Reflecting On Our Last Four Years
Dear Friends,

At the end of this week, we will wrap up the Fall Semester. And at the end of this month, my tenure on the Board of Education will also come to a close.

Four years ago, I joined the Board as one of six new folks to our nine-member body. Two months later, we selected a new superintendent. As a governing team, we would go on to rewrite the system's mission and vision, revise our strategic plan, define equity, adopt a new operating model that pushed decision-making down to schools, develop a Turnaround Strategy for chronically struggling schools, and build a $545 million capital projects plan that will unfold over the next five years. Those efforts have led to the visible and sustained progress we are seeing, which I've worked to highlight in these newsletters.

On January 2, I will join the Atlanta City Council-- where I'll work to build a stronger relationship between the City and APS as I continue fighting for our families and communities. I wish the very best to successor, Michelle Olympiadis, and am grateful for her decision to step up and serve every single one of Atlanta's children.

Please don't ever hesitate to reach out (; 404.408.0980) if the need arises.

Have a great Winter Break!
Fall 2016 Highlights
APS graduation rate up 5.9 points to 77 percent
The graduation rate for the APS Class of 2017 was  77 percent-- a 6%-point increase from last year, and an 18%-point from the Class of 2014!

APS graduated 2,356 seniors in 2017, up 581 from 1,775 seniors in 2014.

It was also encouraging to see the gap between our system and the state average narrow from 13.4% in 2014 to 3.6% this year.

System shows continued progress on '17 CCRPI results
In October, the GA Department of Education announced 56 APS schools – 23 more than last year – showed gains on the 2017 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), Georgia's school accountability metric.

The districts’s average increased 3.1 points to 68.3 points, compared to the state’s gain of 1.4 points. APS has increased it’s average by 8.5 points since the introduction of CCRPI in 2012.

It was especially exciting to see growth at 15 of the 16 schools that have been the focus of our Turnaround Strategy work.

District taking steps after completing Disparity Study
Over the last year, a nationally recognized independent firm completed a disparity study to determine whether there is a level playing field when competing for construction and professional services contracts. The final report, released in October, showed the percentage of contract dollars going to minority and women businesses was lower than expected based on availability analysis.

More than 1,100 APS students earn Achieve Atlanta funds
More than 1,100 members of the Class of 2017 qualified for the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship, which will provide them with up to $20,000 over four years as they complete their post-secondary studies.

In 2015, Achieve Atlanta was launched a $20 million initiative to  increase dramatically the number of APS graduates who enter college and successfully graduate from colleges and technical schools.
APS opens two new Early Childhood Learning sites
This past August, APS partnered with Sheltering Arms and  Whitefoord, Inc. to  open two new Early Learning centers.

The Sheltering Arms site in  Peoplestown will serve more than 200 children and families, while Whitefoord Academy in  Edgewood will serve 3-and-4-year-olds   

This progress follows  APS adding several new PreK sites and numerous new PreK classes over the last three years. 
Work begins on $8M Walden Athletic Complex
Last month, the old Walden Middle building in Old Fourth Ward was demolished to make way for an $8 million athletic complex.

Set for completion in June, the complex will serve as much-needed field space for Inman Middle and Grady High, and will include space for soccer/lacrosse as well as softball and baseball. The field house will include locker rooms, restrooms, and concession space.

New APS Blog highlights data by school, cluster
Earlier this year, the APS Data Team launched their new blog "APS INSIGHTS."

View school data and district and state comparisons on school performance, climate, and demographics. Check out the enrollment map. Use the interactive data explorer. And read posts on the Blog.

Partnerships: Huge thank you to a critical piece of this work
This past July, APS was fortunate to announce a five-year, $16 million partnership between the Westside Future Fund and Hollis Innovation Academy.

Later that very same day, we announced another million-dollar partnership-- this one between Delta Air Lines and Dobbs and Hutchinson elementary schools.

Whether it's been our partnership with Purpose Built Schools in the Carver Cluster ( Click here to see an amazing video on Thomasville Heights Elementary), the new Junior Achievement Academy at Douglass High, the @-Promise Center of the Atlanta Police Foundation, the 25,000 devices Sprint is donating to our students, or the Vision2Learn effort to provide glasses to every elementary student who needs them-- partnerships has been a huge component of the Turnaround taking place in APS. A huge thank you to all who've made that possible!
About District 3
Neighborhoods in District 3 (Part or All)

Ansley Park, Brookwood Hills, Cabbagetown, Downtown, Druid Hills, East Atlanta,
East Lake, Edgewood, Edmund Park, Glenwood Park, Johnson Estates, Kirkwood, Lake Claire, Lindbergh, 
Lindridge-Martin Manor, Midtown, Morningside, Old Fourth Ward, 
Piedmont Heights, Reynoldstown,
Sherwood Forest, Sweet Auburn,
Virginia Highland
Board of Education, District 3

  • Students in ABOE-3 attend more than 22 schools-- including, by cluster:

Grady Cluster
Grady HS, Inman MS, Morningside
ES, Springdale Park ES, Mary Lin ES,
Hope-Hill ES

Jackson Cluster
Jackson HS, King MS, Toomer ES, 
Whitefoord Early Learning,
Burgess-Peterson Academy 

North Atlanta Cluster
North Atlanta HS, Sutton MS, E Rivers
ES, Garden Hills ES

APS Charter Schools
Drew Charter, Kindezi- Old Fourth
Ward, Atlanta Neighborhood Charter,
Wesley International 

APS Non-Traditional Schools  
Adult Literacy Program, Crim Open
Campus, Hillside Conant

*Bold  Schools sit geographically in D3
Matt Westmoreland | District 3, Atlanta Board of Education
404.408.0980 |