Schools and Children

School Consolidations Coming

By Henry Bryant

The Atlanta Board of Education has voted on changes to area elementary schools after numerous community meetings in the affected neighborhoods. In an effort to address the problem of small under-enrolled elementary schools, there was a proposal to close Benteen Elementary School in the SAND neighborhoods and merge its 310 students into D.H. Stanton Elementary with its larger building.

That proposal changed with the vote. Instead, some students from Grant Park’s Parkside Elementary, which is overcrowded, will be districted for Burgess-Peterson Academy (BPA) in East Atlanta to increase enrollment there.

Also adopted is a plan to close Whitefoord Elementary in the Edgewood neighborhood. Its 272 students will be split between Toomer Elementary in Kirkwood and BPA in East Atlanta, with Edgewood students going to Toomer and Reynoldstown students going to BPA. Currently, this plan is slated to take effect in the 2018 school year.

Updates as of August 17:

This plan went into effect at the start of this 2017-2018 school year on August 1.

The rationale for reducing the boundaries for Parkside Elementary were to correct a decision made back during the 2011 redistricting that pulled off a couple of streets in the Custer McDonough Guice neighborhood and send them to Parkside instead of the board’s practice of keeping neighborhood boundaries intact and sending them all to the same elementary school.

The rationale for the boundary change between Parkside Elementary and Benteen Elementary was not necessarily due to overcrowding, but due to following the practice of zoning neighborhoods to the same school. View neighborhood maps at www.atlantaga.gov/home/showdocument?id=2690.

All neighbors in the Custer McDonough Guice neighborhood were zoned for Benteen (not Burgess-Peterson). There were only five currently enrolled families at Parkside and all of their children were grandfathered in to remain at Parkside. Any students living in this area beginning school this year will be zoned to Benteen.

All children in the Jackson Cluster are zoned to King Middle School and Maynard H. Jackson High School.

Visit www.atlantapublicschools.us/Page/52453 for more information.