Author Archives: Stan Jester

DeKalb Schools Visitor and Volunteer Policy

I believe this proposed policy as written will kill volunteer participation at most schools. What do you think?

DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is concerned with student safety. DCSD also recognizes that high levels of stakeholder involvement and engagement in our schools are vital to student success.

A DCSD team recently began investigating best practices related to volunteer engagement. The team included staff from Public Safety, Transportation, IT, Support Services, Counseling, Social Workers, Family Engagement and School Governance. As part of the investigative process, a survey was sent to over 1,000 Student Councils (aka Principal Advisory Councils) throughout the District to gain their insights and suggestions as well.

The draft policy identifies a distinction between a volunteer (a person who serves as a tutor, mentor, coach, etc. for students) and a visitor (a person who is visiting their own student or who is invited by the principal or designee to participate in a supervised, one-time event such as a career day).

I believe the following requirements will prevent most people from volunteering. Volunteers must:

  1. Complete volunteer registration process
  2. Complete background check
  3. Pay for background check

What are your thoughts? You can comment here and/or comment directly on the eBoard proposed policy.

Descriptor Code: IFCD
Proposed Board Policy Visitors and Volunteers

PROPOSED BOARD POLICY – School Volunteers and Visitors

The DeKalb County Board of Education recognizes the importance of visitors and volunteers who play an important role in supporting, encouraging, and advancing student achievement. Parents and others who wish to support student achievement are encouraged to participate in parent and community engagement activities at approved school or district-sponsored activities.

Volunteers are non-paid persons who provide services at approved school or district-sponsored activities. Persons who, in the course of their service, will come into contact with students who are not their own student and/or who will serve as a tutor, mentor, coach, etc. must complete a district Volunteer Registration process prior to coming into contact with students. This process will include the mandated reporter training per O.C.G.A. §19-7-5 and the associated district fingerprint and background check. The prospective volunteer is responsible for the cost of the fingerprint and background check.

Parents or guardians who periodically come to the school to visit their own student, are identified in the district Student Information System, and have signed in with the main office are welcomed visitors to the school, but they are not considered volunteers.

Visitors may also include parents, guardians or community members who are invited by the principal or designee to participate in a supervised one-time school activity which take place on school property such as career days or field days.

Registered Volunteers and Visitors may never be alone and/or un-supervised by staff. Registered Volunteers and Visitors must at all times remain in areas of the school where they may be observed by staff, e.g. playground, media center, cafeteria, hallway, etc. All student interactions with Visitors and Registered Volunteers must be in an area where the interaction may be easily observed by staff members, e.g. playground, media center, cafeteria, hallway, etc. Staff may never permit students to have unsupervised, un-observable interactions with Visitors or Registered Volunteers.

This policy does not apply to individuals who are working pursuant to a vendor contract with the district to provide services, e.g. plant maintenance, counseling, etc. Such individuals must follow the terms of their company’s vendor contract.

The superintendent or designee reserves the right to prohibit or discontinue any individual or organization from visiting, volunteering or having interactions with students during the school day or during school or district-sponsored activities.

DeKalb Schools 2018-2019 Calendar

Stan Nancy Jester

DeKalb Schools 2018-2019 Calendar

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The Calendar Committee “was comprised of a variety of stakeholder groups, including students, parents, community/business partners, school-level staff, and district level advisers.” The Calendar Committee discussed the number of days per year, number of days per semester, inclement weather/emergency days, testing windows, spring breaks, holidays, school breaks, and other metro area school districts’ calendars.

2018-2019 Calendar
2019-2020 Calendar

DeKalb Schools 2018 – 2020 Calendar

DeKalb Schools Calendar 2018-2019 2019-2020
Pre-planning Jul 30 – Aug 3, 2018 Jul 29 – Aug 2, 2019
First day of school Aug 6, 2018 Aug 5, 2019
Labor Day Sep 3, 2018 Sep 2, 2019
Fall Break (Including Columbus Day) Oct 4 – 8, 2018 Oct 10 – 14, 2019
Election Day/Teacher’s Workday Nov 6, 2018 Nov 5, 2019
Thanksgiving Break Nov 19 – 23, 2018 Nov 25 – 29, 2019
Last day of 1st semester Dec 21, 2018 Dec 20, 2019
Winter Break Dec 24, 2018 – Jan 3, 2019 Dec 23, 2018 – Jan 2, 2020
Post planning 1st semester/ Pre-planning 2nd semester Jan 4, 2019 Jan 3, 2020
First day of 2nd semester Jan 7, 2019 Jan 6, 2020
Martin L. King Day Jan 21, 2019 Jan 20, 2020
Feb Break (Including President’s Day) Feb 15 – 18, 2019 Feb 14 – 17, 2020
Professional Learning Day Mar 8, 2019 Mar 13, 2020
Spring Break Apr 1 – 5, 2019 Apr 6 – 10, 2020
Last day of school May 23, 2019 May 21, 2020
Post planning May 24, 2019 May 22, 2020