APS board looking to possibly open new elementary school

ATLANTA — Atlanta parents are calling on the board of education to vote against a proposal to open a new elementary school.

That school would be a part of the midtown cluster.

Dozens of parents attended an APS board meeting Monday, wearing school T- shirts and holding signs.

displaying their opposition to this proposal to open a new school.

Parents in the midtown cluster told Channel 2′s Michael Seiden that their children’s schools are overcrowded.

But many believe the current proposal to open a new elementary school in the Virginia Highland neighborhood would be a huge mistake.

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“The proposal that they are speaking on tonight is one week old. It guts 500 students from our school and displaces nearly 1,000 elementary students,” parent Shannon Gaggero said.

“I hope there’s a resolution, but I think it’s going to be more of the same where more people get angry and get very vocal about it,” parent Skippy Nguyen said.

On Monday, the Atlanta board of education held a work session where they listened to district officials present the plan.

The new school would open in the Virginia Highland neighborhood, in the old Inman Park Middle School building.

About 500 students from Springdale Park Elementary would go to the new school and 171 students from Mary Lin Elementary would then move to Springdale Park.

Seiden spoke with several Springdale Park Elementary parents who said that they oppose the idea because they believe the school district is rushing the plan.

They also are concerned about losing good teachers and a lack of equity among the student body.

“I think we just feel ignored, quite frankly, and erased from the process,” Gaggero said.

“We would like for them tonight to actually reject this proposal and come back to us and engage with us and due diligence,” parent Amy Harward said.

There are parents who support the district’s plan. The board is expected to hold a final vote in June.

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