• 09 Mar 2021 11:13 AM | Anonymous

    Council of Intown Neighborhoods and Schools (CINS) Advocacy Update: Capacity Solutions

    Coming up March 22 @ 5:30 pm - GRADY CLUSTER COMMUNITY CONVERSATION, hosted by APS. Register Online.

    Long-term solutions for the Grady Cluster: Considering preferences, concerns and big ideas from the community

    On February 11, CINS representatives presented to the Grady Cluster Advisory Team (CAT) the results of the Grady Cluster Schools Capacity Solutions Survey, which was administered by CINS in 2020. The survey looks ahead to 2022 when Samuel M. Inman School is empty* and asks respondents how they think the campus could best be utilized to address overcrowding in the Grady Cluster. Notable among the survey responses were strong preferences for 1) maintaining the current attendance zones for elementary schools, and 2) addressing overcrowding at the high school level by relocating the 9th grade from the high school campus through either of two scenarios outlined below.

    While respondents’ desire to retain the current elementary school attendance zones is not surprising, their strong preference to consider variations on the current configurations for elementary (grades K-5), middle (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12), as well as the K-8 charter model, indicates a desire to explore creative solutions that would resolve high school crowding while keeping the cluster intact. During the CAT meeting, school representatives listened carefully to the survey presentation but immediately identified numerous hurdles to modifying the current configuration, among them scheduling and staffing, certifications, class credits, sports and clubs.

    Where CINS stands

    In the important work of finding a long-term solution to the capacity challenges the Grady Cluster has faced for many years, CINS has two objectives. The first is ensuring that school and district leadership carefully weigh community preferences, concerns and even big ideas when making decisions of this magnitude. The second objective is ensuring that any solution adopted to address overcrowding includes the high school level; anything less is simply not a solution.

    The community survey was a good first step, but the disconnect it exposes between the community and cluster and district leadership highlights the need for further discussion between Grady Cluster families, the Grady CAT and APS, as well as greater transparency regarding the process and timeline for decision-making.

    In making its decision, APS should consider both parents’ and administrators’ preferences and concerns, but it should also commission an independent, third-party study on projected population growth and optimal grade level configuration to accommodate long-term demand in the cluster. A study would provide an objective set of factors that APS and Grady Cluster stakeholders could then weigh in working collaboratively to identify the best use of the Inman campus.

    A closer look at the survey

    The survey ran from February 20 to March 15, 2020, and asked about:

    • Perceptions of strengths and areas of concern in each Grady Cluster school
    • Ranking of primary goals to address capacity and growth in the Grady Cluster
    • Ranking of ideas that have been proposed to address capacity and growth within the Grady Cluster
    • Concerns about redistricting
    • Concerns about rezoning

    Survey respondents were presented with APS’s capacity and growth forecasts made in February 2020, which projected overcrowding in several elementary schools and the high school.

    1,083 families responded to the survey; 95% live in the Grady cluster and 63% have at least one child in a Grady cluster school.

    Key results

    In response to the question, “What should be the primary goal(s) to address capacity growth in the Grady Cluster?”

    • 45% of respondents ranked “Ensuring elementary schools are neighborhood schools” as first or second priority
    • 37% of respondents ranked “Keeping all current schools in the Grady Cluster” as first or second priority
    • 28% ranked “Providing equal opportunity to all students in the Grady Cluster” as first or second priority

    When asked to rank proposed solutions to address over-crowding:

    • 63% of respondents ranked as first or second choice: “Elementary Schools: K - 4th; Inman: 5th - 6th academy, Howard: 7th - 9th school; Grady: 10th - 12th”
    • 54% ranked as first or second choice “Elementary schools: K - 4th; Howard Middle: 5th - 7th; Inman Junior High: 8th - 9th; Grady High: 10th - 12th”
    • 35% ranked as first or second choice “Elementary Schools: K - 3rd; Inman: 4th/5th academy; Howard: 6th - 8th school; Grady: 9th - 12th”

    In response to the question, “How concerned would you be if APS elects to REDISTRICT your elementary school?” 86% indicated they were concerned or very concerned. ("Redistrict" = move to another cluster)

    How concerned would you be if APS elects to REZONE your neighborhood to a different elementary school either within or outside the Grady Cluster? 84% indicated they were concerned or very concerned. ("Rezone" = move to another school)

    Additionally, 53% selected “Decline in the quality of schools/education” as their primary concern regarding a redistricting or rezoning decision.

    The full CAT presentation can be found here.

    *Inman is the temporary home of Morningside Elementary while the Morningside campus undergoes extensive renovation.

