WORK SESSION & BUSINESS MEETING 7/9/2012 – 6:00 PM

Tune in tonight at 6:00 PM to the DeKalb County School Board’s WORK SESSION & BUSINESS MEETING
J. David Williamson Board Room, Administrative & Instructional Complex 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard
Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083

Click here to see the agenda for the meeting which includes the Resolution for a Tax Levy, the May 2012 Monthly Financial Report, Human Resources Monthly Board Report, District Wide Cabling and Wireless System, the newly consolidated alternative program to be called DeKalb Alternative School, the rejection of the charter petition for Nexus Academy, the presentation of the Georgia Department of Education Charter Contract for Museum School of Avondale Estates, several bids for services, an Amendment to the 2012-2013 School Calendar, a request for a waiver from the state to reduce the number of full-time media specialists and to increase class sizes again by two more students.

Leave your comments below. Report what you see and hear at this meeting. Try to be thorough as you are serving as a group of community reporters.

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96 Responses to WORK SESSION & BUSINESS MEETING 7/9/2012 – 6:00 PM

  1. formerdekalbparent says:

    122 people laid off at Sam Moss service center….most of them the workers that come to the schools or provide direct services to the schools….no painting crews left, so I hope the PTA enjoys painting this summer, also some employees knew before their own supervisor that the supervisor was going to be laid off…what a great way to treat loyal hard working employees…..I hope everyone’s school is in ship shape as there are not enough people to do the needed maintenance now, and there is nothing left for emergencies….

  2. I Disagree says:

    The parents at Oak Grove had to paint the entire school way back in 1995 or so. It was a big undertaking, and really needed at the time. We also had to plead for over two years to replace the 50 year old, ripped up stage curtains in the cafetorium. The grounds are kept up by parent work days except for basic mowing (no edging). I don’t recall ever getting much help with any kind of regular maintenance, especially painting. We won’t be seeing much of a difference.

  3. anon says:

    there’ve been a lot of complaints about Sam Moss not being very good…

  4. I hope this demonstrates to the DCSS workers who are left, do your job or be a friend or family member of someone in a high place and you’ll get your paycheck. Otherwise, the Dept. of Labor is open every weekday morning. Let’s keep the folks with the six figure salaries and get rid of the hard working folks that do all the work. Maybe the Guilroy’s and Edward’s kids can learn how to paint and mow…..

  5. Internet-Libertarian says:

    There were a lot of 6 figure salaried people let go this summer. Does anybody have the complete list of people in the central office that were let go?

    H. 15. Amendment to the 2012-2013 School Calendar
    There is also an amendment to the school calendar up for a vote. It includes “Proposed Work Calendar Reduction Days”. I don’t see any early release Wednesdays. Is there anything else in there of interest?

  6. Worried says:

    Looks like they reduced three student contact days and gave teachers back one workday when looking at earlier calendar. Kids days from 180 to 177.

  7. d says:

    Just hope there are enough textbooks at your child’s school right now for August. No more are coming.

  8. wiserthanmyself says:

    The entire Fernbank Science Center staff, including about 28 instructors (a few might have retired anyway, so number isn’t exact) was laid off and told to reapply for positions that haven’t yet been posted. To avoid legal action, HR calls this a “restructuring.” As taxpayers, please demand to know what “restructuring” means and how it’s different from firing. No one at FSC will know whether s/he has a job there until just before, or maybe even after, school begins. Thus, no programming or scheduling can be accomplished before school starts, ensuring a poorer quality of service. Of course, people can apply elsewhere in the system, but there aren’t science teaching jobs posted as of yet. Stakeholders should demand to know which positions were cut countywide and how many high-salaried non-teaching people remain at CO while teachers, custodians, and other support staff are treated with such disrespect. Such approaches will not improve science teaching in DCSD, but will surely alienate any highly trained educator.

