Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tune in Monday at 6 pm on Comcast 24

On the heels of the Board retreat (outlined in an earlier post), the board will have their regular monthly meeting on Monday, November 8 at 6 PM. Plan to attend (in the Board Room at the DeKalb County School System's Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain) or watch it live on Comcast Channel 24.

It appears that the board will present their decision regarding which project(s) to fund with the federal stimulus money they are discussing over the weekend.

Below is the agenda -


F. SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT

G. ACTION ITEMS

  1. Personnel Recommendation, Presented by: Ms. Ramona H. Tyson, Interim Superintendent
  2. Selection of Project(s) Funded with QSCB Bond Proceeds, Presented by: Mr. Marcus Turk, Chief Financial Officer

H. CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS
It is requested that the DeKalb Board of Education approve the October 11, 2010 consent agenda items
  1. Approval of Minutes, Presented by: Ms. Ramona H. Tyson, Interim Superintendent
  2. Financial Report, Presented by: Mr. Marcus Turk, Chief Financial Officer
  3. Approval for Vendors to Exceed $50,000, Presented by: Mr. Marcus Turk, Chief Financial Officer
  4. Human Resources Monthly Report for November 2010, Presented by: Dr. Jamie L. Wilson, Jr., Chief Human Resources Officer
  5. WAN Maintenance Services (Year 3 of 5), Presented by: Mr. Tony Hunter, Executive Director, Management Information Systems
  6. AT&T Services, Presented by: Mr. Tony Hunter, Executive Director, Management Information Systems
  7. PAETEC Services, Presented by: Mr. Tony Hunter, Executive Director, Management Information Systems
  8. Title II-D: Enhancing Education Through Technology: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Labs, Presented by: Mr. Tony Hunter, Executive Director, Management Information Systems
  9. Title II-D: Enhancing Education Through Technology Formula Funds, Presented by: Mr. Tony Hunter, Executive Director, Management Information Systems
  10. Title IV-B 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, Presented by: Mr. Tony Hunter, Executive Director, Management Information Systems
  11. General Funds Budget Reallocation (101), Presented by: Mr. Steven Donahue, Executive Director, Plant Services
  12. Dust Mop Services Extension Approval (Bid #09-35R), Presented by: Mr. Steven Donahue, Executive Director, Plant Services
  13. Vent Hood Cleaning and Maintenance Extension (Bid No.10-438), Presented by: Mr. Steven Donahue, Executive Director, Plant Services
  14. Supplemental Project Management Services for the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), Presented by: Mr. Robert Moseley, Deputy Chief Superintendent, Support Services
  15. Sanitary Sewer Easement Agreement at Stone Mill Elementary School, Presented by: Ms. Barbara M. Colman, Interim CIP Operations Officer
  16. Capital Outlay Budget Reallocation (410), Presented by: Ms. Barbara M. Colman, Interim Chief Operations Officer
  17. Capital Improvement Plan Budget Reallocation (421), Presented by: Ms. Barbara M. Colman, Interim Chief Operations Officer
  18. Clarkston High School – Existing Building Fire Protection System Change Order Number 9- Approval, Presented by: Ms. Barbara M. Colman, Interim Chief Operations Officer
  19. Dunwoody High School Renovations Project- Approval of Change Order No.5, Presented by: Ms. Barbara M. Colman, Interim Chief Operations Officer
  20. Dunwoody High School - Approval of Change Order No.6, Presented by: Ms. Barbara M. Colman, Interim Chief Operations Officer
  21. Continuance and Upgrade of Learning Applications from Renaissance Learning, Presented by: Dr. Morcease Beasley, Interim Deputy Superintendent, Teaching and Learning
  22. Purchase of Band Uniforms for Avondale, Druid Hills and Martin L. King, Jr. High Schools, Presented by: Dr. Morcease J. Beasley, Interim Deputy Superintendent
  23. Master Agreement for Services With University Instructors, Inc., Presented by: Dr. Audria Berry, Executive Director, Office of School Improvement
  24. Library Media Books/Materials and Support Services, Presented by: Ms. Rosalind Dennis, Director, Educational Media
  25. Renewal of the Evaluation Contract for the Smaller Learning Community (SLC) Grant, Presented by: Dr. Delmas Watkins, Director, Career Technology Education
  26. Wellsys Corporation Contracted Services, Presented by: Dr. Sonja Alexander, Director of Professional Learning
  27. Destiny Achievers Academy of Excellence Charter Petition, Presented by: Mr. Robert Moseley, Deputy Chief Superintendent, Support Services
  28. International Baccalaureate Americas, Presented by: Dr. Felicia Mayfield, Associate Superintendent, Student Support Services

I. OTHER\BOARD COMMENTS (2 Minutes Each)

J. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. National School Psychology Week ~ Monday, November 8 - Friday, November 12, 2010
  2. Region 1 Vertical Articulation Meeting, 3:30pm, Tuesday, November 9, 2010, AIC Auditorium, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain
  3. Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting, 5:00pm, Wednesday, November 10, 2010,  Sam Moss Service Center, 1780 Montreal Road, Tucker
  4. Budget, Finance & Facilities Committee Meeting, 10:00am, Monday, November 15, 2010, AIC Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain
  5. Emory-LaVista Parent Council Meeting, 8:45am, Wednesday, November 17, 2010, Medlock Elementary School, 2418 Wood Trail Lane, Decatur
  6. South DeKalb Parent Council Meeting, 6:30pm, November 18, 2010, Miller Grove  High School, 2645 DeKalb Medical Parkway, Lithonia
  7. DeKalb Board of Education Called Meeting (executive session), 9:00am, Friday, November 19, 2010, AIC Cabinet Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain
  8. DeKalb Board of Education Called Meeting (committee of the whole), 10:30am, Friday, November 19, 2010, AIC Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain
  9. Schools & Administrative Offices Closed ~ Thursday & Friday, November 25 & 26, 2010, Thanksgiving Holiday
  10. DeKalb Board of Education Work Session & Business Meeting, 6:00pm, Monday, December 6, 2010, AIC Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain

141 comments:

Anonymous said...

23. Master Agreement for Services With University Instructors, Inc., Presented by: Dr. Audria Berry, Executive Director, Office of School Improvement


How much is this gonna cost us, Audria?

BOE, how about saying no to the bells & whistles from the Office of School Improvement and yes on putting funds back into the school house!

Anonymous said...

you hear more lies again.

Anonymous said...

This is the tutoring program mandated by NCLB and the feds.

You can read the details here:

https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/meetings/viewmeetingOrder.aspx?S=4054&MID=14125

DCSS does have to pay for this for the schools that aren't Title 1 that didn't make AYP but otherwise it is Title 1 monies.

Again required by NCLB.

No Duh said...

"Purchase of Band Uniforms for Avondale, Druid Hills and Martin L. King, Jr. High Schools, Presented by: Dr. Morcease J. Beasley, Interim Deputy Superintendent"

Henderson Middle School was recently broken into (investigation pending, but we are the 20th school in DCSS hit by thieves). We lost more than $30,000 worth of laptops and other equipment (Believe me, these items were very carefully secured, they were not left lying around carelessly. This was no easy target.)

