Atlanta Public Schools has a lot to be thankful for! This fall, the District celebrated four newly renovated elementary schools with official ribbon-cutting ceremonies at Beecher Hills Elementary School on Oct. 30, Harper-Archer Elementary School on Nov. 7, Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy on Nov. 13, and Kindezi at Gideons Elementary School on Nov. 15.
The renovations were funded by the education special-purpose local-option sales tax (E-SPLOST) of 1 percent that voters approved in 2016.
Nearly 100 students, staff, parents and community members attended Kindezi at Gideons Elementary School’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The stunning, state-of-the art, $17 million project now features a main school building with renovated classrooms, administrative offices and new main entry way. Other features include improvements to the cafeteria, media center, auditorium, and updates to systems across the campus.
First constructed in 1958, the new Kindezi at Gideons Elementary School building also features an improved playground and bus drop-off zone, all signs of a 21st-century legacy school. Gideons was last renovated in 2000.
“When I visited Gideons Elementary School on Day Two in 2016, this building was among our schools most in need of repair – both structurally and educationally. Systems were failing inside and out,” Dr. Carstarphen said in her remarks. “The original school front along Hobson Street hardly sparked awe and inspiration. But when I came to Gideons on Day One this year, I could see why Principal Danielle Washington and Matt Underwood, our executive director of innovation, were so eager to show off this beautiful school. This renovation is a revelation!”
The event also featured inspiring remarks from Board Vice Chair Eshe Collins; Principal Danielle Washington; Dean Leeper, executive director of The Kindezi Schools; and Chrystal Washington, granddaughter of the school’s namesake, Charles L. Gideons. The Gideons African Dance Ensemble also provided the audience with a rousing performance.
During her remarks, Chrystal Washington told the audience that her grandfather was Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s mentor. She also encouraged the students to aim high in honor of their school’s namesake, who was a former principal at Booker T. Washington High School.
“My grandfather was raised in a poor household, went to school with safety pins in his shoes, but he went on to get his doctorate degree,” said Washington, who is a retired APS teacher. “I want you to continue to make yourself and your parents proud.”