APS Receives $300K Gift from Delta to Help with Reading


Once again, Delta and The Delta Air Lines Foundation have shown their commitment to supporting Atlanta Public Schools and its journey to becoming a high-performing school district, through a $300,000 contribution made recently to bolster reading at two APS schools near Delta’s headquarters and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport – Dobbs Elementary School and Hutchinson Elementary School.

The contribution was made by Delta employees and matched by The Delta Airlines Foundation and is part of an ongoing commitment from Delta and The Delta Air Lines Foundation. Last year Delta employees contributed $350,000, also matched by The Delta Air Lines Foundation. Additionally, Delta Air Lines has pledged $500,000 to APS over a five-year partnership.

The $300,000 gift from employees was announced on July 24, during a luncheon to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the five-year partnership between Delta and APS. It is designed to help the District improve the quality of education and literacy for the next generation of Delta employees and customers in the local area. The gift will fund four, full-time literacy instructors — two at each school — to augment their efforts to improve student literacy rates, which will lead to higher graduation rates and, in turn, better economic prospects for the students at Dobbs and Hutchinson.

Delta employees who served as APS Reading Buddies during the 2017-2018 school year were honored at the event, held inside the Boeing 747 exhibit at the Delta Flight Museum. The partnership has already made a big impact on the lives of the students at Dobbs and Hutchinson.

Hutchinson first grader Sophia Gutierrez spoke at the luncheon wearing the glasses provided by a Delta funded Vision Screening program. She thanked her Delta Reading Buddy Heather Johnson from Cargo Marketing, for helping her learn to read and for spending time with her.

Also during the luncheon, Delta President Glen Hauenstein presented the $300,000 check to APS Superintendent Dr. Carstarphen and the two school principals — Dobbs Principal Dr. Charnita West and Hutchinson Principal Dr. Shaunta Broadway.

“Our partnership with APS began one year ago at a rally in the Delta Flight Museum, and we are truly proud of the way Delta employees have given of themselves to help the students of Dobbs and Hutchinson Elementary,” Hauenstein said. “These schools are in our backyard and we need to ensure that we take care of these students who could one day be our customers and employees.”

“On behalf of Atlanta Public Schools, I want every Delta Air Lines employee to know how meaningful their gifts of time and treasure are in making a positive impact on our students at Dobbs and Hutchinson Elementary Schools, leading them to achieve choice-filled lives they deserve,” Dr. Carstarphen said.

“Giving back to the communities where we live, work and serve is core to our culture at Delta, and investing in education is a key part of that effort, Hauenstein said. “Together Delta and APS are making a difference. ”


100 Black Men of Atlanta Partnership Empowers B.E.S.T. Academy Students

100 Black Men of Atlanta continues Day One tradition, yearlong mentorship, 11-year partnership

Rain pounding the pavement did not deter some 70 African-American men from suiting up and welcoming the young men of B.E.S.T. Academy back to school on August 1.

For the fourth consecutive year, members of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Emerging 100 of Atlanta, The Collegiate 100 and 100 Black Men of America lined up outside of the school’s main entrance. As students exited buses and cars, they entered a cheer tunnel of high-fives, fist pounds, hugs, chest bumps and words of affirmation.

B.E.S.T. Academy educates boys in sixth through 12th grades. This annual Day One tradition illustrates the 100 Black Men motto, “What They See Is Who They’ll Be.”

“The 100 Black Men of Atlanta represent the image and the paradigm that we want these young men to actually strive for,” said Anthony Flynn, 100 Black Men of Atlanta executive director and COO. “They are successful leaders in business, in education, in government, in medicine, in health and sciences.”

The cheers don’t end after Day One. The 11-year partnership between B.E.S.T. Academy and The 100 Black Men of Atlanta continues throughout the school year.

“It’s important that we have consistency in their lives, not only on Day One but for the rest of their lives,” said Larry Johnson, 100 Black Men of Atlanta board chair.



Founded in 1986, the 100 Black Men of Atlanta is an African-American volunteer organization focused on education, enrichment and empowerment through mentorship and community service.

Its Pathways of Development Success (PODS) initiative provides B.E.S.T. Academy students with the opportunity to see careers in action and interact with leaders within their fields of interest. PODS include the Lawyer for a Day program, a music partnership with Kuk Harrell Foundation, and the Move on When Ready dual enrollment partnership with Georgia State University, Atlanta Metropolitan State College and Atlanta Technical College.

“So often, what we see on TV is usually African-American males in some sort of negative situation, so ‘the 100’ was designed to not only mentor the young kids but also to demonstrate that there are African-American males who are doing positive things,” said Curley Dossman, 100 Black Men immediate past national chairman and current board member of the local chapter.

