City Council & School Board Meeting on Redistricting Tomorrow (Mon Feb 13)

Feb 12 2012

Reminder about this important school redistricting meeting which is tomorrow, Monday Feb 13. Please attend if you can!



On Monday February 13, 2012, Members of the Atlanta Board of Education and Members of the Atlanta City Council will convene a meeting.*

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the APS Demographics study.

The meeting will be held in the Center for Learning and Leadership Auditorium Rooms 1 & 2 at 4:00 pm.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 4:00pm
130 Trinity Avenue, SW, in the Center for Learning and Leadership Auditorium

February Messenger

Feb 7 2012

Here it is!

School Board & City Council Meeting On Redistricting


On Monday February 13, 2012, Members of the Atlanta Board of Education and Members of the Atlanta City Council will convene a meeting.*

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the APS Demographics study.

The meeting will be held in the Center for Learning and Leadership Auditorium Rooms 1 & 2 at 4:00 pm.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 4:00pm
130 Trinity Avenue, SW, in the Center for Learning and Leadership Auditorium

Candler Park Response to Round 2 Maps

Feb 7 2012

Candler Park would like to thank the Atlanta Board of Education, Atlanta Public Schools and Bleakly demographers for their continued efforts during the rezoning process. We understand that this is a difficult issue for all of the city’s neighborhoods, and appreciate APS’ desire to achieve the best outcome for the greatest number of children.

Our community is committed to APS and has demonstrated that commitment by sending the vast majority of our children to our public schools. We ask that APS support us by keeping Mary Lin K-5, delivering the long-promised Mary Lin expansion and keeping our students in the Inman-Grady cluster.

The proposal presented in Option A best supports the needs of the Candler Park community for the following reasons:

1) Mary Lin needs its long-promised renovation and expansion.

  • This project was scheduled to occur long before this redistricting effort began.
  • Mary Lin was last renovated in 1994 – almost twenty years ago.
  • Our entire 4th and 5th grades are in trailers, we have outgrown the space and the building is in disrepair.
  • Previous plans addressed not only over-crowding, but also long-time deficiencies involving the media center, lunchroom, front office and school security.
  • Candler Park voters went to the ballot box twice to support SPLOST, both times with the assurance that Mary Lin was slated to get its renovation.
  • SPLOST III included appropriations for Mary Lin, which were moved to SPLOST IV.
  • For years we have been told the project was merely delayed, and will still take place.
  • Out of APS’ 58 active elementary schools, only seven – including Mary Lin – have never received SPLOST funding.
  • We ask that APS honor its commitment and live up to its campaign theme for the SPLOST referendum: “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” Option A keeps APS’ commitment; Option B does not.  Let’s make the Mary Lin project a “promise kept.”

2) APS should invest in success.

  • Mary Lin is one of the top-performing schools in the city and is in the top 10% of elementary schools statewide. 
  • We have made a firm commitment to APS. A full 96% of our elementary-age kids attend Mary Lin – not charter schools, private schools, or schools in other zones.
  • Candler Park parents roll up their sleeves every day to maintain the environment of excellence at our schools.
  • The K-5 model is serving our children well when it comes to instructional continuity, a nurturing environment, parental involvement and identifying special needs.
  • We believe that whenever possible, schools and communities should be kept intact; this goes for all schools and communities, not just ours.
  • Mary Lin is a cornerstone of our community and a source of community pride, and we have invested a great deal of sweat equity into it.

3) Our youngest children should stay in our neighborhood to promote community, safety and walkability. 

  • We care deeply about safe, walkable access for our youngest children because we have it today and have seen how well it works.
  • We value the opportunity to speak with our children’s teachers and find out how we can help. This is one way we have built a strong school support network.
  • For the 2010 Walk To School Day, the Georgia Transportation Commissioner came to Mary Lin to showcase it as a wonderful, walkable school.
  • Parents of multiple young children would find it difficult to shuttle between two facilities and remain as deeply engaged in both schools.
  • The CSX/MARTA/DeKalb Avenue corridor is a major barrier and high-speed commuter thoroughfare. It has a reversible “suicide lane” that causes many accidents and pedestrian hazards. It does not allow for safe, walkable access to school.
  • There are very few access points across DeKalb Avenue, which will cause significant traffic issues. This will be exacerbated by the several hundred new housing units going into Edgewood as part of the Comprehensive Development Plan, which will use the same crossing point used in the proposed split grade model.

4) Mary Lin must remain in the Inman – Grady cluster with our neighboring communities.

  • As part of the Inman and Grady communities, we have a 30-year history of working together and maintaining an environment of excellence.
  • Mary Lin has played a fundamental role in helping to build and maintain Inman and Grady’s success.
  • APS should make certain that administrative transfers are only allowed at schools with space for all in-zone students.
  • SPLOST dollars should be spent where there is current need, not just anticipated need.
  • If additional capacity is needed at Inman or Grady, APS should consider creative solutions such as an Inman annex and / or alternate grade configurations (e.g., a 6, 5/6 or 8 academy).

Thank you for your consideration and support.

Jay Sandhaus
President, Candler Park Neighborhood Organization

Candler Park Redrawn Into New City Council District

Feb 6 2012

Candler Park would be represented by Councilman Kwanza Hall under the latest map being considered by the Atlanta City Council.

Currently, the community is part of Councilman Alex Wan’s 6th District.

Read the full article here.

Mary Lin Local School Council Community Meeting



The Mary Lin Local School Council will host a Lin community meeting regarding the current APS demographic study and redistricting process on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. in the Lin auditorium. 

