Established by ordinance of the Atlanta City Council, the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) opened three grammar schools and two high schools in 1872 to educate the youth of the city. These openings brought the total number of schools offering free education to the city's children to seven, as the Freedman's Bureau had established two schools for Negro children in 1866. The primary objective of the district has not changed from those early days. In the 21st century, APS has a renewed focus on student success, and strives to prepare every child for the future through effective and innovative teaching that meets the needs of the individual learner. Families, teachers, students and the community are encouraged to fully participate in the educational process that offers rigorous academics, relevance to everyday life and builds strong relationships among students, peers, and adults.
Atlanta Public Schools educates all students through academic excellence, preparing them for success in life, service and leadership.
The vision of Atlanta Public Schools is to be a student-centered, high-performing urban school district, where all students become successful, life-long learners and leaders.