DeKalb Students Head Back to School

Aug 12, 2013

Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

Monday was the first day of school for students in several metro Atlanta districts, including the DeKalb County schools. DeKalb starts the year on accredited probation. The district’s interim superintendent says he’s sure the year will end on a different note.

DeKalb’s accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, gave the district eleven criteria to meet by December. Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond says they’ll do it.

“We are certain that when SACS monitors return at the end of this year in December, they will see that much of the progress, if not all of the progress, has been sustained, and we fully expect to be removed from accredited probation,” Thurmond says.

SACS sanctioned the district primarily for poor school board governance. That led to a state hearing after which the governor replaced two-thirds of the board. Thurmond says since then, leadership has improved.

“The good news is that the board in place is working cooperatively, working as a cohesive unit, and I’ve had nothing but positive respect and positive response for the board as we continue to right the ship here in DeKalb,” he says.

Thurmond’s contract ends in February. He says he’d consider an extension, but he hasn’t been offered one yet.