Monday, November 5 Board Meeting at 6 PM

TUNE IN! The regularly scheduled monthly board meeting will be held tonight, Monday, November 5 at 6 PM.

You can attend in person (and there’s obviously still space to make a citizen comment), watch it live on Comcast 24 or stream it live on the internet at this link:

A simplified agenda is below. To view the actual agenda and associated documents, click here.

1. Freweini Misghina
2. Robert Ballou
3. Amy Rohan
4. Charlie Hardnett
5. Jolene Samuels



1. International Teacher Services Agreement with In-Talage, Inc. Teaching Agency
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia Ward- Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer Division of Human Resources
2. Approval of SPLOST IV Project Sequence List
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations
3. Approval of Surplus Property
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

1. Approval of Minutes
Presented by: Dr. Cheryl L.H. Atkinson, Superintendent
2. 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. Microsoft EES
Presented by: Mr. Gary L. Brantley, Chief Information Officer, Division of Management Information Systems
5. Virtual Desktop Integration
Presented by: Mr. Gary L. Brantley, Chief Information Officer, Division of Management Information Systems
6. Monthly School Bus Inspections Contract Award (RFP #13-456)
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations
7. Martin Luther King Jr. High School Additions and Renovations Contract Award
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations
8. Approval of Pre-Qualified Professional Service Firms for the DeKalb County School District’s Capital Improvement Plan
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations
9. Approval of Pre-Qualified General and Specialty Contractor Service Firms for the
DeKalb County School District’s Capital Improvement Plan
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations
10. Atlanta Gas Light Company Easement at Tilson Elementary School
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations
11. Purchase of Grocery Products (Bid 13-397)
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations
12. Purchase of Ice Cream Products (Bid 13-22)
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

I. OTHER\BOARD COMMENTS (2 minutes each)

1. Election Day ~ Tuesday, November 6, 2012 ~ Schools Closed\Administrative Offices Open
2. Dunwoody-Chamblee Parent Council Meeting, 8:45am, Wednesday, November 7, 2012, Dunwoody Elementary School, 1923 Womack Road, Dunwoody
3. Auxiliary Advisory Committee Meeting, 10:00am, Thursday, November 8, 2012, Auditorium, Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain
4. DeKalb Board of Education Business Meeting, 6:00pm, Monday, November 12, 2012, J. David Williamson Board Room, Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain


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30 Responses to Monday, November 5 Board Meeting at 6 PM

  1. We received this message forwarded to us from David Schutten, President of the DeKalb Organization of Educators:

    Within the past 30 hours, I have received over two dozen texts, e-mails, and phone calls about a rumor Dr. Atkinson was leaving DeKalb for a job in Texas. This rumor is not true. This rumor began circulating six or eight weeks ago, but for some reason went into overdrive this weekend. I asked Dr. Atkinson one month ago, and she told me she was not leaving DeKalb. She reaffirmed today she is not leaving DeKalb. I appreciate those of you who contacted me about it. Hopefully, we can work together to focus on educating the students of DeKalb and to improve teaching and learning conditions and not be distracted by these type of things. And to be blunt, I can pretty much trace the overdrive into which this rumor sky rocketed since yesterday morning back to one person with little credibility. I normally do not send e-mails on Sunday, but I am sending this one hoping it will save dozens of people the time and energy checking out the veracity of this rumor. I have found a little push back to people on the source of their questionable information goes a long way. I will keep the rest of my opinions on this matter of rumors and those who delight in them to myself. Again, thanks to those of you who heard it from many people and contacted me to determine if it was true.

  2. thedeal2 says:

    Hopes dashed.

  3. Sent to DSW by one of our readers who requested anonymity:

    To: All DeKalb Employees
    From: Dr. Cheryl L.H. Atkinson, Superintendent
    Subject: Title I Audit Finds DCSD Must Repay Funds
    Date: 5 November 2012

    In March 2012, the Georgia Department of Education conducted its annual Cross-Functional Monitoring of the Title I Part A Program in DeKalb. Each year, they take a random sampling of expenditures to audit Title I funds. This year, they selected as one of their random samplings the Communities In Schools (CIS) contract. The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) has been under a contract with CIS since 2008 similar to other metro districts. This year, they deemed that the CIS services provided in the contract did not qualify as an allowable activity. As a result, the district will be required to repay $885,000 from the general fund to resolve the matter. Since the expenditure had not been cited in the past four years, DCSD had no indication it was unallowable. The Title I administration is undergoing restructuring this year to ensure more streamlined accountability going forward.

