Received via email newsletter, entitled, “Victory in Every Classroom”
Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson presented the State of the System address on Monday, Dec. 3, and with it, shared the DeKalb County School District’s (DCSD’s) plan to go digital. This fall, more than 8,200 students at seven middle schools – Cedar Grove, Chamblee, Lithonia, Peachtree, Redan, Stone Mountain and Tucker – will receive Lenovo netbooks loaded with all of their textbooks.
While only 38 percent of DCSD’s schools are fully wireless, by the fall, the district will have completed an aggressive technology plan to get make all 138 campuses wireless. The remainder of the district’s middle schools and high schools will transition to one-to-one technology in phases through August 2014. In addition, all 5,908 DCSD classrooms are scheduled to be equipped with interactive whiteboards by January 2014. Currently, interactive boards are in 4,050 classrooms.
“The fact is that we must create environments that will engage and inspire our digital natives,” said Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson. “Our schools, like many across the nation, have technology that is woefully behind that of the private sector. Thanks to funds allocated from the Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax, or SPLOST, we have an incredibly aggressive plan that supports the intellectual complexity of our 99,000 children.”
Atkinson also highlighted DCSD students’ academic accomplishments, including:
- Greatest growth on Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCTs) in five year
- Performance growth on ACT college readiness tests was stronger than that of the state and nation
- Percentage of students earning a three or higher on Advanced Placement (AP) exams increased at a greater rate than the state and nation
- DCSD’s inclusion on the AP Honor Roll
- DCSD SAT scores improved at a rate greater than that of the state or nation
- Kittredge Magnet School being named on of the U.S. Department of Education’s High Achieving Blue Ribbon Schools
Atkinson also addressed the district’s obstacles, including the SACS investigation and budget concerns. “The fact is we are a fully accredited school district and plan to stay that way,” Atkinson said. “The fact is that any information and feedback we receive, we intend to use to improve and create brighter days in DeKalb. In addition, we have successfully dealt with the budget deficit and are currently running within budget. The fact is we are moving from a cash reporting basis to an accrual reporting basis – from an old chart of accounts to the state chart of accounts.”
The event opened with the presentation of colors by the Cross Keys High Navy JROTC, and the singing of the national anthem by Alexis Breed, a senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. High. This year, DCSD implemented instrumental music classes in all of its 77 elementary schools, and the Dunaire Dynamic Dolphins Xylophone Ensemble performed two musical selections during the event to showcase the program. The Stephenson High chorus concluded the evening by performing “A Brighter Day.”
Next week, DCSD will release its annual report for 2012. The paperless report will be available on the DCSD website .