We all have a voice in the business of our neighborhood, county, state and national business. By signing our petition, you will help the Laurel Ridge community shout loud and clear we do not support the Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson's Plan for redistricting.
Laurel Ridge Elementary Redistricting Arguments:
The proposed removal of 70 students from Laurel Ridge Elementary to McLendon Elementary is in direct conflict with DeKalb County School's stated goals and criteria:
1. LRES doesn't meet the county's own criteria for redistricting:
According to the district's frequently cited criteria, DeKalb County schools at or below 75% building utilization and those at or above 110% building utilization are eligible for redistricting. Laurel Ridge is currently at 80% utilization. Under the county's own requirements, our current attendance area should not have been adjusted. Why, under the current proposal, have attendance lines been drawn to remove Lindmoor Woods students from the Laurel Ridge attendance area and send them to McClendon? The redrawing of these lines was not introduced in either of the two initial plans. What has inspired it now?
2. Removing the students reduces facility utilization:
Removing these 70 students from LRES will bring the school's utilization down to 77%--dangerously close to the 75% cut-off that triggers a school's consolidation. If the county's goal is to bring a school’s enrollment up to 450, why is it taking Laurel Ridge in the opposite direction?
3. Removing these students represents no cost savings to the county:
State funding for schools is based on county-wide enrollment—not on how many seats at a particular school are filled. (Quote from Joe Martin needed). The cost savings across the county plan represent facility operational costs from closures. But since LRES will remain open for all the rest of its attendees, moving these 70 students, ruining community cohesion and destabilizing the educational experience for the affected families exacts a significant human cost, but doesn't save the county or its taxpayers a single penny. The change represents neither an immediate need NOR a strategic need.
4. Moving the students destroys community cohesion & school leadership
The neighborhood of Lindmoor Woods, which is the area most affected, has been attending LRES for 22 years, since the closure of Rehoboth Elementary School on Lawrenceville Hwy. This proposed second redistricting of the Lindmoor Woods neighborhood is in contradiction to Board Policy AD Secondary Criteria “Previous Redistricting” found in slide #5 of the presentation of the January 3 meeting. The traditional social flow of this community, two generations strong, would be significantly disrupted by cutting these families off from Laurel Ridge, its neighborhood school and community centerpiece for more than two decades. Leadership is especially necessary when new students from Medlock are arriving next August. Most of the Laurel Ridge standing and incoming PTA Executive Board would be removed from the school under this current plan.
5. Keeping these students at Laurel Ridge makes only a minor change to McLendon enrollment.
Under the Interim-Superintendent's proposal, Laurel Ridge would have a 77% capacity enrollment. Keeping those students in the Laurel Ridge attendance area would adjust McLendon capacity enrollment to 79%. That leaves a minor difference between the two schools, yet you are disrupting an established community and displacing 70 students unnecessarily.
6. Moving these students is premature:
Since the county has not revealed the details of its long-term plan for any of these affected schools, removing these students from LRES is premature. In fact, LRES has not even had its Facility Assessment visit, scheduled for 2/24, so how many other parts of this decision are being made prematurely?
7. Our alternate plan -- Leave these students at their neighborhood school where they belong and are thriving.
Keep the currently enrolled students in the Lindmoor Woods
neighborhood in the Laurel
Ridge attendance area. Ours are interlacing communities that share
friends, family, sports teams, churches, scout troops and places where we eat,
shop and have fun together. Disrupting that traditional connectedness is both unnecessary