Tune in to the Board meeting Monday, January 7 at 6PM: Should be interesting!

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 DeKalb Board of Education will hold the following meetings on Monday, January 7, 2013:

4:30pm Called Meeting to adjourn to Executive Session for the purpose of discussing legal and personnel and matters – Cabinet Room/J. David Williamson Board Room

6:00pm Work Session & Meeting
J. David Williamson Board Room
Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex
1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard
Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Meeting information can be accessed online by going to: www.dekalb.k12.ga.us, click on Leadership, go to eBoard Home Page and click on the date for the meeting agenda\information.

Dr. Eugene P. ‘Gene’ Walker, Chair
Ms. Sarah Copelin-Wood
Mr. Jesse ‘Jay’ Cunningham, Jr.
Ms. Donna G. Edler
Ms. Nancy T. Jester
Mr. James L. ‘Jim’ McMahan
Mr. Marshall D. Orson
Dr. Pamela A. Speaks
Dr. Melvin Johnson

Dr. Cheryl L. H. Atkinson, Superintendent


1. Marilyn Walton
2. Ike Hall
3. Monica Foderingham
4. Jordan Brown
5. Marla Kelly
6. Carla Weston-Brown
7. John Evans
8. Jamila Crenchaw
9. Loreen Booker-Brown
10. Derrick Thomas
11. Amy Trocchi
12. Marcia Coward
13. Khalid Muhammad Ali Farrakhan
14. Charlie Hardnett


1. Election of Chair and Vice Chair for the 2013 Calendar Year
Presented by: Dr. Eugene P. ‘Gene’ Walker, Board Chair


1. Establishment of Dates & Times of DeKalb Board of Education Meetings for 2013
Presented by: Board Chair-Elect

2. Official Functions of the Board for Calendar Year 2013
Presented by: Board Chair-Elect


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

4. Purchase of Multicultural Libraries for Schools Serving English Learners (ELs)
Presented by: Dr. Kathleen S. Howe, Deputy Superintendent, Division of Curriculum & Instruction

5. Math Science Partnership (MSP) Grant Reimbursement to Georgia Tech Research Corporation
Presented by: Dr. Kathleen S. Howe, Deputy Superintendent, Division of Curriculum & Instruction

6. Chamblee Charter High School Technology Package
Presented by: Mr. Gary L. Brantley, Chief Information Officer, Division of Management Information Systems

7. Martin Luther King High School Renovation Technology Package
Presented by: Mr. Gary L. Brantley, Chief Information Officer, Division of Management Information Systems

8. Instructional Data Management System (IDMS)
Presented by: Mr. Gary L. Brantley, Chief Information Officer, Division of Management Information Systems

9. Wireless Access for all Schools (Placeholder)
Presented by: Mr. Gary L. Brantley, Chief Information Officer, Division of Management Information Systems

10.New Bus Title Transfer
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

11.Kingsley Charter Elementary School Sports Court Donation Approval
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

12.Arabia Mountain Green Cleaning Program Service Contract Award
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

13.CMAQ Georgia Diesel Retrofit Project
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

14.Approval of Bread Products, Bid #13-23
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

15.Approval of Sanitation Services & Materials Award, Bid #13-20
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

16.First Read: Approval of 2016-2017 Proposed School Organization
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

This action requests Board approval of the draft 2016-2017 Proposed School Organization for public feedback. This action supports the staff’s work with the Georgia Department of Education (GA DOE) in its development of the Five-Year Local Facilities Plan.
This action seeks approval of the recommended 2016-2017 Proposed School Organization for the DeKalb County School District.
A Proposed School Organization is required for a school district to continue its participation in the State’s Capital Outlay program. A Proposed School Organization is part of the Five-Year Local Facilities Plan.
Final approval of the 2016-2017 Proposed School Organization for the DeKalb County School District is required in January 2013 to meet the May 2013 deadline for final submission of the District’s Five-Year Local Facilities Plan to the Georgia State Board of Education for approval.
Approval allows the District to continue receiving State Capital Outlay Entitlement over the next four years.