Ray Singer is the 100 Black Men of Atlanta program director and B.E.S.T. Academy school liaison. He oversees yearlong initiatives that include one-on-one and group mentoring, tuition assistance, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs.

“We’re here every day. We’re on the ground. We’re making a difference. The students know who we are. The parents know who we are. The community knows who we are,” Singer said. “Our overall goal here at B.E.S.T. Academy is really to instill hope in our young men.”

Singer estimates that the 100 Black Men partnership has yielded $1.2 million in scholarships and more than $200,000 in programs for B.E.S.T. Academy students.

The 100 Black Men of Atlanta is “the glue that sticks us together,” said B.E.S.T. Academy Principal Dr. Timothy D. Jones. “We’re always excited to have good role models in front [of] our boys, role models willing to tell the story. ‘I lived your life. I endured your situation. I came from where you came from or where you are.’ That’s meaningful, and that’s significant because they have someone to relate to on a day-to-day basis, but also someone who induces this idea that it’s possible. And if it’s possible, I’m possible.”

APS Elite Bus Drivers Recognized at Inaugural Ceremony

APS Elite Drivers

With more than 200 years of combined service to the District, 21 Atlanta Public Schools bus drivers were honored for their exemplary driving record and perfect attendance during the 2017-2018 school year at the inaugural APS Elite Bus Driver Recognition Ceremony on Tuesday, July 31.

Held in partnership with Family First Credit Union, the ceremony featured APS Elite honorees and guests, Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen, John Franklin, executive director of Transportation, members of the Atlanta Board of Education, district leaders, FFCU President Stephen Smith and staff, and others who helped celebrate the special occasion.

“I am so proud of this elite group of drivers, all of whom were recognized for their superb performance that puts students and schools first,” said Transportation Director John Franklin. “These bus operators are the backbone and lifeblood of the Transportation Department, and they perform their jobs every day with commitment and dedication.”

The awards and incentives transportation program was specifically designed to recognize those unsung heroes on the road who transport 28,000 students safely to and from school each day.

During the ceremony, each driver received a red customized jacket in recognition of their exemplary performance, as well as a special congratulations from Dr. Carstarphen, board members and senior district leaders. In addition to the Presentation of Colors by the Maynard Jackson High School Army JROTC Color Guard, the ceremony also featured entertainment by the Therrell High School Jazz Band.

The 2018-2019 School Year is off to a Great Start at Atlanta Public Schools

APS Day One 2018

We’re wrapping up our first week at Atlanta Public Schools (APS), and there’s so much excitement brewing. With gains across all subject areas, eight new principals, school renovations, and high expectations, APS is at the ready for a bright 2018-2019 school year ahead!

APS is on a roll.

As part of our Day One tradition, APS Superintendent Dr. Meria J. Carstarphan boarded one of our school buses and rolled through the District to visit students, teachers, administrators, support staff and the community to report on back-to-school happenings. Read her Day One reports here.

The fun didn’t end on Day One, as Dr. Carstarphan continued rolling through the District throughout the first week of school. Below are some highlights.

#BESTOFAPSFIRSTWEEK: @ShantiDas404 & Hip Hop Professional Foundation donating 😎🎒s to @APSHeritage (@BurgessPeterson, @apsyoungms & @APSClevelandAve too)! Thanks former @APSMaysRaiders grad for giving back! ❤️🦅 pic.twitter.com/8obcmdY8XZ

— Meria Carstarphen (@CarstarphenMJ) August 3, 2018

APS is starting strong.

The excitement for #APSFIRSTDAY was contagious all over the District on Day One.  Our students from Humphries Elementary School, Barack and Michelle Obama Academy, Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, and B.E.S.T. Academy are off to a great start. See video below.

APS is setting high expectations.

APS intern Trevvar George, a 2018 D.M. Therrell High School graduate, spoke to the principals of Peyton Forest Elementary School, Boyd Elementary School, Booker T. Washington High School, E. Rivers Elementary School, and Ralph J. Bunche Middle School about their expectations for the 2018-2019 school year. See video below.

For more back-to-school highlights, follow the #APSFIRSTDAY and #BESTOFAPSFIRSTWEEK hashtags or @CarstarphenMJ and @APSUpdate.

APS Students Go Back to School, Wednesday, August 1


APS Day 1 of school.

Atlanta Public Schools students will start the 2018-2019 school year on Wednesday, August 1.

