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THAT'S A WRAP: DeKalb, Decatur schools finish school year
by Christine Fonville
June 03, 2014 09:37 AM | 4283 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye / From left, Kenya Freeman, 10, Dorsey Howarth, 10, and their teacher Sarah Ary wrap up the last week of school with angle studies.
Staff / Katherine Frye / From left, Kenya Freeman, 10, Dorsey Howarth, 10, and their teacher Sarah Ary wrap up the last week of school with angle studies.
As the 2013-14 school year draws to a close, the DeKalb County School District and City Schools of Decatur are in the midst of planning for the 2014-15 school year, but also reflecting on the accomplishments and challenges that were met this year.

With Decatur serving 4,363 students and DeKalb’s student population being about 99,400, both school districts had many highlights.

“City Schools of Decatur having the highest graduation rate in the metro Atlanta area is a point of pride for us,” said Superintendent Phyllis Edwards.

The school district also ranked fifth in the state on the College and Career Ready Performance Index. Decatur High was named an AP honor school in categories including AP merit and AP STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

At the high school level, Jeff Dickerson, a spokesman with DeKalb County schools, said progress with the new performance measures released about two months ago were an achievement.

“Considering 66 percent of students in a Title I school who receive free or reduced lunch scored very high is an achievement not just for the district but the state as a whole,” he said.

But with successes came issues as well, said Dickerson.

“Our two main issues were the budget not having sufficient revenue and probation,” he said.

After tapping into more resources, the budget was turned from a deficit into a surplus and probation was lifted earlier in January, making the threat of accreditation loss no longer imminent.

Now, both districts are looking forward to new things to come next year.

“One of the biggest things happening for City Schools of Decatur for the 2014-15 school year is the opening of our fifth kindergarten through third-grade school, Westchester Elementary at 758 Scott Blvd.,” said Edwards.

For DeKalb, Dickerson said Superintendent Michael Thurmond is excited to implement more efforts to emphasize parental involvement with students.

“Superintendent Thurmond said he really wants to double the efforts to expand on the concept of getting parents and the community involved,” Dickerson said.

He said Thurmond will be focused on parents and teacher collaborations at all grade levels to build on the academic progress for the district which, he said, is moving forward.

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