Undermining Overcrowding: APS Approves New School in Midtown Cluster


Parents anticipate the layout of new zoning laws that will go into effect in fall of 2023.

Classrooms filled to the brim with excited students are a dream come true, until these pupils not-so-excitedly run out of seats to spare and must bear sitting criss-cross-applesauce on the ground in order to complete their instructional day. In an effort to undermine overcrowding, Atlanta Public Schools has greenlit the zoning of a new elementary school in the Midtown Cluster. 

Though the thought of making everyone happy is a nice idea to happily harbor, this hope is seemingly impossible when regarding APS. In early 2022, the school system decided to meet the issue of overcrowded classrooms with the announcement of a fourth and fifth-grade academy, which planned to pull students from multiple different elementary schools within the cluster in order to create a cohesive new school for their higher learners. This failed miserably, with angry parents protesting the decision and ultimately causing such a ruckus that the board of education decidedly rethought their original plan and fanned back to the drawing board. Brynn Goncher, who has a fifth grader at Morningside Elementary, understood both residing issues with the plans. “Something clearly had to be done to address the space issue.” Said Goncher.

One APS parent, Sudie Nolan-Cassimatis, understands this ideal all too well, as her third-grade daughter will be reaping the consequences of the rezoning come next fall. Though some parents felt queasy about the idea of change, Cassimatis was nothing less than optimistic. “The midtown cluster has had a history of such wonderful elementary schools.” Said Cassimatis, “As hard as change is, I know this one will be no different, I’m sure it will thrive!”

In a sense, these feelings of despair are something that we develop as we grow up. With that being said, students who will actually be experiencing this change may have an even more optimistic viewpoint on the topic. In just third grade, Silla Cassimatis is one of these bright-minded optimists that will be overcoming the new zoning in the upcoming school year. “I dont know what is going to happen, which is scary.” Silla said, “But maybe my friends will be on my floor!”

Quantifyably, the official plans for the new elementary school have been approved and are expected to run their course in fall of 2023 for the new school year. The new school will be pulling students from two different pre-existing schools, Morningside and Springdale Park, and will be executed in four stages in order to ‘ensure an amazing day one’, per the press release from August 2022. This is a time for new beginnings for these overcrowded classrooms, and sends green flags flying for the future of APS.