School Hours

School hours for APS schools remain the same as last year:

  • Elementary Schools, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Middle Schools, 9:05 p.m. to 4:05 p.m.
  • High Schools, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The following schools operate on modified schedules:

  • Brandon Elementary Main – 8:00 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.
  • Forrest Hill Academy – 9:30 a.m. to 4:16 p.m.
  • Atlanta High – 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
  • Sarah Smith Elementary Main – 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Sutton Sixth Grade Academy – 9:15 a.m. to 4:05 p.m.
  • Sutton Middle (7-8) – 9:15 a.m. to 4:05 p.m.
  • Whitefoord Early Learning Academy – 7:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

(Note: APS charter schools operate on a separate school year calendar. Parents should contact their charter school directly for more information.)

Transportation/Bus Routes
Information on bus routes and transportation was sent to students and parents electronically, and is available here on the District’s website. Additionally, parents may call the Transportation office at 404-802-5500, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Media Opportunity

APS Superintendent Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen will begin the day at 6 a.m., at the District’s bus depot (1661 Metropolitan Avenue, SW) where she will help serve breakfast refreshments to drivers. Then she will begin a day-long tour of schools, starting with Peyton Forest Elementary (301 Peyton Road, SW), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a “circus’ theme – complete with clowns and a man-on-stilts performer – to welcome students.




Atlanta Public Schools Welcomes Eight New Principals

With a combined total of more than 100 years of teaching and administrative experience, eight new principals will usher in the new school year at Atlanta Public Schools (APS).

“Strong schools begin with strong leadership. Effective principals are essential to achieving our vision to become a high-performing district where students love to learn, educators inspire, families engage and the community trusts the system,” Carstarphen said. “I am thrilled to welcome these outstanding school leaders to Atlanta Public Schools.”

With a caring culture of trust and collaboration, every student will graduate ready for college and career. This APS mission is strengthened through the recruitment, development and retention of school leaders who foster educational excellence.

APS has built a strong internal pipeline with an emphasis in school leadership development. As a result, 75 percent of the 2018-2019 new principals are internal hires. In addition, two of this year’s new principal pool are proud APS graduates.

Flip through the photo galleries below, and get to know our eight new principals!

APS charter and partner schools also welcomed 11 new principals. They are Rajvee Bhlakia (The Kindezi Schools at Old Fourth Ward), Tasha Davis (KIPP Soul Primary School), Micheal Bray and Audrianna Archibald (KIPP WAYS Primary School), Chris Knowles (Atlanta Classical Academy), Jovan Miles (Thomasville Heights Elementary School), Chanika Perry (KIPP Atlanta Collegiate Academy), Rashaun Reid (KIPP Vision Academy), Deborah Satterfield (Wesley International Academy) Nathaniel Snyder (KIPP WAYS Academy) and Terra Walker (KIPP Vision Primary School).

Day One for the District is Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018.

AT&T Volunteers Help Brown Middle School Teachers Prepare for Day One

AT&T Volunteers at Brown Middle School

With less than one week before school starts, over 200 AT&T employees from across metro Atlanta poured into Brown Middle School on Thursday, July 26, to help teachers and staff prepare for Day One APS.

Thanks to their volunteer efforts, classrooms are cleaned, books are stored, bulletin boards are prepped, and storage rooms are organized. Held in partnership with the Westside Future Fund, the volunteer day was an opportunity for AT&T employees to give back to the community.

For three hours, volunteers like William Autry spent their time cleaning desks, assembling storage carts, organizing classrooms, folding band uniforms, and performing other essential tasks to help teachers and staff get ready for school.

“I believe more in sweat equity than donations, and that’s why it’s important for me for give back to the community,” said Autry, a senior network support specialist.

Cherise Mlott, who serves as director of corporate real estate for AT&T’s Southeast region, agreed.

“It’s so important that we invest in our community, and it’s great to back to the students in our city,” she said.


Principal Tiauna Crooms said she’s grateful for AT&T’s support.

“Giving back to the community is something that I always emphasize with my students and staff, and AT&T is an exemplar of that with all of the volunteers who’ve graciously given of their time to help,” Crooms said. “This year, our goal is also to pass the torch  and give back to our community.”

According to Bill Leahy, president of AT&T Georgia and Southeast Region, AT&T employees have contributed 140,000 hours to the Atlanta community in recent years.

External Affairs Manager Sonia Daniels said AT&T is proud to serve Brown Middle School and the Westside community. The volunteer activity is part of the kick-off of the Engage Atlanta Campaign, which serves to combine the company’s philanthropic and volunteer efforts.

“AT&T is committed to Atlanta and the revitalization of the Westside community,” Daniels said. “We’re here to show that this is what corporate America is all about.”