Interesting policy meeting tomorrow at 2pm

Below is the agenda for the policy meeting tomorrow. There are several new policy change requests being put on the table. A couple of additional items ready for action are listed at the tail end of the meeting having to do with HR and Operations. And we’re not sure what exactly about 2012-2017 school organization is going to be discussed as the last agenda item.

To view these policies in detail, they can be accessed online by going to: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us, click on Leadership, go to eBoard Home Page and click on the date for the meeting agenda\information. Or try just clicking here.

D. AMENDMENT TO THE BYLAWS & POLICIES: INITIAL REQUEST

1. Amendment to Bylaws & Policies: Staff Insurance, Descriptor Code EGA
Presented by: Mr. Ronald B. Ramsey, Chief Legal Officer, Division of Legal Affairs

2. Rescind ~ Unemployment Compensation, Descriptor Code EGAG
Presented by: Mr. Ronald B. Ramsey, Chief Legal Officer, Division of Legal Affairs

3. Rescind ~ Student Insurance Program, Descriptor Code EGB
Presented by: Mr. Ronald B. Ramsey, Chief Legal Officer, Division of Legal Affairs

4. Amendment to the Bylaws & Policies: Professional Personnel Leaves and Absences. Descriptor Code GBRI
Presented by: Ms. Jessica Smith, Attorney, Alexander & Associates

5. Amendment to the Bylaws & Policies: Staff Conflict of Interest, Descriptor Code GAG
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, Division of Human Resources

1. Amendment to Bylaws & Policies: Student Assignment, Descriptor Code JBCC
Presented by: Ms. Kendra D. March, Deputy Superintendent, School Leadership & Operational Support

2. Amendment to the Bylaws & Policies: Student Fees, Fines and Charges Descriptor Code JS
Presented by: Ms. Kendra D. March, Deputy Superintendent, School Leadership & Operational Support

3. Amendment to the Bylaws & Policies: Student Transportation Management Descriptor Code ED
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

4. Rescind ~ Bus Scheduling and Routing, Descriptor Code EDD and Special Use of School Buses, Descriptor Code EDDA
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

5. Amendment to the Bylaws & Policies: Equal Opportunity Employment Descriptor Code GAAA
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, Division of Human Resources

6. Amendment to the Bylaws & Policies: Personnel Records, Descriptor Code GAK
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, Division of Human Resources

7. Amendment to the Bylaws & Policies: Staff Rights and Responsibilities Descriptor Code GAM
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, Division of Human Resources

8. Amendment to the Bylaws & Policies: Professional Personnel Retirement Descriptor Code GBQ
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, Division of Human Resources

9. Rescind ~ Classified Personnel Retirement, Descriptor Code GCQ
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, Division of Human Resources

F. ACTION ITEMS
1. Receipt of Findings and Consideration of the Recommendation of the Tribunal in Personnel Case #12-13
Presented by: Mr. Ronald B. Ramsey, Chief Legal Officer, Division of Legal Affairs

2. Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES), Leader Keys Effectiveness System (LKES) and Central Office Evaluation Instruments
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, Division of Human Resources

G. DISCUSSION ITEM
1. Proposed 2012-2017 School Organization
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

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26 Responses to Interesting policy meeting tomorrow at 2pm

  1. Interesting policy changes:

    This one was eliminated:
    Policy EDDA: Special Use of School Buses
    BUS UTILIZATION
    School buses shall be used only by schools or departments for educational-sponsored act shall not be available for lease by outside agencies.

  2. The new JBCC policy on student assignment now reads:

    D. Other School Choice Programs
    The District offers a number of academic options for students, including, for example, charter schools, magnet programs, and theme schools; these options are referred to as School Choice Programs. The available School Choice Programs and the relevant admissions criteria are published yearly. Every eligible student, regardless of circumstance, must follow the published criteria and process.

    The Board, upon recommendation by the Superintendent, and as allowed by applicable laws and regulations, may move a School Choice Program to a different facility or cease the operation of a School Choice Program.

  3. And JBCC now says this about staff using choice schools:

    E. Children of Full-Time Employees
    The following provisions apply only to a child whose custodial parent or legal guardian is a full-time employee of the District. These provisions do not apply to pre-K programs.

    1. Subject to paragraphs 3 and 4 below relating to theme schools and magnet programs, a child whose custodial parent or legal guardian is a full- employee of the District will be allowed to attend the school at which the parent or legal guardian is employed; or, if the child has an Individualized Education Program (“IEP”), at a District school that can appropriately implement the child’s IEP. The Office of Student Assignment must be notified before the child is enrolled. Transportation will not be provided by the District. Payment of tuition will not be required even if the employee and child reside in another school district. This option is available only to school-based employees.

