Davis' Final APS Redistricting Plan: Keep Coan Middle And Whitefoord Elementary Open

Among the casualties: D.H. Stanton Elementary and Cook Elementary schools.

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. released his final recommendation for the district's massive rezoning, which calls for 10 schools to shut their doors at the end of the school year.

The plan, released late Saturday night, calls for East Lake Elementary to close. That closure was widely expected since the seven preliminary plans called for it to shut down.

But Davis' proposal has a few surprises, too.

Among them: Whitefoord Elementary and Coan Middle schools — both in the Edgewood neighborhood — are spared from closure. Supporters of both and fought bitterly to keep those schools open.

Though Coan stays open, its middle schoolers will go to East Lake Elementary for the 2012-13 school year. That's because Jackson High School in Grant Park will undergo a $30 to $40 million renovation, which will require its students to relocate temporarily somewhere else.

Jackson kids will go to Coan for the 2012-13 academic year.

Coan's feeder neighborhoods - Kirkwood, East Lake and Edgewood, along with East Atlanta Village — are zoned for the Jackson High School cluster.

D.H. Stanton Elementary in Peoplestown is another surprise. That school wasn't slated to close; it remained open in Davis' preliminary plan. In fact, D.H. Stanton was to be one of four schools that would take students from Cook Elementary School, which Davis pegged for closure in his first plan.

Some parents balked at sending their kids to D.H. Stanton, which they said was and lacked functioning equipment on its playground.

Cook's supporters fought to keep their school open, too, after Davis' first proposal.

But the superintendent's final plan calls for it to shut down as a traditional elementary school.

Instead, he calls for the school — located west of Grant Park in the Capitol Gateway neighborhood — to be converted into a sixth grade academy to feed into Virginia-Highland's .

Kids currently zoned to attend Cook will attend Parkside, Whitefoord, Hope-Hill and Centennial Place elementary schools.

The sixth grade academy idea is sure to create a firestorm of protest from Cook supporters. That's what happened in the Kirkwood, Edgewood and East Lake communities when Davis' first proposal called for Coan Middle to close and be repurposed for the Inman Middle sixth graders.

Residents of the three neighborhoods, whose children would have been rezoned to King Middle School in Grant Park, were outraged.

In their view, they saw APS kicking their children out of Coan so kids from more affluent neighborhoods could use the school.

Inman Middle parents meanwhile, also opposed the Coan conversion idea. They cringed at being perceived as interlopers willing send their kids to the Coan facility if children from surrounding neighborhoods went somewhere else.

It's unclear whether or not they will support this conversion of Cook.

Parents from the and neighborhoods will likely be thrilled their pleas to be rezoned to Grant Park's Parkside Elementary School is in Davis' plan.

Those two neighborhoods are currently zoned for Cook, the worst-performing elementary school in East Atlanta Patch.

But Davis' proposal sends the two communities to Parkside as those parents wanted. His plan also rezones all of Grant Park, which is split to different schools currently, to Parkside as well.

Davis preliminary plan called for the shuttering of 13 schools, which would reduce the number of excess seats by 7,200.

This final plan cuts the total excess by 5,500. APS has 47,000 students but capacity for 60,000 pupils. (Another 3,000 kids attend publicly funded charter schools.)

The redistricting is being driven in part by the district's desire to have enough capacity to address child booms in the fast-growing northern parts of the city, and reduce excess capacity and underutilization in Atlanta's southern neighborhoods.

"Our proposal will eliminate approximately 5,500 of our 13,000-­seat excess and generate substantial savings. As a result, we can allocate more funds in direct support of students — that is, to provide more counselors, assistant principals, paraprofessionals and special education resources," Davis wrote in his proposal.

"Also, we will be better positioned to coordinate resources for children from birth to 5 years old, our pre-K programs, and school nutrition services."

However, Davis warned that plenty of excess capacity would remain at the high school level.

"Of the remaining approximately 7,500 empty seats, 6,200 are in high schools," Davis wrote. "This issue must be addressed further."

Davis also wrote the district formed a team to study how the schools slated for closure ought to be utilized.

"We understand that closed and blighted buildings negatively affect communities and economic development, we are exploring meaningful uses for facilities recommended for closure."

Davis' final plan goes to the Atlanta Board of Education, which is expected to vote on it April 10 during a special meeting at Jackson High School.

