Decatur school board may approve K-2/3-5 reconfiguration

City Schools Decatur Superintendent David Dude. Courtesy City Schools of Decatur
City Schools Decatur Superintendent David Dude. Courtesy City Schools of Decatur

Decatur’s school board appears close to approving reconfiguration of the district’s elementary grades into separate K-2 and 3-5 schools. The possibility gets debated and possibly voted on during the board’s regular meeting, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Schools Decatur’s central office, 125 Electric Avenue.

“My guess is they will make decision [Tuesday],” Superintendent David Dude said Monday afternoon.

The board will review the results of a community survey that ran the last two weeks in April. That survey presented two options:

Five K-2 elementary schools at Clairemont, Glennwood, Oakhurst, Winnona Park and Westchester. The 3-5 schools will be at Fifth Avenue and the new building at Talley Street and South Columbia Drive. Meantime, the Early Childhood Learning Center remains at College Heights.

Keeping the current K-3/4-5 alignment, in use since 2004-05. This includes the five above-mentioned lower elementary schools, along with renovating College Heights into a K-3 and moving the ECLC elsewhere. The 4/5 Academies are Fifth Avenue and Talley Street.

Both Dude and a 30-person steering committee formed earlier this year favor realignment. Judging from the recent survey, community members may also be leaning in that direction.

“We had 750 responses, which I was very impressed with,” Dude said. “If you look at it quantitatively, the community ranks [the K-2/3-5 split] first. But there’s also 70 pages of comments and we are still reviewing those.”

Dude has said that outside of Oconee County he isn’t sure which districts in Georgia use the K-2 configuration, but added, “In my experience it’s the more popular model nationwide.”

He said that if the board doesn’t vote Tuesday, he’d at least like a final decision before the school year’s end.