Monday, October 1, 2012 6:00PM Board Meeting

Tune in Monday at 6:00 PM to the DEKALB BOARD OF EDUCATION WORK SESSION & MEETING. You can stream it online [click here] or watch live on PDS Comcast 24. Or for some real fun – go in person!

The agenda is outlined below: Click here to download relevant documents.

Add your insight in the comments as the meeting progresses live!

CITIZEN COMMENTS
1. Melba Goss
2. Daniel Sobczak
3. Carla Weston-Brown
4. Rita White
5. Cathy Douglas
6. Andrew Ross
7. Linda Rodger-Williams
8. Ray Rowan
9. Tiffany Jennings
10. John Evans
11. Sandy Purkett
12. Allegra Johnson

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT

REVIEW OF AGENDA ITEMS FOR THE OCTOBER 8, 2012 BUSINESS MEETING

1. Approval of Minutes
Presented by: Dr. Cheryl L.H. Atkinson, Superintendent

2. Approval of Financial Monthly Report
Presented by: Mr. Michael J. Perrone, Chief Financial Officer, Division of Finance

3. Approval of Human Resources Monthly Board Report
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer
Division of Human Resources

4. Aetna Employee Life Insurance Contract Renewal
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer
Division of Human Resources

5. Gallup Pre-Screening Instrument (TeacherInsight and PrincipalInsight)
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer
Division of Human Resources

6. 21st Century Community Learning Centers 2012 – 2013 Grant Award Acceptance
Presented by: Dr. Kathleen S. Howe, Deputy Superintendent
Division of Curriculum & Instruction

7. PLACE HOLDER ~ 2013-2014 School Calendar PLACE HOLDER
Presented by: Dr. Kathleen S. Howe, Deputy Superintendent
Division of Curriculum & Instruction

8. RFP 13-17R for Library Media Books, Resources & Support Services
Presented by: Dr. Kathleen S. Howe, Deputy Superintendent
Division of Curriculum & Instruction

9. Athletic Equipment (Bid #12-445R)
Presented by: Ms. Kendra D. March, Deputy Superintendent
Division of School Leadership & Operational Support

10. Athletic Cloth Uniform (Bid #12-436R)
Presented by: Ms. Kendra D. March, Deputy Superintendent
Division of School Leadership & Operational Support

11. Purchase of iPad Learning Labs Technology
Presented by: Ms. Kendra D. March, Deputy Superintendent
Division of School Leadership & Operational Support

12. Vendors That May Exceed $100,000 per Policy DJE
Presented by: Ms. Kendra D. March, Deputy Superintendent
Division of School Leadership & Operational Support

13. Target Reading Grant Donation to Knollwood Elementary School
Presented: Ms. Kendra D. March, Deputy Superintendent
Division of School Leadership & Operational Support

14. Tunes for Tots Grant Donation to Redan High School
Presented by: Ms. Kendra D. March, Deputy Superintendent
Division of School Leadership & Operational Support

15. System-wide Natural Gas Services Contract Extension Approval
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

16. Approval of Atlanta Gas Light Easement at Meadowview Elementary School
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

17. Southwest DeKalb High School Addition Contract Award
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

18. Lakeside High School Foundation Additional Donation Approval for Outdoor
Seating Area (Patio)
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

19. Peachtree Middle School Track* Refurbishment- Installation Only Contract Award Approval
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

20. McNair Middle School Track* Refurbishment- Installation Only Contract Award Approval
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

21. Henderson Middle School Track* Refurbishment- Installation Only Contract Award Approval
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

22. Columbia Middle School Track* Refurbishment – Installation Only Contract Award Approval
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

23. System-wide Abatement Services Master Agreement Extension Approval
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

24. Miller Grove High School Additions, Renovations & Modifications Contract Award
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

25. Re-Bid 12-25R Cold Storage Services to Boulevard Cold Storage
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

26. Approval of Resolution to Issue General Obligation Bonds
Presented by: Mr. Michael J. Perrone, Chief Financial Officer, Division of Finance

ANNOUNCEMENTS
1. Tucker Parent Council Meeting, 6:00pm, Tuesday, October 2, 2012, Tucker High School, 5036 LaVista Road, Tucker

2. Policy Committee Meeting, 10:30am, Wednesday, October 3, 2012, Cabinet Room, Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain

3. DeKalb Council of PTAs Fall Meeting, 6:00pm, Thursday, October 4, 2012, Auditorium Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain

4. Mandatory Furlough Day for 10 & 11 Month Employees ~ Monday, October 8, 2012
(Schools Closed\Administrative Offices Open)

5. DeKalb Board of Education Business Meeting, 6:00pm, Monday, October 8, 2012.

+++

Before we even begin, we have to ask: Where is the line item for a track refurbishment for Cross Keys?!!!  We have been asking for this for YEARS!  The Cross Keys track is downright dangerous.  Now, really – Is This Fair?  Why does Cross Keys continue to get the short stick every single time?!!!

Advertisements

About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
This entry was posted in DeKalb County [GA] Board of Education, School Calendar. Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Monday, October 1, 2012 6:00PM Board Meeting

  1. GTCO-ATL says:

    School Watch, did you recently post a list of current positions in the system and their salaries, or are we dreaming? Can you direct us to it as we cannot locate it now for some reason. How did you get this and do we think it is reliable?

  2. GTCO-ATL says:

    DSW, if we are reading this correctly… the agenda is for the Oct. 8 meeting (which is listed in the announcements). Is that correct?

  3. formerdekalbparent says:

    Why in the world would the 12 month employees not have the same mandatory furlough days as the 10 & 11 month employees? they have the mos to take…why not shut down the entire system?

  4. whoshelpingthekids says:

    General obligation bonds…What are these?

  5. Concernedmom30329 says:

    So much for not borrowing money for SPLOST…

    https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/ViewMeetingOrder.aspx?S=4054&MID=23936

    Very disappointing that once again Atkinson isn’t keeping her word. She said that she wasn’t going to borrow on potential SPLOST revenue and now just two months after the newest SPLOST begins, looky see. Borrowing. And for technology, which is an area that hasn’t been well managed in DeKalb and has been the cause of corruption in multiple school systems across the country.

  6. concernforthekids says:

    GO Bonds are for general purposes that the issuer is required to state the purpose of the funds.
    In the document on the website associated with the bonds it states as part of SPLOST IV, the voter approved referendum has an option for the DCSD to issue GO bonds up to $200,000,000 for the purpose of SPLOST IV and will be repaid by SPLOST IV tax collections.
    This is the same as cash on hand because the voters approved the issuance of the bonds.
    DCSD is issuing only $38,000,000 in bonds and not $200,000,000. Here is what the bonds will be used for.
    “The GO Bonds will provide the funds necessary for the purchase of technology in advance of the receipt of the SPLOST, thereby putting needed technology in the hands of teachers and students over the short-term while eliminating the expected increases the cost of that technology. The GO Bonds will also provide the funds necessary to replace old vehicles, thereby reducing the cost of the maintenance and operation of vehicles while increasing vehicle safety. The total cost of funds is expected to be less than 2% before consideration of future cost savings.”
    I assume the funds will be used to purchase E-books or tablets for the students immediately.
    I wish I knew what E-books DCSD is planning on purchasing. I know it’s not I-Pads and have heard that DCSD is looking at ACER, which is a very low end manufacturer of everything including tablets.
    That potentially is what we need within DCSD versus very expensive I-Pads for our students.
    I know at some private schools that have issued I-Pads that they require the parents to sign an agreement that they will purchase a new I-Pad if one is lost. There is insurance if it breaks.
    My only hesitation is the cost of the GO Bonds is less than 2% which equates to $760,000 which is a lot of money considering these bonds will be paid back in less than a year. Or will they?
    CFTK

  7. a few speaker highlights:

    Ms Anderson, an English teacher gave an extremely cogent speech about the frustrations teachers are experiencing due to the SLO testing, etc.

    Gail Luxembourg of the Jewish Community Center articulated the adverse effects of the ‘balanced’ calendar on programs such as hers.

    And wow – it seems like things are really messed up at Towers High School.

    A speaker representing bus operators – they say they never got their promised follow up meeting with Atkinson. Threatened to more or less strike. Gave the board a warning. Need resolution and a meeting with Atkinson.

  8. PolitiMom says:

    JCC in dunwoody just spoke out against balanced calendar. Made great points. Towers hs parent blasted against rampamt nepotism. Going to be an interesting night!