We still do not know exactly how or if these items will be replaced. We have been told they may need to be replaced with "local funds." If anyone out there reading this understands how DCSS insurance policy works, can you please explain if a theft like this is covered? We're hearing it is not -- can this really be true?

It just seems to me, that items like band uniforms are perfect examples of things that should be paid for by "local funds" and local fundraising.

Very frustrating to know that DCSS does not seem to have a clear-cut way to replace stolen educational items, but yet, has a mechanism in place by which schools can get band uniforms.

Anonymous said...

No Duh...

The deductible is something like $100k each time it happens. That is what I have been told.

Meaning each incident DCSS pays the first 100k before the insurance policy kicks in. The insurance company looks at each theft as 1 item. So HMS would be 2 million dollars later. Did I do my math right?

I think Cobb and Fulton has the same deductible per location. It is pretty much standard operating procedure.

No Duh said...

Well, I had heard it had something to do with the deductible. And if it's $100K per incident, I suppose DCSS wouldn't even put in a claim for a "mere" $30K+ theft.

Anonymous said...

And how much do we pay for security?

The stealing at the schools of AC, computers, etc is out of control.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that a bond fund is not free money, it's credit that must be repaid. If it were "free money", it would come with strings attached. As a bond, the BOE is spending tax money it does not yet have, in an economy that is continuing to fall apart.

This is the same spending pattern that got us all into trouble in the first place - borrowing money for our homes and spending on our credit cards instead of tightening our belts and spending less than we received.

Anonymous said...

"Henderson Middle School was recently broken into (investigation pending, but we are the 20th school in DCSS hit by thieves). We lost more than $30,000 worth of laptops and other equipment (Believe me, these items were very carefully secured, they were not left lying around carelessly. This was no easy target.)"

Remember, we are paying for a school police department with two cheifs, nine detectives and about 200 employees.

Seems like with nine detectives, this theft should be solved quickly. But I believe the huge theft of AC units this summer is still unsolved.

Another lack of return on investment.

Anonymous said...

What about the DeKalb County Police Department? How often do you see a police car riding around our neighborhoods?

Anonymous said...

have the schools that have had the thefts recently actually taken the time to report them (the parents, not the administrators who have to follow protocol) to DeKalb County PD? My guess is that it's an inside job and the investigation itself is being covered up so perhaps it's time for a number of parents (or pta/school council folk) from each affected location to go to the DeKalb Police Department and report the thefts and lack of results (there are security cameras and tapes....). Just a thought....

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:43

"DCSS does have to pay for this for the schools that aren't Title 1 that didn't make AYP but otherwise it is Title 1 monies.

Again required by NCLB. "

.....Or Dr. Berry could use Title 1 money to hire Title 1 math and reading teachers to work directly with struggling students in Title 1 schools like many school systems do.

The Office of School Improvement under Dr. Berry has seen our Title 1 schools decline in student academic progress. Why is she still in charge of this department? Where is the accountability on the part of Dr. Berry and the Office of School Improvement?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:00 pm
"
Henderson Middle School was recently broken into (investigation pending, but we are the 20th school in DCSS hit by thieves)."

That's comforting to know since DCSS has 218 Security employees at a cost of $12,500,000 in salary and benefits. This is an average of $57,300 per Security employee - far more the average DCSS teacher.

The AJC published that fact that BOE member Eugene Walker has a son who is one of those security employees.

No Duh said...

Aaaah! I've opened a can of worms! Yes, the theft is being investigated. As can be expected, not every parent or staff member can be privy to all the details of the investigation. I have faith in the investigation.

My point is...

Why do we pay for band uniforms out of "centralized" funds and expect the local schools to pay for stolen equipment with "local" funds?

Anonymous said...

Dekalb has used University Instructors for several years. However, they have not demonstrated any significant results with the students they are tutoring. Is it time for a change? Yes, Dekalb has to offer tutoring, do they have to use University Instructors, NO.

Kim Gokce said...

I'm with you, No Duh, on the band uniforms. I was surprised to see that on the agenda. I know we at CK struggle to get instruments into the kids hands or even boots for marching so I'm not sure what that is about.

Regarding computer thefts - I've heard the same thing in our attendance area. Last year there were a bunch of new computers stolen from an ES and when I said, "At least, it will be covered by insurance," I was told no because of deductible.

Sounds like to me the County needs a new insurance broker ...

Anonymous said...

I can say this from a personal experience... Someone tried to break into my car while parked on school property. When I went to my car at the end of the day and saw the damage I went in to report it to my principal. We saw the guy on the camera trying to break in but was not successful.

My principal told me that I had to report the damage to our SRO. Well the sad thing was that this was a Thursday, our SRO had already left and was on vacation on Friday and Monday.

I just wanted to get my damage fixed and could not use my drivers door at all. So I called the DeKalb County Police Department to get a report. Well they will not even come onto DCSS property. They said that since DCSS has their own police department that is there jurisdiction. So I had to wait and learn how to crawl across the passenger seat for over a week.

Needless to say at that time we had the worst SRO in the history of schools. Thank goodness they are not there any more.

Anonymous said...

Band Uniforms have been purchased forever on a rotation system. Otherwise, there are schools that are so poor that they would never get new ones and schools that are so affluent, or at least have the ability to raise significant monies, that would get new ones regularly.

Because of the economy, DeKalb is now 3 or 4 years behind on the rotation. Arabia Mt. got uniforms earlier this year because they had never had them.

I question what to do here. In systems that have a lot of economic diversity this is a real challenge. Do you leave it up to the schools and be prepared for huge discrepancies? It would be nice if each school had its own stadium. In many Fulton County high schools, the Band parents run the concession stand and invest the profits in the band program.

Anonymous said...

The insurance things is complicated as well. The high deductible makes the insurance affordable and if so many claims are filed, either the premiums go up or you are dropped altogether.

That said, the System is suppose to be self insuring with means that they should be able to cover the deductible.

The system needs to replace these computers.

Anonymous said...

No the worst Campus Security Guard in the world is at my school. Every now and then he gets up and slowly walks around the building. Unless the principal is there to monitor him every moment, he does nothing. She inherited him from another principal. When our principal tries to get him to do something, he goes and whines to the staff and tries to make things hard for her. That is OK. I think that she will be leaving soon for another job. When someone's car is broken into or purse is stolen, I hope that the people that feel he is entitled to do nothing, are the ones that lose their things. Please continue to pray for our schools and our system. There is so much that needs to change. Pray for Ms Tyson. She also inherited a lot of the problems that are now in the system. At least she is trying to corret them. I really wish that all of the people complaining about having to do their jobs, will leave and go somewhere else. I know that there are people who really want to work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing that up Anon 6:00. It seems that some were not aware of how band uniforms are purchased by the district. If anyone remembers, there were several band boosters from MLK at the November 1 meeting requesting that item be approved. They indicated they were told that the condition of their uniforms prevented the band from participating in the Orange Bowl.

