Avondale Estates considering donation to elementary school

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt September 15, 2015
Photo obtained via the city of Avondale Estates website.

Photo obtained via the city of Avondale Estates website.

Paul Brown, an Avondale Estates resident and former mayoral candidate, is asking the city to do more for Avondale Elementary School for an after-school program.

The DeKalb County public school has had lukewarm relationship with the city residents, who opt to send their children to the Museum School, a nearby charter, or a private school. But Brown is asking the city to give some backing to the elementary school as well in the spirit of improving educational options throughout the city.

Brown has submitted a request for a donation which will be considered at the Sept. 16 City Commission work session.

According to Brown, the after-school program, “will expand the educational experience, motivate study habits and create an alternative in our city for elementary education by raising the test scores. Being a Title 1 school, funding is very limited to purchase items that will help enrich this program.”

He’s asking the city make a $5,000 donation to the elementary school to purchase equipment and supplies for the program.

“We lose young families every year for various reasons, but most prominent would be for not ‘winning’ the lottery for attendance at The Museum School,” Brown wrote in his memo to commissioners. “This is a drain on our community because this age group will be the ones who will start a new business, invest in opportunities and become future community leaders.

“Ideally, this community needs to resolve the educational opportunities for all of its students, K-12 particularly with the current overcrowding of Decatur schools, the possible annexation of Druid Hills, and the growth forecast for all surrounding communities. As a city, we have not been supportive of this county school in the recent years.”

Brown said the school is doing its part to improve its test scores and become a better community school.

“This year, Avondale Elementary School has initiated their after school program that will expand the educational experience, motivate study habits and create an alternative in our city for elementary education by raising the test scores,” Brown wrote. “Being a Title 1 school, funding is very limited to purchase items that will help enrich this program.”

The school’s principal wants to start various clubs for students focused on activities like chess, golf and Lego robotics. He said the school’s current enrollment is 470 students, and only 14 students from Avondale Estates are enrolled.

“Investment by the city will also encourage our able residents to volunteer for tutoring, mentoring and becoming involved with all the bright, young minds who will forever regard their elementary years’ experience with time spent in Avondale Estates,” Brown’s letter concludes.

The city is also taking steps to address the issue of educational options in Avondale. City leaders recently sought applications for an ad hoc committee on education.

According to the city, the committee’s mission is …

– To develop an education resource page on the City’s website that will help parents navigate a complex system of public and private education options.

– To build relationships with area school administrators and representatives to ensure the City is represented in broader, top-level discussions that impact our residents’ education options.

– To anticipate and plan for future changes outside the City’s control that could impact residents’ education options.

– To make recommendations, as needed, as to how the committee’s role and tasks warrant revision.

The City Commission work session begins at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 16 and will be held at City Hall, located at 21 North Avondale Plaza. All meetings are open to the public.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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