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Atkinson on SACS: ‘We will comply’
by LaTria Garnigan
November 07, 2012 03:52 PM | 3413 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At the fifth and last of the parent roundtables, held last Monday, DeKalb County School District Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson mentioned the recent visit by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“We received the letter and they did bring a team and we will await the findings,” said Atkinson. “And we will comply. We want the district to be in compliance and accredited.”

She added the school district will do whatever it needs and that SACS officials thanked them for their cooperation during the visit.

“The Special Review Team visiting the DeKalb County School District had the opportunity to meet with district leaders as well as community members,” said Mark A. Elgart, Ed.D., president and CEO of AdvancED in a statement. “Additionally they reviewed documents and information that offer insights into how the school system is meeting the Standards for Accreditation. We expect the team to have its report ready to send to the superintendent around Thanksgiving.”

The school district held these parent roundtables throughout October at McNair, Tucker, Redan, Lithonia and Dunwoody high schools to give the status of current issues to parents, as well as to let the community hear about new initiatives planned for the school year.

Atkinson highlighted two areas that are of importance to the district: communication and customer service. She added the district is striving to communicate better with issues parents feel they need to know. And with its customer service, the district has talked with many members of staff in developing a better customer service model.

Several department heads with the school district also spoke on updates within their departments, as well as answered several inquiries that were in response to the first four meetings.

Michael Perrone, chief financial officer for the district, commented on the DeKalb schools’ budget woes and mentioned two ways to balance a budget are to reduce expenses and raise revenues.

“We have cut over 300 positions and are looking at areas of efficiency like gas and electric and the disposition of vacant buildings,” he said. “One mill can generate $15 million. We’re at 24 and can go to 25, and most likely it will be a topic of discussion for the 2031-14 budget discussions.”

Atkinson added the information Perrone discussed are areas of recommendations the districts have made.

What's next
The district will await the results of the SACS report from their recent visit to DeKalb County Schools.
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