Monday, January 3, 2011

First board meeting for 2011 tonight

Tune in to Comcast 24 to watch it live, connect to DCSS' website to stream it, or just go on and get in your car and head over to the Mountain Industrial Center to watch and participate in person.  Nancy Jester and Donna Edler were both sworn in today and this will be their first board meeting. You can view the agenda items by clicking here.

One significant item on the agenda is the 2020 Vision Master Plan: 2011-2012 Redistricting and Consolidation Preliminary Options. Presented by: Dr. Bill Carnes, Consultant, MGT Consultants of America & Mr. Ed Humble, Consultant, MGT Consultants of America.

Also, the Board of Education will consider for final approval amendments to the bylaws relating to attendance areas. One of the revisions to the bylaws will strike “quality of education” as a factor in determining or altering attendance areas.

Another bylaw to be revised is the new limitation of public speakers before the open meetings. As Open & Transparent reported, the board is proposing reducing the number to 10 speakers at 3 minutes each, requiring personal information and notification of topic. Read the post with the redlined text here. Presented by Ms. Judy O’Brien, Attorney, Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan.

If you are confused about transfers, be sure to download and read the new policy (Item K-6) JBCC up for approval. This new policy clearly states the rules for student assignment (including employees) and transfers outside of your assigned neighborhood district.

Item L-3 asks for approval to use money from the Education Jobs Act. The distribution is to restore all remaining furlough/work calendar reduction days at an amount of $13.4 million and to use $14.6 million to provide a one-time temporary compensation adjustment to all full-time employees, either as a lump sum payment or contribution into an optional tax sheltered annuity account, as determined by the employee.

And as Sagamore 7 alerted us, in Item L-17, Tony Hunter is asking for over $1 million of Title 1 monies for laptops. This is terrific, except that we have had a rash of thefts of laptops in our schools. We would like to see these crimes solved and security heightened to protect this enormous investment.

===

UPDATE: Download the Jan 3 redistricting preliminary presentation here.

283 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Regarding school attendance: it clearly states "school-based" employees may have their children attend the school they work at, but what about central office employees? A lot of those employees designate overcrowded schools (such as LHS). Where is a policy for those employees spelled out? I couldn't find anything about that.

DogwoodGirl said...

Thanks for posting. I was unable to download the JBCC. (Or i was looking at the wrong one?) Could you link to it?

Dunwoody Mom said...

Here is the link:

https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/ePolicy/policy.aspx?PC=JBCC&Sch=4054&S=4054&RevNo=1.02&T=C

The policy states "a student whose custodial parent or legal guardian is a full-time school-based employee of the District may enroll in the school in which the parent or legal guardian is employed."

It does not seem to address Central Office Employees or County Commisioner Elaine Boyer, who lives in the Tucker school district, but whose daughters attended/attend Lakeside.

Cerebration said...

I would interpret that to mean that ONLY school-based employees can ask for a transfer for their child - and ONLY to the school at which they work. They don't have to write policy stating who does NOT qualify - if it's not written - then it's not policy. Sorry CO staff. No special transfers for your kids anymore.

Dunwoody Mom said...

btw, the "Hardship Transfer" has been totally abused by board members. I know people who ask for transfers so that their children can be in a school closer to their work.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't address DCSS non-teaching employees who live outside of DeKalb in another county either. They enroll their children in whatever school they want. Some that are overcrowded with trailers.

Cerebration said...

It's pretty important, so I'll post the whole thing here. It's long though...I'll post in pieces.

A student is usually assigned to the school serving the geographic attendance area in which the student resides. (A student’s residence is defined in Policy JBC, and attendance areas are discussed in Policy AD.) However, the DeKalb County Board of Education desires to enhance the educational opportunities available for students of the DeKalb County School District and therefore has established numerous school choice options through which District students may be assigned to schools outside their attendance area. Additionally, students may be eligible for assignment to a school other than the school in their attendance area pursuant to state or federal law.

Instances in which students may attend school outside their attendance area are outlined below. The District will publish written and/or electronic materials further explaining each of these options.
Students who do not reside in the District are not eligible for enrollment in a District school, except as required by state law or as provided below.

Cerebration said...

A. ESEA/NCLB Public School Choice
Pursuant to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind Act (“ESEA/NCLB”), students attending a school designated as Needs Improvement may be eligible to transfer to another school that is on the District’s list of receiving schools. Each year, the District provides notice to parents or guardians of students who are eligible for ESEA/NCLB transfer.

B. Special Needs Students
In certain circumstances, special needs students requiring special education student services will be placed in a school other than the school serving their attendance area, in accordance with special education procedures.

C. Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program (Senate Bill 10)
Qualifying special needs students may attend another public school within the District that has available capacity and that has a program with the services agreed to in the student’s existing individualized education program

Cerebration said...

D. Limited School Choice (House Bill 251)
Students may enroll in certain schools outside of their attendance area where space is available. The House Bill 251 receiving schools to which a student may transfer are publicized each year after seat availability has been determined.

E. Other School Choice Programs
The District offers a number of academic options for students, including, for example, charter schools, magnet programs, and theme schools; these options are referred to as School Choice Programs. The available School Choice Programs and the relevant admissions criteria are published yearly. Every eligible student, regardless of circumstance, must follow the published criteria and process.
The Board, upon recommendation by the Superintendent, and as allowed by applicable laws and regulations, may move a School Choice Program to a different facility or cease the operation of a School Choice Program.

Cerebration said...

F. Children of Full-Time District Employees
Subject to review by the Office of Student Assignment, a student whose custodial parent or legal guardian is a full-time school-based employee of the District may enroll in the school in which the parent or legal guardian is employed, regardless of whether the employee and student reside in this or another school district. Transportation will not be provided by the District. Children of employees who do not reside in the District will not be required to pay tuition.

A student whose custodial parent or legal guardian is a full-time school-based employee at a theme school may enter the lottery to attend the respective theme school, regardless of the student’s residence. The student must comply with the school’s published admissions procedures.

Because of the unique nature of magnet programs, which have special admission criteria and competitive selection processes, children of magnet program employees will be given no special preference in the application or lottery process for admission to the respective magnet program. Students wishing to enroll in the program must follow the published admission procedures and meet the admission criteria for the program. Moreover, because of the special cost to the District in providing magnet programs, these programs are limited to students who reside in the District.

This provision does not apply to pre-K programs.

Employees’ children who, at the time this Policy is enacted, are attending a school at which they would not be entitled to enroll under this Policy shall be allowed to remain in their current school until they have completed the highest grade at that school.

Cerebration said...

G. Hardship Transfers
In exceptional circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, hardship transfer requests will be considered. Upon receiving documentation of an extenuating situation, the Superintendent or designee may approve a recommendation by the Office of Student Assignment that a student be allowed to attend a school other than the school serving the student’s attendance area. State law allows for transfer requests in certain circumstances based on placement in a nonpermanent classroom or excessive travel time or distance, as specifically defined by state law and the rules of the Georgia Department of Education, and such requests may be considered by the District. For all hardship transfer requests, available capacity in the requested school at the time of the request will be considered. If capacity is not available, the Superintendent may approve transfer to another school in the District. Transportation will not be provided by the District.

Cerebration said...

H. Unsafe School Choice Option

1. A student who is the victim of a violent criminal offense, as defined by state law, while in or on the grounds of a public elementary school or secondary school that the student attends, may transfer to another school within ten days of the offense.

2. Federal law also provides for transfers out of a school that is designated as a “persistently unsafe school.” If a District school is designated as “persistently unsafe,” the District will provide procedures for students wishing to transfer from the school.

I. Seniors Moving out of the District
A current or rising senior at a District school who moves out of the District may complete his or her senior year at the District school if the student furnishes transportation, maintains regular attendance, and pays tuition as set forth in Policy JBCBA.

Anonymous said...

I am new to the area, and just started hearing about the plan for Redistricting and Consolidation. I am trying to find out if my neighborhood may be at risk for redistricting. Have they released their proposed changes as of yet? If so, where could I find more details?

Cerebration said...

Turn on your TV to COMCAST 24 at 6:00 or stream it at the DCSS website (hopefully it's working). The proposed initial recommendations are on the agenda as item H1 - by the consultant. Last time he made a Powerpoint presentation and then posted it on the DCSS website. I would imagine he will begin his presentation around 6:45-7 pm...

PolitiMom said...

Anyone watching live with me from home? It was on and they just cut it off. Same with streaming? I'm having a hard time getting it.

Anonymous said...

I think there was a called meeting before hand. If I am correct, probably ran late.

My online streaming is showing the meeting announcement. You know the slide that shows the date of the meeting

Anonymous said...

4:30pm Called Meeting to adjourn executive session to discuss a
student appeal and legal matters
Administrative & Instructional Complex, Cabinet Room
1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard
Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Anonymous said...

it is on now

Anonymous said...

A lot of custodians in the audience tonight! We shouldn't outsource the custodians. However, let's do what's right and fire friends and family members and the likes of Jamal Edwards, who has taken advantage of Francis Edwards, his mother, and her ties to DCSS, as a former BOE Chairperson.

