Grady Cluster Meeting with School Board Members TONIGHT (Tue 12/13)

Dec 13 2011

Tonight, TUESDAY 12/13, CINS will host a forum on the demographic study at Grady High School with board members Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, Reuben McDaniel (vice chair) and Emmett Johnson from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This meeting is for parents of students in the Grady High School cluster.

And a reminder: If you want to give APS an idea of what you want in your community schools, do it soon. Deadline is THIS FRIDAY, 12/16. Find the survey HERE under Feedback / Comments Link.  You can find Candler Park's position statement with recommended options and justifications here.

Goat Headed Chicken Lighting at Mulberry Fields on December 23

Dec 13 2011

Editor's note: We went to this last year and it was truly awesome! Don't miss it this year. It's a one-of-a-kind experience that can only be had in Candler Park!

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From Jesse Bathrick:

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Fire Sculpture aka Goat Headed Chicken aka Chik-A -Billy will light the night on December 23rd at Mulberry Fields Community Garden.  We will fire it up early,right after dark so children and families can enjoy the spectacle. The big children will stay up late. A couple of bonfires will gather the revelers and keep us warm.

So bring something to share...snack, beverage, lanterns, hula hoops....????

Come down the old city alley next to 1303 Iverson Street to the garden...flashlights may be useful.

Hope to see you out there!

Mary Lin Local School Council Position Statement

Dec 12 2011

Provided by Jeff Shaw, Chair of the Mary Lin Local School Council:

Mary Lin Elementary Local School Council
December 2011 APS Capacity Student and Facilities Plan
Summary of Proposed Options and Recommendations

Atlanta Public Schools (APS) recently published the results of their 2011 Capacity Study and Facilities Plan.  There were four proposed options presented, and all individuals within the APS communities have been asked to provide feedback on the options by Friday, December 16th.  We, the members of the Mary Lin Elementary School Local School Council (Lin LSC), have prepared a summary of these options, how they relate to the current Lin community, and where feasible, the options that we would recommend.

The Lin LSC is our school’s official voice to the Atlanta Public Schools administration under Georgia law.  The Lin LSC has been working on and monitoring this potential redistricting issue for many months, and last month, the Lin LSC sent a communication to APS Superintendent Erroll Davis, outlining the three fundamental points or goals that we think are essential to the Lin community:

1.     Keeping the current boundaries for Lin intact, so that the Candler Park, Inman Park, and Lake Claire communities remain together;

2.     Expanding and renovating Mary Lin; and

3.     Keeping Mary Lin at Inman Middle School and Grady High School.

The letter, which includes additional detail and our rationale for each of the above three requirements, is posted on the Lin website, in the Our School/Local School Council section [http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us/domain/1544].

We strongly encourage all Mary Lin parents to complete the 2011 Capacity Study and Facilities Plan survey and return it to Bleakly Advisory Group by December 16th.  Paper surveys were sent home with all students last week and are available in the school office.  These can be returned to Mary Lin by Friday morning and we will submit these to Bleakly Friday afternoon.  Alternatively or in addition, the survey is available on-line at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2SPYCCK .  Presentations outlining the options, and the various maps pertaining to the options, as well as a link to the survey, are available at http://www.atlantapublicschools.us/Page/413 , or visit the Atlanta Public Schools website, and click on “Demographic Study”.

When completing the survey, it is important that you provide comments as to why the scenarios are were ranked in a particular order.  It is our understanding that it is unlikely that any of the scenarios will be implemented as described; instead, the focus by APS and its demographers is on understanding why some options are preferred or discouraged.  We recognize the diversity of the Lin community and the different opinions of all of our parents; therefore, we are not instructing you on how to complete the survey, rather, we are providing information on the options, and outlining our recommendations where feasible, which are in line with the above three goals.  In addition, we have provided potential comments you may wish to add, but encourage you to provide your own.

