On April 20, the Tucker Cluster Council (TCC) held its final meeting of the school year. During that meeting, several members of the DeKalb County School District leadership team provided updates to the group on how things are going in the District on a number of fronts.
School Board Member
The plan is to be face-to-face in August…five days. That’s very, very exciting. Everyone’s gearing up for that.… There will be an online option for people who, for whatever reason, do not feel comfortable going back. It’ll be through Flex Academy. There will be a component that will connect the student to their local school [and those] details are still being worked out.
The Comprehensive Master Plan…is moving along. It’s pretty exciting. Probably most of you are engaged enough at your local schools that you might have seen your Facility Condition Assessment or your Educational Suitability Assessment by now. Perkins & Will, [who are] in charge of the whole Comprehensive Master Plan, they’re doing a great job incorporating feedback.… There’s been input from Tucker, from the schools and the community members that has made it back to Perkins & Will and they are making changes and making edits because of your input on those.
We are preparing and looking at next year, and long-term in the future, as well. We talk about the CARES Act funding, we are meeting regularly, and I mean every week, to assess how to best use this money to make sure that we are taking advantage of this one-time infusion of money into the District, but also making sure that it reaches where it needs to go, which is down to the classrooms.
The COVID think tank meets every week. We have conversations about where we are right now, what we need to be looking at in the future, how to be better prepared. We know that COVID is not going away, but we do want to make sure that we take some of the practices that we have learned from this experience and make them into best practices because there are a lot of positive takeaways. We’re looking at one right now and, of course, we’d much rather be face-to-face, but being able to meet virtually when we need to [is a benefit]. If you asked all of us a year ago if we’d be comfortable with doing this, we’d say no. Now, it’s just secondary nature.
Deputy Chief Operations
I want to thank [Smoke Rise Elementary School Principal Pamela] McCloud and her team, [community stakeholder] Mr. [Alan] Armstrong and the team that he’s pulled together, all the support and shepherding that’s going on, it’s been fantastic to have this level of input and support. We’re looking forward to a beautiful building opening up and those of you who have been closely involved, I think will all agree that we’re going to end up with a fantastic school to support our students and to move on into the next chapter of Smoke Rise.
We’ve been in the COVID crisis for the last year and I commend all the folks on this call for supporting our students. I know that we’re also looking at a lot of technology upgrades to continue the great work that’s gone on with virtual learning, and the benefits of us really stepping into that realm as much as we’ve had to, it’s going to have a long-term effect on our students in a very positive way.