DeKalb made a decision to go to the 'shared use' policy with stadiums many years ago. The larger schools are subsidizing many of the smaller schools when it comes to funding athletic programs. Despite raising participation fees for students in many sports, the athletic department sometimes runs at a deficit.

Anyone want to make the tough suggestion that each school should financially support its own athletic and band program?

David Montané said...

"Anyone want to make the tough suggestion that each school should financially support its own athletic and band program?"

Here's hoping by "each school", you mean the booster club of each school, not the public school funds.

As a taxpayer in District 3, I would like Sarah Copelin-Woods to represent me on the board in saying that from now on, athletic and band programs are not paid for out of taxpayers' money.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Sure, David, why don't you tell some of these poor, poverty-level schools with no booster clubs that
they have to raise their own funds.

Sheesh......

Anonymous said...

Talking about band uniforms, do you realize that Avondale received approximately $30K for 125 uniforms, Druid Hills received approximately $60K for 125 uniforms, and MLK received at least $80K for 250 uniforms?

A Board member, possibly Jim Redovian, questioned the cost disparity and was told that it is due to the uniform design chosen by the school, and that within reason the schools can choose the design.

I would like to balance this by stating that the latest round of varsity soccer uniforms for our schools did not include the name of the school. I guess we should be content to be known as the "green" team or the "blue" team. This was extremely insulting. These uniforms were extremely cheap, and they have to last at least four years. Seems like soccer players get dirtier than band players, although I guess they can get caught out in the rain too.

Cerebration said...

Am I correct in thinking that the band only wears the uniform when performing at football games or the rare parade? (Which I heartily applaud - DCSS has some awesome bands that are nationally known.)

Anyhoo - if that's the case - couldn't the money come from the athletic proceeds from the stadiums?

I think that band is an important educational outlet - kids in bands benefit greatly from the structure of the band and the music instruction is good for the brain. And really, if you haven't seen some of these bands perform - check them out soon - they're amazing - especially Redan, SW DeKalb and MLK... Bands are so important!

Dunwoody Mom said...

Our high school bands perform in many competitions througout the year - it is much more than just half-time at football games.

In fact, at the recent DCSS Band Festival the MLK band had to perform in track suits that had been purchased by their parents.

Anonymous said...

I believe that each school should be allot X amount of money for each band uniform. If the band wants to spend more, than the kids and parents can fund raise for this increased expense. The pricing differences expressed in Anon 7:50's post is alarming to me. That is a great difference in the cost of each uniform.

Each school should be treated fairly and told this is how much they have to spend from the district per uniform. If they want to choose a more expensive uniform, go ahead, but be ready to pay the difference, as the district isn't footing the bill for fancy uniforms.

I believe that band is a very worth while and necessary extra activity, but the difference in spending of uniforms is alarming to me and seems to be a waste of money, in a time when every penny should be pinched and looked at.

A side note: The high school that I went to up North, continues to use the band uniforms that were used when I was in high school, they are old and still functional. Band uniforms are not things that need to be replaced every 4 or 5 years if they are taken care of. If a child doesn't take care of it, he can pay to replace it.

Anonymous said...

Just to make sure everyone understands, I believe the cycle for band uniforms is 5 to 10 years. They don't get new ones annually, even in good budget times.

DCSS doesn't take in enough from athletics because we have to many teams. We have teams where there aren't 200 spectators for that team at a game. At our high school, there are lots of fans at games but there are still many parents of players who rarely or never attend a game.

What if every high school did have a stadium in DeKalb? At some of those stadiums it would be a struggle to take in enough gate revenues to keep the lights on.

To many high schools is part of the problem in DeKalb.

No Duh said...

I really don't know enough about the importance of an expensive band uniform to the performance of the band. I do know that Lakeside kids wore matching t-shirts and jeans several years ago -- guess it wasn't our turn on the rotation.

Are there football/basketball booster clubs at MLK? Are the local parents ponying up for the athletes? You say Arabia Mt. "never" had band uniforms -- the school is two years old! And it's supposed to be a magnet dedicated to the sciences.

I know all our students deserve the best -- and I want them to have it. I know there would be money for all schools to have "Orange Bowl" worthy band uniforms IF we would spend our tax dollars on the schools and not the central office waste that is out of control.

But, right now, that is not happening. Right now, our priorities are still out of whack. Teachers and other school house employees are still not being consulted on what they really need to run a great school. From Title I dollars to general funds to SPLOST money, no one from Central Office asks the school house ANYTHING!

Honestly, as a parent, I wouldn't mind being told "no" by my BOE members IF they could prove to me that DCSS central office employees fully explored WITH THE SCHOOL HOUSE its needs and responded in the affirmative. That is not happening.

Right now, it's being suggested that HMS' PTSA help pay for the replacement of EDUCATIONAL EQUIPMENT. I'm sure the PTSA will do the best it can to squeeze some money out of its tight budget to help -- even just a little bit. And, it will ask HMS parents to contribute, too. But, let's remember in this tight economy, that HMS parents have ALREADY PAID taxes that are supposed to provide EDUCATIONAL EQUIPMENT for our county's children.

Anonymous said...

That is wrong as well. DCSS needs to cover the cost of stolen equipment and they need to find a way to keep it more secure. To the point of, it is taken, it has to be an inside job kind of thing.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Am I reading this correctly? Is the state phasing out the GHSGT in favor of EOCT? This is from the State BOE Meeting website...

"It is proposed that the GHSGT no longer be required as a condition for a high school diploma for
students entering grade nine during the 2011-2012 school year and beyond. For these students the
EOCT will contribute 25% to the course grade; students will be required to pass the course with the increased contribution of the EOCT. For students in grades ten or higher in 2011-2012, it is proposed that a passing score on a content area EOCT be accepted as an alternate demonstration of proficiency in lieu of passing the corresponding content area GHSGT. For these cohorts of students the EOCT will continue to contribute 15% of a student’s grade. The GHSGT will remain available for students unable to meet the testing requirement through the EOCT in any content area. The requirement to achieve a passing score on the GHSWT will remain for all students"

https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=1262&AID=264203&MID=16761

Anonymous said...

This is going to sound bad, but I'm sorry - I don't feel as bad for the poor schools as I once did. They voted back in the incumbents. Anyone who is dumb enough to do that can fend for themselves on non-essentials.

Dunwoody Mom said...

You're right - that does sound bad.

Don't punish the children for the mistakes adults make.

Sagamore 7 said...

Here is the real issue for band uniforms and the funds being spent.

I looked at the costs associated with the uniforms and made two phone calls to uniform companies not associated with DCSS and this is the story.

Avondale $240
MLK $355
Druid Hills $480

How can there be 100% difference between the costs uniforms?

DCSS also says that the "Rotation" for purchasing new uniforms is 6-7 years.

A full band uniform with all the bells and whistles can be purchased for $300.
MAXIMUM!

