This post, a copy of an email distributed by Fernbank was added yesterday by a new participant . We just want to assure readers that the blog is simply enlightening the community—as we did by publishing the other community emails we received—not endorsing anyone's actions or viewpoint. - Moderator
Points for Tonight at Shamrock/Druid Hills
Everyone must attend tonight's redistricting meeting at Shamrock/Druid Hills Middle -- even if you think you're not affected, you are -- we will lose teachers, financial support, and key parental involvement. Some examples of how you will be affected? No art special, no science special, no Reflections, no Chess Club, no Hospitality chairs, no Library Committe chairs, no Ambassador leaders, no Garden Committee leaders -- the list goes on and on. Your community needs you there tonight and every other night you possibly can. Every parent and stakeholder should have a personal goal of attending TWO meetings.
Process Points to Follow:
1. Be on time, or better yet, be early.
2. Sit at a table (8-12 roundtops) with 1/3-1/2 Fernbank people.
3. Control the pen, control the mike, or better yet, both. Each table will have a "scribe" -- be it. Each table will have a "reporter," who will speak for 2 min. -- be it.
4. When you get to "Option 3," be clear and concise. Use Fernbank as an example of the larger theme -- e.g., not breaking up long-established neighborhoods, moving kids to different programs, supporting larger schools.
5. When you hear a point that is consistent with our position, go ahead and applaud.
Substance Points to Follow:
1. We need a clear strategic vision first, before we implement redistricting for fewer, bigger schools.
2. With that vision in place, follow the Board's own goals:
-- don't split in half historic neighborhoods, like Fernbank, where the building has supported the same neighborhood for 50+ years and the school's many buildings have served Druid Hills for 90+ years.
-- don't move children from one kind of educational program to another, like IB. The IB program should be available to more students, not fewer. We support a larger school of 900 and providing more access to IB.
-- the plan must account for future growth. Construction on hundreds of residences for Emory and CDC families is breaking ground this year. According to the Board's own goals, those residences should be zoned to Briar Vista.
-- the plan must provide safe, walkable environments and pay attention to traffic patterns, and not further clog the Clifton Corridor.
-- decisions should be based on actual cost benefits, not on speculation.
Response on smaller issues:
1. We have no official position on location of magnets. If conversation at your table focuses on that, incorporate that concern into your points and MOVE ON.
2. If anyone suggests making Briar Vista a PK-K or PK-1 campus for Fernbank's children, talk about 1100 students and families with multiple children driving back and forth and back and forth along Clifton Road during the morning rush hour. Enough said.
Finally, schools from our cluster will be there tonight in DROVES. Be there -- for your friends, your neighbors, your children, and OUR school.