Approved 2020-2021 School Calendar
Dec 21 – Jan 1: Christmas Break
Jan 13: Last Day of 1st Semester
Jan 14-15: Teacher Pre Planning
Jan 18: MLK Day
Jan 19: First Day – 2nd Semester
Dangerous Intersection In Front of Dunwoody HS
January 4, 2021 – In 2018 I wrote to the city about the dangerous intersection at Vermack/Womack.
Nothing has changed since that time and accidents and near misses continue to happen with alarming frequency.
DCSD Employees May Continue To Work Remotely
January 2, 2021 – DeKalb Schools Teachers and staff experiencing hardships may notify their immediate supervisors, complete the Hardship Request Application, and continue to work remotely for 30 days. At the end of the 30-day window, the hardship application will be reviewed.
Teachers and Students Are Coming Back To School
December 16, 2020 – Community spread appears to no longer be a factor in the schedule for opening schools in DeKalb. DeKalb schools administration is moving forward with getting teachers and students back into school.
DeKalb Schools Reopening Plan
December 15, 2020 – DeKalb Schools has announced they will begin its re-opening process on a staggered schedule Jan. 4, 2021 with staff returning to school buildings. Selected grade levels will begin in-person learning on Jan. 19, 2021. Phase three will begin Jan. 25, 2021.
Regional Town Hall Meetings For Parents
November 30, 2020 – You are invited to attend the Region I-VII Town Hall Meetings for Parents. The purpose of each regional meeting is to provide detailed information about the reopening plan and answer questions.
DeKalb Schools 2020 Graduation Rates
November 10, 2020 – DeKalb County Schools four-year graduation rate for the Class of 2020 is 75.97%
Black Lives Matter in DeKalb Schools
November 9, 2020 – Black Lives Matter (BLM) began as a social media hash tag in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi in response to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Giving Grace Network – Struggling and Hardships
October 28, 2020 – While the community is trying to flatten the COVID-19 curve with lockdowns and 100% virtual learning, the Giving Grace network has seen those who were already struggling only deepen into their hardships.
2018 and 2019 Auditor’s Reports
October 20, 2020 – The 2018 and 2019 Annual Financial Report and Independent Auditor’s Reports have been issued. Material Weakness and Significant Deficiencies were identified.
September Survey Results
October 19, 2020 – DeKalb Schools (DCSD) sought updated stakeholder input on preferences for returning to school in a traditional or hybrid setting or remaining in distance/remote learning.
Teacher Town Hall – My Notes
October 14, 2020 – My notes from the Teacher Town Hall. Teachers are not coming back to work on October 19.
Spectators – Billboards – Town Hall
October 14, 2020 – The DeKalb County School District will allow spectators for Football games starting the weekend of October 15 – October 17, 2020.
Returning to Face to Face Learning
October 7, 2020 – DeKalb Schools sent out a 2-Week return to hybrid working environment notification to staff yesterday.
Re-Open Athletics & Schedule
September 25, 2020 – DeKalb Schools will implement a phase in approach to allow athletic and extra curricular activity to return.
Formula To Calculate Moving To Hybrid
September 22, 2020 – DeKalb Schools administration stated the school district will begin the transition to a hybrid learning model if the Cases Per 100K (Last 2 Weeks) is below 100 for 14 days straight. How do we calculate that?
COVID-19 Cases Trending Down
September 18, 2020 – Over the last few days the COVID-19 “Cases per 100K (last 2 weeks)” in DeKalb have gone from 122 to 117.
Divisive Statement By Dr. Joyce Morley
September 17, 2020 – I was disappointed and disturbed by the divisive statement made by Dr. Morley at our last Board of Education meeting.
Conditions To Move To Hybrid
September 17, 2020 – On Monday, the DeKalb Schools administration presented the conditions under which the school district would transition to a hybrid learning environment. The Georgia Department of Public Health provides a daily report with numerous data points including the number of COVID-19 cases.
Sports – DeKalb Schools Delays Athletics
August 14, 2020 – DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is delaying all athletic activity for the Fall 2020 season until the end of September. This includes marching bands and auxiliary groups.
School Virtual Opening Update
August 11, 2020 – Teachers started pre planning yesterday and students are back to school 100% virtually on Monday. The following are my takeaways from the administration’s latest update.
Professional Development Institute
August 2, 2020 – DeKalb Schools has a new concept called the “Professional Development Institute”. It will be deployed this Wednesday – Friday (Aug 5-7). The goal of these 3 days is to learn how to teach virtually effectively.
