Earlier this year, a study was commissioned by the Virginia-Highland Civic Association as part of the community's effort to take an active part in APS' discussions about how to relieve crowding at Inman Middle.
Less than two weeks ago, Superintendent
Erroll B. Davis Jr. outlined in a letter to stakeholders including the Inman
Middle Task Force, a preliminary plan to relieve overcrowding at Inman with a proposal to expand Centennial Place Elementary School by
adding 6th through 8th grades.
The proposal, which Davis plans to formally present to the Atlanta Board of Education at its August or September meeting, also includes a physical expansion of Inman by 10,000 to 12,000 square feet.
As outlined, Davis told the task force the plan eliminates a need for sixth
grade academy in the Grady schools cluster.
The full letter can be read in the attached PDF.
After going over the proposal, one of our Patch readers, Barbara Baggerman, commented at the site:
“Very misguided plan, apparently dictated by special-interest neighborhood groups rather than by common sense and best interest of kids. One of the attractions of intown neighborhoods is that we have nearby managably-sized neighborhood schools, not huge impersonal mega-schools like some in suburbia. Inman and Grady are already plenty big enough in terms of population. Making them bigger will not make them better; likely make them worse. Filling the play fields with more buildings, then having to transport the kids several miles to reach a play field, is stupid and counter-productive on so many levels (economics, time, safety, convenience, health, neighborhood cohesion, etc etc). A sixth-grade academy is a similarly stupid idea. The common-sense solution is a new middle school. Our northeast intown neighborhoods need more than one. What are the south-of-Ponce people so afraid of? Perhaps they have not yet realized the dirty little unspoken secret that, as Morningside and VaHi increasingly become victims of their own success, wherever the Lake Claire/CandlerPark/InmanPark/O4W kids go will become a totally cool school with amazingly bright, creative, talented kids. It's not the school, folks, it the people who make it. And you've got the kind of educated, youthful, diverse, creative, leading-edge, urban-and-social-pioneering people to make the best school, wherever you go (the same kind of people who made Inman and Grady successes, now priced out of north-of-Ponce neighborhoods). As coolness moves south, so will the cool schools. Embrace it. You've got it. You ARE it. Before long, the N-o-P folks will be clamoring to get into your school, just like the Buckhead folks used to camp out to get their kids into Inman.”
Another reader immediately commented:
totally agree with everything in the above post; however, I'm still hoping that
a K-8 model could be implemented across the board, with Inman functioning as an
additional K-8 school to balance the numbers at SPARK and MES (in a
geographically logical manner). Redirect the funds slated for an expansion at
Inman” towards a renovation/expansion of Howard, which could then function as
an additional smaller High School for the neighborhoods Barbara noted above."
What do you think of these comments and the proposal itself? Tell us below
in the comments section.
Patch Editor Péralte Paul contributed to this story