Category Archives: DeKalb County School District

DeKalb Bus Driver Sick Out

Might be a walk to school day tomorrow. DeKalb Schools bus drivers may be sick Thursday and Friday, April 19-20.

Last week this memo was circulated among the bus drivers and monitors. It is rumored that the date was pushed back to April 19 & 20.

DeKalb Schools Board of Education will shortly review a Compensation and Class study of all employees in the school district. Included in that will be a bus driver pay comparison with the other Metro Atlanta school districts.

Since early March, Chief Operating Officer Joshua Williams and Superintendent Green have been meeting with driver representatives.

Dr. Green met with the bus drivers yesterday, April 17, at 10:00 AM in the AIC Auditorium to hear their concerns. The meeting was full – standing room only. The bus drivers were very passionate about their dedication to the job and how much they care about the children.

They requested that the Superintendent and his administration, along with the Board, address their long-standing and ongoing concerns. Various individuals spoke at the microphone representing the overall concerns of the bus driver community.

Categorization of Bus Driver Concerns:
1. Salary increases/COLA
2. Better retirement plan
3. Fair pay for sick leave days
4. Timely correction for pay stub errors
5. Timely response once they present concerns at board meetings
6. Pro-rated interest on salaries – where does it go?
7. Better insurance plan to cover surgeries, etc.
8. Incentive bonuses
9. Attendance incentives
10. Discipline committee for driver infractions
11. Bring back bus driver/bus monitor of the year program
12. Better parent compliance for the student rider agreement
13. Clean-up Transportation Department top to bottom
14. Restore step increases
15. Salary for bus trainers and not an hourly rate
16. Restore higher pay for transient bus drivers
17. Restore 8 hour pay for backup drivers
18. Confirm Dispatch receive more personnel
19. Inquire about $10M former Superintendent stated could be used for bus driver retirement
20. Request for Board presence at meetings and board members to take ride on bus routes
21. Time response when calling for school administrators to buses during student incidents
22. Reclassify bus driver position from part-time to full-time to resolve pay, benefits, and retirement concerns
23. Need working lights at Panthersville Stadium
24. Fix potholes at Panthersville Stadium
25. Need restrooms at Coralwood & North Decatur bus parking lot
26. Need more restrooms for females at AIC parking lot (OSHA)
27. Need tracking for locating buses
28. Restore special needs bus monitors to field trips
29. Need PBIS program in transportation program
30. Need to educate bus drivers on political structure; who is responsible for what
31. Need knowledge on why protocols exist when no-fault accidents take place; why the need for testing
32. Increases for special needs bus drivers due to handling older/bigger students (e.g. 21 years of age)
33. Determine length of time it will take for resolutions to concerns
34. Need intercom and air conditioning on ALL buses but especially transient bus drivers
35. Want superintendent and board to attend annual bus driver meeting
36. Stop using transportation as dumping ground for failed school administrators
37. Too top heavy
38. Fair treatment for bus drivers
39. Address overcrowded buses
40. Need itemized pay stub
41. Written correspondence on any proposed salary and step increases
42. Allow bus drivers to participate in Open House each year to share bus rider agreement
43. Review hiring process of bus drivers
44. Pay bus drivers for training class and not a stipend at the end
45. Compare assistant field supervisor
46. Share when you will go to board with recommendations
47. Add bus drivers in publications
48. Share what you can commit to for bus drivers
49. Concerns with going to 7 Regions next school year and impact to special needs drivers
50. Review history of bus driver concerns

Dr. Green listened to each concern. Everyone that wanted to speak had an opportunity to speak. Dr. Green will continue to meet with driver representatives. The bus drivers selected their own representatives. The purpose of these meetings is to begin the collaborative work of setting priorities and the action plan for resolution of the aforementioned concerns.


This robo-call will be going out this evening …

This is an important message from the DeKalb County School District.

You may have heard talk about the possibility that some of our bus drivers may not report to work during the next three days.

DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green has been meeting with the drivers and we are working in partnership to address their concerns. In the meantime, we have a contingency plan in place. Please note, some buses may arrive and pick up a little later than usual.

