This slideshow provides just a glimpse at some of the amazing things that happened at Atlanta Public Schools in November. Click through to see the highlights from your school. A new slideshow will be posted at the end of each month, so be sure to subscribe to APS Today and look for your scholar or your school!
South Atlanta High School
Atlanta Public Schools is all over the GHSA football state playoff brackets with a district record eight teams reaching the postseason.
North Atlanta (9-1), Therrell (9-1) and Mays (6-4) all finished second in their respective regions and earned the right to host their opening round playoff matchups.
North Atlanta continues to build on their historic program run. They not only posted their best regular season record, again, this year, but it will also be the first time the Warriors have ever finished second in the region and hosted a playoff game.
Therrell, South Atlanta (5-5), and Washington (3-7) all clinched a playoff spot from AA-Region 6.
The Douglass Astros (6-4) finished in third place in AAA-Region 5, which was two spots ahead of Carver (2-7).
Last, but not least, Jackson (5-5) finished in fourth place in AAAAA-Region 5, two spots behind Mays.
Here’s the schedule for this weekend’s APS playoff matchups:
Friday, Nov. 10
Mays vs. Loganville, 7:30 p.m. at Lakewood Stadium
North Atlanta vs. Houston County, 7:30 p.m at Henderson Stadium
Carver vs. Stephens County, 7:30 p.m at Stephens County HS
Douglass vs. Oconee County, 7:30 p.m at Oconee County HS
Maynard Jackson vs. Jefferson, 7:30 p.m at Jefferson HS
Saturday, Nov. 11
Therrell vs. Model, 1 p.m. at Lakewood Stadium
South Atlanta vs. North Murray, TBA at North Murray HS
Washington vs. Rockmart, TBA at Rockmart HS
For the full GHSA state football playoff brackets, click here.
The Therrell Panthers came out on top after an exciting day at the second annual APS Flag Football Invitational tournament. Ten APS flag football programs competed in a bracket-style, win and advance tournament over the weekend at Carver High School and Lakewood Stadium. Several of the fast-paced games came down to the final possession. Click through the photos for a peak into Saturday’s exciting action.
Atlanta Public Schools is celebrating the graduating Class of 2023, which raised the bar and achieved the district’s all-time highest graduation rate.
That’s right! APS achieved an 86.6 percent graduation rate for cohort 2023, according to graduation data released today by the Georgia Department of Education. By achieving its all-time high graduation rate, APS also exceeded the state graduation rate of 84.4 percent by 2.2 percentage points.
“I am incredibly proud of the graduating Class of 2023,” APS Interim Superintendent Dr. Danielle Battle said. “We are simply elated to celebrate another historic accomplishment! Our students and staff have worked extremely hard to increase our graduation rate and for our results to surpass the state average is truly a testament to the tremendous efforts of everyone in Atlanta Public Schools. We plan to continue building on this momentum by amplifying the work we’re currently doing.”
A total of 2,812 students graduated on-time from APS in 2023. The percentage of students who graduated in 2023 is the highest recorded since 2012, when the state adopted the cohort graduation rate as required by federal law. This is an increase of 121 graduates from 2022. The class of 2023 included 3,247 students, 44 larger than the 2022 cohort. See Figure 1.
Figure 1: APS Graduation Rates (Graduate Counts/Cohort Sizes)
Reaching the district’s highest graduation rate culminates four years of hard work for this class. This historic class also completed half of its high school career during a pandemic, which shows that our students, schools, and staff can achieve strong outcomes even amid adversity.
Let’s look at our schools.