Let's outsource MIS and get it straightened out!

Anonymous said...

Scary that Bouie is back. (Part of an old DCSS family -- Bouie Theme school anyone?)

Boy, he was towing the company line?

And his remarks about keeping Tyson -- scary.

Anonymous said...

Why is this ignorant old woman saying that there are "parking garages with luxury cars in them" in some schools?

STOP TELLING LIES ABOUT NORTH DEKALB!!!! BEING BLACK DOES NOT GIVE YOU LICENSE TO LIE!!!!

Anonymous said...

They just removed the student attendance policy from the agenda tonight.

Will things ever change?

Anonymous said...

Tom Bowen is chair again. Only one nominated.

Dr. Speaks nominated Paul Womack, McChesney Cunningham nominated Walker. SCW seconded.

Voting for Womack -- McChesney, Womack, Jester, Speaks, Bowen

Womack is vice chair.

Cerebration said...

Tom Bowen was just reelected as Chair (nominated by Speaks, seconded by Womack)

Womack was elected Vice Chair (nominated by Speaks, seconded by McChesney)

Walker was also nominated Vice Chair by Jay Cunningham and seconded by Sarah but Womack won outright in the first vote.

Cerebration said...

JInx!

Anonymous said...

why does SCW need a break?!

Anonymous said...

She's exhausted from having to flip over that page.

Anonymous said...

I am certain to go to the restroom.

Anonymous said...

Going on over 15 minutes for their 10 minute break. Bowen, enforce the 10 minutes and that will go a long way to managing the length of the meetings.

Anonymous said...

Did they just forget to turn the broadcast back on?

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? The board can't even come out after a 26 minute break?

What the hell.

PolitiMom said...

They are back

Cerebration said...

ok - almost 8 PM and the consultant is finally up to the podium. Boy did I miscalculate the time...

Anonymous said...

30 minutes-- the extra 20 minutes would allow for 6 speakers.

Just saying~

Anonymous said...

Did he just say they weren't making recommendations?

Anonymous said...

This item should have been a separate agenda item discussed at a different time. This board meeting is going to go on forever. And the board is going to lose focus on every other agenda item where the $ are spent. Brilliant. I say this now 8:15 PM.. Prove me wrong.

C?Y!

Anonymous said...

WHO IS WORKING THE CAMERA ON THIS THING????? Could anyone make out the attendance lines for the Dunwoody elementary schools?

Anonymous said...

Livsey decommissioned? This should get interesting.

PolitiMom said...

No, but either option makes Dunwoody PK-5, so that is a done deal.

Anonymous said...

This thing is going to drag on forever. UGH. But it is refreshing to hear someone who seems to have actually put some facts together AND who has a decent command of the English language speak about DCSS.

Anonymous said...

It shall be interesting. I may be mistaken, but it does seem that these guys have done a good job putting this together.

PolitiMom said...

Both options seem very well thought out. Too bad it will all fall apart in the public comment period. People in my neighborhood are already rallying to keep us where we are, and I know they aren't alone.

Anonymous said...

Too many changes at once, too fast, too much property value loss, and no basis in the reality of politics. Once the parents affected become aware of and weigh-in this stuff is aggressive fantasy, no board member is going to OK it in its entirety.

Once the first line anywhere in the county is is re-adjusted by a board member, stand by... because the board will be re-drawing the new lines regardless on what they spent for these recommendations.

jjslider13 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jjslider13 said...

jjslider13 said...
It is so easy to do on paper, but so many people are going to get really screwed as far as getting a educational opportunities that are compatable to what they have now.

Anonymous said...

Cere -- I think the DCSS PR firm may be monitoring this blog and may try or are trying to sway public comment with pseudo-postings. If you can verify, please expose.

Anonymous said...

8:38--do you see an overwhelming number of postive comments here that would suggest some kind of agenda? I'm missing something . . .

Cerebration said...

I'm sorry. But did they ACTUALLY not address Arabia whatsoever?!! Did they REALLY leave that special jewel completely untouched? No magnet consolidation? No conversion to a neighborhood school? NO CHANGE TO ARABIA - NOT EVEN UP FOR DISCUSSION.

Wow.

jjslider13 said...

I do not see many planted comments. Did anyone notice they glossed over DHS redistricting into Chamblee? Hello.....

Anonymous said...

Here we go--North vs. South

PolitiMom said...

If they consolidate the magnets, will the attendance be the same? I think not. I question if Kittredge parents will drive to Avondale every day. That will further increase attendance at the home schools. Just putting it out there. I don't have kids in magnet programs so I don't have an opinion either way.

