Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We told you it was a dumb idea to put Arabia's AYP transfers in a "satellite" location at their home school

Dumb. We called it out as dumb the minute the board did it last August. The elitists at Arabia do not want to take on AYP transfers (read that: students whose parents are not in the right social cliques and who did not apply to Arabia).  So they convinced the board to store the 150+ students who requested the federal transfer to Arabia in TRAILERS at Lithonia High School!  Dumb.  They started to try it with the Chamblee transfers, but then quickly found space for them at Chamblee High.  They have NEVER attempted this with Lakeside in the years it served as a receiving school.  In fact, Lakeside was allowed to burgeon to over 1,800 students in a building with a capacity for just over 1,300.  No problem there. But Arabia - hell no - they can't go.

Now look at what's happened due to the fact that our board allows for such callous treatment of our students. Due to the fact that our school system is too busy with the "business" of running a system like looking to replace their criminally indicted superintendent, redistricting and answering lawsuits that it takes it's eye - once again - off of the students.  The students.  The SOLE REASON anyone has a job in DeKalb schools or a seat on the DeKalb school board.

Pay attention to the students people.

Tension Between DeKalb Students Causes Near Riot

A fight, a near riot and vandalized trailers are why DeKalb County school officials moved 155 students from one campus to another Monday. School officials told Channel 2's Tom Jones that they want to re-evaluate an arrangement that has two high schools on the same campus. The set-up has caused considerable tension between the two schools.

"That's why my granddaughter is not coming back on Lithonia's grounds," Julia Baker said. Baker said putting the Arabia Mountain Annex in trailers on Lithonia High School's campus was a bad idea. "It's definitely a recipe for danger," she said. Baker's granddaughter goes to Arabia Mountain's Annex. School officials said four Lithonia High students jumped on the ninth-grader last Friday on Lithonia's campus. "I had like a bruise on the side of my head ... like maybe three or four knots," the teen, who had to be taken the hospital, said.

Danielle Jackson and Khadija Asien face simple battery charges in connection with the incident. The victim said she was attacked in part because of the tension between the two schools. "They just be like, 'Y’all think y’all better than us because y’all wear uniforms,'" the victim said.

A student recorded a near riot at lunchtime between the two schools hours after the fight. He posted it on Facebook. The victim said her classmates were angry over what happened to her and that’s what prompted the altercation in the cafeteria. Then someone spray-painted graffiti all over the Arabia Mountain Annex trailers over the weekend. That was enough for the victim's grandmother. "I want them to get these kids out from over here and put them on the main campus," Baker said.

That's exactly what the school system did. It moved all 155 Arabia Mountain Annex students back to Arabia Mountain's main campus. The school system said it realized the arrangement was causing too much tension. The beating victim said all the students should be able to get along. "I want craziness to stop between the schools and just people to stop being immature," she said.

DeKalb County Schools spokesman Walter Woods said the annex was moved to Lithonia High after Lithonia didn't make Adequate Yearly Progress and students made the choice to move to Arabia Mountain. That caused Arabia Mountain to be overcrowded. Woods said the trailers weren't moved to Arabia Mountain because Lithonia was a better fit for them. Now after all the chaos, the school system is looking into whether there is sufficient space at Arabia Mountain to keep the 155 students there.


Important to note - according to the October 2010 official FTE count sent to the state, Arabia has 1,473 students on a campus with a published capacity of 1,600 and early news reports during the construction of the school stating that it could be enlarged to 2,100. This campus is FAR larger and FAR nicer than Lakeside, which had an official October count of 1,804 and capacity for just over 1,300.

22 comments:

jf1smith said...

OK, let me be sure I understand. Lithonia had them in trailers because Arabia Mountain was "overcrowded". Could those same trailers not have been at Arabia MOuntain if the building was "overcrowded"? And the numbers DCSS published don't show Arabia Mountain being overcrowded.

I am confused (by a whole lotta stuff.) I am not confused about wanting to leave DeKalb.

Cerebration said...

Puzzling, isn't it? Add to this, I have a distinct feeling that the 155 were actually counted as ARABIA students in the October count - even though they were not physically on campus. FWIW, Lithonia's October count was 1,365 - with capacity for just over 1,500.

Sagamore 7 said...

If everyone will remember that the highly protected ARABIA Mtn HS was not even part of the redistricting process!

Not once was it part of any literature or calculations of students.

It is someone's (BOE) pet project and has to be protected by ALL means.

This is just another instance of the incompetence within the current DCSS administration.

