Atlanta Public Schools

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Atlanta Public Schools
Making a Difference
130 Trinity Avenue Southwest
Atlanta, GA 30303-3694

City of Atlanta
United States
Coordinates 33°44′54″N 84°23′29″W / 33.748401°N 84.391485°W / 33.748401; -84.391485Coordinates: 33°44′54″N 84°23′29″W / 33.748401°N 84.391485°W / 33.748401; -84.391485[1]
District information
Grades Pre-school - 12
Established 1882
Superintendent Meria Carstarphen
Budget $60,564,842.90
Students and staff
Students 54,946[2]
Staff 3,860[2]
Other information
First Lady Michelle Obama visits Burgess-Peterson Academy, February 9, 2011

Atlanta Public Schools is a school district based in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. APS is run by the Atlanta Board of Education with superintendent Meria Carstarphen. 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, 4 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, radio station WABE-FM 90.1 (the National Public Radio affiliate) and 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[edit]

The School Board consists of:

  • District 1 - Leslie Grant
  • District 2 - Byron Amos
  • District 3 - Matt Westmoreland
  • District 4 - Nancy Meister (Vice-Chair)
  • District 5 - Steven Lee
  • District 6 - Eshe’ Collins
  • Seat 7 - Courtney English (Chair)
  • Seat 8 - Cynthia Briscoe Brown
  • Seat 9 - Jason Esteves

APS Leadership[edit]

2014-2015 School Year

  • Meria Carstarphen, Ed.D., Superintendent
  • Steve Smith, Associate Superintendent
  • Karen Waldon, Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
  • Chuck Burbridge, Chief Financial Officer
  • Sharron Pitts, General Counsel (Interim)
  • 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[edit]

Middle schools[edit]

Inman Middle School in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood
  • BEST Academy Middle School
  • Joseph Emerson Brown Middle School
  • Ralph Johnson Bunche Middle School
  • Sammye E. Coan Middle School
  • Charles Lincoln Harper-Samuel Howard Archer Middle School
  • Samuel M. Inman Middle School
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy Middle School
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School
  • Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy Middle School
  • Crawford Williamson Long Middle School
  • Walter Leonard Parks Middle School
  • Luther Judson Price Middle School
  • Willis Sutton Middle School
  • Sylvan Hills Middle School
  • Jean Childs Young Middle School

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Adamsville Elementary School
  • 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
  • Garden Hills Elementary School
  • Gideons Elementary School
  • Grove Park Intermediate 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
  • Rivers Elementary School
  • Scott Elementary School
  • Slater Elementary School
  • Sarah Smith Elementary School
  • Springdale Park Elementary School
  • D.H. Stanton Elementary School
  • Frank Lebby Stanton Elementary School
  • Thomasville Heights Elementary School
  • Fred A. Toomer Elementary School
  • Towns Elementary School
  • Usher Elementary School
  • Venetian Hills Elementary School
  • West Manor Elementary School
  • Whitefoord Elementary School
  • Woodson Primary Elementary School

Non-traditional schools[edit]

Single gender academies[edit]

Evening school programs[edit]

  • Adult Literacy Program

Charter schools[edit]

Former schools[edit]

High schools[edit]

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

Middle schools[edit]

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

Elementary schools[edit]

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


Before 1900[edit]

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 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 "Negro" 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 later 1964 news story, Time Magazine 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."[citation needed]

In 2012, Atlanta Public Schools produced a documentary to honor the 50th anniversary of the district's desegregation efforts.[3] In January 1972, in order to settle several federal discrimination and desegregation lawsuits filed on behalf of minority students, faculty, and employees, 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, to 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 busing; voluntary and "M to M" (minority to majority) transfers; redrawing attendance zones; closing outdated and underutilized schools; building new schools; mandating and implementing equal employment opportunity guidelines for 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, starting with the 1973/1974 school year. The curriculum would also be 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 mandatory busing for APS. 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. Crim remained superintendent until his retirement in 1988.

In 2015 the district removed band programs at APS elementary schools.[4]

Cheating scandal[edit]

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.[5] 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,[6] with Mayor Kasim Reed calling it "a dark day for the Atlanta public school system."[7] The scandal attracted national media coverage.[7][8]


  1. ^ "Free US Geocoder". Retrieved 2010-06-09. 
  2. ^ a b School Stats, Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Atlanta Public Schools cuts music programs; teachers lose jobs" (Archive). WXIA 11 Alive. Retrieved on June 3, 2015.
  5. ^ Judd, Alan (May 27, 2011). "Atlanta superintendent acknowledges cheating". Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, GA). Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  6. ^ Schneider, Craig (July 11, 2011). "Atlanta school kids angry over cheating scandal". Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, GA). Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Severson, Kim (July 5, 2011). "Systematic Cheating Is Found in Atlanta’s School System". The New York Times (New York, NY). Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  8. ^ Kuo, Vivian (July 18, 2011). "2 Atlanta educators step down; 176 others also face ultimatum". CNN. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 


External links[edit]