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Welcome to the final issue of the “Back In Action” newsletter! We hope this limited-edition newsletter has provided you with useful information about important topics to prepare your child for a successful 2021-2022 school year. For past issues, click here. Thank you for reading!

8.19.21 Edition

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Vaccines Now Available for Students and School Staff

As a reminder, COVID-19 vaccines are now available to all staff and to eligible students in our middle schools and high schools. Click here for the complete vaccination schedule. If you want your child to be vaccinated, please pre-register here. This will help make the process go more smoothly on the day they are vaccinated.

Please also note that unvaccinated students and staff can still receive the first dose of the vaccine when our partner, Georgia CORE, returns the week of Aug. 30.

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Here Comes The Bus App


We are pleased to highlight the expanded use of Here Comes The Bus (HCTB) app for regular bus riders. This application and website enable you to subscribe to the location of your child’s school bus by using a smartphone, tablet, or personal computer. The HCTB app informs you when the bus is near your child’s assigned stop – based on the bus stop radius established by you – so you can send your child out at the right time.


We are also aware of the concerns associated with the HCTB app. Many of the concerns are not rooted in app functionality, rather, they are rooted in bus driver staffing shortages. APS and school districts across the country are faced with bus driver shortages, as well as the unprecedented challenges associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that include quarantines and health protocols and guidelines. The current bus driver shortage is causing last-minute substitutions, late bus arrivals, and the need for one bus to perform two or more runs at your student’s school.


The HCTB app is designed to provide you with information on planned bus routes. Unfortunately, given its functionality, the app was not designed to provide you with information on double-routes and other real-time changes because of bus driver shortages.


Please be assured that the app and the Transportation Call Center at (404) 802-5500 (5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on school days) remain useful tools to assist you in locating your child’s bus when it is traveling on its original route. For more information, or to download the app, visit:


If you know someone who is interested in becoming an APS bus driver, please refer them to the APS website where they can apply for the position and join our ranks of serving students:


At APS, your child’s safety remains our top priority. Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to put students first. 

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Clear Bag Protocol Begins

Aug. 20

To provide a safer environment for the public and significantly expedite fan entry into Atlanta Public Schools’ athletic venues, the APS Office of Safety and Security is implementing the Operational Clear Bag Procedure beginning Aug. 20, 2021, that limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into stadiums, gymnasiums, and other athletic fields.

Prohibited items include but are not limited to: purses larger than a 4.5" x 6.5” clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, grocery bags, cinch bags, non-approved chair backs and seat cushions**, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size. Fans will be able to carry the following style and size bag at stadium plaza areas, stadium gates, or when approaching queue lines of fans awaiting entry into the stadium:  

  • Tote bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”  
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar), AND/OR  
  • Small clutch bags with or without a handle or strap, no larger than 4.5” x 6.5” (approximately the size of a hand), can be taken into the stadium with one of the clear plastic bag options  
  • Diapers and wipes may be carried in a permissible 12”x6”x12” clear bag (diaper bags are not permitted)

Metal detector screening and a search of all items being carried in may take place at all APS athletic venues. There are no provisions available to store or safeguard any prohibited bags.


*An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate by respective gate supervisor.  

**Non-approved chair backs/seat cushions include large traditional seat cushions that have pockets, zippers, compartments, or covers. Please see your respective gate supervisor to have your seat cushion examined.

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E-Tickets for Sporting Events Provides Safety and Efficiency


As high school sports have returned in full, with the football season set to kick off this week, APS plans to make the experience of attending games safer and more efficient for parents and fans this season. The district is implementing an e-ticket only initiative at all athletic events charging admission. This new process will be in place at Lakewood Stadium, Henderson Stadium and the Walden Athletic Complex, as well as at all school-based athletic facilities hosting competitions where a ticket must be purchased for entry.


Through an agreement with GoFan, those wishing to attend games will be able to purchase tickets through the APS GoFan page. An e-ticket will be sent to the purchaser’s mobile device, which will be scanned at the stadium or school for entry into the game.

The new e-ticket initiative will allow APS to operate a more efficient and professional ticket gate process, while creating a safer experience for fans. Purchasing tickets online allows fans to easily access and share tickets, via email or text, without standing in long lines. Parents and fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets online prior to reaching the facility. For convenience, signs will be set up at the venue to help guide them through the online purchasing process.

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Securly Home App Keeps Students Safe Online

Families now have the ability to monitor your student's online activity, as well as control their internet activity on Atlanta Public Schools issued devices while at home using the free Securly Home app. 

The Securly Home app puts parents/guardians in control. You can view the real time online activity of your students, receive a flagged list should your student search self-harm or bullying terms, set rules and times for what can be viewed by your student. You can even control what your student can access on his or her device! 

You can learn more about how to control behavior on your student's APS device on the APS Securly Home Parent app Hub.  

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Tax Credit Provides Extra Cash to APS Families with Kids


The Child Tax Credit is available to help Atlanta Public Schools' families with children.

Thanks to President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which has increased the amount of the 2021 Child Tax Credit to support families with children, the full benefit of the Child Tax Credit is now $300 per month per child under age 6 and $250 for each child ages 6 to 17. Monthly payments began on July 15, 2021.

Click here to learn more about eligibility and how to take advantage of the Child Tax Credit.

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