DeKalb Schools Approved 2020-2021 School Calendar
July 24, 2020 – At the 10am Board Meeting this morning, the DeKalb Schools administration will request that the Board of Education approve the following 2020-2021 calendar.
What are your thoughts?
Micro-Schools: Students & Teachers Coming Together
July 21, 2020 – Given the recent failures of virtual learning this past Spring combined with the Fall semester starting virtually, parents are searching for options to educate their children. A number of families are coming together to start their own Micro-Schools.
New 2020-2021 School Calendar
July 18, 2020 – DeKalb Schools administration went back to the drawing board and has come out with a new 2020-2021 school Calendar. The first semester ends before Christmas Break, the second semester ends in May and there are 9 furlough days (calendar reduction days).
Results – School Re Opening Survey
July 10, 2020 – The DeKalb County School District sought stakeholder input on their preferences and perspectives for learning models and hybrid options that the school district is considering for the reopening of schools.
DeKalb Notice of Property Tax Increase
July 9, 2020 – DeKalb Schools administration is recommending to the Board no change in the millage rate for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The millage rate was 23.08 mills last year and that is what the Administration is requesting the Board approve again.
Opening Schools in Metro Atlanta
July 8, 2020 – Schools across Metro Atlanta will be opening next month. What’s the plan for DeKalb Schools? DeKalb Schools’ new fearless leader, Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris, and her team will be presenting the School Re-Opening Plan at the July 13 board meeting.
DeKalb Schools Re-Opening Update
July 5, 2020 – Will DeKalb Schools open on August 3rd as planned and what will learning look like when DeKalb Schools opens? Marshall Orson is currently the chair of the DeKalb Schools Board of Education. He addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about opening DeKalb Schools in the Fall.
Survey Results – DES 4/5 Academy Site Name
June 22, 2020 – A plurality of the survey entries support naming the DES 4/5 Academy site, “Dunwoody Elementary School Upper Campus”.
DeKalb Schools Re-Opening Framework
June 20, 2020 – DeKalb Schools Re-Opening School Task Force built a framework to serve as a transition document to the new Superintendent for final decisions on how to re-open on the first day of school on Aug 3, 2020.
Public Input on Name of DES 4/5 Academy
June 15, 2020 – The Naming Committee for the new Dunwoody Elementary campus is asking for input from our community to officially name the school site. The site will serve 4th and 5th graders from Dunwoody Elementary. Due to the physical location (former Kittredge building), we are asking for input from Dunwoody and Chamblee cluster schools.
DeKalb Schools – FY2021 Budget Considerations
June 14, 2020 – Revenues are expected to be down for this fiscal year. Ditto for the tax collection rates. DeKalb School’s administration is recommending that the Board of Education, tax payers, parents and employees contemplate these budget considerations.
DeKalb Schools Approves TSA Settlement
June 9, 2020 – This morning the DeKalb Schools Board of Education approved a settlement in the GOLD case (Tax Shelter Annuity – TSA Case) for $117.5 million over a 5 year period.
Cheryl Watson-Harris – DeKalb Schools Superintendent – Sole Finalist
June 4, 2020 – The DeKalb County Board of Education announces Cheryl Watson-Harris as the sole finalist in its search for a new superintendent.
Meeting 1 – Naming Committee – DES 4/5 Academy
June 2, 2020 – The Dunwoody Elementary School (DES) 4/5 Academy will have its first meeting Wednesday June 3 at 6pm to name the elementary school at the Nancy Creek site.
Officially Naming the DES 4/5 Academy
May 27, 2020 – Dunwoody Elementary School will be moving its 4th and 5th grades to the former Kittredge, and former Nancy Creek Elementary School site in Brookhaven this Fall. DeKalb Schools policy provides for the naming of the school.
CDC’s Considerations For Schools
May 23, 2020 – Spacing recommendations are going to be particularly burdensome for students and teachers in District 1 given the persistent overcrowding in this area. The arithmetic of students, bus seats, and square footage make it difficult to balance the equation.
Virtual Classrooms – The Future of DeKalb Schools
May 16, 2020 – There is still no definitive plan for what school will look like when it opens in August.
However, DeKalb Schools is full speed ahead planning on school in traditional classrooms as well as Virtual Classrooms.
Superintendent Search &
Anna Hill, CPA, For Board of Education
May 13, 2020 – DeKalb Schools continues to look for the right Superintendent. The vote on Monday on DeKalb Schools’ sole finalist brings to light why I strongly suggest that you take a look at voting for Anna Hill, CPA, for DeKalb Schools Board of Education, District #1 in the upcoming June election.
Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremonies
May 10, 2020 – Based on current guidance from CDC and other health agencies, DeKalb Schools is unable to pursue graduation ceremonies face-to-face for June. Face to Face graduation ceremonies may be possible in July or August.
FY2020 Metro Atlanta Teacher Salary Comparison
April 28, 2020 – Teachers in DeKalb Schools have some of the highest salaries in the Metro Atlanta Area. DeKalb Schools teachers with a Masters have the highest salaries in the Metro Atlanta Area. DeKalb Schools teachers with a Bachelors or Specialist degree have the 2nd highest salaries in Metro Atlanta.
Superintendent Crew – Positive Public Feedback
April 24, 2020 – According to DeKalb School’s Public Relations firm, public feedback is very positive regarding the announcement of Superintendent Rudy Crew.
Rudy Crew – Superintendent – Sole Finalist
April 23, 2020 – The DeKalb County Board of Education today announced Dr. Rudy Crew as the sole finalist in its search for a new superintendent. The decision is the result of a five-month search that included 68 applicants.
2020 Graduation Ceremonies
Superintendent Student Advisory Council
DeKalb Schools announced earlier this week that the original 2020 graduation ceremonies will be moved from the week of May 18-23rd to the week of June 22-27th. The Superintendent Student Advisory Council weighs in on the 2020 Graduation Ceremonies decision.
How Do I Claim My ‘A’
April 15, 2020 – How do I claim my ‘A’s in my classes and call it good for the school year right now?
Yesterday, DeKalb Schools released an End-Of-Year Guide explainging how the district plans on wrapping up the 2019-2020 school year. In addition to a modified calendar and end of year activities, it explained final grade calculations.
DeKalb Schools End Of Year Guide
April 14, 2020 – We are approaching the end of the school year at DeKalb Schools. So, what’s the plan? This will hopefully answer many of your questions.
DeKalb Schools Closing
March 10, 2020 – DeKalb County School District (DCSD), in collaboration with other metro area school districts, will close the school district on Monday, March 16, 2020, until further notice.
Central Office Reorg
March 10, 2020 – The Reorganization of the Central Office includes the reclassification of existing positions, the realignment of departments, the elimination of existing positions, creation of new positions, appointment of senior level and cabinet personnel, and the creation of a new division.
2021 Utilization Matrix
March 3, 2020 – DeKalb Schools utilization forecast the for all Region 1 elementary schools in 2021 given the current plan. Dunwoody ES Principal Sanders and Kittredge Magnet Principal Neely are members of a cross-divisional logistics team to assist with this transition for students, parents, teachers and staff.
DeKalb Schools Audit Policy Debate
February 16, 2020 – Despite board policy and best practice, DeKalb Schools has neglected to convene a meeting of the audit committee in over a decade.
FAQ – Fall 2020 Redistricting Plan
February 12, 2020 – On Monday, the Board of Education approved the interim Redistricting Plan for the 2020-2021 School Year. The administration released this FAQ in an attempt to answer the most Frequently Asked Questions.
E-SPLOST V Revision Plan
February 8, 2020 – On Monday, DeKalb Schools administration will be recommending to the board, changes to the E-SPLOST V budget, including defunding a new school and several building addition projects.
Fall 2020 Redistricting Elementary Schools
February 7, 2020 – DeKalb Schools administration is presenting their final recommendation for redistricting. 432 students will be relocated out of Dunwoody Elementary School this Fall 2020.
Trailer Count Across DeKalb Schools
January 20, 2019 – A number of new schools are opening this year and Fall 2020. There will be 61 fewer trailers used throughout the school district in 2020-21 than the current school year. Eight (8) schools will see an aggregate increase of 23 trailers. This lowers the district trailer count from 389 to 328.
Nancy Creek Elementary – Immediate Relief For Dunwoody & Chamblee Clusters
January 17, 2019 – Superintendent Tyson is taking a second look at moving Kittredge back to the old John Lewis ES site and opening Nancy Creek back up in Fall 2020.
Dunwoody Elementary School
Redistricting & Utilization
January 16, 2019 – The biggest concern articulated by the DES PAC is that the most recent redistricting proposal does not relieve overcrowding robustly enough.
Removed SPLOST Projects & GO Bond
January 15, 2019 – ESPLOST V projects were way under estimated and left the school district $166 million over budget. $93 million of the budget deficit comes from new facilities and additions.
Redistricting Round 4
January 14, 2019 – Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson has been at the helm since last November. Among the many challenges DeKalb Schools faces, redistricting elementary schools in North DeKalb is one of them. This is the administration’s Round 4 recommendation to the board.
