Atlanta

  • Atlanta Public Schools (APS) is in its fourth year of comprehensive SEL implementation. Under the leadership of Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, the district is committed to SEL and supporting the needs of the whole child. All 65 schools currently implement curriculum and strategies grounded in the five core competencies that lead to improved life skills and responsible decision-making. The SEL framework is an investment in students as well as adults in the district. The use of a common language, skills, and supports is helping to create a culture and climate of positive relationships, communication, and academic engagement.

    SEL in Action

    • The 2015-16 school year marked district-level SEL implementation with the first cohort of schools, including the Carver Cluster, South Atlanta Cluster, and all middle schools.
    • In the 2016-17 school year, all other schools except for five elementary schools began SEL implementation.
    • In the 2017-18 school year, the last five schools rolled out SEL.
    • Second Step is used K-8, while high schools use School Connect curriculum in grades 9–12.
    • The district’s commitment to SEL programming is reflected in the embedding of that programming in APS’ Definition of Teaching and Leadership Excellence.
    • APS is currently focused on adult SEL practices, academic integration, and Restorative Practices.


    • Superintendent Meria Carstarphen blogs about what she’s seeing in schools.


    • The district’s Twitter feed provides regular updates on what SEL looks like in practice.


  • Profile

    51,386 students

    • 75.7% eligible for free and reduced lunch
    • 3% English language learners
    • 9% with individual education plans

    65 schools

    CDI Report

    Learn more about the impact of the CDI on Atlanta.

    Check out the infographic.