Atlanta Public Schools

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Atlanta Public Schools (APS) is a school district based in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It is run by the Atlanta Board of Education with superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring.The system has an active enrollment of 54,956 students, attending a total of 103 school sites: 50 elementary schools (three of which operate on a year-round calendar), 15 middle schools, 21 high schools, four single-gender academies and 13 charter schools. The school system also supports two alternative schools for middle and/or high school students, two community schools, and an adult learning center. The school system owns the license for, but does not operate, the radio station WABE-FM 90.1 (the National Public Radio affiliate) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) public television station WPBA 30.


The Atlanta Board of Education establishes and approves the policies that govern the Atlanta Public School system. The board consists of nine members, representing six geographical districts, and three "at-large" districts. One person is elected per district to represent the schools in a given district for a four-year term. Under the provisions of the new board charter, approved by the Georgia Legislature in 2003, board members elect a new chairman and vice chairman every two years. The day-to-day administration of the school district is the responsibility of the superintendent, who is appointed by the board.

School board members

District 1 - Leslie Grant District 2 - Aretta Baldon District 3 - Michelle Olympiadis District 4 - Nancy Meister District 5 - Erica Mitchell District 6 - Eshe' Collins (Vice-Chair) Seat 7 - Kandis Wood Jackson Seat 8 - Cynthia Briscoe Brown Seat 9 - Jason Esteves (Chair)

APS leadership

2020-2021 school year Dr. Lisa Herring, Ed.D., Superintendent Steve Smith, Associate Superintendent Karen Waldon, Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Lisa Bracken, Chief Financial Officer D. Glenn Brock, General Counsel (Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough LLP) Larry Hoskins, Deputy Superintendent for Operations Alexis Kirijan, Ed.D., Chief Strategy Officer Tony Hunter, Chief Information Officer Ron Price, Chief Human Resources Officer


High schools

Benjamin E. Mays High School BEST Academy High School Booker T. Washington High School Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy High School Daniel McLaughlin Therrell High School Frederick Douglass High School Henry W. Grady High School Maynard H. Jackson High School The New Schools at Carver Early College School of the Arts School of Health Sciences & Research School of Technology North Atlanta High School South Atlanta High School

Middle schools

BEST Academy Middle School Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy Middle School Crawford Williamson Long Middle School Jean Childs Young Middle School Joseph Emerson Brown Middle School Luther Judson Price Middle School Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School Ralph Johnson Bunche Middle School Samuel M. Inman Middle School Sylvan Hills Middle School Sutton Middle Willis Sutton Middle School

Elementary schools

Adamsville Elementary School Barack & Michelle Obama Academy (formerly DH Stanton Elementary) Beecher Hills Elementary School Benteen Elementary School Bethune Elementary School Bolton Academy Boyd Elementary School Brandon Elementary School Burgess/Peterson Elementary School Cascade Elementary School Centennial Place Elementary School Cleveland Avenue Elementary School Connally Elementary School Continental Colony Elementary School Deerwood Academy Dobbs Elementary School Dunbar Elementary School Fain Elementary School Fickett Elementary School Finch Elementary School Frank Lebby Stanton Elementary School Fred A. Toomer Elementary School Flat Rock Elementary School Garden Hills Elementary School Gideons Elementary School Grove Park Intermediate Elementary School Harper-Archer Elementary School Heritage Academy Hope-Hill Elementary School Humphries Elementary School Hutchinson Elementary School Jackson Elementary School Kimberly Elementary School M. Agnes Jones Elementary School Mary Lin Elementary School Miles Elementary School Morningside Elementary School Oglethorpe Elementary School Parkside Elementary School Perkerson Elementary School Peyton Forest Elementary School Pine Ridge Elementary School Rivers Elementary School Sarah Smith Elementary School Scott Elementary School Slater Elementary School Springdale Park Elementary School Sycamore Elementary school Thomasville Heights Elementary School Towns Elementary School Bazoline E. Usher Collier Heights Elementary School Venetian Hills Elementary School West Manor Elementary School Whitefoord Elementary School Woodson Primary Elementary School

Non-traditional schools

Alonzo A. Crim Open Campus High School APS/Community Education Partnership (CEP) School The New School of Atlanta West End Academy

Single-gender academies

The B.E.S.T. Academy at Benjamin S. Carson (Business, Engineering, Science, and Technology) The Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy

Evening school programs

Adult Literacy Program

Charter schools

Atlanta Classical Academy Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School Centennial Academy Charles R. Drew Charter School The Kindezi School KIPP Vision Academy KIPP Vision Primary KIPP West Atlanta Young Scholars Academy The Latin Academy University Community Academy, an Atlanta Charter School, Inc. Wesley International Academy Westside Atlanta Charter School

Former schools

High schools

Boys High School, 1872-1947 Charles Lincoln Harper High School, 1963-1995 Commercial High School, 1888-1947 Daniel O'Keefe High School, 1947-1973 David T. Howard High School, 1945-1976 East Atlanta High School, 1959-1988 Franklin D. Roosevelt High School, 1947-1985 Fulton High School, 1915-1994 Girls High School, 1872-1947 Harper-Archer High School, 1995-2002 Henry McNeal Turner High School, 1951-1990 Hoke Smith High School, 1947-1985 Joseph Emerson Brown High School, 1947-1992 Luther Judson Price High School, 1954-1987 North Fulton High School, 1920-1991 Northside High School, 1950-1991 Samuel Howard Archer High School, 1950-1995 Southwest High School, 1950-1981 Sylvan Hills High School, 1949-1987 Tech High Charter School, 2004-2012 Technological "Tech" High School, 1909-1947 Walter F. George High School, 1959-1995 West Fulton High School, 1947-1992 William A. Bass High School, 1948-1987 William F. Dykes High School, 1959-1973

Middle schools

Austin T. Walden Middle School Central Junior High School Daniel O'keefe Middle School, 1973-1983 Henry McNeal Turner Middle School, 1989-2010 John Fitzgerald Kennedy Middle School Marshall Middle School Sammye E. Coan Middle School Walter Leonard Parks Middle School West Fulton Middle School, 1992-2004 CW Long Middle School

Elementary schools

Adair Park Elementary School Anderson Park Elementary School Anne E. West Elementary School Arkwright Elementary School Ben Hill Elementary School Blair Village Elementary School Blalock Elementary School Burgess Elementary School C.D. Hubert Elementary School, renamed Atlanta Tech High in 2004 Capitol View Elementary School Caroline F. Harper Elementary School Center Hill Elementary School Chatthoochee Elementary School Clark Howell Elementary School Collier Heights Elementary School Cook Elementary School Dean Rusk Elementary D.F. McClatchey Elementary School East Lake Elementary School Edmond Asa Ware Elementary School Edwin P. Johnson Elementary School Emma Clarissa Clement Elementary School English Avenue Elementary School Evan P. Howell Elementary School Fountain Elementary School Fowler St. Elementary School Harwell Elementary School Herndon Elementary School Home Park Elementary School I.N. Ragsdale Elementary School Joel Chandler Harris Elementary School John B. Gordon Elementary school John Carey Elementary School John F. Faith Elementary, renamed C.D. Hubert in 1963 John P. Whittaker Elementary School Jonathan M. Goldsmith Elementary School Lakewood Elementary School Laura Haygood Elementary School Lee Street Elementary School Luckie Street Elementary School Margaret Mitchell Elementary School Minnie S. Howell Elementary School Moreland Ave. Elementary School Mount Vernon Elementary School North Ave. Elementary School Oglethorpe Elementary School Peeples Street Grammar School Riverside Elementary School Rockdale Elementary School Rosalie Wright Elementary School Slayton Elementary School Spring Street Elementary School Sylvan Hills Elementary School Thomas Jefferson Guice Elementary School Walker Street Elementary School Waters Elementary School White Elementary School


Before 1900

Established by ordinance of the Atlanta City Council, the Atlanta Public Schools opened three grammar schools and two high schools in 1872 to educate the white youth of the city. This brought the total number of schools offering free education to the city's children to seven, as the Freedman's Bureau had established two schools for black children in 1866.