These uniforms are hand made and are guaranteed for 10 YEARS!
If these uniforms are GUARANTEED for ten years then DCSS can purchase new uniforms every 10 years instead of every 6-7 years.
That is only two purchases every 20 years in stead of 3 purchases.


The purchasing department seems that they are not doing much cost-savings for our school system.

I won't even get into the "Friends and Family" potential here for these transactions.

The sales people on the other end of the phone call asked if the uniforms are being purchased from the two largest band uniform suppliers.

Stanbury and Fruhauf. Yes they are!
What is the manufacturers guarantee on the Stanbury and Fruhauf uniforms? 10 years?

The gentleman I spoke to worked as a manager at Stanbury for 20 years and decided to go out and compete against them.

Here is the link for the historical perspective that DCSS gives as rational for purchasing uniforms.

https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4054&AID=264877&MID=14125


The reasoning seems to be that:
"This is how it was done in the past, therefore we shouldn't be questioned about doing it again?"

Wrong and wrong, is my opinion.

The uniforms are chosen by the high school and not the county. Which is understandable but there is no $$ limit for them. Why is Avondale good with $240 uniforms and Druid Hills needs twice the amount.

Here is another issue and this is where I start to get confused.

The next quote is from the summary section of the online meeting page on the eboard DCSS website for the band uniforms.

"Items listed and priced in the current and active Federal Government Services Administration contracts, State of Georgia or other state government contracts, and other local government agency bid contracts may be purchased for the quoted price without public advertisement and bidding [DJE-C-H2]."

So there was no RFP? Is there a government handbook that states what an allowable "Quoted" price should be for band uniforms?
$480 per uniform is ok by government standards?

It seems that the people in charge of spending our taxpayer money are not doing a good job of searching for the best value for the schools.

We need to hold our reps accountable for EVERYTHING they spend and do!

If it starts with band uniforms, then so be it! Start the explaining!

I've got to go to work and make more moeny for them to spend!
It's very frustrating times we are currently in!

Sagamore 7

pscexb said...

Anonymous 8:46 brings up a very good point, is there a dollar amount allocated per uniform? If you could determine what if an average amount for a basic band uniform, you could then go to the booster club to pay the difference for anything about that. That would seem fair.

This is an interesting conversation because it gets to the heart of what taxpayers feel is important in school funding. I know of many students that used the arts programs as a means for getting scholarships to go to college. Combined with no pass, no play, some students became more focused with school work in order to participate. Bands and sports team are usually a source of community pride. Go to most high schools in south Georgia on a fall Friday night and you'll probably see the entire town supporting their school. It's different in the metro area because we have so many high schools within a school district.

I'm willing to speak on behalf of schools being subsidized out of the general budget for basic band uniforms. I'm not a band person but have seen the benefits it provides to students, schools, and communities.

Interestingly, there was a school district in Massachusetts that defunded their athletic programs a few years ago. It would be interesting to see what impact that has had on the community. A la carte services with government and schools may be a trend of the future.

Anonymous said...

"I believe that each school should be allot X amount of money for each band uniform. If the band wants to spend more, than the kids and parents can fund raise for this increased expense."

Awesome idea, Anon 8:46!! Great post.

Cerebration said...

Interesting, psc. If a band uniform costs $400, and lasts 10 years, that's $40 per year per student. Not bad - couldn't the students pony up the cost? Or could an activities fee cover it? I agree that a cost limit should be set - it's odd that the prices fluctuate so much.

To No Duh - DO NOT LET THE PTA PAY ONE DIME for stolen equipment! That is outrageous!!!

Also - Dunwoody Mom - excellent find on the graduation test. Let's do some more research and create a thread on that topic alone. I remember when the graduation test was first announced, the plan was to have it replace the EOCT (or was it vice-versa?) At any rate - the plan was for one or the other to go away - and it's taken about 5 years to get here.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:20, you say Ms. Tyson inherited these problems? I beg to differ, Ms. Tyson is part of the problem. Just take one look at DCSS MIS and you'll see that Ms. Tyson is NOT the solution to the DCSS ills.

Ms. Tyson got her man, Hunter, hired to take her spot after buying a huge bandwidth infrastructure from him, that DCSS DID NOT need all at once. The systems at DCSS are awful, just ask any of the teachers or employees that use it everyday, they'll tell you.

Plus, Ms. Tyson, let a son of former BOE chairman Francis Edwards, get away with NOT REPORTING for a new job for 6 months as well as approving a $15K raise and the paychecks, without checking to see if he had reported. It took parents to expose the missing MIS employee and it also cost a principal his job. The principal of the school where the man was hiding was demoted back to Asst. Principal at another school.

Folks, don't let these folks get away with their lies. They are trying to deceive a public, where the majority could care less about their childrens education. Why do you think these moronic incumbents continue to get re-elected?

THIS IS ALL ABOUT MONEY, The $1.4 Billion dollar budget of DCSS. Too many friends and family know how to game the system. It's time to show them all the door!

Dunwoody Mom said...

Cere, I think Kathy Cox's plan was to have the EOCT replace the GHSGT test - which certainly makes more sense. Judging a high school on a test that only Junior's take just does not make much sense to me. Oh, well.

I've been trying to poke around and see how AYP calculations would work, but so far,can't find anything. I'll keep looking.

Cerebration said...

Sounds Great, Dunwoody Mom. This is a pretty big deal!

Cerebration said...

NOTICE OF DBOE COMMITTEE MEETING – INSTRUCTION & BOARD POLICY

The DeKalb Board of Education Committee on Instruction & Board Policy will hold a meeting on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 10:00am in the Cabinet Room at the DeKalb County School System's Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain. The purpose of the meeting is to review Board policies and system-wide operations as it relates to instruction and Board policies.

Cerebration said...

A. CALL TO ORDER
By: Dr. Pamela Speaks, Committee Chair

B. DISCUSSION ITEMS
1. Proposed Policy Amendments
Presented by: Mr. Robert Moseley, Deputy Chief Superintendent, School Operations
a. School Attendance Areas, Descriptor Code AD
b. Entrance Age, Descriptor Code JBB
c. School Admissions, Descriptor Code JBC

2. Proposed New Policies
Presented by: Mr. Robert Moseley, Deputy Chief Superintendent, School Operations
a. Student Assignment, Descriptor Code JBCC

3. Rescind Policies
Presented by: Mr. Robert Moseley, Deputy Chief Superintendent, School Operations
a. Non-resident Students, Descriptor Code JBCB
b. Entrance Age Regulation, Descriptor Code JBB-R


C. CITIZEN COMMENTS

D. ADJOURN

Anonymous said...

No school has a security guard 24 hours a day. The security is there for the students and teachers when the building is open.

Every school has an alarm system and a camera system that should work after hours. The questions your need to be asking is did the alarm go off? Did the camera recording reveal any evidence as to the theives? In any case, a break in and theft is a matter for county police. Some school security people are legally able to make arrests but they are not a police department. I measure DCSS security in terms of how many students and staff are safe while they are at school.

Anonymous said...

So which is it?

