2017 – Archived Posts

Which DeKalb Schools Are Beating The Odds
December 22, 2017 – Beating the Odds is a statistical analysis that compares a school’s actual performance on the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) with the performance of schools with similar characteristics across the state. Schools that perform higher than similar schools are considered “Beating the Odds.”

Protesting Cheerleaders at DHS – The Whole Story
December 17, 2017 – A black cheerleader was auto cropped out of a cheerleader squad picture when the photo was auto formatted for printing by an online system. Some students sprung into action blaming the cheerleader squad for an intentional action demonstrating racial bias. A protest for this non-event is planned for tomorrow morning and sanctioned by the school district.

2018-2020 Calendar Options
December 15, 2017 – The DeKalb County School District’s Calendar Committee is exploring calendar options to align with other similarly sized districts in close geographic proximity.

Emergency Weather – What’s The Plan?
December 8, 2017 – When severe weather creates hazardous conditions in DeKalb County, regular school scheduling may be altered or suspended.

Atlanta & Atlanta Public Schools Annexing DeKalb
December 2, 2017 – If Atlanta annexes the Druid Hills area should the families in the annexed area attend Atlanta Public Schools? Should the school real estate property in the annexed area go to Atlanta Public Schools too? The law says YES, but DeKalb Schools Superintendent says NO!

Kids Doc on Wheels Medical Van
November 29, 2017 – DeKalb Schools is partnering with physicians to provide access to medical services at some schools via a new mobile health unit. A number of South DeKalb schools will participate in the first phase of this initiative.

2017 Turnaround, Priority & Focus Schools
November 27, 2017 – Turnaround Eligible Schools replaces the “Chronically Failing Schools” expression that GOSA used in prior years. This is the list of DeKalb Schools 2017 Turnaround, Priority & Focus Schools.

Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremonies Schedule
November 17, 2017 – All high school graduations will be held during the week of May 21-26, 2018 at the Georgia World Congress Center. This is the second year to have graduation ceremonies at the GWCC. Last year the ceremonies were on time, air conditioned, streamed online with great production value … and it better be for $300K.

2018-2020 Calendar Update
November 15, 2017 – DeKalb Schools is in the process of putting together the school calendar for the next couple years (2018-2020 calendars). Here is an update in that process and what other Metro Atlanta school districts are doing.

Turnaround Eligible Schools Trends
DeKalb Schools 2015 – 2018

November 13, 2017 – The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement calculates an annual Turnaround Eligible Schools list. Within the last couple of years, DeKalb Schools has created a Student Support and Intervention Division. 1 school was added and 10 schools were recently removed from this list.

DeKalb Schools – Free Speech….For Some?
November 10, 2017 – DeKalb Schools might have a consistency problem with the First Amendment.
We received a phone call from the principal of the middle school this morning informing us that Jaxon was not allowed to wear an FNN-Fake News Network shirt.

Adding Classrooms is Only Part of the Soluion
November 8, 2017 – Angela Maki is an involved member of the community with children attending the Lakeside cluster. On Monday she relayed to the board of education that classrooms alone are an inadequate solution to overcrowding. She wants to know what the school district is going to do about expanding PE facilities, locker rooms and office space, etc …

DeKalb Schools Enrollment Capacity Data
November 7, 2017 – The only elementary school in the Dunwoody cluster with a growth in enrollment was Dunwoody Elementary. Huge growth at Dunwoody High School. Very little enrollment growth in Chamblee Cluster. There is a dramatic decrease at the Cross Keys Cluster elementary school level.

Concerns about Lakeside HS Expansion
November 4, 2017 – Various residents and civic associations have caught wind of the 750 seat expansion project and are doing the research the school district should have done in the first place. After doing some of their own research, they wrote a letter to county and school leadership voicing their concerns.