Of the 16 schools with graduating classes, 11 achieved percentage-point gains compared to 2022. Douglass High School led the way with the largest increase from a traditional high school and achieved a 7.2-percentage-point gain. Other traditional schools achieving gains include Mays (+5.7), Midtown (+4.9), North Atlanta (+4.5), Atlanta Classical (+3.9), South Atlanta (+3.3), Carver STEAM (+2.1), Carver Early (+1.4), KIPP Collegiate (+0.9), Jackson High School (+0.4). See Figure 2
Figure 2: 2023 APS Graduation Rates and Change from 2022
In addition, eight schools had graduation rates greater than 90%: Atlanta Classical Academy (100%), Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (100%), Drew Secondary (98.4%), North Atlanta (94.2%), BEST (93.8%), Carver Early (93.1%), KIPP Collegiate (93.0%), and Midtown (91.3%).
With APS reaching higher numbers of total students graduating, the district must take a harder look at improving these numbers across our diverse demographics.
Let’s take a look at some other results from the latest graduation rates:
• Graduation rates for Black students (84.7%) reached an all-time high with the 2023 cohort, while the rate for Hispanic students (82.3%) and White students (96.7%) were higher than the cohort 2022 rates. See Figure 3.
• Nearly 12 percentage points separated the graduation rates of Black students and White students. This is one percentage point lower than the cohort 2022 difference.
• Graduation rates for students with disabilities (76.2%) reached an all-time high with a four-percentage point increase over 2022.
• The 2023 graduation rate for English learners (65.7%) was lower than the 2022 graduation rate of 76.1%, a difference of 10.4 percentage points.
• Graduation rates for Economically Disadvantaged students (82.8%) reached an all-time high with a 2.5 percentage point increase over 2022.
Figure 3: APS Graduation Rates by Race
“We recognize that gaps in achievement persist among our students, so we are continuing to implement strategies for increasing achievement across all student groups,” Dr. Battle said. “These strategies include cultivating a district of readers, shifting resources toward the classroom, operating with openness and collaboration, empowering our educators, and making a personal commitment to excellence. This formula, in conjunction with the availability of ongoing wraparound services, will not only increase student achievement but will benefit the whole child and will allow more to cross the finish line.”
Together, our entire team is responsible for these record-setting gains! Thank you for your ongoing commitment to Atlanta Public Schools.
Note: Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate
Georgia has calculated an adjusted cohort graduation rate as required by federal law since 2012, and this calculation has not changed over this period. APS only reports the official state graduation rate. The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate is the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. From the beginning of ninth grade, students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is subsequently “adjusted” by adding any students who transfer into the cohort during the next four years and subtracting any students who transfer out. Students who drop out remain in the four-year adjusted cohort.
The ladies of fall are ready to get back on the gridiron this weekend at the second annual APS Flag Football Invitational.
Several high school programs participating in the invitational got the chance to hype up their program at the first APS flag football media day.
Players and coaches from each team took the stage to talk about their goals and what makes their team special heading into the season.
“I enjoyed media day. Being able to hear from every school and their perspective on the sport made me feel good,” Booker T. Washington senior multi-sport athlete Brooke Shelton said. “Hearing from other coaches, especially from teams that are more successful like North Atlanta or schools that win more than Washington does, it really inspires me to see like ‘Hey, I see what you’re doing.’”
The talking will be over Saturday, and the young ladies will hit the field at Carver High School and Lakewood Stadium for the APS Flag Football Invitational.
“We wanted to get this thing started off right before COVID hit, and COVID kind of put a damper on the numbers,” APS assistant athletic director Corrie Collier said. “But now that we’ve moved on a few years later, the numbers are starting to grow more and more. That’s why we’re having things like the media day and next week the invitational just to make sure that we show our young ladies that we support them, we’re proud of them and we’re going to do whatever we can to showcase them.”
Make sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, October 7, and support these great athletes.
The seeding for the APS Flag Football Invitational tournament bracket was selected at random and split between the two locations. Here is the tournament schedule:
Mays vs. Therrell, 9 a.m.
South Atlanta vs. KIPP, 10 a.m.
Jackson vs. Mays/ Therrell, 11 a.m.
Semifinal, 1 p.m.
Championship game, 3 p.m.
