Monthly Archives: September 2017

School Make-Up Days

DeKalb Schools was closed for 4 days. What is the plan to make that time up?

State Law
OCGA § 20-2-168 says the school year shall be no less than 180 days of instruction. It goes on to say that local school districts may, without the authorization from the state, elect not to complete up to 4 days if a school was closed for an emergency or natural disaster.
State BOE Rules
SBOE rule 160-5-1-.02 says that a school year will be a minimum of 180 school days or its equivalent.
SWSS Waivers
Strategic Waivers School System (SWSS) systems receive flexibility in the form of waivers of certain state laws, rules and guidelines. Waived laws include maximum class size, salary schedule requirements and how much money is spent in the classroom.
In theory, it was supposed to be an exchange for accountability for student performance. For the first couple years, consequences for not meeting the SWSS contract meant a loss of governance, so nobody chose to be an SWSS.
More recently, SWSS consequences were modified such that if a SWSS school district didn’t meet student performance goals, all a school district had to do was put together a “School Improvement Plan”. Once that change was made, school districts across the state got on board.
Dekalb Schools now has permanent waivers and effectively no accountability.
OCGA § 20-2-168 & SBOE rule 160-5-1-.02
SWSS systems also have waivers for OCGA § 20-2-168 & SBOE rule 160-5-1-.02. Therefore, an SWSS is not required to have a minimum of 180 days of instruction. Garry W. McGiboney, Georgia DOE Deputy Superintendent of Policy and External Affairs, reminds us, “the decision to make-up school days missed for any reason is at the discretion of the superintendent and local boards of education.”

DeKalb Schools 2017-2018 Calendar
Aug 7, 2017 – First Day of School
Oct 5 – 9, 2017 – Fall Break
Dec 21, 2017 – Jan 2, 2018 – Winter Break
Feb 16 – 19, 2018 – Feb Break

Options – Make Up Days
The way I see it, we legally have the following options:

  • Use the 1 designated inclement weather day in February
  • Tack on days at the end of the school year
  • Capture days from the breaks like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring, etc…
  • Go to school on teacher workdays
  • Go to school on a few Saturdays
  • Make the school day longer
  • Do nothing, keep same schedule and the school year would be 176 days.

Dr. Green and the Administration
My perception is that Dr. Green and his administration take academic achievement seriously. I don’t anticipate Dr. Green letting those 4 days go. I asked Dr. Green what his thoughts were about make up days.

Superintendent Stephen Green

Dr. Stephen Green
Superintendent, DeKalb County School District

Nothing has been officially decided yet, but here are some options the administration is considering:
Option 1: Use the (1) built-in day
• February 16 (Inclement Weather Day)
Option 2: Use the (3) students out days as “captured” days
• October 5, October 6 (Fall Break)[Columbus Day Weekend]
• March 9 (Teacher Workday/Professional Development)
***Options 1 and 2 provide a total of (4) days to utilize.
Option 3: Extend the instructional day with additional minutes

DeKalb Schools is Back in Business

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.
There may be delays with school buses, and at schools, as we return to business. DeKalb Schools asks for your patience as we reopen schools safely.
As we transition back to service, DCSD is addressing a few lingering issues. These include the following:
As of 2:45 p.m. on Sept. 14, three DCSD campuses are without power. However, the district is hopeful that Georgia Power will restore power to these campuses. Each region has a specific relocation plan of action should such be needed.
• As of 4:20pm All DCSD campuses have power.
• There are still fallen trees and other obstacles that could delay the arrival of school buses in both the morning and afternoon. Students are advised to arrive at their bus stops early and be patient.
• DCSD strongly advises families to be safe on their journey to school and from school and encourage students to avoid contact with downed trees and/or power lines.
Road closures remain a concern in DeKalb County. There are approximately 35 reported road closures in the area. This number is an improvement from the 80 road closures reported on yesterday.
The School Nutrition Department has surveyed the schools and is prepared to provide breakfast and lunch for students. Spoiled food that was lost during power outages will be discarded and emergency requests have been made to vendors. The department also stands ready to provide food for schools that may need to be relocated, if power is not reinstated.