APS Redistricting: Coan's Parent Committee's Response To Davis' Proposals

Committee's counter-proposals: Either add Mary Lin Elementary as a feeder to Coan or create a sixth grade academy that's open to all in School Reform Team 3.

Editor's note: The Save Coan Parent Committee, comprised of parents and supporters, sent this letter, dated March 13, to the Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. in response to his . The Committee shared its letter with East Atlanta Patch.

Dear Superintendent Davis:

We want to take this opportunity to share with you the preliminary data we attribute, in part, to the wonderful, successful and student-centered programs here at Coan Middle School. Our data indicates positive progress in three areas. From October 2011 through February 2012 discipline referrals have decreased 10%, absences have decreased by 17% and writing assessments scores improved by 4%. This is only the beginning of the strides that are possible, based on the programmatic offerings now in place at Coan Middle School.

We could not have achieved this success without the following partnerships:

  • Quality Teaching
  • Afterschool All-stars (Georgia State University and Georgia Tech)
  • Middle school Transformation
  • Whitefoord Community Programs/Full Service Health Center
  • I.M.A.G.E. Program
  • Project Lead/The L.I.N.K.S, Inc.
  • Communities In Schools
  • Atlanta Community Food Bank
  • Edible School Garden
  • Confucius Institute

Graduation Generation of Emory University works in collaboration with each of the above-mentioned programs to support Coan's students. By removing Coan Middle School from its base of community support, our students would no longer benefit from the services currently in residence.

Mr. Davis we strongly urge you and the Atlanta Public Schools Board to keep Coan Middle School open. We present the following two options to best utilize our facility, human capital and community resources for your serious consideration:

  1. Keep Coan Middle School open and add Mary Lin Elementary School as a feeder school.
  2. Create a 6th Grade Academy for the entire SRT-3 to be housed at Coan Middle School.

Coan Middle School is currently at 34% utilization and can accommodate hundreds of new students immediately with no additional cost to taxpayers or the Atlanta Board of Education. Either of the options above will offer a fiscally responsible solution providing cost effective utilization of available public money and facilities.

This letter provides only a small space for us to present the quantitative data of our school. We are not able to fully express qualitative information pertaining to the sentiments of our students, families, faculty, staff and community supporters regarding Coan's fate. We thank you for your time and attention to our concerns. We look forward to talking with you in person about this further.


Aisia Anderson and Tequisse Bowden for the Save Coan Parent Committee

Rene March 20, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Ramiro, so your suggestion is that if children attend a failing school those children should be bussed miles away to a school that isn't much better? What about trying to improve that school rather than close it because it's teachers cheated /there aren't enough windows/Dekalb ave is dangerous etc etc. I have a difficult time listening to you praise Jackson when you won't even send your own kids there! You send them to Decatur schools. Just so you know, it is highly likely that Decatur High will not accept tuition students next year due to a large influx of teenagers so you had better start planning for your own kids to attend Jackson, the school you are so keen to talk up to everyone else....
Kirkwood Parent March 20, 2012 at 08:09 PM
@Ramiro, can you keep those of us who are interested updated on the search for a principal at King and Jackson?
Rene March 21, 2012 at 12:59 AM
I was actually talking about Coan. And apologies, I am just sick of people talking of Coan (and therefore the kids that go to Coan) as if even going near the building would give them leprosy. I Understand the under utilization argument, but you cannot deny that all the schools slated for closure came out the worst when the cheating scandal broke.And now those schools and their pupils are disparaged through no fault of their own. It seems that APS is making children suffer for their own corrupt system. Oh, and I live in Decatur City. Yes, K-5 is not open for tuition applicants this coming year. But just so you know, there is every sign that there will be no slots in grades 9-12 from 2013. Just so you know. But I'm sure you will not hesitate to enrol your kids at Jackson next year, right?
JR Garcia March 21, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Yes, agreed. Thanks for the advice -- good thing my kid is an upper-classman.
bearcatn8 March 21, 2012 at 03:22 PM
@SOD - (Looking you in the eye): (1) It logically makes sense to continue to invest in a middle school that has made great strides over the last 10 years even if it is overcrowded; (2) It logically makes sense NOT to tear apart neighborhoods that made that school a success; (3) It logically makes sense NOT to punish a neighborhood for spending years helping make a school a success by asking that neighborhood to go do it again at another school, basically starting from scratch; (3) Wax poetic all you want about all the great things happening at Coan, but it logically makes sense to close a school that is severely underutilized, failing (according to published test scores) and that does not have anywhere close to the full support of its own feeder neighborhoods. Lin to Coan is not happening because the only people who want it to happen or who think it is a good idea to take kids from a high performing school and send them to a failing middle school are: (a) people who are afraid that they might end up at Coan if Lin is not sent there; or (b) current Coan families who have convinced themselves that sending in Lin kids will solve all of their problems. If you disagree that Coan is a failing school and/or that East Lake is a failing school, then by all means, fight for those schools. But do so by calling out your own neighbors who have gone private or charter. Don’t do it by telling another neighborhood where you think their kids should go.


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