Carver High School
CSK vs. North Atlanta, 9 a.m.
Washington vs. Douglass, 10 a.m.
Carver vs. CSK/ North Atlanta 11 a.m.
Semifinal, 1 p.m.
Atlanta Public Schools will be well represented in the Georgia High Schools Association (GHSA) state basketball playoffs this week, as 10 APS teams have advanced to three-week tournament, four as region champions.
The Douglass girls (16-6) won the Region 6-AA championship with a 59-34 win over KIPP Atlanta Collegiate last Friday night. The Lady Astros will host Spencer (Columbus-Muscogee County) at 6 p.m., Friday, in the first round of the state tournament. The Green Waves, the No. 4 seed from Region 5-AA, have a record of 7-17.
The Maynard Jackson boys (24-2) won the Region 6-AAAAA title with a 69-62 win over Riverwood (Fulton County) last Saturday. The Jaguars are currently ranked No. 10 in the Atlanta Journal Constitution Class AAAAA Top 10 poll. They will host traditional DeKalb County powerhouse Columbia (19-8), Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Eagles are the No. 4 seed from Region 5-AAAAA.
The North Atlanta boys (19-9) enter the tournament ranked No. 9 in the AJC Class AAAAAA Top 10 poll, after defeating Cambridge (Fulton County), 69-62, in the Region 7-AAAAAA title game. As the region champion and No. 1 seed, the Warriors will host Apalachee (Bartow County), the No. 4 seed from Region 8-AAAAAA, Friday at 7 p.m. The Wildcats are 11-14 this season.
The Therrell boys (18-7) defeated rival South Atlanta, 80-73, last Friday to win the Region 6-AA championship. Therrell is ranked No. 5 and South Atlanta is No. 6 in the latest AJC Class AA Top 10 poll. Therrell will host Heard County (7-19), the No. 4 seed from Region 5-AA, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Here are the other APS schools that advanced to the state tournament:
Maynard Jackson (17-6) is the No. 2 seed from Region 6-AAAAA. The Lady Jaguars will host Miller Grove (DeKalb County), the No. 3 seed from Region 5-AAAAA, Friday at 6 p.m. The Lady Wolverines are 15-11 this season.
KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (13-11) is the No. 2 seed from Region 6-AA. The Lady Warriors will host Heard County (9-14), the No. 3 seed from Region 5-AA, Friday at 6 p.m.
South Atlanta (12-11) is the No. 3 seed from Region 6-AA, and will play at Callaway (Troup County), Friday at 6 p.m. The Lady Braves are 8-12 this season.
Therrell (9-12) is the No. 4 seed from Region 6-AA. The Lady Panthers will travel to Lamar County to face the Lady Trojans (20-6), the Region 5-AA champions, Friday at 8 p.m.
KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (10-18) is the No. 3 seed from Region 6-AA. The Warriors will travel to Columbus to face Jordan (12-12), the No. 2 seed from Region 5-AA, Saturday at 5 p.m.
South Atlanta (23-4) is the No. 2 seed from Region 5-AA. The Hornets, last season’s Region 6-AA and Class AA state champions, will host Temple (Carroll County), the No. 3 seed from Region 6-AA. The Tigers are 12-12 this season.
The Mays Raiders (3-1) won their third game in a row Saturday, blasting New Manchester of Douglas County, 49-7, at Lakewood Stadium.
Mays dominated the game and did not allow a score by New Manchester until the final minute of play. Mays is ranked No. 4 in the Atlanta Journal Constitution Class AAAAA Top 10 Poll.
Here’s how the other APS teams fared over the weekend:
Carver 28, Maynard Jackson 10
South Atlanta 19, Forest Park 7
Chattahoochee (Fulton County) 21, North Atlanta 14
Newnan (Coweta County) 42, Washington 14
Westside-Macon (Macon-Bibb County) 34, B.E.S.T. Academy 20
Lithia Springs (Douglas County) 22, Grady 20
Huge National Honor for Carver’s Monday
Carver senior receiver/defensive back Quindarious Monday will be honored Thursday, Sept. 21, at 10:30 a.m., in the school’s auditorium for being selected to play in the Under Armour High School All-American Game, Jan. 4 in Orlando.
