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Parent Meetings

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Decatur Public Schools will be hosting parent meetings at Brush College Elementary, Hope Academy, Enterprise Elementary, Garfield Montessori and Harris Elementary to review the recent recommendations of the Building Utilization Committee. The co‐chairs of this committee along with other key district personnel will be presenting details of the recommendations and answering questions. Meetings are scheduled as follows:

 

Brush College ‐ Gymnasium

November 19

5:30PM‐7:00PM

 

Hope Academy ‐ Cafetorium

November 20

6:00PM‐7:30PM

 

Enterprise Elementary ‐ Auditorium

November 26

5:00PM‐6:30PM

 

Garfield Montessori - Auditorium

November 29

6:00PM‐7:30PM

 

Harris Elementary ‐ Library

December 3

5:00PM - 6:30PM

 

This Building Utilization Committee, consisting of over 40 people that represented Decatur Public School parents, staff and administration, has been working for over a year on a plan that will assist the district in having stronger schools for the 21st century.

Throughout the process the committee discussed all aspects of facility capabilities and future needs as they relate to academic achievement and overall student success. The committee objectives included:

Reviewing and evaluating existing educational programs to be developed into a Three to Five Year Plan in order to improve educational programs utilizing facilities to their maximum capacity.

Analyzing and reviewing facility usage and costs district wide along with programming needs to present recommendations to the Board of Education and Superintendent regarding the needs of school facilities in the 2013‐2014 school year and beyond.

The committee presented their recommendations at an Open Work Session to the Board of Education on November 5, 2012 after a year long discussion that was driven by academic success and included school population projections, boundary alignments, transportation data, building considerations and facility costs. These initial recommendations include:

1. The closing of Brush College School for 2013‐14 and moving students to Hope Academy and Harris Elementary.

2. Retheming Hope Academy for 2013‐14 which consists of determining a targeted focus for Hope Academy in addition to determining if the school will remain a year around school or switch to a traditional calendar.

3. Expanding Montessori instruction. Montessori instruction is driven by students actively participating in planning their time and taking responsibility for their work. Montessori classrooms are designed in a multi‐age mix from toddler through adolescents which allows for both individual and social development.

4. Plan for thematic concepts at all elementary schools by 2015‐2017. Thematic concepts are based on a particular focus of instruction. The core of instruction is then taught within that concept. Thematic concepts can include: Montessori, International Baccalaureate (IB), Performing and Fine Arts, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Technology. These themes can provide an even stronger relevance for students by allowing them to have a concentrated emphasis around one concept while maintaining student interest over a longer period of time and providing more continuity for learning.

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Please feel free to contact Kendall Briscoe, Director of Community Engagement at 424.3400 or email: kbriscoe@dps61.org for further information.

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