On August 30, 1961, nine students – Thomas Franklin Welch, Madelyn Patricia Nix, Willie Jean Black, Donita Gaines, Arthur Simmons, Lawrence Jefferson, Mary James McMullen, Martha Ann Holmes and Rosalyn Walton – became the first African American students to attend several of APS's all-white high schools. On September 8, 1961, Time magazine reported: Last week the moral siege of Atlanta (pop. 487,455) ended in spectacular fashion with the smoothest token school integration ever seen in the Deep South. Into four high schools marched nine Negro students without so much as a white catcall. Teachers were soon reporting "no hostility, no demonstrations, the most normal day we've ever had." In the lunchrooms, white children began introducing themselves to Negro children. At Northside High, a biology class was duly impressed when Donita Gaines, a Negro, was the only student able to define the difference between anatomy and physiology. Said she crisply: "Physiology has to do with functions." In a 1964 news story, Time would say, "The Atlanta decision was a gentle attempt to accelerate one of the South’s best-publicized plans for achieving integration without revolution." By May 1961, 300 transfer forms had been given to black students interested in transferring out of their high schools. 132 students actually applied; of those, 10 were chosen and 9 braved the press, onlookers, and insults to integrate Atlanta's all-white high schools. Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka had established the right of African American students to have equal opportunities in education, but it was not until 1958, when a group of African American parents challenged the segregated school system in federal court, that integration became a tangible reality for students of color in Atlanta. Adding to the accolades for the students and the city, President Kennedy publicly congratulated residents during an evening address and asked other cities to "look closely at what Atlanta has done and to meet their responsibility... with courage, tolerance and above all, respect for the law."In 2012, Atlanta Public Schools produced a documentary to honor the 50th anniversary of the district's desegregation efforts. In January 1972, in order to settle several federal discrimination and desegregation lawsuits filed on behalf of minority students, faculty, and employees and reach satisfactory agreement with Atlanta civil rights leaders who had worked over a decade for a peaceful integration plan. Atlanta Public Schools entered into a voluntary agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, with approval and oversight from the U.S. Department of Education, in an attempt to desegregate Atlanta Public Schools. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a majority of Atlanta Northside public schools had either token integration, or none at all. Faculty and staff assignments to schools had remained mostly segregated as well. The justice department allowed the school system to create and use a plan consisting of partial district busing; voluntary and "M to M" (minority to majority) transfers; redrawing attendance zones; closing outdated and underutilized schools; building new schools; and mandating and implementing equal employment opportunity guidelines for hiring, training, promotion, assignment, vendor selection, bidding, contracting, construction, procurement and purchasing. The school system was also converted from a K-7 elementary and 8-12 high school grade system into a middle school 6–8 grade program beginning with the 1973/1974 school year. The curriculum was also updated to have studies more balanced, inclusive, and diverse, with content culturally and historically significant to racial minorities. With strict guidelines, oversight and timeline implementation of the voluntary desegregation plan, the federal courts agreed not to order and enforce system-wide a mandatory busing desegregation program for APS that had been federally enforced in other cities up to that time, most notably Boston and Philadelphia which resulted in widespread anti-busing violence in 1973-74 that Atlanta civil rights leaders desired to avoid. Along with this program for racial balance, the school system's first African American Superintendent, Dr. Alonzo A. Crim, took over leadership of Atlanta Public Schools in August 1973. He remained superintendent until his retirement in 1988.

21st century

The City of Atlanta, in 2017, agreed to annex territory in DeKalb County, including the Centers for Disease Control and Emory University, effective January 1, 2018. In 2016 Emory University made a statement that "Annexation of Emory into the City of Atlanta will not change school districts, since neighboring communities like Druid Hills will still be self-determining regarding annexation." By 2017 the city agreed to include the annexed property in the boundaries of APS, a move decried by the leadership of the DeKalb County School District as it would take taxable property away from that district. In 2017 the number of children living in the annexed territory who attended public schools was nine. The area ultimately went to APS; students in the area will be rezoned to APS effective 2024; they will be zoned to DeKalb schools before then.

Cheating scandal

During the 11-year tenure of former superintendent Beverly Hall, the APS experienced unusually high gains in standardized test scores, such as the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test. In 2009, Hall won the National Superintendent of the Year Award. Around this time, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution began investigating the score increases and suggested evidence of cheating. A state report found numerous erased answers in an analysis of the 2009 test scores. Tests were administered under much higher scrutiny in 2010, and the scores dropped dramatically. The state of Georgia launched a major investigation as cheating concerns intensified. The investigation's report, published in July 2011, found evidence of a widespread cheating scandal. At least 178 teachers and principals at 44 APS schools were alleged to have corrected students' tests to increase scores, in some cases holding "cheating parties" to revise large quantities of tests. Hall, who had retired in June 2011, expressed regret but denied any prior knowledge of, or participation in, the cheating. The new superintendent, Erroll Davis, demanded the resignation of the 178 APS employees or else they would be fired. The revelation of the scandal left many Atlantans feeling outraged and betrayed, with Mayor Kasim Reed calling it "a dark day for the Atlanta public school system." The scandal attracted national media coverage.
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