  • 03 Mar 2021 4:11 PM | Anonymous

    Thanks to our Atlanta Police Department liaisons who attended our PHCA Monthly Board Meeting in March! We're pleased to share several updates with our residents in Piedmont Heights. 

    • Clean Car Campaign: Don't leave weapons (or other valuables) in your car. Already in 2021, more than 100 weapons have been stolen from vehicles in Zones 2 & 6 (where Piedmont Heights is located). 

    • Unfortunately, more criminal activity is expected during NBA All-Star weekend. APD is ramping up with 12-hour shifts, fewer officers off-duty or taking time off, and will be increasing patrols in hotspot areas, including the Piedmont/Cheshire Bridge corridor

    • Extra personnel will also be assisting the APD License & Permit Unit to conduct inspections as well as to enforce occupancy thresholds. 

    • Take APD's Police Reform Community Survey. Let your voice be heard. 
    • If you see something, say something. 911 is just a phone call away!

    • Contact PHCA Safety Committee & Security Patrol (for Members only) via our online form.

    • Please note several upcoming VIRTUAL events:
  • 25 Feb 2021 1:28 PM | Anonymous

    Nakato Japanese Restaurant is eligible for a special grant – "Backing Historic Small Restaurants" to help with their exterior and online presence.

    This program is presented by American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

    Nominate Nakato by the March 9 grant deadline!

  • 25 Feb 2021 1:24 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to Rod Smith, the new head of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department! He and his family live right here in Piedmont Heights, and he's been with the fire department for more than 24 years. 

    With the help of his wife, Dawn, and several friends, his neighbors surprised Rod with an outdoor celebration to commemorate the occasion! Thank you for your service, Chief Smith!

    Read all about it on the AJC or 11Alive.

    More celebration pictures coming soon!

  • 25 Feb 2021 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    Join Nakato in celebrating the traditional Japanese holidays of Girls Day and Dolls Day on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

    To honor the traditions of this holiday, all children 12 and under who bring a doll with them to dine at Nakato, will receive a complimentary Children's Meal. This meal, valued at $14, is available at both our fun-filled Hibachi Tables and in our Garden Dining Room. The offer is limited to two complimentary children's meals per table.

    Make your reservation now so we can celebrate this wonderful Japanese tradition with you next Wednesday.


  • 24 Feb 2021 1:35 PM | Anonymous

    Where can you get locally made arts, crafts, baked goods, and more? Look no further than the 3rd Morningside Craft Crawl!

    On March 14 (rain date March 21) from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., neighbors can enjoy this COVID-safe craft showcase in the front yards of Morningside homes on Courtenay Drive NE, Northview, Wayne, and Berwick Avenues (a "loop" of streets with sidewalks).

    Current confirmed participants include three bands, an Irish dancing group, one-of-a-kind products from our friends at Hillside, and creative goods from 25 seamstresses, artists, woodworkers, weavers, bakers, etc.!

    There are lots of ways to get involved. If you make crafts, bake/cook, make music, this is the show for you. Craft Crawl will also try to match artists with local homeowners willing to volunteer their front yard space. 

    Previous craft crawls held in October and November featured a wide variety of fun, practical and/or delicious commodities from vendors, such as paintings, dog beds, branch bouquets, soap, and jewelry.

    Pandemic safety guidelines include mask-wearing, hand sanitizer availability, maintaining 6-foot distances, and contact-free payments.

    For more information:
    @craftcrawlatlanta on Instagram

  • 18 Feb 2021 11:41 AM | Anonymous

    Not only have our 2021 PHCA Sponsors been so generous in providing financial support to our neighborhood but they have also extended special offers for our residents in Piedmont Heights! 

    ShelfGenie of Atlanta

    It's time to get organized, whether it's your kitchen, office, bath, or other areas of your home. Quality shelving makes all the difference!

    Save 50% on installation with purchase of 4+ Glide-Out shelves. Learn more...

    Fresh Harvest

    Fresh produce from local, sustainable Georgia farmers, plus meats, seafood, prepared meals, yogurt, cheese, and other artisan goods delivered right to your doorstep.

    Save $20 off your first Fresh Harvest basket delivery! Learn more...

    Check out our other PHCA sponsors

    Visit them as often as you can. Shop Local so it Stays Local!

    2021 PHCA Annual Sponsors

  • 15 Feb 2021 1:17 PM | Anonymous

    Our friends over in Sherwood Forest have alerted us to a pine straw scam with potentially aggressive scammers, so please be aware.