  9. @GTCO- The agenda is for tonight’s meeting. Often, the ”business” portion of the meeting is combined with the work session but sometimes they are held on two consecutive Mondays.

    Also, the information you seek is in our DCSS FILES tab under ORR Responses.

  10. Superintendent Report: First, she tells us that we have to borrow money because we are not set up with the necessary computers for students to take the tests!!! Again, this points to Tyson. She spent millions upon millions upon millions on IT – and we are not in a position to handle the required computer demands for test taking for the new state tests.

    Wilkens has done additional vetting of the construction management program vendor : URS. Further, he stated that the staff followed the proper protocol and spent a lot of time assessing the vendor the first time. They spent weeks working on it. They have confidence in their company selection as program manager. Never have they defaulted on or been denied a contract.

  11. Perrone is going over the August 2012 budget. They are trying to organize it and make it more clear. They are also tracking energy bills, charter school costs and legal fees separately. Interestingly, and as we have read in the AJC, the projected legal fees are going to be much more than anticipated. This budget shows and increase in projected legal costs from $6,300,000 ti $10,550,000, which is over $4 million more than the original budget, not the $3 million reported.

  12. Concerned DeKalb Mom says:

    9pm…on to item #5. Goodness gracious.

  13. The Deal says:

    What about the bus driver who says money is being taken out of their checks and moved from account to account without any notification? Poor thing has been given the runaround by payroll, internal affairs, and the superintendent. Perfect MLK, Jr. quote at the end.

  14. Oh my my my. Nancy kept asking the question until it was finally clarified by Atkinson – So, they asked the board to approve a contract last March for food storage – to the tune of 150,000 and now – they are asking for a new contract for $175,000 – adding in the $25,000 they already paid the vendor — which was somehow not included in that original quote? Huh? If this is how they pay bills – we are going to get broker and broker. Atkinson admitted it and is trying to get in front of this kind of financial mess.

    What they don’t realize is that we have heard that SOOOOOO many times before – we’re aware of the problem and we’re fixing it. Only – they never do!

  15. Did I miss anything about cell towers? Heard about Apple training for IPad learning centers. Heard about Apple being listed several times on list to be approved to go over $100K in expenditures (but did not hear how much) and another company called Pearson.

    NOW will you believe us when we tell you the cell towers are about MUCH MORE than money or “coverage” for the community?

    Still want to talk about how “poor” we are? Check this out: http://buckhead.patch.com/articles/atlanta-ranked-among-wealthiest-cities
    Atlanta ranks among the Top 10 Wealthiest Cities.

    Want to know who wants the towers? And who is aware of how they will be used? Check out the way the votes broke down on the ballot referendum this past July tomorrow morning when we post the results on our website: http://www.GETtheCELLoutATL.org

  16. momfromhe11 says:

    One for Don – asked if DCSS has to use new computer equipment (that we must borrow money for). Instead of the usual “well we have to spend more money”, the question is asked “why?”.

  17. momfromhe11 says:

    Oh, yeah, the Coralwood-to-Chamblee shuttle… “We didn’t tell them soon enough that we were dropping it and they need to catch the shuttle somewhere else, so, oh gosh, we need to spend money we don’t have to restore it…”

    Dang it – again with the shuttles – why are we doing it AT ALL?

  18. What a stupid stupid conversation. Everyone is once again focusing on this very special, very expensive ‘hub’ system of bus transportation to magnet programs. Just drop it. I can’t believe how Donna can claim that it’s inequitable to have more magnet buses one place over another when the BIGGER ISSUE is that we’re spending money on special buses for special programs while we’re cutting staff in the regular school houses! Just spend the money on teachers in the school houses!!

  19. dekalbmom says:

    Agree Mom. We shouldn’t have any shuttles for any students. Many of us have spent years either driving our own kids to a magnet or charter school, or we organized a car pool, or we used a very reasonably priced private van service or used MARTA. Just pull the plug and people will find a way to get their children to school. Or go to your resident school where there is regular bus service.

    Donna Edler just hit the nail on the head. The school system set a transporatation plan with a certain set of hubs and then behind the scenes certain exceptions were made that have the appearance of preferential treatment. This seems to be the DeKalb way….

