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Atlanta Student Agenda Pillars

Problem:
About 23% of high school students (9th-12th grade) note often/always experiencing stress and state that they do not have an outlet or adult voice to go to in times of crisis.

    Pathways & Solutions:

  • Expand access to virtual and in person mental health services.
  • Execute informational campaigns to educate and destigmatize mental health services amongst young people.
  • In-school initiatives & education to evaluate and change the mental impact of social media on students’ mental health.

Problem:
Police and punitive measures on campuses are not lowering rates of violence across Atlanta, as students in Atlanta experience violence at very high rates. Metal detectors and other outcomes of a culture of policing reduce a sense of safety for students.

    Pathways & Solutions:

  • Increase the student voice and input into disciplinary standards within APS Schools, focusing on restorative and community based practices.

Problem:
Threats to culturally inclusive curriculum in Georgia are rampant as book bans across the state and the Professional Standards Committee removed DEI requirements from educator training. In order to protect and grow Atlanta students’ curriculum, proactive and inclusive policy must be passed.

  • Only 27% of students indicated that they often share information about their interests or cultural background to inform what is being taught in classes.
  • Only 40% of teachers and staff reported that professional development opportunities help them explore new ways to promote equity in their practices.

    Pathways & Solutions:

  • A pledge by the APS School Board and the new superintendent to make sure that all history teaching is culturally accurate and inclusive.
  • Training for teachers and staff on how to create culturally responsive curriculum and classroom activity.

Problem:
68.9% of students in Atlanta Public Schools are on free & reduced lunch, a key indicator of economic hardship, putting their overall well being and success at risk. Lack of wrap around services for students facing financial instability and housing insecurity perpetuates this harm in and out of school.

    Pathways & Solutions:

  • Expanding wrap around and direct services to students experiencing hardship.
  • Specific policies and resources to support students who need to work while in school.

Problem:
Students do not feel prepared for postgraduate life or success, whether that is a 4-year university or other pathway options.

    Pathways & Solutions:

  • Evaluate and fill any gaps in APS college & career readiness.
  • Teach students about a variety of options post-high school graduation, and support students in finding and achieving success in those pathways.
  • Teach life skills to students to help them thrive beyond the classroom, including financial literacy, college financial aid, comprehensive sex education, tax information, job training, and more.