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APS Redistricting: Davis Proposes Grade 6 Academy

Proposal includes grade six academy to feed into Inman Middle

The latest redistricting option released late Sunday night by Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Erroll B. Davis, Jr. would add a grade six academy to the cluster in an attempt to avoid rezoning elementary schools.

The grade six academy would house students at the current Coan Middle School site and feed into Inman Middle School. Coan Middle is slated to close in Davis' proposal.

Hope-Hill Elementary in Old Fourth Ward would be rezoned to Inman and $15 million would be earmarked for additions and renovations at Mary Lin Elementary.

An expansion at Springdale Park Elementary is still being researched, according to the proposal.

Centennial Place Elementary, Morningside Elementary and Springdale Park would remain feeders for Inman and Grady.

Read his full proposal in the pdf attached to this article in the photo box.

Demographers hired by the district released four preliminary options in November 2011 to redraw school attendance zones in the district and two refined options were proposed in January 2012.

The final recommendation from the demographers to Davis included a kindergarten center that would alleviate overcrowding at , and . Demographers also suggested a grade six center that would feed into .

Davis will formally present his proposal at the board of education meeting on Monday afternoon.

Parents will have the opportunity to weigh in on this proposal at community meetings throughout the city in March. Davis will meet with stakeholders from the Jackson High and Grady High clusters on .

What do you think of Davis' proposal? Tell us in the comments!

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Inman Park March 05, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I am not totally opposed to the idea of a sixth grade academy but what a curve ball by choosing Coan as the location. In none of the previous proposals was Coan ever slated for closing, and now they want to create this academy for kids from outside the nighborhood. The existing Coan students will have to pass thier old school to go to King so kids from outside that area can now attend it. This is strange, strange, strange...
ScottinVaHi March 05, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Coan as the 6th grade academy was proposed only to save money. APS is actually increasing the number of kids coming into Inman, via Cook's merger with Hope-Hill, and redistricting some Bethune and some Herndon students into Centennial Place. The logical thing to do was to redistrict Hope-Hill, but of course this can't be down due to politics, so there has to be some other way to cut numbers at Inman, and a 6th grade academy is about the only way if we are leaving the current feeders all in place. Both Coan and King are MS's that feed into Jackson, and with Coan at 36% occupancy, King at 60% occupancy, and with Coan being closer to Inman than King they chose to merge into King. Basically the 6th grade academy is the tradeoff to not removing Hope-Hill. I am not sure it is good for a school to have only kids out of district, nor is it good for the community. Perhaps re-using Cook as a 6th grade academy would make more sense, as it is in the district already, but in Coan you have a large facility that is ready for middle schoolers as-is. I found it interesting that out of nowhere Jackson is going to get $40M thrown at it. That's a lot of coin for an existing HS. The only mention of additional funding to Inman/Grady is $12M slated for a Mary Lin expansion, and of course Mary Lin has been 'promised' an expansion for over 15 years.
Inman Park March 05, 2012 at 06:26 PM
@Scott- I certainly understand their justifications for the sixth grade academy as well as their reasons for consolidating King and Coan. I am just curious as to why this option has never been brought up before. I know there was much speculation (much unfounded I am sure) that the sixth grade academy might be at the Howard School (or other O4W properties) so I was very surprised to see them closing Coan while placing other students there. My other curiosity, which I am sure will become clearer after the maps are released, is how do all of these proposals relieve the overcrowding at Grady? While I am assuming that all of Kirkwood and East Lake will now go to Jackson, the Grady cluster is still adding students from Cook and some from Bethune and Herndon. I just do not see how the attendance numbers at Grady will be reduced enough with this plan. I did notice that he said out-of-zone attendance will be reduced, which I think is much needed and long overdue.
dina b March 06, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Jackson is the last HS to be renovated in APS. $36 million is not out of nowhere, it is way overdue.
Roger K. March 10, 2012 at 08:28 PM
The Mary Lin folks need to shut the hell up about all of these "expansion promises." It's overcrowded, while schools that are not that far away have plenty of space. They don't mind sending their kids to Coan for Pre-K, so you can't make that argument anymore. At some point, expansion becomes less about educating and more about crowd control, and then no one learns anything. They need to find a way to get a healthy mix and balance of people, and then charter the system. Look at what Drew has going on- they're eating everyone's lunch and making you like it.
LCS March 16, 2012 at 02:34 AM
I am not opposed to the idea of the 6th grade academy, however, I think Mr. Davis and his staff got it backwards. Coan should become the 7-8th grade "Jr. High" and the Inman building should become the 6th grade academy. The Coan building is much larger and has sports facilities. Since 6th graders are not allowed to play APS-sponsored sports, this option seems more logical for the older students.

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