Feedback is requested for each school level (elementary, middle and high); therefore, we have provided descriptions and recommendations in the same manner.  It is important to note that survey respondents may pick different options at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and do not have to stay with the same option at each school level.

Elementary School

Option 1

·       Lin addition.  Options 1, 2, and 3 include a 176 seat addition at Lin to add to its current capacity of 528, bringing the total capacity tom 704.  Current enrollment is 590.

·       Inman Park neighborhood, or at least part of it, re-zoned out of Lin, Inman, and Grady.

·       Rest of current Lin population remains in Inman and Grady.

Option 2

·       Lin addition, see comments under option 1 above.

·       Existing Lin communities paired with Hope-Hill to create two K-2/3-5 academies, with a K-2 school likely at Lin, and a 3-5 school likely at Hope-Hill.

·       Lin remains in Inman and Grady.

Option 3

·       Lin addition, see comments under option 1 above.

·       No change to existing Lin communities, with Inman Park, Candler Park, and Lake Claire staying at Lin.

·       Lin remains in Inman and Grady.

Option 4

·       No Lin addition.

·       Existing Lin communities paired with Toomer to create two K-2/3-5 academies, with a K-2 school likely at Lin, and a 3-5 school likely at Toomer.

·       Lin remains in Inman and Grady.

LIN LSC recommendation at the elementary school level – Option 3

Rationale/Comments – Option 3 at the elementary school level is clearly the option most consistent with Lin community’s three fundamental points or goals set forth above and in the LSC’s letter to Erroll Davis.  It keeps the three Lin neighborhoods, Inman Park, Candler Park, and Lake Claire, together at Lin, and gives us the addition/renovation at Lin.  By recommending option 3 at the elementary school level, the Lin LSC in no way endorses or supports the parts of option 3 that apply to other schools, and does not support a K-2/3-5 approach for any neighboring school(s).

It is also noted that Inman Park, or at least part of it, is removed from Lin, and from Inman M.S. and Grady H.S. in option 1.  The LIN LSC is therefore strongly opposed to option 1 at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

With regard to the future at Lin, the Lin LSC has noted that APS demographers now project Lin to possibly reach a maximum enrollment of 780 students within the next 10 years.  (Previous projections had Lin reaching only 600 students.)  As noted above, the proposed Lin addition would bring Lin’s capacity to 704 students.  Because of this, the Lin LSC recommends the following comment(s) be made on the surveys:

LIN LSC recommended elementary school comment 1:  Because it is projected that Lin’s enrollment may reach 780 students in the next ten years, the proposed Lin addition should be for 250 students, instead of 176 students.      

And/or:

LIN LSC recommended elementary school comment 2:  Because it is projected that Lin’s enrollment may reach 780 students in the next ten years, APS should consider a new 5-6 school in Lin/Inman/Grady area.  (See further discussion of a new 5-6 school below.)

Middle School

Option 1

·       Inman Park, or at least part of it, no longer goes to Inman M.S.  Inman M.S. population is also significantly reduced by redistricting some of existing Inman population (Inman Park and Hope-Hill) to Coan, to Kennedy M.S. (Centennial) and to a new Midtown M.S. (Morningside).

Option 2

·       Inman population reduced by redistricting some of existing Inman population to new Midtown M.S. (Morningside) and Kennedy M.S. (Centennial); adds all of Hope-Hill.  Lin in its entirety remains at Inman M.S.

Option 3

·       Inman population reduced by redistricting some of existing Inman population to new Midtown M.S. (Morningside, some SPARK) and Kennedy M.S. (Centennial); adds all of Hope-Hill.  Lin in its entirety remains at Inman M.S.

Option 4

·       Inman population reduced by redistricting some of existing Inman population (Morningside) to new Midtown M.S. and Kennedy M.S. (Centennial); adds Hope-Hill and Kirkwood neighborhoods.  Lin in its entirety remains at Inman M.S.

LIN LSC recommendation at the middle school level – Options 2 or 3, but with reservations

Rationale/Comments – Either option 2 or 3 is consistent with Lin community’s three fundamental points or goals.  However, the Lin LSC notes that Morningside elementary (MES), and parts of Centennial elementary, are removed from Inman M.S. in all four options, and therefore none of the four options at the middle school level are fully endorsed by the Lin LSC.  The Lin LSC would much prefer options that would keep Morningside, and Centennial if possible, at Inman M.S., or staying within the Grady cluster.  We believe this could be accomplished by either allowing Inman to reach its true full capacity of 900 to 1,000 students (see discussion of this at p. 4 of the LIN LSC letter to Erroll Davis), or by building or renovating a facility to be used as either a new 5-6, a 6, or an 8, school within the Lin/Inman/Grady area.  The Lin LSC therefore recommends the following comment:

LIN LSC recommended middle school comment:  I strongly support keeping Morningside and Centennial at Inman M.S., AS LONG AS LIN ALSO STAYS AT INMAN M.S., by either (a) allowing Inman M.S. to be used at a full capacity of 900 to 1,000 students, or (b) by creating a new 5-6, 6, or 8 school in the Lin/Inman/Grady area to serve the current Inman zone.

High School

Option 1

·       Inman Park, or at least part of it, no longer goes to Grady H.S.  The rest of Lin, all of Spark, most of Morningside, and Centennial stay at Grady.  East Lake, Toomer, and Hope-Hill are removed from Grady.

 Option 2

All of Lin, Spark, and Hope-Hill, and most of Morningside, stay at Grady.  East Lake, Toomer, and Centennial are removed from Grady.

Option 3

All of Lin, Hope-Hill, and Centennial, and most of Spark, stay at Grady.  Morningside, East Lake, and Toomer are removed from Grady.

Option 4

·       All of Lin and Spark, and most of Hope-Hill, and part of Toomer, stay at Grady.  Morningside and Centennial are removed from Grady.

LIN LSC recommendation at the high school level – Option 2

Rationale/Comments – Options 2, 3, and 4 are potentially consistent with Lin’s three fundamental goals, but option 2 keeps the greatest part of the current Grady cluster intact, and makes the most sense geographically, and is supported by the Lin LSC.  The Lin LSC would note in addition, however, that the first phase of APS’ demographic study indicated that there are 432 out of zone students at Grady, and we doubt that situation has changed significantly at present.  We believe that it is possible that no one would need to be redistricted out of Grady if the significant out of zone student population is brought under control at Grady.  We therefore strongly recommend the following comment:

LIN LSC recommended high school comment:  APS’ demographic study indicates that there are 432 out of zone students at Grady H.S., and this situation needs to be addressed and brought under control.  No one should be redistricted out of Grady H.S. until the number of out of zone students is significantly reduced.

These are the Lin LSC’s recommendations regarding responses to the current APS 2011 Capacity Study and Facilities Plan survey.  These recommendations have been put together after having received the feedback from the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization, the Inman Park Neighborhood Association, the Lake Claire Neighbors, and 30307 schools, and we believe reflect the current views of a majority of the Lin community.  Responding to the survey with some consensus may strengthen our voice to APS, and it is with that in mind that we make these recommendations.  However, we understand that some views may differ somewhat from these recommendations.  Please respond to the survey to ensure that your, and Lin’s, voice is heard in this complex process.

Thank you, and please contact the Lin LSC with any questions or comments.  This process may continue on for additional months, and we appreciate your patience, cooperation, and input now and in the future.

Mary Lin Elementary Local School Council:

Jeff Shaw, Chairman
Dr. Brian Mitchell                              
John Siebenaler
Andrew Coffman                                 
Michelle Hughes
Jennifer Hubert                                                    
Joan Beaulieu
Will Shevlin                                            
Anne Steib
Kristen Howard                                                     
Frank Smith
Lori Patton                           
Peter Lefkowicz
Carla Homer                         
Shannon Kettering

SweetWater 420 Fest, April 20-22, 2012

Dec 12 2011

Editor's note: Jen Bensch, the author of this article and the event organizer, will be at the CPNO meeting on December 19. Please review this information and come prepared with any questions you may have. We will also take a vote at this meeting as to whether CPNO supports this event. That vote will be taken into consideration at the Neighborhood Planning Unit meeting, which passes on its recommendation to the city (who ultimately issues event permits). We look forward to seeing everyone at the December 19 meeting to discuss this event.

