Friday, September 10, 2010

DeKalb Watch Needs Assessment List


Here we go.  This post is only here to collect a laundry list of the needs we have in our children's schools.  Feel free to list your school's name and the need for maintenance, construction or technology that you have had for a long time.  Has anything been promised to your school? If so, has any part of that promise been delivered?

Let's hear it.

233 comments:

1 – 200 of 233   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Here is a link to the presentation at the Called Board Meeting for the master plan a few weeks ago.

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/planning/files/Vision2020_COW_20100827.pdf

Anonymous said...

Huntley Hills Elementary- New HAVC.
The school often goes weeks without heat or air.
I've been told that the service personnel try to fix the current system, but since it's so old they can only patch it up- no permanent fix.
The school also has major dust and mold issues as a result.

Anonymous said...

Sorry- meant "HVAC" on the last post.

Anonymous said...

If the conditions are that bad at most DCSS schools why not take photos and post them on Facebook or other social networking sites. This wakes up the sleeping giants of DCSS BOE and the media as well.

You have to make things obvious to the folks who continue to disrespect and distrust the teachers, students and parents. Don't back down...stabd firm and ask for what is right for your children...afterall your tax dollars are being spent on everything except better conditions in the schools.

FYI I would caution uploading photos under a pseudo-name to protect yourselves from retaliation.

Anonymous said...

I second the Facebook idea - if for nothing else than to post photos supporting the comments here.

Anonymous said...

What purpose does this serve when the school district has already acknowledged the physical plant needs exceeds the money available to take care of them? If you don't vote for SPLOST, then the school district may issue bonds to address needs which must be paid back by homeowners. At least SPLOST spreads the costs to everyone who makes a purchase in DeKalb.

Anonymous said...

Can you believe Beasley told schools that the benchmark assessments were not going to be used? How are the students going to be measured? How will teachers know what to reteach? So, they need to wait until the CRCT? This is craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy.

Anonymous said...

"Can you believe Beasley told schools that the benchmark assessments were not going to be used? How are the students going to be measured?"

The benchmark data reporting procedure was not timely enough to provide valuable feedback to teachers (courtesy of DCSS's MIS department). Why would you want teachers and students to spend their time producing data that is not efficacious? Dr. Beasley finally acknowledged that the benchmark testing in DCSS was "beating a dead horse".

Anonymous said...

Teachers were not able to use the Benchmarks as a grade. The benchmarks did not show the teachers any measure of what a child did or did not know, as they often (especially in math) had little to do with what was taught.

Students hopefully will be measured using the activities created by the state, which is authentic assessment. They are much better at showing how well a child understands the material taught. These activities are excellent and engaging. I hope that the teachers use these.

Anonymous said...

The recent benchmark test for Math III was so poorly written that the county was going to have to throw several of the questions out. The highest grade in our high school gifted Math III class was 70%, with grades as low as 10%. We have a good teacher. Let her teach and test the kids accordingly. The folks in Central Office have no business writing tests for the schools.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that we can let the Benchmark Writers go? This would be a huge savings to the district?

Anonymous said...

I hear that Bodison, the math coordinator, wrote some of the posttest for the first benchmark. Hopefully she will be let go. The math progam from the county has gone downhill with her as the head.

Anonymous said...

I hear that Bodison, the math coordinator, wrote some of the posttest for the first benchmark. Hopefully she will be let go. The math program from the county has gone downhill with her as the head.

Can anyone elaborate on this? It is something I have wondered about. Given DCSS' dismal performance in math, why hasn't the entire math department at the central office been dismissed.

Anonymous said...

I think that we have so many really old buildings that have had little to nothing done to them.

And, I know it sounds dumb, but with each passing year, they get older and more run down.

I am not optimistic that any amount of money can totally fix this, but I do know that, where possible, especially at the elementary level, the oldest and most run down schools must be closed.

The school closing committee should have almost had age and condition of building as their first criteria. Presuming somewhere could be found for the students, buildings with grades of D should have been first on the list.

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/public/cptf/files/03-23-2010/Matrix_20100323.pdf

Anonymous said...

She IS the math department K-12. She has a deaf ear and not well liked. It was her decision to use the State Frameworks which, if followed as the primary curriculum,
will probably cause poor student scores.

Anonymous said...

Well, then to me it is a no brainer. She has to be held accountable. The scores are terrible and she should go. *Unless she is brand new, but I am thinking she isn't.

M G said...

There are actually 3 K-12 Math Coordinators. The problem is they are all certified to teach Math 6-12. None of them have ever taught Elementary Math.

They are Lenisera Bodison, Wanda Audrict, and Rita Williams.

Anonymous said...

MG

It could be worse. I thought you might say they were all k-5 certified, like so many of Dr. Lewis' promotions were.

I think that one of the great failings of NCLB is that schools are held accountable and central offices are not.

I would like to see the State Board become far more aggressive in intervening in persistently failing school systems.

Anonymous said...

SCHOOLS IN NEED?

CHAMBLEE CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL

A/C still not working; science labs from the 50s and inoperable; no technology; science classrooms too small to perform any labs; no electrical outlets (but the school has nothing but ancient overhead projectors to plug in anyway); no auditorium; no practice fields; mold due to leaks and ancient AC venting; bathrooms hideous; new lockers promised 3 years ago never delivered; copy machines broken; electrical service outdated and very dangerous; school built for 1200 housing 1500

M G said...

Anon,

Either situation is impossible. I'm becoming more frustrated each day trying to teach my students. They DON'T have the pre-requisite skills necessary for the state frameworks and the order of the units is totally illogical.

ALL of the content area coordinator positions should be divided equally between those who are certified in Elementary and Secondary. I know I wouldn't dream of telling a high school math teacher how to teach Algebra, but according to the way it's set up now, they are qualified to tell me how to teach Math.

MG

DCSS employee said...

What's needed in the schools? As someone who visits many DCSS schools regularly, I've noted the following as infrastructure needs:

-bathroom equipment: toilet paper rolls, paper towels, and hot water so kids can wash their hands. Some bathrooms have no doors on the stalls, probably to keep kids from doing naughty things. But if doors are OK in some schools, then all students are entitled to privacy. Who wants to pee in public? And give them toilet paper! This is especially bad in the elementary schools.

-Replace or remove all the useless whiteboards and blackboards. But do this only if teachers can be taught how to use the Promethean boards, which mostly sit idle or are used as projection screens.

-reposition the locks on the teachers' desktop computers so that a flash drive can be inserted from the front. Now, the lock is placed right against the flash drive with the result that teachers can't easily access these drives.

-bring teachers' lounges up to at least a minimal code of sanitation. Many are filthy and dingy. Teachers eat in gloom while Admin romps in the castle. A little bright paint might be a big morale booster.

-fix drinking fountains so that they work.

-HVAC, goes without saying.

-nurse's office: should be sanitary and a place where basic care can be carried out. Sink with warm water, bactericide dispenser, couch with changeable plastic cover or mat so kids don't infect each other.

-signage replaced so that traffic safety rules are clear.

Just a few things, I'll think of more.

Anonymous said...

Can't the parents (taxpayers) threaten a lawsuit against the school district on the grounds that the schools are unsafe and may cause the children physical harm? ie: moldy and unsafe bathrooms, leaking roofs that cause slippery floors, unsafe stairs, out of code cafeterias and kitchens, etc, etc, etc...

It seems to me that the actions of the school board and administration have placed our children in physical harm. If you were to send photos or video of a restaurant or facility that is open to the public that had the decay and neglect that many of our schools have, they would be shut down! We should do the same and demand the same from our school system.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:55

Class action suit...
That has some ring to it.
Then the state would have to be involved and we'd have to be heard and not dismissed as lightly as ZR and SCW do.
At least they'd be spending money to pay attention!

Anonymous said...

School kitchens are subject to the same safety inspections as a commercial restaurant. In fact, you can find the school kitchen inspection reports online.

Anonymous said...

Can't the parents (taxpayers) threaten a lawsuit against the school district on the grounds that the schools are unsafe and may cause the children physical harm? ie: moldy and unsafe bathrooms, leaking roofs that cause slippery floors, unsafe stairs, out of code cafeterias and kitchens, etc, etc, etc...

Wouldn't this be the same thing as suing your spouse if there were problems with your house and no money in the budget to fix them all? To fix the, you may have to borrow money against future earnings along with paying lawyers to address the lawsuit.

Money does not grow on trees...

Anonymous said...

I think the question is how the money is being spent.

I think the problem is that parents would have to pay the attorney because we wouldn't be seeking $ but rather a change in behavior/spending. Because this would be a huge case, I can't imagine any attorney would do it for free. Maybe I am wrong.

When DCSS is pushed into a corner, like they were at that elementary school a couple of years ago, they fix the problems. Was it Murphy Candler? My understanding is that OSHA had stepped in after a teacher's physician made a phone call. All this might have been a rumor, about OSHA, but the building got fixed.

At other schools, DCSS has simply declared certain rooms off limits until they can be repaired.

There are buildings in DCSS that are probably beyond repair, and the system needs to stop pretending that they are. (Pat Pope actually believed this. She wasn't much interested in patching up these old buildings, but of course the $s only go so far when you are building new.)

Cerebration said...

Projects on hold according to the 2020 Vision

Knollwood ES $1,668,269 for AC
Rockbridge ES $1,606,587 for AC
Clarkston Center $765,625 for roofing
Champion Theme $1,470,000 for roofing
Forrest Hills ES $19,753 for HVAC
Montgomery ES $1,629,079 for HVAC
Stone Mill ES $1,422,225 for HVAC
Stone Mountain ES $1,738,275 for HVAC
Huntley Hills ES $661,647 for roofing
Chamblee HS $11,694,682 for Career Tech/Classroom/Fine Arts Additions

Freeman Building $3,186,837 for AC (why was this even in the budget, if they also had millions to move these offices to Mtn Industrial?

and a whole bunch of ADA projects

Anonymous said...

Cere 9:34, seeing the Bryant Center renovation on the board's next-meeting agenda really makes me scream now. How is it more important than HVAC, roofing, and ADA compliance for our students?! And to think Bryant wasn't even on the SPLOST list in the first place.

AHHHHH!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The really sad part is that this madness isn't going to end, at least not for a while unless the Governor steps in. It's one thing to be on different sides of a decision, but entirely another when day-after-day boneheaded requests are presented, then approved by this rubber-stamping board.

For those of you that watch the board meetings, Think about just how often an agenda item is voted down. Uh, like never. Sure there's a lot of face-saving rhetoric, but come vote time, they always say Yea.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 7:08, isn't that the squeaky wheel syndrome again, the one that everyone complains about? Parents who know how to make threats or hire lawyers get their needs met while those schools who may have greater needs but no strong voices get pushed further back in the list.

Anonymous said...

Needs assessment and redistricting. Let's solve both. Close Chamblee since it is such bad shape (and I've heard this enough that I believe it is). In redistricting, draw those homes currently in the Chamblee district into schools that are not currently at capacity...not completely sure where they are, but given that magnet students travel to this school from all over the county, we'll just reverse that and the kids currently in that district can do the travel instead...we can provide transportation with the costs not used to build a new building - either saving the district $ or breaking even. This should be particularly doable since it is high school and students are more mobile, correct?

Given the responses and feelings about transfer students into these schools and to prior questions from folks who fear being redrawn out of their current schools - People on this blog should be ok with this. After all, there is no guarantee when you buy a home that school districts won't change, right? Since you are opposed to administrative transfers into your school (for kids in untenable situations in their own schools), then we could expect that you'll just dive right in to support this new school that you've been zoned into, right? It really would solve a lot of problems.

Anonymous said...

Turn the page on Lewis/Pope and now let's begin our conversations witht the current Interim Super. and present BOE.

The reason I say this is because there are decisions that should be made based on the needs of the students...not my schools this and my schools that....all children should attend schools with suitable conditiions.

Let's not make this a p*ssing contest over who has the bigger issues at their respective schools.

Take pictures and let them speak for themselves and put them up on Facebook or Youtube. By the time Tyson and the BOE finish getting hammered by the media they will have to answer the call of the immediate needs.

This approach has worked for other districts nationwide so give it a try here in the south. Think big and do things differently because what you are presently doing....just ain't working.

The BOE hears you but they are ignoring you...because all you are doing is talking, emailing and whinning..stop playing the victim and make things better by being the whistleblowers for righteous sake.

Think outside of your box and think about all the children in DCSS not just your own. This situation is bigger than the little I's and my's..just saying

Anonymous said...

Mary Margaret Oliver and someone else legislatively have been assigned to assist DeKalb County in some capacity to get over these hurdles - perhaps folks should start copying them with some of this information. At the same time, actively contact your own state legislators for assistance in getting your own schools fixed instead of administrative facilities. I think the idea of contacting health and safety officials is a good one. I agree that the issue is more a matter of how the money is spent rather than how much we have (although given the extent of the needs, there are more needs than dollars but if they were to sell off unused properties and lease other unused properties and consolidate this problem would be significantly lessened but no one wants to face long term solutions). Two examples of this are the Heritage property which could be relatively easily sold to the County (there is a budget there for parks) and the New Birth rent being paid when there is vacant free space elsewhere. Sometimes law suits are necessary to force the issues.

pscexb said...

Anon at 7:08, you are correct, that was Murphey Candler. I know a few teachers that work there and they complained about the health hazards due to the mold, mildew, and impact on air quality. They relocated tghe school to Terry Mill for 2-3 months during the school year because the problem was so bad.

They were scheduled for a roof repair in SPLOST 3 and it was moved up as a result of these issues. There was additional work performed that was related to the roofing and air quality problems. I recall this cost about $2 million dollars. Ironically, the term 'perform a Murphey Candler' came from this and was recommended for several elementary schools also. That's what some people wanted to do with the 1st $40 million dollars, thinking they could help 15-18 schools that housed about 9-11 thousand students plus another 750 or so employees. This was a more pragmatic view with how to use the money, how could you impact/help more students and employees.

Cerebration said...

Seems smart. After all, the SPLOST tax was supposed to go for updating facilities - no one really expected so much of it to go toward administrative facilities and 'moves'. The AB buildings are in far, far better shape than Chamblee. (Say, why didn't we move the magnet program to the Stone Mt facility? Then we could have added the allotted Chamblee money to the Cross Keys money and built a fantastic comprehensive HS for the Chamblee area!)

Also to Anon, September 11, 2010 11:11 AM (note that time stamp!)

No one has an issue with the AYP transfer students -- it's just that these students are causing over-crowding. That's not a good solution either - for anyone.

Anonymous said...

Dresden Elementary is in dire need of a) more parking and b) less trailers. There is not enough parking for teachers. Also, children have to walk across a small parking lot to go from trailers to the school, but there are cars on both sides, visibility is low, it is an accident waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

Some of our first graders are still learning how to count. They need basics before they can do the more complex math.

Anonymous said...

Comments on the teacher forum on First Class:
I would like to add my frustration to the growing list of concerns regarding the new pacing chart in math. It seems to me that we are introducing material on the primary grade levels before the students are ready. For example, I don't see how we can ask 2nd graders to make change for $1.00 before we have covered double-digit subtraction with borrowing. If we are utilizing text books for part of our curriculum, why would we start the school year in the middle of the 2nd volume? My understanding is that a certain amount of research goes into preparing these texts. Wouldn't it make sense to follow the sequence of the text books? If we are in the 2nd volume in August, what will we be doing in March?








I am quite surprised at the posttest. I understand the need for 'rigor'; however, when the posttest is MUCH more difficult than the pretest and MUCH more difficult than Math Georgia, I believe we are setting our kids up for frustration and failure. If, in the future, our posttest is going to be so difficult, please make the pretest equally difficult so that we can prepare our kids appropriately.





My cohort and I are extremely frustrated with the pacing chart. We feel that we need to pick and choose, but want to make sure we cover everything.
• We have MAJOR concerns about the unit 1 math benchmark posttest not matching the focus skills of the pretest. The presentation of the material is very different from any of the resources we have been given for teaching these concepts. This strongly suggests that we need to “teach” to the posttest as opposed to using the data from the pretest to assess our students’ needs. Please advise, or provide direction.


Hi,
I'm a 3rd grade teacher and I'd love some guidance on how to get all the lessons in before giving the first benchmark post test. I'm finding it hard to get to all the lessons that the BUG has for us to do. Also, why is there multiplication and division on that test when we haven't had ample time to teach it. I want to make sure I'm doing right by my students. Thanks for your help!


Hi,
We are having a very hard time following the math pacing chart. It shows that we are to teach money for the 2nd 6 weeks but when I pull up the pre test not 1 question asks about money. Where do you expect students to be? For the 1st 6 weeks it said for us to teach 1 more 1 less, 10 more, 10 less but whenI look at the scope and sequence of what to teach when it isn't listed at all? I feel like it is jumping all over the place. We are expected to do subtraction, 10 more 10 less and we have even done skp counting, review of addition let alone barely introduced it yet. My kids are having a difficult time grasping the info with this rushed introduction of concepts, especially with these 2 short weeks. Is there going to be time to go back and reteach or is keep going forward?

• We have MAJOR concerns about the unit 1 math benchmark posttest not matching the focus skills of the pretest. The presentation of the material is very different from any of the resources we have been given for teaching these concepts. This strongly suggests that we need to “teach” to the posttest as opposed to using the data from the pretest to assess our students’ needs. Please advise, or provide direction.



I'm a 3rd grade teacher and I'd love some guidance on how to get all the lessons in before giving the first benchmark post test. I'm finding it hard to get to all the lessons that the BUG has for us to do. Also, why is there multiplication and division on that test when we haven't had ample time to teach it. I want to make sure I'm doing right by my students. Thanks for your help!

Anonymous said...

From the teacher forum in math:• We have MAJOR concerns about the unit 1 math benchmark posttest not matching the focus skills of the pretest. The presentation of the material is very different from any of the resources we have been given for teaching these concepts. This strongly suggests that we need to “teach” to the posttest as opposed to using the data from the pretest to assess our students’ needs. Please advise, or provide direction.


Hi,
I'm a 3rd grade teacher and I'd love some guidance on how to get all the lessons in before giving the first benchmark post test. I'm finding it hard to get to all the lessons that the BUG has for us to do. Also, why is there multiplication and division on that test when we haven't had ample time to teach it. I want to make sure I'm doing right by my students. Thanks for your help!


Hi,
We are having a very hard time following the math pacing chart. It shows that we are to teach money for the 2nd 6 weeks but when I pull up the pre test not 1 question asks about money. Where do you expect students to be? For the 1st 6 weeks it said for us to teach 1 more 1 less, 10 more, 10 less but whenI look at the scope and sequence of what to teach when it isn't listed at all? I feel like it is jumping all over the place. We are expected to do subtraction, 10 more 10 less and we have even done skp counting, review of addition let alone barely introduced it yet. My kids are having a difficult time grasping the info with this rushed introduction of concepts, especially with these 2 short weeks. Is there going to be time to go back and reteach or is keep going forward?

Cerebration said...

Although as a watchdog group, we don't have answers for you, we will package up these comments and forward them to the board, Ms Tyson and Dr Beasley.

Anonymous said...

I agree with DCSS employee. I think that many of the HVAC systems are old and do not work properly.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Principals and Assistant Principals,

Effective immediately, please discontinue with the current administration of the benchmark process. I have determined that we will utilize an end-of-semester benchmark administration. This decision was made after much consideration of the many challenges that continue to arise related to the current process. Additionally, the end-of-semester data should yield more valid and reliable data in that teachers and instructional coaches will not be consistently distracted from the teaching and learning process. Please discontinue all scanning and administering of district-wide benchmarks immediately. All district benchmarks will be administered at the end of each semester. The end-of-semester benchmarks will be aligned to our pacing guides and numerically aligned with the CRCT/GHSGT/EOCT. I do hope this decision is supported by all in that we believe it is the right thing to do as we focus on teaching and learning. Please share this message with all teachers and instructional coaches.

Sincerely,

Dr. Beasley

Dr. Morcease J. Beasley
Interim Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
Department of Teaching and Learning
O) 678-676-0731
F) 678-676-0759
Email) Morcease_J_Beasley@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us

And now Dr. Morcease Beasey....either fix the Math pacing chart or delete it!!

Anonymous said...

Parents, students, community members and business partners are cordially invited to attend an upcoming informational seminar hosted by Dr. Morcease J. Beasley, Interim Deputy Superintendent. Please plan to attend one of the following sessions:
Thursday, September 9, 2010
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Columbia Middle School
3001 Columbia Drive
Decatur, GA 30034

Did anyone go?

Cerebration said...

If you missed the above, there are two more opportunities to hear Dr Beasley speak -

Tuesday, Sept. 14: 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Dunwoody Elementary School,
1923 Womack Rd., Dunwoody, GA 30338

Saturday, Sept. 18: 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at DeKalb Schools Administrative and Instructional Complex,
1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Expect to learn more about the following:

Seven Steps for Teaching and Learning in DCSS
District Practices, Strategies and Initiatives
Evidence of Student Engagement
Evidence of Success
Marzano's Nine High Yield Strategies
Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK)
70-70 Expectation
K-12 Professional Learning Focus
K-12 Math Improvement Plan

Anonymous said...

@Cerebration. I'm 11:11... Honestly, I don't understand AYP transfers into a school that is already full and agree that they are a problem. My problem is that people on this blog want to see blanket policies that may not always be right for everyone. I see comments that are opposed PERIOD to administrative transfers. I'm inferring that their is an assumption that this process is purely political. My experience, however, is that some kids legitimately receive such transfers. Bloggers here have stated - do away with them - redistrict and force them to go back to their home school. If they could get outside their box and really do some research about other reasons that people transfer, perhaps (but I'm not that hopeful) such blanket statements would cease. Some administrative transfers have gone to school that have slots and have been welcomed (clearly not by posters here). So these calls to force them home can actually have real impacts on real kids who have done nothing wrong as well as the schools that were willing to provide for them.

I'm also sticking to the idea of vertical rather than grouped school districts. It really (again) seems that those who are in northern schools tell the rest of us to face the reality of redistricting, even though we may have purchased with a particular school (high or middle) in mind. I strongly suspect that if we did vertical districts some of those who have said that parents cannot assume that redistricting would not occur and to simply move or invest in their new home school would likely change their tune if it was their school at stake and their family who are living through a layoff. Just sayin'!

Sandy Spruill said...

Does anyone know the time for the screening of "Waiting for Superman" at the Tara theater on Monday, September 13?

Cerebration said...

I think the call to send transfers back home comes from people who don't think they should be included in the numbers used to decide if a school is crowded and needs redistricted. Say, for instance, Lakeside has 300 transfer students. Is it fair to redistrict due to overcrowding and send kids who currently live in the district to another district but keep the transfers in the school?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:01

I think redistricting is going to occur all across the county, not just in one area. I think the pain is going to be spread out and I think that this is going to one very devisive process.

I do believe that there are reasons for administrative transfers that are valid. I don't believe that working in the central office is reason to get one.

When this process is complete, if done correctly, there should be very few spaces left for admin transfers. This will make some parents very unhappy, but simply not liking the demographic make up of your neighborhood school should not be a reason to be given an administrative transfer.

Anonymous said...

Cere's question is a fair one.

And how it gets addressed will be key.

Anonymous said...

Ms Tyson said the the DCSS already has identified $2 BILLION more of SPLOST needs. At $500 million per SPLOST, that brings us to SPLOST VII in 2030.

SPLOST is just a treasure trove that the DCSS administration can use for capital expenditures so that they can keep their own fat salaries.pensions and perks chugging along.

As to the allegedly poor performance of the central staff math people, no one in the DCSS administration gets fired for poor performance or incompetence. Incompetence is the level that many seek to reach.

Anonymous said...

@ MG 10:55

“There are actually 3 K-12 Math Coordinators. The problem is they are all certified to teach Math 6-12. None of them have ever taught Elementary Math.

They are Lenisera Bodison, Wanda Audrict, and Rita Williams. “

Lenisera Bodison – Instructional Supervisor
2004 – $39,290
2009 - $102,116

Wanda Audrict – Instructional Supervisor
2004 - $59,571
2009 - $91,256

Rita Williams – Staff Development Specialist
2004 - $44,565
2009 - $77,685

These math coordinators have salaries that are increasing while DeKalb students' math scores are decreasing. Something doesn’t add up.

(source: Georgia Salary and Travel Audits)

Anonymous said...

Is it fair to give a blanket order that all transfers go home so that your school will not have to be rezoned, regardless of the real motivations behind those transfers (which are NOT all demographically based)? Are you making uninformed assumptions about all transfer students (perhaps you should educate yourself about reasons for transfers)??? Will you quietly move your senior into a new school when redistricting changes the line, not because your school continues to be overcrowded after you get rid of all of your "undesirables," but because they forecast future growth so now your student gets to be a senior elsewhere? Are you going to buy a new house without complaining or are you going to go and dedicate everything you have to that new school because you understand that redistricting has to occur to address issues across the district as a whole, even if it is your precious Lakeside (or insert your school here) line that changes?

Part of the fear of redistricting is the VERY REAL knowledge that not all schools are equal, and not b/c of only PTAs or money, but because not all schools have the same programming available. They should; they do not because of mismanagement. But, I fear that the overall support of people on this blog for redistricting is about protecting their own. IF all else were equal I wouldn't care, but let's be honest about the facts.

Anonymous said...

The county needs to decide - does it want to keep the small neighborhood schools or keep the myriad of school choices we have? It's become painfully obvious that we can no longer do both. Elementary schools with fewer than 450 students do not receive full support from the state and students in those schools suffer. My question is if we did away with the choice programs and students were served at their home schools, how many neighborhood schools would we end up closing? I bet the number would be very small.

That being said, I think the most equitable solution if we are going to consolidate is to change the culture of the new school totally. By this I mean a new name, a new mascot, new everything. This is the best way to blend the community. Shed the old and embrace the new. I doubt this suggestion will be taken seriously, but people have to realize in this process, we're dealing with buildings. It's interesting to see how attached people become to an inanimate collection of bricks, block, mortar, wiring, etc. If the affected communities worked together to establish a new identity, I truly believe that would ease a lot of the pain.

Cerebration said...

Anon 5:31 PM - No one has issues with "undesirables" - that is a divisive statement. We are saying that you cannot effectively and fairly redistrict if you don't know how many of your students are transfers. You have to sort out that number. Perhaps they won't be 'sent' home - they could stay for the duration, but future transfers should be more closely monitored. It isn't right to overcrowd some schools with transfers while doing nothing to fix the issues at the home school from which these transfers flee. All this transfer solution is doing is greasing squeaky wheels while still leaving hundreds of students "behind".

Anonymous said...

Dresden Elementary (off of Shallowford Rd) has leaky ceilings (for several years), mold, bathrooms that need replacing (Dresden was told this would happen last summer), a boiler/ac system that is unreliable at best (the new wing of the school has not had air conditioning since school has started. This is in addition to a woefully inadequate playground and so little parking that staff has to park on the playground.

Anonymous said...

Hey I've got a favor to ask -- in future blog posts, may we refer to "transfers" as "students" or "children"? Just humor me on this one. Really. Small favor.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 5:31

"Is it fair to give a blanket order that all transfers go home so that your school will not have to be rezoned, regardless of the real motivations behind those transfers (which are NOT all demographically based)?"

Transfers should not be considered when redistricting. AYP transfers wax and wane. In other words, a receiving school may make AYP one year but not the next. This creates a bulge in upper grade levels as the AYP transfer students from past years continue through the school while no new transfers are accepted in the lower grade levels.

Teachers DO NOT want to teach in a system where for example:
1. They have a job teaching 9th grade one year since there are a lot of kids in that grade level (due to AYP transfers).
2. In a year or two, they are out of a job, transferred to a new school, or asked to teach 12th grade because the 9th grade is now decreased by half since the school didn't make AYP so it cannot accept AYP transfers.

An influx of underachieving students can overwhelm even the best of teachers because they are expected to meet the incremental progress of AYP with students who may need to raise their test scores by 3 or 4 years in one year (a statistical impossibility).

DCSS should redistrict without considering AYP or administrative transfers. If MIS is up to this task - the data for the redistricted school should show if the students in the redistricted school are making AYP or not (based on the new redistricted subset of students). This is not brain surgery.

Some posters have said that parents who specifically buy in areas where the schools have high test scores should not rely on that premise. Please remember that our schools are run on property taxes which are based on property values. Property values are driven by neighborhood schools' test scores (you know they are). Adding uncertainty to school zoning is not good for property values and therefore not good for property taxes. Decreased property taxes is always a bad situation for students - the only people DCSS should be concerned with.

Redistricting is a fine line that none of the current BOE or DCSS administration has the expertise to accomplish. That makes it all more important to "clean house" and elect a BOE who will ensure we have competent administrators when addressing the redistricting process.

Anonymous said...

If you observe redistricting in Fulton, Cobb and Gwinnett, you will see that the Board mostly stays out of it. They have a strong staff in place that leads the efforts, along with some sort of citizen participation. It varies from very little in Gwinnett to a fair level in Fulton where principals and parents are involved.

DCSS is moving in the right direction, but as someone else posted earlier, the real difference is the wide range of quality in our schools. If it was me, I would address this first and redistrict later. Work on bringing all our high schools up to a similar level and making sure programs are available across the board.

Start by offering art, music and pe at every elementary school and set a goal to offer foreign language when the economy is stronger.

Cut every bit of fat out of the central office so that every cent is going into the school houses.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 6:49

Agreed. Make the programs and offerings all over the county equal for every child with the components of:
1. A safe and clean learning environment
2. A competent teacher in a reasonably sized classroom
3. Abundant access to cutting edge science and technology equipment

Ensure this in EVERY school - north and south.

When DCSS cuts the "fat" from the bloated admin and support side (1,239 Central Office employees and 7,300 Support employees versus 6,500 teachers), we can provide these components for all students. 60% of our budget should not go for non-teaching employees.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 11:11

You must be kidding about closing Chamblee. Even though it has major building issues, the success of the students is GREAT. It's still one of the top schools in the state and the nation. It's also one of the few in DCSS making AYP.

You suggest to close the building and go elsewhere. Where? Dunwoody High is crowded, Cross Keys is close to capacity, Tucker is over capacity and Lakeside is also over capacity! We're out of places to go! I do not suspect I want my child riding in a car or bus to Stone Mtn everyday or Lithonia.

Next year the CCHS Magnet program is being moved to Avondale, I believe. If this happens the numbers should come down to a level to get the school back to normal standards. However, we still need some fixing up even if we have to wait until 2015 to get a new building.

The Chamblee area is the only area in DeKalb County with double digit growth, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

I'm for making Cross Keys totally Technical. Combining Cross Keys and Chamblee and building a state of the art facility everyone can be proud of!

Anonymous said...

AYP transfers make up only a part of the transfers to any school. Many students are able to transfer in because they have a relative in the systems, make a deal with the principal, or what have you. These kids should NOT be part of the count in determining if a school is overcrowded and should be redistricted.

Anonymous said...

"Next year the CCHS Magnet program is being moved to Avondale, I believe."

Anon 7:00 PM, can you give more facts?

Anonymous said...

What percentage of DCSS parents do you think would be education consumers if they had to be?

In other words, if DCSS said no more attendance zones you get to choose your child's school, what would we find.

I think the Museum School is a fascinating example. Museum School is accepting students from Midway and Avondale Elementary Schools only. Midway had some of the lowest CRCT passing rates in math in the STATE. In 5th grade, only 2 elementary schools did worse.

Museum School is not full this year. Why wouldn't every Midway family be looking for a way out?

Anonymous said...

Transportation.

Anonymous said...

I do not think the magnet at Chamblee is moving to Avondale. The performing arts magnet is there and the rest of the high school is full- in fact the resident portion is slightly over capacity.

Anonymous said...

Enrollment at Avondale HS is 605. How is that full?

Anonymous said...

Anon. 12:11 Because the 280 DSA students make the building full, I think.

Anonymous said...

In response to those asking for more information about the magnet program being moved from CCHS, it is true!

Jim Redovian responded to an email, sent by a parent concerned about the overcrowding at CCHS. In his response to the parent, Jim said "that overcrowding would no longer be an issue, once the Magnet program at CCHS was moved to the center of the county."

I have been asking some folks and found out that it was an idea discussed in the School Closing Committee Meetings this Past Spring.(I can't remember the name of the committee, it's late!)

The report that is coming out this winter has this idea in it and from what I have heard the school that will become to the new High School Magnet is Avondale.

As a future CCHS parent, I am concerned by moving the magnet program out, CCHS will lose some of the great gifted certified teachers that are there. I hope that's not the case. Also, if I recall one reason given by Clew why Kittredge was moved into the old Nancy Creek, was to get all the magnet schools closer together, KMS, CMS & CCHS. I guess that will no longer be the case!

I do know discussions are already taking place at CCHS, in regards to the magnet program moving.

Anonymous said...

I have a 10th grader in the magnet program ... when it this suppose to happen??

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe they would take something that works so well, so perfectly, even in an undesirable building with no athletic fields, and move it. Yep, CLew and Friends, mediocre here we come.

Martha Reichrath, you saved Chamblee before ... please help us again!

Anyone out there totally blown away by this piece of news?? Why would this not be something the magnet parents are already hearing about?? I'm hoping it means those students who are already there will get to graduate a Chamblee Bulldog. There surely would have to be a transition into this.

Oh dear me, something else to worry about. And fret over. Please somebody tell me something I want to hear.

Anonymous said...

The discussions I have heard has the magnet program leaving CCHS next school year! The previous poster is correct!

Here is the copy and pasted email from Jim, that a neighbor of mine received. It's not quite the same quote, but it does have the same message.


From: "JIM REDOVIAN"
Actually when the Board decides to move the Magnets to the Center of the County, Chamblee will have plenty of room.


From what I hear this vote will come from the recommendations that are part of the report, that came from the committee this past spring.

The neighbor, who is a parent at CCHS, said to me on Friday, that Avondale is the school in the "Center of the County."

Anonymous said...

I guess the next question is, will the BOE vote to move the magnets?

Anonymous said...

If the growth in Chamblee continues, then Nancy Creek will need to be converted back to a neighborhood school.

No decisions have been made, but ideas have been floated. At the CPTF, there was a some discussion, from a facility standpoint, about magnets.

Though there are some assumptions that decisions will actually be made by next year, I am skeptical for many reasons. I think that depending on the scope of the plan for next year, there may be so much resistance that the process may get bogged down.

Second, the vote isn't scheduled until early 2011. I don't believe that the majority of the board will change, but the members I think are sure bets for reelection don't all agree. Will any new board members feel like they are ready to jump into this within weeks of taking office?

Anonymous said...

Magnet schools are meant to attract. That is where the name came from. Nationally, many magnets are located in inner-city schools with the purpose of attracting a different type of student/family to the school. There is a fabulous arts magnet in downtown Charlotte that many families in the suburbs use.

DeKalb's magnets started because of the need to have integrated schools. The magnet was meant to pull students of one race to a school where they were the minority. Admissions were based on the fact that the programs needed to be 50 percent African-American.

A few years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that raced based admissions were illegal and DCSS was sued. DCSS settled by ending race as an admissions criteria.

I know several students who have left DSA because it wasn't a typical enough high school experience for them. And that is ideal. Magnets should be different enough that they truly are different.

If we are going to spend the money on magnet programs, the standards for a high achievers magnet need to be raised. I would love to see DCSS have a true Boston Latin or Bronx Science type school, admissions test and all.

If Lakeside, Druid Hills, Tucker and Dunwoody can survive without a magnet, why can't Chamblee?

It is a fair question.

Anonymous said...

From my experience in one school for nearly ten years I have found that the upkeep and repair services are dreadful to terrible for the buildings. The plant services department needs a full overhaul. Up and down the line there are many to blame for the situation.
Custodians may keep the building clean but many seem to not have a clue about what repairs are needed, how the building operate in regards to breakers, plumbing etc. They also have no tools other than the cleaning equipment.
Principals often know little about building upkeep as well, why a roof leaks, why water is coming in under a door or why there are odor problems.
The service center fails repeatedly to fix the root of problems from roof leaks to faulty HVAC systems or poorly installed carpeting. It appears most of their staff go out and look at things but nothing ever really gets repaired. The paperwork process on ordering repairs is very slow and painstaking. On top of this the energy waste that is going on in regards to HVAC is a crime. The principals should have their feet held to the fire on the conditions of their buildings. If you hired people who cared and were responsible you would not have these problems.

Anonymous said...

I agree with much of what you say. But until Plant Services is able to do what they need to do, how can principals be held accountable?

It is my understanding, with the inception of SPLOST, that the plant services dept was severely cut back.

Years ago, you use to be able to go on to the web and see a list of pending work orders. The list was huge.

I am not sure why the public could access it, but now they sure can't.

Anonymous said...

In addition to leaks and no air conditioning, Dresden Elem. also has a principal who belittles her faculty and staff. The only exception is her title 1 coach. I guess she must part of the families/friends since they are both from Chicago. Also a few years ago the whole faculty was given a book written by a friend of the coach. Hmmmm.....conflict of interest?

Anonymous said...

It seems odd that we have less teachers (6,500) and more Support personnel (7,300 - this does not include the 1,239 Central Office personnel), yet we get poorer service.

Anonymous said...

Maybe and worth reporting to the new auditor, once he gets up and running.

Anonymous said...

What are Bodison's qualifications for her job and very large salary? Teachers can't ask her questions about the math curriculum and question her judgement unless they want to get labeled a trouble maker. It is obvious to me that in the 3 years I taught at DCSS, she had not a clue as to what was going on or how teach math.

If you we have first graders who cannot count, they should not be in first grade. They should have been held back in kindergarten. This is a problem in DCSS, we keep passing children along without the necessary skills. Until a hard stance is taken by the district, parents will not wise up and see that their children aren't where they should be and won't be moving ahead. Not having these primary skills, makes it difficult for the child as school progresses and is not fair for anyone involved in educating the child, especially the child himself.

themommy said...

In the preparation for the last SPLOST vote, there were a couple of DeKalb parents who kept trying to point out that while the list was at 2 billion dollars, that because of the passing of time, the list could still be close to 2 billion when SPLOST 3 was complete.

Every DCSS property, keeps getting older. A 10 year old property might have shown very little on the needs assessment in 2005, but now at age 15 will have a few more cracks and creaks. When you are talking about 40+ year old buildings, those 5 years can be significant.

Having fewer properties is part of the solution. Making sure that where possible you are closing the oldest and in worst shape properties and removing them from circulation in another key step. Lease them, sell them, or tear them down, but don't leave the system in a position where funds have to be put into empty buildings.

Anonymous said...

I believe that school choice in high school would be great. Having each high school with different strengths and making it competitive to get in. However, right now, I think that DCSS is not ready for that. They need to scrap the school choice and offer better education to the local schools. Our local schools are getting short changed, while just a few schools get all of the bells and whistles.

If we want to attract children from families who would otherwise put their children in private school, this would be a very strategic way of improving our schools. Right now we are pushing families who value an education out of DCSS and looking for alternative education for their children.

Anonymous said...

When the schools had new roofs put on, many roofs did not leak before, but have been leaking ever since. Why was the contractor not called back to fix this problem, as many times as necessary?

I think that the district has tried to do upkeep on schools, but the choice of contractor, for many different reasons I am sure, do not do quality jobs.

The Mommy is right, we have 10 year old schools, with leaking roofs and shoddy building. Our older schools are built way better than many of the new ones. We need to expect better quality work from the people that we hire to do the job.

Anonymous said...

One need Dresden Elementary has is for a new prinicpal. The current principal is rude to parents - hollering at them, despite knowing that they (for the most part) do not speak English. She also is more responsive to African-American parents than she is to Hispanic parents. The fact that both the community and the faculty do not believe that she is impartial or fair is a huge problem in Dresden improving. She has snapped her fingers at teachers and told them to "come here" - all this in front of students. She also has a Reading Instructional Coach with one year of classroom experience who spends all day on her cellphone, not serving teachers or students. Before the AC, leaking roofs, and unspeakable bathrooms are fixed or replaced, Dresden needs to have its principal replaced.

pscexb said...

Congratulations to Cerebration and the bloggers on DeKalb County School Watch. This morning on the Georgia Gang (9/12), Dick Williams gave a 'shout out' to this blog while discussing recent and probably actions against board members. He acknowledge the force that this community has become.

Cerebration said...

Do we have any Hispanic principals at all? Do we even have principals who speak Spanish fluently? Our current population is 11% Hispanic. That means we have more Hispanics than whites (10%). With some of our board reps so focused on race, why is it they never bring up the Hispanic issue? Never. ever.

Cerebration said...

Georgia Gang? Dang - that's amazing! Sorry I missed it!

Anonymous said...

Concerning the Dresden principal...
I worked with her when she was a special education teacher. One day she said to me, "I don't walk aound the room and help the students, I make them come to me."
I thought, "Wow, she doesn't sound very dedicated."

Anonymous said...

Is Ms. Nunez (sp?) at the International Center considered the principal? She's the only Latino(a) that I know about in the system.

Anonymous said...

The principal at Cary Reynolds speaks Spanish.

That building also needs major renovations. It was built in 1961 and has had 8 trailers even though it had an addition added 10 years ago. It has major need of added parking, too. The cafeteria leaked like crazy last year and even had to be retiled!

Anonymous said...

Joe Reed at Lakeside speaks Spanish

Anonymous said...

I believe that Dr. Silvers at Montgomery is Hispanic.

Anonymous said...

I think that the district has tried to do upkeep on schools, but the choice of contractor, for many different reasons I am sure, do not do quality jobs.

The roofing contractors used in SPLOST II were notoriously bad. Terry Morris even raised the issue and was ignored.

The contractor at elementary school left the tarp off on a weekend and it rained and the building flooded. In addition, the principal went on vacation and the roofing company did as well, so the project was late in completion. Dr. Pritchett had no one checking on projects, so the system wasn't aware that worked had stopped -- for two weeks!

Anonymous said...

Parking is a big issue at lots of schools. When my children's elementary school opened 40 years ago, there were 800ish student for a year and a half while they waited for another school to open. While the logistics of cramming that many students in a building must have been overwhelming, I wonder where all the teachers parked.

For the record, they had two teachers in most classrooms with something like 50 kids in some rooms. Kids who could, went home for lunch.

Anonymous said...

The schools with Hispanic populatons have someone on staff who speaks Spanish.

Anonymous said...

I wish people would lay off the trailers issue. There are worse things going on in this county than students in trailers. Just look at Gwinnett - most schools there have trailers and the students are doing just fine. Richards Middle School in Lawrenceville opened a brand new three story addition a few years ago which dropped it from 50-something trailers to 40-something trailers. We need to take a look at what other systems are doing right and learn from them. I can't see GCPS dropping the ball even though it's majority-minority. I won't say they're without problems, but something is happening there. Perhaps they're a lot stricter in terms of discipline - fewer second chances - but we've got to look at bigger problems than students in trailers. Frankly, that may be a better option than some of the moldy permanent classrooms.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:29

"I wish people would lay off the trailers issue. There are worse things going on in this county than students in trailers."

I am assuming you have not taught in trailers. I taught in a trailer for 2 years. It's quite problematic in these areas:
1. Bathrooms - Teachers cannot step next door and ask another teacher to watch his/her class when he/she has to use the bathroom. Students (especially young ones) need to go a long way to use the bathroom. This seem to be a safety hazard IMO.
2. Environmental - Dust and mold abound in many trailers. In addition, they are an awkward rectangular shape so many students on either side have a hard time seeing the front of the room. Generally, they are smaller in size and have a claustrophobic feel.
3. Technology -
A. Student technology: Many trailers in DeKalb have had computers stolen. Therefore, many schools will not place the same technology in trailers that the regular classroom has. As little technology as a regular classroom has is more than most trailers (Vanderlyn and a few other schools are the exception).
B. Teacher technology: MIS has a real problem with the wireless networks that serve trailers (wireless laptops are issued to teachers in trailers). Teachers in trailers often have a difficult time connecting to the the DCSS wireless network. This has been happening for 8 or 9 years, and they've never gotten it right. Trying to operate eSis is tough enough. Add the wireless network problems and it's even more frustrating.

I agree there are worse problems, but trailers are a terrible solution when we have schools that sit with empty classrooms while others sit with "trailer parks". Fairington put up with 34 trailers (versus 33 classrooms in the building). The magnet schools built nearby did nothing to relieve the overcrowding there. Now I see it happening at Lakeside. It's poor planning on the part of the DCSS administration and the BOE. They will add as many trailers as they can get away with.

Be True to Your School said...

The problem with trailers is not so much the trailers themselves. Certainly they are better than moldy, dusty classrooms with no heating and air conditioning.

The two basic problems with trailers are (1) they are not safe in violent storms such as tornadoes that are common to this area AND (2) the infrastructure of the bricks-and-mortar school building the trailers are assigned to is not designed to handle the extra students.

Take a look at the GaDOE, SACS and GAC (Georgia Accrediting Commission) requirements for the size (number of square feet per student) of the cafeteria and media center. Take a look at the requirements for the restrooms. Take a look at the requirements for the number of books per student in the media center. These are just a few of the reasons why trailers were meant to be only a temporary solution to overcrowded schools.

DCSS initially got trailers because the federal courts would not allow construction of new schools AND/OR re-districting while DCSS schools were still under federal supervision. With the court case settled, DCSS has brazenly thumbed its nose at the facility requirements of the GaDOE, SACS and GAC. And those agencies -- charged with ensuring a quality education for all students -- have ignored the issue.

BTW -- our tax dollars support GaDOE, SACS and GAC, as well as DCSS. Yet there seems to be a reciprocal code a silence among all of these agencies. Each one claims -- when confronted -- that they do not have the power to act.

Anonymous said...

Expanding on Mr. Williams comments regarding DeKalb County School Watch (congratulations Cere and bloggers for the light you shine), he also stated that the blog makes the case for private schools. He was pointing out that this blog reveals just what a cluster of mismanagement and confusion the DCSS and BOE is in. If we do not demand changes we just might become the second “Clayton County” of Georgia. DCSS needs an exterminator to do some serious house cleaning.

Anonymous said...

Counselors and Preventive Specialists are really in need of an Needs Assessment. Both of these positions on the elementary level should be discontinued. For the most part most counselors spend their time in the front office acting as if they are a clerical staff or secretaries. This is a scapegoat to keep from working with students who really need to be helped. By the time, they reach their office, it is almost lunch time. Or, time to write out personal bills or pay bills on the internet. Then it is lunch time. So, you have had a full day of taxpayers money doing nothing.
Some hide behind their desk all day long and only show their faces for certain events. Is their anywhere in the county that shows what they (counselors) are paid to do? We only hear what they are not paid to do. Most assignments that they should be doing such as calling parents for tardiness, sick, etc, they (counselors) put this responsibilty on teachers while they hide out all day long in their offices. Teachers are really the counselors in the school. Actually, we donot need these lazy people sitting all day nothing but gossiping. One counselor , (AKA) is now a principal, (OMG) family AKA sorority plan of course, would eat her breakfast and gossip all day long about her former boss (AKA) until she finally recommended her (AKA ) sorority sister for a principal. Still wasting people time, we hear as an ineffective administrator.
But, the person who is being paid to over see the counseling program (elementary) should take a visit to some of the schools and see what is really going on. (NOTHING)!!!!
If there are two people assisting with students (P.I., and counselor) in most schools, then why are students not being served without being asked by teachers and parents? The counseling program in DCSS and this made up preventive specialist program is a waste of money and time.
How can administrators allow these people to sit all day long not serving students and not report them to the counseling department. I am sure the documents that most counselors submitt at the end of the year never took place during the school year. Ask any teacher if you think we are kidding.

Anonymous said...

Some administrators, counselors, and other made up titles for people serving as an administrative team are still trying to learn how to speak proper English let alone messing up Spanish.
One counselor needs a course in basic 101 grammar for god's sakes. Kids laugh all day at the words and plain sentences that she nixes on the intercom. My daughter says they sit and count the number of times the counselor mispronounces words. So, let leave Spanish alone until some of the administrative staff members can master the English language first. People not from this area are just amazed at how some of these people are in the loop as they say, and holding down an administrative position . Family and Friends shame on you guys! We are praying that SCAS will show that this plan is need of an Needs Assessment. Truly, an hiring agency is needed instead of HR. This would eliminate the friends and family plan and save DCSS a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

Truly, an hiring agency is needed instead of HR. This would eliminate the friends and family plan and save DCSS a lot of money.

NOW THIS IS A GREAT IDEA!

Dunwoody Mom said...

I wuld not take a mention by Dick Williams as as compliment. I'm sure Dick Williams reads this blog and gets great delight in what he reads. Williams never takes a chance to diss, critcize, mislead, and downright lie about DCSS, even the schools his "newspaper" portends to support.

Expanding on Mr. Williams comments regarding DeKalb County School Watch (congratulations Cere and bloggers for the light you shine), he also stated that the blog makes the case for private schools.

Of course he makes the case for private schools, his children attend/attended private schools.

Integrity is not Mr. Williams strong suit.

Anonymous said...

"There are worse things going on in this county than students in trailers. Just look at Gwinnett - most schools there have trailers and the students are doing just fine. "

I worked in a trailer in Gwinnett. It came with an overhead projector, projector cart, TV/VCR and a computer for the teacher to use. We were wired for closed circuit TV and the school computer network. Everything worked on the first day of school. DeKalb places trailers on school property that look like they were taken from a landfill. Dirty, mold covered, in need of carpets and paint. Some have leaky roofs. It can take a couple of weeks to get them repaired enough to be used. There is a big difference between what happens in Gwinnett and DeKalb.

Anonymous said...

The business of principals being allowed to be principals because they are friends with the higher ups. Who evaluates principals? Does anyone read their PAL evaluation. We have a principal @ Dresden Elementary who has no regard for the teachers. She has shown no concern when a wing of our school has had no air condition since school started. She is unapproachable and power hungry.
At faculty meeting the Hospitality Comm. made Smoothies for all the teachers. She would not let them serve the teachers after a long, not day until faculty meeting was over.
She does model team spirit or just plain kindness.
School Board, are you listening to all these blogs about our school?

Anonymous said...

I am the first to agree that DCSS is a mess -- a friends-and-family, criminal and thug-filled mess -- and has been a mess for quite a long while. It is in desperate need of a complete overhaul and housecleaning (no pun intended).

Frankly, DeKalb County is too big for a single school system. It is irrelevant to me how other large systems manage. It doesn't work with DeKalb County's demographics and culture. We need and must have legislative relief in terms of allowing the creation of Independent School Districts.

However, in terms of Dick Williams' comment about this blog making the case for private schools, let me point out that Williams' two daughters both attended church-related private schools. To my knowledge, he and his wife, Rebecca Chase (formerly of ABC News) did not seriously investigate the public school option.

Since Jeff Dickerson (Williams' buddy from AJC days and on the Georgia Gang) joined the bloated payroll of DCSS nothing more on the problems with DCSS has appeared in The Crier newspaper that Williams' owns and publishes. Even the article about the recent DCPC meeting (no way out of covering that) did not clearly and correctly reflect the tenor of the meeting. Sanitized by Jeff Dickerson?

Further, I believe that Williams was provided with information with regard to the fake demographic study that was used to justify Nancy Creek's closure. To my knowledge, nothing about the fake demographic study appeared in The Crier.

Dunwoody Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

At least one of William's children started at Montgomery elementary. I don't think they lasted long there.

Anonymous said...

All you Dresden people talking...tomorrow is going to be rough...your principal has spies everywhere and will be dragging people into her office asking about all these posts...you know how you're not even supposed to ask anything in the Curriculum Center without first asking her if it's okay...not saying you're not right about her, just saying DCSS doesn't care how she runs that school - she can bully anyone and everyone she wants to.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:13

It's upsetting to hear comments like this about the Prevention Intervention Specialists and Counselors.
1. Counselors:
DCSS pays over $22,000,000 a year including salary and benefits for 266 counselors (around $83,000 a year per counselor). These 266 counselors serve in 140+ schools.

2. Family Services:
The Family Services group where many of Prevention/Intervention Specialists and most of the Parent Center coordinators reside cost $4,500,000 a year in salary and benefits and numbers 73 employees (many not certified teaching personnel). Zepora Roberts daughter is a member of this group.

3. Social Workers:
41 social workers cost around $3,000,000 in salary and benefits (average social worker compensation is $73,000 a year - dramatically out of line with the average social workers pay in any state, city or school system).

It seems that these 380 employees that cost close to $30,000,000 a year perform many of the same functions. Ms. Tyson should have trimmed in this area and asked the remaining personnel to take on some additional responsibility. Ms. Tyson's actions indicated that these non-teaching support personnel positions are more important than teacher positions which were cut, thereby consigning students to larger class sizes.

It seems that every DCSS professional position has a higher salary average than teachers (non-professional as well considering kitchen and HVAC mechanics make substantially more than teachers). How does DCSS expect to attract and retain the best and brightest teachers for our students? No wonder so many want to leave the classroom for a support position.

Wouldn't taxpayers like to the Ernst and Young 2004 Compensation audit that said 2,500 non-teaching DCSS personnel were being overpaid to the tune of $15,000,000 a year while DCSS teachers were on par with most Metro systems and a little below some of them?

Anonymous said...

"DCSS needs an exterminator to do some serious house cleaning."

Amen, but that would require a miracle.

Anonymous said...

I agree that we have too many people performing the same or very similar jobs and earning way too much for what they are actually doing.

When are we going to right size the salaries? The coaches also make more than teachers, and I have not heard of this happening in other districts around the country.

Until everyone is fired and people are rehired based on what they know and not who they know, we will have a sucky system. This will never happen, as people will scream racism and file law suits.

What infuriates me, is that people working in the system in nonteaching positions and such forget that the children of our county are the only reason any of them have a job.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:26

"I worked in a trailer in Gwinnett. It came with an overhead projector, projector cart, TV/VCR and a computer for the teacher to use. We were wired for closed circuit TV and the school computer network. Everything worked on the first day of school. "

Yes. Gwinnett has an awesome wireless network (great technology for teachers and students - they put their tech dollars into the classroom). I've seen it in action in many Gwinnett schools.

DCSS MIS department has never been able to handle wireless like they do in Gwinnett. Even in the building, the laptop carts have problems connecting. Often using the laptops with students sucks up so instructional time trying to get them up and working that teachers are reluctant to use them. Of course, laptop carts are out of the question in trailers in DCSS.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:30

Well, it's up to everyone to encourage more readers to come to this DeKalb County School Watch blog. I posted this DeKalb Watch address on my Facebook page the other day and told everyone that lives in DeKalb that they need to take a look. I've also mentioned DeKalb Watch and placed a link back to this blog on numerous posts on the AJC, CrossRoadsNews, etc.

Anonymous said...

"Congratulations to Cerebration and the bloggers on DeKalb County School Watch. This morning on the Georgia Gang (9/12), Dick Williams gave a 'shout out' to this blog while discussing recent and probably actions against board members. He acknowledge the force that this community has become."

Well, everyone might want to remind Dick Williams that Georgia Gang commention Jeff Dickerson is now a paid contractor by DCSS, so he should always refrain from any comments regarding DCSS or large property tax related issues like the Doraville GM Plant that affect DCSS.

Dick Williams e-mail: thecrier@mindspring.com

Jeff Dickerson e-mail: jdmedia@comcast.net

Gotta love this: "manage public crises"

"president of Dickerson Communications, a public affairs firm that provides public relations, issues-management and media consulting services to private- and public-sector clients.

Dickerson Communications was launched in 2000 and specializes in crisis communications. The firm has helped some of Atlanta’s most prominent organizations manage public crises, including Coca Cola, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, MARTA, Delta Air Lines, AT&T, several state agencies, the Morehouse School of Medicine, the Atlanta Public Schools, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Grady Memorial Hospital and many others."

Anonymous said...

Regarding Jeff Dickerson. Take a look in this video at how he criticizes Doraville with regards to the GM plant. All they wanted was to keep a quiet community. I'm not aware that he lives in Doraville. Read the comments section.

Dorablogs (October 25, 2009):
http://doraville.org/?p=786

And guess who the developer who was interested in putting the Falcons at the GM plant site?
"This is old news to many of you, but early this week a big announcement put Doraville back in the spotlight. The AJC reported that Sembler & Co — the only developer still negotiating with GM for their former Doraville plant — has floated a proposal to build a new football stadium for the Falcons on the site. "

Dorablogs (Dec. 28,2008):
http://doraville.org/?p=486

Everyone remembers Sembler - the group who contributed so much to Eugene Walker's BOE campaign?
From the ajc:
"Sembler generated political heat in May by seeking a 100 percent property tax abatement. It was initially valued at $52 million over 20 years, though the estimated value has since been reduced to $42 million. Sembler asked the DeKalb Development Authority for the expanded break , after the authority had already granted a 10-year abatement worth $20 million.....The Development Authority’s former chairman, Eugene Walker, quit this month in the wake of the controversy over Sembler’s donations for his school board run. He had championed the additional tax break for Sembler while on the board."
http://www.ajc.com/business/disputed-brookhaven-project-gets-125389.html

Anonymous said...

Yes, the information with regards to the demographer's study was sent to The Crier. It never saw the light of day. Dick Williams will protect Jim Redovian.

Anonymous said...

Betcha Jeff Dickerson is chilling at The Commerce Club with Gene Walker and C Lew.

And Dickerson has always been an avid supporter of Vernon Jones on The Georgia Gang, despite the many scandals and wasted millions and thousands of jobs added by the disgraceful Vernon Jones administration.

Anonymous said...

Dekalb County Schools do not need a Hiring Agency,but should follow the recommendation by Ernst and Young to get a Human Resources professional to be over Human Resources, instead of a former principal. Principals should be over the schools, not over Human Resources and other departments. When they are put in these positions, it a lot of trials and errors, because that is not their forte.

Anonymous said...

Dresden principal....teachers have been complaining for years about her. For one thing, she was not the right person for the job. She has only taught special education. But most important, she is a micromanager and very power hungry. I am sure that she does not get gooed evaluations from the staff.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 5:10 pm

"Dekalb County Schools do not need a Hiring Agency,but should follow the recommendation by Ernst and Young to get a Human Resources professional to be over Human Resources, instead of a former principal."

Have you read the recommendation by 2004 Ernst and Young Compensation audit? Could you tell taxpayers where to find this document? If you read it long ago but don't know its location, could you share some more details with us?

The only details I could find are from the DCSS BOE minutes and from the AJC article which talks about the over payment of non-teaching personnel. Neither the DCSS BOE notes nor the AJC article mentions that a Human Resources professional should be over HR so I'm assuming you actually read the audit summary.

Be True to Your School said...

I define "crisis" a lot differently than DCSS does. A true crisis is not self-inflicted due to stupidity, ignorance or criminal intent. In those cases, the public -- the people who pay the bills -- is entitled to know everything without someone like Jeff Dickerson "sanitizing" and controlling the release of information.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1:09, actually for the last 3 years, I was outside. I hate the fact that I've been moved inside this year. Yep, I had issues with technology, yep my room was broken into one day during lunch. It isn't the end of the world. All I'm saying is that there are so many more issues that the trailers aren't our big problem.

Anonymous said...

Also, my 11:29 comment said we need to look at what Gwinnett is doing right - technology and otherwise. Why can't the trailers be hooked into closed circuit and wireless correctly? It's just a matter of doing the right thing (yeah, a challenge in DeKalb I know, but one could hope, right)?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:30 pm
"@Anon 1:09, actually for the last 3 years, I was outside. I hate the fact that I've been moved inside this year."

I'm Anonymlous 1:09 so LOL - I understand what you mean. Even though trailers have all those challenges, you have a sense of "on your own" when you are in a trailer. It's just you and your students as grubby as it may be.

DCSS does have huge challenges, but quite frankly, none of them are anything that teachers can rectify. Parents/taxpayers will have to step up to the plate and elect BOE members who will in turn hire a superintendent who will "clean house". The way the Central Office works is a "black box" to most of the parents/taxpayers and to this current BOE (with the exception of Walker and Speaks who are compensated handsomely with its current structure). Our only hope is that new BOE members ask the right questions.

Anonymous said...

with the exception of Walker and Speaks who are compensated handsomely with its current structure

What's that mean?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 5:10

"Dekalb County Schools do not need a Hiring Agency,but should follow the recommendation by Ernst and Young to get a Human Resources professional to be over Human Resources, instead of a former principal."

If you know how to obtain the 2004 Ernst and Young Compensation audit or if you know details about the recommendations in the audit, you can email this information to Cerebration, the moderator of this blog, at:
reparteeforfun@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6.18

I never read the recommendation by Ernst and Young, but the Supt. told the staff, and that was the time they got the man who had a criminal record to be over HR. I do not remember his name.

Anonymous said...

I think that we need a new audit like the one that was done. We have more worthless jobs and even higher salaries now.

Our kids deserve better than what they are getting. The money is there to fix our schools, it's just being used as a glorified jobs program right now. Too many people don't know a thing or very little about what they are getting overly paid to do.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Silvers, principal at Montgomery and former principal, for two years at Nancy Creek, has been great!

The staff loves her she makes sure teachers teach and they have very interactive staff meetings where they learn effective techniques.

My sons have thrived under her leadership at Nancy Creek and now Montgomery. We were able to get her after parents discovered that Jamal Edwards, former BOE chairperson, Francis Edwards' son, was hiding out at Nancy Creek for 6 months after his promotion and $15k raise in MIS.. Imagine Ms. Tyson's surprise when some parents along with Debbie Loeb, former Asst. Super, called her on a speakerphone and asked her if she knew where Jamal was?

Clew asked the parents what they would want and we asked for a new principal. Enter Dr. Silvers! She's been great for our neighborhood!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 8:29 pm

"I never read the recommendation by Ernst and Young, but the Supt. told the staff, and that was the time they got the man who had a criminal record to be over HR. I do not remember his name. "

His name was Darren Ware, and he was a convicted felon. The only BOE members who are left who voted to confirm this felon are Zepora Roberts and Sarah Copelin-Wood.