(Two related documents are uploaded below)
DCSS 2016-2017 School Organization
Proposed 2016-2016 School Organization-from-E-board

J. OTHER\BOARD COMMENTS (2 minutes each)

1. DeKalb Board of Education Business Meeting, 6:00pm, Monday, January 14, 2013, J. David Williamson Board Room, Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain

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128 Responses to Tune in to the Board meeting Monday, January 7 at 6PM: Should be interesting!

  1. DeKalbMama says:

    Sorry, but with regard to #4… What an utter waste of tax dollars! If you’re going to school here, learn English. Providing books in other languages for “foreign language learners” is simply providing them with a crutch so they don’t have to learn English. Total immersion is the only way to make it happen.

  2. Weary worker says:

    The agenda said nothing abut books being in another language. Even if they are many children only speak but can not read in their native language so having them would help. Having a population that can speak, read and write in more than one language is a valuable asset. Mastery of two languages is a terrible thing to lose.

  3. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    I. 8. Instructional Data Management System (IDMS) – $ 625,034 – annual fee for this particular software. I would like to add this to the list of private companies making a lot of money off traditional public schools.

  4. Found this on Nancy Jester’s blog:

    The administration has released current and forecasted enrollment/capacity numbers. Looks like it will be discussed at the board meeting tomorrow.

    I. 16. First Read: Approval of 2016-2017 Proposed School Organization

  5. whyaminotsurprised says:

    Is that very last item, “First Read: Approval of 2016-2017 Proposed School Organization” the “non-redistricting” but re-organization plan that wants to make decisions about tearing down/building new schools with minimal planning?

  6. SWD Mom says:

    In reading through some of the past posts, you seem to have something against SWDeKalb getting the addition of an auditorium and classrooms. Have you been to the school? Ninth grade classes take place in trailers. The cafeteria is the also the auditorium. And science classes, as well as other classrooms have students sitting along the walls because they are overcrowded. So while we may not have as many apartment complexes serving the feeder patterns, there is still overcrowding at our school. As your “research” has pointed out, it takes more than looking at pieces of paper to figure out population patterns for any given school. You need to also be there to understand the full scope of the situation.

  7. Another comment says:

    No mention of the opportune death of Conita Moody accused turned witness in the Rico case. She was only 50. She was also one of CL’s mistress’s. This sounds just like Ricky Rowe , Mayor Campell’ left hand man who had been flipped dying right before his trial. Campbell was sure he was going to walk. but then I called up Sally Yates office and told them that I knew about the entrance to the Friday night Poker games at the mayors house determined who got contracts. Within 5 minutes the FBI was calling me asking me how I knew about the Friday night Poker games at the mayors house. They said they didn’t let that out in the press. I explained that I worked for Another government facilities organization and that one day one of my quality minority contractors, came dejected in my office. I said what’s wrong, he said thank goodness you run a clean minority program, because most don’t he just relayed to me that he had just been to the Atlanta water project, and was asked by Ricky Rowe why he had even showed up at the prebid, Ricky then said F you know every contractor knows you have to be invited to the poker games on Friday nights at the Mayors house. Ricky then said you know I am the door man. Well of course the mayor always one the poker games, that is how the bribes. We’re passed not just on the Vegas and Bixoxi gambling trips. The FBI asked me for the contractors name, and asked if I thought he would testify I said I believe he is mad enough about being shut out of work to do it. Soon after Campbell took his Prison sentence plea.

    When I saw Dekalb fire Herry one of the best PM,s to go to related minority firms it was easy to see the corruption. It is well known that Mitchell like Russell just take their 51% and sit in their trailer and let the qualified whited contractor do the work in this town. But their are no kickbacks for the pat popes or Crawford Lewis, which is why they wanted to cut out the qualified white contractor , the ENR top 100 contractor, that a knows how to build quality on time.