Some of you may be concerned about the impact this will have on testing. There will be NO consequences to students if they arrive as a result of a late bus. The district will work to find time for students to take the test.

If you have transportation questions pertaining to a late or missed bus, please call our hotline at 678-676-1200.

Please know that the district’s TOP priority is getting your children to and from school safely.

Thank you for your continued support of the DeKalb County School District.

Policy Input – Magnet Students Participate in Sports

DeKalb Schools administration is requesting the board to allow students enrolled full-time at DeKalb Early College (DECA), DeKalb School of the Arts (DSA) or Arabia Mountain High School, to participate in competitive interscholastic activities at their regularly zoned school.

Georgia High School Association (GHSA) governs athletics and activities for high schools across Georgia. GHSA organizes sports and academic competitions as well as overseeing registration, training, and approves local area sports officials associations.

GHSA has recently changed their Constitution and By-Laws to allow students at magnet schools to participate in sports at their home school with certain restrictions.


POLICY CHANGE AGENDA ITEM

This policy change was presented at the March 19 board meeting.

The board will discuss and vote on this policy change next Monday, April 16. You may comment here or send comments directly to the school district and legal team.


PROPOSED Redline version of rewritten policy.

Consistent with GHSA By-Laws Section 1.62(n), students enrolled full-time at DeKalb Early
College Academy (DECA), DeKalb School of the Arts (DSA), or Arabia Mountain High School,
all of which meet the United States Department of Education’s definition of a “magnet school,”
may participate in GHSA extracurricular activities at the school they would ordinarily attend
according to DeKalb County Board of Education attendance policy (the “home school”) under
the following conditions:

1. If the school in which the student is enrolled offers the GHSA extracurricular activity in
which the student wishes to participate, the student shall be required to participate as a
member of the school in which he/she is enrolled.

2. Students may not participate in GHSA extracurricular activities at both the school in
which the student is enrolled and the home school. Instead, students must elect to
participate in GHSA extracurricular activities at only one school per school year. For
example, students could not play basketball at the school of enrollment and football at
the home school.

3. The election of the student to participate in GHSA extracurricular activities for either the
school of enrollment or the home school shall be binding for the current school year.

4. Students shall be required to comply with all GHSA eligibility and other rules.

5. Students shall remain subject to all applicable requirements for continued enrollment at
DECA, DSA, and Arabia Mountain, as well as all applicable requirements for
participation in the GHSA extracurricular activity. Students shall be solely responsible
for providing any and all transportation necessary for participation in the GHSA
extracurricular activity.


HOME SCHOOL – TIM TEBOW ACT

Currently, GHSA constitution and by-laws do not allow for home school students to participate in GHSA-sanctioned athletics even though they pay taxes.

However, a bill was dropped in the House (and an identical one in the Senate) that would require GHSA and school districts to allow home school students to participate in athletics in their resident school system under certain conditions.  You can read the text of the House bill here (http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20172018/173071.pdf) and the Senate bill here (http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20172018/172391.pdf).

A second hearing on SB 384, the Tim Tebow Act, was as far as the got.  Robin Hines, Executive Director of the Georgia High School Association, spoke to the issues the Association has with the bill — verification of academic eligibility, handling discipline issues, setting a precedent, and the schools becoming a cafeteria-style community program.  GSSA, GAEL, and GSBA echoed his concerns.  Only one person spoke in support of the bill.  No action was taken.


Magnet schools for high achievers
DeKalb County operates six magnet schools for high achievers:
Kittredge Magnet School
Wadsworth Magnet School
Chamblee Middle School
Chapel Hill Middle School
Chamblee Charter High School
Southwest DeKalb High School

Magnet schools of the arts
DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts
DeKalb School of the Arts

Other magnet schools
Clifton Elementary School – math, science and computer education
Evansdale Elementary School – math, science and French
Columbia Middle School – math, science and technology
Arabia Mountain High School – environment, energy and engineering
Columbia High School – math, science and technology