Officials from Under Armour will be at the ceremony to present Quindarious with the jersey he will wear in the game, which is touted as one of the most prominent national high school all-star games in the country. ESPN will broadcast the game.
Even though Mays lost its opener, the Raiders still hold a lot of respect in the eyes of Atlanta Public Schools coaches.
The Raiders came in at No. 1 in the inaugural APS Football Power Poll, voted on by the district’s 11 football coaches. Each week, the coaches will rank every football-playing school in APS – except their own team – one through 10. A point system (10 points for a first place vote, nine for second, eight for third and so on) determines the ranking of the teams on the poll.
Here’s a look at the entire poll:
- Mays (0-1)
- Carver (2-0)
- B.E.S.T. Academy (1-1)
- Maynard Jackson (1-0)
- Douglass (0-1)
- North Atlanta (1-0)
- Grady (0-2)
- Washington (1-0)
- South Atlanta (0-2)
- KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (0-1)
- Therrell (0-2)
And here’s a rundown of this weekend’s schedule:
South Atlanta at Douglass
(5:30 p.m. at Grady Stadium)
Maynard Jackson at East Coweta (Coweta County)
(7:30 p.m. at Garland Shoemake Memorial Stadium in Sharpsburg)
KIPP Atlanta Collegiate vs. North Atlanta
(8 p.m. at Grady Stadium)
B.E.S.T. Academy vs. Lovett (Atlanta – Private)
(5:30 p.m. at Lakewood Stadium)
Washington at Mary Persons (Monroe County)
(7:30 p.m. at Dan Pitts Stadium at Mitchell Field in Forsyth)
Mays vs. Peachtree Ridge (Gwinnett County)
(8 p.m. at Lakewood Stadium)
Carver at Alexander (Douglas County)
(7:30 p.m. at Cougar Stadium in Douglasville)
Therrell at Salem (Rockdale County)
(7:30 p.m. at Evans-Reid Stadium in Conyers)
It has been 10 seasons since Carver won a region championship. That drought may end this year.
The Panthers improved to 2-0 last weekend with a 34-6 trouncing of Tri-Cities (Fulton County), at Lakewood Stadium. In two games this season, Carver has outscored its opponents by a combined score of 84-24. Several players had outstanding games against Tri-Cities:
- Senior Quindarious Monday had 74 yards receiving and scored two touchdowns. Last week, Carver and Quindarious received the official word that he has been selected to participate in the Under Armour High School All-America Football Game. Held Jan. 4, 2018 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, the game is one of the most popular national high school all-star games in America. It will be televised on ESPN.
- Senior quarterback Octavious Battle completed 12-of-17 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 53 yards.
- Sophomore running back Jo’quavious Marks had 128 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns, while junior running back Tony Jones ran for 96 yards and a touchdown.
- On defense seniors Jatavius Ponder and Solomon Mosley were dominant. Jatavius had eight tackles and four sacks, while Solomon had seven tackles and five sacks.
The Panthers will face a very tough opponent on Friday when travel to Douglasville to take on Alexander.
Here are the other results for APS schools last weekend:
Maynard Jackson 33, Therrell 6
Washington 8, North Clayton 6
Wesleyan 43, B.E.S.T. Academy 22
Woodward Academy 31, Grady 0
North Springs 33, KIPP Atlanta Collegiate 18
Stockbridge 9, Mays 0
Northwest Whitfield 44, South Atlanta 21
Also over the weekend:
The Atlanta Knights, the district’s club water polo team, placed fifth out of 16 teams in the 2017 Powerbar Cup Tournament, held Friday and Saturday at Dynamo Swim Center in Chamblee. The regional tournament featured teams from Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and Missouri.
