Decatur School Board pulls East Lake lease agreement from meeting agenda
By David Schick, contributor
The City Schools of Decatur school board met Tuesday evening to discuss a handful of items from Georgia Milestone results to legislative priorities and future business.
At the start of the meeting, three action items on the agenda — one involving a lease agreement for East Lake Elementary School, the other involving pre-construction/design — were removed because CSD Superintendent David Dude said he wanted a little more time to go over those.
“After the agenda got posted, I was able to meet with the administrative team and construction team and talk about all three of those items a little bit more and I felt best not moving forward with them at this time,” Dude said.
Dude added that they looked at the timelines associated with the removed action items and said he “felt comfortable” with them not being approved at this time. He added that he hopes to have a work session between now and the next board meeting to discuss those items.
“We need to bring a little bit more certainty to some of these before I’m comfortable bringing them for action,” he said. “We’re hoping to have a work session before the holidays so we can talk about the facility master planning process.”
Whether or not the lease agreement ends up on the next school board meeting agenda “depends on how the work session goes,” Dude said.
Additionally, Joe Austin, CSD’s director of assessment and accountability, gave a presentation to the board about the school system’s recent Georgia Milestones results.
“In the vast majority of subjects and grade levels, well over 60 percent of CSD students demonstrate college and career readiness,” he said. He added that the “highlights” were the sixth grade results that showed a high percentage of students scoring at the higher levels — three and four.
Austin said the Milestones scoring is unique, unlike any other test in the country. “There is no other test in the U.S. with such a scoring system,” he said.
The Milestones ranks students’ test scores from one to four. A one represents a “beginning learner” who needs substantial academic support, while a four represents a “distinguished learner” who is well prepared academically.
Also, the meeting marked Vice Chair Julie Rhame’s final meeting as she finished up her 12th year, and last term, on the CSD school board. Some of her fellow school board members and school system personnel she’s worked with said kind words about her tenure.
“I’m just humbled and honored by these amazing gestures,” she said holding back some tears. “It’s been an honor to serve this community for 12 years.”
She thanked the school district’s teachers, and other stakeholders, for making the board look good.
“This is a thankless job and these people have to make really tough decisions,” Rhame said, and added a call for compassion from the community as the school board continues its duty making difficult decisions.