Anonymous said...

The same conversation about magnets happened with DSA when it moved and the enrollment went up when it moved back to Avondale. Some students chose to not attend, but others were

Anonymous said...

Here we go! The board will tweak everything to meet their personal needs. Those of us not aligned with a board member are up a creek

Anonymous said...

"Why are there more schools in S. DeKalb superclusters than up north?"

BECAUSE YOU HAVE MORE SCHOOL BUILDINGS DOWN SOUTH, YOU JACKASS!!!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Walker -- Dunwoody likes the regional model. They'd like to join Milton County's region. Thanks for your support.

Anonymous said...

Just the shear mention of moving the magnet programs has now effectively derailed the process.

Anonymous said...

I think Jester and Edler are wondering what the heck they signed up for at this point.

Anonymous said...

North and south regions.....let's keep it separate.....who is calling for separateness?

Cerebration said...

Why is Walker going back and critiquing the Super Cluster now? Should he not have brought this up like a month or so ago? Did he just now see that they had drawn up these super clusters?

Why does he want to keep "separate but equal" magnets? I would think that he of all people would want those magnets consolidated - it provides equity and builds ONE strong program - eliminating the north/south argument.

Dunwoody Mom said...

I do not see many planted comments. Did anyone notice they glossed over DHS redistricting into Chamblee? Hello.....

What I am hearing about this kind of firms up a rumor on the board a few weeks ago, that Hightower would be moved into the Chamblee cluster.

Anonymous said...

But we are not rational....

Anonymous said...

I hope that the people who reelected Walker are kicking themselves in the butt. He looks like a fool.

jjslider13 said...

RE: Arabia

He did not discuss any of the choice schools save for the magnets.

Cerebration said...

You go Mr Consultant! He just asked the board members to attend the public workshops! Gee - imagine that!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to attend, but they will not, because they don't want to listen to the public themselves...witness the new policy.

Anonymous said...

By the time the board is finshed the only change that will be made will be DES. Not a good or bad thing just a thing.

Anonymous said...

Oh somebody please go run a Googlemap of those two schools and show SCW where they are.

Cerebration said...

No - he definitely discussed moving Bouie Theme (which, to me, themes are the same as choice...) I'm just simply floored that Arabia was not even mentioned. Not at all. It's far too special to even be discussed.

Anonymous said...

The comments Sarah Copelin-Wood just made a few minutes ago make me aghast! She is completely incoherent. How is she one of nine people who control a billion dollar budget??


And it's funny how they suggest Medlock closing with no overflow to Fernbank. Fernbank is this precious entity. Well, if they did their homework and knew how many AT's and out of district students there are at Fernbank, then Fernbank would get some of the Medlock overflow. And Medlock is right down the road from Fernbank. The other schools they mentioned to take Medlock overflow aren't close to Medlock, excpet for Laurel Ridge.

Anonymous said...

Yes he did - Evansdale was specifically mentioned - you can bet those parents will not follow if it is moved to Jolly. (It's a sound idea tho-)

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom,

How could they move High Tower and not Chestnut? Chesnut seems closer to Chamblee.

Anonymous said...

How many times do we have to listen to SCW say the same thing. Annoying.

Anonymous said...

When addressing a fool, placate, patronize, and avoid rolling your eyes.

Good job, Mr. Consultant! You figured out how to deal with SCW!

Anonymous said...

There goes Nancy protecting Chamblee's precious stake in the magnet program.

Anonymous said...

"Dunwoody Mom,

How could they move High Tower and not Chestnut? Chesnut seems closer to Chamblee."

Not Dunwoody Mom, but no, Chesnut is NOT closer to Chamblee than Hightower. Chesnut is down the block from Peachtree MS and close to the center of Dunwoody.

Anonymous said...

Of course, you like it staying at Kittridge.....but it is not as accessible there for everyone as you think. Sorry North, I'm not with you on this one Ms. Jester.

PolitiMom said...

Re-Jester...she makes a solid point. Central location is relative. We aren't talking about a true center of the county with equal distance. They will lose/gain when they move. The question is by how much either way.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Jester

There are inequities in the magnet programs. Students at the magnet programs have far greater resources than those not in magnet programs.

Use your actuarial background to figure out the cost per student at DSA vs say Lakeside. And please, don't tell us that DSA students are entitled to more dollars than the LHS students.

Anonymous said...

What is that fool doing behind Nancy Jester? What purpose is she serving (and how much are we paying her)?


And McChesney just made a great comment discrediting Gene Walkers blubbery.

Cerebration said...

Ok, it's 9:00. We haven't gotten to "J" -- and we have to get to L-23 and then "other board comments"...