    Typically, an unmarked truck with two or three younger males will approach your home about putting out pine straw at a good price (typical is $5-6 per bale; they will offer around $3.50 per bale instead). Sometimes the vehicle will have out of state plates.

    They will put down just a few bales and sometimes say they laid 5-6 times the number of bales actually put out. They will offer to show you the strings from the bales as proof they laid the pine straw. In most cases, they will say they have left-over pine straw from a job they just completed.

    In one case, the homeowner agreed to 80 bales at $3.50 per bale. They worked about 20 minutes and said they had laid 80 bales when they actually put out 10-15. When the homeowner complained, they got very aggressive.

    There seems to be several groups operating throughout Atlanta, although one case mentioned a white Dodge truck with an out of state license plate.

    We encourage you to use a landscaper you trust or do it yourself.

    As always, call 911 if you see something suspicious or illegal.

    We also encourage you to loop us in by replying to this email or by contacting our Public Safety volunteers and our Security Patrol & Home Away Watch team of off-duty Atlanta Police officers.

    Security Patrol & Home Away Watch

    If you're not already a PHCA Member, consider joining today so that you can benefit from our Home Away Watch service.

    Thank you to our PHCA Members whose dues fund our Security Patrol service that benefits ALL of PiHi's residents!

  • 10 Feb 2021 4:53 PM | Anonymous

    We checked in recently with Jim Hardy who currently serves as the president of the Piedmont Heights Civic Association. He and his wife, Shelley, live at the top of the cul-de-sac of Rockridge Place, a quiet enclave of semi-detached townhomes just off Rock Springs Road near Monroe Drive. The couple have been homeowners in Piedmont Heights since 2005. We asked Jim a few questions to get to know him better.

    Shelley Riden & Jim Hardy of Rockridge Place in Piedmont Heights with sister pups Calliope and Penelope

    What do you love most about Piedmont Heights?

    It has a neighborly, small town feeling. We’ve got residential single family homes, apartments, grocery stores, restaurants and local businesses - all within walking distance.

    What was the first concert you attended?

    I don’t recall, but when I was at the University of Alabama, I booked The Tams for a fraternity social.

    If you could choose anyone in the world to have as a dinner guest, who would lit be?

    I’d invite the leaders of both political parties to see if they could discover, on a personal level, common ground. In my experience, once people learn a little bit about each other, cooperation becomes easier.

    What are you most grateful for?

    My family. Especially my soulmate, best friend, and wife Shelley who has beaten cancer four times. And my two daughters, my son, and four grandkids.

    What are you reading right now?

    The Kybalion, a spiritual text. But I also enjoy anything by John Grisham or David Baldacci.

    Where do you hope to travel once we can again?

    Either Thailand or Germany. I served in the Air Force and was stationed in both countries. But Shelley hasn’t been to either yet.

    Thanks to PHCA Board Member Helen Kacur for volunteering to interview Jim and write this Resident Spotlight!

  • 10 Feb 2021 4:07 PM | Anonymous

    Heritage Preparatory School recently purchased Rock Spring Presbyterian Church (including its Loudermilk Center building). In addition, it purchased the entire Hedgewood Homes development adjacent to the church – the three homes recently built and the rest of the property where an additional six homes were slated to be added next.

    As a Landmark Historic Site, the church facade will be preserved by Heritage School, along with the sanctuary and the History Room. Three other rooms in the building will be reconfigured for classroom use for Upper School students.

    The Loudermilk Center will become Founders Hall and will be used as a student center.

    One of the new homes recently completed by Hedgewood Homes will be converted into a visual arts center with student gallery space, teaching areas, and a pottery studio. The specific use for the other two homes is still being decided.

    The existing driveway into the church will also be eliminated in lieu of the new road originally planned for the Hedgewood development. Great idea, as that intersection at Montgomery Ferry and Piedmont Road isn’t the safest; the new driveway is better located to provide a safer experience for Heritage School’s high school drivers and others.

    Heritage School will also be installing a large water retention system on the property to alleviate the flooding issues that have been plaguing Allen Rd. and Piedmont Way. More detailed planning is underway for this solution, and permitting will be required before installation can begin, so keep your fingers crossed for April or May.

    Heritage School has been an outstanding neighbor for many years and a conscientious steward in their relationship with Morningside Baptist Church, another historic landmark in Piedmont Heights and where their Lower & Middle School classrooms reside. We’re delighted to see this positive outcome for this historic Piedmont Heights landmark after the Rock Spring Presbyterian Church congregation voted to close its ministry in late 2019. Thank you to the leadership of Heritage School, particularly its president, Matt Skinner, for making this possible!

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