Atlanta Public Schools (APS) held public hearings on the future of the small-schools model at its high schools and the creation of 6-12 academies at each of its single-gender schools to improve quality and efficiency.
The community was offered two opportunities to comment during community meetings March 10-12 and March 16-19 for each of the impacted schools.
APS invited stakeholder input on the closure and consolidation of B.E.S.T. Academy at Benjamin S. Carson and Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, where the respective middle and high schools would be consolidated into 6-12th grade academies at each of the single-gender schools. The public hearings solicited public comment on the closure and consolidation of the small schools in three other APS high schools. Students in those schools will remain on their respective campuses and be assigned to Carver or Carver Early College, South Atlanta or D.M. Therrell comprehensive high schools.
These sessions were a forum for parents, students, employees and the broader community to discuss the future direction of these high schools.
In 2014, APS began the work of consolidating Booker T. Washington and D.M. Therrell high schools. Carver and South Atlanta high schools are the only remaining campuses with small schools. These changes will help APS to build stronger schools to ensure there are consistent, high-quality academics and focused programming across the district. Students will benefit from a rigorous curriculum with expanded course options, aligned course offerings and enrichment programs.
The transition will strengthen the sense of community through establishing an aligned parent teacher association and local school council structure to support the schools. Restructuring the small school model will provide for aligned staffing, academic resources, and teacher professional development to ensure that all student needs are met.
The Atlanta Board of Education expects to vote on the proposed consolidation plan April 13, 2015.