Atlanta Public Schools superintendent addresses graduation rates and teen violence

The superintendent also addressed school safety and recent teen violence both in school and out of school.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 6:58 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools held her annual State of the District Address Thursday with a strong emphasis on community collaboration and new technology.

This year the district hosted community stakeholders at Illuminarium Atlanta. The venue, which sits right against the Beltline near Ponce City Market, is an immersive space where images can be projected on the walls. The district set-up interactive displays where those in attendance could see how new technology is making it easier for students to learn.

Dr. Aleigha Henderson-Rosser helped to organize the event. She says students in Atlanta have an opportunity to find good paying jobs in Atlanta’s booming tech sector, but students also need technology to help them learn.

“Our students have to be to be prepared to enter that workforce, regardless of what that job requires because we’re really preparing kids for a job that doesn’t even exist yet for jobs we can’t even imagine,” said Dr. Henderson-Rosser.

Currently, Atlanta’s graduation rate is at 84-percent. Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring says one way to close that gap is by implementing the technology on display at her address venue, like 3-D laptops, in her classroom.

“I believe that we close that graduation rate by ensuring that if they want to go to college we start before they hit high school,” said Dr. Herring. “If they want to enroll or enlist, that we exposed them before high school that way we can deeply accelerate that over the next four years or less.”

Herring went on to emphasize the need for more partnerships with both higher learning institutions and corporations.

The superintendent also addressed school safety and recent teen violence both in school and out of school.

“In that space, that is out of school time, there is more that we can do even with our stellar partners,” said Dr. Herring. “Our creativity, though I think comes from something I said today. Bringing students to the table. Because if we’re offering something and they’re not showing up, we need to know what we’ll get them there.”

Herring says the district is already bringing together school and community stakeholders - as well as students to ensure teens avoid violence once summer vacation begins.