Atlanta Public Schools drops plan to rezone Midtown students
ATLANTA - Atlanta Public Schools has announced that it has dropped its plan to rezone more than 200 students in Midtown Atlanta to other schools due to overcrowding.
APS sent a survey to families in Midtown last week about the issue. The survey gave two options -- rezoning and redesigning the existing the school and cracking down on residency verification.
Multiple students were upset about the prospect of being sent to another school and held a protest last Friday in nearby Piedmont Park.
The school district sent the following letter to parents on Thursday:
We want to thank all of the students, staff, families, and community members who shared their feedback and asked questions this past month about our Annual Facilities Review Process and proposed scenarios. We heard from hundreds of stakeholders through community meetings, Let’s Talk, and several additional engagements.
We heard one major theme across all clusters: Our communities do not want us to rezone, especially if we have not exhausted all other options. Therefore, APS plans to develop and implement the non-rezoning scenario (Scenario #1) to address overcrowding at Jackson HS, Midtown HS, and Woodson Park Academy. In addition, we are updating how we measure and respond to capacity as part of the Annual Facilities Review. This will ensure strategies that do not require rezoning are explored and implemented prior to any future recommended rezoning. You can find more information below:
1. APS plans to develop and implement the non-rezoning scenarios (Scenario #1) to address overcrowding at Jackson HS, Midtown HS, and Woodson Park Academy.
Innovation Review Timeline (Midtown HS, Jackson HS, Woodson Park Academy): Each school will work with the Office of Innovation, Improvement, and Redesign to confirm the timeline meets their needs.
May: Form Design Teams at each school
June: Host Kick-off experience
August-September: Develop potential solutions
October: Share potential solutions
Residency Review: The expanded residency review to confirm in-zone students began for Midtown HS on March 20th and will conclude by the end of June. More information on what is included and involved in this process can be found here: https://sites.google.com/apsk12.org/osar/midtown-high-school-residency-review. This review will also take place for other overcrowded schools.
Additional Capacity Analysis: Over the remainder of this semester, APS Facilities will review the possibility of using existing space or adding space to increase capacity at each school.
Available Resources Identification: As part of the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Process, APS will work with school principals to review resources available to lessen the impact of overcrowding on the schools.
We are updating how we measure and respond to capacity as part of the Annual Facilities Review.
Currently, APS uses smaller class size ratios than the Georgia Department of Education. For example, APS high school capacity is calculated using a 25:1 ratio for classrooms, while the State establishes a maximum of 32:1 for core classrooms. Going forward, APS will review how this difference in class size ratio can align better with what approach we take to address capacity challenges. This would allow for non-rezoning strategies to begin before recommending rezoning.
Please join us on April 25th and April 27th to dive deeper into these strategies. Stay tuned for more details and information. As always, continue to use Let’s Talk to provide your thoughts and feedback: http://tinyaps.com/?LetsTalk
Yours in service,
Dr. Lisa Herring