    The Atlanta construction and real estate industry is small, the most shocking thing I ever heard was Crawford Lewis say was Pat Pope had a construction Engineering degree from Purdue. That is a lie or fraud. She claimed to go to the CAlumet campus. They don’t offer Constructuion Engineering degrees even to this day, any where but at the main West Layfayette. Campus. Only some technology degree for those who can’t make it through freshman engineering. How do I know. I was at Purdue at the time Pat claims this Engineering degree. I was a TA, and there were only 3-4 female undergraduate engineers and they were all white. There were two females in graduate school we were Both white. Pat Reid or Pope is such a fraud claiming she has a Purdue engineering degree she does not.

  8. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    They took down the old doc and put up a new doc and link for agenda item – I. 16. First Read: Approval of 2016-2017 Proposed School Organization. No more enrollment/capacity figures. It’s a relatively useless document now. Does anybody have the document that was posted up there yesterday.

  9. DeKalb Observer says:

    Breaking news:
    police searching DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis’ home at behest of a Special Grand Jury.


  10. Bye bye says:

    The rumor is that Dr. Walker will be reelected board chair tonight. And that his support comes from an unusual place that is related to who will be board vice chair. Some members of the DeKalb delegation thinks it is a good idea for Dr. Walker to be chair again. It is like there is an effort afoot to destroy this county. You have to ask yourself what is in it for anyone who votes for Dr. Walker –what kind of deal did he broker?
    Dr. Walker doesn’t support Dr. Ackinson anymore but it’s not because she is incompetent but it but it is because of who she got rid of.

  11. We received a request to correct the name of new Board member Melvin Johnson on this agenda. We did make the correction, but we want it clearly known that this agenda was cut-and-pasted, as is, from the official agenda sent out by the Board secretary. That would be either Dorothea “Dee” Brown (Gene Walker’s daughter-in-law) whose salary was $58,245 in 2012 and/or Margaret Francois, whose salary was $59,177 in 2012.

    Please understand that the DeKalb School Watch blog is run entirely by unpaid volunteers who all have full-time jobs, as well as family, personal and community commitments — in addition to the many hours spent on this blog. We do not have the time, nor do we see it as our responsibility, to proofread, edit and correct official publications by the DeKalb Board of Education and/or the Superintendent’s office.

    Not only do we believe that two (2) board secretaries is one (1) too many, we also believe that a competent board secretary could be found for less than nearly $60,000 a year plus benefits.

  12. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    Bye bye
    If not Dr Walker, what other alternatives do we have as board chair? No way this board elects Nancy or Dr Speaks to the chair. Edler and Orson are courting the rest of the board. Sarah and Jay couldn’t chair their way out of a paper bag.

    Dr Walker as Chair
    This might actually be a good thing. He has a lot of pressure to bring this board together as chair. Otherwise with the power of the Walker 5, he could ram whatever he wants through with a 5-4 vote.

  13. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    The original I. 16. First Read: Approval of 2016-2017 Proposed School Organization.

    Southwest DeKalb HS has a capacity of 1,289. It is currently at 111% utilization with 1,432 students. In 2016 it is projected to have 1,278 students. If NOTHING is added then SWD will be under 100% utilized in 2016!!

    Expected Utilization in 2016 for other schools
    Sagamore ES – 154%
    McLendon ES – 153%
    Dunwoody HS – 143%
    etc…the list goes on …

    We are talking about 1 out of 3 kids being in trailers at these schools. It’s this kind of planning that drives me crazy.

  14. Marney Mayo says:

    Oh…but they are going to deal with the Dunwoody HS overcrowding by flipping the Avondale Estates students into the Clarkston district..just not with this vote. ..and who cares about McLendon and Sagamore hills…the parents don’t speak English and can’t vote. I once had a former board member tell me to my face that she didn’t understand why we had to educate “THOSE children” anyway. You would think that given my known support of the International Community School, she at least would have the sensitivity not to be so blatant about it.