DeKalb Schools 2017 CCRPI Trends
November 3, 2017 – Scores are up across the state. DeKalb Schools is at the top of the performance increases in the Metro Atlanta area. DCSD’s score is 69.9, up from 66.6 last school year. Georgia’s CCRPI score is 75, a 1.4 point increase since 2016

DeKalb Schools Extends Days in November
October 23, 2017 – This will allow DCSD to recover three of the four days lost to Irma. The district will waive the fourth day. We will be off for Thanksgiving and Winter Break as regularly scheduled.A DeKalb Schools teacher was motivated to send their thoughts about the make up schedule to me so that I might share with you.

2017 DeKalb Graduation Rates
By High School & Demographic

October 17, 2017 – DeKalb School graduation rate climbed nearly 4 percentage points in 2017 to 74%. The Hispanic population continues to struggle at Chamblee Charter HS (55.9%) and Dunwoody HS (55.4%).

Emory Annexation and DeKalb County Schools
October 16, 2017 – “Emory University and some adjacent entities (e.g. CDC and CHOA) have requested annexation into Atlanta. After initial opposition by the DeKalb County Government, the city and county have reached agreement on selected issues and the county commission voted to support the annexation. What remains as an open issue is what school government (Atlanta or DeKalb) will have jurisdiction in the annexed area.” –Marshall Orson

DeKalb Schools
Students Kneel During National Anthem

October 13, 2017 – The girls at Cedar Grove High School in DeKalb County took a knee before their playoff game. “Basically right now, the flag doesn’t’ mean what it’s supposed to, to me.” a student said.

Teaching Sexual Behavior Standards At School
October 12, 2017 – What is the role of public schools? A controversial sixth-grade homework assignment on sexuality has some parents reevaluating the school district’s curriculum.

Make Up Days – Public Input
October 3, 2017 – The DeKalb Schools administration is now soliciting input from principals, teachers and school councils on the option to make up an additional 1 or 2 days beyond Nov 7 and the extended October days.

Plan B – Make-Up Schedule
September 28, 2017 – DeKalb County School District to adjust make-up days schedule following additional collaboration and outreach

Make-Up Schedule
September 22, 2017 – DeKalb County School District to extend school days by 20 minutes from October 2 to December 20.

Make-Up Days
September 15, 2017 – DeKalb Schools was closed for 4 days. What is the plan to make that time up? Here is the law and our options as I see it.

DeKalb Schools is Back in Business
September 14, 2017 – All schools and offices in the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will reopen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. All extracurricular activities, and sporting events will be held as scheduled.

School Recovery Report – DeKalb Schools
September 13, 2017 – All schools and offices in the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will remain closed on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Employees are not to report to work. 32 remaining schools without power.

Detailed Status Report – DeKalb Schools
September 12, 2017 – Members of the Operations staff and Public Safety surveyed DeKalb School properties to note issues that might impede school opening.

News & Updates – DeKalb Schools
September 10, 2017 – DeKalb Schools news and updates on Hurricane Irma, 2017 ACT Scores, Superintendent’s Statement on DACA, and more.

Google Classroom Vs VERGE
September 8, 2017 – Can somebody help me understand why DeKalb Schools is blocking access to Google Classroom? Half a dozen schools in DeKalb adopted it school wide and it was just recently blocked by the school district with no warning.

Where Is The New Cross Keys HS Going
September 5, 2017 – Where is the new Cross Keys HS going and how much is it going to cost? Dan Drake is the Executive Director Of Operations for DeKalb Schools. He answers some questions about the current state of the new Cross Keys HS project.

Carstarphen And APS Desire To Expand Into DeKalb
August 31, 2017 – Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Superintendent Carstarphen signals that she plans on APS annexing DeKalb Schools as the City of Atlanta increases its borders into DeKalb.

DeKalb Schools Responds To Poor Curriculum, Assessments and Planning Templates
August 27, 2017 – Question: Many of the curriculum unit assessments have been thus far poorly written. What is the plan to address that? How do you respond to the open letter to the Board and Superintendent that says the curriculum is chaotic, disorganized, lacking substance, and fails to follow a logical sequence of concepts and skills.

