Another fun-filled day of DeKalb School Board meetings

Here’s the lineup for July’s board meetings: Held back to back in non-stop and overlapping fashion today. If you plan to attend, pack a lunch and wear your running shoes.

BOARD MEMBERS:
Dr. Melvin Johnson, Chair
Mr. James L. ‘Jim’ McMahan, Vice Chair
Mr. David Campbell
Dr. Karen D. Carter
Mr. John W. Coleman
Dr. Michael A. Erwin
Mr. Thaddeus Mayfield
Dr. Joyce Morley
Mr. Marshall D. Orson
Mr. Michael L. Thurmond, Interim Superintendent

2nd PRESENTATION OF THE 2013-2014 MILLAGE RATE
Presented by: Dr. Michael J. Bell, Chief Financial Officer, Division of Finance

CITIZEN COMMENTS regarding recommendation of millage rate
(30 speakers\2 minutes each)
1. Approval of Minutes
Presented by: Mr. Michael L. Thurmond, Interim Superintendent

SPECIAL TRIBUTE
1. Rev. Gregory K. Davis Proclamation
2. Request to Rename Facility – The Gregory K. Davis Fleet Service Center
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

REVIEW OF AGENDA ITEMS FOR THE BUSINESS MEETING
1. Approval of Minutes
Presented by: Mr. Michael L. Thurmond, Interim Superintendent

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

3. Approval of Resolution for Tax Levy
Presented by: Dr. Michael J. Bell, Chief Financial Officer, Division of Finance

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

5. International Teachers Service Agreements
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, Division of Human Resources

6. Purchase of National Computer System- (NCS) Pearson, Inc. School Achievement
Services for Freedom Middle School and Clarkston High School
Presented by: Dr. Alice Thompson, Interim Deputy Superintendent, Division of School Leadership & Operational Support

7. Metro East Georgia Learning Resources System (MEGLRS) Contract with Metropolitan Regional Services Agency (MRESA)
Presented by: Dr. Kathleen S. Howe, Deputy Superintendent, Division of Curriculum & Instruction

8. MAXIMUS TIENET® Software Maintenance and Hosting Agreement Renewal
Presented by: Dr. Kathleen S. Howe, Deputy Superintendent, Division of Curriculum & Instruction

9. Amendment to the 2013-2014 School Calendar
Presented by: Dr. Kathleen S. Howe, Deputy Superintendent, Division of Curriculum & Instruction

10. 2013 Textbook Adoption Recommendations and 2013-2014 Textbook Purchase Recommendations
Presented by: Dr. Kathleen S. Howe, Deputy Superintendent, Division of Curriculum & Instruction

11. Annual Renewal of Licensing, Maintenance, and Subscriptions to Destiny
Presented by: Dr. Kathleen S. Howe, Deputy Superintendent, Division of Curriculum & Instruction

12. SPLOSTS Projects
a. Cross Keys High School Administration HVAC Renovation Contract Award Approval
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

b. Wadsworth Magnet ES Ceiling Tile and Lighting Replacement Contract Award Approval
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

c. Montgomery ES HVAC, Ceiling and Lighting Replacement, and Security Upgrades Contract Award
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

13. SPLOST Program Management Contract Extension

a. Program Management Service Contract Extension
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

b. SPLOST Performance Audit Contract Extension Approval
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

14. School Nutrition Services Food Items

a. Purchase of Small Wares Equipment (Bid No. 14-26 )
Presented by: Mr. Stephen Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

b. Purchase of Paper Products (Bid No. 14 -19)
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

c. Purchase of Large Equipment (Bid No. 14-27)
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

15. District-wide Printing Services
a. District Wide Printing Services RFP 14-459R
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

16. Community Project Donation

a. Ashford Park Elementary School Foundation Donation Approval
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

17. SPLOST Comprehensive Desktop Refresh

a. Ashford Park Elementary School Foundation Donation Approval Presented by: Mr. Gary L. Brantley, Chief Information Officer, Division of Information Technology

AMENDMENT TO THE BYLAWS & POLICIES: PRESENTATION
1. Amendment to the Bylaws & Policies: Initial Request – Board Policy AD (School Attendance Areas)
Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

G. ADJOURN TO A COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE ~ 3:00pm
It is requested that the Board of Education adjourn the July 1, 2013 work session to a Committee of the Whole.

a. Charter Schools
Presented by: Mr. Louis Erste, Director, Charter Schools Division, State Department of Education

b. Dual Accreditation
Presented by: Mr. John W. Coleman, Board Representative, District #1 and Mr. Marshall D. Orson, Board Representative, District #2

c. Board Norms
Presented by: Dr. Karen D. Carter, Board Representative, District #8 and Dr. Joyce Morley, Board Representative, District #7

H. ADJOURN TO AN EXECUTIVE SESSION (Cabinet Room) ~ 4:00pm
It is requested that the Board of Education adjourn the July 1, 2013 work session to an
executive session for the purpose of discussing a personnel matter.