  9. PolitiMom says:

    So if Fernbank doesn’t have enough staff to offer programming when school starts, where do the remaining budget dollars go? What I mean is that they could lack staffing to support planetarium field trips and such. If no trips, there should be no expenses on the Fernbank side. They cut $1.9m out of a 5m budget. What is the remaining amount being used for if there isn’t enough staff to run the place? I will be very interested to see if my child’s school runs field trips there this year. Is there any budget oversight there?

  10. justwatch says:

    I think that the funds for fieldtrips to Fernbank have been cut.

  11. Internet-Libertarian says:

    I think accountability is seeping into DCSD. Science scores across the county are in the toilet. Putting money back into the classroom and giving teachers back a workday is a good start. Teachers in the classroom are the answer and they need our support.

  12. pscexb says:

    Out of curiosity, did the school system provide the paint, brushes and other supplies? If not, how was this paid for? Your model may be one repeated around the county. I wonder what will become of those schools that lack strong community support? Perhaps volunteer opportunities for various organizations around the metro area?

    If I had to guess, it seems that painting may be handled on a contract basis. The need will always exist. This does eliminates paying benefits to staff employees. If true, this may be a step towards outsourcing custodial services also.

  13. science teacher says:

    So how has any of this latest budget mess putting money back in the classroom? I have lost two days of pay, so I will be spending less of my own money on my students (and I will be paying $50 more each month for healthcare). You realize none of the money cut from the Fernbank budget is making into my science classroom… and I will have two more students in each class.
    Is this what you call accountability and teacher support? You must work in admin for DCSD!

  14. FYI says:

    FYI. Teachers (classroom) are currently receiving notice that they have been displaced and advised that there is an upcoming job fair.

    This may be related to the request for a wavier of the following (http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/External-Affairs-and-Policy/State-Board-of-Education/SBOE%20Rules/160-5-1-.22.pdf)

  15. Internet-Libertarian says:

    Baby steps, Science Teacher. One battle at a time.
    This calendar amendment puts one workday back on the calendar. Do you propose to take it off the calendar and divert the money to Fernbank?

    BTW : Thank you for being on the front lines! The teachers in our classrooms are the answer.

  16. Undercover reformer says:

    The waiver is to allow there to be only half-time coverage of the media center and to be exempt from the state mandate requiring adult supervision for the other half of the day. In other words, the libraries in these schools may be closed half of the time.

  17. Gatree says:

    Does anyone know where to find the details of the new “Dekalb Alternative School”?

  18. booksrkool says:

    Correction, you have lost six days of pay.

  19. Worried says:

    Rationale
    Time to time, the District reviews its alternative education program and the use of its facilities for enhanced effectiveness as well as increase operating efficiencies. DeKalb Alternative School, DeKalb Alternative Night School, and DeKalb Transition Academy will be consolidated into one alternative program, known as DeKalb Alternative School. This new program will be housed at the East Campus facility.

    (from meeting agenda)

  20. The list of RIF’d people for June and July will be presented to the board in July and August. Maybe we’ll learn something tonight.

  21. Hallelujah!!! We have been advocating for that for a VERY long time!

  22. teacher/taxpayer says:

    I looked at the proposed calendar, and it seems ok. It shows school ending for kids on May 23 with a post-planning day on the 24th. This allows 177 school days for kids. We are all done just before Memorial Day weekend.
    The original plan had kids in school until the 29th, 2 days after Memorial Day, with one post-planning day on the 30th. So it looks like the 2 school days that would have been really useless have been cut.
    For those unfamiliar with the reality of the teacher’s job: the post planning day is the day that teachers do all the manual labor to get the materials put away, desks cleaned and labelled etc. This leaves the room ready for custodians to strip floors etc.
    Similarly preplanning should include some time for teachers to get the room all put back together and/or to also move to another room if necessary; this is a timeconsuming task that many of us do on our own time in July so as to alleviate our own stress. That will be especially true again this year as the 4 pre-planning days may include alot of training days and a day for registration.

