International Community School Moving Into Vacated Medlock Elementary

From the Principal of the International Community School, Laurent Ditmann, Ph.D….

On Monday, October 10, at their monthly business meeting, the Dekalb County School System (DCSS) board approved the International Community School’s(ICS) requested Letter of Intent to lease the Medlock Elementary School building located at 2418 Wood Trail Lane in Decatur, Georgia.

The decision is a victory for ICS, which has been searching for a new facility for more than five years. To accommodate the school’s growing number of students and staff, the facilities have been split between a main campus within the Avondale Pattillo United Methodist Church in Avondale Estates and a satellite campus housing its fifth and sixth grades in Stone Mountain.

ICS officials will now begin finalizing the lease as well as a financial and logistical plan to support a move during the summer of 2012. The new building has more than 20% more space than the existing split campus, with larger classrooms and such prime amenities as a larger library and media center, an award-winning outdoor garden that serves as an outdoor classroom and a multi-purpose building with a gymnasium.

Notes from the DCSS board meeting state; It is beneficial to the District to have unused facilities occupied and to shift the expense of maintenance and utilities to the charter school. As part of the agreement, the International Community School will be solely responsible for providing any repairs, renovations, building and grounds maintenance and payment of utilities at this facility.

Since its initial charter in 2002, The International Community School has served refugee, immigrant and local children by providing an international education at the elementary school level. The school explores and celebrates cultural differences in a challenging, nurturing and intentionally multi-ethnic environment.

For ICS, the move to the Medlock Elementary building, and having every student, teacher and staff member under one roof is a great way to maintain a strong community and to ensure the long-term sustainability of this unique Charter School.


17 thoughts on “International Community School Moving Into Vacated Medlock Elementary”

  1. I challenge this crew to come up with something to gripe about on this one. C’mon, I know y’all are up to it.

    1. International?! Sounds like one more piece in the larger conspiracy that is the UN’s Agenda 21! [Insert sarcastrophe]

  2. No complaints but given the Dekalb schools views on charter schools I wonder how this got done.
    Anybody got any insight into the process? There are a lot of empty schools in Dekalb how did they pick this one? Do most of these families live in Clarkston? If they do won’t this put a burden on them to be involved with their kids at school? Just wondering.

    1. My understanding is that it took a lot of patience and persistence on the part of dedicated families and a whole lot of skillful negotiation on the part of the school’s Board members (some of whom are parents). Plus the system had no other planned use for the school.

      From what I have observed, charter schools can be an incredibly great community solution, e.g. ICS or the Museum School, the one in Grant Park, and probably many others that I don’t know about. Unfortunately, some do not end up well run, and some seem more like commercial ventures than community schools, so oversight of the process is needed.

  3. Can’t help you with the complaining. I know lots of ICS families and it sounds like the most wonderful school. Lots of constant fundraising to survive but I hear it’s worth it. I’m sorry for the Medlock Community that lost their neighborhood school but glad that the building will continue to be for students. I hope Medlock area children have a good chance to attend.

  4. My son attended ICS 3rd through 5th grade. It’s great news for the school. They’ve been spread out between the Decatur and Stone Mountain campuses, with barely room for the classrooms, and no room for a playground at either location. Now they have a gym, a library and lots more space. I’m happy for ICS.

  5. As a graduate of Medlock (1972), I’m really happy to see this. Hated the idea of it sitting there empty, and have heard great things about ICS.

  6. This is a great school with dedicated parents and faculty…I am so glad for them and the Medlock community. An all around win-win.

  7. Great news. Will love seeing the school being filled with kids and come back to life. Westchester anyone?

    1. A charter school in Westechester? Hmmm. That would create controversy.

      On the other hand, if SPLOST doesn’t pass, CSD will need to make up the revenues it was counting on to pay off F.AVE and any other debt, right? Maybe Westchester could be rented to a charter school? But not sure how a charter could afford rent payments unless it was a private charter with resources. And CSD probably needs the space soon. It’s still strollerville in Downtown Decatur. I keep thinking that the end of the American financial empire will result in a lower birthrate but not seeing that in Decatur. Maybe everyone is having tons of children to ensure security in their old age given that the elderly of the future seem unlikely to have pensions, savings, jobs, health care, Social Security, Medicare, or much of anything else.

      1. Oh no! Just meant using a school building for its intended purpose…filling it up with kids again. In this case, CSD of course.

        1. As a Westchester grad, I couldn’t agree more… when they closed the school, my graduating class petitioned to leave it open and we included a prediction that within six years they would have to open up a new school with the growth in Decatur… SURPRISE! It’s just going to get worse, too… strollerville is an apt description!

  8. I think it’s wonderful. We live adjacent to the Medlock neighborhood, and I’m happy to see the school put to such good use. I have heard about ICS for years, and will definitely want to visit once they open up there.

  9. This is great news!

    I just wonder how the Museum School in Avondale got the Forrest Hills Elementary building and ICS did not? Hope it’s not too much of a hump for the kids1

    Next, let’s find educational uses for Hooper Alexander and Peachcrest!

    1. This really makes more sense, though, because ICS draws students from across the county, even if some happen to live in a certain area, and the Museum School’s charter states that it is a neighborhood school and only serves the Avondale and Midway school districts. With luck some Medlock area kids will be able to attend ICS and the Museum School will be centrally located to the kids it serves.

  10. Wonderful news! Great school with an amazing vision, finally with a permanent place to call home. It took way, way too long (shame on you DCSS!) but you guys finally made the right call. Bravo!

  11. With a house for sale one block from the school, this is great news. The real estate market in this neighborhood has gone to sleep, but now families have a reason to move in.

    This was just approval for intent to lease. When will the lease be signed?

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