  15. alm says:

    Is anyone doing a live blogging of this meeting? I’m not near a TV or computer.

  16. We’ll do our best to blog what’s going on in the comments. It hasn’t started yet though and it’s 6:17.

  17. Right now Gene is making a speech about being better ‘parents’ and recommitting to letting children know we care.

  18. DeKalb Observer says:

    Did Gene Walker really just say the Holiday performance he saw at Narvie Harris was as good as any Broadway PUBLICATION? And he went to Duke? Seriously?

  19. Refugee from DCSS says:

    When in trouble, make a spectacle of the NAACP. Where was this group before now? All of a sudden they care? Disgusted.

  20. If I could clip the video of this first speaker, a mom from MLK, I would post it as its own video… She was very on point. No communication or accountability in south DeKalb (must add here: it’s not much better in north DK).
    Second speaker bragged about SW DeKalb HS. Asked to keep high achievers program.
    A SW DeKalb student saying the same.
    John Evans admonished the board. We can’t afford to play games now. Major items, finance not in good shape. Books – the most important ingredient. People ordered books, someone authorized payment, but we can’t find any books. Someone needs to go to jail. Address all the items in the SACS report. Stakeholders are going to get very angry. We’ve accused SACS of being racist because the are attacking purely black districts.

  21. Concernedmom30329 says:

    I liked what John Evans said and for the record, he has often been frequently critical of the system.
    Go Amy Tucci!

  22. Refugee from DCSS says:

    Aw, crap, not this nutjob again.

  23. Now a speaker addressed board members. Says Jim McMacanaman (!) only cares about north DeKalb. All 8 people who got free PhDs are moles. Eliminate them. Pressure Robert James to protect us and our children from criminals and incompetency.
    Amy Trocchi – The corruption, incompetence, etc, is unique to DeKalb. It doesn’t exist anywhere else. If this group was able to do good, it already would have. But you haven’t and our children don’t have any more time to wait.
    Next speaker welcomed new members and said she was sure they would be able to check their egos at the door. I’m not part of the doom and gloom committee. Let’s work to build the system back. It can be done. Losing accreditation is not an option.
    Oh boy – Khalid Muhammad Ali Farrakhan is up! He is nuts. Allah the great Allah. Blah blah – don’t understand a word he’s saying… except that he hates America. Security better keep an eye on him. Never can find a point in his speeches.

  24. DeKalb Observer says:

    And the next lady claims to be the president of Stone Mountain High School! She seems kinda old to be a senior…

  25. Concernedmom30329 says:

    Go Viola!

  26. Now comes a lady who claims to be the President of Stone Mountain High School – ‘a place of high achievers’… Building is in bad shape. She lists in detail. Our time is now. We won’t stop until our request is honored.
    Viola Davis – the Unhappy Taxpayer and Voter. Think like a doctor – the doctor doesn’t ask you what is good with you – the doctor asks what’s wrong and works to fix it. You need to do that. We have poor oversight. We need to remove the board. Nobody should be more important for the children. Should the Governor do it or should the voters? If we do it, we have an opportunity to replace you. After two grand jury investigations, the KPMG audit and now probation, we don’t have time. If we don’t step up to make corrections, the governor will.
    Jeannie Christian – Tucker Parent Council – Idlewood school. Discuss school org plan – make note for Idlewood to stay in Tucker cluster. Don’t move to Stone Mountain cluster. Take Idlewood completely off the document, I’d love for our name to not even show up. We are very much a part of the Tucker community.

