The session, which was addressed by Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson, who was completing her first week on the job, was called to help develop a strategic plan for the district.
Atkinson told the group that it’s a new day in DeKalb and the focus should be on the students.
“Victory is in the classroom,” she said. “It will take the entire community to ensure success.”
The session was part of her 90-day plan, which calls for her to immerse herself in the district; meet teachers, principals and parents; and audit budgets and programs. She has promised to share her findings in four months.
After listening to Atkinson, the gathering broke into smaller sessions of 10 to 20 people to discuss the biggest challenges facing students and the school district and what they want the district to provide for students.
In one classroom, mixed with parents, teachers and residents, discussions were intense and passionate but participants were mostly in unison on what needs to be done to make the school system better.
Suggestions included putting quality teachers in the classroom, increasing resources for students in South DeKalb, garnering parental involvement, adding advance technology, and requiring better administration.
Joe Lindsey of Lithonia said the session was excellent and he is happy that the district is seeking input from the community.
“I think it’s very informative what the school system is trying to do,” said Lindsey, whose son Joe Lindsey Jr. is a senior at Arabia Mountain High School. “To reach out to make sure the school system is the best that it can be in the future.”
A survey is available at www.dekalb.k12
.ga.us for those who missed the session.