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SweetWater 420 Fest, April 20-22, 2012
By Jennifer Bensch, SweetWater 420 Fest Event Promoter

SweetWater 420 Fest is coming back to Candler Park! The festival has been a big success in the past and has grown in size each year. This year, SweetWater is proposing some changes that will reflect this growth. The goal is to enhance the patron and community experience and to maintain safety for all.

HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

1.)    The festival is planning to open its doors on Friday evening, 4:20pm-11pm; Saturday, 12:00pm- 10:00pm and Sunday 12:30pm-7:00pm.

2.) On the permit application, we are asking to begin set up on Monday, April 16. This is the same as last year’s request. This is only to gain access to the park to begin the staging of equipment and trucks. The major setup will begin on Wednesday and be finalized on Thursday. We hope to have everything removed from the park by Monday evening, April 23, 2012. The permit asks to be able to stay until Tuesday, just in case there are a few pieces of equipment that have yet to be removed.

3.)    There will again be a stage on the outskirts of the soccer field in the corner nearest the 2 tee box of The Candler Park Golf Course. We will be using a rola-truck to load in and load all equipment on the field. The rola-truck has special holes in it to allow aeration. This will preserve the grass and field. This was also used last year and we hope to perfect its use.

4.)    During the actual festival event days, the sidewalk entrance near the number 2 tee box will again only be utilized by festival staff. There are small motorized carts transporting festival equipment and goods on this pathway. Closing this to the public will ensure the safety of patrons and area residents.

5.)    We will be changing the main entrance gate to utilize the field on the corner of McLendon and Candler Park Drive. We will set up a large tent and utilize bike rack to funnel patrons into the event. This will serve to keep the festival safer, as it will keep patrons from lining up into the street when there are large numbers gathered from the MARTA train drop off. It will also keep the main thoroughfare open and free of tents, racking, and large numbers of people in case of emergency.

6.)    Please note that there will be festival sound checks prior to the event hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for a short time period. There will also be a sound check at the completion of stage set up on Thursday. These serve to test and ensure our amplification systems are running properly and allow us to troubleshoot any issues prior to the event starting.

7.)    Callan Circle will again be closed to through traffic. We will be issuing some sort of parking pass to each resident on Callan Circle. You will receive 2 passes per household. These will be delivered 2 weeks prior to the event. You will only get 2 passes for the weekend, so please don’t give them out. If you have special requests, please contact Kristen Sheehan at kristensheehan@gmail.com.

8.)    We will also be issuing 2 parking passes and taking the license plate numbers of those residents within a 2 block radius of the park who do not have off street parking. The passes and license plate numbers will be noted by police, and these vehicles will not be towed for parking in the no parking zones. Please also contact kristensheehan@gmail.com.

SweetWater 420 Fest has grown over the years and has always been passionate about being a great partner to the neighborhood. Here are some highlights of positive neighborhood benefits:

1.)    We have again agreed to sponsor the neighborhood CPNO race, The SweetWater420 Fest Annual 5k. In 2011, the CPNO sold out again for a total of 2000 runners. The funds from this event allow the CPNO to complete many projects in the neighborhood. This race alone accounted for 38% of income in 2011, 31% of income in 2010, and almost 50% of income in 2009.

2.)    We partner with Mary Lin Elementary by allowing them to operate the Kids Area bounce houses. Mary Lin Elementary keeps 100% of the proceeds.

3.)    We partner with Epworth Church to allow the sale of hotdogs for no vendor fee and 100% of proceeds back to the church. They also utilize their lot to sell parking to our event patrons.

