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APS Responds To Summerhill

District: Rezoning Summerhill to D.H. Stanton makes the most sense.

In recent days, the Summerhill community has been abuzz with the Atlanta Public Schools' decision to move the neighborhood from Parkside Elementary School's attendance zone to that of D.H. Stanton in Peoplestown.

The attendance zones are still tentative and the APS Board of Education, which voted last week to close seven schools, must approve the most recent maps, district spokesman Keith Bromery told East Atlanta Patch.

Bromery e-mailed a statement explaining the district's reasoning behind rezoning Summerhill to D.H Stanton, even though it wants to remain at Parkside:

"The Board will decide individual school zoning changes in the near future. No changes are anticipated at this point regarding the proposed zoning changes associated with the redistricting initiative. The Board has the authority to make changes to the administration’s school rezoning proposals.

The Summerhill neighborhood is immediately adjacent to D.H. Stanton Elementary School, as is the Peoplestown neighborhood which is already zoned to Stanton. For purposes of neighborhood integrity and to allow for the shortest travel distances for students living in these neighborhoods to get to and from school, D.H. Stanton Elementary School is the obvious choice based on its proximity to these neighborhoods. Keep in mind that the purpose of the redistricting initiative is to increase enrollments in the schools that remain open after the closures in order for those schools to be eligible for additional resources that are intended to escalate student achievement."

David Bottomley April 23, 2012 at 02:06 PM
It's just a detail but actually part of Peoplestown was zoned to Cook (sections of Atlanta Ave and the south side of Ormond). Pretty sure all of Summerhill was zoned for Cook. Now I believe all of Peoplestown is zoned for Stanton (at least if the latest 'final' proposal is adopted).
Rachel Quartarone April 23, 2012 at 02:40 PM
I resent the fact that certain Peoplestown residents are accusing Summerhill residents of looking for a "handout" when they do not even send their own children to their neighborhood school and have only recently started advocating for it. As for Summerhill, we do not have a "neighborhood school." It was closed and torn down in 2000. Our children were then moved to Cook and are now faced with moving to yet another underperforming school. Demanding that your children have a quality education NOW as opposed to 5 years from now (about the time it would take to get Stanton up to par in a perfect world) is not asking for a "handout." Let's stop the name calling and accusations.
SouthEast Atlanta Resident April 23, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Rachel...I apologize if my comment above upset you. I am deeply saddened that two historically tied neighborhoods are being ripped apart because of the redistricting process. I can clearly see both sides of this fence, but my point is that there are other under enrolled schools in SE Atlanta that continue to have the opportunity to increase their student population and improve their schools. Those communities banded together and are making it happen. Improving all our schools will make our area a much better place to live for many. I hope that no matter what happens in the end both SummerHill and Peoplestown can come together and make a difference that will only benefit the greater Grant Park area. Collaboration is key. Good luck to you all!
Rachel Quartarone April 23, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Not upset -- I know there are many strong viewpoints and I'm very heartened to see neighborhoods coming together to work toward better schools for our children. I hope the BOE can find a way out of this mess that meets the needs of both neighborhoods and the Jackson cluster as a whole. I just hate to see the extremes coming out in the argument, i.e. Peoplestown = more concerned about an empty building than education vs. Summerhill=doesn't want to work toward making community schools stronger. Neither are true! I'm hopeful that both neighborhoods can come back together again stronger and more united than before.
David Bottomley April 23, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Rachel, that's a great comment. It's important to look at most comments through the internet filter. People will say things online that they'll never face to face. And people that don't have strong opinions aren't usually the people that bother to comment. You don't see a lot of comments online that say, 'I really see your point'....it's very easy to devolve into, 'you're a jerk...no, 'you're a jerk'. I sent an email to the presidents of PNA and ONS saying they should try to keep the hyperbole down. The truth is P'town and S'hill have the same goals 99% of the time and neither of us will be the decision makers. We're both at the mercy of APS. We need to stick together because we're both small communities and we both tend the get the leftover crumbs after other neighborhoods get the loaf.

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