Response to the Superintendent’s Report

From our Emails >>

Response to the Superintendent’s Report: Annexation – Student Enrollment & Tax Implications

This response will be limited to only those statements regarding facilities and displaced students. It is obvious the administration presented a worst-case scenario without offering any acceptable alternatives.

The administration’s claims about limiting school choice options for students are laughable. The administration has shown repeatedly it doesn’t care about student choice and cut funding for most programs. Parents only have choice if they are lucky.

On slide 8 the administration states annexation will displace 1,075 high school students. Yet, Avondale H.S. (capacity 608) is scheduled to be closed at the end of the 2015-16 school year and would be available to house the students displaced by annexation. There is plenty of level ground for trailers on the school grounds.

On slide 9 the administration states annexation will displace 125 Fernbank Elementary students. However, there is currently space for 186 students in the empty seats at Knollwood E.S.

On slide 10 the administration states annexation will displace 96 students from Briar Vista E.S. This is troublesome because all the elementary schools surrounding Briar Vista E.S. are near or over 100% capacity. For example, Woodward E.S. is 215 students over capacity. However, Terry Mill E.S. is scheduled to close at the end of the 2015-16 school year. That facility could be used for these students as well as a new location for the Laurel Heights facility. As for the loss of the Montessori program one have to wonder if it is still there. The current fiscal year budget eliminated all funding for Montessori education (page 103 of current budget).

On slide 11 the administration states the annexation will cause Druid Hills M.S. to have an occupancy of 54%.  Currently, there are two middle schools with 54% or less occupancy, Redan M.S. 54% and McNair M.S. 48%. These do not bother the administration. Shift some students from Henderson M.S. (135% capacity) and Tucker M.S. (101% capacity).

On slide 12 the administration claims 100,000 students will be denied access to the Planetarium. How does it know that? Currently the Planetarium is open to anyone who wants to visit. Does DeKalb County prohibit visitors from other school districts? No. Another absurd claim is the cost of replacing the facility is in the “tens of millions.” Are we to assume DeKalb County Schools would replace that facility if the annexation happens? Nobody believes that.

On slide 13 the administration claims students will be “denied access to DeKalb service providers and support from experienced DeKalb staff.” Would APS be annexing the staff as well as the facilities or would the employees remain DeKalb County Schools employees? The Laurel Heights program could be moved to Terry Mill E.S.

On slide 14 the administration claims 600 ELL students will need to be relocated. Terry Mill E.S. has a capacity of 614 students and is scheduled to be receiving $277,485 worth of SPLOST IV improvements. It will be an acceptable alternative to the current International Center without much alteration.

There will be plenty of available space for all the students displaced by the annexation if it were to happen.

========

A list of schools to be closed as part of the district’s 5-year Facilities Plan

Scheduled-to-close-5-year-plan

>>> CLICK HERE to read the entire original response from Together In Atlanta.

=======

Bottom Line: It is very likely illegal for the superintendent to use public funds and publicly funded staff to fight against a political initiative on any topic. He is way out of line in reality by using public funds to create, publish and promote an agenda that fights other taxpayers in the same tax district.

Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act (O.C.G.A Section 21-5-1). The Act allows certain activities, but prohibits others, to influence voter approval or rejection of a constitutional amendment, legislation, or referendum such as educational SPLOST or city annexation …

Read more HERE.

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45 Responses to Response to the Superintendent’s Report

  1. Mary Hoyt says:

    Thanks so much for your detailed response. I live in Clarkston, work at Brockett E.S, and my son goes to Robert Shaw. I have been feeling sad this week about the potential losses for our county and our county’s most vulnerable children with this proposed annexation. I’m still sad about it, but your post helps the blow not to feel as bad as what was presented in the superintendent’s report. I continue to appreciate the time you guys put into this blog and the perspective you bring. You’ve inspired me over the years to be more aware and more involved in bigger picture issues in our county’s educational system. We have so many wonderful, hard-working teachers and administrators at our local schools. I continue to dream of a day when all public school classrooms will be 15 students or less with at least 2 adults at all times. That was the situation at GLOBE charter school in the classroom where I was an assistant teacher last year, and we still struggled to meet every child’s educational needs. The amount of money that is spent on more testing, more teacher training, and more administrative roles should be spent on reducing class size. Most teachers have the training and instincts they need – they just need smaller classes and a little more planning time!