I. RESUME WORK SESSION FOR CITIZEN COMMENTS (J. David Williamson Board Room) ~ 5:45pm

1. Dr. Tom Keating

J. ADJOURN ~ 6:45pm
It is requested that the Board of Education adjourn the July 1, 2013 work session.

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25 Responses to Another fun-filled day of DeKalb School Board meetings

  1. Stan Jester says:

    Dual Accreditation – I don’t see it on the agenda for a vote
    Here is a video of the discussion on dual accreditation from last month’s board meeting:

    Is this going to be another smack down followed by capitulation from Orson, Coleman and McMahan? Going along to get along doesn’t get us anywhere.

    Orson“As long as we are in agreement that it will be an agenda item next month.”
    Melvin Johnson“Can we absorb this information and accept this information today, so next month we will make a formal recommendation and vote on it at that time. If you can agree on that, raise your hand.”
    Dr. Morley“Let’s revisit in December”
    Dr. Carter“I support Dual Accreditation. It should be part of the strategic planning process, but not necessarily pushed to December. I’ll be prepared to vote it up or down in July.”
    Coleman – Mute, no comment
    McMahan – Mute, no comment

  2. EAV Mom says:

    Still no mention of starting a search for a new superintendent. smh.

  3. When did Dekalb propose a textbook adoption? I thought that teachers had input regarding textbooks to be adopted. Maybe this was done. Before at least one textbook adoption in the past, proposed textbooks were on display for dept chairs to review. The County received their input, then decided which textbooks to adopt. But then maybe this was a dream of how a textbook adoption should proceed.

  4. And it always alarms me to see Tekshia Ward-Smith at the helm of HR.

  5. Concerned DeKalb Mom says:

    Anyone know what the amendment to the 2013-14 calendar is about?

  6. jande says:

    The calendar amendment deals with the teacher furlough days. The proposal calls
    for one day in Oct. (I believe Oct. 14), and then four days at the end of May.

  7. concernedmom30329 says:

    Calendar change restored furllough day that was the first August in Monday as a teacher work day. (pre-planning)

  8. Dedicated DeKalb Teacher says:

    There are only 2 post planning days in May. There will need to be at least one, I would think. What are the other furlough days?

  9. Concernedmom30329 says:

    The days removed in May were mostly student contact days. Students will attend 177 days instead of 180.

    Interesting presentation at today’s meeting, state wide flexibility (ie class size) will end after this school year. Systems must become charter systems or IEE systems or return to class size requirements.

  10. Tired Mom says:

    Would it be wrong to hope that the county can’t get their act together to move towards charter or IEE status so that they are FORCED back to more reasonable class sizes?

  11. Concernedmom30329 says:

    I think, up until tonight’s meeting, the plan was for DCSS to go the Status Quo route. I suspect that the news about no more class size waivers, along with the fact that the state will publicly shame systems that choose this route, may have changed some minds. We will see.

  12. Tucker Insider says:

    Tucker High’s Class size will be mandated by a court order to be smaller. The $60 million dollar building did not build large regular classrooms, meanwhile, the science labs are spectacular and can hold over 50 kids according to fire code. Class sizes will be down to 32 (down from 36) in all regular sized classrooms at Tucker beginning this school year.

  13. concernedmom30329 says:

    Who took the system to court? And there are other schools that have smaller than allowed classrooms. Can you share more information?

  14. Tucker Insider says:

    Not sure of all of the details. I know that my classroom space was “audited” and they re-measured my room. Apparently, on the original occupancy numbers for the regular classrooms, they did NOT subtract out the un-usable space. It’s very likely they just took the total square footage number. For example, we have two large cabinets in 2 corners of my classroom. At first, I believe they counted the floor space under that cabinet as usable space. So, when guys from the county office came in with laser pointers and floor plans, they began subtracting out such spaces. Even the space around the teacher’s desk was subtracted out in the new calculations. In the end, it came to them finding a much smaller amount of square footage available for student seating. I’m not sure where the court order came from but I know that was the phrase used by our admins. The court order could have come from the fire marshall. That’s all I know!

  15. midvaledad says:

    The classroom audit was part of the county having to go back and redo the work MGT of America did back in 2011. They calculated the capacities of the schools and came up with numbers that were consistently larger than the previous capacity numbers. The problem is they counted classrooms that didn’t exist and didn’t take Georgia DOE special education rules into account. MGT of America refused to come back and verify their work when it was pointed out to them it was grossly wrong. They had already been paid.

    The concern now is the planning department & Mr. Thurmond have refused to make the new capacity numbers public. Dan Drake said at the Tucker Parent Council meeting in April the new capacity of Tucker High School was increased from 1,437 to 1,654, more than MGT of America came up with, but it still isn’t enough to handle all the students.

  16. Concernedmom30329 says:

    Maureen has the list of the newest principal appointments in DCSS.