Feedback – Curriculum & Assessments
August 23, 2017 – DCSD implemented a new curriculum August of 2017 in the required K-12 core courses. What message can I take to Superintendent Green and Lisa Martin, Chief Academic Officer, Curriculum & Instruction.

Trailers at Cross Keys High School
August 21, 2017 – The trailers have been placed at Cross Keys for a renovation project. The administration is pursuing a strategy to equally distribute the immigrant population, clustered around the Buford Corridor, to Chamblee, Dunwoody, Lakeside and Cross Keys.

Monday Solar Eclipse – The Plan
August 20, 2017 – The 2017 Eclipse Across America will happen on Monday, August 21st and DeKalb Schools has a plan! $60,000 in total was spent on Solar Eclipse viewers from Lunt Solar for employees and students. These viewers are allegedly CE certified and ISO 12312-2 compliant solar filters.

DCSD Home Football Tickets Now Available Online
August 16, 2017 – DeKalb County School District (DCSD) Athletics and Huddle Tickets/GoFan are teaming up to give fans an opportunity to have tickets before arriving at the gate at all football games at DCSD stadiums this fall.

New & Vacant Principals & Assistant Principals
August 14, 2017 – I asked the administration at DeKalb Schools to provide an updated list of all the new principals and assistant principals across the school district as well as a vacancy report. I know of at least one school with a new AP that isn’t on this list …. sooo, I wouldn’t characterize this data as complete, but for what it’s worth


Digital Dreamers
August 9, 2017 – Digital Dreamers is the code name for the rollout of laptops for each and every student and teacher in the district.

New Laptops For All DeKalb Teachers and Students
August 7, 2017 – DeKalb Schools has the 2nd highest millage rate in the state and a penny sales tax. This is how DeKalb Schools plans on evenly evenly distributing some of that money across the County.

School Extended 1 Hour
July 31, 2017 – The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will extend its school day by one hour on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, to provide safe viewing and instructional opportunities related to the expected solar eclipse that day.

Meet DeKalb Schools’
New Assistant Principals

July 29, 2017 – DeKalb Schools has 30 new Assistant Principals. Who is the new Assistant Principal at your school?
Update on Under-performing Reassigned Principals
Dr. Joyce Morley, Board of Education Representative, makes a number of inquires into the principal replacements.

Tom McFerrin, Dunwoody HS Principal, Is OUT
July 27, 2017 – Letter from Principal Tom McFerrin: “My journey as a Dunwoody High School Wildcat began as a student, then a teacher, a coach, an assistant principal, and now as your principal. Therefore, after working in the Dunwoody cluster for twenty-two years, it is with a heavy heart that I inform my Dunwoody family about my departure as principal of Dunwoody High School.”

Meet DeKalb Schools’ New Principals
July 24, 2017 – DeKalb Schools has 17 new principals. Who is your new principal?
I don’t know and haven’t met any of these people. Do you have a history with any of our new principals? Do they come up in a Google search? Let us know your thoughts about our new principals.

What is the Purpose of Public Schools
July 15, 2017 – A story about a school in Portugal is receiving a lot of attention. The school allegedly posted this sign (in English). While probably a fake news story, it begs a very real question … What is the purpose of public schools?

Principal and Teacher
Vacancy Report And Selection Process

July 13, 2017 – Students in DeKalb will show up for school on Mon Aug 7, less than 4 weeks away. It is vital that we have a teacher in every classroom and a principal at every school. The DeKalb Schools Division of Human Capital Management has implemented a principal selection process that involves a variety of stakeholders from various levels.

TSA – Summary Judgement
July 11, 2017 – In 2009, the DeKalb County School District stopped payment on TSA, a supplemental retirement fund for district employees. DeKalb teacher Elaine Gold and school psychologist Amy Shaye filed suit against the district in June 2011. In the 2016-17 school year alone, DeKalb Schools spent in excess of $2.5 million on this case.

Billboard Marketing Campaign
July 10, 2017 – Instead of actually improving academic achievement, DeKalb Schools is starting a marketing campaign to “counter mainstream perceptions” of the problems with the school district.