  2. magadams says:

    This is showing just a narrow minded numbers perspective. Just because there is somewhere for the kids to go is no reason to minimize their displacement. It is disruptive to kids, families, teachers, and communities. Please don’t respond to mediocrity with more mediocrity.

  3. D says:

    Many of these responses seem ludicrous, too. Putting an overage of 400 kids in trailers at Avondale and sending Fernbank zoned kids to the other side of Memorial Drive at Knollwood among them.

  4. Don Broussard says:

    The underlying message of this article is essentially: “there is plenty of capacity at declining schools for your kids to attend so please allow us at TIA to take our 200 kids [and $150 million of your school properties] into Atlanta.” Notice that no map is provided showing these replacement schools because it would expose the flaw. The notion that kids from Mason Mill, Clairmont Height, Medlock and Laurel Ridge will ship off to these locations is ridiculous. Regarding Fernbank Science Center, it would cost at $25 million minimum to replace its planetarium and observatory complex— not counting land costs. Of course, DSW2 has been a forum for years for the Tea Party crowd in Dunwoody who would just as soon close Fernback Science Ctr. DeKalb students get into the Science Ctr for free — students from outside pay an admission fee so there likely would be a change if it went to Atlanta. Since this “response” is not attributed, I can only assume it is the position of DSW2 — in which case, your agenda to break up DeKalb County schools — by any means and at any cost — is on full display. Plenty of reform is needed within DCSS, but this annexation into Atlanta is not going to fix ANYTHING. – Don Broussard (co-president, Lakeside HS PTSA 2007-08)

  5. Concerned Dekalb Mom says:

    Just to clarify…not everyone in Dunwoody is part of the Tea Party crowd, nor do they want the FSC closed…and I realize that Mr. Broussard did not say exactly that…but I just want to be sure that we’re not painting everyone around DeKalb with similar broad stroked brushes.

  6. Correction Don. We are a forum for anyone who wishes to post a comment. Including you and your stereotyping of the rest of us. [ps, as annotated, the writer sent us the post via email. As with most posts these days, many contributors choose to remain anonymous. Therefore, most posts simply post as DSW2, which is simply a hosting website for content sent by concerned citizens as well as reposted from other news sources, etc.]

    BTW, yes, we do think the cost of running the planetarium in its current form is far too high for our modern school budget. That said, we have lately thought it could be a very good idea to do what Dr. Lewis had planned: Move the planetarium to Arabia HS … Making that a fantastic coup for their science and engineering magnet program, as well as a beautiful, open location with big, dark skies at night. Not only could the public pay to visit the planetarium, they could then walk or hike the grounds of Arabia National National Heritage Center. There is plenty of space and parking and the area is easily accessible. Plus, DCSS could keep the ‘guts’ of the planetarium intact in a newly built facility at Arabia and functioning as an educational tool for the students of DeKalb and the paying public. Perhaps the federal government would like to partner on this?

    http://www.gastateparks.org/ArabiaMountain

    One more thing. This annexation in reality could solve issues for one group of students. (You’ve heard the starfish story?) Layer on that, perhaps a Dunwoody City School district, Chamblee City Schools, Brookhaven, Tucker, Stonecrest… you get the idea. Group by group, problems diminish. We agree that there is never one solution that will fix all problems within DCSS. It will take whittling over a number of years.

