Fulton County Schools renews talks to launch K-8 campuses

Fulton County Schools is reviewing redistricting plans amid a push to open kindergarten through eighth grade campuses. (Vanessa McCray / AJC file photo)

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Fulton County Schools is reviewing redistricting plans amid a push to open kindergarten through eighth grade campuses. (Vanessa McCray / AJC file photo)

Fulton County Schools is once again considering a proposal to reconfigure some elementary and middle school sites into expanded campuses that serve kindergarten through eighth grade.

The district is hosting meetings about launching several K-8 academies that would focus on science, technology, engineering, art and math.

A 6 p.m. Monday session will be held at Haynes Bridge Middle School in Alpharetta. A 6 p.m. Wednesday session will take place at Palmetto Elementary School in Palmetto.

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The district previously scheduled sessions at Holcomb Bridge Middle School in Alpharetta and Camp Creek Middle School in College Park.

Those schools are among the sites that could be affected should the district decide to open K-8 campuses.

Fulton officials point to research that shows benefits to combining grade levels under one roof. They say the strategy boosts academics and parental engagement and eases what can be a fraught transition as students jump from elementary to middle school.

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Superintendent Mike Looney has pushed for the K-8 model before. Last fall, he recommended the creation of such a school in East Point to serve students who attend Conley Hills Elementary School.

But some in the community opposed that plan. They said they wanted their local school to be rebuilt and remain an elementary site, an option the board sided with.

Fulton would not be the first metro Atlanta district to test the concept. Two of the county’s charter schools are already K-8. Atlanta Public Schools opened Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy in 2016 to serve prekindergarten through eighth grade students.

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