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Sunday, June 28, 2009
An Invitation from DeKalb Prep K-8 Charter School
The board of DeKalb Preparatory Academy, a new proposed K-8 charter school serving DeKalb County, invites you to an information meeting on
Tuesday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m.
at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church,
4882 LaVista Road in Tucker.
DeKalb Prep will provide tuition-free, hands-on, challenging, and personalized learning for children from across DeKalb County in grades K-8. The school expects to open to grades K-4 in fall 2010, and grow to K-8 by adding an additional grade each year.
If you'd like to learn more about DeKalb Preparatory Academy, please visit our website. I hope to meet you at the open house on Tuesday, June 30!
Laura Crawley, Ph.D.
DeKalb County resident and founding board member of DeKalb Prep
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If any of the members of the advisory committee see this, I would love to know if this is truly a grass roots effort or is this being initiated by Mosaica?
I'm a member of the founding board for DeKalb Prep. I've lived in DeKalb County since 1994, and my children have attended DeKalb schools since 2005 (Laurel Ridge and Shamrock). In my professional life, I work with private day and boarding schools across the country, so I know what an incredible education money can buy. I believe kids in public school should have the same access to an incredible educational experience, which is what interested me about DeKalb Prep.
The board has a five-year contract with Mosaica to help us get the charter application through and to get the school started. Once the first five years are up, the DeKalb Prep board chooses how or whether to continue the relationship with Mosaica.
Now that I've experienced a charter application, I understand why so few committed groups of volunteers are able to get the charter application completed without professional assistance! Just a few days ago, we received about a dozen pages of detailed requests from DeKalb BOE, and we're required to respond by July 2 if the application is to stay alive. Without professional assistance, I'm not sure the members of the board--all of us volunteers with full-time jobs and families--could have responded well and in time.
Every member of the founding board for DeKalb Prep is a volunteer who's committed to educational innovation and quality in DeKalb County. We're working with Mosaica to help us make the charter school happen, in the same way that we would contract with food service professionals and textbook publishers for a school that's up and running.
Thanks for asking your question! I'm happy to answer any additional questions, and I hope to meet you at the open house tomorrow.
Laura Crawley, Ph.D.
DeKalb resident and
member of the founding board for DeKalb Prep
As Laura points out, DCSS Central Office makes charter applications incredibly difficult. Lewis, Talley, Moseley, Turk, etc. do not want charter schools in DeKalb, and they do everything possible to get their way.
My understanding is that it is a horrible process and then you are under the watchful eye to stay a Charter. I had such a bad experience when working for a charter school which was not a inner part of the school system that it made me doubt the whole process. I ended up paying for insurance but the charter school was not paying my insurance premiums. Again, it is a big responsibility to run a Charter School and money has to be spent correctly and someone realy has to know what they are doing. I really wish the DeKalb Prep luck. I will try to attend if possible to learn more. I am not oppose to Charter Schools but I had perfer to see them working within the school network then without the network because of what I have seen. Again, I wish them luck in their efforts. I hope they take care of their teachers and administrators.
Dr. Crawley, can you tell me if DeKalb Prep will have Pre-K when it opens in the 2010-2011 school year?
I'm uncertain if Dr. Crawley will check this website, so I'll answer as best I can - this is from their website -
DeKalb Preparatory Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school of choice for K-4 (adding one grade level per year up to 8th grade) for students residing within DeKalb County School District.
Pending approval of the charter, DPA will be open to all students residing in DeKalb County who will be entering grades K-4 in the 2010-2011 school year.
DEKALB PREPARATORY ACADEMY
3400 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30326
Phone: 404.841-2305 Ext. 109
So - it looks like, no they won't have PRE-K. However, feel free to call or email them and confirm.
I think this was one of the charter applications that was denied - per last night's meeting.
That's what I was trying to figure out... a charter called "Leadership Academy" was approved - but I'm pretty sure that's different...
Hi, I'm Laura Crawley, now the chair of the founding board for DeKalb Preparatory Academy. Yes, our charter was denied at last night's meeting, along with several others', in a blanket vote with no explanation other than "did not meet requirements."
Our entire board had planned to be at the meeting when it was originally scheduled for the 13th. When the date was changed to July 20, several of us had schedule conflicts and couldn't attend. Board member Christopher Holliday was there, and he spoke on behalf of DeKalb Prep. Dr. Rick Breault, another board member, was also there, along with a representative from Mosaica in case any specific curriculum questions arose. But there was no Q&A, as far as I know.
I'm saddened, I admit. But we aren't giving up! We've worked very hard, forming the board, gathering community signatures, holding information meetings, and securing community partnerships for the school. Mosaica has been an amazing partner. We are going to apply through the state Charter Commission now,and our goal remains to open in fall 2010. Thank all of you for your interest!
--Laura Crawley, Ph.D.
DeKalb resident and board chair for DeKalb Preparatory Academy
Thanks for the update, Laura. Best wishes with the state!
I also wanted to reply to the question about pre-K:
Although the founding board hasn't made a final decision about pre-K, we're leaning toward focusing on attaining the full k-8 program before we consider adding pre-K.
Based on my experience as a parent in DeKalb, it seems like good pre-K programs are abundant. What I've found most challenging as a parent is helping my kids navigate the transitional years from elementary to middle: 4th, 5th, and 6th. This is why I'm so committed to DeKalb Prep as a K-8 school. I think a seamless experience from elementary through middle school--without a huge jump in enrollment from elementary school to middle school--works for kids and for teachers.
It's not that we don't want pre-K. (My two kids had fantastic experiences with the state pre-K program.) Based on our DeKalb Prep board conversations to date, however, it's likely that we'd want to steer space and resources toward the later elementary and the middle school years within the K-8 context. I believe that's going to prove to be our differentiator within the DeKalb system.
It is possible that the DeKalb School Board has done Dekalb Prep a huge favor by denying its charter. As a state commission charter school, DeKalb Prep would be eligible for full funding and free of the county bureaucracy. My daughters will attend a state commission charter school this year, and I think that one of the most appealing aspects of the school is that educators, not bureaucrats, make the decisions.
Crawford Lewis and this BOE will do everything possible to fight charter schools in DeKalb.
Interesting story on school choice:
"Deadline looms for transferring kids under Georgia’s new school choice law"
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