  7. @D: FWIW, currently, Avondale MS is housing all the Fernbank students while Fernbank is under construction. There is plenty of space and this building enjoyed a thorough renovation not long ago. In addition, Avondale High School is currently only being used by DSA – barely over 300 students (and that’s 8th-12th) are rattling around that building with capacity for about 1600.

    ps. No one is minimizing anyone’s redistricting. But all other school districts (large ones) redistrict nearly every year. People everywhere else deal with it. DeKalb is the only place where the leadership continues to cave to a few vocal opponents whenever the topic of redistricting arises. Therefore, little has changed in decades. This is a large part of the problem. Everyone agrees we need change, but only if it won’t effect my kid…

  8. BTW – anyone interested in what is happening in the legislature regarding education issues, check out our legislative page, which we just updated with news from the GA PTSA.

    https://dekalbschoolwatch.com/dcss-files/legislative/

    (Also found under our DCSS FILES tab at the top of the blog.)

  9. Refugee from DCSS says:

    Legitimate counter arguments can stand on their own. Don feels the need to slap a “tea party” label on the points in the post and claim it all comes from “Dunwoody” to make his point. Therefore his arguments are not very bright and not worth considering. Grow up, Don. Try not to embarrass Lakeside HS with your childish jabs.

  10. Marney says:

    The one wing of Avondale High school not currently used by DSA is being used to store the old documents that the district is currently required to retain long term. Decommissioning/selling the property was formally taken off the table about a year ago for that reason. That being the case, it is logical to want regular use of a property that has both a stadium and storage facility if you want to discourage vandalism. DSA has been increasing it’s enrollment (which is now closer to 400 than 300)–this is a logical progression to be more cost effective. Many of the rooms in the lower level that were supposed to be arts rooms with low class sizes from the era of Crawford Lewis’s delusions of future grandeur don’t work for the larger class sizes of today. Therefore there has been expansion into some of the classrooms in the middle hallway that used to be exclusively Avondale High School. I’m not sure where you get a capacity of 1600?–just eyeballing what is empty I would say 1000 tops–and it isn’t really empty because of the storage use. It IS creepy with old lockers and 60’s tile—and now that Forrest Hills elementary has be leased to The Mueseum School it is the oldest building in the system partially used that has empty space for renting out for movies. For that reason they rented the empty wings out to make a Goosebumps movie last summer (with some of the students getting roles as extras). While there is still some room for growth in the student population, hopefully DSA’s admitting larger starting classes (as they have the last 2 years) will take up some of that space.

    The DSA culture accepts sub”standard” facilities and no athletics programs in exchange for the leeway to be different in other ways. It is a choice. I’m not sure what kind of outrage you would get if you attempted to put families there that have been at much nicer other facilities without it being their choice.

  11. Don Broussard says:

    @Refugee, if you had a shred of integrity, you’d put your name on such a childish and gutless personal attack. I doubt if you give a damn about Lakeside High, about PTA’s or about public education. Do you deny there are Tea Party types in Dunwoody? Dunwoody’s state representative Tom Taylor (R) has sponsored a bill to allow “new” cities to break up county schools and create their own school systems, and then, neither of the Jesters, Dunwoody’s reps on the school board, to my knowledge, have ever declared their support for keeping Fernbank Science Center open. Not all in Dunwoody are in the Tea Party, not everyone there is a Republican, and not all oppose FSC — nor did I say that in my post. You did not make a single argument against any point I made about annexation — just pissant attacks exemplifying why so many DeKalb parents don’t read DSW2 and even fewer post comments.

  12. Don, there are Tea Party people pretty much everywhere. There are also Democrats, Independents and Republicans. There are Hindus and Muslims, Christians and Jews. This is the great thing about DeKalb. The trick is to value each person as an individual and consider differing viewpoints when making decisions on how to best spend public dollars on education. Name-calling certainly doesn’t spark much relevant conversation. We have rules here about trolling and you are close to being deemed a troll.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29

  13. karen says:

    Keep in mind also that Decatur is trying to annex around its borders and that all comes from the Druid Hills feeder schools. Decatur says it would gain 432 students in 2016 from those areas. If you look at their map, it looks like those students would come from Fernbank, Laurel Ridge, Avondale, and maybe even McLendon. http://www.decaturga.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=5501

  14. Thanks Marney. Yes, when we checked our most recent, 2014 source doc we see that DSA has 369 students from 8th-12th grades. FWIW, the Museum School (a start up charter) has 447. And apparently Avondale HS does not have near the capacity other high schools in DeKalb average (1500-1800). But that may be due to the fact that they aren’t utilizing all of the buildings. There is a very nice stadium there, but the school itself is causing blight in the neighborhood as it just looks horribly run down.