    In addition, there is $25,000 of additional expenditures related to unallowable costs for Title I activities that are also required to be repaid. As a result, the total amount of $910,000 must be repaid from the general fund budget. The DCSD is working within the Finance department to determine how the general fund budget must be modified since this repayment expenditure was not planned for within this year’s budget.

    This just came out in a NewsFlash – perhaps it should be in the agenda. Why isn’t the firing of the Title I coordinator an issue? When will fiscal responsibility be required?

  4. Concerned says:

    I was just getting ready to give that information on the Title 1 etc. almost another $1 million unaccounted for here. What is going to mean for those who work for the district now? The deficit keeps growing.

    Is it true that Atkinson and some of the others in AIC got raises approved? I’ve been hearing this but it has not been confirmed.

    Another rumor is that the communications department may be reinstated as well. Where would this money come from?

  5. Weary worker says:

    $910 K. is another furlough day on the horizon? Who is responsible for this? Was the 2011 contract with CIS done prior to Atkinson taking over? Someone needs to be blamed for this and heads need to roll. One of the character traits pitched to students last month was responsibility. It’s time for the DCSD leaders to show some.

  6. concernedmom30329 says:

    here comes the PR brigade. It makes me very frustrated.

  7. dekalbmom says:

    Good Lord. An almost $1 M snafu for the taxpayers, teachers and students to foot on top of all the other mismanagement! Can anyone here explain what the Communities in Schools program was supposed to provide and who runs this program? Is this more dirty laundry from prior years or was this continued under the current administration? And wasn’t the previous Title I adminstrator let go?

  8. dekalbmom says:

    I looked them up. CIS is a dropout prevention program. Go to their webpage for more information It looks like many of the metro area counties use them. If you look at their latest annual report, the majority of their funding comes from private foundations, the federal government and the state. I am curious to know why the US Dept of Education feels that the services CIS provided do not qualify for Title I funding.

  9. concernedmom30329 says:

    Yes. It was prior years. I wonder what CIS services that the feds didn’t feel met Title 1 requirements.

  10. Well, here we go with the cat fight over the SPLOST IV money. We warned you all – there was NO priority list when the vote was taken so the result is the big dash for the cash after the fact. It’s going to get uglier and uglier. I wish the Henderson parents would have insisted on a priority list before the SPLOST IV vote way back when we raised that concern. The fact is now, Jay’s projects will get done first. They always do. Most likely, you’ll have to wait for the Henderson project until just before the SPLOST V vote to get you to vote YES again…

    Many of you may not remember or care that Cross Keys was listed as #2 on the SPLOST III priority list – and in reality was virtually last and still does not have an auditorium and their track is downright dangerous.

  11. See what I mean? Jay is jumping in all full of anger at Nancy and defending the SPLOST document. Nancy asked to approve only one of the three documents they were given. Now Jay is ranting about some bizarre offended interpretation of what Nancy is asking. The public is upset and wanted clarity. Nancy tried to provide that in a public forum. Now, Jay is on a soap box angrily responding to Nancy’s simple request. It appears as if he doesn’t want to ensure Henderson’s place in line.

    Then, pile on Donna Edler (who says she is not confused). She said they already voted on a SPLOST list before the vote. She isn’t admitting that the issue here is the ORDER of PRIORITY. Now, she’s insinuating that Nancy is ‘micromanaging the administration’. Lord. This is getting to be such a ridiculous discussion — all because the Henderson community wants a guarantee that their place in line is clear and will stick.

  12. On to approval for selling some properties:

    Requested Action

    It is requested that the Board of Education declare as surplus property:

    A. Unused School Properties:

    1. The former A&B Buildings – 3770 N. Decatur Road, Decatur, GA 30032

    2. The former Briarcliff HS campus (includes the International Student Center & Adams
    Stadium) 2415 N. Druid Hills Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30329

    3. The former Heritage Center – 2225 Heritage Drive, Decatur, GA 30345

    4. The former Hooper Alexander ES – 3414 Memorial Drive, Decatur, GA 30032

    Did he add Avondale High School? And DSA??? The same DSA that we just dumped $10 million into?!!!

    Also, didn’t they just approve to let a charter school use Heritage? Global charter or something like that?

    Womack wants the Druid Hills property removed from the list.

  13. Pack your bags again DSA! They just voted to sell your school building. Voted to sell the whole list except the Druid Hills property.

  14. We are very concerned about the HR report. Happy to see that they FINALLY presented it as a searchable PDF, but the promise to do so ‘going forward’ is weak. She needs to go BACK and recreate that document so that we can all verify that the approved board cuts and RIFS were actually made. Otherwise, we will get to the same point we did this year – no cuts were actually made by Tyson and we found ourselves $30+ million over budget! We can’t add another year of deficit on top of that.

