Plans to establish a charter school in Buckhead will be on the agenda for a meeting of neighborhood leaders.

The Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods has invited Matthew Kirby to talk about his petition to create a charter school called Atlanta Classical Academy.

Kirby, who is chairman of the group behind the Atlanta Classical Academy idea, graduated from the Westminster Schools, the U.S. Naval Academy and Emory’s Goizueta Business School. Two years ago, Kirby served as a community football coach at North Atlanta High School.

Kirby said the proposed charter school would feature a “classical model” of education.

“It’s basically a liberal arts approach that is content driven,” Kirby said. “It is content rich. Our students at all times will be studying literature, history, math and science and a foreign language.”

The enrollment will be small, around 700 students. If the school is approved by the Atlanta Board of Education or the state, it could open in fall of 2014 and serve Kindergarten through 10th grade initially.

He said discussion about the school began in 2011 but picked up new momentum in 2012 with the statewide approval of an amendment to Georgia’s constitution. In November, voters approved an amendment that allows the state to approve charter schools, an amendment opposed by the Atlanta Board of Education. Kirby said he plans to present a petition, which as of March 11 had about 400 signatures, to Atlanta Public Schools in April.

“We wanted to wait to see how the election would come out specifically as it relates to the charter school amendment,” Kirby said. He said the approval of the amendment helped his group’s cause. “We think it’s very favorable. We think it causes the local school district to take well-written petitions very seriously.”

The BCN meets from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, room 2315 (or nearby), located at 3434 Roswell Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30305.

Here is the rest of the March 14 agenda provided by BCN:

Proposed Church “Big Box” – Amy Hillman (Buckhead Forest) will brief us on her neighborhood’s land use dispute with Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.  She reports that the church has filed a Special Use Permit to “construct a 50,000 square foot big box within 20 feet of a single family home”.  This is an issue that potentially applies to neighborhoods throughout the city.

Non-conforming Uses on Cheshire Bridge – Ron Grunwald (Loring Heights) plans to discuss another issue with city wide implications: legislation introduced by Alex Wan.  Wan’s proposal is to set up a means of sunsetting non-conforming land uses within the Cheshire Bridge NC4 District.  Ron is concerned about potential unintended consequences.

Quality of Life Infrastructure Bonds to Fund Stadium Infrastructure Overruns – Ron Grunwald (Loring Heights) also plans to explore another issue: Does the Mayor’s office plan to issue Quality of Life Bonds for Infrastructure fixes in the City (reported at $250 million) only to use a majority for what may be cost overruns of the estimated $50 million in infrastructure for the new Falcons Stadium?

Dan Whisenhunt

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