Revised Final Plan Still Calls For Closures Of D.H. Stanton And Cook
Sixth grade academy at Cook off the table.
Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr.'s revised set of final recommendations still call for the closures of Cook and D.H. Stanton elementary schools.
But the revised plan, released early Tuesday — just hours before the district's Board of Education is expected to vote on it — nixes a plan to use the Cook campus as a sixth grade academy that would have relieved overcrowding at Virginia-Highland's Inman Middle School.
East Lake Elementary is still recommended for closure, as well.
“The revised proposal allows the district to reduce the number of schools with less than 450 students from 38 elementary and middle schools to 17 schools,” Davis wrote in his revised final plan. “We believe we have achieved a balance between fiscal responsibility and community sustainability, with student academic success remaining the top priority.”
The revised plan follows two meetings between APS officials and D.H. Stanton parents and the surrounding Peoplestown community to discuss the proposed closure.
Despite that, supporters of D.H. Stanton developed a counterproposal they hoped would prevent its closure. The loss of the school would destroy Peoplestown, they said.
Now, the community awaits the board's vote.
"It's impossible to say whether last night's final proposal reflects this input of the three Board of Education members who attended one or both of the two D.H. Stanton closure meetings," Kevin Lynch, president of the Peoplestown Neighborhood Association, told East Atlanta Patch. "The district is saying this proposal is driven by the superintendent and leadership staff.
"I feel we made the most thoughtful, logical and compelling appeal to reverse the last-minute mistaken closure proposal," Lynch continued.
"We do know the board of education makes the final decision and that ultimately no board member can hide behind the superintendent's recommendation. We're hopeful the board of education will choose to correct this error and keep D.H. Stanton open."
Davis' earlier plan called the formation of 10 clusters designed to give clear, dedicated feeder patterns between elementary, middle and high school.
The revision creates nine clusters.
In the neighborhoods of East Atlanta Patch they are (bolded denotes a Patch school):
Grady High School Cluster:
- Inman Middle School
- Centennial Place
- Cook Elementary (Capitol Gateway): Close. Cook's kids rezoned to Parkside, Centennial Place, Whitefoord and Hope-Hill elementary schools. An earlier plan repurposed the campus as a sixth grade academy for Inman Middle School. That has been nixed, though Davis said it remains an option for the future to ease overcrowding at Inman.
- Hope-Hill Elementary School (Old Fourth Ward): Rezoned to Inman Middle School.
- Mary Lin Elementary School (Candler Park): $15 million earmarked for additions and renovations. No students to be moved.
- Morningside Elementary School
- Springdale Park Elementary School
Jackson High School Cluster (Grant Park): JHS gets a $30 million to $40 million renovation; students will be temporarily relocated to Coan Middle School for the 2012-13 academic year.
- Coan Middle School (Edgewood): Remains open but its students will relocate for a year to East Lake Elementary to accommodate the Jackson High School kids. APS promises to make significant investments in Coan, including the "International Baccalaureate Program and an intensive process improvement focus. The 2012-2013 year will be spent working with the community to further refine the programmatic, faculty and leadership requirements for a “New Coan.”
- King Middle School (Grant Park): APS promises "significant investments from the district, including the International Baccalaureate Program, architectural modifications, and an intensive process improvement focus."
- Benteen Elementary School (Benteen Park): Joins the Jackson cluster from the Carver High School cluster. Will receive students from D.H Stanton Elementary.
- Burgess-Peterson Academy (East Atlanta Village): Unchanged.
- Dunbar Elementary School
- East Lake Elementary School (East Lake): Closed. Students will be rezoned to Toomer Elementary.
- Parkside Elementary School (Grant Park): Now becomes the neighborhood school for all of Grant Park and includes the Cabbagetown and Summerhill communities. In addition, the Boulevard Heights community is being added to the Parkside and King attendance zones.
- D.H. Stanton Elementary School (Peoplestown): Closes. Students rezoned to Parkside and Benteen elementary schools.
- Toomer Elementary School (Kirkwood): Will receive students from East Lake Elementary.
Carver High School Cluster:
- Parks Middle School
- Price Middle School
- Sylvan Hills Middle School
- Capitol View Elementary School
- Finch Elementary School
- Gideons Elementary School
- Perkerson Elementary School
- Slater Elementary School
- Thomasville Heights Elementary School (Thomasville Heights): Was earmarked for closure in earlier plans but stays open.