Construction of the 126,000-square-foot College Park Elementary School, slated to house 850 students in August, has begun, funded by the city’s special purpose local option sales tax. “Things are moving along with the building of the new elementary school, but the board is still working out some logistics, including soundproof windows to reduce noise pollution,” Maddox said about a feature needed since the site is directly under a Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport flight path. Construction projects to renovate McNair Middle and Tri-Cities High are also in the works.
“We’ve mapped out safety plans to add on to McNair Middle and we’re building a fence at Tri-Cities High School this summer,” Maddox said.
The fence at Tri-Cities will be constructed in the hopes of reducing break-in burglaries of cars at the high school and around other East Point school locations.
“The schools have also been working with local police to ensure security cameras are placed in the right areas to catch these thieves,” Maddox said.
Curriculum changes and upcoming budget meetings were also discussed at the meeting. “This year, Latin was added as a foreign language option to Tri-Cities High and Woodland Middle schools and we’re hoping to incorporate it into Paul D. West Middle and Banneker High next year,” Maddox said. She said the board would be tracking the SAT scores of students participating in Latin classes to see if improvements to their test scores occur.
Tri-Cities High Principal Dan Sims said although Latin teachers can be harder to staff than Spanish and French teachers, the new language class was “welcomed.”
“Students, especially those pursuing medical or law careers, will benefit from [the Latin] program,” he said.
Maddox called for more teacher, parent and student participation, starting with the three upcoming public hearings for the 2014-15 school year budget.
“We need parents and teachers to come to these meetings to hear exactly what they want to prioritize for their students’ educational needs,” she said.