...Kat Lindholm, President, East Lake Neighbors Community Association

Why Coan Middle School is important.

Geographically speaking, East Lake is the easternmost community in the collection of neighborhoods that comprise what is the city of Atlanta.

But in the current redistricting debate engulfing Atlanta Public Schools, East Lakers feel their community is a metaphorical golf ball, being whacked here and there much like the ones hit by golfers in the East Lake Golf Club.

Seven plans have been presented as possible options to the 47,000-student-district's goal of reducing the number of excess seats.

But with a total capacity of 60,000 seats, APS has too much excess.

The most recent , released last week by APS Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr., reduces excess by 7,200 seats through closing 13 schools for a projected cost savings of $6.5 million.

Among the closures: and in nearby Edgewood.

Coan, which has 307 students, but capacity for 900, would be converted to an annex for the overflow of students from Inman Middle School in Virginia-Highland. Coan's kids would go to King Middle in Grant Park.

What's more, East Lake would be rezoned at the high school level out of Grady High in Midtown and into Jackson High in Grant Park.

All unacceptable say East Lake parents who were rezoned to Grady after losing in 2005.

It explains why East Lake, along with its sister neighborhoods, Kirkwood and Edgewood, to keep the school open for the neighborhoods zoned to attend it and stay in the Grady cluster of schools.

After the rally, East Lake residents met to discuss next steps and develop a plan of action. East Atlanta Patch met with Kat Lindholm, president of the East Lake Neighbors Community Association after the meeting.

ESL March 12, 2012 at 01:37 PM
(continued from above) The current redistricting allows for an opportunity for the Kirkwood neighborhood to help get Pullman Yards redeveloped. This would be huge benefit to Kirkwood to have a vibrant mixed use development in the historic Pullman yards. If the K-8 model is acceptable to curriculum development people at APS and they use it at Centennial then why wouldn't Eastlake , Kirkwood and Edgewood get behind it for a location at COAN. Drew Academy has established that this can be a successful model. I was not the first to suggest K-8 for kirkwood. Doug Wood,CINS co chair presented this option last year to APS and it was rejected because converting an elementary school(toomer) to K-8 was cost prohibitive. If you did it at Coan you can save Coan and get the bonus of putting Pullman back into play Even though you may think I have an axe to grind it is more that I am offering solution options that solve multiple problems. I also know some former Kirkwood leaders who like this idea- and I don't think they have anything more to grind than their real estate interests and COAN was never considered a middle school option for their child.
Earl Williamson, RN March 12, 2012 at 02:06 PM
You appear confused. This discussion is not about the development of state owned property. It is about keeping Coan MIDDLE School open, as indicated by the consensus of the Edgewood, East Lake, and Kirkwood neighborhoods. It is also about ending the practice of using NPU-O communities as throw aways in re-districting and resource allocation (evidenced by the historical short changing of Coan). Clouding the issue with unrelated tangents (Pullman Yard, environment, K-8 Coan) appears more than anything yet another effort to cloud and dilute the positions of East Lake, Edgewood, and Kirkwood relative to preserving Coan MIDDLE School as a cost effective resource more than adequate to resolve growing overcapacity issues at Inman Middle School.
Acer March 14, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Drew Charter School : Pre-K-8th grade Imagine Wesley : K-8th grade Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School : K-8th grade All three charter programs are located within the Coan or King Middle School zones. Attendance is doing very well at all three programs. I'm not going to get into the charter vs. public school discussion here, but if parents within the Coan district want Coan to stay open........they have to send their own kids to school there!
Joe Landon March 16, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Acer... good point. All... because Kirkwood parents that I know don't want to send their own children to neighborhood schools - why would other neighborhoods want to come into these schools which your own residents recognize as inferior. Don't rely on Mary Lin and the Inman Park/Candler Park/Lake Claire communities to want to come in to boost your test scores. Stop throwing our neighborhood under the bus!
Yep, south of tracks March 19, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Joe, you ask others not to throw your neighborhood under the bus. You do realize that you do just that in this comment about Kirkwood? How many Kirkwood parents do you know? Two? A handful? Well, I am a Kirkwood parent and you are mistaken about our support for our neighborhood schools. I know dozens of Kirkwood families with elementary school age kids and all but one of these families go to Toomer. Let me help you understand why our kids are not at Coan. They're not old enough! We have an age gap in our community. We have two core populations - 1. elderly long-time residents who do not have school-age children. 2. young families with small children (especially toddlers and babies). This is clearly in evidence with the current Toomer demographics - 15 5th graders and 60-something kindergartners. Feel free to say the enrollment numbers aren't there for Coan today. That's true. But do not place the blame on Kirkwood parents. We do support our schools. Sorry our two-year-olds aren't old enough to fill Coan quite yet.


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