The most recent 7th District Round Table was held this evening at EDI on 25th Strret. Approximately 35 people turned out for a compelling set of presentations on a possible future direction for the area schools. UPDATED
The meeting began with a follow-up from Juanita Buster of the Dept. of Community Development from her presentation at the last meeting. As the planning commission is scheduled to discuss our concerns at the next meeting in July, more info will come back at next Round Table meeting. Ms.Buster encouraged anyone with a question to contact her.
The big question was “is there interest in having the city conduct a zoning study?” The main impetus behind a study would be that land use on the ground does not match what is on paper. Some people are leary that a zoning study would homogenize the area at the expense of renters or business, or put pressure on their chosen land use. The vote was approximately 20 to 3 in favor of a study, as long as the citizens of the area are abel to stay involved in the process.
About the Schools Proposal
As you have maybe heard, the Mayor has put forth a City of the Future plan that includes building or renovating 15 schools. Related to this, the School Board Facility Commitee has recommended certain changes. Of the recomendations below, almost all come from the School Board Facility Commitee. The suggestion for a new k-8 school in Fulton comes from the Education Ad Hoc Committee (of the 7th District Round Table).
Proposed changes include:
- a new school in Fulton k-8
- a new George Mason be built as k-8
- a new Woodville be built as k-8
- Bellview Elementay to be closed, sold as surplus
- MLK Middle School be renovated as k-8
- all schools should include community-use space
Sharon Burton gave a presentation outlining these proposals. Much discussion was given over to why embrace a k-8 (or pre-k-8) model. The main supporting reasons are that there are different positives for both boys and girls, that there is a stronger sense of community. (Download the presentation: PowerPoint/PDF.)
Present for this was Reggie Malone, the district school board representative and city council candidate. Given the opportunity to speak, he was very pro montessouri, pro public school diversity, describing providing options as good for neighborhoods. He said something very close to “any method that teaches children and has results – why can’t the parent’s have it?”. As a pro-diversity follow-up, someone said that “instead of a school system, we should have a system of schools”.
Also present Sam Patterson, the representative for Councilperson McQuinn, Eric Anderson on School Board Facility Commitee, and candidate for School Board Donald Coleman.
A vote for support for a prek-8 Montessori program in Fulton was taken. The vote was approximately 20+ supporters, no objectors, and a handful of abstainers. A vote was held to tally support for k-8 in general, with 25+ in support, 0 opposed, and a handful of abstainers.