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Decatur Schools: Some Lenox Place residents want to stay at Oakhurst Elementary

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Decatur Schools: Some Lenox Place residents want to stay at Oakhurst Elementary

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An incredibly reduced photo of Map 7, the top choice of the City Schools of Decatur zoning committee. The attendance zone for Westchester elementary  is the blue section int he upper left hand corner.

An incredibly reduced photo of Map 7, the top choice of the City Schools of Decatur Zoning Committee. The attendance zone for Westchester elementary is the blue section in the left hand corner.

City Schools of Decatur staff and Board of Education members may spend the long Veterans Day weekend reading emails.

The CSD Zoning Committee made its recommendations about how to redraw attendance zones to accommodate reopening Westchester Elementary in 2014. The top three choices are maps seven, five and six, in that order.

The BOE will hear presentations of each option at its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. The CSD School Board meets at 758 Scott Boulevard, Decatur, GA 30030.

Map 7 puts the Lenox Place and Rosewalk neighborhoods in the soon to be reopened Westchester Elementary attendance zone. The possibility of moving Lenox Place students to Westchester Elementary something that was frequently mentioned by neighborhood residents giving feedback to Zoning Committee members.

Residents of Lenox Place and Rosewalk currently send their children to Oakhurst Elementary. The other two map options keep some or all of these neighborhoods in the Oakhurst Elementary zone. Full disclosure: I live in the Lenox Place area, but I don’t have children in CSD.

I know parents in Lenox Place are planning on contacting their BOE members and attending the Nov. 12 meeting.

Looking at the maps, I’m struck by one thing about the top choice. The railroad tracks define Map 7’s southern boundary. I only mention it because one of the topics I discussed with Superintendent Phyllis Edwards was the attendance boundaries before the BOE closed Westchester in 2004, citing low enrollment.

“We had people pretty well segregated by the railroad tracks,” Edwards said in our interview. “This isn’t a good thing.”

The CSD Zoning Committee made the map recommendations, with input from school officials and residents. Given Edwards’ disdain for using railroad tracks as boundaries, I’m wondering how supportive she’ll be of the top option presented by the Zoning Committee. The other two options would include some or all of Lenox and its surrounding neighborhoods, which sits just north of the tracks.

I haven’t been able to locate attendance maps prior to 2004, but I’d be interested to see how closely they sync up with the current options on the table.

If you’d like to weigh in on this issue, please email me at dwhisenhunt@gmail.com. I’ll post letters throughout the weekend as I get them. Please keep your letters short, thoughtful and constructive. I’d like for the letters to be signed, please. CSD staff and board members read Decaturish and your input will reach other interested parties as well.

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