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

Centralized Registration process to begin Monday, June 19

Registration 2017-18
The Atlanta Public Schools Centralized Registration process will be held at the Atlanta Public Schools Central Office, beginning Monday, June 19.

The Atlanta Public Schools Centralized Registration process for new kindergarten students, students who have moved to another residence in Atlanta, and rising sixth-grade and rising-ninth grade students who missed the Cluster Registration process will be held at the Atlanta Public Schools Central Office, located at 130 Trinity Avenue, Second Floor, from 8 a.m. to Noon and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., on the following days:

— Monday, June 19 through Friday, June 23

— Monday, June 26 through Thursday, June 29; and

— Monday, July 10 through Thursday, July 13

This Centralized Registration process is mandatory for those students entering middle school and high school for the 2017-2018 school year, who did not participate in the Cluster Registration process, held the week of June 5th.

New Kindergarten students and students who are new to the district, as well as those who are withdrawing from the district, may participate in the Centralized Registration process as well. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Office of Student Assignment and Records at 404-802-2202.

Atlanta Braves partner with Georgia Power and EverFi for the Summer Slugger Program



June 7, 2017

WHO: Atlanta Braves player Sean Rodriguez

WHAT: The Atlanta Braves, Georgia Power and EverFi are partnering to address summer learning loss among students through its academic math and reading interactive program, the Summer Slugger Program.

To kick off the Summer Slugger program, Sean Rodriguez will visit fourth and fifth grade students from Cascade Elementary School. Rodriguez will participate in a Q & A session with the students and participate in the digital learning course.

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Summer Slugger is aimed at preventing summer learning loss among students. This program is an MLB-sanctioned, baseball-themed digital learning course. Summer Slugger will offer elementary school students the opportunity to engage in a baseball themed, game-based learning experience that reinforces key math and reading skills.

The program will be incorporated into summer school/enrichment programs and will run June through July 2017.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 7
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Cascade Elementary School
2326 Venetian Drive
Atlanta, GA 30311

Credit: Atlanta Braves Press Release

APS Baseball All-Stars to Face Cobb All-Stars in L.E.A.D. All-Star Baseball Classic at SunTrust Park

Brandon Sykes of Drew Charter and CJ Stewart of L.E.A.D.
Brandon Sykes (left), a 2017 graduate of Drew Charter High School, is one of the APS baseball all-stars who will face the Cobb County baseball all-stars in the L.E.A.D Legacy Classic at SunTrust Park. C.J. Stewart (right) is the co-founder of L.E.A.D.

Atlanta Public Schools (APS) top high school baseball players will take on the best from Cobb County Schools in the first ever high school all-star game to be played at SunTrust Park.

The L.E.A.D. Legacy Classic will be played Saturday, June 3 at 11:30 a.m. The game is free to the public. The game was born out of the APS All-­Star Baseball Game presented by L.E.A.D, which was hosted at Turner Field last year and featured all-stars from all APS high schools.

The team will be coached by Jason Anderson of South Atlanta, William Brown of Therrell and Antonio Coger of Maynard Jackson.

The APS All-Stars are:

Jalen Reardon and Jalen Cannon of B.E.S.T. Academy
Demario Smith
and Vernard Kennedy of Carver
Jaquan Smith
and Christopher Glover of Douglass
Brandon Sykes
of Drew Charter
Yan Matim, Micaiah Streator
and Chase Stokes of Grady
Roderick Hammond, Byron Brinkley
and Miles Jackson of Maynard Jackson
Jack Ferguson
and Chandler Coleman of North Atlanta
Trenton Jamison
and Devin Shaw of Mays
Joshua Browning
and D’Angelo Julio of South Atlanta
T.J. Pittman
and Cortez Hardy of Therrell
Montravious Taylor
and Kalveion Heard of Washington

L.E.A.D., Inc. – which stands for Launch, Expose, Advise, Direct, Inc. – was co-founded by Atlanta native C.J. Stewart and his wife, Kelli, as a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower at-risk youth to lead and transform their city. The organization has partnered with APS to facilitate the district’s middle school baseball program.

Stewart, a former professional baseball player and baseball skills trainer, hopes the game will help foster unity in metro Atlanta.

“The L.E.A.D. All-­Star Baseball Classic will serve as an inspirational catalyst to first, unite student-athletes from different school districts, and position them to use the game they love as a unifier,” said Stewart. He went on to say, “I believe by empowering our youth through this game, they can lead the way in showing us how to be truly unified once and for all. We are excited about providing this platform for unity through the L.E.A.D. Classic via our partnership with APS and our collaboration with Cobb County Schools.”


Best in the World: B.E.S.T. Academy Senior Wins Third Place at International Science and Engineering Fair


Jahizreal Aquart2

By: Alicia Sands Lurry

B.E.S.T. Academy senior Jahizreal Aquart ranks among the top science students in the world, after winning third place in the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics category at the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Los Angeles last weekend.

Competing against nearly 2,000 high school students from 75 countries, regions and territories, Jahizreal was awarded a $1,000 grant for his research, “A Novel Pan-Cancer Approach to Quantify Tumor Mutational Burden and Clinical Data Predictors for Immunotherapy Response towards Personalized Medicine.” His research focused on the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate immune suppression in forming biomaterials for Type I diabetes.

Armed with a 3.8 GPA, Jahizreal is the first student at Atlanta Public Schools to earn the distinction as one of the world’s top science students.

With a bright future ahead of him, Jahizreal plans to study biomedical engineering at the University of Hartford on a four-year pre-med health scholarship.

He said he will always cherish the experience.

“The science fair was one of the most exhilarating, eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had,” said Jahizreal, who participated in Project ENGAGES at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and plans to pursue a career in oncology. “This was the most exposure I’ve ever had to different ideas and people, and to seeing how big and competitive the world is. By far, it has been the best academic experience of my high school career.”

Student winners are ninth through twelfth graders who earned the right to compete at the Intel ISEF 2017 by winning a top prize at a local, regional, state or national science fair. The event unites top young scientific minds, showcasing their talents on an international stage, where doctoral level scientists review and judge their work.

Millions of students worldwide compete each year in local and school-sponsored science fairs; the winners of these events go on to participate in Society-affiliated regional and state fairs, from which the best win the opportunity to attend Intel ISEF.

“The magnitude of winning speaks volumes for B.E.S.T. Academy, APS, and the state of Georgia,” Jahizreal said. “The best part is that it honors my mentors and researchers that I work with at Georgia Tech.”