  27. Announcement via email:



    Senator Emanuel Jones, Chair
    Senator Gloria Butler
    Senator Jason Carter
    Senator Ronald Ramsey
    Senator Gail Davenport
    Senator Fran Millar
    Senator Steve Henson

    DATE: Tuesday, January 8, 2013
    TIME: 10:00am to 12:00 noon
    PLACE: Mezzanine, Georgia State Capitol
    AGENDA: DeKalb County School System

    Sen. Jones is considering writing legislation that would create an independent ethics review board, similar to SACS but without the obvious conflicts of interests that exist when a private company is paid in order to help a system maintain its accreditation. The board would have the ability to hear evidence regarding violations of school board ethical standards and, if necessary, to actually remove or suspend board members and/or the Superintendent if necessary.

    If you support the creation of such a board, please plan to attend this meeting in person to voice your concerns to Sen. Jones and the other members of the DeKalb Senate Delegation so that they may take the needed steps to move forward on this proposed action. Any personal accounts of troubles related to ethics violations by the DeKalb BOE or Superintendent may be requested if time permits on the speaking agenda, which has not yet been announced.

  28. Refugee from DCSS says:

    Is Ron Ramsey and his double-dipping going to be on Sen Jones’ agenda?

    I didn’t think so.

    What happens when there are two foxes guarding one henhouse?

  29. Say it together now…CONFLICT OF INTEREST..or maybe even derelict of interest. Mr. Ramsey does not need to be working for DCSD any longer…….

  30. So here we go. Atkinson asked to remove the H-16
    16.First Read: Approval of 2016-2017 Proposed School Organization
    Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

    Marshall jumps right in and asks to remove G-1 and G-2.
    1. Establishment of Dates & Times of DeKalb Board of Education Meetings for 2013
    Presented by: Board Chair-Elect
    2. Official Functions of the Board for Calendar Year 2013
    Presented by: Board Chair-Elect

    Orson asks to review the schedule in depth – are meetings at good times, do we need a meeting and a work session (same agendas) etc?

  31. Cunningham asks to engage two different law firms in a case against [Cheryl someone?] One for school system I think and one for Atkinson. Passed.

  32. Superintendent’s Report: Atkinson asks Wilkins to tell what we will be doing regarding regional redistricting meetings. Says he will review packet going to public soon. School organization reports are done every 5 years for the state. We did a plan 2010 – 2011. Board was allowed to delay its report until now. He shows the plan that is in the link in our post above. Looks like they are going to consolidate DSA and DESA. And consolidate Wadsworth into Knollwood. Then they will decommission

    Update: seek to create a theme middle school out of Chapel Middle. Allow 7th and 8th high achievers can stay – non magnet will move to Columbia MS and then go to SW DeKalb. Listed some schools in that area that would become pK-6. Boundaries and consolidations will be done a year out from construction schedules over the next 4-5 years.

    Atkinson says 6-12 idea is off the table.

    This plan will be presented and discussed at the public meetings (the schedule can be found at our Meetings and Events tab above.)

  33. That next speaker who said “check your egos at the door,” was Marcia Howard, the regional PTA chair.

  34. Refugee from DCSS says:

    Who is the board chair elect?

  35. Embarrassed Employee says:

    Watching now….did they elect new chair yet?

  36. DeKalb Observer says:

    So Gene Walker was re-elected board chair? How did I miss that vote? And who is vice-chair?

  37. Ready to be done with DCSS says:

    Chair election was postponed (moved by Mr. Johnson) so new board members ‘could better participate’ – I think to next week?

  38. DeKalb Observer says:

    Oh. I guess the votes haven’t lined up yet so they need another week of lobbying. Thanks, Ready.

  39. Perrone goes through financials – through November. We replaced the front page in the board packet – an expense appears twice. $12,910,421. in debt service [the unspent part of the $25 mil textbook line of credit]. Explanation: Expense if from when we closed out text book lease. There was a proper booking of a liability – this entry is the expense. Doesn’t effect fund balance. 2013 will net zero in this category.

    In response to Nancy’s question as to a reporting of textbook spending, Dr A said that it’s hard to track, as NONE of it is available electronically!!! That is shocking!!!

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