  20. Thank you Gene Walker for shutting down that stupid rambling about the damn hubs.

  21. momfromhe11 says:

    Whoa – Gene Walker just decided he wanted to go home, so he just adjourned. Nice to have it your way, I guess.

  22. Sir Quagmire says:

    I have heard about some of the administrative staff who were getting their doctorates paid for. Any idea who they are? I hear a few are our regional superintendents, Rachel Zeigler is one of them, Principal Everett from MLK HS, and Kendra March are some of the ones who are benefiting from this perk. Didn’t Principal Everett get the 10,000 bonus to move to MLK HS? http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/aspiring-leaders-academy/aspiring-leaders-academy-application-%282012%29.pdf This link describes it as a way for principals to improve their skills. Some of the those selected are not principals, including Kendra March, herself.

  23. whoshelpingthekids says:

    Let’s get this straight: Dr. Atkinson asked the BOE to borrow money to begin SPLOST IV projects after saying this summer that she absolutely would not do that. She has now asked to borrow money for technology because we don’t have the computers needed for the tests that need to be done in the next 3 weeks. The tax payers paid for a technology needs assessment in every facility in preparation for the SPLOST IV vote. The administration knew the huge technology needs when they accepted RTTT funds, they knew about them when they wrote the new curriculum last spring. Now their #1 priority for SPLOST IV funds is technology which time and again the public has said was a problem yet we were ignored. Computers have been stolen and no one has been held responsible and we are “self-insured” so none have been replaced. Hope a better plan is in place for any new purchases. Oddly, the BOE has not yet approved the priority list for SPLOST IV (but apparently technology is #1 and projects are beginning), the SPLOST IV Citizen oversight committee has not been announced, and no one is confident in the company hired to manage SPLOST IV…we are off to a very bad start. Fool me once…

  24. Weary worker says:

    Expect to see a lot of crashing and burning for the testing this week. Not only is there a shortage of computers, but it was discovered that many of the PCs have an older version of Internet Explorer that is not compatible with the testing site. On top of this what happens when everyone at the same time attempts to access the site? I hope for the best but it may not be pretty. Finger pointing to follow.

  25. PublicSchoolDad says:

    DSW take a look at the 09.19.12 response to your record request on the Ford Explorer. DCSS traded in 3 cars against the purchase of that vehicle and had a balance due of $8963. Yet the budget adjustment on page 6 requests a transfer of $31,192.15 from the transportation account to fleet services. Wonder what fleet services intends to do with all of that “extra” cash.

  26. Yeah. We saw that. We are writing an article about the whole car thing right now. Not only did Atkinson insist on getting a tricked-out 2013 Ford Explorer (not at all gas efficient) simply because the “Check engine” light came on in her former car, but look at her gas usage (especially at the times it was filled up 3, 4, and 5 days in succession without have driven enough miles to warrant that) and overall related mileage for her former car — a 2008 Explorer. BTW — how many of you drive a 2008 car? We haven’t surveyed everyone who writes for DSW, but at least one of us drives a 2008 — a gas-efficient Camry Hybrid.

  27. Dedicated Dekalb Teacher says:

    My car is a 2007… won’t be spending money to get a new one any time soon! 🙂

  28. Disgusted in Dekalb says:

    Has Crawford Lewis been giving Dr. Atkinson tips on how to make the most of her gas allowance? Is it true that her car was replaced simply because the check engine light came on? Who does that? She should be grateful to have a taxpayer-supplied car at all. And she should drive it until the wheels fall off.

  29. formerdekalbparent says:

    we have an 02 and 03 respectively and will drive them until the wheels fall off…..in times of tight money, this is what prudent people do…maybe we should hook them up with Dave Ramsey and see how much waste he could find…can you imagine?

  30. Bernard J. Myers says:

    The computers will not be ready for testing in three weeks…even if purchased today. There will be lots of computer failures throughout the system. mainly because DCSD promotes unskilled friends and family to administer the programs…..Then the failure will be an excuse for kids not testing successfully. Also, students need to be prepared to test onlins.