Convocation 2017
July 7, 2017 – DeKalb Schools can’t balance a budget, but they can find money to rent out the World Congress Center for graduations and the Gwinnett Infinite Energy Arena for a Convocation.

New Fundraising Policy – July
July 6, 2017 – DeKalb Schools hopes to create equity by providing an avenue for elementary schools to engage in fundraising activities and to limit the potential financial liability from external groups by introducing a regulation providing oversight to fundraising activities that occur on school property.

Deficit Spending
DeKalb Schools FY2018

July 5, 2017 – Despite a $276 million increase in revenue over the last few years, DeKalb Schools is expected to spend more than it takes in during the upcoming fiscal year.

FY2008 Tentative Budget
June 15, 2017 – The administration is currently requesting no raise for any employees and no decrease in the millage rate. Given the increase in state QBE funding and expected increase in local property values, the school district is expecting to take in $32 million more than last year in the General Fund.

New Doraville Elementary School
June 13, 2017 – Yesterday the DeKalb County Board of Education approved an approximate $8.2 million Purchase and Sales Agreement for the purchase of a 9.7 –acre apartment complex at 3630 Shallowford Road in Doraville.

DeKalb Schools Announces
Proposed Property Tax Increase

June 3, 2017 – The DeKalb County Board of Education announces its intention to increase the property taxes it will levy this year by 5.06 percentage points over the rollback millage rate.

City Building Permits For The School District
May 30, 2017 – Many jurisdictions in Metro Atlanta seem to clearly know they are in charge of compliance with their local codes and vigorously perform that task. I’m not sure why others shirk that responsibility.

Flooding Failing Schools
With Money And Employees

May 24, 2017 – DeKalb Schools has flooded failing schools with paraprofessionals (parapros), social workers, teacher coaches, etc … to address failing schools.

Metro Atlanta Teacher Salary Analysis
May 22, 2017 – Last August the Metropolitan Regional Educational Service Agency (Metro RESA) conducted a Teacher Salary analysis for the 2016-2017 school year. At the time, DeKalb teachers were the “The Worst Paid Teachers Around”. Here is were teacher salaries stand right now before any anticipated increases in the upcoming school year.

New Fundraising Policy – May
May 19, 2017 – The administration is concerned about fundraising activities and associated liability for the district by parent led organizations that are not separate legal entities.

DeKalb School Board Meeting 5/15
May 17, 2017 – The proposed budget has increased over 20% in the last two years to 1.01 billion for the FY2018 General Fund. School board also discusses adding more standardized testing, Lead Higher Initiative and the Five-Year Facilities Plan.

Under-Performing Principals Reassigned
May 12, 2017 – Can we systematically weed out our lowest performing principals?
If we can agree that some principals are better than others, is it possible to fairly and accurately implement some sort of systemic evaluation system? DeKalb Schools says “Yes We Can”.

DeKalb Schools Estimated Budget
May 12, 2017 – In April, the DeKalb Schools administration presented a 2-page estimated FY2018 budget for the upcoming 2017 – 2018 school year.

My Graduation Ceremony – Open Letter To DCSD
May 10, 2017 – Georgia Wescott’s Open Letter to the DeKalb County School District with her thoughts about the venue selected by the senior administration without input from the local CCHS community.

Austin Elementary School
Replacement Project Update

May 8, 2017 – The project is currently in the final design phase where all of the building and site elements are being detailed for construction.

Principal Norman Sauce
May 6, 2017 – Dr. Norman Sauce, Principal at Chamblee Charter High School, has been named as the new Executive Director of Elementary Education with Griffin-Spalding County Schools. Here is one person’s thoughts about Dr. Sauce and the shoes the incoming Principal has to fill.

Plan For More Trailers in Dunwoody and Chamblee
May 5, 2017 – While we await the Chamblee and Dunwoody’s transformation into mega high schools, here is the plan for trailers..

