District adjusts proposed rezoning boundaries for Grady’s northern attendance zone


Courtesy of Atlanta Public Schools

Overcrowding Challenges: As more people move into the Grady cluster, schools are suffering from overcrowding so several plans are being set into motion that would send students from the Grady cluster to the North Atlanta cluster.

Relieving overcrowding and planning for growth in the Grady cluster are top priorities for Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen.

A rezoning proposal for an apartment complex under construction at 1989 Cheshire Bridge Road and the Armour Drive corridor on the northern boundaries of Grady’s attendance zone was unanimously approved by the school board Dec. 4.

Original plans, first introduced at a community meeting at Morningside Elementary School a week ago proposed rezoning Armour Drive and the Cheshire Bridge Road area to shift 100 students from Grady’s feeder pattern toNorth Atlanta High School feeder pattern.

“Hardly do I ever leave a community meeting being able to keep it exactly the same,” Dr. Carstarphen said of adjustments to the district’s rezoning plan. “So, we did make revisions to those initial proposals, and while it’s not exactly what everyone wanted, it is a first step to start these conversations and take these critical steps that need to happen sooner rather than later.”

Parents attending the Nov. 28 meeting at Morningside complained the district didn’t give enough notification of its plans to shift some students from Morningside, Inman Middle School and Grady. The district sent letters to parents of affected students on Nov. 15, just before Thanksgiving break.

“We know we need to do more around communication and more around through partnership,” Dr. Carstaphen said. “I am looking forward to talking more to the community about those ideas.”

The board considered three modified rezoning plans: the rezoning of 1989 Cheshire Bridge Road from the Grady cluster to the North Atlanta cluster, an annex site for Morningside Elementary and the rezoning of Armour Drive Corridor to the North Atlanta cluster.

The families in the Armour Drive area would be rezoned from Morningside, Inman and Grady to E. Rivers Elementary School, Sutton Middle School and North Atlanta High School. Students in the Cheshire Bridge area would be rezoned to Garden Hills Elementary, Sutton and North Atlanta. 1989 Cheshire Bridge is yet to be occupied.

Students enrolled in Grady cluster schools as of Dec. 4 will be able to remain in the cluster until they graduate from their current school. New enrollees after Dec. 4, including younger siblings, must attend the schools feeding into North Atlanta.

The Board approved the recommendation for the the rezoning of 1989 Cheshire Bridge Road and the Armour Drive Corridor, concluding phase one of the proposed rezoning.

Phase two will take place between Dec. 2017 and Mar. 2018 Board meetings. This will entail actively looking for an annex site for the kindergarten class at Morningside Elementary. During the Dec. 4 meeting, the board authorized the plan for an annex site, but if no annex site is successfully identified, further steps will be taken in Spring of 2018.

Phase three will begin in early 2018. This phase involves conversations about rezoning in the Grady cluster and a long term plan for alleviating overcrowding. The board hopes for this plan to be finalized by March 2020.

For related Southerner coverage, please see: