Cross Keys HS & Sequoyah MS
Secondary Schools Study Position

September 23, 2016 – Here’s a News Flash – Doraville doesn’t want their own cluster. Doraville and the Cross Keys Cluster community want to go to Dunwoody MS/HS, Chamblee MS/HS and what is shaping up to be Brookhaven HS (either rebrand CKHS or build a new one).

Lakeside High School
Secondary Schools Study Position

September 22, 2016 – Lakeside HS is asking for an additional 750 seats at their school or in a secondary building off campus. Lakeside HS is committed to being creative in coming up with ideas to figure how to make this feasible.

Montgomery Elementary
Secondary Schools Study Position

September 21, 2016 – Over the past several weeks, leaders of the MES Advisory Council, PTA, and Foundation met to discuss and provide this unified response to the DeKalb County School District’s Secondary School Facility Planning & Feasibility Study.

Cross Keys Foundation

Cross Keys Foundation
Secondary Schools Study Position

September 21, 2016 – Kim Gokce is the President of the Cross Keys Foundation. He put together this position letter of the Cross Keys Foundation

Survey Results
Secondary Facility Feasibility Study

September 18, 2016 – Results are in, the majority of entries selected the Split Feeder Option (Option B). There are also a few noteworthy points.

Dunwoody High School

Dunwoody HS & Peachtree MS
Secondary Schools Study Position

September 16, 2016 – Dunwoody High School and Peachtree Charter Middle School, with the input of the Dunwoody cluster elementary school councils, have released their position on the Secondary Schools Facilities Feasibility Study.

Stan Jester

DeKalb School Board To Oppose OSD
September 15, 2016 – This Monday, the DeKalb County Board of Education will meet, discuss and vote on this statement opposing the state’s ability to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance. What are your thoughts?

Evolution of Facility Planning &
Feasibility Study Options

September 14, 2016 – The options coming from the secondary facility planning and feasibility study have evolved from round to round. I asked the school district to help us understand how the options have evolved into what we are looking at now in round 3.

Key Takeaways
Facilities Study – Round 3 Meetings

September 12, 2016 – Following the Round 3 public presentation, the audience broke down into small groups and moved into classrooms where they discussed with facilitators the pros & cons of the 3 options.

FAQ – Facility Planning & Feasibility Study
September 11, 2016 – Are there maps available that show which students would be redistricted under each option? Was the impact on common areas or traffic considered? How would the school district pay for these options if either is approved?

DSA & DESA SPLOST Options
September 9, 2016 – $3.9 million was earmarked for DSA at the former Avondale MS. Now that DESA is at Avondale MS, the school district is asking for another $5 million for a K-12 Arts School at the former Avondale MS.

Emory Annexation Dominos
September 7, 2016 – If Emory is annexed into Atlanta, it isn’t a stretch to see the scenario where the adjoining neighborhoods, including Druid Hills High School and two other elementary schools, would eventually end up annexed as well.

How to Qualify for Gifted Services
September 5, 2016 – Lisa Martin is DeKalb Schools’ new Chief Academic and Accountability Officer. Knox Phillips is the Director of Research, Assessments, and Grants at the DeKalb County School District. Lisa Martin and Knox Phillps help us understand “How to Qualify for Gifted Services”.

Facilities Planning Online Survey – Current Results
August 31, 2016 – As of high noon on Tuesday Aug 30, there were almost 1,200 responses to the facilities planning online survey. Here is what people are saying thus far.

Round 3 – DeKalb Secondary School Facility Planning and Feasibility Study
August 25, 2016 – Round 3 of a study based on public input on how to address overcrowding in middle and high schools. The scope of the study was later expanded to include renovation and capacity recommendations for middle and high school facilities in all regions.

School Council Fact Sheet
August 24, 2016 – Local School Councils are gearing up for Fall elections. Resolutions from a school council, a cluster of councils or region of school councils would weigh heavily on administrative and board level decisions.

Making a Big School District Feel Small
August 18, 2016 – How do you make a big school district feel small? None of the state’s solutions will work county wide in DeKalb, but this is what we are doing.

Georgia Milestones
Top 100 High Schools In Georgia

August 17, 2016 – Where did your high school rank in the state – Spring 2016 Georgia Milestones results?

Magnets & Charters
Lines – Waiting Lists – Queues

August 15, 2016 – What do you think of when you see queues of 400+ people? Today that might mean the release of a new iPhone, or a Chick-Fil-A opening, or Black Friday.

DeKalb’s New Assessment Tests
August 14, 2016 – Starting tomorrow (Aug 15), the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments will replace Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), components of the the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), Renaissance’s STAR Early Literacy, STAR Reading and STAR Math.

Chamblee Magnet Moving? It’s Still On The Table
August 10, 2016 – Is the option to move the Chamblee Magnet Program still on the table? Superintendent Green refutes any communications saying it’s off the table.

Georgia Milestones
Top 125 Middle Schools In Georgia

July 29, 2016 – Where did your middle school rank in the state – Spring 2016 Georgia Milestones results?

Georgia Milestones
Top 100 Elementary Schools In Georgia

July 29, 2016 – Where did your elementary school rank in the state – Spring 2016 Georgia Milestones results?

Relocating Chamblee Magnets
July 27, 2016 – Would moving the Chamblee magnet program to Southwest DeKalb HS kill the magnet program for Region 1 and Region 2? Option 2B of the Secondary School Facility Planning and Feasibility Study includes – Chamblee HS: Relocate 650 students (Magnet) to Southwest DeKalb HS.

Pros & Cons
Planning and Feasibility Study Options

July 25, 2016 – Committees consisting of steering committee members and two representatives from each of the forty middle and high schools studied and discussed these pros and cons of the four potential options to address current and pending capacity needs.

Cost Estimates
Planning and Feasibility Study Options

July 20, 2016 – Based on 2022 enrollment projections, the Steering Committee discussed these Cost Estimates for the four potential options to address current and pending capacity needs.

DeKalb Secondary School Facility Planning and Feasibility Study
July 18, 2016 – The study will identify the challenges and opportunities facing each middle school and high school, determine options to address the needs identified, and prepare regional master plans to implement the options. Here are the problems, the funds and the options.

Brookhaven Needs to Acknowledge John Lewis
July 14, 2016 – “Do you believe Brookhaven would chose to name their new elementary school after John Lewis?” – No. Brookhaven needs to come into this century and acknowledge John Lewis, says Vickie Turner, School Board Member from District 5.

Chamblee Magnet Program
July 13, 2016 – Any truth to the rumor of moving the magnet program from Chamblee Middle and Chamblee High? Steering committees discussed the pros and cons of the following four potential options to address current and pending capacity needs.

John Lewis ES
Brookhaven’s New Elementary School

July 10, 2016 – In May the DeKalb BOE announced agreements with the City of Brookhaven and the Georgia State Properties Commission to acquire 11.2 acres at Skyland Park for a new elementary school. The new school going up in Brookhaven to be named John Lewis Elementary.

County SPLOST Proposal – Unacceptable
July 7, 2016 – Fire Stations located within the city limits of any city have been removed from the Final SPLOST Project List no matter their current state of disrepair. Commissioner Nancy Jester’s thoughts on the County SPLOST project list.

North DeKalb Teacher Vacancy Report
June 24, 2016 – Marlon Walker with the AJC is reporting 2,000 teacher vacancies in Metro Atlanta for the upcoming school year as of June 2016. 372 teacher vacancies across DeKalb Schools. How many teacher positions are vacant at your high school?

Approved FY2017 Budget Highlights
June 22, 2016 – Here are the highlights for the budget and millage rate approved by the DeKalb County Board of Education last night. I was the lone dissenting vote for both the millage rate and the budget.

Teacher/Principal Vacancy Report
June 15, 2016 – Across the 5 DeKalb Schools regions, as of June 6, there are 391 teacher vacancies. The school district will employ 3 recruitment strategies over the Summer to fill these vacancies. Region 2 has a plurality of the teacher vacancies.

Academic Promotion Policy
June 2, 2016 – Monday the DeKalb Board of Education will be discussing and voting on a new DeKalb Promotion and Retention Policy. Let me know your thoughts on this proposed policy.

News Release
Proposed Property Tax Increase For DeKalb

June 1, 2016 – The DeKalb County School District announced last week its intention to increase property taxes this year by 8.71 percent.

NO on E-SPLOST – Here’s Why
May 18, 2016 – “On May 24th voters across DeKalb will see an e-SPLOST referendum on their ballot. If approved, it will be the fifth, 5-year e-SPLOST program for DeKalb County School District. What have we gotten for the almost $2 billion, over 20 years, of the e-SPLOST program? What can we expect from an e-SPLOST V?” –Nancy Jester.

GM Plant Site Developers
Straighten Out The Facts

May 16, 2016 – A few days ago WABE 90.1’s Martha Dalton and Rose Scott took a Closer Look with Egbert Perry and Eric Pinckney, developers of the Doraville GM Plant site. “DeKalb County experienced $1.6 billion dollars lost in its tax digest over the last 5 years while everyone else was growing during the recovery from the recession. I don’t believe that’s coincidental” –Egbert Perry.

DeKalb Schools Board Chair Talks TAD
May 15, 2016 – Doraville was home to a GM production plant from 1947 to 2008. I sat down with DeKalb Schools Board of Education Chair, Dr. Melvin Johnson, to discuss the redevelopment and financing the infrastructure improvements.

What is a TAD
May 14, 2016 – A Tax Allocation District (TAD) is a financing mechanism in Georgia that allows a community to “allocate” increases in taxes generated by new development within a defined area to pay for capital improvements to that area.

Budget

DeKalb Schools Proposed 2016-2017 Budget
May 13, 2016 – Total expenditures in all funds including the General fund, ESPLOST (capital outlay) and grants (special revenue), is $1.2 billion.

DeKalb Schools News Release

Milestones – The Aftermath of Widespread State Outages
May 13, 2016 – Across Georgia this testing season, schools reported technology-related interruptions of online testing, especially Fulton County where widespread outages marred testing.

DeKalb Schools News Release

DeKalb Adds Schools to OSD List
May 11, 2016 – For the DeKalb County School District, the new list of qualifying schools included three removed schools and six added schools for a net gain of three schools totaling 28.

FactChecker Reviews
Chairman Johnson on the TAD

May 9, 2016 – The FactChecker staff is very concerned about Dr. Johnson’s understanding of the Doraville TAD and how TADs work among other numerous other inaccurate statements he made on WABE 90.1 last week.

Regional Superintendent Org Chart

CCRPI – Ranking Metro Atl Elementary Schools
May 6, 2016 – It measures schools and school districts on an easy-to-understand 100-point scale, helping parents and the public better understand how schools are performing in a more comprehensive manner than the pass/fail system previously in place under AYP. And, all the metro Atlanta elementary schools ranked by CCRPI scores.

Regional Superintendent Org Chart

Regional Superintendents and Their Micro Cabinet
May 4, 2016 – The administration is decentralizing decision making by placing human capital and operational services in the field with the Regional Superintendent in a team dubbed “The Micro Cabinet”.

NAACP Assured ESPLOST Will Be Spent Throughout the County
May 2, 2016 – John Evans, President of the DeKalb County branch of the NAACP, wasn’t happy with the ESPLOST project list but has subsequently been assured by Superintendent Green that ESPLOST funds will be spent throughout the county.

TAD – Q&A – Open Discussion
April 29, 2016 – A majority of the Board of Education declined coming together to learn more about the TAD. Luke Howe, the Economic Development Director for the City of Doraville, answers my questions about the TAD and the Assembly project.

DeKalb Schools – Search Firm Update
April 27, 2016 – Recently, the AJC published a number of critiques of Superintendent Green regarding his use of the search firm. The following is a Search Firm Update from the administration.

Central Office ReOrg Phase III
April 25, 2016 – At the business meeting last week, the Board of Education approved Phase III of the Central Office Reorganization to include the appointment of senior-level personnel, reclassification of existing positions, creation of new positions, elimination of existing positions, and the realignment of existing positions.

Superintendent Green Believes E-SPLOST V Language Meets Requirements
April 21, 2016 – Superintendent Stephen Green responds to Fran Millar explaining why the E-SPLOST V referendum has a constitutionally sufficient description of the specific capital outlay projects.

Sen. Fran Millar
Not a Fan of the E-SPLOST Language
April 20, 2016 – State Senator Fran Millar relays the numerous complaints he has received about the lack of a project list in the E-SPLOST referendum and his concerns about the possible vulnerabilities to a legal challenge in an open letter to Superintendent Green.

Opting Out of the Georgia Milestones Tests
April 18, 2016 – Can parents opt out of Milestones testing? Will the school, district or student be penalized for opting out? What should parents do if they would like to opt out?Knox Phillips answers some questions about Georgia Milestones testing.

DeKalb 2015-2016 Testing Schedule
April 13, 2016 – Testing schedule for the rest of the 2015-2016 school year. Tim Jarboe, director of assessment and accountability for the Clarke County School District, makes a plea to the public to not opt out of the Georgia Milestones

2016 Legislative Session – Education
March 29, 2016 – Georgia’s 2016 legislative session came to a close last Thursday at midnight (or so). The Georgia Legislature passed a number of bills related to education and are sitting on Governor Nathan Deal’s desk. He has until May 3rd (40 days) to veto them or sign them into law.