They WANT was is best for THEM with NO REGARD for the CHILDREN!

These children are literally the ones who are getting HURT!

S7

atl said...

@ Cerebration
"I have a distinct feeling that the 155 were actually counted as ARABIA students in the October count "

Of course they were counted as Arabia students. Their EOCT and GHSGT scores are counted with Arabia and the seniors graduate with the Arabia Mtn. students. That's the only way it can work with an Annex.

Cerebration said...

Thanks. I had no way of knowing that for certain - I was just assuming. And we all know what happens when you assume!

Anna said...

They obviously didn't want the "have nots" from Lithonia messing up their shiny new school. And who wants to bet that many of the DCSS cronies have their kids in Arabia? I'll put money on that.

dundevil said...

Are you all trying to say that there is some sort of discrimination going on? But, isn't that illegal? Also, isn't DeKalb County supposed to be the model of diversity and inclusiveness?

I am shocked!!

Cerebration said...

This story is getting around...

A Tale of Two Schools or Why School Choice Is Important

Anon said...

It is clear that these schools were already rivals before the annex was located on the campus. It was a really dumb idea to use that property for this purpose.

There is so much pure power behind Arabia and some of the other theme schools that it is frightening.

Ella Smith said...

We want to keep this school looking good.

da99b5c0-7135-11e0-a142-000bcdcb5194 said...

Does anybody know if the results of the March 2011 FTE count have been released yet? I would love to see those numbers, but I can't find them anywhere on the internet. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. . .

atl said...

@ da99.... 9:21 pm

"Does anybody know if the results of the March 2011 FTE count have been released yet? I would love to see those numbers,"

Below is the link. Make sure March 3, 2011 is displayed. Use the drop down arrow to choose DeKalb and then click the By District button for an FTE summary of the district or the By School button to choose a DCSS school.

http://app3.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fte_pack_ethnicsex.entry_form

atl said...

FTE count for Arabia is 1411 s of March 3, 2011. What's the capacity?

Cerebration said...

Let's just say it's more than that... but quite a lot.

Cerebration said...

Interesting. It looks like they actually lost 62 students between October and March... maybe they just weren't there on count day?

For comparison, Henderson MS had 1461 in March. Lakeside had 1768 - they lost 36 since Oct.

A Blue State of Mind said...

Does Arabia Mountain now have a new principal? The job announcement is no longer on PATS.

gn1025 said...

While I agree the school board erred in placing these kids on the same campus, because kids will find the most trivia things to set up a what becomes a hostile "them" vs "us" environment, you can't blame the school board for ALL of any particular schools problems. And all the money, time, and resources in the world won't make much difference without better parents. Some of you have no idea what your kids are in to during their school day, what they are wearing, or their lack of academic participation. You dont meet with their teachers, come to the PTA meetings, etc.. I've lived near two Dekalb County high schools for years and it hasn't always been a good experience. Fron kids breaking in to nearby homes during their lunch break, to throwing trash out of the bus windows, to wearing their pants around their thighs, and dressing like strippers. YOU the parent are primarily responsible for raising your child in to a productive member of society.

dirkdrohan said...

You also need to look at the principal. The Lithonia lady is a Clewless person he tried to stick at Lakeside. She got rejected from there after a year. The school house leaders are some of the most important ones in the system. But on the south side we wind up with bad ones. Thedford at Miller Grove was a joke. The lady at SWD was another typical friends and family creation who had no business in that position. Some of the ap's are plain embarasments. Until we as a community stand up and start demanding real accountability in the school house we will only get so far by blaming the Board.

Cerebration said...

@gn1025 - you are exactly correct, only the point we have been trying to make about Arabia is that certain people hold out this school as only accessible to certain acceptable people. AYP transfer students didn't make the cut. Arabia had plenty of room for them, however, our school board CHOSE to bring in and pay for trailers at Lithonia to house "Arabia annex students"... That is so wrong.

A Blue State of Mind said...

Just wait until Arabia Mtn gets its new principal!

Once again, incompetence rises to a new level of authority.

Anon said...

The principals on the northside aren't so stellar either. We have a leadership crisis in DeKalb.

teacher said...

Our leadership crisis is because we choose to promote friends and family and have very minimal qualifications for the number of teaching years a person has before they move up the ranks. We should not even consider someone ready to be an AP until they have taught for 10 years. As a teacher, I had no respect for a principal or AP who taught for a few years and was telling me how to do things, when there is no way that they had enough experiences to really understand what it was like now with the increased class sizes and mounds of paper work.