Correcting Operations Austin Redistricting Guidance
December 11, 2019 – Based on my meeting with the elementary PAC chairs and co-chairs in Dunwoody, I presented Planning with these principles that had general agreement from the group.
DeKalb Schools Volunteer Policy
December 3, 2019 – DeKalb Schools is asking that the Board of Education approve the new School Volunteers policy. Furthermore, the district is asking the Board of Education to approve $196,000 annually to run and maintain a Volunteer Management System. The $196,000 covers Level 1 background checks for 15,000 volunteers.
New CFO – DeKalb Schools
December 2, 2019 – DeKalb Schools just hired Mr. Robert Morales as an ‘Executive On-Loan’ in the capacity of Chief Financial Officer.
Dunwoody Cluster Elementary Schools – Round 3
November 20, 2019 – DeKalb Schools is conducting Round 3 of the Austin Elementary School redistricting meetings tonight at Dunwoody High School @ 7pm. The third round objective is to collect community input on the option presented.
Doraville United Redistricting – Round 3
November 19, 2019 – DeKalb Schools is conducting Round 3 of the Doraville United Elementary School redistricting meetings tonight at Chamblee Charter High School @ 7pm. The third round objective is to collect community input on the option presented.
2019 – 7 Year Enrollment Forecasts – Dunwoody Elementary Schools
November 18, 2019 – The new Austin Elementary School will open next year. Redistricting the Dunwoody elementary schools is currently under way. DeKalb Schools administration has put together the latest 7 Year Enrollment Forecasts for this process.
2019 Enrollment Forecasts For Chamblee & Cross Keys Elementary Schools
November 17, 2019 – Forecasts show significant increases in enrollment for many elementary schools in Chamblee and Brookhaven. Doraville United Elementary Public Redistricting Meetings – Chamblee Charter HS Auditorium (7:00 PM): Round 3 – Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Dunwoody – Elementary School – Growth Projections
November 13, 2019 – Where and how much growth does the school district anticipate for Dunwoody’s elementary schools? This is the most important question for redistricting Dunwoody elementary schools.
Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson
November 7, 2019 – The DeKalb County Board of Education this afternoon voted to approve a separation agreement with Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green, effective immediately. In a second vote, The DeKalb County Board of Education voted to name Ramona Tyson as the interim superintendent.
DeKalb Schools 2020-2021 Calendar
November 4, 2019 – Marshall Orson and I pushed for a later start date to no avail. School will start next year on Aug 3, 2020. We’ll have a balanced calendar and numerous holidays. The administration relied heavily on the advice of the committee and results of the survey. The rest of the board relied heavily on the administration.
Proposed 2020-2021 Calendar
November 3, 2019 – On Monday DeKalb Schools administration is recommending approving the school calendars for the next two school years. It looks like the community and administration favor an early start and balanced calendar.
New Visitor and Volunteer Policy
October 31, 2019 – DeKalb Schools administration is coming back again with another revision to the Visitor and Volunteer Policy. The first read was in March. This version has different implications.
October 21, 2019 – Please complete this poll on the DeKalb Schools Calendar Attributes so I can better understand where the majority of the community stands.
Austin Elementary School Redistricting – Round 2
October 23, 2019 – DeKalb Schools is conducting Round 2 of the Austin Elementary School redistricting meetings tonight at Dunwoody High School @ 7pm. The second round objective is to collect community input on the two presented redistricting options.
2020-2021 Calendar Options
October 21, 2019 – Look at the calendar options and what the other Metro Atlanta school districts are doing. Let me know your thoughts about the Start Date, Balanced Calendar and Early Release days.
DeKalb Schools Calendar Update
October 18, 2019 – The Office of Accountability is preparing to release the survey any day now. The final recommendation should be on the Board of Education agenda for approval Nov 4, 2019.
Doraville United Redistricting – Round 2
October 16, 2019 – DeKalb Schools is conducting Round 2 of the Doraville United Elementary School redistricting meetings tonight at Chamblee Charter High School @ 7pm. The second round objective is to collect community input on the two presented redistricting options which are supposed to based on attendance zone criteria set in board policy.
DeKalb Schools E-SPLOST Project Recommendations
October 14, 2019 – DeKalb Schools is telling the public that E-SPLOST is $100 million over budget and is making recommendations to the board to address these budget issues.
Public Feedback Results
GO Bond & E-SPLOST Projects
October 10, 2019 – Results are in from the five (5) public meetings to seek public input on proposed options to address the E-SPLOST budget.
