News from DeKalb Schools

The DeKalb County School District has scheduled five community engagement meetings to share information about opportunities the school district has to change how the system operates, how schools are governed and what accountability measures will be used.

The meeting schedule is shown below:
Community-Meetings-JAN-2013

For more information about these meetings, please read the letter from the school system here.

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And there are now three locations for residents of DeKalb to work on language skills. Adult ESL classes are now being held at Tucker High School [536 Lavista Road, Tucker, Georgia 30084] as well as the two original sites: Indian Creek ES [724 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, Georgia 30021] and International Student Center [2383 N. Druid Hills Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30329].

Classes are held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm
Transportation and Childcare (ages 5-12) will be provided

Download the flyer about the language outreach program here.

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If you haven’t already, download the DeKalb School System APP. Click here for more info or find it at iTunes or Google Play online.

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We still have no information on the progress of the 2014-15 school calendar. Please share info if you have it.

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For those interested in overall county politics, Lee May is hosting a State of Business in East DeKalb luncheon >>

State of County

In addition, click here for the latest on the City of Stonecrest.

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About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
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18 Responses to News from DeKalb Schools

  1. Refugee from DCSS says:

    We still have overcrowded classrooms and underpaid teachers with no TRS contributions, but they have time and money to create a smartphone app????

  2. Dekalbite2 says:

    It sounds like they want charter status to pre-empt the cluster charter movements like Druid Hills is trying for.

  3. Dekalbite2 says:

    I was referring to the “flexibility” pdf Tucker Mom provided a link to.

  4. This is a very interesting process to follow. Thanks for sharing the presentation Tucker Mom. We’ll add it to our files.

    FWIW – this is the state law for all school districts:

    O.C.G.A. § 20-2-81

    GEORGIA CODE
    Copyright 2013 by The State of Georgia
    All rights reserved.

    *** Current Through the 2013 Regular Session ***

    TITLE 20. EDUCATION
    CHAPTER 2. ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
    ARTICLE 4. INCREASED FLEXIBILITY FOR LOCAL SCHOOL SYSTEMS

    O.C.G.A. § 20-2-81 (2013)

    § 20-2-81. Strategic plan and proposed contract for local school systems requesting flexibility

    (a) Each local school system which elects to request increased flexibility pursuant to this article shall develop a five-year strategic plan which sets out the school system’s vision and mission for improving the performance of its schools and shall clearly delineate in a proposed contract the following for measuring the improvement and performance of its schools:

    (1) Current performance data, grade levels, and demographic data for each school within the school system;

    (2) Performance goals for each school, including both improvement and achievement; and

    (3) Performance measures and benchmarks for each school for evaluating improvement and achievement and monitoring progress toward yearly performance goals.

    (b) The proposed strategic plan shall incorporate, to the extent practicable, school improvement plans in effect for schools in the local school system.

    (c) The department shall provide an electronic template accessible through the Internet for local school systems to input their proposed contracts. The template shall be designed to include the information contained in subsection (a) of this Code section.

    (d) Prior to the submission of a proposed contract to the department, a local board of education shall schedule and hold a public hearing for the purpose of providing an opportunity for full discussion and public input on the strategic plan and proposed contract, including formal, written comments or suggestions regarding the local school system’s flexibility requests and performance goals and their impact on each school. The public hearing shall be advertised in a local newspaper of general circulation which shall be the same newspaper in which other legal announcements of the local board of education are advertised.

    (e) The local school system shall submit the proposed contract to the department in accordance with time frames established by the department.

    HISTORY: Code 1981, § 20-2-81, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 1/HB 1209.

  5. Formerdekalbteacher says:

    Refugee–I agree with your sentiment completely. Each of these seemingly small unnecessary expenditures could be directed elsewhere–if not to teachers’ salaries and benefits, at least to something that directly impacts the classroom.

    I think though, that you meant to reference the lack of contributions to TSA, not TRS. Every teacher in the state is part of TRS (Teacher’s Retirement System). The plan that was cancelled without notice was a TSA (Tax-sheltered annuity), which was specific to Dekalb (other systems either pay into Social Security or offer something similar).

    The TSA mess is just one of many reasons I moved on. Yes–one of many.

