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

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