Stone Mountain High Is Home to DCSD’s Newest S.A.F.E. Center: Another Shining Beacon of Hope and Support
By dedicating its brand new Student And Family Engagement (S.A.F.E.) Center, Stone Mountain High School has officially ushered in a new era of student support. This important addition makes the school the third in the DeKalb County School District (DCSD), following Cross Keys High School and Dr. Ronald E. McNair High School, to offer comprehensive services designed to support students inside and outside the classroom.
This initiative aims to offer wraparound services through strong community partnerships, addressing students’ immediate needs across various facets of their lives – at school, at home, and within the community. Beyond books, grades, and academic growth, it focuses on each student’s heart, mind, and soul, ensuring they are poised to thrive in school and the world beyond.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 20, students, school leaders, staff, and community partners stood together in support of this initiative. DCSD Superintendent Dr. Devon Q. Horton explained how this support model is needed.
“This S.A.F.E Center will give so many opportunities for our families to further advance themselves in life. In an ever-changing world, we must provide a safe and supportive space for our students to address their actual needs rather than the needs we think they have,” said Dr. Horton. “This is what Disrupting for Excellence looks like. It’s investing in our students as we do all we can to create environments that foster growth and understanding.”
Community strength is evident in the partnerships DCSD has brought together to make this center a reality. These include the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Stone Mountain-Lithonia Chapter, The Atlanta Community Food Bank, Amerigroup, Caron Treatment Centers, Families Advocating for Voices of Resilience, Inc. (F.A.V.O.R.), State Farm Insurance, CareSource, The Progress Place, CAM Foundation, Communities in Schools, Clark Atlanta University, DeKalb County Juvenile Court, Stone Mountain United Methodist Church, Pathways Transition Program, and more. This impressive list of collaborators reflects the center’s encompassing nature.
Mr. Diijon DaCosta Sr., Chair of the DeKalb County Board of Education, envisions this as a transformative setting to inspire students.
“This center is a dream space that will allow our scholars to think beyond their wildest imaginations,” he said.
An 11th-grade student, Kyla Golden considers it a sanctuary that provides needed peace, comfort, and understanding.
“As high schoolers, we must think about our futures constantly and what’s next. The S.A.F.E Center provides a safe space for us to think about how we’re feeling at the moment. It’s more than just a physical place; it’s a safe haven for us to be ourselves.”
That reaction is not lost on Principal Michael Costa. He said Stone Mountain High School has embraced this new addition with pride and enthusiasm while noting that the center perfectly aligns with Dr. Horton’s vision for H-PRIDE, notably emphasizing humanization and empathy.
“It is an honor to be the latest school to get a S.A.F.E Center and provide these resources to our students, families, and community,” said Principal Costa.
To see photos of the Stone Mountain High School S.A.F.E Center, please click here.