  6. Dekalbite2 says:

    @DSW
    IMO – this Flexibility Plan is a way to buy 5 years until the administration is scrutinized. They will use taxpayer money to hire a contractor to develop yet another strategic plan. Then they will hire more people to implement it. Tey can have class size waivers, etc. little interference (oversight) from the state as they promise good results at the end of 5 years. Meanwhile, the administration will have cashed in and many will have moved on and students/taxpayers/parents/teachers will be left with nothing at the end of the five year period. This sounds like a way to stop the cluster charter movement as well.

    This administration (basically the old Lewis administration) should not be given another five years to right the ship. How many taxpayers/parents/teachers want them to have “increased flexibility”?

    We need to keep a close eye on this one, find out what state agency makes the decisions, and email/write/call that agency.

  7. Dekalbite2 says:

    In Don McChesney’s blog post of November 13, he talks about Mr. Thurmond. This is what he says:
    “Watch for him to talk about a charter system that will benefit all of DeKalb County students not just a few. It will be a paper tiger that will not improve the performance of our students at all, nor will it give any real control and authority to the school house.”
    http://www.donfordekalb.com

    That’s what this Flexibility Plan is about.

  8. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    Crawford Lewis called them Blue Ribbon Panels.
    Ramona Tyson called them Charettes.
    Michael Thurmond gives us the FAC aka the Flexibility Advisory Committee

    I smell another boondoggle.. I think the DCSS stakeholders have been very flexible, now it is time for the leadership to be held accountable. Does anyone think the FAC will make any difference whatsoever, the others certainly have not!

  9. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    Don’t forget the useless ESPLOST oversight committee. At the last board meeting, the administration asked for $9 million for promethean boards when they only needed less than $7 million.

  10. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    9 million wanted…only 7 million needed…. leaves 2 million for………….
    A former BOE member once told me, FOLLOW THE MONEY!
    It could be that new Common Core math!

  11. concerned citizen says:

    Does anyone know how these three ESL centers are being funded? There has to be a lot of money spent on transportation, teachers, child care. food, extra time for custodians and other school administrators, etc. Who is paying for these services? I’m thinking taxpayers are paying for all these services. How can this be happening when DeKalb can’t serve its own schools? For example, these classes will require supplies like paper, pencils, pens, construction paper, on and on. Once again, I smell a rat. Once again, I have a keen sense of smell. How much is being spent per head on these students of ESL? Who is paying who? And how mulch? DSW, can you advise?

  12. One more item: Make sure you have all taken the Georgia Parent Survey online:

    http://admin.doe.k12.ga.us/gadoe/sla/gaparents.nsf/Survey.xsp

    General information about the parent survey:

    The Georgia Parent Survey is administered electronically. Parents may use personal computers, smartphones or iPads.
    School administrators may consider scheduling dates and times to allow parents without internet access or access to technology the opportunity to complete the Georgia Parent Survey at school.
    The Georgia Parent Survey has 20 questions and it should take no more than 5 – 10 minutes to complete it.
    Survey responses are anonymous and will be submitted directly to the Georgia Department of Education for analysis.
    Data results from the Georgia Parent Survey will not be available to the public and will not be posted online.
    All parents should participate in the Georgia Parent Survey. However, there is no mandatory participation rate.

    The survey will be available through January 31, 2014.

  13. NEWS —

    Ex-DeKalb superintendent Crawford Lewis out on bond

    Superintendent Crawford Lewis has been released on $5,000 bond while he challenges an unexpected jail sentence for misdemeanor obstruction.

    The presiding DeKalb Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson set the bond after the State Appeals Court ordered it, noting that Georgia law says “at no time” should bail be refused for anyone accused of a misdemeanor or while they are appealing a misdemeanor conviction or seeking a new trial. The order said DeKalb Superior Court should set a “reasonable” bond immediately.

  14. More —

    On Saturday, Jan. 18, the Georgia PTA will host the first annual Male Summit at Towers High School in DeKalb. The summit is being held to improve male involvement in local schools in the community.

    Towers High School
    1:00 PM
    Call 404-216-8664 to RSVP

  15. concerned citizen says:

    Ceci Gary is the only teacher listed. Who is she, please?

  16. Murphey says:

    @concernedcitizen: The DCSD Staff Directory lists Ceci Gary as a grade 2 teacher at Robert Shaw Elementary School. The link to Dr. Gary’s website is http://fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us/~ceci_gary/. I’ll note that her website is for the 2012-13 school year, so it is out of date.

    Robert Shaw Elementary is a traditional theme school located in Scottdale. It is a Title 1 school.

  17. dekalbite2 says:

    Dr. Gary’s Linked in says he/she is a DeKalb administrator.

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