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Opening day marks victory for APS schools that didn't close

5:21 AM, Aug 6, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Monday is the first day of school for kids in Atlanta.

And for hundreds of them, after that big redistricting fight earlier this year, it means going to different schools than normal.

But for some, it will also represent a big victory: saving their neighborhood schools from closing.

Hope is part of the name at Hope-Hill Elementary. And without it, the Old Fourth Ward community might not have been able to keep it open.

Parents and neighbors there and in several other communities took to the streets and packed school board meetings to fight for their local schools.

If not for that effort, several more schools would be closed on opening day in Atlanta than the seven that were eventually selected.

"It was really tough and one thing that was beneficial for us is that we got organized really fast," said Priscilla Borders, the vice president of the Hope-Hill PTA. "The community came up and backed the school 100 percent."

That means her son RJ, who's going into the first grade, will again get to wear his school uniform with pride.

Hope-Hill is the last traditional school left in this community. And the fight now to make it thrive is just beginning. Students who used to go to Cook Elementary will now be attending Hope-Hill.

"We still have an education committee and it's very much still viable and there are still things in the school we have to contend with," Borders said. "We have to make sure the school is fully resourced. So that the staff and the kids have everything they need."

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