As has been the case in recent years, students will not be the only ones being graded on their performance.
Officials in the district’s administrative hierarchy are touting the implementation of evaluation systems for principals as well as assistant principals and other district leaders.
“Now we’re raising the bar for principals and central office personnel,” said Decatur Schools Superintendent Phyllis Edwards. “It’s a professional growth plan … we pick standards we want them to work toward.”
That program, in accordance with Georgia Leader Keys, will entail several meetings between the evaluator and the person being evaluated. The latter will be required to show evidence that they have met the desired goals.
The Decatur schools chief said the program meshes with the system — that has been in place the past four years — utilized to evaluate teachers.
“It’s not a checklist; you’re sitting down with people,” Edwards said. “It’s a good accountability measure … it’s kind of a systemic approach. Instead of being disjointed, we’re going into a school with an improvement plan and a strategic plan.”
The school system is also implementing an evaluation model for guidance counselors as well.
City Schools of Decatur — the county seat’s four-square-mile area its domain — continues to see an annual uptick in student population. Enrollment for the coming school year is up eight percent, or 378 new students, from last year.
In all, 3,507 pupils in grades kindergarten through 12 will be hitting the books this time around, compared to the 3,200-plus who did so in 2011-12. The district observed a 12 percent increase from the previous year.
“We’re definitely one of the high growth areas,” Edwards noted.
The implementation of the compass learning system — an online learning management model — is yet another new for 2012-13. The program is designed to create a learning path for a child’s instructional path.
City Schools of Decatur has gotten off to an early start the past three years.
Students, teachers and administrators get the jump on their DeKalb peers due to a “balanced” school calendar. Classes will be in session for six weeks starting Aug. 1, followed by a one-week break.
“A lot of people are tied to the traditional calendar because that’s what we grew up with,” Edwards said.
“That’s actually based on Agrarian society, farming … with our calendar, teachers absolutely love it and parents seem to like it.”