The Atlanta Public Schools issued the following news release shown in its entirety:
Atlanta Public Schools and Faith Community Join To Support New School Year
ATLANTA – This Sunday, as many Atlanta Public Schools students and staff prepare to start the 2014-2015 school year, they will receive an extra offering of support from Atlanta’s faith community. Faith leaders have been asked to acknowledge worshipers who are a part of the district and recognize their efforts as educators.
This week, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen wrote in a letter to several Atlanta faith leaders, “Many of you hold annual special recognitions or services to offer comfort for our students, staff and administrators. I also ask that you spread the word about the importance of the first day of school and its relation to student and school success,” said Dr. Carstarphen.
Monday August 4, is the first day of school for nearly 50,000 students of Atlanta Public Schools. Last year, about 5,000 of those students were not in school on the first day. The district has made a concerted effort to address several issues that contributed to this issue.
In its Day One: Be There. grassroots awareness campaign, APS partnered with several community organizations, local non-profits and medical providers to launch a large information and access campaign targeted at getting students to attend school on the first day and every day. With the help of partners including 11Alive News, The Buckhead Church, Chick-fil-A and Zeist Foundation, the district used a combination of its communications channels, school events, community events, and local media to increase awareness about school readiness for August 4. This included creating a mobile student registration process, sharing updated information about immunization requirements and expanded community canvassing.
“We have to break the myth that missing the first day, or only a few days of school, is normal and doesn’t matter much,” said Dr. Carstarphen. “We want our families to know that August 4 is not only the first day of school, but it’s the first day of instruction.”
Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 106 learning sites. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 87 schools, 17 charter schools and two citywide single-gender academies, where students are offered rigorous instructional programs that foster success in school and life. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us