August 19, 2002
Now seven of 26 Dougherty County schools have been identified as 'needs improvement.' That means that school's students have not met required improvement standards in their state testing.
Letters will go out to parents tomorrow, telling them their options. The parents have to decide if they want to transfer their children to another county school.
Marian Will's Kindergarten Class is learning colors at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary. The school opened in 1999, so Superintendent Dr. Sally Whatley questioned how it could be put on the state's needs improvement list. Whatley told a special called meeting of the Dougherty County School Board that the Georgia Department of Education clarified her questions into the 'No Child Left Behind Act' late last week.
Tuesday, letters go out to parents of students at Martin Luther King, Morningside Elementary, Radium Springs Elementary, and Jackson Heights. The letter explains that they can transfer their child to a school scoring better in testing. Parents of students at Martin Luther King Elementary have the option to transfer them to Lamar Reese Elementary, if space is available. The School Board says there are 137 openings now.
Lincoln Elementary Magnet Schools is their second option. Morningside Elementary transfers first option is Mock Road Elementary, where there are 67 reported openings. Lincoln Elementary Magnet is the second option.
Radium Springs Elementary transfers first option is Mock Road Elementary, with Lincoln Elementary Magnet second option.
Jackson Heights Elementary transfers first option is Sylvandale Elementary, where there are 48 openings. Second option is Lincoln Magnet.
Before school opened, Magnolia Elementary, Dougherty Middle, and Southside Middle were listed as needs improvement. Parents of 32 students at Dougherty Middle decided to transfer their children to the new Albany Middle School.
There were no transfers at Magnolia or Southside.
Dr. Whatley hopes parents will give these four elementary schools time to improve their test scores, rather than have a mass transfer of students. Parents who wish to transfer their children out of these four schools will have until September 6th to request it.
Priority will go to the lowest achieving students from low income families first. There are 437 needs improvement schools in the state of Georgia, of the 2000 total schools.