4.)    We put in the Nature Path in 2011 with Eco-Addendum and Friends of Candler Park from 2010 event proceeds donated to Park Pride. We are looking to continue to beautify this path with the $4,000 donated to Park Pride for Candler Park from the 2011 event proceeds.

5.)    We met with the city regarding the field at the end of the 2011 event and developed a plan to restore the field to better conditions than it was before as a collective. This plan included creating proper drainage and getting the irrigation system up and running again, prior to sinking money into new sod and fertilization. This left the field off limits for a few months as the new grass took root in its new home. Hopefully, anyone can see that the beautiful, new grass field was worth the short wait.

6.)    We employ the fine gentlemen at the Clifton Men’s Shelter at our event and donate leftover food and drink to the shelter.
We are excited to come back for another festival and continue to call Candler Park our home. If there are any questions or concerns, you may feel free to discuss them with us at the membership meeting on Dec 19th, 2011. After discussion there will be a vote to pass along to the NPU and the city.

Pottery Classes for Kids

Dec 12 2011

For those who may have aspiring potters, Polly the Potter is offering a session of kids' pottery classes.  If you don't know Polly, her pottery is on the tables at the Flying Biscuit, and she's a regular at Candler Park Fall Fest and the Inman Park Festival.
 
Ages 10 & up
Mondays 4-5:30
1/9 to 3/12 (no class on 1/16 & 2/20)
OR
Wednesdays
4-5:30
1/11 to 2/29.
 
Ages 6-12 (she may take your 5-year-old if you ask)
Tuesdays
4-5:30
1/10 to 2/28
OR
Saturdays
10-11:30
1/14 to 3/3
 
Cost is $185
 
Classes are at Polly's home/studio at 840 DeKalb Avenue.
 
You can register by calling Polly at 404-524-2016.

APS Redistricting: Inman Park Plans Response

Dec 8 2011

eastatlanta.patch.com

 
IPNA members and friends meet to plan their strategy for answering Atlanta Public Schools' demographic survey. Read the full article here.

CINS Community Town Hall for the Grady Cluster of Schools

Dec 8 2011

From Mary Shaltis

CINS’ Community Town Hall with ABOE Members Representing the Grady Cluster
December 13, 2011 (Tuesday) @ 7 pm

Grady High School Auditorium, 929 Charles Allen Drive, Atlanta, GA 30309, (404) 802-3001

All Community Members Comprising the Grady High Cluster of Schools are invited and encouraged to attend.
 
CINS supports and encourages full community involvement, engagement and input on every issue affecting the schools which feed into the Grady High School cluster (Grady Cluster). CINS also recognizes the need for the public to share directly with their elected board representatives their comments and concerns regarding issues impacting their children and/or neighborhood schools including redistricting.
 
In response to community requests, CINS is hosting a Community Town Hall with ABOE Members Representing the Grady Cluster. Our special thanks to District 3 ABOE Representative Ms. Cecily Harsch-Kinnane for helping us coordinate this meeting and to Dr. Vincent Murray & Grady High School for providing meeting space for the community.
 
Access to the SRT3 Demographic-Capacity Study presentation, maps, preliminary options and survey (deadline December 16th) are available at www.atlanta.k12.ga.us. Additional feedback and comments can be sent to APSdemographicstudy@atlantapublicschools.us.
 
The Council of Intown Neighborhoods and Schools (CINS) is a not-for-profit organization that has worked for over 33 years to empower public schools in the Grady Cluster while enhancing neighborhoods in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia. CINS’ mission is to work with Atlanta Public Schools to foster the development of safe, quality education in the Grady cluster of schools. For more information on CINS and its mission, please visit www.cinsatlanta.org or to become a member or add your name to the CINS’ eblast list, click on: http://tinyurl.com/4xkvfqt.

Candler Park Position Statement Re: School Redistricting

Dec 7 2011

UPDATE: The survey was previously down while they made a couple of corrections, but it's back up now. Have at it.