Does DCSS have a police force or a security force? If the security alarm goes off at a school off hours, does the DeKalb Police Dept. look for the thief or the DCSS Police/Security force? If DeKalb Police will not come on a DCSS property, since it is not their jurisdiction, who is minding OUR schools??

Seems to me with a security force the size of DCSS that we would have a better return on investment. I think we need to pare down the DCSS security force. No more detectives, One Chief/Supervisor will do. This way if a school is robbed, DCSS can rely on the resources of the DeKalb Police Dept.

I still think that most robberies of schools are most likely inside jobs. How else can one explain these missing air conditioners? How else can one explain these smaller robberies? Is it to keep the insurance company from investigating? I think if we had to get the insurance company to continue to pay out losses, we might finally have a true investigative unit find out who is robbing DCSS blind!

Anonymous said...

DCSS school police has ninedetectives (and two chiefs).

I measure DCSS security for 1) keeping students and staff safe, 2) protecting the hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, facilities and properties from walking away!!!

Anonymous said...

If the police are there to keep the students and staff safe, what do they do in the summer?

Anonymous said...

Briarlake Elementary had all of its laptops stolen, and the PTA paid for all of the replacements, not insurance or the county.

Anonymous said...

DM: Yes, I read that the EOCT tests were always supposed to replace the GHSGT. And I think this was one of the platforms that Barge ran on - to reduce the number of tests.

So... reading between the lines, the DOE sees the new boss is on the horizon and is putting in place a plan that will meet with his approval.

Of course, Barge wants to unwind the integrated HS math (and they are just now writing some of the EOCT Math tests). So this will be interesting.

Anonymous said...

"Briarlake Elementary had all of its laptops stolen, and the PTA paid for all of the replacements, not insurance or the county."

When did this happen? I'm surprised an incident like this didn't make the AJC.

It seems like there are many computer related thefts at our schools that the public doesn't find out about.

pscexb said...

Who owned the Briarlake laptops, the PTA or school system? Some PTAs and/or booster clubs have been known to supplement equipment for a school. They don't turn it over to the school because as school property, it could be given to ANY school in the district. That's why some PTAs/Booster clubs maintain ownership of the equipment. I've seen this with Band Booster clubs that purchase equipment for the band.

Anonymous said...

So let's get this right! DCSS purchases laptops with OUR tax money. They get stolen to OUR amazement. DCSS does not replace them but Briarlake Elementary PTA does, guess who has to fix said laptops? Briarlake PTA. DCSS has no ties to that equipment. We wanted to do this at our school and DCSS had to agree to it since their CTSS would be caring for them. It was tough, but it did happen and students dads are helping with the upkeep.

So I ask who wins in this scenario? The perpetrators and DCSS. Amazing! Who are the perps? Could they be someone with knowledge of the security systems in place? Just askin........

Exit question, why does DCSS have the highest budget for security/police in metro Atlanta?

Anonymous said...

I guess the powers in charge don't think our schools are very safe.

Anonymous said...

@3:41, maybe they're not. Just today two stories in the AJC: 1) alleged sexual assault of a McNair student on her way to middle school and 2) a shooting from the driveway of Indian Creek Elem.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 5:05, The security at our schools are NOT safe! Just read those two articles. So once again, why is the DCSS Police budget the highest in Metro Atlanta? With all this security in place, why is all this criminal activity happening?

Anonymous said...

The McNair student was not assaulted on school grounds - she was cutting through some woods.

As far as Indian Creek, I don't believe elementary schools are assigned resource/police officers.

Anonymous said...

Many DeKalb neighborhoods are among the least safe in Metro Atlanta.

Kim Gokce said...

Just got home in time to see the vote for Chamblee to get a new school ... was there anything enlightening in citizen comments or board discussion?

Anonymous said...

@5:32, I think you're right. Now we need to ask again, just how many security/police are employed by DCSS?

The system operates 4X to 5X more elementary schools than high schools, so if they (how many security/sro's) aren't in the elementary schools, where the heck are they all?

Visiting friends & family?

Sagamore 7 said...

No enlighted discussion, just SCW and Zepora talking about the age of the schools in their districts. Ms. Tyson then reminded both of them that there are current renovation projects coming to a close in their districts.

Kim Gokce said...

Thanks for that. I was hoping there was some discussion about "what's next?" I'm wondering what the Board is thinking about in terms of the capacity and programs for a new Chamblee. To me, that's the big question. I think it was a predictable vote but that's the easy part.

Cerebration said...

We have a post in the archives on the subject of our very large police force -

Did you Know? DCSS has a pretty darn large police department all it's own

Anonymous said...

Hoping this vote for CHS (as much as it is needed) doesn't hurt Nancy Jester in the upcoming run-off! Is Jim going to take the credit, and maybe get the votes? We need Nancy, especially now that we are getting $58M in bond money!

Cerebration said...

Well, this is interesting. We are going to borrow $58 million to build a brand new Chamblee HS - with the hope that SPLOST 4 will pass and can repay the loan. Yikes. Hope that goes as planned...

Also, no one seemed to chime in - what happens to the $12 million already allocated to Chamblee in SPLOST 3? Could that go toward some of the issues at Redan? I'm certain it can't be added to the $58 - for a total of $70 million for Chamblee.

At any rate - this pretty much seals the future of the magnet at Chamblee. There are not enough students to fill a brand new high school without the magnet students.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem with these "renovations" are that they aren't extensive enough. No new floors, lighting, etc.

Anonymous said...

Could anyone tell if there was an audience?

Anonymous said...

Regarding repayment of the QSCB bond money if SPLOST 4 doesn't pass, Mr. Turk has stated that if SPLOST 4 does not pass, then the $2500 homestead exemption for DeKalb homeowners will end. The increased revenue to DCSS from the loss of the exemption is more than enough to repay the loan. Personally, I would rather have the homestead exemption than save a penny.

Anonymous said...

Both the incidents that happened today, happened off school property. While unfortunate, they highlight the unsafe neighborhoods that many DCSS schools sit in.

This is why there is public outcry ever time the Board tries to cut police services.

PolitiMom said...

anon 7:29--I saw the first 10 minutes only, but there was an audience. This is the first time I've tuned into a meeting, so I'm not sure what is considered a good crowd. Seemed all the chairs in the section where the camera was were filled.

I am also concerned how the CHS vote will play out for Nancy Jester. Thrilled the vote went for Chamblee, but concerned that all of my fellow Dunwoodians (?) are only going to remember this when/if they go to the polls.

Anonymous said...

Many of those people are employees.

I am guessing that since there was no public comment at the business meeting, the cameras never scanned the audience.

Anonymous said...

Actually close to 70 million will be allocated for the new Chamblee High School. Don't forget the 11+ million from SPLOST 3. That will be added also.

Anonymous said...

Did Womack even bring up Coralwood? He was still trying to get millions for them as of this weekend?

Anonymous said...

The auditorium was at lest 75% filled, mostly with Chamblee supporters.

Cerebration said...

$70 million in total? No, seriously, that couldn't be. If so, we'll have to call it the Cham-ma-hal. That would seriously be the most pricey building yet...