    (FTE docs are available here in our Facts & Sources tab) >>
    https://dekalbschoolwatch.com/facts-sources/fte-enrollmentcapacity-reports/

    And check out this report on capacity – the PPT showing the Capital Improvement Plans for growth in DCSS >>

    https://dekalbschoolwatch.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/premier-dekalb-enrollment-balancing-plan.pdf
    Slide 15 shows the high school capacities. We are nearing having spent $2 billion and much has been done. We have nice new facilities now in Chamblee, Lakeside and Dunwoody. Lakeside added hundreds of seats. More work is currently underway on SW DeKalb. And of course, Arabia, built with SPLOST II dollars is a showplace facility – very nice. Avondale MS is slated to become a k-12 school of the arts and 7 elementary schools are being rebuilt as larger model schools for 900 or more.

    Fernbank ES (August 2015)
    Gresham Park ES (August 2015)
    Peachcrest ES (August 2015)
    Austin ES (August 2018)
    Pleasantdale ES (August 2018)
    Rockbridge ES (August 2018)
    Smoke Rise ES (August 2018) 
    

    But the overall vision – and choice offerings is not clear and is not diverse. We do offer some decent regular and honors programs in most of our high schools, but in reality, there are few innovative programs for high schoolers in DeKalb. Truly, again, the idea of sending the planetarium to Arabia could really boost that program into a real showcase magnet.

    Check up on SPLOST IV plans here >> http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/splost-iv

  15. D says:

    @DSW- FWIW, your reply doesn’t match up with what the email with regard to Knollwood housing Fernbank students and the building of trailers to house students at Avondale High.

  16. howdy1942 says:

    This report by Michael Thurmond is one more example of how this school system wastes our tax dollars. It would be far more productive if he and the school board chose to meet with the Druid Hills community and find common ground. Rather, he has chosen to be combative and been quick to “lawyer-up to litigate”. And sadly the school board has just continued to rubber-stamp his actions.

    Michael Thurmond and the school board have chosen to fight our teachers in court. Again, another waste of tax dollars. Why not just sit down with our teachers and negotiate a plan acceptable to both sides that would restore those TRA benefits.

    This school system did the same thing with Heery and wasted $18 million in the process. It paid court costs for former superintendent Crawford Lewis, again wasting tax dollars that could have better been directed toward the classroom. And how much money did the school board waste by developing thousands of pages attempting to answer SACS questions? And how much money did the school board waste paying lawyers to train them on how to get along? And how much money has the school board wasted on paying severance packages to failed superintendents? And how much money did the school board pay for Eugene Walker to have his day in court? Think about what he costs the State of Georgia?

    This school board and this superintendent just need to grow up and act responsibly. It would insult our children to say that they are acting like children so I’ll leave it to readers to form your own conclusions. Because this superintendent and school board behave so irresponsibly, our taxpayers and our kids are being subjected to anxiety and uncertainty.

    Talk with Druid Hills and reach a solution. Talk with the teachers and reach a solution. Talk with the communities who want nothing more than to put the Dekalb County School System in its rear view mirror. Enough damage has been done for too long a period for this mess to continue. We have wasted enough of our tax dollars to placate your bad habits. We have the financial resources to pay our teachers, to equip our classrooms, to hire full-time, permanent teachers to bring stability to the classroom, and we have the resources to provide the best facilities for our students – our problem is with the management of those resources. We waste far too much, spending money that we don’t have to fight battles that don’t need to be fought.