The year of championships in Atlanta Public Schools came to a thrilling conclusion over the weekend as APS student athletes shined at the Georgia High School Association Track and Field State Championship meets over the weekend.
From the team standpoint, the Mays girls led the way, winning the Class 6A team championship. It is the first track and field state championship for the Mays girls and the second state title this year won by a girls’ team at Mays. The Lady Raiders won the Class 6A state title in basketball in March.
At the Class 6A meet, held in Carrollton, Mays got strong performance across the board. Class 6A Basketball Player of the Year Kamiyah Street placed first in the 300-meter hurdles, fourth in the 400 meters, and tied for fifth in the high jump. Also, Sydni Gilmore won the triple jump while Kendra Whitehurst placed seventh in the event. Chloe Robinson and Kendra took second and fourth place, respectively, in the long jump, Kendra and Jazmine Hall placed fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 100-meter hurdles and the Raider 1,600-meter relay team won gold while the 400-meter relay team placed sixth.
The South Atlanta girls’ team came in second at the Class 2A meet, held in Albany. The Lady Hornets were led by Subrina Richman who won the 200 and 400 meters, Quadiana Medlock was fifth in the 100 meters, Iyana Wongus was third in the 400 meters, and the 400-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams took first.
The Grady boys’ team placed third at the Class 5A meet in Carrollton, led by Christian McNair-Jones who won the 110-meter and the 300-meter hurdles. Babakarr Randall was fourth in the 100 and second in the 200, Jermaine Hosley was fourth in the 400, Ryan Jackson placed fifth in the 800, DeAndre Etienne was eighth in the pole vault, Jacquez Sloan was third in the long jump and Seth Wolfe was eighth in the shot put.
Other strong individual performances included:
- Mutnodjmet Debnam of Grady won the pole vault in Class 5A.
- Soteria Russell of Carver won the shot put in Class 5A.
- Ryah Jackson of Maynard Jackson was seventh the 100-meter hurdles and eighth in the 300-meter hurdles in Class 5A.
- China Waldorf of Maynard Jackson was fifth in the 300-meter hurdles and sixth in the pole vault in Class 5A.
- Shamara Holmes of Maynard Jackson was third in the pole vault in Class 5A.
- Jabrea Smith of Maynard Jackson was seventh in the triple jump in Class 5A.
- The Maynard Jackson girls’ 400-meter relay and 1,600-meter relay teams both placed fifth in Class 5A.
- Dailyn Scott of Coretta Scott King was third in the 800 meters in Class 2A.
- The Douglass girls’ 1,600-meter relay team took third in Class 2A.
- Demetri Caesar of Mays won the high jump in Class 5A.
- Carver’s 1,600-meter relay team was fourth in Class 5A.
- Osazi Alkhaliq of Maynard Jackson was seventh in the pole vault in Class 5A.
- Alan Johnson of Mays was third in the 800 meters in Class 5A.
- Jackson Pearce of North Atlanta was fifth in the 1,600 meters in Class 5A.
- Phillip Jackson of South Atlanta won the 400 meters in Class 2A.
- Deshun Cade of Douglass was second in the 100 meters in Class 2A.
- Montaive Lightner of Douglass was fourth in the 400 meters in Class 2A.
- Jimmie Pierre of Douglass was sixth in the 800 meters in Class 2A.
- Timothy Heyward of Washington finished eighth in the pole vault in Class 2A.
- Richad White of South Atlanta finished sixth in the shot put in Class 2A.
- Douglass’ 400-meter relay team finished second in Class 2A.
- Douglass’ had two teams competing in the 1,600-meter relay in Class 2A. The “A-Team” finished fifth and the “B-Team” placed seventh.
- South Atlanta’s 1,600-meter relay team finished fourth in Class 2A.
To view a video of APS’ historic day at the state track and field meets, click here.