May 18 Speaker Dr. Phyllis Edwards
Invocation - Todd Speed
From the Speaker - Bryan Downs introduced our speaker Dr. Phyllis Edwards, Superintendent of City Schools of Decatur. Dr. Edwards gave an overview of the state of the school system highlighting several programs, accolades and upcoming challenges facing the system.
City Schools of Decatur is an independent public school district with a total enrollment of approximately 3,542 students and operates a total of eight schools - one Early Childhood Learning Center serving children infant-4 years old, four K-3rd grade primary schools, one 4th/5th Academy, one middle school, and one high school.
The primary schools are less than 375 students and are nestled within residential neighborhoods throughout the four square mile area of Decatur. The 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue, Renfroe Middle School, and Decatur High School serve all of the children in the district. CSD teachers are among the finest professionals in the field with over 70% holding advanced degrees. The average years of experience among teachers across the district is 13 years.
CSD students perform above the state and national averages on standardized tests at all grade levels. Each year City Schools of Decatur has ranked in the top ten districts for SAT performance in Georgia. Decatur High has been named an AP Challenge and AP Merit school. Only ten high schools in Georgia were honored in more than one category.
The Georgia Charter Systems Act, signed in 2007, allows entire school systems to convert to charter status. A Charter System means that the district has a charter, or contract, with the State of Georgia. The charter allows a system flexibility to operate beyond certain state mandates.
CSD has a school board, a System Charter Leadership Team and School Leadership Teams. These groups are the governing bodies of the school system.
The state of Georgia offers a financial incentive for a system to become a charter system. This incentive means annual additional per student funding of approximately $100. This funding is now being threatened. The loss of charter system funding would mean a reduction of over $335,000 for the FY 2013 budget for CSD.
Dr. Edwards said that the system is exploring re-locating its administrative offices in the Beacon complex as a collaborative partner with the City of Decatur as they also explore re-opening Westchester Elementary at some point.
|Dr. Edwards and Bryan deep in discussion at the head table|
|Todd Speed delivers an invocation by reciting a Scottish prayer used often by Dr. J. Davison Philips|
|Elliott Augustine recites the Rotary 4-Way Test|
|Dr. Edwards describes her commitment to education|
|As always, Rotary donates a book to the DeKalb Library in honor of our weekly speakerDecatur Rotary remains high tech - check the Rotary website for details about upcoming Rotary speakers |
|Decatur Rotary goes high tech . . .|