Research shows that smaller schools reduce the effects of poverty, are safer, reduce violence, increase parental involvement and student academic achievement.
There will be a special purpose meeting hosted by the Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools to discuss Dunwoody overcrowding. Dan Drake, DeKalb County School District COO will be in attendance. This could be a good opportunity to hear the county’s perspective and to share ours. Details of the meeting with Dan Drake (DCSD COO):
Kingsley Elementary – Cafeteria
2051 Brendon Dr, Dunwoody, GA 30338
Wed, Feb 20, 2019
In Commissioner Nancy Jester’s post, Redistrict and Consolidate DeKalb Schools High Schools, she writes, “DeKalb Schools has 6,167 high school seats not being used. There are 10 high schools at less than 80% utilization. McNair is only 41% utilized. We can redistrict all the schools with overcrowding for free and still have 4,862 high school seats not being used.”
“Reforming public education may be as simple as creating smaller schools. The results of two recent studies indicate that small schools may be the remedy for lots of what is wrong with public education. Small schools can reduce the negative effects of poverty, reduce violence, and increase parent involvement and student accountability” says EducationWorld. The following is gleened from that article and their research.
The Rural School and Community Trust, a national nonprofit organization, asked researchers Craig Howley, of Ohio University and the Appalachia Educational Laboratory, and Robert Bickel, of Marshall University, to study School Size, Poverty, and Student Achievement in Georgia among a couple other states. The study included 13,600 urban, suburban, and rural schools in 2,290 school districts.
They found that at least one-third of the schools serving moderate- to low-income communities in Georgia are too large for students to achieve top performance.
Howley and Bickel found that poor students from relatively smaller schools outperform poor students from larger schools.
Test Scores Drop In Large Schools
In Georgia, achievement scores in schools serving children from poorer communities fell on 27 of 29 test scores as the school size increased.
Teacher Satisfaction Goes Up
The researchers found that student achievement was greater in the small schools than in the larger schools. Students, parents, teachers, and community volunteers reported greater satisfaction because they felt more connected to one another
Updated: 2/21/2019 @ 10:23am
Please share your thoughts on the meeting. Here are mine …
All in all, I think coach Mike Nash’s sentiments summarized the feelings of those in attendance. He said this school is busting at the seems. Dunwoody HS, with 2000+ students, is given the same resources as all the other high schools with less than 1000 students. We don’t have enough space for anything and what we do have is getting worn down much faster than the current maintenance cycle is providing for.
Redistricting is the most emotional issue on the table. One Latino man stood up in the middle of the meeting and passionately expressed that he does not want to be redistricted to Cross Keys.
Drake was clear that the current plan is to keep the cluster together saying that the Dunwoody community was clear that they want to stay together. I think he conflated the City of Dunwoody and the Dunwoody School Cluster. The residents of Dunwoody are clear that citizens of Dunwoody should go to school in Dunwoody. That doesn’t hold true about the Dunwoody School Cluster.
Common Spaces & Facilities
Drake punted on space and maintenance saying he would listen to the concerns of the CAC and community.
Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools
I have a number of concerns about PGCS. They want to be the conduit to the administration for all PTAs, School Councils, Foundations and other parent organizations. But they have meetings with the administration and actively try to prevent the public from going. They have a closed facebook group. I’ve reached out to them and have never received a response. They have never reached out to me. I can only assume something nefarious is going on here.