DeKalb Parents Wait for New School Plan

12:09 AM, Feb 7, 2011   |    comments
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  • Livsey Elementary School in DeKalb County
  • Parents at Livsey Elementary School fight for their children.

TUCKER, Ga. -- Thousands of parents in DeKalb County are waiting to find out how their children's schools will fare under a redistricting plan being released by the interim superintendent Monday night.

Insiders said it's unlikely that Sup't. Ramona Tyson will back either of the two plans that have been debated for weeks.

Instead, she's expected to present some sort of combination of the Centralized Plan and Decentralized Plan that includes input from weeks of community meetings and public surveys.

"I think the consultants and the administration and the superintendent have taken those comments into advisement and have designed an alternative plan or plans," said School Board Member Donna Edler. 

At Livsey Elementary School, parents are riding an emotional roller-coaster as they wait for Monday's announcement.

"I think one day we feel great, and the next day we feel pretty bad about it," said PTA co-president Michelle Penkava. 

Livsey parents have been fighting for weeks to keep their children's school open and intact, despite the two redistricting plans that make Livsey a target.

"It's the core of our community, and it has a record of unblemished success here," said parent Heather Leo.

"We've discovered that 95 percent of families that bought homes here bought them specifically to go to Livsey," said parent Arthur Hufford.

The problem with Livsey is size. It's full, but it's small. That's what parents like about it.

"I know the principal knows my child's name and your child's name and your child's name," said parent Richard Levy as he pointed to other parents in the group.

"I think there are as many people who look and say we're happy to have them in our group of schools as there are people who say it's too small. Close it," Penkava said.

Penkava and other Livsey parents plan to attend Monday's board meeting.

It starts at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the Administrative Complex on Mountain Industrial Boulevard.

Public hearings will take place on March 1st and 3rd before a final vote by the school board on March 7.

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