Students at Mays High School protest principal changes (Feb. 2014)
ATLANTA -- In an effort to "move in a different direction," Atlanta Public Schools leaders are making principal changes across several schools.
11Alive's Duffie Dixon has confirmed 11 to 13 principals at schools will be removed.
Those changes include:
- The principal at Mays High School
- The principal at Grady High School
- The principal of South Atlanta Computer Animation and Design
- All principals at Washington High School
- The principal at Carver High School's School of Technology
- The principal at Miles Elementary
By state law, any tenured principal must be given another principal contract. APS has only five tenured principals.
The non-tenured principals are being told their contracts are not being renewed, and if they are interested in a teaching contract they should contact the district.
These changes come as APS Superintendent Erroll Davis is considered a lame duck. He is expected to leave office as soon as the school board hires a new superintendent.
On Tuesday, hundreds of students at Mays High School staged an impromptu walkout in protest of the changes.
In a just released written statement, Atlanta Public Schools responded to our requests for information though they would not identify which principals are affected or how many.
Here is the statement in its entirety:
Atlanta Public Schools (APS) is appreciative of the leadership demonstrated by all of our principals, particularly those who have served the district for many years. Like all school districts, APS conducts an annual assessment of where we are as a system, as well as a review of any revisions to state law. Necessary changes are made to ensure the district remains in compliance and that all of our students are prepared for the next level and long-term success. This process includes an intense and methodical performance review of all of our schools and their leadership teams.
The decision to seek new school leadership is never an easy one. Recently, some of our school leaders were informed that they would not serve in the role of principal next school year. Our personnel changes have been contemplated over long periods of time - some a year or more, and we believe these decisions are in the best interest of all of the schools that will be impacted. Notifying principals of changes prior to the end of the school year provides time for them to make career decisions. Early notification also allows the district to attract and recruit highly-qualified applicants during the peak hiring season, which gives the district, students and parents the opportunity to provide valuable input as we select stellar new principal leaders.
The district's renewed mission to ensure an equitable and high-quality education for all of our students is a priority that supersedes any individual personnel change. Stakeholders should know the decision to make changes at the respective schools was thoroughly vetted by the superintendent and the curriculum and instruction leadership team prior to implementation.
Finally, know that we are making these changes in the best interest of our students, with a focus on what is best for the campuses that will be impacted by these decisions. The support and confidence of the community is appreciated during this process, and we look forward to our collective efforts advancing student achievement for all of our students.
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