Monthly Archives: September 2019

IEP Accommodations Neglected

Many students at DeKalb Schools recently took their MAP tests without the accommodations inside their IEPS and 504s. Thus far, identification and communication to those students has been lacking. If it weren’t for the efforts of Lauren Taylor, all of this would have gone unnoticed.

Lauren Taylor is a tireless advocate for children with IEPs and 504s. We have her to thank for many of the course corrections at DeKalb Schools. This is one of them.

“A simple feeler was placed out on the Reform DeKalb site and we were able to count 15 schools that incorrectly administered the MAP tests”, says Mrs. Taylor who goes on to say,

“We were also made aware from teachers they were informed accommodations were not allowed this year. This test is now in its 4th year inside DeKalb County schools. Why was protocol dropped this year? Inside my own sons IEP meeting I had two teachers inform me accommodations were not allowed. That’s when I had the district explain to them what happened and what’s being done to fix it. According to the district it was miscommunication and all LTSE’s were informed of this on September 10th, but no formal training or input was afforded to them until September 16th.”


FAPE is the Free Appropriate Public Education for students with disabilities. Educational service must meet individual needs.

To be appropriate, education programs for students with disabilities must be designed to meet their individual needs to the same extent that the needs of nondisabled students are met. An appropriate education may include regular or special education and related aids and services to accommodate the unique needs of individuals with disabilities.

One way to ensure that programs meet individual needs is through the development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student with a disability. IEPs are required for students participating in the special education programs of recipients of funding under the IDEA.

The quality of education services provided to students with disabilities must equal the quality of services provided to nondisabled students. Teachers of students with disabilities must be trained in the instruction of individuals with disabilities. Facilities must be comparable, and appropriate materials and equipment must be available.


DeKalb Schools children started taking MAPS tests in August. Lauren Taylor noticed that her child was not afforded his IEP accommodations. Upon receipt of Mrs. Taylor’s complaint, it was corrected for her child.

I requested that the school district proactively assess how many schools and children were affected and why. DeKalb Schools Division of Curriculum and Instruction and the Office of Accountability subsequently attempted to contact all local school testing administrators. The informal inquiry returned that 58 schools affirmed that students received the allowable, standard accommodations; 27 schools stated that students did not receive accommodations; and 51 schools did not respond. The lack of accommodations can be attributed to a slide in a training webinar presentation that contradicted the correct guidance charts.

A mandatory testing inservice was held on September 16th to reiterate the allowable, standard accommodations, if specified, for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), 504 plans, and English Learner/Testing Participation Committee plans (EL/TPC).

If the local school determines that a student with an IEP, 504 plan, or EL/TPC plan did not receive specified, allowable, standard accommodations, the local school will contact the parent/guardian via email. Identified students will be given the opportunity to retest with the allowable, standard accommodations; therefore, the testing window will be extended until October 7, 2019.

Earlier this week, local schools were supposed to identify students who did not receive the standard, allowable accommodations. Parent notifications should go out this week.

Let your teacher, principal and me know if believe your child took their MAPS testing without the accommodations inside their IEPS and you have not been notified yet.

DeKalb Schools 2019 Graduation Rates

DeKalb Schools sees its first decrease in graduation rate in 4 years.

DeKalb Schools 2019 Graduation Rate

The 2018 graduation rate was 75% and approaching the state’s high school graduation rate which rose to 81.6% last year. As recent as March, the administration was expecting a 77% 2019 graduation rate. However, the graduation rate in DeKalb’s high schools dropped to 73.4% this year.

There were marked improvements in many schools across the district. How did your high school do?

DeKalb Schools 2019 Final 4-Year Graduation Rate

Final 4-Year
Graduation Rate
Final 4-Year
Graduation Rate
2018 to 2019 Difference
Arabia Mountain High School 99.06 100 0.94
Cedar Grove High School 82.04 74.83 -7.21
Chamblee Charter High School 82.7 76.94 -5.76
Clarkston High School 61.16 60.88 -0.28
Columbia High School 73.2 65.76 -7.44
Cross Keys High School 64.42 62.59 -1.83
DeKalb Alternative School 12.5 24.53 12.03
DeKalb Early College Academy 100 98.63 -1.37
DeKalb School of the Arts 95.95 98.77 2.82
Destiny Achievers Academy 47.2 N/A
Druid Hills High School 77.33 83.24 5.91
Dunwoody High School 86.38 88.99 2.61
East DeKalb Campus TFS N/A
Elizabeth Andrews High School 17.71 13 -4.71
International Student Center N/A N/A
Lakeside High School 81.56 84.51 2.95
Lithonia High School 79 75.48 -3.52
Margaret Harris Comprehensive TFS TFS
Martin Luther King Jr High Sch 74.55 75.52 0.97
McNair High School 68.67 70.81 2.14
Miller Grove High School 79.88 79.35 -0.53
Redan High School 82.11 73.49 -8.62
Southwest DeKalb High School 86.47 84.23 -2.24
Stephenson High School 86.89 77.72 -9.17
Stone Mountain High School 70 59.03 -10.97
Tapestry Public Charter School N/A 86.67
Towers High School 70.15 71.43 1.28
Tucker High School 79.44 79.19 -0.25
UHS of Laurel Heights N/A TFS
District 74.95 73.41 -1.54



DeKalb Schools Expected Graduation Growth

Expected 2019 Graduation Rate
March 13, 2019 – DeKalb Schools graduation rate is expected to increase again to 77%. DeKalb Schools is approaching the state’s high school graduation rate which rose to 81.6% last year.

DeKalb Schools 2018 Graduation Rates
The four-year graduation rate for DCSD’s Class of 2018 was 75 percent, an increase from the 2017 graduation rate of 74 percent.

2017 DeKalb Graduation Rates By High School & Demographic
DeKalb School graduation rate climbed nearly 4 percentage points in 2017 to 74%.

2016 DeKalb Graduation Rates By High School
This is the second year that students shall no longer be required to earn a passing score on the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) to earn a high school diploma.

2015 Graduation Rates
The DeKalb County School District graduation rate is up nearly 10% from last year. “We are headed in the right direction with improved graduation rates because of our laser focus on student achievement,” Superintendent Steve Green said. “Much more work needs and will be done to ensure our students are ready for career and college opportunities.”