Patch Poll: Which Middle School Option Do You Favor?

Separate sixth grade academy, two separate middle schools both draw support

Buckhead now seems divided about the future of APS middle schools.

APS Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr.'s preliminary recommendations call for a separate sixth grade academy at the present Sutton Middle School site, and a seventh and eighth-grade school at the present North Atlanta site.

APS demographers in their proposals called for separate middle schools, one at Sutton and the other at North Atlanta. Davis at a recent community meeting said he doesn't really oppose that solution, but that he gives the edge to the sixth grade academy plan because of his concerns about bullying.

Both options have received support at recent community meetings. One of the largest groups at Davis' March 13 meeting at North Atlanta supported the two middle schools, while those who spoke in favor of the sixth grade academy drew strong applause.

Those in favor of two middle schools ask in an online petition that the school board to put off a decision for several years and conduct more research. Davis himself at the community meeting said the board could delay making an answer; the Sutton site beginning in the fall of 2013 is slated for E. Rivers students, while the North Atlanta site would be a school for all of the cluster's sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.

Here is a Buckhead Patch poll on the issue. Please let us know in Comments your feelings about Buckhead's middle schools.

Concerned Buckhead Parent March 28, 2012 at 02:06 AM
I'm not sure who is dividing the community? I think there is confusion...nobody 'wants their own middle school'. One group is simply asking that either the decision regarding our middle school option be possibly delayed until nearer to implementation time...we are currently about 3 years out from that. A lot can change in 3 years as we've seen with our national economy and other factors. Or, if not wait, then select the option of two equally diverse middle schools that could serve the cluster. Afterall, we don't have a single giant elementary school, there are 6 schools that lift one another up to make in healthy competition to make them great. A 6th grade academy with 600-700 6th graders and a 7/8th grade with 1800 students with two transitions for our kids during their critical adolescent years doesn't sound like the best option for ALL of our kids. Additionally, professional demographers that were hired to figure this out recommended 2 middle schools for our cluster. I don't believe the did this blindly.
AHW March 28, 2012 at 12:16 PM
I agree that a lot could change, but if we have to debate this for three more years, I can bet we'll have even more people shying away from the public school route and we won't end up with an overcapacity problem anyway.
Lynn B. Friedman March 28, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Dear Neighbors, I am a parent of both Sutton graduate and of two North Atlanta graduates. I strongly recommend both a decision now and the option for a Sixth Grade Academy at Sutton with 7th/8th at the former NAHS. What creates a wonderful place to live in our neighborhoods is Community. What creates a high achieving student body and a safe school environment is Community. In a Community, we build relationships and encourage friendship and share respect. When joined together from different Elementary Schools, the students at the Sixth Grade Academy will form their "new" Community. When they move on to the 7th/8th grades, the positive Community values of relationships, friendships and respect will follow them. All of our children will study and will share activities together as they progress towards high school. Let's avoid any division of the sense of Community our children deserve. In the 7th/8th grades, their Community will continue to mature and prosper. All the wonderful reasons for neighborhood schools are based on Community. We have a Golden Opportunity for Buckhead to give the best to all our children by supporting the Sixth Grade Academy. Let's settle the question now! We gain nothing by postponing the decision. We decide and then everyone will move on with the planning. Our children will benefit! That's our goal - isn't it - the best for our children? Have a happy day - Lynn B. Friedman
6th Grade is Great March 30, 2012 at 02:22 AM
By having one middle school with a 6th grade academy there isn't a risk of harming or putting anyone at a disadvantage.
Liliana Hojas March 31, 2012 at 04:23 PM
There are problems with a large-sized single grade (>600). For people that aren't as well off, our kids fall thru and aren't able to do as well. My daughter's elem. has lots of wealthy families that are against two schools because they think we are going to be put with Bolton. I've heard them talk about how different "those kids" are. I wonder what they say about me & my girls when we aren't around.


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