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CSD assistant superintendent resigns to start her own charter school

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CSD assistant superintendent resigns to start her own charter school

Kristy Beam

Decatur, GA — City Schools of Decatur Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kristy Beam has resigned to pursue her goal of opening a charter school in metro Atlanta. Her resignation will be effective on June 30.

She submitted her resignation letter on May 19.

Beam has had a long-time dream of opening a charter school, and it’s a culmination of her life’s work to do so. It’ll be at least three years before the school opens. She will begin the planning and design phase in August. Next year will be an application year, and she hopes to open the school in the fall of 2026.

“I remember being 20-something and talking about it then,” Beam said. “I had the opportunity as a teacher to open a new school. Schools have their own culture and personality. To bring together a group of people that have that shared vision and create that personality to do something great for kids, I’m super excited about it.”

Beam has worked for CSD for about five years. She started as the principal of Glennwood Elementary School in 2018. In 2020, she became the executive director of curriculum and instruction. In that role, she designed CSD’s virtual learning and worked with her team to figure out how to work with the school district during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m really proud of the work we did. Our virtual lessons for elementary have become exemplars that the state has [requested],” Beam said. “We certainly had challenges and have students that experienced learning loss, but as a district, we did not experience what a lot of other districts experienced. I think that’s because of not only the dedication of our parents but the dedication of our teachers, our community, our leaders to keep learning happening the best we could and providing the technology.”

In 2021, her title changed to assistant superintendent of teaching and learning. She has also focused on bringing focus back to teaching and learning and ensuring that the district is overcoming academic disproportionality.

“I think it’s really important that we are providing the best education for all students,” Beam said. “Our focus has been on ensuring that we have consistency.”

The department has been working on creating a guaranteed, viable curriculum in all classrooms.

“[Teachers] provide the best strategies for the students in front of them,” Beam said. “What we provide is that every student has access…to the same high-quality curriculum and that we provide our teachers with the training and the materials they need to implement it. That’s what we mean by guaranteed and viable.”

Beam added that she’s proud of the work the district has done with the dyslexia pilot program. She has also worked with the equity and student support department to do a leadership series with school administrators.

“I’m just excited for the direction that CSD is going,” Beam said.

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