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APS Redistricting: Candler Park's Official Response To Davis' Proposals

Sixth grade academy is good idea but consider alternate locations or expansion at Inman Middle School instead of Coan Middle School.

by Kate Sandhaus

Candler Park would like to thank Superintendent Davis, the Atlanta Board of Education and Atlanta Public Schools for their continued efforts during the redistricting process.

The superintendent’s is a balanced approach that takes into account the district’s many competing needs. It is a fair, fiscally responsible and pedagogically appropriate way to solve the over-crowding problem. Candler Park supports the plan and looks forward to working with APS and all the other communities to make its implementation successful.

The defined cluster model is a sensible one. It both strengthens community support and involvement, and encourages long-term, cross-cluster collaboration that will build on the Inman-Grady cluster’s strong record of success.

The 6th grade academy is a shared and equitable solution to middle school over-crowding, and is developmentally appropriate. While the location is not ideal — the Coan communities prefer that it remain open as a middle school, and the Inman communities have concerns around transportation and logistics — we welcome consideration of alternate locations, including an Inman expansion or annex, or another facility within the cluster boundaries. 

As a temporary solution, we suggest keeping students on the Inman campus, even if it is over-capacity for 1-2 years, until a permanent location for the 6th grade academy is available. This will minimize disruption as the changes are implemented, and it will encourage community buy-in and suport. 

We are grateful to see the realization of the long-planned expansion & renovation. This gets our kids out of trailers, provides the much-needed seats for our community’s growth and brings the facility up to APS and DOE code. We look forward to working with APS to make this project a success. 

The last several months have been extremely difficult for all involved. With only four months before the next school year, it’s time that we all get on a positive path and shift our focus to what really matters – working together to make sure our kids succeed, providing high quality programs, and empowering all teachers and administrators by giving them the resources they need. 

Candler Park is committed to APS. We have been part of the Inman-Grady cluster for decades, and look forward to building on our schools’ successes together for decades to come. We stand ready to work with other communities district-wide to build and maintain high-performing, diverse schools that we can all be proud of. 

Thank you for your consideration and support. 

Mrs. Sandhaus is chairwoman of the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization's Education Committee.

Lin Parent March 18, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Greg, it's a real shame but Coan's neighbors bolted to Drew (enabled by APS), and Lin - based on what's going down there, can't realistically make up the void population-wise or performance-wise. Merging high-performing and low-performing student populations doesn't work, based on the open queries I've placed with teachers and administrators in Atlanta, Miami, and other school districts where I know people. Coan kids deserve much better than what they have now. Just as Lin parents did for the last 20 years to make Lin great, it may take 5-10 years for the next middle school for the Coan district. I hope it happens for you all.
Lin Parent March 18, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Greg, again - Jackson is one of the 78 worst schools in the state. 70 kids/year from Lin won't help that. Lin isn't in the Jackson cluster now and moving to it makes zero academic sense with zero economic gain. It's isn't going to happen.
Greg Wilkinson March 18, 2012 at 06:46 PM
They did bolt when APS didn't step up to the plate like they are supposed to do. Back when Lin was terrible the charter route was not an option. So here we are at a crossroad. Do we fix the problem or pass the buck like they have done for years? We are suggesting fixing the problem and stop building or forcing parents to go the charter route. Merging high-performing and low-performing student populations does work and Mary Lin is a prime example of that. It hasn't been all rainbow and sunshine up there. It took hard work. Come support the movement to demand better of APS and put an end to the waste. Together we can accomplish great things for future generations.
Greg Wilkinson March 18, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Lin Parent, So what you are saying is you don't believe in the superintendents plan to make the Jackson cluster strong and viable? If that's the case, why on earth would you want to toss your fellow communities, and one that belongs in Historic Kirkwood, under that bus and drive away? And if you do believe in it, why don't you come join the fight to make it happen? Coan is not the problem it is the solution to the problem.
inman parent March 19, 2012 at 07:41 PM
In case anyone is just taking someone's word for it. Please visit Google maps and realize that Coan and Inman are virtually equidistant from Lin.

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