DeKalb County to Hold School Organization Community Meetings

From Dr. Atkinson’s “Victory in Every Classroom” newsletter:

Every five years, school districts across the state submit a list of schools to participate in the state capital outlay program. The DeKalb district is completing an application for funding that requires a list of its schools, and the DeKalb County “Proposed School Organization” meets the state requirements. It is not a redistricting plan.

In January, DCSD planning staff will revise its briefing to focus the community’s understanding on DeKalb’s list of schools and minimize any discussion of boundary changes. This list of schools will incorporate the new schools added under the SPLOST IV capital program.

The staff briefing in January will clarify that a list of schools is all that is needed to begin the state application process. The list of schools does not require any information about boundary lines. Consequently, the proposed school organization is not a redistricting plan but a list of school facilities the district expects to operate in the out years. This list is used to determine the state’s award for capital project funding.

DCSD staff will update the current list of 2007-12 schools to show SPLOST IV new school buildings and any decommissioned buildings out to the years 2016-17. The briefing will underscore that the Board of Education need only approve a list of schools so that the district meets state processing deadlines in order to qualify for funding. Any discussion about boundaries, if needed, would take place sometime in the future and under a separate, detailed public process per district policy.

The public information meetings about the 2016-17 list of schools will be held from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. on the following dates:

Region 5: January 8, 2013 McNair High

Region 3: January 9, 2013 Redan High

Region 4: January 10, 2013 Martin Luther King, Jr. High

Region 2: January 15, 2013 Tucker High

Region 1: January 16, 2013 Dunwoody High

District-wide: January 17, 2013 DCSD Administrative and Instructional Complex

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12 Responses to DeKalb County to Hold School Organization Community Meetings

  1. whyaminotsurprised says:

    I love the logic here: “the proposed school organization is not a redistricting plan but a list of school facilities the district expects to operate in the out years. ”

    So, can you follow this conversation:
    “You are not redistricting?”
    No. We are just planning on changing what schools will be open in a few years.
    “When you close some schools, will you still provide schools for the children who had been going to the closed schools?”
    Of course!
    “So, will the children from the closed schools now be in a NEW SCHOOL DISTRICT?”
    We will not be drawing those lines yet. We don’t have to.
    “Can you acknowledge that they will be in a new school?”
    Yes.
    “That means they will be in a new school district.”

    They think if they don’t use the word “redistricting” they think parents won’t care? If you close some buildings and build others, you are, by definition, CHANGING SCHOOL BOUNDARY LINES whether you have the exact streets where those will occur or not.

    Like it or not, Dr. Atkinson, taxpayers do not like the idea of obligating us with 1-2 decades worth of construction when the plans were developed over less than 2 months. Parents do not like the idea of changing their kids’ schools around (which WILL be happening if you close or build new schools) with such a minimal amount of planning, and minimal input – not only from parent,s but also statistically based on attendance lines, population growth predictions, and academic achievement.

  2. Mark says:

    First off, this is so horribly written can somebody translate for me?

    Second, it is so intentionally vague as to be deceiving. Either that, or it’s incredibly poorly written. To be this hazy and incomplete invites more criticism and uproar. What is an out year?

    But, I’m sure we’ll get all the answers we need from the meetings.

  3. I guarantee you no one will be able to speak directly to Atkinson. They will have Palace guards and Principals talking to stakeholders. Then those folks will write a report and send it to Atkinson, who will file it away. I love these DCSS meetings where stakeholders know less than when they walked in. DCSS a complete and utter failure for 10 years! Pardon my skepticism.

  4. Concerned DeKalb Mom says:

    I must say I’m particularly intrigued by the 1/17 district-wide meeting…isn’t that the date of the state BOE meeting? No tensions there, I’m sure.

  5. bettyandveronica1 says:

    Right…I am still waiting for the answers to the questions I sent in (that they asked for) during the last round of public discussions. When they famously changed the topic of conversation after we got there. I am hoping Ms. March is there so I can ask her about it. I am sure she will be happy to take my email address and get back to me.
    We should go to these meetings and during the public comment section only talk about the lack of trust in the board, the Superintendent and the Central office administration. Control the conversation. I plan to attend and let them know I have no faith in this school districts ability to police themselves and be financially solvent. I have serious doubts that our tax dollars won’t end up lining the pockets of some other “connected” construction company or subcontractors.
    Control the conversation.

  6. Disgusted in Dekalb says:

    What in the world is “School Organization”? Sounds like a meeting to discuss decluttering our schools.

  7. Weary worker says:

    This is all just some hoop created by the state that DCSD has to jump through. Much like the totally useless school improvement plans (CSIP) that schools have to write each year. It gives GaDOE staff and school administrators something to do. And please stop using the word stakeholders, it’s a pointless term that means whatever the user wants it to mean.

  8. thedeal2 says:

    Totally pointless meetings. I wouldn’t advise anyone to go under the impression that they will either learn anything or be given the opportunity to ask questions. This is probably a requirement of the state plan and that’s it. Whatever list they provide of schools that will or won’t exist in the next 5 years can be changed, so there’s no need in talking about the details.

  9. checksbalance says:

    When will we taxpayers demand transparency and accountability SACS, the Board & the Supt.?

  10. midvaledad says:

    This redistricting (reorganization) plan has been worked on for since last spring at least. One way you can tell is that the capacities of all the middle schools was “recalculated” in June 2012. Every middle school was found to be able to hold more students than in 2011 even though most (if not all) had not been expanded. The only explanation I can think of for this is the planning department could not create enough seats for the rising middle school students.

    This redistricting is another example of the administration withholding information from the board. Why did the board vote a the SPLOST IV project list when Dr. Atkinson knew she was going to ask them to vote on a different sequence? It would be very remarkable if this plan was put together in the month between the board voting on the SPLOST IV project list and it’s presentation to the board. Although when you look at the first version of it and see all the errors, inconsistencies, and contradictions, maybe it was put together in a month.

  11. We rarely say, “we told you so” but in the case of SPLOST IV we really did tell them so!

    Read our post from the old DSW on the reasons we were strongly opposed to passing another SPLOST and handing over millions upon millions more dollars to an inept, wasteful, unfocused group of ‘leaders’.

    To SPLOST or not to SPLOST

    3) The current plan is not focused. There are projects promised in SPLOST IV that were listed as political favors for a chosen few who are very organized and very vocal. We will still have schools with great needs that will not get their needs addressed in full. Like our curriculum, the project list is vast, yet vague. A more focused, educationally-driven plan needs drawn. We need to give our new superintendent a year to develop that plan. As it stands now, she will be forced to redesign an educational system within the confines of the structures currently planned on the table. I would like to offer Dr. Atkinson the chance to first create a vision for educating our 100,000 children and then formulate a brick and mortar and technology plan to support it.

    Not to mention, but in terms of cutbacks – we could have rid ourselves of a lot of well-paid staff that we have hired due to SPLOST – accountants, secretaries, project managers, etc. etc. As far as we know, these people are paid from the general fund – the same fund that cut teachers/paras/bus monitors and library clerks in order to save money.

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