20 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by flexmoney86
Patch Instagram photo by rnblove1
Patch Instagram photo by rnblove1

Communities Come Out For Coan Middle School

Volunteers spend the day fixing up the former East Lake Elementary School for incoming Coan Middle students.

If there was one positive thing that came of the angst and drama that was the redistricting of the Atlanta Public Schools, it was the how the various communities rallied around the schools threatened with closure.

That level of interest and involvement was something that APS Superintendent Erroll B. Davis took note of in a recent meeting with parents in Southeast Atlanta.

Indeed, parents, non-parents and retirees in a number of communities including Edgewood, Peoplestown, Kirkwood and East Atlanta, among others, rallied around their neighborhood schools to keep them open.

The big question: Post-redistricting, would that momentum last?

A lot of parents, parents-to-be and non-parents in East Atlanta Patch communities promised that interest would be sustained, particularly in the southeastern quadrant of the city.

Some of that interest is being coordinated through large-scale efforts, such as the Southeast Communities for Schools, a parent group advocating for the needs of member communities and pushing for academic excellence.

Others are channeling through smaller efforts.

On Tuesday, about 40 volunteers from the Edgewood neighborhood came to the former East Lake Elementary School at 145 4th St. NE to spruce it up for the upcoming school year.

East Lake was one of the schools that closed in the redistricting.

But it will get use this year as the temporary home for Coan Middle School, which is relocating there to make way for students from Jackson High School who will use the Coan campus.

Jackson students are moving temporarily because their campus is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation.

Tuesday's effort at the former East Lake Elementary was spearheaded by the Rev. Nathan Dean, co-pastor of the Edgewood Church, and member of Coan's Local School Council.

Dean spoke with Patch about Tuesday's work and the importance of the continued community involvement in local schools and why there was such a groundswell of support for Coan.

Please watch the video to hear our interview with Dean.

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