What you need to know for Atlanta schools start on Aug. 3

Atlanta Public Schools begins classes Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Here’s a guide to help you navigate the school system and get your kids back to school.

Atlanta Public Schools enrolls about 50,000 students in Fulton and DeKalb counties. The district includes 97 schools and programs, including 16 charter schools.

In July 2016, the district became a charter system, a way of organizing school operations that gave the district freedom from some state regulations and is intended to delegate some decisions about schools to local, school-level governance teams. As part of the new system, each high school and the schools that feed into it developed themes for their cluster. The themes include International Baccalaureate; science, technology, engineering and math; and preparation for college and careers.

This school year, at least 18 schools will have new principals. Three new schools will open as the result of mergers or closure. They include Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy, which replaces Bethune Elementary; Tuskegee Airman Global Academy, the result of merging Venetian Hills Elementary and Connally Elementary; and Woodson Park Academy, the result of merging Woodson Elementary and Grove Park Intermediate Elementary. Thomasville Heights Elementary School is being operated by a charter school-affiliated group rather than school district staff.

Health clinics modeled after an existing clinic at Whitefoord Elementary School are opening at two more schools, Miles and Dobbs Elementary schools. And a new in-house police force, instead of Atlanta Police Department officers, will provide school security this year.

There's a districtwide back-t0-school fair on July 30 and individual schools will hold open houses on Aug. 1.

Superintendent: Meria Carstarphen

Carstarphen became Atlanta Public Schools superintendent in 2014. She previously served as superintendent of the Austin, Texas, and Saint Paul, Minnesota, school districts.

School board

ExploreFind information about your school board members.
ExploreWatch board meetings online.

First day of school

Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Bus routes

ExploreFind information about bus routes.

Calendar (2016-17)

September 5 Labor Day

October 7 Teacher Professional Learning Day

October 10-11 Fall Break/Columbus Day

November 8 Election Day/Teacher Professional Learning Day

November 21-25 Thanksgiving Break

December 19-31 Semester Break

January 2 Semester Break

January 3 Teacher Professional Learning Day

January 16 M.L. King, Jr. Birthday

February 17 Teacher Professional Learning Day

February 20-21 Winter Break/Presidents’ Day

March 17 Teacher Professional Learning Day

April 3-7 Metro Area Spring Break

May 25 Last Day of School

May 29 Memorial Day

ExploreFull calendar

Number of schools (2016-17)

Elementary schools 50

Middle schools 11

High schools - 12

Single-gender schools 2

Alternative/non-traditional programs 4

Evening school/adult education programs 2

Charter schools 16

School lunch menus

ExploreFind school meal menus.

Enrollment and information for newcomers


2016 school tax millage rate

21.74 mills

Student Demographics (2015-16)

African-American 76%

White 15%

Hispanic 7%

Multiracial 2%

Asian/American Indian/Alaskan/Other 1%

(May not total 100% due to rounding.)

Graduation Rate (Class of 2015)


U.S. Census estimated percent of students living in poverty