North Fulton Redistricting update

Well it looks like the North Fulton High School Redistricting is a fait accompli. While not yet official there doesn’t seem to be much doubt that the final redistricting map will be the one presented to the school board today. You can click on the picture below to enlarge the map and you can find more information here.

North Fulton Redistricting update

I am told that there was nothing said in yesterday’s meeting with school board member Katie Reeves that indicated any chance of the redistricting map being changed at this point.

Let this serve as a reminder to all of us: The only feedback most elected officials want from you is your vote.

It is up to each of you to act accordingly.

Meeting tomorrow with Fulton County School Board Member Katie Reeves

Below is an email I received today about an opportunity tomorrow morning to discuss the local school redistricting with our representative on the Fulton County School Board, Katie Reeves. I know this is late notice but it is an important issue and I wanted to pass it along in case anyone is interested in attending:


As I am sure you are aware by now, there are redistricting decisions being made
by FCSS that affect our Milton cluster. Unfortunately, we arrived rather late
“in the game” as some communities who have previously been affected
by such decisions were ready with their arguments, plans, and matching t-shirts.

Though it was unexpected, it turns out that the latest proposed map will have a
major impact on the high school beginning Fall 2012 but extending far into the
future. We need to communicate to the board and superintendent (who decide the
final map with their vote) that we have significant concerns. Katie Reeves is
our district’s representative and her regularly scheduled community meeting
happens to be this Tuesday at 9:30am at Crabapple Crossing Elementary School .

Please plan to attend so that you can hear information firsthand from Ms.
Reeves and show support for Milton . Previous experience with such meetings
leads me to caution you that respectful and informed dialogue are best heard.
You may not feel conversant enough with the complex issues to speak up, and
there may not be time for all who want to speak to do so.


You have likely already seen one petition and there will be at least one other.
If you agree with the content of these documents, please sign and send along so
that the board hears our “Milton Voice.”

Last, please forward this email to those you know who share that voice.

Thank you!

Final North Fulton High School Redistricting Meeting Wednesday

There will be one more meeting for the people of North Fulton County to voice their concerns about the new high school redistricting plan. Wednesday’s meeting is the last one scheduled before the final recommendation is made to the Fulton County Board of Education so if you have concerns you’d better speak now or forever hold your peace.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at Alpharetta High School (3595 Webb Bridge Road, Alpharetta 30005; click for Google Map)
from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. You can find more information at the Fulton County School website here.

Alpharetta High School Redistricting Continues Next Week

Next week on Wednesday, March 16th, the Fulton County School System will host the second of three public meetings to determine attendance zones which will be used when the new high school in the city of Milton opens. The meeting will be held at Alpharetta High School on Webb Bridge Road from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

The new districts will have a major impact on two of the best public high schools in the state, Alpharetta High School and Milton High School, in addition to the new school on Bethany Bend Road. And since the great schools of Alpharetta continue to be the foundation of our property values this process will affect your home’s worth whether you have children in the schools or not.

There are only two more meetings planned so if you can’t make it next week make sure to mark your calendar for the final meeting on April 13, 2011. You can keep abreast of the latest developments at the Fulton County School website here:

Alpharetta continues urbanization to attract MARTA

Tonight the Alpharetta City Council voted to approve another high density mixed use project with nearly 500 condos. The vote was unanimous and it was embarrassing to watch how council members fawned over the developers. The council toothlessly imposed ownership restrictions but MetLife balked at an amendment that would prevent the property from converting to 500 apartments within five years so council decided to take their word for it.

Below are my comments to the council.

Good evening. My name is Jimmy Gilvin and I live in Alpharetta. I’ve come to speak against the Peridot project being proposed by MetLife.

Tonight this council will decide whether to continue urbanizing the city of Alpharetta by adding dense housing. The MetLife parcel is currently zoned for more than a million feet of office space which would provide more than 3300 badly needed jobs for the people of Alpharetta. The new proposal replaces 1800 of those jobs with 500 condominiums.