PolitiMom said...

This might be a stupid question, but if they are spending $70 million, could they be considering making Chamblee the central location for the magnet programs?

Anonymous said...

For comparison sake, Arabia Mt cost $50 million why does Chamblee need $70 million?

Anonymous said...

Tucker cost about 60 million but that was with lots of complications.

I suppose any unused funds from Chamblee can go back into the SPLOST pot.

Anonymous said...

I doubt very seriously if they would spend $70M on a building. But Chamblee is landlocked and the QSCB funds can be used for land acquisition. They may have to use some money for this purpose. And some of the original $11M is already gone as it was used for the first round of engineering studies by Perkins Will.

That study was done in October 2009. I was amazed that the BOE was never given the report until this Saturday (per Don McChesney).

Anonymous said...

Chamblee as a central location????? For whom????? Traffic in that area bites and getting to and from if you have kids in schools in other parts of the county bites. Guess we only need good magnets in the north end.

Anonymous said...

There is no big picture plan. There was the money and the deadline to spend it and the 'squeaky wheel' demanding the money be used for Chamblee. Not necessarily a bad plan, but what I find so amazing is that many of the chief advocates for the Chamblee project would normally be screaming bloody murder about the Board and this process, except this time it is about them and for them.

The board just approved a huge expenditure with absolutely no solid plan or vision.

Anonymous said...

The Chamblee community knows that if Redovian wasn't facing Nancy Jester they wouldn't have received the attention they did get. I think they see through it. Now we have to get Nancy in there to make sure that Chamblee actually gets what it deserves with this project. If we don't elect Nancy Jester, the board will be up to its old tricks the day after the runoff.

Anonymous said...

No Duh: response to your comment upthread--
Lakeside band got new uniforms several years ago. However, they had uniforms before that, just a tad worn out. If you saw the kids performing at a game in jeans and band t-shirts, it was because it was early in the season and it was too bloody hot for them to be out there in all that wool, not for lack of uniforms.

Kim Gokce said...

Anon 9:24 "what I find so amazing is that many of the chief advocates for the Chamblee project would normally be screaming bloody murder about the Board and this process, except this time it is about them and for them."

Don't hold it against them - that's the way our system works. Just wait and see what comes out of the charades, I mean charrettes. The barricades have already been built and the political ammunition laid up for a battle to protect attendance lines for Chamblee from the south at Cross Keys and the east at Dunwoody - le plus ca change, le plus c'est la meme chose!

In a moment of vanity, I would like to point out that I predicted this outcome. I'm very happy for our Chamblee community while equally sad for public education in DeKalb.

It is hard to believe that the BoE is about to pull it off but they seem positioned to have the two premier high school facilities built at extreme poles of the County and with both having application and lottery entrance requirements. (I don't count Dunwoody politically any more as it is only at a weigh station en route to Milton)

It is only just that an overcrowded Dunwoody, an overcrowded Lakeside, and an overcrowded Druid Hills will have a new under-enrolled magnet school next door like Arabia's neighbors. Perhaps there is a method in the madness ...

Maybe the new system slogan should be, "Newer Schools, Fewer Students."

Ack! To bed, perchance to dream of a rational public system before I die ...

Anonymous said...

As of Nov 15th, the system has no choice on how to use those bonds. They can't change their minds. If they do, they return the monies.

It is business as usual.

Anonymous said...

I think it has been 3 or 4 years since any school got new uniforms. The rotation ceased. The MLK parents have been pushing hard for this. The other two schools are just along for the ride, as they were on the same schedule.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Woo-hoo!!! Way to go DCSS BOE!! I couldn't be more prouder!!
I mean, the district is faced with $144 million in construction needs. You are given the opportunity to raise $58 million and what do you do? Spend it all on one project.

Please note the sarcasm and well, not a damn thing has changed with this board.

Anonymous said...

Now we need Nancy to make sure the money gets spent right. The board will have zero motivation to get it right after the election if Nancy Jester isn't watching them.

Anonymous said...

If the police are there to keep the students and staff safe, what do they do in the summer?

They are either 10 month employees or they work days while janitors and others work in the building. Some of them work at the summer schools.

The security at our schools are NOT safe! Just read those two articles. So once again, why is the DCSS Police budget the highest in Metro Atlanta? With all this security in place, why is all this criminal activity happening? Neither happened at school-if you took the time to read them you would know this.

Every had something stolen from your home at night while you were away but the alarm went off and the police showed up? They still didn't find the theives or recover my stuff. The same thing happens occasionally at our schools. Sometimes they get caught and often not, just as they do in our homes. My home has the extra advantage of a neighborhood watch. Maybe our schools need that too.

Anonymous said...

With federal funds it is safer to spend all the bond money on one project. It will be easier to audit, more transparent, and the moeny has to be spend quickly. If 58 million goes to build a new school that is one less project that we will need to do later. Of course we could be entirely fair and with 9 board memebers and 7 districts (two super districts) we could buld one seventh of anything we needed each time and in 7 years every district would have a whole school. That way noone would be slighted but the students. When are you all going to stop thinking about yourselves and think of the greater good instead?

Dunwoody Mom said...

Poppycock.

DCSS had a construction needs list already on file with the GADOE. THAT is what the $58 million dollars should have been used for.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom,
Let's look at history at DCSS.

-DCSS misses application deadlines for State Funds. DCSS loses a chance at those state funds. Fran Millar comes in and saves the day and gets the state to release a percentage of those missed state funds. Reason for snafu? A paperwork and deadline error by DCSS staff.

-QSCB has very tight guidelines to how and when the funds must be used. They also have very tough reporting guidelines.

Having those funds tied to one project will save DCSS a large amount of time and money during a much needed transition of leadership for the district.

The construction company, that most likely will win the project, has a long and very good history of working with government bonds oversight, regulations and deadlines.

Right now there is not much trust in our Central Office in getting the job done properly. So having one project tied to those QSCB funds will be an easier task for Turk and his operation.

With the new building in Chamblee you can bet that the parents, who worked so hard to get the project underway, will vote for a SPLOST 4 to pay off the debt.

Should we have waited another 18 months for this redistricting and consolidation plan to have been approved and in operation? Sure, but we would have had to wait another 5 years to get this much needed project underway.

You know the lines will be redrawn to to include more students into the CHSS attendance zone, once the construction is finished. The schools that surround Chamblee are over capacity and expected to get even larger. A new school in Chamblee will be able to ease some the pain felt at Dunwoody, Tucker and Lakeside Highs.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Any new building projects should have been put off until the redistricting/consolidation plan has come to fruition. Only then do we know what we are dealing with in terms of students, schools, etc.,

Also, Splost IV won't happen. Dunwoody has their renovation, Chamblee has their new school now. There is no reason for the people in N. DeKalb to vote for a SPLOST IV.

Anonymous said...

There will be a need for us to vote for SPLOST IV if the homestead exemption is stopped. A few pennies is better than loosing the exemption.

Dunwoody Mom said...

