Jul 26, 2014

School Is Back In Session

The 2012-13 APS school year begins Monday and Patch wants to see pictures as parents send their students off to school

It’s back to school today as the 2012-13 school year begins for most Atlanta Public Schools (APS) students on Monday, Aug. 6. Students attending year-round schools, such as , began on July 10.

It could be a muggy and wet first day for students at , Inman Middle and Springdale Park Elementary school as there is a 60 percent chance of precipitation in the metro Atlanta area Monday.

There’s much anew this year and you might want to look at the “I’m Going Back to School” video provided by the APS here. One change is the new Common Core of standardized academic standards for math, English and language arts that Georgia was one of 47 states to adopt. See the video for more info

Extensive transportation changes were made for the 2012-2013 school year following the rezoning of many APS schools this past spring. View a complete list of transporation changes and visit the APS Transportation website for bus routes, walk zones and transportation safety information.

The Atlanta Board of Education passed zoning changes and closures schools beginning with the new school year. This decision impacts groups of students across the district. While not all students have been impacted, a quick reference chart is available that outlines how the grandfathering and rezoning impacts each group of students.

The APS traditional school calendar can be found here.

The first semester shows student school holidays on Sept. 3; Oct. 8-9; and Nov. 19-23; with the winter break beginning on Dec. 19. APS students will return from winter break on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013.

Deficiency notices come out on Sept. 5 and Nov. 11 and report cards on Oct. 17 and Jan. 11.

Are you excited about the new school year, or was summer too short? As you send your student off to school, grab your camera or cell phone, snap a photo or shoot a video, and upload it as we look forward to seeing your back to school pictures!

APS Superintendent Erroll B. Davis, Jr. addressed a welcoming letter to students, parents and educators last week. It reads as follows:

Dear APS students, parents, employees, and supporters, 

Significant changes are in store at APS for the 2012-13 school year, which begins for most of our students on Monday, August 6, 2012.

It is important for both students and their parents and guardians to know that teaching and learning begin on the first day of classes. Gone are the days when the first day of school was an occasion for day-long greetings and get acquainted sessions. Everyone is expected to hit the ground running on the first day of classes with the understanding that there is a lot of material to cover over the 180 days of the regular school year.

Prior to the start of classes, we welcomed our principals and teachers back from their summer break. These are the dedicated, hard-working professionals who will greet our students on August 6, before getting down to the business of educating them using for the first time this year the more rigorous, Common Core Standards curriculum that many states have adopted to make public K12 instruction more uniform and challenging throughout the country. Our principals and teachers have been undergoing intensive professional development in recent months to incorporate this new curriculum into our instructional programs throughout all grade levels. 

The Atlanta Board of Education approved attendance zone changes and school closures as part of the district-wide redistricting initiative that was the subject of a year-long process involving about 100 community meetings to obtain input and support regarding this undertaking. APS schools slated for closure under the plan are Capitol View, Cook, East Lake, Herndon and White elementary schools, along with Kennedy and Parks middle schools. Parks and Kennedy middle schools will remain open during the 2012-13 school year, as the district transitions them for eventual conversion to career academies. 

The district has also realigned the schools into cluster configurations with specific elementary and middle schools feeding into designated high schools with an associated continuity of foreign language courses and academic programs. 

The district’s two single-gender middle and high schools – Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy and B.E.S.T. Academy – are currently available for district-wide enrollment, meaning they are open to students and parents across the city, who opt for this alternative educational experience.

 On the transportation front, out-of-zone students enrolled in magnet programs at five APS high schools will no longer receive district pupil transportation to and from school. Students who reside outside of the attendance zones for these schools and meet certain qualification criteria, however, will receive MARTA passes provided by the district. Also, students attending out-of-zone schools due to No Child Left Behind (NCLB) transfers will no longer be provided district pupil transportation services. Georgia is one of a number of states that was provided a waiver from NCLB requirements by the federal government.

 A lot of changes are in store for APS this coming school year, as we work together with the community to manage dwindling resources and reconfigure our schools and curriculum to provide greater equity across the district in terms of the education product delivered to all of our students. Our principals, teachers and school-based staff are ready and anxiously awaiting the return of our students, who will undoubtedly be enriched by the many changes that have been instituted to enhance their educational experience and continue to foster the significant academic achievement APS has realized over the years.

Note: For more information on changes for the 2012-13 school year, go to www.atlantapublicschools.us/backtoschool 

Sincerely, Superintendent Erroll B. Davis, Jr.

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