Returning to classes on August 4 include: Atlanta Public Schools, Bartow County Schools, Cherokee County Schools, Cobb County Schools, Decatur City Schools, Henry County Schools, Lamar County Schools, Morgan County Schools, Paulding County Schools and Griffin-Spalding County Schools.
With the number of security breaches that occurred last school year across Metro Atlanta schools, district leaders are making sure security needs take top prior. Atlanta Police will have a move visible presents around Atlanta schools and will interact more with school visitors. Metal detectors will continue to be in use around Atlanta schools.
Cobb County Schools join other Metro districts using the secure access system or buzzer system. All elementary and middle school doors are locked throughout the day, and visitors must hit a buzzer to alert the school that they are at the door. A camera sends a picture of the visitor to office personnel before the doors are opened. If a person is not recognized they will be required to show their photo ID before they are allowed in the build. Cobb County has also added 11 new school resources officers.
While Georgia’s new gun law – Save Carry Protection Act or House Bill 60 is in place this school year, district schools are encouraging parents and visitors not to bring their weapons on school campus.
Atlanta Police Major Keith Meadows told WSB-TV, “If officers see someone with a weapon we would ask them to engage them in dialogue to see if they have a student on campus, and we expect them to facilitate their visit while they are staying there on campus.”
Atlanta Police will also keep a close eye on school bus stops. Last year there were several reports of strangers approaching students as they waited at Metro bus stops.
“Same thing our parents told us, don’t talk to strangers. I think that’s really important. For kids moving forward, as they ID suspicious people I think it’s important for them to tell adults. Throughout the school year last year we saw that a little more,” Meadows said. All Atlanta school bus cameras are also operational this year.
Along with a new Atlanta Public Schools’ Superintendent, Dr. Meria Joel Carstarphen, some students return to classes today to meet nearly 20 new school principals. Dr. Carstarphen brings the energy and the optimistic attitude for the district’s 50 - thousand students. She is looking to improve community confidence in the system as well as continuing the necessary work to overcome the academic and image damage suffered as a result of the CRCT test cheating scandal.
Dr. Carstarphen invites the community to ask her questions about the district’s plans and progress. You can submit your question now by clicking here and completing the form, and watch for the exclusive documentary: “Day One: Atlanta’s New School Superintendent.” The program will air this September, from PBA30 TV and WABE News.