Overall, the company did a very impressive job of gathering and compiling the information from the public. The takeaways I heard at last night's presentation included the fact that most of our schools are considered either fair or poor in their ability to provide an education in a proper environment (e.g. science in a science lab, art in an art room...). The group also divided the system into five "super-clusters" consisting of three high schools each with the correlating feeders. The projected growth is definitely in north DeKalb. The majority of over-utilized (crowded) schools are in north DeKalb. Central DeKalb's growth has been flat for a very long time and will continue to be. South and southwest DeKalb (MLK Jr, Lithonia, Miller Grove, SW DeKalb, Cedar Grove) will most likely begin to grow again as the economy recovers and the "pipe villages" can be revived. High schools in these areas are currently over-utilized, but middle and elementary are not. (Could this be due to the number of transfers who attend schools in north DeKalb by choice?) Click here to read our report.
Other themes from the charrettes include:
- North, South, East, or West, parents want the same quality education for their children.
- The public does not believe that program offerings are equitability distributed or of the same quality.
- The public expects the district to maximize state funding opportunities.
- There is a conflict between focusing on neighborhood schools and providing for magnet opportunities and ESEA (NCLB) requirements.
- There is a need for more accountability and transparency in how dollars are spent.
- Trust in the leadership must be rekindled.
The remainder of the schedule is as follows:
December 6, 2010: Board Meeting •Present Summary Data
December 7, 2010: Publish summary data to the website
December 14, 2010: Publish detail data
December 2010: Superintendent and team develop recommendations
January 3, 2011: Board Meeting •Superintendent presents preliminary recommendations
January 10, 2011: Board Meeting •Approve Attendance Area Policy
January 11, 13, & 18, 20: Workshop and Public Input
January 31, 2011: Superintendent present redistricting & consolidation plan
February 22, 24: Public Hearings
February 28, 2011: Board votes on final redistricting and consolidation recommendations