by Alex Coffman
I and others are interested in any configuration that has our contiguous neighborhoods of Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, Candler Park and Lake Claire in the Grady Cluster. My neighborhood of Inman Park connects with Old Fourth Ward, the BeltLine and we share a business district together. We have a small Mary Lin contingency that would like to remain a K-5 school as does Springdale Park Elementary, but this is not realistic. I understand the business decisions being made and we have limited resources within APS.
As a 25-year-plus resident of the city of Atlanta, I would hate to see all the hard work that has gone on for years to make Mary Lin, Morningside Elementary, SPARK, Inman Middle and Grady High schools that neighborhoods are fighting for dismantled. Additionally, I would be saddened to see the BeltLine thrown out or disregarded in this alignment of School Reform Teams and attendance zones. I know many of us are excited that our kids will be able to ride or walk to school in minutes via this new transportation outlet that will cut down on city air pollution — and make us a greener city while we raise a greener generation.
The City has worked hard to make the BeltLine a reality along with lots of community support. I know the David T. Howard High School alumni and many in the O4W, Inman Park Neighbors, LIN, SPARK and MES communities are willing to roll up our sleeves and raise funds, write grants to help our neighborhood schools stay on a good trajectory and in the Grady Cluster and APS owns the site. A move to a 5/6 or 6 academy to serve MES, LIN, SPARK and Hope-Hill Elementary would solve a lot of ills fiscally for APS and be neighborhood smart.
Ms. Coffman, a resident of Inman Park, is a Mary Lin Elementary School parent.