Anonymous said...

Of course Nancy Jester is all about what is best for her corner of the universe. Just wait...

But really aren't they all

Anonymous said...

Make it a true school for gifted kids (eliminate the 75% requirement) and perhaps we could centralize and expand. I do believe that there is a bit of concern about "who" you lose as well. And, be honest, it is also about the loss of those programs for those communities. That is the meat of the matter, if you cannot recognize it, you are not being honest with yourself.

Anonymous said...

"The elementary magnet are a issue." ARRGGHH

Anonymous said...

A portion of Chesnut and Kingsley may be redistricted to Hightower. Look at the maps. Consider proximity. Some Chesnut/Kingsley kids could walk there. Hightower is a good school. No-brainer.

Kirsten said...

High tower is in Doraville and makes more sense to be part of Chamblee. (and it's Chesnut, not Chestnut the nut, named after the Chesnut family. That'll make it easier for you to find it on Google maps.)

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why everyone feels like he/she has to make a comment. This is not a pop quiz where you spot the changes in pictures.

Did Beasley just say "it don't have"? Hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, if there is a demand for those programs, why aren't we expanding them? Or, do what should be done, value gifted programs a local schools and eliminate the need. Wouldn't that make more sense?

Cerebration said...

I actually think the recommendations for Centralized schools are solid. The magnets should consolidate. None of them are "all that" and they are all pretty small. Merge them. Merge the students. Create a truly integrated high achiever experience. Take only the top 10% and take them ALL. No lotteries. If they want to attend, and they qualify, they should attend. IF the magnets consolidated, they could consolidate resources and the result would be exponential. Not to mention that there would be efficiency - which translates into more money for the "regular" schools.

Anonymous said...

But, the housing market is not back now. Seriously, this shortage of students is costing us money now.

Anonymous said...

Hightower is overcrowded.

Anonymous said...

Jinks Cere 9:06, from C?Y! 8:16. Love you. :)

PolitiMom said...

I'm convinced the only thing these folks are looking at is where their schools are on the map. I SO wish the consultants put a disclaimer on there saying "not drawn to scale". Would have elimated at least 45 minutes of comments.

Anonymous said...

Jay Cunningham, you are an idiot. You know nothing factual about DeKalb County's housing status. You decommission schools now to get back state money. And if the housing crisis ever ends, then you can re-commission schools if there's demand.

Anonymous said...

Agree Cere.

but seriously, someday, 10-20 years from now, the market may pick up....does this man read the papers? The housing market in Atlanta is the lowest in the urban areas in the country.....read man read.

Oh, wow. The maps really ARE wrong.

Anonymous said...

@9:11, overcrowded now, yes agreed, but this is about redrawing all the lines with proximity as a main criteria. Stand by.

Anonymous said...

Just tuned in by chance was Robert Shaw mentioned?

Anonymous said...

I went to a k-8, and it was great. The 7th & 8th graders worked with the younger students and are so much more respectful than they are in a 5-8 middle school.

Anonymous said...

There is no where to send students from Hightower. The nearest elementary schools to the East of Hightower are overcrowded as well.

I wish we could have seen the specifics.

Anonymous said...

Wow, how do the rural schools do it??? Can you imagine a K-12 consolidated school? Do these people ever look beyond the city walls. K-12 schools can and do work. I went to one and came out ok. Really???? Again, this is done in rural areas all of the time.

PolitiMom said...

Well said Cere-I'm a Coralwood parent, which is basically a centralized special needs program. SHINING STAR in our county that no other metro county has to my knowledge. And I'm perfectly willing to drive my son 30 minutes each way so he can participate. If a magnet program centralizes and uses the coralwood model (foundation, parent involvement, federal funds for gifted--if there is such a thing) then it could be really successful. I know there are Coralwood haters out there, but I will just agree to disagree with you.

Cerebration said...

Yeah, I see Arabia on the map is completely nowhere near where it really is... not that they have even considered it in this plan.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering where I could actually see a copy of the maps everyone is referring to?

Dunwoody Mom said...

LOL = Hightower is on the other side of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Doraville. Children from Chesnut or Kingsley so could not walk to Hightower.

Hightower is overcrowded as well.

Anonymous said...

@9:16 PM

Don't know if you noticed but we don't live in a rural area here in DeKalb County. You're comparing apples to truck tires.

Anonymous said...

Tyson just flat out lied. Most districts in GA don't have a K-12 arts magnet. Most districts in GA don't have magnets and most that do, don't have elementary magnets at all.

Do neighborhood schools in DeKalb matter at all?

Does the average child matter at all?