  15. teacherwantingachange says:

    I called the state @ this CIS audit, but the only live person transfered me to a recording. I tried finance, budget, and any other department that might know about this audit, but no luck. The superintendent’s email implies that other districts might be impacted.

    Does anyone know if other systems/districts are facing the same problem? And if this audit was conducted in March, why are we finding out about this only now?

    From what I can see on the “transparent” organizational chart, we have an Executive Director of Federal Programs, Coordinator II (7-does this mean seven coordinators?), Coordinator III (3-does this mean three coordinators?), Accounting Associate, for Federal Programs (3-same question) and a Compliance Specialist. According to the AJC, Dickerson claims the officials involved have been moved. That’s comforting.

    And Millar appeals to be forgiving the mistake. What in the world? We teachers are faced with new insurance policies every year, and we’re responsible for understanding what is and isn’t covered.

    So does this get filed in the Excellence in Education Plan, the Theory of Action of Change, or the Balanced Scorecard?

  16. Thanks to Nancy for sticking up for the student who appeared in a tv spot for charter schools after having been bullied at her DeKalb traditional school. Dr. Walker, who had no business even bringing it up in the comments, was very mean-spirited in his comments about the child. He crossed the line and Nancy brought sensibility to the discussion. That behavior by Walker was very disappointing, however, we are fully aware that he is first and foremost, a politician — and one who always thinks he is right. He then used his television forum as a bully pulpit to beat up on a child who was not there to defend herself as telling the truth.

    In addition, we were appalled at the father and grandmother’s story tonight stating that their child had been being bullied at her school for over a year. They had filed many complaints, yet got no action. The child finally responded to her tormenters and SHE ended up in handcuffs – for 4 hours – before the school called her father. Now, system personnel won’t even return his calls! It reminds us of the Jaheem Herrara case where Dr. Lewis paid Judge Thelma Moore nearly a half-million dollars to “investigate” the charges of bullying that Jaheem’s parents said led to his suicide. Judge Moore found “no evidence of bullying” in her statement (she never produced a written report). This is in spite of the WSB investigation into bullying which found that DeKalb leads the way:

    1,900 Bullying Cases Found In Atlanta Schools – DeKalb leads the way

  17. concernedmom30329 says:

    I think it was telling that Walker said that he doesn’t even listen to the sysetm’s attorneys. We desperately need a new board chair, but the bench isn’t very deep and that is depressing.

  18. Regarding the Henderson community’s concern about being bumped down the SPLOST IV list of priorities (that has not officially existed until tonight)… below is an email sent out by the Lakeside community:

    Dear Lakeside Families and Community,

    Lakeside has its new building and school renovations. Our trailers are gone. We are very fortunate and enjoying our new buildings!

    Unfortunately, our feeder middle school, Henderson Middle School, has also been in need of renovations and an addition for quite some time. They are scheduled to receive this much needed work in SPLOST IV but it appears they have been moved farther down the proposed priority list than our community was led to believe during the redistricting and SPLOST IV vote.

    HMS needs the support of the entire LHS community to get that date moved further up on the list. Our feeder elementary schools are on board. Let’s get behind them too! Many community members worked to get LHS the new facility we are now enjoying even though their own families would not personally get to enjoy the benefits. Let us repay the favor forward!
    Here are some of the facts:

    1. HMS has 1,590 students currently and is the largest middle school in the County.

    2. HMS has grown to 17 trailers this year and is the most overcrowded middle school in DeKalb

    3. During redistricting a couple of years ago, the county staff listed HMS at 138% capacity. HMS has well surpassed that now.

    4. HMS was converted to a middle school 16 years ago but it never received a complete middle school conversion.

    5. The school’s design is incompatible with the middle school instructional strategy of team-teaching. Key portions of the campus, including the media center, music rooms, cafeteria, and office areas, are inadequate to serve the population.

    6. The campus is not compliant with ADA specifications. One example is that Disabled students and faculty cannot enter and exit the building with their peers, but instead must use a separate entrance at the back of the building near the cafeteria.

    7. This single capital improvement would impact the largest number of students in DeKalb in a single project.

    8. County administrators assured stakeholders that HMS would be placed at the top of the list for SPLOST IV projects.

    9. County administrators presented a proposed priority list to the Board of Education last May. HMS was listed halfway down the priority list behind three new elementary schools and two other school renovations (none of which have the enrollment, percentage over capacity or trailers that HMS has. In addition, the HMS project is slated to cost less than each of the three elementary schools so the funds will become available more quickly for this project).

