Education Update: April 1, 2013

Inman Middle School

By: Nicole Foerschler Horn

There are several changes being proposed as well as updates for schools within the Grady Cluster. Following is a summary:

Significant Changes Proposed for Springdale Park Elementary (SPARK)

Ending Spark’s Extended Day

SPARK is one of a handful of schools with 30 minutes of additional instructional time. APS is considering ending extended day for SPARK. The Spark Parent Teacher Organization opposes this change for several reasons, including the potential impact it would have on recess, concerns about teachers’ planning time, and the extra time needed for SPARK students to transition between multiple buildings on campus.

Cutting Early Intervention Program (EIP) Teachers From 5 to 1

APS has announced it’s changing how schools will be allocated teachers for the Early Intervention Program (EIP), which will result in Spark losing 4 of its current 5 EIP teachers. The EIP teachers help students keep pace with the academic rigor of SPARK. There are more than 80 students currently served by EIP teachers and this population (as with SPARK’s overall population) is expected to increase next year. Without these teachers, SPARK will have a large community of children who will receive diminished academic support in the coming year. The SPARK PTO believes that cutting 4 of the 5 EIP teachers will have serious consequences for all of SPARK’s students.

If you have concerns or questions about the above topics, please email Superintendent Davis at ebdavis@atlanta.k12.ga.us; Karen Waldon, the Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at kwaldon@atlanta.k12.ga.us; Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, Board of Education at chkinnane@atlanta.k12.ga.us; and David White, East Regional K-12 Executive Director at dwhite@atlanta.k12.ga.us.

Davis Seeks Input on Inman Middle School Overcrowding

APS is seeking public input on Inman overcrowding through the end of April 2013. Superintendent Erroll Davis advised the Grady Cluster community that trailers will remain at Inman to provide additional classroom capacity needed for the 2013-2014 school year. APS has asked for public input on the Inman overcrowding situation. Comments and suggestions should be emailed before the end of April to InmanComments@atlanta.k12.ga.us. For additional information on the Inman capacity issue see http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/21525472/aps-seeks-public-input-to-fix-overcrowding-at-inman-middle-school.

Inman Principal’s Coffee on Safety and Transportation

April 2, 2013; 6:00 PM; Inman Media Center

Please join Ms. Herrema for the next Principal’s Coffee. This month’s session will be held Tuesday April 2 from 6-7 PM to accommodate those that cannot attend the morning sessions. Topics to be discussed include safety and transportation. Elementary school parents from the cluster are welcome to attend.

Changes Across the Cluster: School Start Times

APS announced it is considering changing the start times for schools. APS said its goal for the new start times is to improve student safety, on time arrival, and avoid the purchase of 50 new buses. The proposed changes are:

Current Proposed New
Springdale Park Start time 8:00 am, Dismissal at 3:00 pm (this includes extended day) Start time 7:45 am (with bus drop off from 7:00 – 7:15 am), Dismissal 2:15 pm
Inman Start time 8:45 am, Dismissal at 3:45 pm Start time 9:05 am (with bus drop off from 8:35 – 8:50 am), Dismissal 4:05 pm
Grady Start time 8:15 am, Dismissal at 3:15 pm Start time 8:30 am (with bus drop off from 8:00 – 8:15 am), Dismissal 3:30 pm

The Springdale Park PTO and Local School Council (LSC) wrote a joint letter to APS in opposition of the new start times for SPARK. The PTO and LSC are concerned that children would begin to be picked up around 6:50 am, at which time it is still dark outside for most of the school year. The organizations are also concerned this earlier start time (and bus pick up time) will cause more parents to drive their children to school, which will create additional traffic problems on Briarcliff.

The Inman and Grady PTAs and LSCs have not taken a position on the earlier start times for their respective schools.

If you have concerns or questions about the earlier start time, please email John Lyles at jlyles@atlantapublicschools.us.

Springdale Park Registration for 2013-14

Registration for the 2013-14 school year will be held April 1 – April 4 from 5:00 – 7:00  pm in the school cafeteria. APS allocates resources to schools based on enrollment so it is imperative that the school has accurate counts of who will be attending.

Suggested evenings to register are:

If your last name begins with A – H: April 1; I – P: April 2; Q – Z: April 3; any/all last names: April 4.

Again, these are suggested times only so please come when your schedule allows. Additionally, a notary will be available all evenings for a $2 fee per stamp.

Please park at 803 Briarcliff Road or 1246 Ponce de Leon Avenue or legal street parking – do not park next door at the Druid Hills United Methodist Church.

If you have any questions, contact Mary Stouffer at mrs30306@bellsouth.net.

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