I'm confused as to what you are saying. The Homestead Exemption did past in last week's election.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom:

Anonymous said...

Regarding repayment of the QSCB bond money if SPLOST 4 doesn't pass, Mr. Turk has stated that if SPLOST 4 does not pass, then the $2500 homestead exemption for DeKalb homeowners will end. The increased revenue to DCSS from the loss of the exemption is more than enough to repay the loan. Personally, I would rather have the homestead exemption than save a penny.

November 8, 2010 7:41 PM

Dunwoody Mom said...

Regarding repayment of the QSCB bond money if SPLOST 4 doesn't pass, Mr. Turk has stated that if SPLOST 4 does not pass, then the $2500 homestead exemption for DeKalb homeowners will end.

So, if DCSS cannot pay the bond money back, the taxpayers are on the hook? That's insane..and clearly a gamble that DCSS should not have made.

If that is truly the case, the bond money should be refused.

Anonymous said...

It's a gamble they were willing to take. The engineering report about CCHS is pretty ugly. There were some that said the existing building might not have lasted for another 5 years.

So what do you do with the 700+ resident students, if the school had to be closed or condemned? DHS couldn't handle the load, Tucker is over and I think Cross Keys,Kim, can you weigh in, is close to capacity, Lakeside is also no go. So where do you put the 700+?

Dan Drake and Charettemania is next on the plate, we get to weigh in! DM will we see you tonight at CCHS? The new building gives more options to DCSS to manage attendance levels on the North end of the county.

Chamblee folks will vote for SPLOST 4, to pay off the debt for the school. I can't imagine the Chamblee folks want to lose their Homestead Exemption.

See you at Charette Mania tonight at CCHS!

Dunwoody Mom said...

If I decide to attend one of these charades, er, charettes, it will be at the one scheduled for Peachtree MS.

DCSS also needs to make all citizens of this county aware that they have put the Homestead Exemption for all in jeopardy.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom, No one currently on the board or running the school system is going to let the public know that they put the exemption on the line. If it is brought up, they will make that person look crazy and throw Marcus Turk under the bus as well. The people running the schools have no scruples and don't want transparency. This is one expense that maybe it's necessary, but was done way too quickly for me to think that anyone thought through all of the implications.

Anonymous said...

The SPLOST vote will be held at some off time in 2012. The only people that will bother to vote are the people who want to see it pass.

Dunwoody Mom said...

That's an awful big assumption. You are aware that other counties also have to give their okay, not just DeKalb voters?

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom said,

"Also, Splost IV won't happen. Dunwoody has their renovation, Chamblee has their new school now. There is no reason for the people in N. DeKalb to vote for a SPLOST IV."

Let's hope North DeKalb does not take an "I got mine, it's up to you to get yours' type of attitude regarding the schools in DeKalb. I'd rather pay continue paying the penny rather than seeing my property taxes go up. Also, who is to say that if SPLOST 4 is voted down that the county government won't try to put forth infrastructure improvements funded by the penny as a replacement.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom, I have just the thing for you. Next Thursday, November 18th, at The Palace, of all places. There will be a forum for all DeKalb residents to meet OUR State Senators and Representatives. This might be the perfect place to ask your questions and voice your concerns over the QSCB Bonds, SPLOST 4 and the Homestead Exemption.

The event is at The Palace on Stone Mtn. Industrial. at 7pm on November 18th.

Charades, Charettes, Forums and Meetings. You seem very upset and it's a bit late to voice your concerns about QSCB. To Quote Fran Millar from 5 years ago, "It's a done deal!"

However, I am sure your state legislators will like to hear your concerns! By the way, we'll see at Peachtree Middle for the Charette. We're going tonight in Chamblee as well as to PCMS meeting. We're interested in hearing what others think about redistricting and consolidation.

Happy Holidays! Let's go to a meeting.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Oh, I voiced my complaints here and on my own blog about QSCB. I also sent an email to Ms. Tyson and the BOE members.

Can't make 11/18 meeting - DHS swim meet.

Really, what are you expecting out of the charrettes? Just curious...

Dunwoody Mom said...

And I might add that not one BOE member or Ms. Tyson bother to acknowledge my email.

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to remember that the Charrettes are about more than redistricting and consolidating, rather they also include facilities and facility planning.

Anonymous said...

To quote a DCSS employee, who shall remain nameless, "The Charettes are window dressing for some very difficult decisions that are about to be made regarding redistricting and consolidation."

DCSS wants the folks to believe that they have some say into a very polarizing matter. Having been a part of a charette, at my former employer, who was asking for employee input on company matters, the process was eye opening and the report that it produced was an interesting read.

HI expect the questions they ask will be written in a manner where DCSS will get the answer they are looking for. Like any poll or survey, the writing of he questions will be the proof in the pudding. I look forward to hearing the questions they ask tonight.

Anonymous said...

I think that no difficult decisions will really be made. I expect that those small schools in the McNair/Avondale area will be closed and consolidated.

At the end of the day, no high schools will be closed, a few attendance lines will be tweaked and the status quo will remain for a new superintendent to tackle.

Thus it goes in DeKalb.

Dunwoody Mom said...

I think that no difficult decisions will really be made

Wouldn't surprise me in the least.

Spending all this money on these charrettes...and it's status quo in DCSS.

Anonymous said...

I think the charrettes will give the planners a sense of which direction to go in terms of facility planning and future consolidation.

For example, while it is easy to close those small elementary schools in the McNair cluster because there is room in neighboring schools, it is much more difficult to close other schools. We probably need to build some larger elementary schools to consolidate older, small schools.

Anonymous said...

"All lines will be redrawn..." This from an email encouraging me to attend the Charrettes.

I have a bridge in Brooklyn ready to be sold, if anyone is interested.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Let's hope North DeKalb does not take an "I got mine, it's up to you to get yours' type of attitude regarding the schools in DeKalb

I'm not saying that's right attitude, just that I can see this as an attitude.

Anonymous said...

"Poppycock".

What a fine level of discourse. For that matter, a summary of many posts is "the charattes make no difference, the election makes no difference, etc. Maybe you should take your toys and go home. If the charettes and the planning process doesn't work we ALL will share the blame.

Anonymous said...

At last night's meeting it seemed to me that the BOE easily approved Chamblee because it wanted to help Jim Redovian. One hand washes, etc and keep the system going.

The $50,000 vendor limit exception must have been passed on the consent agenda (no public discussion). Marcus probably incorporated a few new companies to get a mailing address for the checks. The money faucet is now officially open. C'mon in and drink heartily.

DCSS need a full time DA on premises.

Anonymous said...

Not one member of the BoE cares that much about the others, because Chamblee has students from all over, each board member was heavily lobbied for this project.


Actually there were only 6 companies on the revised vendor list and they were all utility companies. Every other company will have to be approved. If you look at this link and click on the agenda item, you will see for yourself.

https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/meetings/viewmeetingOrder.aspx?S=4054&MID=14125

Anonymous said...