    I saw this in the comments:
    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/report-dekalb-principals-cursed-exchanged-racial-s/nJWh9/

    Keith Jones has been appointed Columbia Middle School principal. Surely, it is a different Keith Jones. Yes, I know I am kidding myself…

  17. http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/get-schooled/2013/jul/03/dekalb-announces-new-principals/

    Here are the latest: {The names with an asterisk beside them are the most recent principal assignments. These are brand new appointments announced July 3. The other new principals on the list were announced June 1.}

    E/M/H SCHOOL ASSIGNMENT
    1-ES Briar Vista ES Cammie Neill
    1-ES Canby Lane ES Kershier Smikle
    1-ES Hawthorne ES Lisa Limoncelli
    1-ES Murphey Candler ES Angelique Smith
    1-ES Oak Grove ES Mindee Adamson
    1-ES Pine Ridge ES Annette Maclin
    1-ES Rockbridge ES Culisha Curry
    1-ES Shadow Rock ES Karen Williams
    2-MS Cedar Grove MS *Candace Alexander
    2-MS Champion Theme MS Yolanda Turner
    2-MS Columbia MS *Keith Jones
    2-MS Druid Hills MS Jacqueline Taylor
    2-MS McNair MS Ron Mitchell
    3-HS Druid Hills HS *Brittany Cunningham (Good choice! We are big fans of Brittany!)
    3-HS Lakeside HS Jason Klyne
    3-HS McNair HS *LouKisha Walker
    3-HS MLK *Kerby Bullard
    3-HS Towers HS Ralph Simpson

  18. concernedmom30329 says:

    But does DHHS need Cunningham more than Sequoyah middle, which now must get a new principal with less than a month of Summer vacation left….

  19. @concernedmom: Well, you’re right. Losing Ms Cunningham will be a big blow for Sequoyah. I didn’t mean to overlook that. We’re just happy for her – it’s a good appointment. We hope they find a solid replacement for her at Sequoyah.

  20. dekalbite2 says:

    This is what Maureen Downey said about Ralph Simpson:
    “Sorry, but I think DeKalb school official Ralph Simpson needs to be fired for selling his autobiography to public schools under his supervision. If others in the chain of command that approved the purchases of Simpson’s book for DeKalb County schools is found to have faked signatures or lied about the fact that a colleague authored the book, they should also be fired.”

    http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2010/07/26/another-dismal-chapter-in-dekalb-schools-official-sells-his-autobiography-to-schools-under-his-supervision/

    Now Mr. Thurmond has asked Mr. Simpson to take charge of a school that has deep student achievement needs. Below are the results of the Georgia College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), the state’s new accountability system that replaces the No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress measurement.

    Note that Towers has the greatest academic needs of ALL DeKalb County High Schools.

    Why would Mr. Thurmond appoint the very ethically challenged Mr. Simpson as the principal of the MOST academically needy school in the school system?

    CCRPI for DeKalb High Schools:
    Arabia: 81.9
    Chamblee: 82.7
    Clarkston: 57.1
    Cross Keys: 63.5
    Destiny Achievers: 40.3
    Dunwoody: 83.7
    Druid Hills: 71.3
    Lakeside: 73.6
    ML King: 59.9
    Stephenson: 75.7
    Towers: 56.1
    Tucker: 66.3

    This is why DeKalb taxpayers/parents are distrustful that Mr. Thurmond has moved on from the “family and friends” group that has overseen the financial and academic ruin of DeKalb Schools. Mr. Thurmond and his top administrators who are left over from the Lewis administration keep recycling the same politically connected administrators regardless of their ethics challenges or lack of performance.

  21. Cedric says:

    what happen to the principal at Bouie, i thought that she was leaving?

  22. concerned citizen says:

    It is unthinkable that Simpson who is a common thief has been made the principal (again a principal) at Towers. Anyone who did this is a very sick puppy. Those students will NEVER accept him with his pointy toe shoes , bow ties, and matching stripe /best coordinates. This man should have been fired along with the others who bought his “slim” book with TITle I funds! UNTHINKABLE. Shame on you, Thurmond!

  23. concerned citizen says:

    Parents of Hawthorne: Lisa Limonchelli is the best principal. I had the privilege to work with her in a very difficult situation, and she was superb! She’s smart, firm, gentle, and humorous! A wonderful decision to promote her, a horrible decision to promote Simpson. It’s like whoever is doing this is insane, having a good moment, then a bad moment, etc.

  24. dekalbite2 says:

    Does anyone think Lakeside or Dunwoody would have been saddled with Ralph Simpson? That’s what is the most upsetting part of Mr. Thurmond’s decision. He placed Mr. Simpson in charge of the lowest achieving school in DeKalb while he should have placed the BEST administrator at Towers. This does not appear to be a decision that is focusing on the advancement of the students, rather it appears to focus on the advancement of a politically connected adult.

  25. Sir Quagmire says:

    Brittany Cunningham will do a great job at Druid Hills. Her husband Patruck Everitt was a former principal there prior to Ms Adamsom. Druid Hills has been lucky to get good appointments.

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