Superintendent says APS is ready to welcome back its 52,000 students

ATLANTA — Atlanta students only have a few more days of summer break left before they head back to school next Monday.

Channel 2's Fred Blankenship sat down with Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen, who said the district is ready for students to be back in the classroom and hopes those students are ready as well.

APS is holding a back-to-school bash to help ring in the new school year for the district's 52,000 students and their parents.

"It's a great kick-off because it gets people pumped," Carstarphen said. "You know all about hype. You are Fred Blankenship, the 4 a.m. get you pumped for the week, the midweek, the end of the week guy."


Carstarphen is using the bash as a reminder to students, parents and teachers that every day counts.

The APS Back to School Bash is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center, in halls C-2 and C-3.

It's free for APS students and their families.

If students bring their APS report card, they can get a free backpack filled with school supplies while supplies last.

"There are a lot of people, staff and students who didn't come on the first day, the first week of school and that was shocking for me," Carstarphen said.

Going into her sixth year leading the district, Carstarphen told Blankenship she's seen the district overcome its dark past.

"Public schools as the place to get your pre-K through 12 education, you will have a child prepared for college or career," Carstarphen said.

Workers across the district have been busy preparing for the big return. New buses have been added to the district's fleet.

"Day one is on Monday, Aug.12, and so don't forget that date. It's important," Carstarphen said.
She's even calling on some heavy hitters to help get kids on the bus Monday morning.

"Mondays are, I know, hard for everyone. We're going to need some super special hype from you to get everybody on those school buses," Carstarphen told Blankenship.