Superintendent Green’s Goals And Self Evaluation
March 28, 2016 – Superintendent Stephen Green established the following goals for the 2015-16 school year. He also reported the following level of attainment of the stated goals.

Superintendent Evaluation Process
March 24, 2016 – On April 18th, the board will meet in executive session to go over the superintendent evaluation document and the evaluation process.

Trailers for 2016-17 School year
March 22, 2016 – This “Modular and Portable Classroom Deployment Plan” is for the 2016-17 School Year. $2.5 million was approved for the purchase of trailers. The Cross Keys redistricting plan will result in a net reduction of approximately 15 trailer classrooms.

Superintendent Green’s Op-Ed on OSD
March 13, 2016 – “Taking the OSD target off our back begins and ends with improving classroom instruction and outcomes.” — R. Stephen Green, DeKalb Schools Superintendent

DeKalb Schools Updates
March 12, 2016 – What’s happening at DeKalb Schools? Here is a quick update.

Approved Cross Keys Redistricting Plan
March 8, 2016 – It’s official. Roughly 1700 students, mostly elementary school, will find themselves redistricted into a new school this Fall 2016. Last night the board approved the following Cross Keys Redistricting Plan (which is slightly different than the original plan released in February).

AP Exams – Tax Dollars
March 6, 2016 – Knox Phillips is the Director of Research, Assessments, and Grants at the DeKalb County School District. Knox Phillips answers some questions to help us understand a little more about AP research, data collection, and why he thinks tax dollars should be used to pay for AP Exams.

AP Courses/Exams And College Graduation Rates
March 4, 2016 – Advanced Placement (AP) courses provide high school students with the opportunity to take college-level courses in high school. The administration is asking the DeKalb School Board to pay for an exam for students.

Central Office Reorg Phase II
March 3, 2016 – “Leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with WHERE but with WHO. They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” –Jim Collins

Education Legislative Update
February 16, 2016 – The Georgia General Assembly has passed the half way mark. Tax rate cuts for DeKalb Schools and financial disclosure requirements across the state are coming down the pipe. The House is also attempting to reign in college tuition hikes.

Cross Keys Over Crowding
The Plan

February 15, 2016 – DeKalb Schools district staff presented a recommended plan to help relieve overcrowding in the Cross Keys Cluster starting this year, Fall 2016.

DeKalb Schools 2016-17 School Calendar
January 31, 2016 – Tomorrow, the board will discuss and approve the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school calendars. The Calendar Committee released the proposed 2016-17 calendar this evening and answered some questions posed by readers of this blog.

60 Minutes Of Recess A Day
January 28, 2016 – “Recess is a necessary break in the day for optimizing a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development” –The American Academy of Pediatrics. So, what’s the plan? Dr. Sarah Lazarus is circling the wagons and getting parents together.

DeKalb E-SPLOST Project List
January 27, 2016 – On the May 24, 2016 ballot, the DeKalb County School District intends to bring forth a referendum for an Education Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) as follows.

DeKalb Schools 2016-17 School Calendar
January 23, 2016 – The recommendation for the 2016-2017 school year is a calendar very similar to the current school year’s calendar.
First Day of School – August 8, 2016 …

How to Qualify for Gifted Services
January 16, 2016 – Now that you have your ITBS and CogAT results, you may be interested in “How To Qualify For Gifted Services”. Georgia became the first state to pass legislation that requires all public school systems in Georgia to offer programs for gifted education students.

Redistricting the Cross Keys Cluster
January 16, 2016 – The temporary short term solution to Cross Keys over-crowding will be to utilize available capacity in nearby Fernbank ES, ISC, Chamblee HS and possibly Warren Tech.

3% Raise For All Georgia’s Teachers Next Fall
January 15, 2016 – Governor Nathan Deal says teachers across Georgia should expect to get at least an additional 3% bump in pay starting next school year. This will be the third bump in pay DeKalb teachers should see in a 12 month period.

School Based Certified Personnel Comp Plan
January 11, 2016 – Description, research and analysis behind DeKalb Schools’ employee comp plan. Teachers will receive an increase of up to $14,000 to make their salary comparable to the average annual salary of other metro Atlanta school districts. Affected employees will see the adjustments in their January 15, 2016 paycheck.

DeKalb’s School Choice Online Application
January 6, 2016 – DeKalb’s School Choice Online Application will open at 9am on Jan 11, 2016 and will continue through Feb 19. The district has implemented new software and has extended the enrollment period hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s School Choice Registration – EPIC FAILURE.

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