Greg Wilkinson April 01, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Lin Parent, We are very happy that Davis has finally decided to invest in the schools south of DeKalb. The communities are now on board and look forward to making the Jackson cluster into a cluster that competes with not only Grady but the charter schools in SE Atlanta. Of course we wish Lin the best once the infighting ensues in the new proposed Grady cluster. Just know that your children are always welcome in the new Coan should they be told to go there. We will welcome them with open arms just as we are doing for East Lake to Toomer and now Reynoldstown to Coan. It is the neighborly thing to do.
Sydney Barker April 01, 2012 at 05:16 PM
It's not ML that irks us, it's the entitled attitude of some of the ML parents. The writing is on the wall. Neither APS nor Atlanta taxpayers are going to spend money to expand Inman when there is a free solution available. You will be districted to your closest middle school and high school, because there is no logic in spending money to expand schools farther away to accommodate your children. And, BTW, we are presently all part of the same cluster. Besides, any vote to expand the farther schools would require the vote of the entire school district. Given the lack of funds for so many parts of the district, wasting money on something so unnecessary isn't likely. You know this. Everyone knows this. It's painfully obvious. Your apparent anger is likely due to the fact that you know this and know there is no logical argument for it not happening.
Greg Wilkinson April 01, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Lin Parent, I respectfully disagree with Lin having the most positive attitude. I can recall 3 Lin supports on recent threads here for the public to see call me a racist, call me pathetic, and call my neighborhood a failure. So please stop the BS already. We don't post under anonymous names. The ones on here that post under their real names have real ideas and are not afraid to show their faces. As a "lin parent" you fall in the category of the voices that means nothing. If you had something real to say come out and say it, don't hide. Or are you afraid of being called a racist or pathetic? Anyone not connected to Lin can see that Lin moving south was the logical choice and most fiscal choice to solve an overcrowding problem at Inman. It also helped keep Coan open. As I've pointed out before, it was about butts in the seats and not about the Lin kids. Luckily we now have Reynoldstown so we are happy. The only people that can't see it are the Lin supporters with rose colored glasses on. And this was never about making Lin a punching bag. This is about geography and money being wasted. If down the road Lin is absorbed into Coan and you do not wish to be involved in the school then I for one encourage you to take your child eslewhere. We want parents and communities that are involved going forward. Not adults that want to pack up their toys and go home because they didn't get their way.
Just observing April 01, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Lin Parent - it's funny.... it's negative comments like yours that have soured me and many others against YOUR neighborhood. You are a message board troll.
Karen B. April 01, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Be real, Lin Parent. You and your "neighbor's" were soured towards the Jackson cluster from the beginning. You were not willing to put your children there years ago, months ago, nor weeks ago. Lets keep it real...oh btw, I love how you all are acting like you had a hand in making Mary Lin, Inman, and Grady what it is. Your children just started attending these schools, those schools were great schools before your children were even born
Mommia April 02, 2012 at 02:01 AM
It is time for all of us to move on. All of this negativity and ugliness is not becoming of in-town people. Like my divorce attorney once said...it is probably a fair settlement if everyone is a little pissed off. Let's all stop taking undue credit, passing undue blame, pull up our boot straps, and do what we are known for...making our communities great in their own right!
Greg Wilkinson April 02, 2012 at 03:26 AM
I'm sad that "lin parent" left in the middle of a fact based discussion. Logical, open, and honest discussions are good during all of this.
Lin Parent April 02, 2012 at 10:50 AM
We're no longer in the same cluster, SRT, or anything - so I'll just let you all again come to your own suggestion as to what's best for my kids.
Greg Wilkinson April 02, 2012 at 11:01 AM
Lin Parent, According to you we never were in the same cluster to begin with. At least now you admit that we were in fact in the same cluster and we appreciate that. Although we are forging a new path and are excited about that path we all still want APS to be fiscally responsible. We applaud them for doing the 6th grade academy in Cook as it provides relief for the overcrowding in a fiscally responsible way. As always, this debate has nothing to do with what's best for your kids, it has to do with what's best for an entire district. Once the "what's in it for me" mentality is removed and "what's best for all" mentality is added you will be able to see the light. But like I said, it's good debate as long as it's kept in good context.
ESL April 02, 2012 at 01:37 PM
The prognosticator in the land of NOD sees something vastly different than the Lords of SOD.  She sees redundant Greg repeating his mantra with the Fakir of Syd and when the regilded Temple of Koan reopens and is less while attended- she sees the homonym school closing so as to save the valuable booty that redundant Greg guards but does not own. The crystal ball sees K--eight so your women will no longer need to worship Hermaphrodite.  
