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June 2022 Newsletter

The best school leaders and teachers understand their students’ and communities’ unique needs. They work best when given the trust, freedom, flexibility, and support to serve those needs. Active parent and community engagement are essential to establish levers of support for every student.

To aid schools in serving all students, we are launching our Family and Community Engagement Grant (FACE). We believe parent and community engagement is one factor that will help advance our mission of every child in every community receiving a great K-12 public education.

Click the link to read the full June newsletter and learn more about the FACE grant!

May 2022 Newsletter

Every child deserves a great public education regardless of where they live. When parents, school leaders, and educators partner to understand the unique needs of their students, children can learn and thrive in school and beyond. To support positive student outcomes in schools, educators and school leaders need our trust to develop and implement approaches that build on students’ strengths and address every student’s learning needs in the classroom.

This month, we’re raising awareness about freedom and flexibility-also known as autonomy-and how it impacts students, families and schools. We invite you to learn more about practices in Atlanta public schools and together, Atlanta can reimagine and innovate for schools everywhere.

Click here to read the full May newsletter!

April 2022 Newsletter

On May 24, Georgians will vote in the primary elections to determine which candidate will represent each political party in advance of a general election. In Georgia, primary elections are open to all voters regardless of their partisan affiliation. Unlike other states, Georgians only have to be registered voters and not registered to a specific political party. Primary elections give you, the voter, the opportunity to decide who from a pool of candidates should ultimately be nominated by your political party to run in the general election. The last day to register as a voter in Georgia is April 25, 2022. 

Click the link to read the full April newsletter!

Back to School Summer 2021 Newsletter

As students and staff prepare to return to school, I’m thinking about systemic changes and how we collectively and fundamentally reimagine what it means to attend public school in Atlanta.

We have historic opportunities before us. First, Atlanta Public Schools is receiving just over $200 million in federal funding to help address the pandemic’s impact. How we use that funding will impact hundreds of thousands of students over time.

Second, all nine school board seats are on the ballot in November. Voters have a real chance to set the course of our district.

I encourage you to stay active. For example, APS is soliciting feedback on how to spend the federal funding. You also can register to vote, check your voter registration status, request an absentee ballot, and encourage your networks to join in your efforts to remain engaged.

Here’s to seizing this opportunity and creating systemic change for all Atlanta students.

With gratitude,

Click the link below to read the newsletter in its entirety.

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Spring 2021 Newsletter — Up Next In Public Education

Throughout the pandemic, we have added our voice to the chorus calling for policies in education and beyond to not return to “normal” as more people are vaccinated and return to their previous way of life. If we are to move into a reimagined future, we must have objectives in place, goals we want to reach through rethinking and reinventing. I would offer four: to make sure students are safe, happy, loved, and learning.

These goals remain regardless of what type of school that students are learning in, or whether students are learning remotely or in person. The role of families, educators, and local leaders is to mitigate these risks and to create environments — wherever they might be — where students are in position to learn. With some students out of school buildings for one full year, it is imperative that we come together as a community around these types of goals, these types of universal aspirations that can unite families, educators, and policymakers who have been riven by the school reopening debate.

Speaking of educators, let me be the first to wish you a Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Click the link below to read the entire newsletter.

January Newsletter – So We Must Advance

Following the close of one of the most extraordinary years in our country’s history, we have started 2021 with a stunning month, a month when the most monumental events bear repeating, even as they are still fresh in our memories.

This month, this month that is still not over, Georgia elected its first Black U.S. Senator and its first Jewish U.S. Senator. The United States faced an insurrection as domestic terrorists stormed the Capitol Building in Washington. The former President was impeached for the second time. And then, two weeks after the insurrection and one week after the impeachment, the United States inaugurated its first woman, its first Black woman, its first South Asian woman as Vice President. All the while, more than 60,000 Americans have died of Covid, just this month.

Amidst all these tectonic shifts, it would be understandable to look for stability in some of the cornerstones of our communities, like our schools. It feels natural, to grasp for some familiarity in a time of such uncertainty. But in education, and in so many parts of our society, we cannot go back to what once existed. It is only by reimagining, by rethinking, by reinventing, that our country will move forward. Here locally, where families in Atlanta Public Schools are once again adjusting to a slowed pace of return to in-person learning, reimagining is our focus.

December Newsletter — Pushing Forward

Before the new year finally arrives, I’d like to take a moment to share some reflections on 2020.

Across Atlanta and beyond, it has been a traumatic year. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on people’s health, livelihoods, and education, with Black and brown communities feeling the greatest impact. Amidst that landscape, like many of you, redefinED atlanta has sought to meet this moment, even as members of our team grappled with working remotely, taking care of our children, and looking after our loved ones. Looking back, I am proud of the work we led to support students, families, and communities across the city.

Read more to see some of our accomplishments:

 

October Newsletter — Innovation Fund Grants Available

This has been a roller coaster of a school year. Families that desired an in-person option for their students in pre-K through fifth grade anticipated today as the date of reentry. With in-person learning now postponed until January 2021, the city’s education community centers our focus on the overarching priority: ensuring we’re meeting students’ academic and socio-emotional needs.

 

September Newsletter — Equity & Innovation for Public Schools

At long last, it’s fall. The season when we’ve typically settled back into our school routines, started itching for Fall Break, and begun discussing Halloween costumes. This year, traditions and routines are in limbo. We’re more than a month into the school year, and the local conversation is still dominated by how and when students will return to their school buildings. It appears that the defining feature of 2020 — uncertainty — will continue to hover over us the remaining months of this year.

August Newsletter — Putting a Stake in the Ground

The 2020-21 school year is unlike any we’ve seen in modern history. As we continue through this time full of unknowns and uncertainties, it is our duty to advocate for equity being at the center of every decision made on behalf of students and families of Atlanta Public Schools (APS). We believe that equity-centered leadership will face some resistance because change is never easy, but in time, it will unite our district and provide the foundation for every school to be stronger throughout the pandemic and beyond.