Sarah Smith students and their parents get ready on the morning of March 7 for the short journey from Buckhead Forest to Sarah Smith Elementary school.

If Atlanta Public Schools adopts new zoning maps proposed by Superintendent Erroll Davis it means many Buckhead elementary students will hold on to their tradition of walking to school.

The school system released Davis’ recommendations on March 4, a rezoning plan that would leave Buckhead’s elementary school boundaries alone. Among the guiding principles Davis followed was keeping students in schools closest to their homes, within walking distance if possible.

On March 7, a group of students in the Buckhead Forest neighborhood participated in Georgia Walk to School Day, walking to Sarah Smith Elementary. The residents there said the walk had “added significance” because of Davis’ recommendations. One of the earlier maps proposed by APS demographers would’ve rezoned some students living in Buckhead Forest to Garden Hills Elementary.

“We knew it would be fun to organize the event and all walk over to school together. The weather was great, and we all enjoyed strolling down the Hank Farmer Trail to school,” said Sarah Smith parent Tara Hicks in a press release about the event.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of