Education

Atlanta School Board Votes To ‘Reconstitute’ Perkerson Elementary

Perkerson Elementary School is one of 16 schools that Atlanta Public Schools targeted for intervention a few years ago.
Perkerson Elementary School is one of 16 schools that Atlanta Public Schools targeted for intervention a few years ago.
Credit Nick Nesmith / WABE

The Atlanta Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to “fully reconstitute” Perkerson Elementary School.

Perkerson is one of 16 schools Atlanta Public Schools targeted for intervention a few years ago. Its test scores are among the lowest in the state. Just 16 percent of third-graders at Perkerson read at or above grade level.

APS invested in support services to help the school improve.

“Over the past two years that included adding reading and math support specialists, a new principal, engaging staff in targeted professional development and providing full-time wrap-around support for the families and kids,” said Atlanta Superintendent Meria Carstarphen.

Perkerson didn’t improve as much as other schools that received similar services. So, Carstarphen said, reconstitution is a necessary next step.

The district held a series of community meetings to inform Perkerson parents about the possibility of reconstitution. However, APS parent Shawnna Hayes-Tavares said the meetings weren’t well-attended, leaving many parents in the dark.

“We need a policy on how many folks have to attend a meeting before you reconstitute a school or before you make any changes,” Hayes-Tavares told the school board Monday.

However, Carstarphen estimated about a hundred Perkerson parents were actively involved in conversations about reconstitution.

The board’s decision means teachers and other staff members will have to reapply for their jobs. Staff who reapply but aren’t chosen will have priority if they apply for jobs at other APS schools.

A note of disclosure: The Atlanta Board of Education holds WABE’s broadcast license.