News & Updates – 10/7/2019
October 7, 2019 – The Chromebook Rollout isn’t complete yet. Round 2 of redistricting meetings are coming up. I have coffee talk on Friday. Feedback on the GO bond and Comprehensive Art School is out.
AP Exams – Return on Investment
October 4, 2019 – Less than 10% of the students in half our high schools score high enough on these AP exams to receive college credit. Is paying for AP Exams the best use of $425,000?
Capacity Determination Guide
October 3, 2019 – So, the capacity of your school is constantly changing. What’s up with that? Last week I discussed the Enrollment/Capacity/Trailers in Region 1 Elementary Schools. How does the school district arrive at those capacity numbers?
Redistricting First Round Summary
September 30, 2019 – Amazingly overnight, the capacity of the new schools went from 900 to 950. The capacity of all other schools in the feeder pattern dropped by 5% – 20%.
Meeting Tonight – Redistricting Dunwoody Cluster Elementary Schools
AUSTIN ELEMENTARY REDISTRICTING
ROUND 1 PUBLIC MEETING
SEPTEMBER 26, 2019 7:00PM
IEP Accommodations Neglected
September 19, 2019 – Many students at DeKalb Schools recently took their MAP tests without the accommodations inside their IEPS and 504s. Thus far, identification and communication to those students has been lacking. If it weren’t for the efforts of Lauren Taylor, all of this would have gone unnoticed.
DeKalb Schools 2019 Graduation Rates
September 18, 2019 – DeKalb Schools sees its first decrease in graduation rate in 4 years.
Redistricting – Geographic Proximity
Austin And Doraville United
September 16, 2019 – According to board policy, recommendations for alterations in school attendance areas shall be primarily based on geographic proximity, school capacity; and projected enrollment. These schools will help alleviate overcrowding in the Dunwoody and Cross Keys clusters.
DeKalb Schools 2020 Graduation Schedule
September 14, 2019 – Congratulations High School Seniors Class of 2020. The last day of school is May 21, 2020. This is the finalized version of the graduation ceremonies schedule.
Air Conditioning at Chamblee Charter High School
September 9, 2019 – Air Conditioning is completely down at Chamblee Charter High School (CCHS). I’ll use this page to relate information as I get it. Included is a message from Chamblee Charter High School Principal Gail Barnes.
Not Fans of the GO Bond
September 5, 2019 – From where I’m sitting, the message is loud and clear. The public does not support the General Obligation (GO) Bond. I received statements from the DeKalb NAACP and the Georgia Federation of Teachers.
E-SPLOST/GO Bond Discussion Materials
August 27, 2019 – The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is holding five (5) public meetings to seek public input on proposed options to address the E-SPLOST budget. The proposed solutions are complicated. It’d be a good idea to familiarize yourself with these materials.
2019 Chromebook Rollout Update
August 22, 2019 – Chromebook distribution should begin at all schools no later than August 30. Many of the distribution processes are currently underway. Check with your teacher, principal or school council for exact rollout schedule.
Cross Keys HS – 2019 Milestones Results
August 21, 2019 – Well done in Analytic Geometry. The other scores could be better, but Cross Keys High School remains one of the top high schools in DeKalb Schools.
Redistricting Dunwoody Cluster Elementary Schools
August 20, 2019 – The new 900 seat Austin Elementary School (AES) will open in January for the existing old Austin ES students. Redistricted students will attend the new Austin ES in August 2020.
Chamblee Charter HS – 2019 Milestones Results
August 17, 2019 – Chamblee Charter HS and Dunwoody HS academics are sliding. I’d like to point out the phenomenal job CCHS is doing in Biology.
Dunwoody HS – 2019 Milestones Results
August 16, 2019 – While academic performance has increased across the state, Dunwoody High School academics are sliding. A majority of the high schools in Georgia rank higher than Dunwoody HS in Coordinate Algebra.
DeKalb School Calendar 2020-2021 Update
August 14, 2019 – About half the Metro Atlanta school districts have approved 2020-2021 calendars. DeKalb Schools should have their School Year 2021 calendar approved this October. This is where we are.
New Principals And Assistant Principals
August 13, 2019 – The rise and fall of a school is dependent on the leadership of our Principals and Assistant Principals. Here is a list of our new leaders this year.
Functional School Restrooms By Law
August 12, 2019 – DeKalb County has a Sanitary and Functional Restroom Facilities Ordinance. Facilities with public restrooms, including schools, are prohibited from allowing those restrooms to exist in a state of bad repair during operating hours.
