09/25/2013 – Tapestry Charter


Dr. Alice Thompson
The administration believes that this charter will support an unfilled need and enhance student achievement for autistic and typical students in grades 6-12 residing in DeKalb County School District. Therefore, It is requested that the Board of Education approve the charter petition for the Tapestry Public Charter School, Inc. for the proposed five year charter term.

Dr. Johnson

I call for a motion to approve this recommendation. Moved – Orson, second – Mayfield, discussion.
I reiterate my strong support for the petition that I expressed at our regular board meeting. I think the work of the petitioners is exemplary. They have produced an excellent petition, well thought out, targeted at a group of students across our school system whose needs are not always well served by our traditional schools. Not from a lack of intent, but simply because we are not always equipped to do so. I think it demonstrates a commitment to innovation and new thinking in terms of how we deliver exceptional educational opportunities to every student in our school system. I think the people who have coalesced around it, both as active participants on the board and their potential partners, demonstrably are experts in there field or are committed to the well being of youth and children in our community. So, I am a very strong proponent of this petition, and I hope that my fellow board members will agree.
I’ll pile on with some comments. I would also want to thank all the folks … I know it was a long meeting the other day a couple of weeks ago when we met about this. I think the community that was responsible for setting up this charter was incredibly responsive over the last couple of weeks. I think it was a really good example of folks who were thoughtful in answering questions that we asked, who are very thoughtful about approaching the members of the board, staff to kinda resolve any outstanding issues. I do think this is what we are looking for to improve educational outcomes are communities that can be innovative, come up with new ideas, new way of doing things. I think this is a great example of that. So, thank you for your patience over the last couple of weeks for being responsive. We appreciate that and hopefully that’s a model for the relationships we can have with other groups.
I certainly do want to, for the benefit of the public as well as for other members on the board, is one of the key questions that I had asked had to do with … and I think in terms of establishing sort of a decorum or precedent in terms of evaluating charters. One of the things that I wanted to see was the evidence to support the charters ability to deliver on the promise. So, I do want to acknowledge that, in reviewing the board members that are a part of this charter, that there are a number of board members with children who are in the autism range. And, I want to emphasize the fact that the autism component was a clear differentiator, if you will, in terms of my support for the charter. Not only are the empathetic elements, if you will, are in place with the board, in terms of making decisions, but the clinical support, in terms of being able to evaluate this type of support that these children need, are also in place. So, i’m confident that the combination of those two factors will play a huge role in the charter … organization meeting its charter.
Dr. Morley
I most certainly want to say that we appreciate all that you all have done putting this together. The other thing that really stood out for me is that you all want to work with the district. That makes a real difference that the children belong to all of us. And that none of us is as great as all of us, so we’re all in this together. And, the efforts that y’all took to clarify some of the areas that were not as clear before. So, I really do appreciate it and the fact that you all are focusing on autistic children and the families. But, I think most certainly look at autism and being able to have a comprehensive plan as to how you’re going to deal with some of those issues. So, I do want to appreciate all the time that you have put into this, the time that you all have waited for us to be able to look at this, and the time you’ve taken to answer the questions that we’ve had. So, thank you.
Interim Superintendent
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen of the board, I want to reiterate what Dr. Thompson spoke to earlier in conversations with her, Dr. Boseman, Ms Copeland, and those that work to evaluate the charter … with the charter petitioners and I just want to compliment them in light of what Dr. Morley said in terms of their willingness to work “wiff” the district. And, help to address any questions that were raised. And, I just share this, so, for those that have been experiencing dealing with charter petitions, they shared with me yesterday and today, that this is one of the finest, most focused petitions that we’ve received throughout the era of charter petitions here in the DeKalb County School District. We’re looking forward to working “wiff” you. We thank you so much for your advocacy and your support, and we welcome the partnership that will result in greater access. Not just for autistic children, but all children. And, a greater awareness district wide with the challenges and opportunities that exist.
Dr. Johnson
With that in mind, no further discussion. I call for the vote. Passes unanimously.

One response to “09/25/2013 – Tapestry Charter

  1. That’s fantastic!