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Last night, CPNO held a special meeting to gain consensus around school redistricting options. The position statement below summarizes the recommendations that emerged from that meeting.

This purpose of this statement is three-fold: 1) To make Candler Park's preferences known to APS stakeholders and demographers and 2) To identify areas of mutual interest with other intown neighborhoods and 3) To help residents make informed choices prior to filling out the APS survey.

ALL RESIDENTS SHOULD FILL OUT THE APS SURVEY WHICH CAN BE FOUND HERE. (Click the link that says "Feedback Form / Comments Link.") Please see below for CPNO's recommended options in blue, along with the justifications for each. You must vote by December 16.

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CPNO Position Statement Re: Schools & Redistricting

On December 6, 2011, the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization (CPNO) held a special meeting to discuss school overcrowding and redistricting. The goals were to build consensus around neighborhood preferences, discuss options presented by Bleakley demographers, explore options that may not yet have been considered, and to come up with a set of recommendations. The meeting was attended by Candler Park residents, as well as neighbors from adjoining neighborhoods and members of the Mary Lin Local School Council.

The Candler Park neighborhood is what it is today in large part because of its strong schools. Mary Lin Elementary has a widely recognized record of academic success, a high degree of parental involvement, excellent walkability, and is supported by hundreds of families in the community. It is the anchor of our community.

It is crucial to the future of Candler Park that we maintain and nurture the success of Mary Lin, and that our students stay within our other strong community schools – Inman Middle and Grady High.

After careful consideration, CPNO voted on and approved the following:

  • Strongly support keeping the three neighborhoods of Candler Park, Lake Claire and Inman Park together at Mary Lin Elementary. These “sister neighborhoods” are close geographically, historically and culturally, and are stronger together than the sum of their parts. Mary Lin is a true neighborhood school, and we oppose any plan that would split neighborhoods or this larger community.
     
  • Strongly support keeping Mary Lin as a K-5 school. This is essential to continuing Mary Lin’s record of academic success, keeping students in their community and close to their homes, allowing walkability, insuring transportation safety, and providing a consistent and nurturing elementary experience for our kids.
     
  • Strongly oppose any option that turns Mary Lin into a K-2 / 3-5 “grade center concept.” We believe that our elementary age kids should remain in the community, and have a consistent school experience in these early years.
     
  • For the above reasons, Candler Park favors option 3 at the elementary level
     
  • Strongly support keeping Mary Lin in the Inman - Grady cluster. All four options on the table maintain the current feeder system; it is critical to Candler Park that this continues to be the case in any considered scenario.
     
  • Strongly support a plan that allows Morningside neighborhood to remain at Grady High School. Our neighbors to the north contribute significantly to Grady’s strength, and current plans have them traveling great distances to a different high school. It is in their best interest and ours to keep them at Grady.
     
  • For the above reasons, Candler Park favors option 3 at the middle school level and option 2 at the high school level.

CPNO also recognizes that this redistricting process may necessarily require trade-offs and compromises by all neighborhoods. With that in mind, we propose the following areas where further exploration may be warranted:

1)   Consider higher utilization – In order to maintain the current K-5 Mary Lin configuration, and to stay in the Inman – Grady cluster, Candler Park would be open to having more students per school and / or classroom (demographers have suggested aiming for a 80 – 90% utilization).

2)   Consider a 5/6 or 6 academy - While we strongly prefer a K-5 elementary school, we would be at least open to the idea of a 5/6 or 6 academy, potentially joining forces with SPARK and Hope-Hill. This could potentially relieve overcrowding at the elementary and / or middle school levels. We strongly oppose sending our younger children to school in a different part of town; however, kids at the fifth or sixth grade levels may be better able to make this transition successfully.

In summary, we ask for the support of the school board, the superintendent, and the demographers to keep Candler Park the strong community that it is today. To achieve that, it is necessary to keep Candler Park, Lake Claire and Inman Park together at Mary Lin in a K-5 configuration, and to allow those students to continue on to Inman and Grady.

