Launched – Westchester website up and running

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt May 22, 2014
A screen shot of the newly-launched Westchester Elementary School website.

A screen shot of the newly-launched Westchester Elementary School website.

Parents sending their child to the reopened Westchester Elementary this fall have a new home on the web.

City Schools of Decatur today announced the launch of the Westchester website and email list.

“Please note that it is still very much ‘under construction’ and we will be adding more content over the summer,” Principal¬†Rochelle Lofstrand said in her welcome email.

Lofstrand said in her welcome message that the K-3 school will be undergoing renovations. The building currently serves as the school system’s central office. CSD closed Westchester in 2004 due to low enrollment, but decided to reopen it after the school system’s enrollment spiked. CSD will move to the Beacon Municipal Center.

“Throughout the summer, the Westchester building will be upgraded to include painting, new kitchen, removal of temporary walls, updates to the playground, etc. Our faculty is working hard on determining the school colors and our 3rd graders will be instrumental in deciding on our mascot during the year,” Lofstrand’s welcoming message says.

The new web address is:

The link for the email list is:


About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • Westchesterite

    Yay Westchester! Glad to have you back! Missed you!

  • get it right

    I’m not interested in revisiting ancient history, but the statement in the story that reads
    “CSD closed Westchester in 2004 due to low enrollment” is simply not correct. Please revise it to say “CSD closed Westchester in 2004″ or CSD closed Westchester in 2004 as part of a system-wide reconfiguration”. People new to the area since 2004 may read this story and think there was some problem that led to low enrollment and resulted in the school being closed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Westchester was as healthy as any school in the system – right up to the day it closed.

    • This is Dr. Edwards explanation for closing Westchester in 2004. She states it was due to low enrollment. I have no evidence to the contrary, but will be happy to look at whatever you may have. Send it to me at

    • Westchesterite

      No, Westchester did NOT have low enrollment in 2004; the south side schools did. Westchester had one of the highest enrollments at that time at about 225 students. College Heights was down to around 90 students. But it was appropriately deemed wise to not just close schools on the south side in what was then a majority black community, except for Winnona Park. However, what was not wise was closing too many schools at once while everyone was pointing out that there were babies and preschool children everywhere, north side and south side, and the declining enrollment curve was about to inflect and go the other way. The Clairemont and Westchester communities were also not wise in focussing on which school should stay open instead of uniting and convincing the Board that closure of either school was unwise given that both were successful and needed. A lot of money and community goodwill would have been saved if the school system had grown organically instead of having the artificial closures then additions then reopenings. Meanwhile gentrification replaced a lot of the south side black community and the original equity issue became a moot point.

  • Chris Billingsley

    Thanks Get It Right and Westchesterite. I agree with your statements about student enrollment at Westchester. Now I have a theory based on one statement from a person in the know that the reorganization was based In PART on the view that certain schools were “fiefdoms” (This was the term used by my source) controlled by powerful groups of parents and their principals. What better way to reduce or destroy this influence than close a school. But that wasn’t enough. What better way to reduce the power of the remaining fiefdom than create the 4/5 academy. Now parents that had several children in CSD would have to choose what school to get involved in. Parental influence in the elementary schools was reduced and the power of the central administration increased. Just a theory of course.
    Anyway I’m very glad that Westchester is reopening and that the school has a sharp principal.

    • Westchesterite

      One person’s “fiefdom” is another person’s warm, engaged, cohesive school community. How could anyone resent the fact that Mary Mack, Cheryl Kuebler, or Paula Herrema poured so much of their heart and soul into their schools and that parents, teachers, and students were incredibly dedicated and loyal to them? One of the most important things new leaders can do when they come into an organization is get to know the strengths as as well as the weaknesses of their new place. The new Board members and senior administrators threw out the baby with the bathwater.

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