DCSS BOE members should ensure this $341,000 audit that taxpayers paid for is on the DCSS BOE website. It's unreal that this study has been so deeply buried.

Anonymous said...

May be Dr. Johnny Brown still has a copy of the audit.c

Anonymous said...

Nepotism..what can I say!! Johnny Brown hired his nephew, Beasley, to be part of an audit for him in Texas. What would we do without Google?
September 11, 2006 9:17 PM
Camille Briggs
The Port Arthur School District says it plans to make changes for the better.

Two principals from a Georgia School System, a school administrator from Dallas and a school district consultant from Chicago are in town putting the district under a microscope as it undergoes a curriculum audit.

Port Arthur Superintendent Dr. Johnny Brown decided to have the audit to see how PAISD measures up to other districts across the country.

Camille Briggs reports, faculty members and teachers in the district are calling the audit an opportunity for Port Arthur to get a fresh start.

Morcease Beasley is on familiar territory, but in an unfamiliar environment.

Morcease Beasley/Principal, DeKalb Co.

"I love it, this is my first time in Southeast Texas, but it's not that different from where I'm from."


Beasley is the principal of a high school in Dekalb County, Georgia. He's here in Southeast Texas to listen, evaluate and advise.

Morcease Beasley/Principal, DeKalb Co.

"There are some great things going on at Memorial High. We will give them specific data to improve on to help move the school to the next level."


Beasley is one of among four out of town educators, who have teamed up with four local administers to identify what the district is doing correctly and to point out areas that need improvement.

Raymond Polk/Principal, Memorial High

"They didn't interrupt the education of the students. They met with me as the principal to get some feedback on the school."


The auditors spoke to teachers, faculty members and students.

They will be taking a look at secondary education, reviewing curriculum, instruction, student behavior, and even the dress code.


Dr. Johnny Brown/Superintendent

"I am honored to have the energy in this room. We are coming together to make changes and make things better for our students."


Tonight, the district held a leadership dinner for the auditors.


Dr. Johnny Brown/Superintendent

"This is an opportunity for the audit team to visit with teachers from the high school and the ninth grade center."


The superintendent calls it a chance to network, hear ideas and come together.

Raymond Polk/Principal, Memorial High

"I think it's great. We seldom get an opportunity to exchange ideas and brainstorm."


The audit team will present their findings in writing to the superintendent in a few weeks.

Dr. Brown says the audit was paid for 'in full' by donations from the business community and parents.

Anonymous said...

Morcease is one of the Central Office hacks like Bob Moseley, Ron Ramsey, Audria Berry, Marcus Turk, Tony Hunter, etc. who are praying the BOE will make Tyson permanent Superintendent, because any competent new supt. would see through them, especially Beaseley and his nonsense busy work, and clean house.

You know what is hilarious? Crawford Lewis led the behind the scenes mutiny of Central Office admin's to have the BOE fire Johnny Brown. Now Johnny Brown's nephew Morcease is one of those Central Office admin's.

Anonymous said...

7:51 - Yep, and I could teach without worrying about getting interrupted for silly stuff. Only one time ever did someone from the county ever come in my room. Oh, I miss that.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody mom says "Of course he makes the case for private schools, his children attend/attended private schools."

I too have a child in private school, pulled out after middle school a few years ago. I do not make a public case for private schooling as my property values depend on DCSS righting the ship and getting back on track by putting the students needs first. The high school math curriculum is a complete disaster and we would not allow our child to be a guinea pig in a subject the teachers haven't been properly trained to teach. Last I heard they still didn't have h.s. "new" math texted books. That said, most of my neighbors have their kids in public school and I do support their decision, praying their kids graduate with the skills they will need to get through life but knowing their chances are not good with the current direction DCSS is heading.

Anonymous said...

Bottom Line: nothing is going to change unless we get new blood in our superintendent position and they have the guts to clean house and I mean totally clean house and start from scratch. If Beasley and his ilk remain, there will never be changes that will ensure that our children receive a quality education with quality teachers. Quality won't come and the friends and family and sorority and fraternity hires will continue, along with the inflated salaries.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:03pm

"with the exception of Walker and Speaks who are compensated handsomely with its current structure

What's that mean? "

Meaning they were part of the DCSS administration with inflated salaries which give them hefty retirement incomes. Pam Speaks was one of the highest paid DCSS administrators in 2004 with compensation of approximately $153,000 a year in salary and benefits before she retired. She made $124,000 in 2003 so she must have gotten a real salary bump before she retired. Same job - Title 1 Director in 2003 and 2004. Remember that she collects 60% of her last contiguous high 2 years. I'm sure she sees nothing wrong with the current system.

Walker was a Deputy Superintendent for DCSS. I don't have the Georgia Salary and Travel audit that details his compensation, but I would imagine it was substantial.

Anonymous said...

There is more open talk about the amount of technology DCSS has lost to theft in the past year and a half. The figure most quoted is $300,000 and there is talk that the thefts are planned by someone who has knowledge of the schools. Is this being fully investigated by local police? The thefts are still happening. This may be the worst crime wave in the county.

DCSS Teacher said...

We need copiers that work! Since the school system closed down the in house print shop, we now must copy all tests, and myriad other items. The copying that must be done in elementary schools is significant, especially for the lower grades (think homework packets each week for an entire grade level) . All of our math and language arts comes as "black line mastes" for copying. The PTA and all school communication must be copied, and the list goes on. Without reliable copiers, getting the above items done is very, very difficult.

HVAC systems that work (ditto on the comments from the Huntley Hills writer). A co-worker stays sick during the school year because of visible mold in her classroom aroung the vent in her room.

Soap refills for the bathrooms are needed. Last year very nice foam dispenser were installed; this year, no refills for the dispensers.

Anonymous said...

Beasley's resume from First Class:
Johnny Brown and he were in Birmingham together when Brown was superintendent there.
Interim Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning

Education:
Samford University, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Samford University, Ed.S. in Educational Leadership
Samford University, M.S. in Education with a concentration in Mathematics
University of Montevallo, B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in General Business

Career Experiences:
Principal and Chief Learning Officer, Columbia High School, DeKalb County Schools
Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and School Leadership, Port Arthur Independent School District, Port Arthur, Texas
Principal and Chief Learning Officer, Stephenson High School, DeKalb County Schools
Principal, Huffman High School, Birmingham City Schools
Associate Principal, George Washington Carver High School for Health Professions, Engineering, and Technology
Interim Principal, Phillips High School, Birmingham City Schools
Assistant Principal, Phillips High School, Birmingham City Schools
Mathematics Teacher, Phillips High School, Birmingham City Schools

Anonymous said...

Hey -- can anyone remember that story we heard about Dr. Brown having a bunch of kids "disappear" off the rolls in Birmingham right before test time to make it look as if the scores were really bettter than they were (encouraging kids to unenroll rather than take the GHSGT equivalent)? Anyone know if Dr. Beasley had any involvement there? Anyone think anyone here would care if that was the case? Am I remmembering wrong or have my timing off? It's nagging at me....

Sandy Spruill said...

@ Anonymous 11:23 PM

If you are comfortable sending me your e-mail address, I will look up the contacts I had in Birmingham when Johnny Brown was being considered for Superintendent of DCSS. One was a real newspaper reporter who had done stories on Johnny Brown and might be able to answer your question. (As opposed to what we had/have here in Atlanta. Yes, Jen Sansbury, I am talking to you.)

If you are not comfortable with sending me your e-mail address, I will understand. I spoke with several teachers in Birmingham back then who agreed to speak with me only because they knew my sister-in-law and I agreed to never reveal their names. They were all terrified that DCSS would not hire Johnny Brown and he would return to Birmingham. So I got a lot of information about Johnny Brown that I could not use because I could not provide documentation. And I could never convince the AJC education reporter to contact the Birmingham reporter.

Sandy Spruill
shspruill@gmail.com

Sandy Spruill said...

Even if you cannot go to see Waiting for Superman tomorrow night, Monday, September 13 at the Tara theater at 7:30 PM, you may be interested in reading about it.

The current TIME magazine (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2016978,00.html) has devoted a lot of space to American education and that includes Waiting for Superman. The September 5 issue of New York magazine (http://nymag.com/news/features/67966/) also has a lot to say. Here's another look from Good. (http://www.good.is/post/are-we-waiting-for-superman-to-rescue-education) And here's a completely different take from the Education Notes Online blog. (http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2010/09/waiting-for-superman-charter-school.html)

I predict that no one will leave Monday night's free screening unchanged, unmoved or without an opinion!

One thing is for sure -- could we do worse in DeKalb County? Actually, the answer to that is, "Yes." Every time I think we have hit rock bottom I find out we haven't!

Anonymous said...

Actually Jen Sansbury was willing and able to do the stories, the AJC leadership wasn't willing to run them. Several DCSS parents even met with the editorial staff, many years ago, to express their concerns about how little coverage AJC was giving DeKalb schools. The analogy we used was that someone could sneeze in the City of Atlanta central office and it would make the front page, but the superintendent of DCSS could shutter the schools and it would take two days before it made page 3.

Later on, when Dr. Lewis felt the paper was being unfair, he supposedly went to someone at the top of Cox and claimed the coverage was racially motivated.

The AJC actually removed Jen from covering the DeKalb system.

I am not sure what has changed in the past 12-18 months at the AJC. Clearly, because they had gone after Clayton with such vigor and the cheating scandal, the AJC couldn't ignore DeKalb's ills.

Anonymous said...

Things changed at AJC once they took Christina Torres off the DCSS beat.

Ms. Torres had a tight relationship with Clew and the DCSS brass. A few years back parents filed a Freedom of Information Act and uncovered all kinds of malfeasance at the Central Office. We handed the documents to Ms. Torres. All she did was go to Clew, expose our names and documents to him and then wrote an article on how these parents were "loud, vociferous and background noise!"

I think these parents were getting too close to what Pope and Clew were doing and these parents had to be silenced. All the AJC did was to help Clew with that goal.

Megan Meteucci(sp?) has done a much better job and I was overjoyed to see that the AJC was starting to report what was actually happening at the DCSS. Hopefully all Christina Torres is doing now is writing Obits, one can hope!

Anonymous said...

Torres was during the era that Dr. Lewis held the racism issue over the Cox enterprise's head.

I am not kidding about this. Dr. Lewis could not handle negative feedback, publicity, etc. He was/is so immature. That is why he was the wrong person for the job from the get go.

Anonymous said...

did anyone know that you have a brand new elementary building in dunwoody with 12 state of the art empty classrooms. yet trailers down the road at hightower. NUTS!

Momfirst said...

anon 10:18. you must be new to this blog if you're just now realizing this...not only do you have trailers at the school you mention but we also have trailers at the surrounding schools in dunwoody...it's a long story

Anonymous said...

i need to remind you all that some school transfers are mandated by federal law undere NCLB.

Anonymous said...

To get back to the original topic:
My neighbor has 2 kids at Lakeside. She brought over their math and language arts homework to show me. The copies were so bad you literally could not read some of the math problems. She wrote a note to the teacher that her daughter could not complete all of the problems because it was unreadable. The language arts was a little better, but not much. she doesn't get on this blog (although I've tried to get her to). I told her to contact Mr. Read, contact the AP of instruction, and to email Ms. Tyson and the school board. I wonder if the teacher did this to make a point - or if Mr. Read instructed the teachers to distribute copies even if they were unreadable in the hopes that parents would complain to higher ups.

Not Buying It said...

Apologies for being off-topic, but an earlier post on this thread brought up the unwieldiness of administering a school system of DeKalb's size.

I remember an announcement a few weeks ago calling a meeting to push for a state constitutional amendment to create a new district in the north county. Whatever happened with that?

Let me add that I don't think such an effort has a prayer of success, but I'm interested.

Anonymous said...

12:14 The district could have chosen to do other things under NCLB, other than transfers. They have chosen transfers. They could also offer tutoring at the school. Transfers do not have to be, it is just what DCSS has chosen to do.

Soon transfers won't be an option, if more and more schools continue to not make AYP. There will be no place to transfer anyone to. Also, transfers should not make schools over crowded, as that defeats the purpose of NCLB.

Anonymous said...

"There is more open talk about the amount of technology DCSS has lost to theft in the past year and a half. The figure most quoted is $300,000 and there is talk that the thefts are planned by someone who has knowledge of the schools. Is this being fully investigated by local police? The thefts are still happening. This may be the worst crime wave in the county."

Wait, missing computers and other IT equipment, in what may be an inside job? But we have a 200 person school police department with two chiefs, yes two, nine, yes nine detectives.