Smaller Schools Are Better Schools
August 10, 2019 – As we consider how we build and manage schools in DeKalb, I think it’s a good idea to examine what research tells us about how the physical school environment translates into achievement, satisfaction, cost, participation, social behavior, and mental and occupational health.
Public Meetings – GO Bond & E-SPLOST Projects
August 7, 2019 – The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is holding five (5) public meetings to seek public input on proposed options to address E-SPLOST budget issues arising from an increase in construction costs as well as additional projects.
Racially Insensitive Hairstyle Ban at Narvie Harris Elementary
August 5, 2019 – I wasn’t going to post anything, but it has gone viral. I am fascinated that the administration would say these hairstyles are not acceptable. I also find it interesting the country calls this racial profiling and racially insensitive. Perhaps somebody can help me understand. I suspect this touches on larger racial issues in our culture.
2019 Milestone Results Summary
July 26, 2019 – While DeKalb Schools Milestones results are abysmal, at least they are not as abysmal as they used to be.
Magnet and the Middle School In Chamblee
July 11, 2019 – On Monday, the school district proposed the possibility of closing Chamblee Middle School and moving the High Achievers Magnet Program from Chamblee Charter High School. Can we have a healthy and constructive discussion about this?
E-SPLOST Program Budget and GO Bonds
July 9, 2019 – The DeKalb Schools administration presented 3 options to address E‐SPLOST budget issues. DeKalb Schools will be promoting a GO bond. Everybody gets a carrot except for Chamblee, they apparently get the stick.
Step 1: Balance E‐SPLOST V Budget to $561 M (October 2019)
FY2020 Salaries & Budget
June 21, 2019 – DeKalb Schools administration is asking the Board of Education to approve salary adjustments for classified staff, salary adjustments for executive staff and the DeKalb County School District Budget for 2019-2020 (FY2020).
Notice of Property Tax Increase
June 13, 2019 – Your property tax bill is going up this year. If you live in Unicorporated DeKalb (not in a city), on average your taxes are increasing 6.7% this year. The increase property evaluations this year for cities (incorporated DeKalb) is surprising.
FY2020 – Tentative Budget
June 11, 2019 – After numerous calls from the vice chair for a motion, the board reluctantly passed the DeKalb Schools FY2020 tentative budget.
CFO Michael Bell and Interim Chief Human Capital Management Officer, Linda Woodard, also responded to some follow up budget questions from last week.
Let’s go through the good, the bad and the ugly.
HR and Financial Disarray
Report From State Audit
June 7, 2019 – The Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts recently completed their audit of DeKalb Schools financial statements for the school year ending June 30, 2017. On Monday the board will be discussing the audit. While the audit itself is disappointing, the letter to management is nothing short of alarming.
$3,000 Raise – Q&A With The CFO
June 4, 2019 – Chief Financial Officer Michael Bell answers a few questions we have regarding the $3,000 raise for certified employees. Who did the state give us extra funding for? Did they give us funding for all certified employees including psychologists, counselors, social workers and special education specialists?
Yea or Nay – Graduation Ceremonies at GWCC
June 1, 2019 – After Sunday we’ll be finished with graduation ceremonies (BTW … Congrats Class of 2019!) How did it go and should we hold graduation ceremonies at the Georgia World Congress Center again next year? The AJC is reporting that all the complaining early on in the year was much ado about nothing.
$3,000 – Teacher Raises Around Metro Atlanta
May 25, 2019 – What are Metro Atlanta school districts doing about the $3,000 per teacher raise Governor Brian Kemp gave to all Georgia public school districts to pass along to their teachers? Dekalb Schools FY2020 Tentative Budget, presented a few weeks ago, did not include that raise for teachers. However, DeKalb Schools Board of Education members have been meeting with senior administrators over the last few days to figure out how to get that money into the hands of the teachers.
Superintendent Green – Resignation Letter
May 24, 2019 – Superintendent Stephen Green is leaving the scene and has decided not to seek renewal of his current contract. The process to find a new a Superintendent will begin immediately.
Chamblee – Jester Community Town Hall
When: Tue June 11 @ 5:30pm
Where: Chamblee Library – 4115 Clairmont Rd, Chamblee
Options To Address E-SPLOST Budget Issues
May 13, 2019 – In earlier posts, I discussed E-SPLOST Budget Overruns and Projects on Hold. What’s the plan? Here are the options we are currently looking at.
DeKalb Schools recommends the following two step process to address the budget issues.