Greg Wilkinson April 02, 2012 at 01:54 PM
ESL, It's sad that people can't have a logical and fact filled debate with you. However, should you wish to come out from your self imposed land of unknown please let us know so we can have the said debate in an adult manner.
I am just saying... April 02, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Wow... perhaps the Kirkwood, East Lake and Edgewood communities should begin mending a relationship with the folks at Mary Lin. Otherwise, I foresee an extremely dysfunctional Jackson cluster once Lin is added to it.
Greg Wilkinson April 02, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I am just saying... You are correct but that needs to come from the other way. The Lin supporters need to offer an apology for calling people like me a racist, pathetic, and our community a failure on this very board. Luckily if and when their kids are sent to Jackson in the next few years we won't hold it against the kids, they didn't say those things.
Lin Parent April 02, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Lin kids ain't going to Jackson, Greg. And the Lin community didn't call anybody racist. Maybe a messageboard troll did, but the community? Your high horse isn't too high to dismount, is it?
Space Ship April 02, 2012 at 03:22 PM
ESL - the renaissance festival called and wants their dungeons and dragons games back.
Greg Wilkinson April 02, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Lin Parent, I hope I'm wrong and they don't come to Jackson but I think the writing is on the wall that if it doesn't happen this time that in 3 years it will. 3 supporters of of Lin on the Patch in the past 2 weeks have said those very things. Go back and read and you will find them. I called each of them out of hiding from their fake names and each went silent. That is disgusting and was uncalled for. My argument is fact based not name calling. Might want to take tat back to those supporting Lin that it gives you a big black eye when someone tries to have a logical discussion and that happens.
I am just saying... April 02, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Greg, I agree wholeheartedly... Lin feeding to Coan appears inevitable. I only wish Mr. Davis took a real stance and made that decision now instead of allowing it to linger and requiring the entire district to revisit the topic in a year or two. On the flip slide, it is probably a good thing Lin is not merging now. If Lin supporters/parents are spewing such noise on this public forum, I could only imagine what is being taught to their children within the private confines of their homes.
Greg Wilkinson April 02, 2012 at 03:54 PM
I'm just saying... Exactly. But Davis is going to allow the Inman communities to fight it out first. If enough people say we don't want to go to Cook someone will get squeezed out and Davis isn't the one that did it, the Inman communities did. Even if they don't do it now it will happen in a few years. We will turn Coan and have a plan with APS's backing to make it a great school. Once that clock ticks down and the overcrowding continues the push to the South will continue. It is inevitable. Davis knows what he's doing and I applaud him for it.
Lin Parent April 02, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Go back and read old posts by anonymous authors? Come on now. That's precisely what trolls do. Lin is high-performing, feeds into a high-performing middle, which feeds into a high school that, while still strong, has its troubles. Coan and Jackson, sadly, are currently two of the worst-performing schools in the state. If you were districted for Lin>Inman>Grady now - think about what that means for a moment - would you support your children's matricultion to Coan>Jackson? So forgive Lin's passion for what's best for our kids. We're not running for office. And Davis said he's ignoring any calls to fix another community's schools by adding another community's kids. Amen, Superintendent Davis.
Greg Wilkinson April 02, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Lin Parent, How on earth can you toss the anonymous authors under the bus and say not to listen to them when you are one of the same. Either post under your real name so people give you respect or be considered a troll like you say. You are right about the current feeds. But you fail to see that there is a huge investment being made SOD now and we will make the Jackson cluster a viable alternative to Grady. If anything you as a member of these communities should welcome and encourage that. We don't need Lin to succeed I don't know why those are words you can't understand. We needed kids in the seats to allow us to keep Coan open so we can change that. Davis gave us Reynoldtown. We are happy. We don't need Lin to fill those seats anymore. We will be fine, wait and see. Of course there's still that little overcrowding issue at Inman. If I were Lin, I would worry about the Inman communities kicking you out and not worry about us at Coan. We have no control of you coming here and don't need you. Doesn't stop your overcrowding at Inman though. I respect the passion by the Lin parents. I also respect the desire to stay in the same cluster. If I were a parent of a child up there I would be fighting too. However fighting with logic and rational is key. APS and the district needs to address the needs of ALL and not a certain school or child. It's a sad reality. I hope it plays out that you all stay that way but I don't see it happening down the road.
I am just saying... April 02, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Side note... the dialogue between Greg and I was in no way inappropriate and should not have been removed. This was my first time responding to a message on here... and it will certainly be my last. If censorship is used, it should be universal.