  31. PublicSchoolDad says:

    @ but look at her gas usage (especially at the times it was filled up 3, 4, and 5 days in succession without have driven enough miles to warrant that)…”

    During 2012 the car has been driven over 15,500 mile and refueled every 3-days on average (72 times) with 935 gallons of fuel. That works out to about 16 mpg which suggests she isn’t fueling other cars… But is free gas part of her contract? If not, is she documenting where she traveled for those 15,500 miles of school related business? I also notice that someone named David Walker is filling the tank most of the time… anyone know if he if F&F?

  32. LisaK says:

    Don’t think he is F&F. Was in charge of security at the palace. Now is Atkinson’s bodyguard/chauffeur.

  33. We received the following information regarding the 2013-14 calendar from an active parent via email:

    The survey that went out last month did not have a high level of responses (7,000 as opposed to over 30,000 last spring). Of those, I think they said about 1400 responses were from certified staff, not a large percentage. In general it sounded like the parents voted 60-40 for the Traditional Calendar and the Certified Staff voted 65-35 for the Balanced Calendar. The Superintendent believes the Balanced Calendar is the better option and I think she is willing to go forward with proposing that calendar to the Board if she thinks the certified staff agrees. But with such a small percentage of staff responding she is not confident she knows what the staff thinks. So it sounds like they are going to send out another survey this week for certified staff and she hopes to get a larger response and based on that information will make a recommendation to the board next Monday.

    So here is your chance – Please make your voices heard on which calendar you prefer. I don’t think this is a done deal, I get the impression that the Superintendent wants to know your preference and it will impact her decision.

    The only caveat I would like to put out there is that on the original survey it stated that the Balanced Calendar had a week more instruction before state testing which IS NOT true. It has 3 less days of instruction before the CRCT and AP tests. The window for the EOCTs is later in May and if they gave them later in the window it would be possible to have the same number of days before testing with both calendars. But based on the testing window for the CRCTs and the absolute dates for the APs there would be 3 less instruction days with the proposed Balanced Calendar. This fact may have no impact on your preference, but I just want the make sure that you have correct information when you answer the survey.

    Don’t know if they will ask about Spring Break week. Both calendars had it the week of April 14th in an effort to take the CRCT’s even earlier, prior to Spring Break (which is another big issue in my mind). Most of the other metro counties have not officially set their calendars yet, but the traditional metro Spring Break would be the week of April 7th. If it is important to you to have Spring Break at the same time as another system, I would let that be known also, if you have that option.

    I have never been a fan of the Balanced Calendar for various reasons. But it is not my opinion that the Superintendent wants to hear. I believe she wants to hear from those on the front line and I think she will make her recommendation based on that information.

    Feel free to share this with others as you see fit.

    [FYI: Readers, to email the board, and/or the superintendent, click our links on the right side panel of the blog. -DSW2]

  34. Dekalb County Schools went from Going Green to Bleeding Red after wasting cartons and cartons of printer paper on the SOLs. The millions upon millions of copies that must have been made in all the schools administering the SOLs!

  35. @ LIsaK,

    Isn’t David Walker the son of Eugene Walker? That seems to be common knowledge where I work. Of course, I don’t won’t to be ground up in the rumor mill.

  36. no name says:

    At 11:10 a.m. today (Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012), the AJC posted an article from Ty titled “School board committee to discuss bus scheduling and other policies”:
    http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-education/school-board-committee-to-discuss-bus-scheduling-a/nSRW4/
    The article includes this line: “See the agenda at http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us (the website listed an incorrect meeting date as of Tuesday morning; officials confirmed it is Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.).”

    I’m glad to see the AJC keeping track of the hijinks! The meeting agenda is here:
    https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/ViewMeetingOrder.aspx?S=4054&MID=27800

    Thank you for the heads-up Ty!

  37. Will it ever end? says:

    David Walker isn’t Eugene Walker’s son. No relation at all. Just a rumor. Dr. Walker’s son is the SRO at Tucker HS who was hurt a few weeks ago. David has just been Dr. Atkinson’s highly paid chauffeur for the past year.

  38. The Deal says:

    Did anyone hear anything from the Tucker Parent Council meeting tonight?

  39. teacher/taxpayer says:

    I suppose her chauffeur is making more than the average teacher in the system? And do superintendents routinely need bodyguards?

  40. PublicSchoolDad says:

    @I suppose her chauffeur is making more than the average teacher in the system?
    I believe his salary is >$55k.

Comments are closed.