Summerhill residents came out in full force Friday night to discuss the Atlanta Public Schools redistricting plan that has the neighborhood zoned to attend D.H. Stanton Elementary.
At a packed, specially called meeting, residents — long timers and newcomers alike — spoke in one voice, advocating for an earlier plan to be zoned for Parkside Elementary.
Summerhill is currently zoned for Cook Elementary in Capitol Gateway.
But Cook, an underperforming school, is closing under APS' redistricting plans.
An earlier plan had the neighborhood zoned for Parkside Elementary in Grant Park and D.H. Stanton, another underperforming and under enrolled school located in Peoplestown closing.
But when the Peoplestown community successfully rallied to keep its school open and the board of education voted to close seven schools instead of 10 as APS Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. recommended, the district had to change the attendance zones.
That put Summerhill in play, resulting in the neighborhood's placement in D.H. Stanton and out of Parkside.
Of Georga's 1,176 elementary schools, D.H. Stanton ranks 1,098, based on last year's standardized test scores, down from 992 in 2010.
Cook is only slightly better: It ranked 1,081 last year, a drop from 1,038 in 2010.
Some parents vowed they'd have no choice but to leave the neighborhood unless it was put back in the Parkside attendance zone. Others said they'd have to go to private schools for their children.
The board of education is expected to vote on the final neighborhood school zone maps at the end of this month.
Though they didn't answer questions, board members including Chairman Reuben R. McDaniel III, at-large member Courtney D. English and Brenda J. Muhammad, whose district includes Peoplestown, Summerhill and Grant Park were in attendance to hear residents' concerns.
Please click on the videos above to hear residents' discussion.