Category Archives: DeKalb County School District

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.

School Readiness Report 2018-2019

Schools and Centers

• 76 Elementary Schools
• 19 Middle Schools
• 22 High Schools
• 14 Centers
• 8 Start-Up Charter Schools
• 7 Regions / Decentralization
139 Total Schools and Centers

Student Enrollment (PreK – 12)

• 100,341 students last year (FY2018)
• 100,406 projected enrollment this year (FY2019)

26 New Principals

1. Yul Toombs – International Student Center
2. Dr. Donnie Davis – Peachtree MS
3. Antoinette Seabrook – Brockett ES
4. Lakwanza Fields – Evansdale ES
5. Cassandra Moore – Henderson Mill ES
6. Kari Schrock – Laurel Ridge ES
7. Tara Doughtery – Midvale ES
8. Jocelyn Harrington – Pleasantdale ES
9. Tracy Harrell – Lithonia MS
10. Nicole Bullen – Hambrick ES
11. Dr. Sean Deas – Dunaire ES
12. Stephanie Brown-Bryant – Indian Creek ES
13. Ayesha Grandison – Jolly ES
14. Cathy Goolsby – Redan ES
15. Dr. Sylvia Hall-Sanders – Shadow Rock ES
16. Dr. Char-Shenda Covington – Stone Mountain ES
17. Dr. Wislene John – Stone Mountain HS
18. Pattie Lemelle – Clarkston HS
19. Michael Alexander – Chapel Hill MS
20. Dr. Latashia Searcy – Miller Grove HS
21. LaKeisha Griffith – Towers HS
22. Dr. Shelton Bernard – Cedar Grove HS
23. Marcia Coston-Scott – Cedar Grove MS
24. Eric Kemp – Bethune MS
25. Shaun Wells – McNair Discovery
26. Lisa Watkins – Narvie J. Harris ES

Student Support & Intervention

• Bullying/Harassment awareness training for administrators, teachers, bus drivers, and officers

• Implementation of additional PBIS schools and an increased focus on Restorative Practices and mental health awareness to address discipline disproportionality

• Continued implementation of “My Brother’s Keeper” and “Our Sister’s Keeper” ⎼ focusing on the reduction of disciplinary infractions, increased school attendance, and increased enrollment in advanced courses ⎼ in support of all students, especially students of color

• Official launch of Centralized Online Registration Center at former Avondale HS

• Intensify efforts to support homeless, foster, international, and migrant students through increased monitoring of academic, behavioral, and attendance data

Public Safety

• Addition of 10 School Resource Officers and 1 Sergeant to increase safety on campuses

• Close monitoring of gang activity, and increased community collaboration for gang prevention/education

• Decentralization of safety personnel to provide increased support in local schools

• Safe School Unit will be deployed to support local school sites and assist with safety barriers


• We have over 850 bus drivers transporting more than 50,000 students this year

• All bus-stop information has been placed on the District website and issued to local school principals

• 60 brand new propane buses will be on the road this Fall

School Nutrition Services

• Addition of Six Community Eligibility Provision Elementary Schools ⎼ Avondale, Dunaire, McLendon, Rainbow, Woodridge, and Woodward ⎼ for a new total of 40 schools

• Starting with Princeton Elementary, we are developing plans to implement 5 Supper Programs in 2019.

• Fernbank Science Center is piloting the use of eco-friendly, compostable meal trays for sustainability ⎼ effective September 2018.

• Implementation of a District-Wide School Nutrition Marketing Plan to improve meal presentation and customer service

• New menu format with innovative nutrition education featured each month; High School menus updated to include more student favorites; Menus available on the School Nutrition website


Raises and a formal Salary Step Structure to commence on July 1, 2018 and January 1, 2019 as follows:

• July 1, 2018: A 2.5% salary increase for all employees, except for: Principals, Assistant Principals, Directors and above, and AIC-based staff.

• January 1, 2019: A 2.5% salary increase for employees NOT included in the July 1, 2018 increase; Implementation of a formal Salary Step Structure for ALL staff.

Reduction of the operating millage rate from 23.28 mills to 23.18 mills in FY2019, resulting in a $2.3 million property tax reduction