Atlanta Public Schools (APS) held its 150th annual State of The District for 2023 at Illuminarium Atlanta. The presentation was also streamed on Facebook live for public viewing. The lights from the Illuminarium building with the student showcase added to the State of the District’s futuristic theme: Mission Possible: APS 2036.   

Dr. Lisa Herring, the APS Superintendent, introduced the mission and mentioned Atlanta’s technological influence, with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nike, and Visa expanding in the city. Herring also called for equity across APS schools, aiming to advance the technology in them. 

“This is a milestone year for our organization that we must not misuse,” said Herring. “Now is the time to build a legacy for 150 years to come. And the technology you experience next door is available today in only a few of our schools. But that technology, and that intersection, That’s our imperative.” 

Herring then reflected on the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, thanking the APS teachers for their work during previous years. She shared that the APS class of 2022 graduated at an 84% rate, the highest in APS history. The class also earned $164 million in scholarships.  

Herring shared the “Four E’s” that serve as goal points for APS scholars. Those E’s are: 

  1. Enrolled 
  2. Enlisted 
  3. Employed 
  4. Entrepreneur 

Herring also described the work APS is doing with its partners Verizon, Apple, and Google this year and announced some grants APS received.  

This year, APS received a $500,000 grant from the Department of Defense to help implement a summer stem academy. It also received a $45,000 grant from Sienna Corporation to supply digital tools and resources for students. 

Mayor Andre Dickens could not make the presentation, but he sent a video message supporting APS. 

“2023 is the city of Atlanta’s year of the youth,” said Dickens in the message.  

Lastly, Herring announced the goal to raise $15 million for more mentors, partnerships, and apprenticeships in APS schools.  

“It’s in the city,” said Herring. It’s possible. If you invest in a city like Atlanta, we can do it. We can raise the money for our schools. We can find the mentors for our schools. We can give every principal, that corporate partner that they deserve. We can have apprenticeships and build that workforce before they leave us.” 

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