Midtown parents oppose Atlanta elementary school rezoning plans – CBS Atlanta

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ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) – Parents are opposing proposed plans to rezon three elementary schools in Midtown and open another elementary school.

Concern and frustration describe parents’ reaction to potential plans to rezone the Midtown cluster that includes Springdale Park (SPARK), Morningside and Mary Lin Elementary Schools in Atlanta. Plans to open a new elementary school in the old Inman Middle School are also raising alarm bells.

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“I was completely blindsided. I live a few blocks south of here in Morningside, a short walk from the school,” said Diana Black, whose eldest is due to start kindergarten in Morningside in 2023. “We would be sent to Inman Middle School, which is not within walking distance of us, and it’s 30% further.”

Black says parents first heard of the plans days before the school board voted 5-4 to move forward. “It was alarming and very concerning because as we know it takes a village to raise children, and right now it feels like our village is being taken away from us,” said she declared.

Atlanta Public Schools says the board only approved a first reading of the recommendations and delayed the final vote. The district says the changes are needed to address overcrowding.

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Shannon Gaggero and her neighbor, Guenther Huber, both have children who attend Springdale Park Elementary School. “Board members give us different versions of their understanding of what their ‘yes’ vote meant,” Gaggero said. “It doesn’t solve our long-term capacity issues at the secondary level, so it’s a band-aid on a bigger issue,” she said of the proposed plans.

“What really scares me is the disruption. APS thinks transitions are really difficult for kids, especially school-to-school transitions, and here we have a proposal where you’re reaching almost 900 kids,” Huber said.

They say maintaining a dual campus in Springdale Park is a better solution and explained this in a change.org petition.

“Today, Springdale Park is already a dual campus, where they have a separate K Center, versus a main campus, and we can use that model and continue with the current SPARK building at the Inman Building,” Guenther said. He says a dual campus would provide better education and more stability.

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APS is planning several community engagement meetings this month, with a final vote scheduled for August.

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