DCS board unanimously votes to approve changes for 2021-2022 school year

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DOTHAN, Ala.(WDHN) — Changes to the 2021-2022 school year have been approved despite parental concerns.

After a unanimous vote during the Dothan City School’s regular school board meeting, the district will be moving forward with a 9th-grade only campus and the creation of the Dothan Virtual School for grades 7-12.

“I know that there are some individuals and some parents in the community that might be upset with yet another move and certainly that’s understandable but when you look at the issues that we were seeing as a district the overcrowding at Dothan prep was the primary concern for all of us as a board and as a district,” said Acting Superintendent of DCS, Dennis Coe.

The 9th-grade campus will be located at the Carver School of Math Science and Technology, forcing that school to relocate to Cloverdale. A committee will be formed to handle the renaming of these schools.

“It has been my experience children, I was a principal before I came to central office, and it has been my experience that children are very resilient, and as far as I know, they will have their same teachers, and the building will change but the same great instruction will take place, the same great leadership and so you know so, children are very resilient,” said Director of Curriculum Services, Maria Johnson.

Currently, DCS has an online school program with about 2,500 students enrolled, next year a virtual school option will be offered as a stand-alone school with headquarters in Dothan Prep’s elective wing.

“We had a lot of parents say that even if COVID is not an issue that they do want to go with a virtual school choice, and starting probably in the morning we will send out an enrollment form for them so that we have exact numbers for our communication with the state department,” Johnson said. ” The deadline for that is December the 10th.”

Dr. Coe says he knows that not all parents are thrilled with the decision to make these changes, but he is trying to make the best decision for the students, families, and teachers of DCS.

“I certainly empathize with them I know they have been through an inordinate amount of change through the past few years, I wasn’t here through all that I’m not throwing stones at anybody but we inherit things and it’s our job to look at the current situation as it is and try to make decisions on what we feel is the best thing for students of Dothan City Schools,” Coe said.

The school renaming and final changes must be submitted to the state by December 10th in order to receive state funding.

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