School notes: City Schools of Decatur staff will conduct safety drills Nov. 5

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 24, 2013

Icon_Schools– Election day is Nov. 5 and City Schools of Decatur will be closed for a staff safety drill. The drill is called “Building a Safer School Community.” The City Schools of Decatur Facebook page says, “Please be aware that all schools will be practicing Emergency Drills from 1:30-3:30 on November 5. If you are voting at one of the schools (specifically, Winnona Park Elementary and Renfroe Middle School) please take note that you may hear and see emergency drills over the intercom and on the school campus.”

– reports that unopposed City Schools of Decatur Board of Education candidate Annie Caiola leads the pack in fundraising for the Nov. 5 municipal elections. She’s raised about $4,300.

– Renfroe Middle School Principal Derrick Thomas is asking parents to leave their dogs at home when picking up kids or dropping them off at the school. In his eblast, Thomas said dogs are getting in the way of pick-up and drop-off procedures.

In his message to parents, Thomas said the policy is needed because: 

  • “We have children that are very afraid of dogs. We do not want any child feeling scared about coming to school or leaving the building.”
  •  “We have children that have very different opinions of dogs due to their cultural upbringing. Please remember that not everyone loves your dog as much as you do.”
  • “Arrival and dismissal are busy and stressful times for the RMS staff because we want to make sure our students get to where they need to go. Dogs can be very distracting to students and this makes it very difficult for our teachers to keep track of your children, especially during dismissal.”
  • “Cleanliness – We have dog feces left around the perimeter of the campus which creates obvious problems.”

– The Decatur Education Foundation’s Low Country Boil event raised $30,000 this year, according to the Renfroe eblast.

– Our friend Decatur Metro reports that the rezoning process is underway for the soon to reopen Westchester Elementary.

– According to the Decatur Bulldog Boosters newsletter, the Renfroe Middle Girls Cross Country team recently won the Small School State Championship for the second year in a row. The high school band also represented the school well in a recent marching competition, the boosters reported.

“The varisty squad consisted of Maggie Carlton, Annie Ballou, Morgan Vaden, Hannah Weisbecker, Anna Mahany, Whitney Westbrook, and Sydni Wilson. They had an average race time of 13:46,” the boosters reported.

The boosters reported that the Decatur High marching band competed against 17 other schools in the Sprayberry Southern Invitational Band Competition. According to the boosters, the marching band won, “Best Auxiliaries (dance line and color guard) in Class 2A, as well as in the entire Silver Division (all 2A and 1A bands), Best Musical Performance in the Silver Division, Best Band in Class 2A, Grand Champions of the Silver Division, as well as 5th place overall ranking in the contest.”

(Editor’s note: editor Dan Whisenhunt ran cross country and played trombone in the high school marching band. He wasn’t this good at either of those things. He may be jealous.)

News from around Georgia

– Georgia decided against participating in a national testing consortium to assess students’ understanding of the new Common Core standards, saying the new tests will cost too much. Well, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting, the cost of the state creating its own exams will be higher than what the state currently spends on testing.

– According to WTVM in Columbus, the Georgia Association of Educators is pushing to make the school year longer, particularly in school systems that shortened the school year to save money.

– The Athens Banner-Herald reports that Georgia’s Pre-K learning commissioner wants the program to have smaller class sizes next year.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

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