$250,000 is HVAC equipment stolen over the summer in what looks like an inside job. But I'm sure the a 200 person school police department with nine, yes nine, detectives have already made arrests. Yeah, right!!

Anonymous said...

@Not Buying .... I agree I don't think we'll see Dunwoody splitting off of DCSS anytime soon. If Milton County can't get their constitutional amendment through, I can't imagine Dunwoody having a shot in Hades.

Anonymous said...

Who says Milton County can't get their constitutional amendment through? Eva Galambos started in 1975 and ended in 2005 (30 years) getting Sandy Springs away from Fulton County. Once she broke the mold, Dunwoody became a city within a couple of years.

Kim Gokce said...

Sorry my fellow bloggers for my cynicism but ... we are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Regarding poor plant conditions ... we must close more schools than has been polite to discuss. We have 20'ish high schools and need 14 ... maybe. That goes for middle, too. I haven't look at elementary numbers but it is probably proportionally the case, too.

Regarding attendance areas/enrollment/trailers ... we need MUCH larger attendance areas to mitigate the variations in populations, concentration of apartments, re-development and displacement in DeKalb.

Regarding "transfers" ruining schools ... I get that transfers are making the discussion about enrollment a shell game. However, there are those in the community who decry transfers due to at best snobbery and, at worst, bigotry.

I have a recent direct quote from a elementary parent who is leaving Chamblee attendance for private before middle/high school: "I'm not comfortable with my children among the 'ghetto' element."

Cere, I do believe the anonymous folks above have a point about the tone re: transfers here (Dunwoody, Lakeside, Chamblee) - not that you have a bigoted bone in your body - you don't. But I have sensed some of the edge in some of the comments these anonymous posters are talking about - it is hurtful and "we" just don't notice it.

There are too many "up here" that left, are leaving, or plan to leave DCSS public schools because of race. The numbers tell the story and I think we can't brush it aside.

Are there other reasons folks around our districts leave DCSS? Yes. But that does not change the fact that this sordid reason is too often among the ones cited by those exiting the system.

The anonymous posters above are right to ask for a more humane or gentle tone when referring to these young people. "Transfers" does objectify the children whether intended or not - how about we just always try to use the fully qualified, "transfer students?" Not much to ask ... no rules here just suggestions.

I'll add my voice to that request with no antagonism or ill-will intended towards our bloggers - I suspect it is mostly unintentional and not malicious when it is done. Being more artful with our references will encourage more participation in the blog from those that otherwise will sense they and their opinions are not welcome.

Kim Gokce said...

Back on topic ... as worthy and justified as it is to decry the conditions of our schools, I'd rather we change the dialog in DeKalb to the condition of our students ...

If we focus on the students themselves and their experience and ask ourselves how we can offer an equitable and rich education for all of them, I believe we can begin to build a vision that will best serve us. Folks often pigeon-hole me as a "Cross Keys" advocate and fail to realize that what I have learned in my efforts for Cross Keys attendance area have taught me how broken our system is, in fact.

I do not care what the name of the school is, nor what the mascot is, as long as the children are provided with the best possible educational opportunities in an equitable fashion. That means all children should have access to comparable facilities and programs, should have comparable teacher/student ratios, etc.

I have concluded that the only way to accomplish this in DeKalb (and pay for it today and in perpetuity) is to consolidate on a massive scale. Is there a way to wave a magic wand and make this happen? No. Will there be winners and losers year by year until some balance is achieved? Yes.

But don't we have to begin with the end in mind? Don't we have to demand a capital and an operational plan that is sustainable and ensures the provisioning and maintenance of equitable facilities and programs? I just can't get around this as our only path. Anything short of this is abject failure in my eyes - I wish I saw it differently.

Anonymous said...

Kim, I live in the attendance zone for CCHS, CMS and Montgomery. A Montgomery parent actually came up to us, during the summer, and was excited our oldest was headed for CMS. She said she had heard that there were gangs at CMS and there was smoking in the restrooms. Well, I've been to CMS many mornings and have walked the hallways. There are no gangs and no smoking in the bathrooms. One thing, if there was smoking in the bathrooms the entire population would smell it! The hallways are in the interior of the building and the security at the school is top notch!

Kim, it's a perception problem! Leaders are indicted, our leadership care about the $2K chairs and their own offices before the students.

If the leadership would provide the stakeholders with top notch facilities, teachers and learning environments, then we could compete with the Marists and St. Pius' of the area.

CCHS is 11th in the state in SAT ranking with Lakeside 13th. Not bad, however we can do better, CCHS has been better. When we moved here 14 years ago, CCHS was 3rd in the state!

Give our teachers a great environment to work in and watch the scores rise. If the economy turns around, more will go private, but right now the parents we have spoken to at Montgomery and CMS are ready to get CCHS rolling so they have a viable public alternative when their kids hit 9th grade.

It's a perception problem and that's why we need entirely new leadership on the BOE and at the Central Office. The times have changed and the DCSS gravy train is coming off the tracks for the friends and family. It's time we take our system back and clean our house! We need leadership with fresh ideas! We can do this!

Watching last night's meeting, you can tell the BOE is getting very defensive. They're worried and they should be! The stakeholders are angry and it's time for change and the ones leading right now have shown time and time again that they are incapable of turning DCSS around for the future!

Kim, thanks for your ideas and discussions, I look forward to meeting you in the near future!

Dekalbparent said...

I got to thinking...always an adventure for me. A few weeks ago, we brought our child to college, and families were invited to stay and check out the place our children would be living and learning.

The dorms are elderly - long halls lit by non-descript fixtures, sagging blinds, creaky windows, gang bathrooms with a locker-room ambiance;looked a whole lot like my dorms at college thirty years ago. The classrooms have overhead projectors, chalkboards, and one I was in had a collection of roll-down world maps dating to the fifties. The fitness facilities are quite adequate - a pool, about fourteen machines, but not equivalent to a commercial fitness facility.

And yet, we are gladly leaving our children there, with full faith that they will acquire a world-class education, because the teachers and administrators make clear that they are there to bring out the very best in every student. They are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and available.

Kim and others are right - the physical facility doesn't have to sparkle with newness, it doesn't have to be state of the art - it just has to be a place where teachers can teach, teachers can support students, administrators support the teachers, and students expect the best of themselves and each other.

That said, crappy, dirty bathrooms and leaky, moldy ceilings are definitely not OK.

Anonymous said...

The other side of super-sizing schools!

While there are benefits to the economy of scale, many students who might have an opportunity to shine in a less populated environment get moved into the massive 80% of the Bell Curve and are, for the most part, relegated to being specatators rather than participants.


What do I mean by this? Take a sports team for example, it's easier to make a team when the school population is 1000 vs. 3000.

There are just more people competing for limited slots. I'm not saying competing for a position is not important but students should have at least a mathematical chance of participating in something they may never have the chance to do again. That is what school is about. Learning and finding out about yourself in a number of different activities and endeavors.

Anonymous said...

7:09

My husband and I graduated with 67 people in our high school graduating class. There were about 400 people in our high school. We went to a very small school. We were able to participate in every activity that the school offered-which was limited given the size of the school, but we did not have AP classes.

We went off to high school with not having to compete to get into activities, but we weren't really prepared for college. We did not have the rigor of courses that many of our classmates had the opportunity of. My husband, attending an Ivy League School, really felt it. He didn't have room in his course schedule for anything but what he needed to graduate. His friends had chances to take other courses, because they came in with a semester of classes already under their belts.

Why being able to be on the football team or a cheerleader is great, I would much rather my child have the academic rigor and variety of courses that comes with a larger student body.

Right now the inequity in our schools is shameful. All of our children deserve to have a top notch education,no one should have to do with out band, chorus, and the like because there aren't the funds. Not having chorus or band could impede upon a future singer or musician not being able to follow their dreams, just as having to compete to play on a sports team, may put into reality that being a pro-player isn't in someone's cards.

One problem that I see in America, is that we want our children to have all of these opportunities with little competition. This is not the real world. We are setting our kids up for failure. Having to compete at an early age builds character and gives our kids coping skills.

As the Rolling Stones song says: "You can't always get what you want... Sometimes you get what you need." Right now we aren't giving all of our children what they need. In my opinion, that is a crime.

Anonymous said...

Those SAT rankings for Chamblee and Lakeside are only for the metro area (AJC front page today), not state wide rankings. Don't know where they stand in Georgia overall. I agree, we must do better or businesses will continue to avoid relocating to Dekalb (other topic).

Sandy Spruill said...

@ Anonymous 6:03 PM

Would you get in touch with me via e-mail, please? My children went through Montgomery and graduated from Chamblee High School. There was no middle school then and Chamblee was not yet a charter school, although it was a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. I chaired the committee that created Chamblee Middle and chaired the committee that converted CHS to Chamblee Charter High School.

I would really like to talk with you. My e-mail is shspruill@gmail.com

In fact, I would like to speak with anyone who is up to the challenge of taking back our schools.

Sandy Spruill said...

@ Anonymous 7:09 PM

Sixty-seven (67) people in your graduating class is way different from a high school of 1,300 - 1,500. Of course there would not be many of the extracurricular activities and courses offered in a larger school. But students can get lost and lose out on athletic, academic and extracurricular opportunities in a huge high school. Most colleges and universities want well-rounded students who have participated in activities outside the classroom and have had an opportunity to exhibit and grow leadership skills and other talents.

Did you know that the Georgia Virtual School [www.gavirtualschool.org/] offers AP courses and college prep level courses? Georgia Virtual offers courses free of charge to all Georgia public school students who are taking the courses as a part of their state reported school day. Georgia Virtual is far superior to DCSS's DOLA (DeKalb Online Academy).

However, you don't need AP classes to get college credit. In DeKalb County, high school students can get both high school and college credit for joint enrollment courses taken at Georgia Perimeter College. DCSS used to pay for those courses. I don't know if they still do.

The University of West Georgia offers both joint enrollment and early admissions programs. Students get their high school degree and get college credits, too.

At the University of Alabama, the Capstone Summer Honors Program takes place during the first term of summer school. The program gives rising high school juniors and seniors the chance to earn seven or eight hours of Honors College credit.

These are guaranteed college credits if your student passes the courses with a "C" or better. There are no guarantees with AP classes. Your student must make a 3 or better on the AP exam and most colleges consider offering credit only for a 4 or 5 on the exam.

Your student's high school counselor can offer direction.

Kim Gokce said...

Anon 7:09

I have to respectfully disagree. The fact that it is more difficult to make the football team at a 3,000 enrollment school versus a 1,000 enrollment school may be so. But is not also easier to make the hockey team, lacrosse team, ultimate team, volley ball team, golf team, tennis team, swim team, etc. when these programs actually exist?

At DeKalb HSes, especially for girls sports, this is a no-brainer: Bigger enrollment means MORE opportunity, NOT less.

Anonymous said...

There is probably a happy medium with high school size and it is probably not where DeKalb is now and not 3000-4000 either.

We have to many schools. We need to consolidate.

Fewer schools means fewer buildings to maintain, fewer administrators to hire, etc.

Kim Gokce said...

Anon Sep 11 5:48 said: "If the affected communities worked together to establish a new identity, I truly believe that would ease a lot of the pain."

The trouble is, our DeKalb "community" has been at loggerheads for two generations at a minimum. I believe your comments are well directed to address the future, not the legacy of DeKalb schools.

For nearly ten years, the leadership hypnotized the community with a vision of returning to a "Premier DeKalb" but that was a mirage. That system is gone with the wind. What it was it will NEVER, EVER be again. Ever ...

So, until I hear community voices and the leadership talking about what the true realities of DeKalb public education - a browner, more poor, more urban, more international/diverse student population than ever before, an ever aging and crumbling physical plant, eroding civic/private sector support, shrinking state funding, increasing competition from surrounding districts and private schools ... I am not impressed with the "now we're serious" talk.

To face up to the challenges faced by public education in DeKalb is going to take a much greater vision than I have heard discussed to date. Again, I believe the most objective and enabling component of any plan must be consolidation. It will not be welcome nor fun but I still do not see a way out of the wilderness without it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Kim I too must respectfully disagree that larger means more opportunities. I tried very hard and in fact did not mention football specifically. I believe my premise holds true for any sport or activity that has a cap on participation.

Even if we assume a mega-school offers a larger variety of opportunities outside the classroom
(includes all sports, clubs, and organizations), and even if you decided you would not cap the number of people participating, you would have the majority still be spectators, only they'd be in uniform (ie) benchwarmers.

I don't have the math skills to support my hypothesis and I'm sure there is some ideal school size that takes all the variables into account. I just would hate DCSS to
buy into the idea that to save money we have to build a educational Wal-Mart. Public school's are very much a factory, churning out a product that is not quite reaching 6 sigma goals.