They care about keeping the person they've exchanged deals with on the board. The most corrupt people on the board praised Jim Redovian. This should make everyone nervous. If Jay Cunningham is happy with Jim Redovian that's reason enough to not vote for him. There are plenty of other reasons but that meeting last night sealed the deal.

Ella Smith said...

I am extremely happy for Chamblee. Some of the school board members are working to make sure some of the school board members are elected. That was interesting last night.

Anonymous said...

so would it be possible within the confines of the bond to build CCHS as approved but to physically locate it on the CKHS property thereby consolidating the schools into one more central school that was more of a campus with offerings? Then sell the CCHS property rather than acquire additional property and still have CCHS but with a new address and the magnet could be in its own building (even all magnets ... its central with Marta access) (resident kids combined with the CK residents) and they could share the other facilities -- cafeteria/gym/theater, etc. Just wondering...

Kim Gokce said...

Nice try, Anon 11:19. The answer, of course is yes. But the reality is an unequivocal, one hundred and fifty decibel "NO!"

The Board of Education is a political body. The System administration operates in this political milieu. Neither body has the constitution to take on the type of opposition that would come out of the CCHS contingent. That has been proven over, and over.

Many, many individuals that are vocal and well organized would rather see world come to an end before letting something like you are describing happen. To me, this is a dead subject.

I have way too many actionable, practical things to try to do to help the CK attendance area kids to waste time on trying to convince CCHS community that we don't have bedbugs and our kids are an asset not a liability.

The new CCHS will be built at the current location and will be a $70m shot in the arm to the local real estate market. Mission accomplished - time to move on.

Anonymous said...

Cross Keys is Central? Please look at a map. Cross Keys is less than a mile to the Fulton County line that sits just west of the CK property.

Sure CK is close to MARTA but so is CCHS. Probably the exact distance, CCHS might even be closer.

Kim you're right we must move on. We all know the High School lines are about to be redrawn. Let's concentrate on that now.

Anonymous said...

From Mapquest:
Chamblee Marta to Chamblee HS is 1.16 m.
Brookhaven Marta to Cross Keys HS is 1.15 m.

Cerebration said...

uh huh - good luck walking from the Chamblee Marta to Chamblee HS.

No matter.

No one claimed that either school was "central".

But if you want to consider Marta, then Cross Keys is most accessible. Chamblee isn't bad either, but you'd have to take a bus from the station. Also, Avondale isn't bad - but is it safe? We do have issues with kids being safe walking to school in parts of this county.

Now, gee, how is it that someone from Chamblee would get down to Arabia?

Cerebration said...

But then again, if they are having positive thoughts about developing the old GM plant, then perhaps a giant Chamblee HS campus would be the way to go...

Anonymous said...

Cerebration, The development of the GM property as a large Dekalb HS crossed my mind as well. Since that is such a large property, I would also like to see Dekalb consider a "state of the art" vo-tech high school (let's face it, not everyone is college bound material, nor do they wish to be).

Cerebration said...

Good idea - but FWIW, both my sister and sister-in-law attended a vo-tech high school in Ohio and then went on to Ohio State... it's not an either/or.

Check out this dream tech school -

http://www.pentacareercenter.org/

It's in my hometown. It pulls from 5 counties - but they are rural counties and the total student population for ALL 5 counties is barely 30,000. So, by my calculations, DCSS should have 3 schools like this!

Anonymous said...

"uh huh - good luck walking from the Chamblee Marta to Chamblee HS."

I've done it. There are sidewalks the whole way. Look at the Google map. From Marta, along Chamblee Tucker past WalMart, along Peachtree Blvd to Chamblee Dunwoody. There is a nice linear park under Peachtree Blvd from behind Walmart too--great for bikes and walkers.

Cerebration said...

ok - gotta believe you on that -- I just would feel a bit like Frogger crossing Peachtree Industrial...

what was our point again?

Anonymous said...

I see kids crossing P'tree at Chamblee Dunwoody every morning. They are coming from the vicinity of the Marta Station, but are probably mostly neighborhood kids.

The point? If the question is build at Chamblee site or build at Cross Keys site, proximity of Marta is a tie.

Cerebration said...

ok. touche.

But - Cross Keys has about 34 acres -- Chamblee only has 14...

Anonymous said...

Folks, CCHS is a real, active Charter school. Not sure you can just combine it with another school because it sounds like a good idea. There are also almost 200 students on the charter lottery wait list. So if they make the school larger, maybe some of these students can be admitted instead of the county administration always bumping them off the list with NCLB transfer students. And Charter students have to proivde their own transportation.

Dunwoody Mom said...

I thought there was a bus from the Marta station that stopped in front of Chamblee HS? Did they do away with that route?

Anonymous said...

It is a conversion charter school, not an independent one. It is still very tied to the school system.

Anonymous said...

the fact that it is a conversion charter is absolutely irrelevant. Read the law.

Cerebration said...

I guess I don't really get it. Chamblee is a charter school - but does that mean that the magnet kids are charter school students? Or are they regular DCSS students? How is it different from the magnet housed in say, SW DeKalb? Aren't the application processes exactly the same - and go through DCSS? I just don't see the difference...

Dunwoody Mom said...

Chamblee is a conversion charter and bound by DCSS rules and governance just like any other conversion charter, i.e. Peachtree Middle, Chesnut Charter, etc.,

Dunwoody Mom said...

The magnet program is not part of the charter.

Cerebration said...

And so, what's the benefit? And does this mean that they could still move the magnet and not effect the charter?

Anonymous said...

Here is what Chamblee's charter says about its attendance zone...

All students who legally reside in the CCHS attendance area, as designated by DCSS, will be guaranteed a space at CCHS.

So the attendance area can be redefined.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Think of Chamblee Charter High School as the "resident" program. Chamblee Charter High hosts the High-Achiever Magnet Program.

There are 2 programs within one physical facility.

Dunwoody Mom said...

As anonymous stated, the magnet program could be moved, attendance lines redrawn to put more students in CCHS.

Will it happen? Doubt it. I agree with Kim - it looks like a status quo to me.

Cerebration said...

BTW - Maureen Downey has a post about the elimination of the graduation test. Very informative.

Farewell High School Graduation Test: It took 10 years

Here's the AJC story on the subject:

State plans for end of graduation test

The state Board of Education is moving ahead with plans to phase out high school graduation tests for juniors and rely on end-of-course exams to determine if students are diploma-ready.

The board on Wednesday approved a timeline under which the change would take effect for freshman in the fall of 2011. However, the board still has to formally adopt a new graduation plan and the federal government must sign off.

Students currently must pass the state’s graduation tests in core subject areas before they can graduate. They have several chances, starting in the junior year.

But state officials in recent years have said the graduation tests are redundant and they believe it’s unfair to test students on subjects they may have taken their freshman year. As a result, the state wants to put more emphasis on end-of-course exams, which are given in eight high school classes and count for 15 percent of a student’s grade.

Anonymous said...

Is the $58mm in stimulus bond funds for CCHS in addition to or in lieu of the $11mm from Splost III? Does CCHS effectively have $58mm or $69mm for a new building?