By Special to the Daily World
Superintendent Erroll Davis’ preliminary redistricting and closure recommendations call for the creation of 10 school clusters and the closure of 13 schools. The preliminary plan was released March 4, 2012.
The preliminary proposal will eliminate approximately 7,000 of the current 13,000 excess student seats, while consolidating students into a smaller number of schools. The district’s current student enrollment is approximately 47,000, but APS currently has 60,000 student seats. The district has approximately 100 schools and education centers.
The closures are intended to free up additional funds and resources to directly support students by providing them with more counselors, assistant principals, paraprofessionals and special education support.
Part of the preliminary redistricting and closure recommendations is to repurpose many of the schools that could be closed under the plan. A team of district officials has been formed to explore meaningful uses for the facilities recommended for closure.
Data show that the majority of empty student seats are located in the southern section of the district, while the northern section is experiencing enrollment numbers that in some instances exceed the recommended capacity of schools. The preliminary redistricting and closure recommendations are intended to address this imbalance so that the district’s main mission of educating students can be carried out in a more equitable, efficient, cost-effective and sound manner.
Davis and his team are scheduled to present his preliminary redistricting plan to the Atlanta Board of Education at the board’s regular monthly meeting, beginning at 2 p.m. today. A round of public meetings is scheduled for March 12, 13, 21 and 22 in all four of the district’s regional areas. The purpose of the meetings is to respond to questions about the recommendations.
Comments and other input about the proposal can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The comments and input will then be considered, as the superintendent develops his final plan which will be presented to the Atlanta Board of Education for adoption at next month’s meeting.
The plan’s proposed school clusters makeup and recommended school closures are posted on the district website (www.atlantapublicschools.us).