APS plans State of District event, Mercedes-Benz Stadium football games

Parents and the public can hear an update firsthand from the Atlanta Public Schools’ superintendent during the State of the District address -- an event followed by the first three high school football games at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Meria Carstarphen will speak at an 11 a.m. Oct. 20 event at Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy, 225 James P. Brawley Dr. N.W. 

The academy opened last year to students who live in Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods. It will eventually serve students in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth and is slated for renovations and upgrades using money from the one-penny Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

The superintendent’s speech will provide a year-to-year comparison on academics; staffing; transportation, security, and facilities operations; and APS culture. 

“We really want engaged employees who are thinking about how to be more productive how to get better outcomes for themselves, how to have more longevity in the organization,” Carstarphen said, in an interview earlier this month, about the district’s culture. 

She was hired in 2014 to turn the district around after a major cheating scandal.

At last year’s address, she said schools were still in need of “great transformation.”

After the event, the district’s alumni associations and partners will host a tailgate event with food and music.

The next day, on Oct. 21, APS football teams will take over the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium as the first high school teams to play in the facility. 

Grady High School will play Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School at 1 p.m. 

At 4 p.m., South Atlanta High School will play Washington High School. 

The day’s last game, at 7 p.m., pits South Paulding High School of Paulding County Schools against Benjamin E. Mays High School. 

Tickets are not yet on sale, but they will cost $15 in advance and will be available for purchase at all participating schools and at Lakewood Stadium. 

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