  17. thedeal2 says:

    Together in Atlanta isn’t the only entity that wants to be in Atlanta. Emory and CDC do, too. Why is TiA the target of all of the vitriol?

    For those who are opposed to this annexation, would you be opposed if no buildings or facilities were involved? Are you angry at the loss of people or the loss of buildings? If you are angry at the loss of people, you really don’t have a say over what people want to do. There are people all over DeKalb trying to escape the various institutional failures that are rampant in this county. Are you as mad at the neighborhoods who are annexing into Decatur, or is that somehow more forgivable?

  18. This is an interesting aside >>

    DeKalb Commission approves de-annexation of Doraville 44 business owners signed forms to request to re-join DeKalb County

    The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted today to approve the de-annexation of properties recently annexed by the Georgia State Legislature into the city of Doraville. House Bill 1138 allowed certain properties in unincorporated DeKalb County to be annexed into the City of Doraville, effective Dec. 31, 2014. The annexation affects hundreds of business and property owners in the area, and 44 owners signed de-annexation consent forms to request to re-join unincorporated DeKalb County.

    “I am very glad the county decided what they decided. The city has set a very bad precedent for what other cities can do,² said Joe Frank, a Doraville shopping center owner. “They have misled the Georgia legislature into believing that all of the property owners wanted to be in the city, and that was absolutely not the fact. The property owners were never informed of anything that was going onŠNone of the property owners want to be in Doraville.”

    House Bill 1138 was passed into law by the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law on April 14, 2014. The commercial property owners did not receive notice of the annexation into Doraville until November 2014.

    Ramon Burgos, owner of El Dorado Restaurant and an eight-year DeKalb resident, detailed the effect of the annexation on his business.

    “I have all the support from DeKalb County. I never have any problems,” Burgos said. “Out of nowhereŠthey said we had to go apply for Doraville and pay again, thousands of dollarsŠI will move to another city because it is badŠa lot of people are going to go out of business thereŠI just hope we can go back to DeKalb County, where we were happy and we never had any problems.”

    Many of the rules and regulations of the City of Doraville that govern businesses contain restrictions incompatible with the continued viability and growth of the legislatively-annexed businesses.

    “It’s just another layer of taxes and for no services,” said David Howard, a commercial real estate broker and property manager with Meridian Properties. “The only benefit I’ve gotten so far is my phone bill went up because Doraville added a tax to my phone line.”

    Attorney Edward Gilgor, who is representing several of the businesses, criticized the de-annexation.

    “They were annexed in what was either one of the most cynical political moves I have ever seen or the most incompetent political moves I have ever seen. But the end result was the same: that was that these people had no idea that this was under consideration,” Gilgor said. “I have never seen anything quite like this before. This is a case study of why you should not have a city below a certain size.”

  19. Ned says:

    td2–
    I don’t think CDC has taken a position on the proposed secession, and as a federal agency it’s not likely they will. Have you heard/read differently? If so, please cite. While you’re at it, back up the claim about Emory as well please.

    Just an idle thought–could Fernbank Science Center & Observatory be transferred to another DeKalb entity, like the library system?

  20. @Ned: Please read through our previous comments. The planetarium could be built anew at Arabia Mountain High School – that school has plenty of space and is a math, science and technology magnet and is adjacent to a federal heritage site – Arabia Mountain, which has hundreds of acres and a big dark night sky for viewing stars.

  21. Nikole says:

    These schools are being closed and replaced with new schools for a reason. The areas that want to join Atlanta, should attend whatever schools are currently in APS. All Dekalb school buildings should stay in Dekalb. This will impact far fewer students. Also, Fernbank is free to Dekalb students, but there is a charge for other students.

  22. Regarding school choice >> Our 2013 report on the subject clearly shows that it is students in the south end of the county who are exercising school choice the most – causing their neighborhood schools to lose thousands in enrollment and therefore on the chopping block to close (causing further blight to those neighborhoods as we reported here.)