Cerebration said...

Actually, No. I've truly come to believe that.

Kirsten said...

Do you think they'll post the detailed maps tomorrow so we can really look at them?

Anonymous said...

Enough Gene Walker with the "high achieving schools". We don't have that many.

Anonymous said...

I think centralizing the magnet programs is a great idea, especially if it means enhancing the offerings.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Walker is working hard for you Fernbank parents -- good thing you voted for him!

Anonymous said...

How many times is Gene Walker going to say "high schieving schools" tonight??

Anonymous said...

What makes this so difficult and complicated is that this has NEVER been done in DeKalb--despite the desperate need. You have counties in Georgia and throughout the US that redistrict on a regular basis, but not DeKalb.

This has to be done with little emotion and much more "business-like" thinking in order for things to be done in the best interest of everyone. Consultants seem to be part of that process.

I'm not sure that the emotion can be withheld by the Board membners--who actually will make the decisions--when no one has experienced TRUE redistricting and decommissioning in this county for over a generation.

And yes, I'm part of a family that will potentially change schools (couldn't make anything specific from the maps). And I have nothing to do with DCSS PR.

Cerebration said...

I am completely shocked that Gene Walker is so bent on protecting the "high achieving" magnets. Shocked.

Anonymous said...

Are we able to see the maps?

Anonymous said...

@9:18, I think the point was that there is no inherent danger or detriment in having all grades in one building.

If all ages can attend one building in the country (where population mandates that they do so), they can do so in the city.

Cerebration said...

Just get in your car and drive over there to look at the maps - you have plenty of time - they will be there for a couple more hours.

C?Y!

Anonymous said...

MARC ELKART and SACS are you watching this?? It's 9:22 PM and the 6PM BOE meeting hasn't addressed the first of 8 board policy amendments nor any of the 23 agenda items to be first-time discussed and then voted on today. DISFUNCTIONAL!!!!!!

Dunwoody Mom said...

The presentation should be on the DCSS website tomorrow, I would think.

Cerebration said...

If you want to look at a map with the schools and clusters - go here

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/vision-2020/school-utilization-map.pdf

But of course, it's not the one with the proposed redistricting.

Anonymous said...

Don't understand apples and truck tires....kids are kids, regardless of where they are at. If there is control and respect in the school - indeed we're talking about magnets, right? - then having a K-8 school shouldn't be a problem. I really don't see why this would work in a rural area and not a city area. Not seeing how the kids are different - are you saying that country kids are apples and city kids are truck tires? Really, haven't been in rural areas much?

Anonymous said...

Yeah Nancy!! Way to speak up for public comment!!

Anonymous said...

Good job Jestor - why should the board get to substitute speakers. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

The lady sitting behind Nancy Jester is Dee Brown. She is one of the Board of Ed secretaries, and she happens to be Eugene Walker's daughter-in-law.

Anonymous said...

I would personally rather see k-8 schools or k-12 schools over middle schools. Middle schools are no place for children of that age.

Anonymous said...

This lawyer lady is good straightening out the motion boondoggle.

Anonymous said...

@9:25
I grew up on a farm, curb the snide. Since you don't understand what an analogy is, I'll explain: you are comparing two things that have so little in common that finding what they have in common is absurd.

Of course kids are kids. Bus olutions are different. I think you already knew that but just like to argue.

Rural areas have fewer people. It's less expensive to consolidate programs in an area with fewer people.

Urban areas have increased poverty and more diverse populations (like DeKalb) with a greater population density. The only way to create K-12 schools in this area is either to stack kids like cordwood, or create so many schools as to be financially unfeasible.

Is it clear now?

I want out of Dekalb said...

1. No mention of Arabia Mountain.

2. Framing the entire plan around the precious magnet programs when efficiency would surely call for centralized magnet programs

3.Anyone want to bet that the new lines at Austin and Vanderlyn will have very little to no multifamily housing.

I really smell some mettling in this process.

4.

Cerebration said...

Yeah, I like the lawyer. She should be the chair.

ps - the Arts School is proposed to be K-12.

and wow - Dee Brown is Eugene Walker's daughter-in-law? Lord.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for Jester to say that the inequities related to the magnet program are simply perceived is frightening.

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

Why does Dee Brown have a headphone on? What purpose is she serving, other than being another member of the Gene Walker clan living large on the taxpayer's dime.

Cerebration said...

I think she meant between the magnets - not magnets compared to regular.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me why they just didn't move to pull the speaker policy?

Sometimes I wonder if any of them actually think!

Anonymous said...

Cere- just as shocked as you about the failure to address Arabia at all! I slipped away from my computer for a minute and just thought I missed it.