Topics to be covered at the meeting will include the current status of the redistricting process, including where we have been and the steps still ahead, as well as a discussion of the current options A and B recently released by the APS demographers, and the Lin LSC’s thoughts and recommendations regarding these options. 

The Lin LSC will also discuss and recommend certain comments that the Lin community might consider making on the current survey forms (which are due to APS on Feb. 24) so as to ensure a unified voice and feedback from Lin to APS.  There will also be a question and answer period at the end of the meeting. 

The Mary Lin Local School Council has been working hard on this issue for a year, and hopes this meeting will help ensure that the Lin community is informed and united as possible about the redistricting process.  Please attend if you can, and please encourage your friends and neighbors who may not have current Lin students to attend as well.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 7:00pm
Mary Lin auditorium

Candler Park Bungalow in the NY Times

Feb 4 2012

The New York Times Homes & Destinations section has a front-and-center story on a Candler Park bungalow. Check it out!

Parks, Recreation and Green Space Quarterly Meeting

Join Commissioner George Dusenbury for the quarterly Commissioner’s Council on Parks, Recreation and Green space meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 8th from 5:30-7:00 pm. The meeting will be held at the Atlanta Civic Center located at 395 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta. For further information call 404-546-6767.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 5:30pm
Atlanta Civic Center located at 395 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta

School Redistricting: What's Next

Jan 31 2012

A big thank you to everyone who came to the demographer community input meeting last night. Mary Lin was out in force and made great points during the question / comment period.

What's next?

Now we enter the feedback phase for the round 2 maps. We have until February 24 to submit our input to the demographers, school board members and APS leadership.

In last month's special meeting, Candler Park voted overwhelming to keep Mary Lin elementary K-5, and to stay in the Inman - Grady cluster. For those reasons, Candler Park supports option A. By comparison, Option B has us merging with Kirkwood's Toomer Elementary in a "split model," and not getting the long-promised expansion from Mary Lin. (Note: our support for option A pertains only to our neighborhood; we are NOT purporting to tell other neighborhoods what is best for them).

How you can help

1) FILL OUT THE SURVEY -- By February 24, go here: and let the demographers know which option you prefer and why. It is critical that you explain your answers. The demographers will tally numbers for the options, but they will also look for key themes.

2) CONTACT DECISION MAKERS -- Let the demographers, school board members and APS leadership hear from you so they will take our concerns into account.

General feedback email address:

Erroll B. Davis, Jr., Superintendent of Schools:
Steve Smith, Deputy Superintendent/Chief of Staff:
Larry Hoskins, Deputy Superintendent of Operations:
Dr. Betsy Bockman, SRT-3 Executive Director:
Dr. Brian Mitchell, Mary Lin principal:
Ken Bleakley of the Bleakley consulting group (demographers):
Councilman Alex Wan:

School board members:
Cecily Harsch-Kinnane (District 3),
Reuben McDaniel, At-Large (3&4),
Brenda Muhammad,
Nancy Meister,
LacChandra Butler Burks,
Yolanda Johnson,

Monday, February 6, 6pm
What: APS Board Community Meeting
Where: APS - The Center for Learning and Leadership Auditorium, 130 Trinity Avenue SW, Atlanta, 30303
Notes: Please arrive no later than 5 pm to sign up to speak! They will stop taking sign-ups at 5:30 and last time this filled up fast.

Thursday, February 9, 7-9pm
What: Atlanta Board of Education Listening Session with the SRT3 Community - Hosted by CINS
Where: Grady High School Auditorium, 929 Charles Allen Drive, Atlanta, 30309
Notes: The ABOE members from District 1 Ms. Brenda Muhammad, District 2 Ms. Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, Seat 7 At Large Mr. Courtney English, Seat 8 At Large & Board Chair Mr. Reuben McDaniel, and Seat 9 At Large Mr. Emmett Johnson will join the SRT3 Comunity for a listening session on redistricting in SRT3. The board members representing Districts 3, 4, 5 and 6 will also be invited to participate.

Remember: It's important to get to these meetings very early. Last night's meeting was full long before it started. Also, we'd like to sit together as much as possible.

Community Feedback Meeting on Round 2 School Maps

Jan 29 2012

Tomorrow night (Monday, January 30, 6:30 pm) is the demographic community meeting for our cluster of schools. This is our opportunity to provide feedback on the new maps (found here). Of the two options, one has Mary Lin staying K-5 and getting its long-promised expansion. The other has no expansion, and has Mary Lin merging with Toomer Elementary in Kirkwood.

We need to have a large presence at this meeting to convey to demographers and school board members how important our schools are to us. APS will be paying attention to who shows up, and we can count on other neighborhoods being out in force.

We do not yet know the format of this meeting, and whether questions will be taken during the meeting, or only in small groups at the end like last time.

What: Demographic Capacity Study Community Meeting for SRT-3 Cluster (Schools zoned to Grady and Jackson High Schools)
When: Monday, January 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm -- arrive early, last meeting was standing room only.
Where: Maynard Jackson High School, 801 Glenwood Avenue, SE, Atlanta, 30316

  • Look for Mary Lin-Inman-Grady signs so we can sit together.
  • The Mary Lin-Inman-Grady community is encouraged to wear black shirts, or a Mary Lin, Inman, or Grady shirt.
  • We will have bright yellow stickers for our community members to wear.
  • Parking will be limited, carpooling is encouraged.  If you can't park at the school, try parking along Waldo St, Cameron St, Hansell St, or Rosalia St, to the west of the HS, and in the Grant Park neighborhood.

See you there!