  23. Bottom Line: It is very likely illegal for the superintendent to use public funds and publicly funded staff to fight against a political initiative on any topic. He is out of line in reality by using public funds to create, publish and promote an agenda that fights other taxpayers in the same tax district.

    Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act (O.C.G.A Section 21-5-1). The Act allows certain activities, but prohibits others, to influence voter approval or rejection of a constitutional amendment, legislation, or referendum such as educational SPLOST or city annexation …

    Read more HERE.

  24. D says:

    What’s really amazing is that anyone would consider joining Atlanta Public Schools like they have’t been tuned in for the last so many years. APS is truly the goat/anchorman of this half-baked plan.

  25. @D >> Please post the email you are talking about. Currently, as Fernbank is being rebuilt, Fernbank students are using Avondale Middle School. And I was just near Avondale High recently, and didn’t see anything that looked like it had changed. Avondale High is currently only being used by less than 400 DSA students (8th-12th).

  26. D says:

    On slide 8 the administration states annexation will displace 1,075 high school students. Yet, Avondale H.S. (capacity 608) is scheduled to be closed at the end of the 2015-16 school year and would be available to house the students displaced by annexation. There is plenty of level ground for trailers on the school grounds.

    On slide 9 the administration states annexation will displace 125 Fernbank Elementary students. However, there is currently space for 186 students in the empty seats at Knollwood E.S.

    Above.

  27. Oh, so this is what is stated in the superintendent’s Powerpoint presentation, not an email. Got it.

    BTW, the capacity of Avondale HS seems to be a moving target. As you say, the superintendent’s report says 608.

    However, the latest written reports of capacity state the following >>

    This 2010 capacity report shows Avondale HS with capacity for 726.

    This report, by MGT and Parsons, shows Avondale MS with capacity for 948, and Avondale HS again with capacity for only 726.

    This report, however says Avondale high’s capacity is 558 and is housing DSA until they turned Avondale middle into a k-12 school of the arts.

  28. thedeal2 says:

    With respect to Emory and CDC’s position on being annexed into Atlanta, I would have to assume they are trying to stay out of the political fray. I would think if two major institutions were opposed to being included in the annexation map, they would have spoken up by now. They haven’t.

  29. D says:

    Maybe I read that wrong. The the first sentence says “from our emails” and seem to be someone’s emailed response to the report where, again, it seems like they are suggesting that displaced Fernbank students can attend Knollwood Elementary. And also, that displaced Druid Hills High students (at whatever the excess over AHS capacity-300?) can just use trailers on the level ground there. Whatever,

  30. Ned says:

    dsw2–
    I assure you I do read your posts. My point was to suggest the possibility of bureaucratically transferring Fernbank SC from DCSS to another DC department–don’t know if that’s legal or feasible, just a thought–rather than leave it subject to seizure by APS. I wasn’t talking about the costly option of building a new FSC at Arabia or anywhere else.

  31. Marney says:

    Avondale HIGH SCHOOL, which had the front 2 hallways of a 3 hallway complex CLOSED a couple of years ago, with the students subdivided between Towers, McNair, and Druid Hills. That is when the Avondale Estates neighborhoods were zoned for Druid Hills. IMMEDIATELY those hallways were turned into the Druid Hills annex–so for 2 (or maybe 3) years all the hallways were used by choice students of one kind or another and the cafeteria and library continued to be shared(as it had during the DSA/Avondale High period). The annex was closed after the state got their NCLB waiver. They stopped paying for transportation and taking new transfers and when the numbers dwindled enough that they could be fit at Druid Hills proper the annex was closed.

    The annex closed the same year the worst of the cuts hit, at which point there was brought in a significantly larger DSA starting class (with half the former number of arts teachers). Those itty bitty rooms that were originally basement storage turned into arts classes when Avondale was supposed to be “temporary” simply could not hold the students, and DSA “expanded” into the middle hallway. That was the same time that there were visions of selling buildings A, B, &C and old documents were scattered all over the district making it extremely hard to find requests for very old student records etc. So those started to be moved to classrooms in hallway 1 for the sake of efficiency.