Another Cover Up in Dunwoody
May 4, 2017 – Cities need to enforce their ordinances/code, regarding building, plumbing, electrical, land disturbance, storm water, etc. for any building activity on property owned by the school district or county, within the city. Dunwoody has shirked that responsibility.

Enforcing Zoning, Building, and Other Ordinances
May 3, 2017 – What authority does a city or county have in enforcing its zoning, building, and other ordinances with respect to temporary and permanent building on school property? This question with respect to zoning and all other ordinances became settled law with the rulings for two court cases.

DeKalb Class Size Analysis
Middle Schools – 2017

May 2, 2017 – Over the last 4 years DeKalb Schools has added over 1,000 school house employees. Middle school class sizes have gone down and are generally below the state max. This analysis shows the reported average class size for each grade by DeKalb middle school.

DeKalb Class Size Analysis
Elementary Schools – 2017

May 1, 2017 – This analysis shows the reported average class size for each grade by elementary school. The average class size for the school (grades K-5) were ranked and ordered from smallest to largest.

Game On Capital Campaign
Dunwoody High School

April 22, 2017 – Game On is a campaign by the Dunwoody High School parent, teacher and student organizations to raise $2 million for capital improvements to the DHS athletic facilities.

Portable Classroom Lease vs. Purchase Analysis
April 19, 2017 – The approximate cost of leasing a single-wide portable classroom ($31,300) would exceed the cost to purchase ($31,251) the same unit in 8.3 years (or 100 months).

Graduation Schedule – DeKalb Schools Class of 2017
April 13, 2017 – Dr. Green created a District Graduation Task Force to begin looking at venues, available dates and costs for specific locations to house district ceremonies.

March 27, 2017 – “What if I were to tell you that it’s possible to make an invisibility cloak [like Harry Potter’s]?” — Dr. Whitney Ingram

Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools
March 23, 2017 – PGCS is a new educational group representing “schools throughout Region 1 of the DCSD (Chamblee, Cross Keys, Dunwoody clusters as well as Tapestry, PATH, and Oakcliff Theme School.)” However, controversy seems to follow them.

DeKalb E-SPLOST V Project Schedule
March 20, 2017 – On Monday the DeKalb Board of Education will vote on E-SPLOST V project scheduling and associated cash flow sequencing including details of the projects, budgets, and anticipated start and finish dates.

Dr. Whitney Ingram
Physicist and Monday’s Inspirational Speaker

March 17, 2017 – Dr. Whitney Ingram received her undergraduate from the University of Georgia where she also became the first black female to receive her Ph.D. in Physics.

Legislative Update
SR 192 – Elect School Superintendents and Appoint School Boards
HB 425 – Opt Out of Standardized Testing
HB 273 – The Recess bill
HB 338 – Plan B to the Opportunity School District (OSD)

Useless Honors –
2017 Advanced Placement Honor Schools

March 8, 2017 – Unfortunately, this “honors list” is the equivalent to a participation trophy. It’s really just a “thank you” note to the school district for spending so much money with The College Board.

Chief HCM Officer Leo Brown

March 1, 2017 – Dr. Leo Brown, Chief Human Capital Management Officer, reassigned. “I want to thank the DeKalb County School District for the support I’ve received as I have faced some recent health challenges,” — Dr. Leo Brown.

Teachers Fired For Pro Trump Remarks?
Superintendent Green Responds

February 23, 2017 – Are employees of DeKalb County School District being told not to express themselves on or off campus if their views on immigration line up with those of President Donald Trump?

EPIC FAILURE – AP Classes in South DeKalb
February 21, 2017 – Using tax dollars to pay for Advanced Placement (AP) exams embodies many of the problems I have with the education and testing industrial complex as well as the implementation of political philosophies on both sides of the aisle in Georgia.

DeKalb’s School Enrollment on the
Day Without Immigrants

February 17, 2017 – Many school districts across the state are reporting high absentee rates yesterday. DeKalb Schools reports the schools that had an absentee rate over 10% yesterday.

