Decatur Schools, Running Out of Space, Look Outside City

There is a new, very interesting report on Decaturish that CSD is growing so fast that it is considering leasing space from other area  school systems. Namely Atlanta or DeKalb.

Additionally, if enrollment continues at it’s current rate, the only other options are ones we’ve floated here in the past, that likely wont be very popular.  It seems that Dr. Edwards agrees. From Decaturish…

Edwards said there are other alternatives if the rental idea doesn’t pan out, but they probably won’t be popular.

One idea is implementing split shifts, meaning that the system will educate one group of students in the morning and another group in the afternoon. The system could also add even more portables. Or it could explore becoming a year-round school system where a portion of the student body is out of school at any given time during the year.

It might not be popular, but as has been pointed out here previously, for that reason it might just be the one thing that can slow the enrollment growth.

Superintendent: Decatur Needs a New School By 2018 – And Needs to Pay For It

Start the clock.

According to one blurb on the AJC yesterday, Decatur Superintendent Phyllis Edwards is saying that City Schools of Decatur will need another k-5 building on the north side of the city to house students by the 2018-2019 school year.  And ultimately, as has been recently reported, the school system could require up to 2 new buildings to accommodate growing enrollment.

The post even notes that Dr. Edwards called DeKalb CEO Lee May about potentially available space in DeKalb County office buildings, after he recently unveiled a plan to move many county employees to a new development along Memorial Drive in unincorporated DeKalb.

But of course, building new schools isn’t cheap.  The extensive renovations already planned for Decatur High School and Renfroe Middle School have been planned to be paid for by issuing Certificates of Participation as part of a lease purchase agreement with Georgia Municipal Association.  Now with new construction on the horizon, the City is making good on its statement to revisit a bond referendum for Decatur Schools, back when it postponed a vote back in mid-2013.

The AJC reports that during the Mayor’s State of the City Address on Tuesday, Mayor Jim Baskett said that the city would revisit issuing a bond referendum for the school system this Spring.  The Superintendent told the AJC that the price tag on the bond would be around $80 million, notably higher than the $59.6 million bond referendum that the city rejected back in 2013.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Decatur Cancels All After-School Programs Today Due to Snowy Forecast

City Schools of Decatur sent out this announcement this morning…

All City Schools of Decatur after-school programs and after-school activities have been canceled for today, Tuesday, January 28. All evening activities, athletics practices and games, classes, and meetings scheduled in the City Schools of Decatur are also canceled.

Parents of school children participating in after-school programs held in CSD school buildings, such as Pre-K Chex Mix, Animal Crackers, Whiz Kids, Project REAL, tutorials, athletics, or clubs, should make arrangements for their child to be picked up at the regular school dismissal time.

Parents of children in the 0-3 Program at College Heights and children who attend the Frasier Center must be picked up by 3:00.

Dismissal times for all schools may be found on the Schools webpage of the district website.

Stay tuned to local news stations, the City Schools of Decatur Facebook page, and the CSD website for any additional information.

A Final Tour of 5th Avenue Elementary

Late last week, DHS teacher Chris Billingsley took a final tour of the 5th Avenue School property before it has its meeting with the wrecking ball beginning tomorrow.

Above are his pictures, below his written account. Many thanks to Chris for forwarding all this material!

As a life-long resident of Decatur, I found it strange that this was my first and last tour of the historic 5thAvenue school. I grew up on the north side and never had much experience in south Decatur until I started teaching at DHS in the 1970s. My first surprise was that the main entrance was not on Oakview (the grand, twenty step staircase that fronts Oakview) but the entrance that faces 5th Avenue. It reminded me of the old Ponce Elementary School and Winnona Park.

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