    Making Avondale Middle a K-12 arts school was a plan conceived by clueless central office bureaucrats when they didn’t have the backbone during the 2020 plan to announce that the logical thing to have put there would have been the consolidation of ALL the high achievers programs–Kittridge/Wadsworth and the 2 middle school tracks—so that it would be all 4-8th graders and in the middle of the district. Highly cost efficient and no one can argue whether it is equitable any more. I watched them flinch before they could spit it out publicly…This “plan” with the token $$ for “conversion” to K-12 arts was put into the SPLOST plan within a couple weeks. When I asked the DSA School Council/PTSA president about it a month or so later what he though about it—HE was SHOCKED. No one had bothered to tell the school this was the “Plan” and he knew nothing about it.

    I could give a long list of pedagogical reasons as well as physical ones a K-12 arts schools can’t be converted to on that campus for the small $$ available—(it has no auditorium, much less an actual theater. Do we really want newly minted drivers sharing a parking lot with lower elementary kid’s carpool?) and I think that money has been spent getting it ready for elementary kids from Fernbank. It would be a lovely campus much improved over the one that DESA is presently in—and the DESA community was most unhappy when their desired move there was delayed for the Fernbank rebuild. They thought–and made a pretty compelling case–that DESA should go ahead and move to Avondale Middle and the Fernbank kids should use Terry Mill property–which was big enough–for their temporary home. It would have been physically a shorter drive traffic wise.

    To me the logical thing if the annexation happens would be to convert Avondale Middle into the needed high school.

  32. That is correct D. The post came in through an email submission. We get those regularly – from regular contributors – already written – and most who send them request they remain anonymous.

  33. Actually, moving the planetarium to Arabia was an idea of Dr. Lewis’. We can’t take the credit – just think it’s very interesting. What would need built is basically just the auditorium. The planetarium equipment can be moved. Arabia, the school already has the classrooms, etc to house any kind of science magnet program that would be added there.

  34. Thanks for the history Marney – we appreciate the perspective! Kind of paints the picture — DCSS leaders have never really planned anything. They just react, helter-skelter. Move students here, shove stuff there… think about it all later…

  35. d says:

    I’m staying out of this debate, but I’ve noticed someone using a very very similar moniker as I do, so don’t want to be mixed up with a new poster.

  36. Very true d! Thanks for pointing this out. The new person uses “D”… so — new person – please add a couple more letters to your moniker so as not to confuse our readers. (Maybe D2 or DD?) ‘d’ was here first… thanks!!

  37. FormerDekalbParent says:

    Howdy– forgot to mention the monies that have been wasted keeping Ramona Tyson as an employee of this Board in any capacity…why is she still here?!?!?

  38. dsw2contributor says:

    ^ Ramona Tyson is the only reason why SACS has DCSS on “warned status”. If DCSS didn’t continue to employ her, then SACS would quickly put us back on Probation.

    Also, SACS was supposed to review Dekalb’s “Warned status” during January. There is only one working day left in the month — has anyone heard anything about what SACS said?

  39. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    DCSS has been fast and loose with numbers for over a decade! We have seen our share of fraudulent demographic reports and data for over a decade! One of the main players, hand picked by Clew to replace him and responsible for the continued mistrust of DCSS stakeholders, keeps her job because SACS would put us back on probation? SACS is a joke! It makes no sense to keep any of the Clew Crew around. That is why this search and the “engagement” meetings are a ruse. No sensible Superintendent from out of state would take this job, because that person would, SHOULD clean out the Palace. That would never be allowed and the old Clew Crew would make sure we would have another, Dr. Atkinson destroyed her cell phone and text messages, she is taking a leave of absence and poof she was gone! It will be Deja Vu all over again! Why would anyone from outside Dekalb want to be Super of OUR district?

  40. We cannot let your statement about Ramona Tyson stand unchallenged. Please clarify — with specifics — why Ramona Tyson is responsible for keeping DeKalb County Schools off probation.

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