The five-year lease granted tonight to the Museum School of Avondale by the DeKalb school board, coupled with the pending lease of the empty Forrest Hills Elementary School, will make the Museum School an even more desirable option for central DeKalb residents.
I know that homeowners around Forrest Hills will be delighted to see the building spruced up and revitalized as it’s been empty for several years, despite its lovely location. (I often walk by the silent site, and I will be personally happy to hear children’s voices from the playground.)
From the school tonight:
The leadership team of the Museum School of Avondale Estates is thrilled to announce that the school received its long-awaited five-year charter from the DeKalb County Board of Education on Monday night. Pending state approval, the Museum School will be free to operate under the terms of the charter for the next five years before returning to the DeKalb school board for renewal. In short, the school finally can focus exclusively on teaching kids and building community.
“This is a great day for the Museum School,” says Board Chair Sasha Webb. “After facing many challenges, we are stronger than ever, with new opportunities and supports available to us.”
The action represents a vote of confidence from the DeKalb County school board as well as Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson and former Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson. Several board members visited TMS recently, as did Atkinson. TMS board members, staff and students demonstrated the school’s commitment to academic excellence as well as the unique museum curriculum.
Webb, along with other board members and principal Katherine Kelbaugh, worked tirelessly since late last spring to build trust and reach this agreement with the local board. “We look forward to building on our early accomplishments and look forward to a successful partnership with DeKalb County Schools,” Webb says.
In other Museum School news, the school’s governing board voted last month to adopt a two-tier attendance zone. The school’s tier-one zone will include families in the current Avondale, Midway and Knollwood elementary school attendance boundaries. If the school does not receive enough applications from the tier-one attendance zone, then seats will be open to students from the second tier, which includes all of the DeKalb County school district. A recruitment committee is already working to get the word out.
Additionally, the school has a Letter of Intent to lease from the DeKalb school district the former Forrest Hills Elementary School, another indicator of the strengthened relationship between TMS and the DeKalb school board.
“All of these recent developments will position the Museum School for a bright future,” Webb says. “We have had an amazing journey, and we can’t wait to start the next chapter.”
_–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog