Decatur City Schools to close middle school, reconfigure its school system

With the new configuration, Brookhaven will no longer exist as the third middle school.

Posted: Jan. 24, 2018 8:54 PM
Updated: Jan. 25, 2018 12:12 AM

Decatur City Schools is set to implement a new feeder pattern next year, which will impact hundreds of students.

With two brand new high schools slated to open this summer, Superintendent Michael Douglas told WAAY 31 he wanted to streamline the school configuration to make sure all students are getting the best education possible.

The district currently has 12 elementary schools. Those students would then advance into one of their three middle schools – Cedar Ridge, Oak Park and Brookhaven – before moving on to Decatur or Austin High schools.  

With the new configuration, Douglas told WAAY 31 Brookhaven will no longer exist as the third middle school. The newly approved feeder pattern would involve the following changes:
On the Austin side:
• Cedar Ridge Middle school will house 6th & 7th graders only
• The current Austin High School will be renamed Austin Junior High for 8th & 9th graders
• Austin Junior High students will feed into the newly built Austin High School starting in the 10th grade

On the Decatur Side:
• Oak Park Middle School students will move into the old Decatur High building, which will get renamed Decatur Middle School for 6th, 7th and 8th Graders.
• Decatur Middle School students will feed into the newly built Decatur High School starting in the 9th grade

Both feeder tracks will have a 6th and 9th grade specialized academy.

“We were having groups of elementary kids make friends, go to different middle schools and end up at different high schools,” Douglas said. “Instructionally, we felt like it would be better for all of our students if we just had a cleaner feeder pattern.”

Douglas told WAAY 31 the new system will make for a more seamless transition from fifth grade to middle school and help track student data.

“One of the things we wanted to make sure of is that kids all across the district in all 12 elementary schools are getting the same quality instruction. This will help make sure that we’re getting consistency across the district and it will help us with planning both horizontally and vertically in those transitional grades,” Douglas said.

Douglas also pointed out that the new configuration, which goes into effect next year [2018-2019], will not change the current school zoning.

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