    2. Subject to paragraphs 3 and 4 below relating to theme schools and magnet programs, a child whose custodial parent or legal guardian is a full-time employee of the District will be allowed to attend another school within the vertical feeder pattern of the school at which the parent or legal guardian is employed; or, if the child has an IEP, at a District school that can appropriately implement the child’s IEP. Central office employees may attend feeder pattern schools located in the vertical feeder pattern of the employee’s work site. The employee must apply to the Office of Student Assignment so that space availability can be determined in feeder pattern schools. Transportation will not be provided by the District. Payment of tuition will not be required even if the employee and child reside in another school district. Students approved to attend a feeder pattern school must abide by school and District approved standards of behavior, attendance, and punctuality in order to be allowed to remain enrolled. Siblings may be approved only if grade level capacity is available.

    3. Children seeking to attend a theme school under this provision must enter the lottery and comply with all other admissions procedures applicable to that school. Transportation will not be provided by the District. Payment of tuition will not be required even if the employee and child reside in another school district.

    4. Because of the unique nature of magnet programs, which have special admission criteria and competitive selection processes, children of employees will be given no special preference in seeking admission to a magnet program. Children wishing to enroll in a magnet program must follow the published admission procedures and meet the admission criteria for the program. Moreover, because of the special cost to the District in providing magnet programs, these programs are limited to students who reside in the District. Transportation will not be provided by the District.

    Employees’ children who, at the time this Policy is enacted, are attending a school that they would not be allowed to attend under this Policy shall be allowed to remain in their current school until they have completed the highest grade at that school.

  4. teachermom says:

    “The employee must apply to the Office of Student Assignment so that space availability can be determined in feeder pattern schools. ” .Any teacher who is in the feeder pattern of Henderson Middle or Lakeside will probably still be told there is no room. These schools have been beyond capacity for a very long time and this phrase will continue to allow Central Office to deny a basic professional courtesy allowed in most every school system. Just another reason teachers will continue to leave.

    This is a maddening process for teachers who attempt it. They are often not given a final answer until mid summer or later and it is usually no. I know some will argue that teachers kids should not be allowed to attend if the school is overcrowded but I believe the crowding is not caused by teachers kids in the feeder pattern…

    Why is this so important to teachers? I know that in the private sector people get childcare but teaching in a schoolhouse is different in many ways, consider this:
    -elementary teachers must often arrive before 7:00am
    -middle and high schools let out at almost 4:00 in some cases
    -teachers have no flexibility in hours
    -teachers cannot leave their building until their students leave
    -teachers often are required to attend after/ school conferences at a moments notice, or otherwise be available to parents or administrators

    I hope that they will eliminate the F&F Choice School Program…and offer teachers at least this small professional courtesy again, which is virtually free to the county and will have very little impact on the school itself.

  5. We have always advocated for teachers to be able to send their children to the schools and their feeders at which they teach. We only had a problem with DCSS administrators being allowed to cherry pick a school for their children. They are no different from corporate people and in fact are often paid more than similarly qualified people in the corporate sector. They are no longer in the school house, they are in the 9-5 CO and the special school house perks should not apply. Teachers should be given the same perks as they would receive in surrounding counties in order for us to maintain competitive.

    Teachers should be elevated to a higher status and should enjoy the best perks. Perhaps this policy needs to be rewritten to be more clear. It’s always been a very muddy policy.

  6. psdad says:

    I often jog by Kitteredge in the morning and have noticed that there are an unusual number of cars with non-dekalb county license plates waiting in carpool. It would be interesting to know how many of the students at Kitteredge (& Wadsworth) are related to employees of DCSS. I wonder what a FOF request directed to the “Office of Student Assignment” would yield?

  7. dekalbite2 says:

    You cannot request student names from the school system. Perhaps you can request statistics regarding the number of sudents coming from outside of DeKalb, but names cannot and should not be provided.

  8. Try it and see.

    Under Georgia law it is called an Open Records Request. Check out the updated law by going to the Georgia First Amendment Foundation. You will also find a sample request letter that you may use as a template, but we think it asks for way too much information. Making your Open Records Request as simple and as basic as possible works best. You may always go back and request additional information.

    Send us an e-mail with your real name and e-mail address and we will send you some additional how-to information. E-mail us at: dekalbschoolwatch@gmail.com

    If you obtain any confirmable documentation, we will be glad to consider printing an article and you may remain anonymous, if you prefer.

  9. Pingback: Interesting policy meeting tomorrow at 2pm | dekalb school watch two | insurancejournal.web.id

  10. teacherwantingachange says:

    I’m concerned about the health insurance proposal. The original policy stated that the Board “shall provide …a prepaid medical program.” The prosed policy says the Board “may provide optional health programs, including but not limited to medical, dental, and vision…”

    Does anyone know if this is one of the “initiatives” of 2013?

    And notice the change in Staff Rights and Responsiblities. Is there a difference between due process of the Georgia code and the Fair Dismissal Act for contracted personnel like teachers? The new policy appears to remove due process for non-contractual employees.

  11. I don’t understand how the district gets away with out kicking in for the employees health, dental, etc. now. Most employers have more than 50 employees by law have to pay a min of 50% of premium. These employees are paying 100% of their premiums. Remember they eliminated the “subsidy”. Why is this different for the county worker?

  12. fedupindcss says:

    I am not sure how it’s handled across the country, but in the school district where I grew up (in the Northeast) they eliminated the perk of bringing your child to your school some time ago. The difference is that it’s a small system (albeit a wealthy one) with two elementary schools, one middle and a regional high school, and the cost wasn’t spread out like here. Also, the administration just decided that they couldn’t afford this perk, because they were going to be compelled to provide equivalent compensation for teachers without children. I’m interested that this has never been an issue here.

  13. Anne Shirley says:

    If I am a DeKalb county resident how is bringing my child to my school or the feeder school a perk or an expense…..they would be somewhere…..this has become a place just to work and then get the heck on…..and eventually most will choose to just get the heck on…..it’s too negative now with no benefits much less a perk. A lot of hot air being blowed and bologna being served….

  14. Anne Shirley says:

    Can someone report on these changes?

  15. They get away with it because no one is willing to “call” them on their greed. You might want to check into the law concerning employee health benefits. Some Google research should give you a place to start.

    Also, you might want to talk with the two DCSS employees (Elaine Gold and Amy Shaye) who brought suit against DeKalb County Schools for ending the Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA) payments they had promised employees when the school system got out of Social Security. Because of the Windfall Elimination Provision, DCSS retirees lose approximately 1/3 of their Social Security benefits (if they are even eligible for Social Security; many long-time employees are not) because they will retire with a Teachers Retirement System pension and are retiring from an organization that does not participate in Social Security. So, the TSA was and is a critical building block of retirement income. Ask those two employees how they went about bringing suit. They are now seeking class action status. Their attorney is John Salter with The Barnes Law Group, LLC in Marietta, GA.

    Someone has to be willing to stand up and say, “We are mad as hell and we are not going to take this any more.”

  16. Anne Shirley says:

    This county gets away with so much bull. Everyone looks out for their own best interest…..and their cousins, and their daughter in laws and their step team friends……uggggggg

  17. dekalbmom says:

    There is absolutely no requirement for an employer to pay 50% of an employee’s health insurance costs. The requirement for companies with more than 50 employees to offer health insurance does not even kick in until 2014 and even then an employer can pay a fine for not offering it. Employers who offer health insurance now do it because it is good business practice, leads to healthier employees and it is a perk that helps attract and retain good employees.

  18. North Dekalb Teacher says:

    But the problem with the DCSS that it no longer feels compelled to “attract and retain good employees”

  19. Anne Shirley says:

    So now are we debating whether or not we deserve to have the “perk” of health insurance? That’s fine…. I can’t afford it anyway $400 to cover my family on a salary of less than 30k with 15 years of exemplary service….quite depressing now that I have typed it….

  20. thedeal2 says:

    Does anyone know what was actually approved in this meeting?

  21. dekalbite2 says:

    If you can’t offer comparable compensation including salary and benefits for teachers, do not expect the quality of teachers for your child that other systems have. Does anyone want their child to be taught by the lowest compensated teachers in the metro Atlanta area? Does low compensation with little to no benefits really attract top notch teachers? Of course not. This affects property values as well as student achievement.

  22. Sir Quagmire says:

    Can anyone confirm that Ronald Ramsey was demoted and is now working in Student Relations rather than Internal Affairs?

  23. Concernedmom30329 says:

    Where did you hear that? As of last week’s policy meeting, he was still presenting policy. I don’t think he is in internal affairs anymore, I think he is chief counsel for the school system.
    Here is his title from the agenda: Mr. Ronald B. Ramsey, Chief Legal Officer, Division of Legal Affairs
    Link to agenda: https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/ViewMeetingOrder.aspx?S=4054&MID=28461

  24. Quagmire says:

    I heard it from someone with connections to county office. It was said that Ronald Ramsey was taking Quentin Fretwell’s place who retired this past Friday. Mr. Fretwell was director of student relations

  25. Concernedmom30329 says:

    I am guessing they may have rolled Fretwell’s responsibilities into Ramseys’ group. Is student relations really about discipline?

  26. Quagmire says:

    What are the latest changes made to school leadership as a result of the retirements! Dr .Weaver, principal at Bethune was told she would be going to MLK High School. Now she is being told to stay at Bethune Middle. Seems the wife of and Board Member Jay Cunningham and MLK P.T.A president didn’t want her there. Can’t wait to see who comes over!

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