‘Kids Need Emotional Investments’: APS Supt. Carstarphen On Learning, Schools And More

ATLANTA, GA — Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen is bullish on the new opportunities students will have in city classrooms as the new school year dawns. Patch sat down with Carstarphen at a recent journalists roundtable to discuss several hot topics, such as equipping students for higher learning, the struggles of inner-city families and how technology is transforming the classroom experience.

Carstarphen said that one of the initiatives that APS is prioritizing is after-school tutoring in the neighborhoods rather than on school campuses. “Our theory was, what if we just went to their homes?” she said. “We could start investing [in children’s education] right there in the housing projects.” (SIGN UP: For more information on this and other neighborhood stories, subscribe to Patch to receive daily newsletters and breaking news alerts. Or if you have an iPhone, download the free Patch app.)

She said that the recent freezing of property assessments in Fulton County have led to significant cuts in Atlanta schools. She said the district is operating on at least $12 million less — and employees are bearing the brunt of the shortfall.

“We took it out of employees,” she said. “We’re taking it out on furlough days — everyone’s including mine.” She said that APS workers have been very supportive, despite what it could mean for their pay checks. “To their credit, they’ve been very supportive,” she said.

On the needs of today’s children, Carstarphen said that it’s about what’s in the heart just as much as what’s in a book. “Kids need emotional investments,” she said. All children have the need to success, she added. “It’s our job as adults to mine that out of them. They want a caring adult who believes in them and has hope for their future.”

Atlanta Public Schools Back To School Bash is Saturday, June 29.

Image via Craig Johnson / Patch

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Originally published August 2, 2017.

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