Space Ship April 02, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Technically, your last post is actually your second post.
Péralte Paul (Editor) April 02, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Hi, I am: I did not remove your comments; just noticed they disappeared, too. I'm checking out what happened.
Greg Wilkinson April 02, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Looks like someone didn't like my posts since they are all gone. Called a racist, pathetic and now censored? <---joke ;-) Hope you get it resolved Peralte. Thanks for letting us have open dialog.
Péralte Paul (Editor) April 02, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Yes, they were flagged. I looked at them and unflagged them so they should be back. I didn't see anything that was over the top. Everyone has been impassioned about the redistricting, but I'm happy to see that even in the heated debates and discussions, folks have been pretty respectful. I'm hoping it stays that way. If those who flagged comments want to address me directly via e-mail because they felt those flagged comments are/were offensive, bullying or insulting, please do so at peralte.paul@patch.com and we can discuss further.
ESL April 02, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Ahh Greg- you post the same thing over and over and over and it is so redundant as to minimize any "mature" point YOU are trying to make. It has become farce and is prone to ridicule at this point. I urge people to go back and look at your volume of posts. Same words repeated endlessly- I don't want to be insulting but- who but you is trying to talk over the forum. You have proven yourself silly and I hope those with wit will come to your side because those with intellect certainly have not. I guess if you cannot follow the super's advice and continue to speak about a 'hood not your own then let's debate closing Toomer and Eastlake and making Coan K-8. Why does this not satisfy your desire for savings? We see how much money is lost in the 3/4 empty schools and for some reason you are rallying to spend money on emptiness and disdain money spent on fully utilized schools where parents in great percentages send their kids to in district schools. We shall see if APS is just pouring more money down the drain in keeping Coan open after Jackson kids leave. But I guess it will then be time to decide which to close- Coan or Toomer. I 'm voting to save Coan and close Toomer for the good of your 'hood.
Greg Wilkinson April 02, 2012 at 07:45 PM
ESL, And the trolls that hide behind a fake name will continue to hear logic and reason that is backed not only by a real person, but numbers instead of "don't send my kids to that bad school". You see when you talk to people that miss the big picture, such as yourself, and are only concerned with their little corner you have to keep the message clear and on point until it sinks in. You can deflect all you want, talk trash about our schools and how it's a waste to invest in them, and how our communities down here are a failure but in the end we will prove you wrong and Davis sees that. Just glad you were not around when Lin was on the downturn and chopping block 15 years ago, you would have closed it as well. So watch and see, in a few years we will have amazing schools now that we have community and APS support. All while you continue to hold your hand out for millions for new schools because your too proud to spend wisely and go to a school that's "bad". Keep tabs on the New Coan. You will be amazed at what your neighbors can do when kicked in the teeth by those that look out for themselves and not their fellow neighbors. :-)
ESL April 02, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Trolls, trolls and trolls etc ... Again it's the same old, same old with you Greg. Give it a rest. Smile-- Stay away from the keyboard...... We would all love to be amazed by New KOAN. Perhaps you can take it as a challenge, a joust you might say- from the land of NOD to the Lords of SOD ( great band name BTW). Could be like Capulet"s and Montague's but i suspect we are more Hatfields and McCoy's.
Greg Wilkinson April 02, 2012 at 09:08 PM
ESL, Sounds good but lets go with the new Coan. :-) The Lords of SOD accept the challenge from the Land of NOD. I don't really consider any of us enemies at the end of the day. We are all just passionate people that want to see good things for our communities. No harm, no foul. I only toss out the fiscal stuff because I am tired of the waste in both the local government and federal one. That's all.
Karen B. April 03, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Greg, I don't know you personally, but the parents & community members in Kirkwood & Edgewood "ThankYou" for your support of "The New Coan." All it takes is for a group of people to come together on one accord, have a little faith in our children, & watch how they blossom. Some of the people on this site seem to forget at one point in time, no one would support/attend their schools either. As I stated in an earlier post, I hope your children (Lin Parent & ESL) never have to come face-to-face with people like yourselves that will make them feel less than, rejected, and put aside the way you all have done children & schools in the Coan community. Then again Im sure they will and when they do, I hope they are prepared because there is nothing worse than being a child and hearing adults say the things you are saying about them. The day you learn to include EVERYONE and learn that it is not all about YOU and YOUR CHILDREN, the better our communities,district, and world will be! ~God Speed~


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