We can, we must do better.

Sandy Spruill said...

School Size ...

For those interested in understanding more about the impact of school size on students, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities at the National Institute of Building Sciences offers a wealth of information. Go to: www.edfacilities.org/rl/size.cfm

Kim Gokce said...

As for "Wal-mart," a great example: always a convenient location, huge inventory of choices, great products, and low prices. You're right, I would never want that for my local school choice ... ;)

Kim Gokce said...

yes, yes small school are wonderful. but Gates Foundation has pulled back from its own experiments when the data apparently did not support the working assumption. See:

Bill Gates' latest mission: fixing America's schools

Noting, among other interesting facts, "The last thing you'd expect from an organization headed by Bill Gates is a math mistake. Yet, according to Wharton School statistician Howard Wainer, the foundation may have misread the numbers when it arrived at its first prescription for American education. Wainer, who used the foundation as a case study in his 2009 book, Picturing the Uncertain World, says it seized on data showing small schools are overrepresented among the country's highest achievers and started pouring money into creating small high schools and subdividing big ones."

Kim Gokce said...

And, Sandy, at the risk of sounding flippant, isn't reading a studying by the National Institute of Building Sciences supporting the building of more schools like reading the Department of Navy's study on the efficacy of building more ships?

I scan that document and the only reference to cost was when they pointed out that $400,000 on average was injected into each small start-up school in year one to get it off the ground. Multiplied by 200 start-ups, that's $80,000,000 in year one ... and everyone is still arguing about whether it will make a material difference over time?

I'm more compelled by what I see in our own back yard - large format schools that perform at very high levels at Walton, Milton, North Gwinnett. A large school is not a de facto failure anymore than a small school is a de facto success.

It is about teachers and parents and always has been. The latest mega-brazillion investment and experiment by the Gates folks is in incentive pay for teachers, not small schools.

Kim Gokce said...

More from the Bloomberg article:

Small schools promised an alternative to the impersonal bureaucracy of traditional high schools, which Gates in a 2005 speech proclaimed "obsolete." But according to Wainer, adherents overlooked a troublesome fact: Small schools are overrepresented among the lowest as well as highest achievers. Why? Because the smaller a school, the more likely its overall performance can be skewed by a few good or bad students.

Wainer says big high schools, for all their problems, outperform small ones. Scale lets them offer more advanced classes, electives, and extracurricular activities. With Gates funding, one Denver high school split into three and lost so many students that it shut down in 2006. It reopened a year later as a single school, without the foundation's support.

In November 2008, Bill Gates publicly backtracked, acknowledging in a speech in Seattle that "simply breaking up existing schools into smaller units often did not generate the gains we were hoping for." Still, the foundation has not renounced its original mission. Gates credits smaller schools for their proficiency at boosting attendance and decreasing violence. "So we absolutely believe in the small schools thing," he says. "Calling that a failure is not fair."

Kim Gokce said...

@Sandy re: "However, you don't need AP classes to get college credit."

My nephew did this at North Gwinnett via Georgia Southern, too. Joint enrollment for seniors is a great option - it has him off to a fantastic start at GSU (the other GSU is in Atlanta!).

Anonymous said...

RE The business of principals being allowed to be principals because they are friends with the higher ups.

Thank you, Redovian. The jury is still out re Dunwoody.

Sandy Spruill said...

Good morning, Kim!

Can we agree on an accepted definition of "small" schools and an accepted definition of "large" schools -- size of the student body of each, for example?

Regarding the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities at the National Institute of Building Sciences that I suggested earlier in this blog: NCEF [www.edfacilities.org/rl/size.cfm]offers a wealth of resource articles. More than an evening's worth of reading to digest and understand. Could you be more specific about which article you are quoting?

What is the URL for the Bloomberg article you reference, please?

Anonymous said...

DeKalb needs bigger high schools. Not mega ones like Gwinnett, but we need high schools that have enough students that a full high school experience can be obtained.

Every DCSS high school needs to be able to have a full roster of arts. athletics and other extracurricular activities and even courses. We are so not there. We have schools that do have chorus as an elective, drama clubs, etc.

I know of at least a dozen Dunwoody, Chamblee and Brookhaven families paying tuition to Fulton County for their children to go to either Riverwood or N. Springs High Schools because of what is missing at Dunwoody and Chamblee.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Eliminating the 4x4 Block Schedule would go a long way toward allowing schools to offer more in the way of electives - especially to those students who use their 1 or 2 electives to take AP courses, thus not allowing them time for Band or Drama or Art.

I don't want to go back to the 7-period, but I think some type of modified block is called for. IMHO.

Anonymous said...

You may want to ask about the schedule used at Arabia Mountain. They have weeks dedicated to either the 7 period day or block. This is the first block week of the year. Except for when this was initially implemented, everyone has adapted and it seems like a good compromise.

Cerebration said...

We are getting some bigger high schools. Dunwoody and Lakeside will both be large scale after construction. Look for them to each hold about 2,000 or more students. (Not large by Gwinnett's standards, but certainly the largest DeKalb has seen.) Oddly, Tucker, after $60+ million in construction won't hold many more students than they did before. Apparently Arabia only holds about 1,600. (And there was plenty of space there for a biggie.)

Cerebration said...

The Cross Keys campus is perfect for a large scale model school. If built like a small college campus, with separate buildings for different study areas, that campus could hold quite a few students. They also have a big plus in the nearby Marta station - a 10 minute easy walk from the campus.

Anonymous said...

All those decisions, the size of Arabia Mt. and Tucker were made because that is the way it has always been in DeKalb. Ironically, at about the same time those schools were being planned and built, DCSS built three elementary schools that could each hold about 900 students and DCSS had built several other elementary schools in the last 10 years that could hold that many students.

In this case, one can only ask "WHAT" because it wasn't like it was different departments. It was the same one -- Construction.

UGH.

Dunwoody Mom said...

There was the same type of conversation during the planning of the new Peachtree Middle School. When the plans were unveiled to the community we realized that it was being built to hold only the number of students that were currently enrolled in PCMS. When Dr. Pritchett was asked what happens if PCMS is overcrowded, as it is close to today, his answer was "redistricting". Now, PCMS has a alot of land due to the fact it was a high school so a bigger school could have been built on this land. This mindset at DCSS goes way back even prior to Pat Pope.

Anonymous said...

@cere 8:21
Where are you getting that dunwoody will hold 2000 after construction? I think that is incorrect. Only a few classrooms are being added (pretty sure it's less than ten). They are also adding an auditorium. The rest of the money went to reno existing facility and construct a retention pond.

Cerebration said...

From the SPLOST 3 brochure promoting the vote -

􀀵 Large Model Additions
Dunwoody, Lithonia, M.L. King Jr., Miller Grove

(Large scale models in DCSS are only 2,000)

To see the entire list, look in the comments of this post -
The mad dash for the SPLOST cash

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what the large scale addition is referring to but I do not believe the DHS addition will get the capacity to or even close to 2000. They are only adding a few classrooms (above an existing wing of the building). Plus an auditorium.

Cerebration said...

They aren't getting the auditorium/career tech addition? (The career tech portion is I think, 8 classrooms.) Just an auditorium? Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this is the source of the confusion as to the scale of the Dunwoody reno. See this paragraph from the Dunwoody Crier article regarding the construction:

The outward expansion will include a 500-seat auditorium for band, orchestra and drama performances, with room for expansion. The original plans called for a separate “fine arts wing,” however, school board member Jim Redovian and other DeKalb officials at the meeting could not comment as to why the idea was scrapped.

http://www.thecrier.net/articles/2010/02/09/front/dhs.txt
.

Anonymous said...

Cere @ 10:11,

Yes they are getting the 8 classrooms but that is not going to push capacity to 2000+. Current capacity is only 1500. They are not going to fit 500 kids in 8 classrooms.

Cerebration said...

ok. I see. 8x30 only = 240.

Lakeside, however, is getting the auditorium/career tech AND a 20+ classroom addition. I heard Womack ask about acquiring the marshland next door for additional parking. No telling how many that building will end up holding. That 5 minute light at Briarcliff may have to go 10.

pscexb said...

As a reminder, Stephenson HS has already gone to the 'large school' model with its addition of the Freshman Academy. I understood from SPLOST discussions that the school already mentioned were going to eventually have a capacity for 2000 students.

Arabia Mountain was built initially for 1600 however 'guts' were put in place to easily add room for an additional 400 seats. I understood the same would be true for Tucker, given that is the model du jour for high schools.

Thinking from a practical standpoint with Kim's comments in mind, I believe the Chamblee/Cross Keys corridor only needs one high school. Should it be at the current Cross Keys site (that has space) or a new site in either the Buford Hwy or Peachtree corridor, I could go either way.

This may not be a popular opinion based on prior postings but Chamblee HS should be closed, as recommended back in the early
1990's. It does not make sense to make an investment in the current site given the population of resident high school children in both the Chamblee and Cross Keys area. 2000 HS seats at both Dunwoody and a Chamblee/Cross Keys combined school would be sufficient.

Cerebration said...

I happen to agree with you psc, and have stated that many times here on the blog. We don't need all of these schools in that corridor and pooling the SPLOST money to create one very nice college-like campus with a variety of alternative pathways through high school could be cutting edge. But the attachment to Chamblee HS (at least in name) is very emotional.

Cerebration said...

The Crier article is interesting. These quotes in particular jumped out -

When asked for the school’s current capacity as well as the capacity after the construction, Redovian first explained the definition of capacity has changed multiple times in the school’s history; that a number of out-of-area transfers, such as the M-to-M program or the AYP students from No Child Left Behind, have changed the school’s population; that a “bubble” of students currently in the elementary schools would certainly overcrowd Dunwoody High in the next 10 years, assuming they matriculated through the public schools; and having to open up the former Chamblee Middle School as a separate Dunwoody High School 9th-grade academy.

As for the planned expansion, Redovian said he didn’t know the planned capacity for the expansion since “it hadn’t been built yet.” When pushed further, state Rep. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) stepped in, saying it would allow for around 2,200 students.


- So, how is it that Redovian seems clear as mud on the question of capacity, yet Fran Millar has a one sentence hard answer - as 2,200?

pscexb said...

Should it be at the current Cross Keys site (that has space) or a new site in either the Buford Hwy or Peachtree corridor, I could go either way.

I felt I should clarify this. I believe given the current investment being made at Cross Keys along with the space the site offers and access to MARTA, it could house many of the childen in this corridor. If a site in the Buford Hwy or Peachtree corridor offers better access along with the possibility of relocating North DeKalb Stadium, I could consider that also.

Cerebration said...

A new stadium? Where would we get the $$$ for that?

pscexb said...

Cere, I saw your posting after my last. It should be noted that in articles I've read from the early nineties, many Chamblee residents were 'receptive' about the idea of moving into Dunwoody. At that time, it would have included Huntley Hills, Montgomery, and Nancy Creek as Ashford Park was a Cross Keys school. During that time, Dunwoody had around 1100 students and Chamblee had around 600.

Compliance to the lawsuit by establishing a magnet at Chamblee 'saved' it from the planned closure. Despite that, the neighborhood population for Chamblee has not changed much in the past 20 years. Ask Paul Womack as he was a Board member at that time.

Anonymous said...

I take Fran's 2,200 comment with a grain of salt. How is it that he purports to know mroe about it than the DHS principal and the DCSS construction folks? I just do not see how adding 8 classrooms gets you from 1500 capacity to 2200. That is a 50% increase! The partial third floor that they are adding is just not that big. Given that DHS is already a two story building, you would have to do a complete third story to increase capacity by 50% and they are not coming anywhere close to putting a third story on the whole building. It is really just one wing.

The construction (with the exception of the auditorium) are nearly complete. Anyone who has been over there lately will tell you that while the reno of the existing facility looks great, and the additional third floor is needed and will help, it is not going to increase capacity to 2200 or even 2000.

pscexb said...

We keep posting between each other :). A new stadium could be contructed from the sale of some combination of the current Chamblee and Cross Keys (the most valuable property that DCSS owns). Again, this would only be the suggestion if the decision was to build a new school in that corridor instead of using the existing Cross Keys site.

Cerebration said...

Good points, Anon. I hope you can all see where so much misinformation comes from. I think it's quite funny that the board has taken to blaming the blogs (the Get Schooled blog at the AJC has a lot of DCSS conversation too) for spreading "misinformation", however, as you can plainly see, all we do is discuss the information published here, there and everywhere, often revealing the inconsistencies in what we're "told".

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