Why would this council trade $123,000,000 in annual salaries for 500 condos? This letter from MARTA’s Office of Transit Planning explains,

“MARTA is also working with the City of Alpharetta to initiate an LCI for the North Point Mall area as part of a north line rail extension… the city of Alpharetta had inquired from MARTA on the feasibility of having the proposed rail station at a location across SR 400 from the mall in the vicinity of the development site. MARTA has not yet made a firm decision on the station location but believes this development will add density in the area, making for better transit supportive environment.”

So for more than 5 years Alpharetta City officials have been quietly but methodically urbanizing this city in the hope of attracting MARTA. Was it happening when current City Councilman Chris Owens was working for the developer of Prospect Park as the civil engineer of the project? I don’t know. But it was happening when the city approved a 12 story condo tower in the Alpharetta High School district and it will continue tonight if you approve this MetLife proposal.

This year Alpharetta voters like me will elect a new mayor and several of you will be up for reelection. With your votes tonight you will help make those choices clear. We can either choose leaders that continue to urbanize our city in the hope of attracting MARTA or we will elect people that will protect what already makes Alpharetta a great place to live.

Alpharetta is a special place. We enjoy a fantastic quality of life with great public schools and low crime rates. As a result we are one of the finest places to live in all of Georgia.

I stand here asking you not to throw that all away. Despite what consultants, developers and land use attorneys may tell you the majority of people that live here don’t want Alpharetta urbanized to attract MARTA. Many voters don’t want MARTA here at all. All of you live here and in your hearts you know that is true. I am asking you to vote accordingly. Please vote no on this project.

The council members that voted for the project were: Douglas Derito, Jim Paine, Cheryl Oakes, Chris Owens, Mike Kennedy and DC Aiken in addition to Alpharetta mayor Arthur Letchas.

Alpharetta High Schools named Best of Atlanta

Atlanta Magazine has named its annual “Top All Around” high schools and Alpharetta High School and Milton High School both made the list. The top 16 list only included 7 public schools and all four of the Fulton County recipients were located in North Fulton. Northview High School in Johns Creek and North Springs Charter High School in Sandy Springs were the other Fulton County schools to make the top sixteen.

You can read more here.

High School Redistricting in North Fulton

Here we go again. School redistricting in North Fulton county has been an ongoing game of musical chairs for the past decade and the next round is about to begin.

One of the down sides to living in an area perfect for raising children is that the board of education has had a hard time accomodating the influx of families relocating here because of the great schools. The latest effort to make room for our new neighbors is the high school being built at the corner of Bethany Bend and Cogburn Roads in the city of Milton. The school is expected to open in 2012 and will be the fourth new high school to open around here since 2002.

The new school will draw most of its students from the Milton and Alpharetta High School districts but the changes will undoubtedly impact the other high schools in the area. The Fulton County Board of Education knows this and will try to address everybody’s concerns but it just isn’t possible to satisfy everyone. Some families on the borders of attendance zones have been rezoned numerous times over the years and may not want to be moved again while other families will be disappointed that they aren’t rezoned to a school they would prefer. History shows that the process can get testy at times but one way to avoid conflicts is to address concerns early through participation in the public forums which will be held.

That is why the public forums for the new school redistricting will begin in a couple of months. The first such meeting will be held at Alpharetta High School on February 23, 2011. That is nearly a year and a half before the new school opens and should give everyone involved more than enough time to hammer out an acceptable agreement.

If you have children in any of the public schools in North Fulton County I urge you to get involved early. Even with a year and a half to prepare there will be people that don’t get involved until they are upset by the board’s decision and by then it is too late. You can get the latest information at the board of education’s website dedicated to this process.

For those of you that are interested in this topic you can find more on the subject at these other local blogs: newmiltonhighschool and rootsinalpharetta