Design, Information Technology-Web Digital Design, and JROTC-Army. We look forward to our students continuing to take advantage of the variety of rigorous course offerings provided at Maynard Jackson High School.”


About Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 52,000 students across 88 schools. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 68 traditional schools, 16 charter schools, two citywide single-gender academies and two alternative programs. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us , follow us on  at https://www.facebook.com/AtlantaPublicSchools/ and @apsupdate on and