City officials and the Dunwoody High school council are politely pressing the interim DeKalb school superintendent for his approval of the high school’s effort to seek single-school accreditation from the Georgia Accrediting Commission.
So far, Michael Thurmond has been non-committal. Two school board members said in an email they planned to inquire of Thurmond Tuesday, after The Crier’s print deadline.
While Thurmond has been saying he did not believe the DeKalb schools will lose their accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/AdvancED, the city and Dunwoody parents want a backup.
“I represent a community not willing to gamble that the remote possibility of uncontrollable events will not occur,” wrote City Councilman Terry Nall to Thurmond last week.
Nall pointed out to Thurmond that the school system would bear no cost, with the necessary funds being raised in the city. He also said no central office assistance would be needed, allowing the staff and the school board to address the complaint from SACS about governance when it placed the DeKalb schools on probation in December.
In a letter to Thurmond from the school council at Dunwoody High, the council pointed to the need for haste, writing that the Georgia Accrediting Commission says it needs to begin project engagement this month, followed by an on-site visit in April. That would allow Dunwoody to be accredited by the GAC before the SACS year-end probation deadline. The final board meeting of the GAC for the year is scheduled for September.
Nall stressed to Thurmond that seeking an additional accreditation is not a vote of no-confidence in the superintendent, staff or the new school board. He pledged to network with other DeKalb high school councils to assist them in the process of single-school accreditation.
On another school front, the group exploring a charter cluster for Dunwoody High and its feeder schools is meeting with school councils on the first step – a non-binding letter of intent to be filed with the state and county boards of education.
Pam Tallmadge and Jim Redovian, the former school board member, were to meet with the Kingsley Charter Council Tuesday afternoon.
The letter of intent says that the cluster will consider, research and petition for charter school cluster status in the next year. It envisions opening a Dunwoody High school charter cluster by August 2014.
The charter cluster idea also is being studied by the schools around Druid Hills and Lakeside high schools, all prompted by the turmoil and probation that resulted in Gov. Nathan Deal replacing six school board members.