    10. A new list has been presented to the Board of Education by the school system administration this week for a vote this coming Monday, Nov. 5th. The list entitled “SPLOST IV Schedule (Cash Flow-Basis), October 24, 2012 Version” has HMS on lines 103 and 104, seemingly still quite far down the list with a completion date of July 2015. To view how the school system has chosen to prioritize the projects, click here. You will find the agenda for Monday night’s meeting. Click on agenda item G2: Approval of SPLOST IV Project Sequence List. The Action Item page will open. At the bottom you will find an item titled “Supporting Documents”. These are the two proposed SPLOST IV lists.
    What Can You Do to Help Henderson Middle??
    1. All residents of the Lakeside cluster, regardless of whether you have children in DCSS schools, are encouraged to contact the school system’s administration and all Board of Education members. You may use any of the facts above and/or your own experiences related to Henderson’s facility needs. Request that HMS be moved to the top of the “SPLOST IV Schedule (Cash Flow-Basis) list” to receive proceeds from the earliest SPLOST IV tax revenues that come into the school system. Request that HMS also be placed at the top of the chronological list to initiate the HMS project at the beginning of the SPLOST IV projects. Please contact the individuals below and let them know that they can benefit the most students in one building project for the least amount of money by fulfilling their promise to renovate Henderson Middle School.

    2. Take action today! The BOE will vote on this Monday, Nov. 5th. Do this on behalf of our community and your neighbors whose children will benefit.

    3. Sign the online petition here and send it to your family, friends, and neighbors.

    4. Notify your neighbors of this community need. Ask them to sign the online petition and contact the school system staff and Board of Education.

    Thank you for taking time to support our feeder middle school. Working together we can continue to build a great learning environment for our community’s students and staff. (Remember to come to the Lakeside Open House this Sunday, Nov. 4th from 2-4 p.m. to see our new facilities. Invite your neighbors to join us!)
    List of Contacts:
    Dr. Atkinson (Superintendent):

    Joshua Williams (Exec. Dir. of Facilities Mgmt.):

    Dan Drake (Exec. Dir. of Transportation):

    Board of Education Members
    Thomas Bowen:

    Sarah Copelin-Wood:

    Jay Cunningham:

    Donna Edler:

    Nancy Jester:

    Don McChesney:

    Pam Speaks:

    Gene Walker:

    Sent by Lakeside High School PTSA Communication Committee

  19. thedeal2 says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Those who voted YES for SPLOST were digging their own hole. SPLOST is for political favors. Where you are on the list depends on how many favors and votes you can give the majority of the board. It is rife with corruption and back-door deals, and that is why everyone should have voted NO. Don’t give a drink to a drunk.

  20. The Five on the school board is disgusting! Thank God for Jester. What Walker said about that student should be grounds for resignation or recall. It was bullying pure and simple, something synonymous with Walker and Cuningham.

    Henderson folks, good luck getting moved up the list! I voted no on IV and we all know how Walker worked his magic with threats and idle promises to get IV passed. Thoroughly disgusted!

    The mismanagement of the Tyson crew should have resulted in her and the others resignation. Enough! What has Tyson cost this district… 30+ million NOT CUT….almost 1 million dollars in Title 1 mistakes and she gets over a quarter of a million in salary and benefits.. Tyson should say so long…her pension will be enough to cover the rest of her life!

  21. You Mad Bro? says:

    While I appreciate the need to make sure schools are safe and students feel comfortable in their learning environment, I also recognize the need to keep things in perspective. I heard the complaints last evening and I, too, was mortified at the fact that the administration was unresponsive and left this girl in handcuffs for four hours without calling her parents. And then I considered the fact that I only had one side of the story. I am sure there is another side of the story that is, somewhat more rational than either of the two presenters last evening.

    My father was an administrator at a high school in DeKalb for over 15 years. When I spoke with him about this he stated that, while there may have been a better solution that could have been presented, once the decision had been made to have the girl arrested, it is imperative that the parents NOT be called until she has left the campus. This protocol is to prevent the situation from escalating with parents confronting parents or other students in the parking lot, offices, etc. The real question that should be asked is, “why did it take four hours for DCPD to transport this young lady to jail?”

    Regarding the Grandmother’s access to her daughter at the school house, if there is no record of the grandmother being authorized to have access, she should not have access. I know it is hard to process, however, if this were an individual with more nefarious intent the community would be up in arms if the school DID let the woman have access.

    In conclusion, chill out with your righteous indignation and consider that most of these administrators want to do the right thing—want to protect ALL kids.

