DeKalb Schools Board Public Retreat

The DeKalb County School District (DSCD) Board of Eduction (BOE) typically only meets once a month. 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.

Board retreats are meetings open to the public with the full board and a majority of the senior administration. There will be plenty of time between and after meetings to meet and talk to members of the BOE and senior administrators.

BOARD RETREAT AGENDA
FEBRUARY 22-23, 2019
Location: Evergreen Resort, Stone Mountain Park

Friday, February 22
3:00 PM Check-in
5:00 PM Setting the Context for the Retreat
5:30 PM Team/Relationship Building Discussion
6:30 PM Dinner

Saturday, February 23
8:00 AM Breakfast
***ACTION ITEM (Waive Privileged Status)***
8:30 AM School Resource Allocation Assessment
9:00 AM Procurement Assessment
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30 AM MAP Assessment Results
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Education Foundation
2:00 PM Executive Session
4:00 PM Wrap-Up

38 responses to “DeKalb Schools Board Public Retreat

  1. Stan,
    When might be an appropriate time, in this schedule, to discuss ongoing salary implementation concerns with the board and senior admin? While they may think it’s a ‘done deal’ after the 2/13/19 meeting, there are obviously still errors that need to be addressed…lack of Bachelors scale, etc.

  2. Anytime between meetings, during breaks, EOD … is a great time to speak with whomever you like about any subject you desire.

  3. Stan.

    Will the Retreat be held at the administration offices on Mtn Ind Blvd?

  4. I forgot to put the location: location is the Evergreen Resort, Stone Mountain Park

  5. Thank you Stan for your tireless push for transparency, and using your power to do good in our school system.

  6. Hi, thank you for posting this.
    Where would this be held?
    Do you have to register to attend?
    As a member of the public, does one have to go to both the evening and the Saturday meetings?

    Thanks, new to Dekalb, so trying to figure it all out!

  7. No registration. Just show up … come and go as you please. Location: Evergreen Resort, Stone Mountain Park

  8. What is “waive Privileged status” on the retreat agenda?

  9. Waive Privileged Status – Last year the school district did a procurement assessment. They are now insisting that since lawyers performed the assessment that the results are privileged and confidential.

    The procurement assessment indicates that ethics and integrity are non existent in the procurement process. Light, I believe, is the best disinfectant and I would like to shine as much light on this as possible. I’ve been arguing with the school district legal team that the document is not privileged. It looks like the board is going to waive privilege on the document next weekend and release it to the public.

  10. Disappointed Taxpayer

    Thank you for your service Stan!!! Thanks for keeping folks informed and for supporting educators. I am not a teacher, but as a taxpayer I fully support police, fire, and teachers!! Would love to see Dekalb keep qualified and experienced teachers!! In my field , more experience = more skill. I assume this is the same in education. You should seriously consider a run for CEO of DEKALB. We could use someone like you!!

  11. concerned citizen

    I would like for Stan to be the Superintendent of DeKalb Schools. Oh, what a world of change there would be. I am more than willing to push for him to do this job. Do I have any other willing workers for Stan?

  12. I would love to see Stan run for Governor of our great state! Public service is his calling. CEO, Superintendent, Governor! You use your power to do good. Shining the light on incompetence and fraud. Tirelessly demanding for transparency. Refreshing!

  13. Thanks for the vote of confidence

  14. LoveToSeeSomeAction

    I would love to see someone, anyone stand up in their position as board member and demand change. Shining a light on the problem? Yeah, that’s a START. But more than words, the complete fiasco in DeKalb requires action. Not just seeing and getting parents and teachers in an uproar, but making change before this falls apart. Like substitute teachers. Once again, DeKalb is circling the drain in the metro area, with classes unfilled across the county. Several times my kids have had no one in the classroom. What is being DONE – not just said, but DONE about this?

  15. @LoveToSeeSomeAction – Nothing will change until more Board members start cooperating with Stan. One Board member has no individual authority at all. Together, as a group, they can vote to make changes. They need to demand accountability from all the layers of the central office. They need to look at the way SPLOST money has been squandered away. The first step would be to acknowledge these problems. I don’t see any other Board member acknowledging anything. Stan is standing alone and that’s the problem. The voters elect all of the other Board members too and that’s something to ponder.

  16. It will take the will of the BOE to make this right. Stan can’t do it alone. Procurement…Board approved MAG payscales for teachers and Counselors that are posted and then disappear. The list goes on.