We appreciate that the decisions involved in working to improve our school system are complex and difficult, and we thank you for the effort you have put into this process.

The APS Redistricting Debate: Kids Or No Kids, It's Everyone's Issue

Dec 6 2011

This article appeared on Patch.com here, and was written by Candler Park resident Lexa King.

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Everyone remembers the old adage “The three most important things affecting real estate are: location, location, location.” But what about a location makes it valuable? My 10+ years of selling in-town Atlanta property tells me the answer is subjective. It is critical to educate those moving into the area about neighborhood characteristics and personalities. A match to a neighborhood, partnered with a structure they love, will ultimately determine a client’s satisfaction and the delivery of value.

One question I am usually asked when people begin their home search is: “How are the schools?” Again, the answer is subjective. Is there a special needs or gifted child? Is an inclusive curriculum important? The questions and various needs are endless. When my family left South Fulton in 1984, it was in reaction to learning that the middle school my older daughter was to attend had no program. They told me they didn’t want the kids who didn’t qualify for the program to feel bad. We moved.

What about Candler Park spoke to me and continues to appeal to house hunters? It was filled with artists and activists. It was convenient to many of the activities we enjoyed. The home styles were alluring. These are some of the considerations along with schools that contribute to in-town purchasing. Schools are not the only or even the primary issue for many ìn-town purchasers.

Candler Park has evolved and over the years home values have appreciated. Even with the challenges of the market since 2007, average home sale prices in Candler Park have fluctuated less than 10 percent compared with a 35 percent decline in Metro Atlanta. The annual number of units sold has persistently hovered around 45. The biggest change has been the average days on market, which has approximately doubled to the present average of 87 days.

What causes this market consistency? Many years ago, there was a plan that would have fractured neighborhoods by running an elevated, divided highway right through them. People from Inman Park, Candler Park, Druid Hills and other areas banded together. They chained themselves to trees, prostrated themselves in front of bulldozers and got arrested. They took a stand. They fought City Hall. And won. Instead of a highway, we have Freedom Park. In-town residents also have been responsible for continually working with the school system and vastly improving the performance of many of the in-town schools. Residents from Morningside to Kirkwood have been effective initiators of change. All of these actions have impacted and protected property values.

Now we have new challenges. Redistricting, compounded by a nationally publicized cheating scandal. In the short run, we may see some reactionary movement. However, over the long haul, the question is how do we assure every child has access to a high-quality education while protecting the values of all our properties? The answer remains involvement. Elected and appointed officials must be held accountable. Attend meetings, voice concerns. Vote or even run for office. Volunteer in your neighborhood. Whether you have school-aged children or not, this is your issue. Make noise and back it up with action.

Ms. King, a Candler Park resident, is an Atlanta real estate consultant with Keller Williams Realty and owner of From Condos To Castles.

About this column: Residents of East Atlanta Patch and those who impact our community voice their opinions on issues of the day.

Rundown of Upcoming Meetings Re: School Redistricting

Dec 5 2011

Tuesday 12/6 at 8:15 am
30307 Schools
Epworth Church, 1561 McLendon Avenue

Come learn about the current proposals. This group has been working for almost a month to learn about and advocate on issues related to the demography study from the perspective of all communities in the Mary Lin-Inman-Grady cluster.

Tuesday 12/6 at 7:00 pm
Candler Park Neighborhood Organization
Epworth Church, 1561 McLendon Avenue

This meeting is open to all Mary Lin community members, but only CPNO members can vote.

Wednesday 12/7 at 7:30 pm
Inman Park Neighborhood Association
Inman Park Methodist Church, 1015 Edgewood Avenue

The meeting is open to all Mary Lin Community members, but only IPNA members may vote.

Saturday 12/10 at 9:30 am
Lake Claire Neighbors

Frazer Center Auditorium
All are welcome to attend.