  23. teacher/taxpayer says:

    TO FYI: Wow! Your post is a bombshell! You indicated classroom teachers are receiving notice that they have been displaced and are being invited to a job fair. Do you know by what means they were notified and when? Also, do you know how they were selected? For example, are these teachers ones who are relatively new to the system and/or perhaps among the last hired at schools where the enrollment is expected to drop?
    No matter what boat any of us finds ourselves in this year (coping with job loss, adjusting to reassignment, or mourning the absence of treasured colleagues while we put on a happy face for students), one thing is certain: this year will be the one which will begin with the lowest teacher morale in Dekalb history.

  24. FYI says:

    From the experience of the few I have spoken with it seems that seniority (years of service in DCSD) and individual school need are dictating the “displacements”. For example if a school has too many math teachers they will be contacted by HR and the school administration then gets to select the math teacher with the least years of service to DCSD for displacement. There is no guarantee that the displaced teacher will find placement in another school. It all depends on whether there is an empty slot for the displaced teacher in another school. Hence the job fair mention. To be clear this is based on only a few cases. As there is no official statement from DCSD who can say what official procedures are being followed. If only DCSD would put out an explanation to the community (parents and teachers) before they do these things then maybe it wouldn’t be quite so disheartening. We all understand that DCSD is in a bad way. I think most of us want to rally behind our schools and make the best of the situation. We have so much work to do to prepare our students for the Common Core. But how can we focus on moving forward when it seems like there is always another shoe dropping…on one’s head. I guess we will know all tonight?. Hopefully.

  25. dekalbteacher says:

    I cannot believe how few people are there! As usual, some speakers didn’t even show up! No wonder they get away with their craziness.

  26. Weary worker says:

    I’ve heard that all schools with more than one librarian are going to a single librarian. I have also heard that some smaller schools will only have half time librarians split between two schools. Will someone who has been reassigned under this policy please verify this.

  27. FYI says:

    Did David Sutten show up? I saw his name on the list.

  28. Curious says:

    Schutten was there, and he chastised the board to behave as examples to the children who watch them. He particularly called out Paul Womack for using the F bomb.

    Most interesting thus far was Womack’s motion to amend the agenda to call for a vote to ask the governor to investigate the misspending of funds. He said he believes all the cuts voted on before, totalling up to $80 million, had not been made. Predictibly, his motion was defeated 5 to 4. Similarly, the tax increase passed 5 to 4.

  29. Dunwoody Mom says:

    Where did 4 BOE members go? There are only 5 now.

  30. dekalbmom says:

    Same here. Over the years I and other parents painted the bathrooms, locker rooms and cafetorium at two different DeKalb schools. Never saw maintenance doing any painting at any of my children’s schools – perhaps they did big jobs over the summer. But is it now cheaper to outsource the large jobs because of the costs of the benefits/pensions. I am always sorry to see folks lose their jobs (it happened to my family in 2008) but the cost of public workers’ benefits is hurting the workers’ job security.

  31. Internet-Libertarian says:

    Everybody left for Candidate Forums.

  32. Just saying says:

    I just got home. There were nine members in the beginning? Where did they go? Did anyone speak on behalf of the paras? Due to paras leaving the county will fewer people be terminated?These individuals work directly with students. Why are they always the group cut?

  33. Dunwoody Mom says:

    Candidate forum on a meeting night?

  34. concernedmom30329 says:

    what candidate forum

  35. Internet-Libertarian says:

    2012 Elections Candidate Forums
    Hosted by LaVista Park
    Crummy timing, but there are a BUNCH of seats people are running for.
    BOE and Judges in non partisan races as well as the candidates running against each other in the Republican and Democratic primaries.

  36. concernedmom30329 says:

    Bowen was already not there, correct?

  37. HelpImaTeacher says:

    What are the furlough days?

  38. Internet-Libertarian says:

    Correct. Tom Bowen has been phoning it in literally and figuratively lately. He’s the only BOE member with a day job (I believe).

  39. Just saying says:

    If you are ten months there are 6 days. August 6, Oct 8, March 8, May 28, 29, 30 This is based on the information that was on the DCSS Board Agenda. I am not sure that it has been approved.

  40. HelpImaTeacher says:

    Thank you, Just saying!

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