In fact, I pulled up the 5-Cluster maps that the consultants did and they do not even list Arabia HS on the list of High Schools for that cluster.

Anonymous said...

Surprised to see Dr. Beasley at a meeting this late at night. Doesn't he have some consulting/leadership coaching/pastoring to do??

Anonymous said...

Wow is Bob Moseley looking OLD!

Dunwoody Mom said...

Arabia is listed in Super Cluster 6 - with the other "special" schools

jjslider13 said...

What is the new attendance area policy?

Anonymous said...

The K-12 comments was addressed to Jestor's safety concern about a magnet program being housed in a facility with older students - in no way was a suggesting that the county move to this model for all schools - interpret the comment as originally posted in context then take your own snide aside. (Yes, I'm pretty educated and do know what an analogy is - do you understand contextualization??????)

Perhaps you should also do some poverty research as well, you seem to be under a mistaken impression that rural areas are by definition wealthier than urban areas. Admittedly, rural areas who have K-12 schools emerge because that is most economical for that setting. However, the comparison with regard to safety concerns of housing K-1st graders with 8th graders, as posed by the board member was, in my opinion, uniformed. That, my friend, is why the K-12/rural comment arose.

Why would you not support a school of performing arts that is consolidated, if that is what it takes to have one? Again, read your own snide comments, go back and read my original comment, then perhaps you can revisit the apples and analogy insults you threw out.

Anonymous said...

Regarding new attendance lines "The board will make the final decision" says Deputy Superintendent Moseley.

Vote: Unanimous.

This should add clarity to who is really drawing the lines.

C?Y!

Anonymous said...

So if they combine the magnet high schools, what happens this summer when the NCLB results are released? Can they assign all the choice students to Arabia Mountain? Or will they assgn them all to Druid Hills and Dunwoody (since a non-Title I school can be a receiving school even if it does not make AYP).

Cerebration said...

BROWN,DOROTHEA GENERAL ADMIN SECRETARY/CLERK $59,960.35

Anonymous said...

Take a breath, 9:31! Whew!

The K-12 school idea was for the arts magnet only. Perhaps that is not what the earlier poster was referring to, but that was what was discussed by the board.

I agree that it would be ridiculous to try to create all K-12 schools in Dekalb. If that is what the earlier poster meant,
(s)he is misguided. But the only proposal before the board was a single k-12 school.

Anonymous said...

cool.....I'm going to drop my master's degree and 30+ years teaching in DCSS making $63K and become a secretary at $59K....much less responsibility

Anonymous said...

I hope Nancy and DOnna read this blog. This is from another topic post on the blog:

Audria Berry, Executive Director of the Office of School Improvement, should know this is what other Instructional Coaches do. Berry spent around $5,000 in travel in 2008, $8,500 in travel in 2009 and $5,400 in 2010.

Anonymous said...

"We as a system has (sic) benefitted from that."

Freudian slip much?

Anonymous said...

9:45, watch out--as soon as that job is posted, I will be running down there to apply.

Oh, wait. It won't be posted. Nevermind.

Cerebration said...

Yes, so Arabia is in "Super Special School District 6" which means that there is this entire, gleaming, gorgeous new high school that doesn't even have to factor into "seats" when neighboring schools get redistricted or require additions to relieve over-crowding.

Am I being too obsessive here? Does anyone else think it's outrageously weird to hold out such a special school from all of the area schools and neighbors? Even going so far as to plan additions to other schools so as to accommodate over-crowding - even when there is space at Arabia? Even going so far as to when forced to provide seats to failing AYP schools, they provide those seats at another school altogether with no access to the beautiful building?

Anonymous said...

BROWN,DOROTHEA GENERAL ADMIN SECRETARY/CLERK $59,960.35


How in the blank is a fool secretary such as herself, giggling on the camera, making more than most veteran teachers????

Gene Walker, now I know why you ran two different campaigns for BOE without disclosing that you have a number of family members working for the school system.

Ernest Brown would have beat you two years ago if the publci knew you have so many relatives on staff, and that you weren't going to resign as DeKalb Development Authoity chair, despite the massive conflict of interest.

And don't forget this about Gene:

http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=165732
State paid $190,000 to settle earlier sex harassment suit

The sexual harassment lawsuit pending against state parole board member Gene Walker isn't the first time he's been named in such a case. The Associated Press has learned that the state quietly paid $190,000 a dozen years ago to settle the first lawsuit in which Walker was accused of sexually harassing a secretary.

