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Davis Places All of Pine Hills in Sarah Smith District

Superintendent in final recommendation makes change to relieve Garden Hills overcrowding

The entire Pine Hills neighborhood would attend under the final redistricting recommendation posted by APS School Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. late Saturday night.

"All of Pine Hills will be zoned to Smith, in order to relieve overcrowding at Garden Hills," Davis said. Pine Hills for years has been split between and Smith.

The rest of Davis' final recommendations for Buckhead schools essentially remain the same as his preliminary plan, with his call remaining for the present site to eventually be "repurposed" as a sixth grade academy.

That would occur after students are moved to the present Sutton site in the fall of 2013 for 18 months and full middle school capacity is reached at the present site, the superintendent said.

A group of Buckhead residents want the eventual establishment of two separate middle schools, one at Sutton and one at North Atlanta, instead of the sixth grade academy plan.

Davis said the APS will continue to monitor and Garden Hills for temporary overcrowding measures, if necessary, the proposal said.

The APS announcement of his plan said that the recommendation will be Davis' final one to be submitted to the Atlanta Board of Education on April 10.

"However, the superintendent reserves the right to modify the final recommendation, if new, compelling information and/or data are received before the April 10 board meeting," the announcement says.

Outside of Buckhead, Davis calls for the closure of 10 schools, not the 13 he had previously recommended.

The April 10 Board of Education Meeting will be held at

Liliana Hojas April 02, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Do you think this is in retaliation to Smith requesting anything BUT a huge middle school with a 6th grade academy? Does it appear suspect that <15% of Sutton's population gets to dictate its' future design? Will THEY be attending this bigger school once it gets even bigger grade sizes? It smells "fishy" in Buckhead. What is the real story?
Jenna Leopold Shulman April 02, 2012 at 06:06 PM
No -- the "real story" is that this is a reaction to the committee of folks who were living in Pine Hills but located in the Garden Hills Elem. School district, who have been protesting this issue for years. Not only does it take significantly more time to get to Garden Hills Elem. from the Pine Hills neighborhood, as opposed to Sarah Smith -- crossing several busy intersections, including Sidney Marcus, the GA-400, etc. but it was very important to us that Pine Hills was "one" in its school district. We are thrilled that after all of these years, we are finally being recognized with the majority of our neighborhood in terms of our school district and thank Superintendent Davis, Nancy Meiser, and everyone else who helped advocate for this issue on our behalf. I'd also like to thank the Buckhead Patch for continuing to cover this story so frequently and giving it the press that it deserved.
Atlanta Public Schools April 09, 2012 at 06:19 PM
@Liliana, nothing "fishy" here whatsoever. The rezoning of Pine Hills was done to decrease capacity at Garden Hills and bring the entire neighborhood together at one school. 120 students will be rezoned into Smith. Enrollment projections are based on 1:22 in Kinder and 1:25 in 1st - 5th. What this says is that EVERY parent has a voice in APS. The parents of Pine Hills and the surrounding communities have been very vocal about the issues brought up by @Jenna in the post above and they have been engaged during every step of this demographic process. This is the type of advocacy the district supports and looks forward to seeing continue after the final maps are released tomorrow night.

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