  17. Dekalb is clueless

    Pravda said it best. All board members except Mr Jester are wasting oxygen.

  18. formerdekalbteacher

    LoveToSeeSomeAction-
    While I’m no longer in DCSD, there were many issues with subs my last few years working in the district. IMO, there are a few issues on why DCSD has such difficulty filling sub positions:
    1. Low pay.
    2. Discipline- administrators who will not provide the needed support for student misbehavior. At my former DCSD school, we had long term subs hit by students on more than one occasion. These students were not disciplined. Students would also call the subs names, cause classroom disturbances, etc… To be honest, these behaviors were allowed with classroom teachers present—just a complete lack of administration involvement across the board.
    3. Subs that no-show still being allowed to work for DCSD.

    My principal didn’t really care if subs showed up or not, because it didn’t personally affect him. The AP would have the job of figuring out how to cover the classes. Who would cover those classes? Para-professionals, Instructional coaches, EIP teachers, or the students would be split between the rest of the grade level.

    In my new district, subs show up for jobs~ there hasn’t been an uncovered classroom the entire year.

  19. This is a disheartening story about a DeKalb parent and former AJC education reporter who attempted to work as a substitute teacher in DeKalb. This is indicative of the state of affairs of HR at DeKalb Schools.

    She applied to be a substitute teacher. Despite shortage, DeKalb never called.

    In December alone, about a third of 8,034 classes where regular instructors were absent did not get substitute teachers. District officials said 2,623 of those classrooms, about 32 percent, did not receive a substitute.

    Patti Ghezzi is a former AJC education reporter and characterized as a super volunteer for DeKalb schools. She applied to be a substitute in DeKalb County, but the county never reached out to her. She contacted the school district’s employment office several times to no avail.

    Continue Reading >>

  20. You can also engage the Superintendent and staff next Thursday.

    The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) Superintendent/CEO Dr. R. Stephen Green invites all students, parents, staff, and stakeholders to the fifth “On The Scene with Dr. Green” event of the 2018-2019 school year on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.

    The event will begin promptly at 7 p.m. at Rockbridge Elementary School, located at 445 Halwick Way in Stone Mountain. Dr. Green will give a brief statement about the state of DCSD before answering questions from the audience.

  21. @Stan the same can be said about the HR position. I have a personal friend who has been head of HR at several fortune 500 companies and decided several years ago to apply for the HR position with the county because they wanted to give back to the community. Guess what, they never got a call or a thank you for applying for the position. Tekshia Ward-Smith was given the job.

    Who would you rather have, someone with multiple degrees in HR and business or a principal who was moved up the ranks? Wonder where DCSD would be today if my friends’ resume and application had really been looked at?

  22. Hi Stan
    Do you know when HCM will communicate about pay plans? Will we receive individual notice as we did in January? Thank you!

  23. @Educator. You should receive communication sometime this week or next week.

  24. @Stan… many thanks!

  25. …and no doubt, the compensation will still be wrong for many as NO BACHELOR degree column on the Z schedule!!

  26. It should be noted, the new substitute system only captures full day absences. If a teacher is out for less than a whole day, it is not reported. The real number of classes without substitutes is higher than what HCM reports to the BOE.

  27. Work Orders – Interesting. Operations is publishing a list of all the work orders across the district. You can tell if a work order has been submitted and see the target completion date.

    https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/operations/facilities-maintenance/

  28. Stan,

    Two things.
    1. The work orders listed are only the open work orders. Completed work orders are not listed.
    2. The column for target completion date is 99% empty. Target dates are not routinely given. None of the completion dates listed have been met, so what good would it do?

    The real average number of days to close a work order is over 100 days. For two years the goals have been to get that average below 30 days. I think the budget should address that.

  29. Procedural Question Please

    Mr. Jester

    When somerthing is presented at a Work Session does it mean that this item will automatically be presented at a BOE Meeting?

    Are the items presented at the Work Session known to the BOE Members before the work session?
    Finally,
    If there was a proposal to change a group of jobs, like when the school system went from 12 month Head Counselors to 11 month Head Couselors, does the BOE have to vote on this change?

    I would really appreciate your help in understanding how the process works.

  30. The BOE has a work session where most of the discussion about agenda items occur. The BOE then votes on it at the business meeting. The business meeting used to be two weeks after the work session. These days the business meeting is on the same day after the work session.

    The BOE usually gets the agenda and related docs a week or two before the work session.

    Going from 12 to 11 months is usually rolled up in budget discussions.

