Dear Atlanta Public Schools Stakeholders,
I am writing to reemphasize that we are at the beginning stages of our demographic study for Atlanta Public Schools (APS).
Contrary to speculation, online references, and other discussions occurring in the community, APS has not made final decisions regarding our current demographic study and school closings. In fact, we have no plans of discussing the published draft scenarios with the demographers until after the holidays.
Please keep in mind that the published draft scenarios were developed based on two variables: capacity and cost. As we move toward making a final decision about school zones, five variables will factor into our decision: academic impact, community input, school capacity, cost and policy implications. Based on your feedback and the other four variables, the final maps likely will not resemble any of the currently published draft scenarios.
The community, APS staff and the demographers recently have begun evaluating the presented scenarios. We expect this process to conclude March or April of 2012. Further, we have no interest in destroying thriving school communities that have a rich tradition of fostering academic success and student achievement; however, as a community, we must be realistic about the current capacity issues in many of our schools. Our students are counting on us to make sustainable decisions that are in the best interest of all students today, and in the future.
Although we have completed our first round of community meetings, parents and community members still have an opportunity to provide feedback via our online feedback form (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2SPYCCK). I urge you to give us feedback. If you do not like any of the scenarios, say so; however, if there are scenarios or parts of a scenario that you like, let us know that also.
Finally, we will host additional community meetings in January after we have considered each of the presented scenarios and incorporated your feedback. Again, please review the scenarios and provide input to ensure that we implement plans that are best for our schools, our communities, and most importantly, our students. No final decisions have been made; we are in the beginning stages of the process, and we need your input as we move forward with planning.
Thank you for your commitment to the students of Atlanta Public Schools.
With warmest regards and best wishes for a happy holiday season,
Erroll B. Davis, Jr.