by Kate Sandhaus
Candler Park would like to thank Superintendent Davis, the Atlanta Board of Education and Atlanta Public Schools for their continued efforts during the redistricting process.
The superintendent’s is a balanced approach that takes into account the district’s many competing needs. It is a fair, fiscally responsible and pedagogically appropriate way to solve the over-crowding problem. Candler Park supports the plan and looks forward to working with APS and all the other communities to make its implementation successful.
The defined cluster model is a sensible one. It both strengthens community support and involvement, and encourages long-term, cross-cluster collaboration that will build on the Inman-Grady cluster’s strong record of success.
The 6th grade academy is a shared and equitable solution to middle school over-crowding, and is developmentally appropriate. While the location is not ideal — the Coan communities prefer that it remain open as a middle school, and the Inman communities have concerns around transportation and logistics — we welcome consideration of alternate locations, including an Inman expansion or annex, or another facility within the cluster boundaries.
As a temporary solution, we suggest keeping students on the Inman campus, even if it is over-capacity for 1-2 years, until a permanent location for the 6th grade academy is available. This will minimize disruption as the changes are implemented, and it will encourage community buy-in and suport.
We are grateful to see the realization of the long-planned expansion & renovation. This gets our kids out of trailers, provides the much-needed seats for our community’s growth and brings the facility up to APS and DOE code. We look forward to working with APS to make this project a success.
The last several months have been extremely difficult for all involved. With only four months before the next school year, it’s time that we all get on a positive path and shift our focus to what really matters – working together to make sure our kids succeed, providing high quality programs, and empowering all teachers and administrators by giving them the resources they need.
Candler Park is committed to APS. We have been part of the Inman-Grady cluster for decades, and look forward to building on our schools’ successes together for decades to come. We stand ready to work with other communities district-wide to build and maintain high-performing, diverse schools that we can all be proud of.
Thank you for your consideration and support.
Mrs. Sandhaus is chairwoman of the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization's Education Committee.