FY2020 – Tentative Budget – No Raise For Teachers
May 11, 2019 – While DeKalb Schools is seeing record revenues, they are depleting the fund balance (reserves) and balancing the budget on the backs of teachers.
With future legal liabilities looming and the inevitable economic ebb, our proclivity for having structural deficits in the best of times, is disturbing. It puts us on a collision course for calamity.
Austin Elementary in the Crier
May 7, 2019 – Confusion and rumors circle the destiny of the old Austin elementary school once the new Austin elementary school opens.
Jester Community Town Hall
When: May 14th @ 7pm
Where: St. Luke’s – 1978 Mt Vernon Rd, Dunwoody
Room: Chapel – From the Manhasset entrance, turn right in the lobby
Naming – New Elementary School in Doraville
May 6, 2019 – What will be the name, colors and mascot of the new elementary school going up in Doraville? The naming committee has been formed and you’re invited to join us. Dresden Elementary and Cary Reynolds Elementary are roughly 30% over capacity and have over 40 portable classrooms between them.
First Amendment At DeKalb Schools
May 3, 2019 – What First Amendment rights do students have at DeKalb Schools? DeKalb Schools has a habit of defending speech that is congruent with the prevailing political sentiment of the administrators while simultaneously calling speech they don’t like disruptive.
E-SPLOST Budget Overruns and Projects on Hold
April 23, 2019 – The current DeKalb Schools budget for E-SPLOST V projects is $561 million. The most recent estimated cost for those projects is $684.4 million. We are roughly 22% over budget.
Due to the most recent enrollment forecasts, most of the building addition projects have either been reduced or cancelled. However, Chamblee Charter HS addition will stay the same and Dunwoody HS is getting 1,000 seats.
Old Austin Elementary School
April 16, 2019 – The New Austin Elementary School (AES) is on schedule to open January 2020. DeKalb Schools is looking at options to alleviate trailers in the Dunwoody Cluster. The administration is currently looking into using Old AES to that end.
Gym Floor Space By High School
April 11, 2019 – Dunwoody High School and Lakeside High School have some of the smallest gyms in the school district. How can we in good conscious pack our schools with students without providing them the proper facilities?
1,000 More Seats Are Coming to Dunwoody HS
April 9, 2019 – Adjusting for the latest enrollment projections, the school district will now be adding 1,000 seats to Dunwoody High School (DHS). This is just insane … but it’s the plan. Dunwoody HS enrollment is expected to exceed 2,300 by 2021.
Employee Compensation Update
March 30, 2019 – Over the last couple weeks I have received many questions. I asked the administration to confirm the answers to the two most commonly asked questions. Let me know if you have any more thoughts or questions.
Expected 2019 Graduation Rate
March 13, 2019 – DeKalb Schools graduation rate is expected to increase again to 77%. DeKalb Schools is approaching the state’s high school graduation rate which rose to 81.6% last year.
State Attorney General Not A Fan of Mini Sessions
March 10, 2019 – The budget for DeKalb Schools E-SPLOST projects is in trouble. DeKalb Schools Board of Education is having illegal, behind closed doors, meetings to discuss the E-SPLOST project budget assessment and hear new planning options.
New Visitor and Volunteer Policy
March 7, 2019 – DeKalb Schools administration has been revising the Visitor and Volunteer policy since last year. They continue to accept, evaluate and incorporate feedback.
Call For Independent Auditor and Ethics Officer
March 1, 2019 – The school district has proven time and time again that it cannot police itself. I’m calling for an independent ethics officer and in independent internal auditor. I am also calling for a review of all current contracts and an in-depth fraud investigation by an outside expert.
Employee Compensation Update
February 27, 2019 – Last year, Management Advisory Group (MAG) completed a Salary and Compensation Study for the DeKalb County School District. DeKalb Schools is going back to the drawing board for classified staff, everyone not certified. Superintendent Green has reached out to Gwinnett Schools to enlist their help.
Procurement Assessment Indicates Fraud
February 26, 2019 – DeKalb Schools recently completed a cursory assessment of its procurement process. It indicated that ethics and integrity in the procurement process is practically non existent.
Enrollment Forecasting – How Does That Work
February 21, 2019 – DeKalb Schools recently released 7-year enrollment forecasts for the Dunwoody and Chamblee clusters as well as all the other schools in the district. How does the school district forecast enrollment?
Smaller Schools Are Better Schools
February 20, 2019 – Research shows that smaller schools reduce the effects of poverty, are safer, reduce violence, increase parental involvement and student academic achievement.
