Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic Atlanta Public Schools (APS) has lost about 2,000 students, according to data presented to the community during the Facilities Master Plan meeting.

The district began the process of creating the district’s 18-month Facilities Master Plan with a community meeting on January 25. The plan is made to act as a guide for the district to follow when making decisions about APS owned buildings and sites.

The district works with multiple government and private organizations to put the plan together. During the meeting representatives from the Sizemore group presented the data that the district will be using to put together the final Facilities Master Plan.

The majority of the losses are occurring at the elementary school level while high schools and charter schools have seen growth in the last two years.

Projected kindergarten enrollment numbers play a significant role in the district’s longer term planning. In order to get accurate predictions the district’s consultants look at national and local birth rates and trends to look five years ahead.

While the birth rate has been steadily declining, the large drop in enrollment the district experienced last year is not expected to be a long term trend.

When it comes to capacity and enrollment numbers the district also has to consider the steady growth of charter schools is expected to plateau.

In the coming years the majority of growth is expected to come from new housing developments, the majority of growth will be in the Midtown cluster and some in the Jackson cluster. 

Carver, Therrell and South Atlanta clusters are projected to have a decline in enrollment. Mays, Washington, Douglass and North Atlanta clusters are predicted to maintain steady enrollment numbers over the next ten years.

The full presentation is available on the district’s website. The school board is not expected to make their final presentation of suggestions to Superintendent Herring until the end of April.

Throughout the month of April the district will be holding community meetings for each of the nine clusters, the dates have not yet been announced.

Madeline Thigpen is an education reporter and Report for America Corps Member. She joined the Atlanta Voice in 2021. At the Voice she covers K-12 education for the Atlanta metro region and higher education....