Community speaks out about DCSS realignment

Community speaks out about DCSS realignment
Students protested the proposal (Source:WALB)
Teachers and parents also spoke out (Source:WALB)
Teachers and parents also spoke out (Source:WALB)
Javon Jones, student (Source:WALB)
Javon Jones, student (Source:WALB)
Ken Dyer, Associate Superintendent (Source:WALB)
Ken Dyer, Associate Superintendent (Source:WALB)

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Albany High students are making a plea to Dougherty County School Board members in hopes of keeping their school open.

Tuesday, parents and other community members joined them to tell board members about their concerns.

"There's always more options than just one option," Sophomore Javon Jones said.

School system staff said the change could create a more direct feeder program for students transitioning from middle to high school. They add closing it could provide other benefits, but students have reasons they want to keep it open.

So, in protest, they yelled out the school's battle cry. A chant students at Albany High have yelled before, but one they never thought they'd be screaming to keep their school open.

"I think its important to be out here because if we don't stand up for ourselves then who will," Jones said.

Teachers, students and parents did just that.

"Save our schools. Save our schools," student protesters chanted.

In the doors behind them, they got a chance to voice their concerns to the Dougherty County School Board.

The board will make a decision on whether to close Albany High through a realignment plan that aims to use its facilities more efficiently.

"We have to deal with reality," DCSS Associate Superintendent Ken Dyer said, in reference to a population decrease in the county.

With less than 800 students and an occupancy rate of lower than 73 percent, eliminating Albany high was recommended by a consultant, but community members don't think capacity should be the deciding factor.

Those in attendance touted the schools academic performance.

Others voiced their concerns about their status in extracurricular activities and the message the change would send to current students.

"We as a whole could come up with a solution better than closing down a great school," Jones said.

A desire for compromise voiced by many who have worn orange and green.

Another public hearing will be held to give board members feedback next Tuesday at Noon.

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