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APS will explore other options to address overcrowding -- tables rezoning efforts

Officials will develop and implement non-rezoning scenarios after community response.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Public Schools will not consider rezoning as part of its approach to resolve overcrowding at three of its schools, at least for now.

A spokesperson with the district announced Wednesday that officials will develop and implement non-rezoning scenarios to address overcrowding at Jackson High School, Midtown High School and Woodson Park Academy.

APS projects the schools to surpass student capacity in the next two years. While exploring solutions with the community, the district outlined proposed plans to adjust the school zones to disperse students to other nearby campuses.  

Parents vehemently urged the district to pursue other solutions during a community meeting earlier this month. Some expressed that rezoning hasn't solved the issue in the past.

Last Friday, students staged a walkout at Midtown High in protest to the rezoning option, saying it would disproportionately impact Black students. 

APS also listed a "no change" option, which it will ultimately go with. It calls for:

  • An innovation review
  • A review for the potential to add to existing capacity
  • Reviewing available resources to add support
  • Completing a residency review of current students

"We heard one major theme across all clusters: Our communities do not want us to rezone, especially if we have not exhausted all other options," the district said in a news release.

What's next

District officials said APS will also update how it measures and responds to capacity concerns as part of its Annual Facilities Review.

"This will ensure strategies that do not require rezoning are explored and implemented prior to any future recommended rezoning," a news release read.

The three schools will now follow APS' innovation review timeline which is outlined below:

  • May: Form design teams at each school
  • June: Host kick-off experience
  • August-September: Develop potential solutions 
  • October: Share potential solutions

In its update, APS said it is already conducting its residency review to confirm students are within parameters. It's expected to wrap up by the end of June. Details on this process can be found hereA similar process will be done for the two other schools.

"Over the remainder of this semester, APS Facilities will review the possibility of using existing space or adding space to increase capacity at each school," officials with the district said. APS will also work with school principals to review resources available to lessen the impact of overcrowding.

APS will announce more dates for community members to sound off on its strategies soon, the district said.

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