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School Board Meets Thursday on Five-Year Proposals

Some schools in Tucker would be severely affected by the plan.

Parents in Tucker are reeling from a surprise list of proposals by the DeKalb County Board of Education that would strongly impact several area schools. The board convenes again this Thursday, Dec. 6, to continue deliberations on the subject.

Below is part of a draft containing details of the proposals:

Proposed Org: Region 2
(Druid Hills, Lakeside, Tucker)
• Action 2.1:
– Tear down Fernbank ES (578 seats) & rebuild as a 900 seat school* (+322 seats) opening in 2015-2016 SY
– Adjust boundaries for efficiency in enrollment at elementary schools in the Druid Hill cluster effective 2015-2016 SY
• Action 2.2:
– Tear down Pleasantdale ES (689 seats) & rebuild as a 900 seat school* (+211 seats) opening in 2018-2019 SY
– Adjust boundaries for efficiency in enrollment at Evansdale ES for 2018-2019 SY
• Action 2.3:
– Tear down Smoke Rise ES (557 seats) & rebuild as a 900 seat school* (+343 seats) opening SY 2018-2019
– Consolidate Livsey ES (-357 seats) into rebuilt Smoke Rise ES for 2018-2019 SY
• Action 2.4:
– Move Idlewood ES (808 seats) from Tucker cluster to Stone Mountain cluster for 2018-2019 SY, alleviating overcrowding at Tucker HS and Tucker MS**
– Move Evansdale ES (552 seats) from Lakeside cluster to Tucker cluster for 2018-2019 SY, alleviating overcrowding at Lakeside HS & Henderson MS**
• Action 2.5:
– Increase capacity at Henderson MS by 138 seats* with addition opening SY 2015-2016 (not shifting Evansdale ES to Tucker cluster would require adding additional capacity of 438 seats)

Among the surprises is a plan to consolidate Livsey Elementary School into its Smoke Rise counterpart. Livsey barely survived a contentious redistricting fight last year.

Idlewood Elementary also faces a move to the Stone Mountain cluster, which does not sit well with parent Jeanie Christian. "I serve on the Tucker Parent Council and I have children that go to Idlewood," she told Tucker Patch. "I wholeheartedly disagree and feel strongly that the Tucker community stay together. I don't know what the motivation of the board could be for taking away our years and years of history with this community but I know that it can't be for the best interest of the students."

Christian plans to take her concerns to the board meeting on Thursday.

Jan Mixon of the ICON neighborhood group said in an email: "We need to try to keep Idlewood Elementary as a feeder school for Tucker Middle and Tucker High. This became a concern for those of us south of Highway 78 when the Stone Mountain Middle School was built. We were assured at that time that Idlewood would remain a feeder school for Tucker."

The school board issued a statement saying: "The goal of the five-year, local facility plan is to support teacher and student success by easing overcrowding at some schools while building student capacity in areas of the district. In this way, the school facility plan helps support classroom instruction, especially in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields."

Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson added: “After hearing from several top business leaders about the skills needed for job success in the 21st century, it is clear, now more than ever, that we must prepare our students for the sciences, increase technological innovation and encourage business entrepreneurship. That is the growth sector for jobs for our youth.”

More on the new proposals here.

What do you think about these ideas? How would they affect you and your children? Tell us in the comments-

Kevin Madigan December 05, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Thanks, Jennifer.
Brandon V December 05, 2012 at 07:31 PM
It is ridiculous to have 3 outgoing board members vote in this when we're a few weeks away from their replacements taking office. This is a slap in the face of our voting process.
Christy Atkins December 05, 2012 at 07:53 PM
All Tucker area residents should pay close attention to this, whether you have kids or not. Even if your kids are currently in private, consider what these actions will do to your property values and the community.
Kevin Madigan December 06, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Comment from Jimmy Bridges via email: All three entries from Tucker Middle School in the county level competition of the state-wide social studies fair have moved onto the regional level competition. No other school in the county had three to move on to the next level.
Charlton Allen December 07, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Wow!

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