DeKalb Schools Board Public Retreat
February 15, 2019 – The monthly board meetings rarely provide the opportunity to think, focus and plan the way a retreat can. Retreats can also provide for a wide range of issues that do not necessarily fit with existing monthly agenda items.
Need Input – New Salary Schedules
February 12, 2019 – DeKalb Schools administration is moving fast and furious to correct this issue. I’m trying to get out and vet the documentation as expeditiously as possible.
I could use your feedback.
News Flash – Compensation Letter
February 9, 2019 – Superintendent Green apologizes. Mistakes were made. “We value you”, says Green who has a plan moving forward.
News & Updates – 2/5/2019
February 5, 2019 – There is movement on the TSA lawsuit. I get a few answers from the administration about the Phase II salary schedule implementation. The procurement audit will be released.
Building Additions Vs Redistricting & Consolidating
February 3, 2019 – DeKalb Schools has 6,167 high school seats not being used. Why aren’t we talking about redistricting and consolidating high schools?
Architect’s Preliminary Report Chamblee Charter HS Building Additions
January 29, 2019 – Hussey Gay Bell (HGB) is the Architectural and Engineering (A&E) firm hired to construct a 600-seat, three-story addition to Chamblee Charter High School (CCHS). This week they came out with a preliminary report. No way around it, this project is going way over budget.
Questions – New Teacher Salary Schedule
January 29, 2019 – There has, no doubt, been a lack of communication from the administration on how the new teacher salary schedules will work. The minimal communication in tandem with misleading charts and a complicated system to begin with has lead us to where we are now.
Chamblee Cluster 7-Year Enrollment Forecasts
January 19, 2019 – Chamblee Charter High School is currently right at capacity with 1,722 students enrolled. Chamblee Charter HS is currently projected to have 1979 students by 2025.
Compensation & Classification Salary Adjustments
January 15, 2019 – From the Sharepoint Portal (Word for Word): DeKalb County School District (DCSD) has completed its most recent Compensation & Class Study, mandated by Board of Education Policy GCA.
Update On Phase 2 Salary Steps for All Staff
January 10, 2019 – On Monday, the DeKalb Schools Board approved the Salary Steps for All Staff – Phase 2-2a. Most employees will get a competitive raise and everybody will start stepping again. There are a few hurdles, however, with implementing said raises in a timely fashion.
January 8, 2019 – The New John Lewis Brookhaven Elementary School will be opening Fall 2019 and will have over 500 additional seats of capacity. Here is the Superintendent’s Chamblee Cluster redistricting recommendation.
Dunwoody 7-Year Enrollment Forecasts
January 3, 2019 – DeKalb County School District (DCSD) has updated the long-term enrollment forecasts for each school year from the Fall of 2019 through the Fall of 2025. Even with these conservative estimates, Dunwoody HS (DHS) enrollment is expected to exceed 2,300 by 2021.
2019 Salary Schedules And Comparison
December 29, 2018 – DeKalb Schools will implement a new salary schedule starting January 1. It will be discussed and voted on by the board on January 7th in time for January 15th checks. Here are the new teacher and counselor salary schedules and how they compare to the other Metro Atlanta school districts.
New Step Structures for DeKalb Teachers
December 24, 2018 – In June, DeKalb Schools board approved the plan for DeKalb teachers to get a 2.5% raise and start stepping. The administration has neglected to communicate with the teachers the Phase II raise they are supposed to receive in January. There are a number of open questions. Here is what we know.
November 29, 2018 – Now that the 2018 data is out, the school district met individually with school board members to review the data and scores. In these meetings, the administration discussed their focus and methodologies for improving future scores.
Chamblee Redistricting Options – Meeting 3
November 27, 2018 – The New John Lewis Brookhaven Elementary School will be opening Fall 2019 and will have over 500 additional seats of capacity. These are currently the two redistricting options being considered. Public meeting tonight to discuss.
College Admissions 101
November 11, 2018 – Planning on going to college? Some insight into some of the mysteries of college admission. For the majority of colleges, Grades & Strength of Schedule is the most important factor. Many colleges will recalculate your high school GPA- most focus on core GPA.
Graduation Schedule – DeKalb Schools Class of 2019
November 2, 2018 – Currently the school district is planning on having graduation ceremonies in the middle of the Summer. That’s understandably not going over very well with the parents. Here’s the current schedule for 2019 graduation ceremonies.
DeKalb Schools 2018 CCRPI Scores
October 29, 2018 – The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) earned a score of 70 in the Georgia’s 2018 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) assigns grades of A–F to schools based on the CCRPI score. GOSA terms schools “failing” if the CCRPI score is less than 60.
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