  31. Dear Stan,

    You and Nancy are exceedingly kind. You did not have to take the time to answer my questions. Bless you ,

  32. Stan,

    Thank you for letting us know about DeKalb’s BOE/Adm Retreat at Evergreen this past weekend.
    I was surprised that more DeKalb taxpayers were not in attendance. I think that was because no one that I talked to last week knew about the retreat. While I was unable to attend all the sessions, my take-away from those I did attend was that the Dekalb School Administration is not transparent, and the majority of DeKalb’s Board of Education members are not willing to hold the administration more accountable. Thanks for doing your best and not giving up, but until more voters wake up and become more aware of what is not going on, noticeable improvements are not likely.

  33. Stan,
    Congratulations! and Thank You!
    This disclosure would not have happened without you.
    In about-face, DeKalb Schools releases purchasing assessment – By Marlon A. Walker, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – 2/25/19
    The DeKalb County School District released a procurement assessment over the weekend that had been previously withheld from the public, with district officials previously saying attorney-client privilege exempted the document from public release.
    The DeKalb County Board of Education voted to waive that confidentiality during its school board retreat Saturday at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort at Stone Mountain Park.
    Two documents — the Purchasing/Procurement assessment and a school-based needs assessment — were handed to a reporter following the vote Saturday morning.
    District officials did not say why the documents were made public. Board chairman Michael Erwin did not respond to requests for comment.
    The procurement assessment document was discussed during the Jan. 7 DeKalb County Board of Education meeting, producing a heated debate between board member Stan Jester and board Chairman Michael Erwin. Jester referenced the document during a discussion on approving a contract for services from a new armored-car company, and was subsequently told the assessment could not be released without the full board waiving confidentiality. When he attempted to make a motion to do so, he was rebuffed by Nina Gupta, the attorney representing district law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.
    “This school district has a history of problems with various corruption, I mean we have people in jail because they weren’t above board with their dealings with vendors,” Jester said during the meeting. “And the procurement … assessment indicates that ethics and integrity are pretty much nonexistent in the school district.”
    Reporters from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News requested the assessment following that meeting, and were told it would not be released.
    The district cited Georgia law that says that public disclosure is not required for communications subject to attorney-client privilege “… provided, however, that this paragraph shall not apply to the factual findings, but shall apply to the legal conclusions, of an attorney conducting an investigation on behalf of an agency so long as such investigation does not pertain to pending or potential litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or other judicial actions brought or to be brought by or against the agency or any officer or employee.”
    Jester said Saturday he is glad the district is working to address its procurement practices, and doing so publicly.
    “This administration did not create this procurement process,” he said. “I’m glad to see we are going to publicly shine a light on procurement and work toward cleaning this up publicly. I have two big concerns — ethics, integrity and fiscal responsibility have not been a priority for the school district. The school district does not procure things properly. Procurement is a professional skill set. However, we give department employees a day’s training and ask them to do professional work.
    “That would be like getting rid of IT and asking people to run their own networks and servers.”
    Return to AJC.com for a closer look on findings from the two documents made public.

  34. I wonder if either DCSD or the reporter will post the 2 documents. Although I would love for Stan to post it, I think it’s the District’s responsibility to inform the public as well as they inform a reporter.

    I am curious about the “school-based needs assessment.” Is this the list of maintenance needs, or academic needs, or what?

  35. Richard Belcher at WSB has been bird dogging the procurement assessment. I’d like to wait to see his take and then publish the docs, their stories and my summary and take.

  36. Dekalb Taxpayer

    Thank you Stan for your time, energy and effort!!! Dekalb taxpayers appreciate all you do!!!

  37. Ya’ll are getting carried with the Stan for Governor and Superintendent. While I am sure he is capable , diligent and hard working. He has shown himself to be a clear partisan and the district needs someone more inclusive who will work for the benefit of ALL Dekalb students. If he could look a little further than district 1 and work with instead of agitating the other board members , the board might be able to get more done. As a board member regardless of district, he and all the members work on behalf of ALL the students. It is their job to ensure opportunity regardless of zip code, race, or income level.

  38. Stan Jester

    @Onlooker … capable, diligent and hard workin … thank you. Please give an example of my partisanship? I talk more about Chamblee, Dunwoody, Cross Keys and Lakeside clusters due to a time limitation. I do, however, care about all of our babies across the county. I suspect my philosophical approach to governing is different than a lot of people across the county.

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