  22. Concernedmom30329 says:

    You Mad
    There is not one comment on this blog about any of the things you made reference too. No one has raised any of the issues you pointed out.
    I agree that system officials need to have permission to speak with non-custodial adults about children that aren’t theirs.
    The DeKalb School police could have taken that young woman to jail themselves. There are enough of them. And they are certified officers.

  23. We agree! Gene Walker is an out-and-out bully. Imagine a great big man like Gene Walker going after a child — on television, no less! Thank you, Nancy Jester, for doing what no one else on the board had the guts to do. You supported a child, acknowledged the parents’ right to select the school setting best for their child and put Gene Walker in his place. Although, Walker is so dense he probably still doesn’t know that he was called down.

  24. Dear Lakeside Families and Community,

    A HUGE THANK YOU to the Lakeside community for supporting Henderson Middle School in their effort to secure a position at the top of the SLPOST IV priority list. Last night, the Board of Education (BOE) voted to pass the SPLOST IV Priority List that was presented to the BOE as the Chronological list. This list shows Henderson Middle School as projects # 11 (roofing) and #12 (renovation and addition)! This means that Henderson’s projects will enter the planning phase in December of this year with the completion date projected for July 2015.

    Thank you to all the LHS families and friends who contacted the school system administration and the members of the Board of Education and who signed the HMS petition asking that they be placed at the top of the list. Without the letters, emails, phone calls, and signatures on the petition from the entire LHS community, this wouldn’t have happened!! When we all work together we can accomplish great things for our school and our feeder pattern. Thank you!

    We have one more request: please take a moment today to send a note to the school system administration and to the Board of Education (The four Board of Education members that have constituents in our high school and middle school – [Womack, McChesney, Jester and Speaks] – were advocates for HMS from the time the original list was presented in May through last night. The final vote was 7 yes, 1 abstention, and 1 absent.) Please thank them for listening and responding to the needs of our feeder middle school.

    List of Contacts:
    Dr. Atkinson (Superintendent):

    Stephen Wilkins (Chief Operations Officer):

    Joshua Williams (Exec. Dir. of Facilities Mgmt.):

    Dan Drake (Exec. Dir. of Transportation):

    Board of Education Members (listed in a comment below)

  25. Quagmire says:

    It was our understanding that CIS was a very successful program in Atlanta City Schools (Hall) when DCSS (Tyson) jumped on the bandwagon.

  26. Click the link below to view the paid political tv spot that had Dr. Walker all in tizzy – to the point that he publicly dressed down the child who appears in it during his open comments period of the meeting Monday night. We feel that Walker’s use of his free public 2 minutes as a bully pulpit just before the charter school vote was totally irresponsible and cruel.

  27. psdad says:

    Anyone know who these people are?
    From the AJC

    DeKalb County schools Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson has named a dozen people to serve on a committee monitoring school construction.
    … The committee members: Christine Avers, Paul Baisier, Cathy Blakeney, Wyvern Budram, Narwanna D. el-Shabazz, B.R. “Billy Ray” Jones, Kimberly Mitchell, Kirk A. Nooks, Charles Rogers, Kerry Williams, A. E. “Gene” Wise and Delilah Wynn-Brown…

    Details can be found here:

    Definately a curious mix of skillsets… I suspect a few of the candidates don’t have college degrees and not one of the committee members has relevant experience with accounting, audit, or corporate finance.

  28. Another comment says:

    Having Mr. Rogers the Lawyer from Smith Curry and Hancock seems to be a real gift. Smith, Curry and Hanncock is the top Construction Law firm that General Contractors use to sue Government entities in low bid contracts. Smith, Curry and Hancock put on seminars on how to do it and everything you want to know about Construction Law.

    I have worked in Facilities Management in Atlanta for the last 29 and never heard about the black female listed at the bottom. Sounds like she just likes to get the minority percentage, and disappears. Otherwise, I would have heard about here.

    I would say Kudo’s to having Mr. Rogers on the committee. Even though he has only been practicing law for 9 years, he has been with the best. He should be the Chair. Smith Curry and Hanncock is who Dekalb should have hired to win. But then again, they would have most likely have told them to settle with not sue Heery in the first place. They certainly would not have continued it like Southern Asbil did.

  29. The SPLOST IV oversight committee looks good. We have a post on it slated to publish in the morning.

  30. concernedmom30329 says:

    Another Comment is not a DeKalb county parent or resident. She/he post regularly on the AJC blog and is often out right offensive or close to it. Given that this poster doesn’t have a dog in this fight, I wish she would stop posting here.
    It is King and Spaulding who is the system’s attorneys for Heery lawsuit, not Sutherlin.

Comments are closed.