DeKalb Commissioners Not A Fan of the
E-SPLOST High School Building Additions

February 15, 2017 – DeKalb County Commissioners are unanimously asking the DeKalb County School District to build a new high school in Doraville and not add a bunch of classrooms to Lakeside, Dunwoody, and Chamblee Charter High Schools.

Plan B – Legislation For Chronically Failing Schools
February 13, 2017 – Plan B, otherwise known now as House Bill 338 (HB 338), is being billed as a collaborative effort with the Governor’s office, legislators from both parties, and various interest groups to address these schools.

Construction Advisory Committee Advice
February 10, 2017 – Lynn King is a tireless advocate for teachers, families and the community. She offers some thoughts and advice for the upcoming SPLOST V Construction Advisory Committees.

Communications and Central Office Expansion
February 9, 2017 – DeKalb School’s mission is to ensure student success, leading to higher education, work, and lifelong learning. Should the school district provide services that don’t improve academic achievement?

DeKalb Schools Superintendent Statement on
Betsy DeVos

February 7, 2017 – Betsy Devos was confirmed this afternoon as the next Secretary of Education. DeVos and DeKalb schools underline the differences in philosophy in how to fix public education. Any thoughts?

Construction Advisory Committees
February 6, 2017 – DCSD is establishing a formal process for the establishment of Construction Advisory Committees (CAC’s) for each significant capital improvement project. The purpose of the CAC is to increase stakeholder and community engagement in the design, planning, and construction phases of significant capital improvement projects.

Gifted & High Achievers Identification
February 4, 2017 – Why is the Fall MAP test used for gifted identification as well as high achievers magnet qualification? Knox Phillips tells us about the process for using the Fall MAP test for identifying gifted students and qualifying for high achievers magnet.

Testing – Assessments
Magnet – Gifted – Identification

February 3, 2017 – Across the United States, the public’s demand for raising the educational achievement of all students has led to a significant increase in high-stakes assessments.

DeKalb 2016 Star Ratings and CCRPI Scores
February 1, 2017 – Schools with positive school climates tend to have better test scores and graduation rates; in contrast, schools with negative school climates as a result of unsafe or hostile environments tend to have lower academic performance.

750 More Seats at Lakeside HS? Why?
January 30, 2017 – Lakeside High School is currently cramming 2,184 students into a building with a capacity of 1,756 students. Only one other school in North DeKalb scored a below average 2016 School Climate Star Rating. How will adding 750 seats to Lakeside High School improve their School Climate Star Rating and academic achievement?

DeKalb Schools – News & Updates
January 23, 2017 – DeKalb Schools is suing Atlanta, Dentons law firm down at the capitol, chronically failing schools, more money and more services, and other news and updates around DeKalb Schools.

Is 600 More Seats At Chamblee Charter HS A Good Idea?
January 17, 2017 – Please help me understand why adding 600 seats to Chamblee Charter High School is good for anybody in that community? I suspect that any support is driven by redistricting.

Pros and Cons of adding 600 seats to Dunwoody HS
January 7, 2017 – Moving forward, I’m trying to understand the support for the building addition at Dunwoody High School. The speculation that some Dunwoody residents would be redistricted out of DHS seems to be the only reason for any continued support of the building additions.

maureen downey

The Relationship Between Money and Academic Achievement
January 4, 2017 – Is there a link between Academic Achievement and Funding? Almost any government program, no matter what its cost in money or personal liberties, can be sold by claiming it is for the children.

Stan Jester

Education Turns Into Social Services And Health Care
January 2, 2017 – With the failure of the Opportunity School District referendum, some state lawmakers expect the issue of how to improve failing schools to move toward providing more services, social and healthcare in particular, as an operational component of school districts.

Harry E. Teasley

The Seven Rules of Bureaucracy
January 1, 2017 – In recent years people have become aware of the menace of bureaucracy, and they consider bureaucracy not an instrument of democratic government but, on the contrary, the worst enemy of freedom and democracy.