The payment has never been identified as such in a state budget or audit, but following inquiries by The AP, the Legislative Fiscal Office and the state auditor confirmed the money was paid through a budget category labeled "other operating funds" of the state Senate in 1993.

The earlier lawsuit was filed when Walker was a powerful state senator. The state paid to settle allegations that he and two legislative colleagues sexually harassed a secretary in the state Senate.

An even bigger payout potentially is at stake in the current lawsuit against Walker, which was filed by a former parole board secretary. Plaintiff's lawyers have told the state's risk managers they believe their claim is worth $1 million to $3 million in damages.

Walker, who helps decide when murderers, sex offenders, and other felons are released from prison, declined a request for an interview. He referred questions through a parole board spokeswoman to his state-paid attorney, Bruce Edenfield.

Edenfield said Walker "vehemently" denies wrongdoing in either case and is "vigorously defending" himself.

Appointed by former Gov. Roy Barnes to the five-person Board of Pardons and Paroles, Walker's term expires in 2006. He previously headed the Department of Juvenile Justice and before that, from 1985 through 1992, he was a member of the state Senate.

As a senator, Walker was the Democratic whip and chaired the Senate Reapportionment Committee during the 1991-1992 redistricting effort.

In 1989, Jacqueline Livingston filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming that while a secretary for the state Senate she was sexually and verbally abused by then-Sens. Hildred Shumake, David Scott and Walker.

The complaint escalated to a federal civil lawsuit in 1992, and was settled a year later.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:45, that is exactly the contextualization that I was referencing. Jestor seemed to be concerned about having a K-12 arts school, due to safety concerns of sharing a facility across ages. My comments were NEVER directed at creating a ton of K-12 schools through the district. Rather, the comment about rural areas having K-12 schools successfully housing students across these age ranges successfully was to suggest that it should work. 9:31 indicates that I'm looking to fight, but I think perhaps there was a total (purposeful) misreading of the original comment. I do not see why such a school cannot be successful and think that the concerns can be allayed if one would be willing to look beyond the city walls. That is all. Wow. Didn't expect the attack. Must be someone who thinks Jester can walk on water.....didn't mean to insult her - just think that there are examples she can look to that she isn't thinking about.

Anonymous said...

Why was item K6 removed from the agenda?

Cerebration said...

Tyson removed it and didn't say why.

Anonymous said...

I think it was Edler who asked about the combined K-12 not Jester.

Walker must not be wearing a watch. Stop talking.

Anonymous said...

look so much like them???

Anonymous said...

Gene Walker just said we have the best support staff in the country?? WTF??

He must have meant we have the biggest support staff in the countyr.

Cerebration said...

Well, certainly MOST neighborhood schools would not be safe for young students as K-12 schools, however, a School of the Arts should be just fine.

Anonymous said...

"Why was item K6 removed from the agenda? "

this was the new policy for enrolling at schools outside of attendance zone, including rules for system employees, board members, etc. I find it very curious, and concerning, that this was taken off the table.

Anonymous said...

No more re-paving parking lots for administrators!!!

And when these fools wanted to re-pave the Palace's parking lot, it was in fine shape.

Heck, anything for administrators. Screw the school house.

Anonymous said...

I think Glen Haven was on the list to shut down... Jay Cunningham is asking about it now.

We probably don't need to preserve the building. Land is plentiful in that area. And it is cheap.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tyson.... Look at old Chamblee Middle. There is an eye sore there.

Anonymous said...

What language does Sarah Copelin-Wood speak?

Anonymous said...

SCW is off topic again.

Anonymous said...

Get that about the roof and the community. But, really, look at continued state cuts and fewer teachers next year, this room (and that raise) are just that important??

Anonymous said...

Is Sarah Copelin-Wood high right now??

Anonymous said...

Huh? (it must be scary when she addresses a question directly to you)

jjslider13 said...

Doesn't the board have a policy that says they need to give a certain amount of lead time before redistricting to give families time to make decisions....

Anonymous said...

Cere, I don't think you are overreacting. Arabia is a very expensive facility languishing at half (or so) enrollment. How is it not relevant to the overall picture? Aren't some of those 11K empty seats in that building? Are some of the ones they cannot seem to eliminate at Arabia? I'd like to know.

Why aren't all buildings part of one of the regular clusters so that we can evaluate their roles??

Cerebration said...

Jay was discussing the fact that the homes in south DeKalb that were foreclosed will be purchased again and the area will grow. However - in reviewing the 2020 Vision Facilities Committee Meeting Presentation, the projections show a steady decline in enrollment - beginning with 96,430 in 2006 and ending with 94,958 in 2014.

Anonymous said...

Complete non sequitur:
I finally gave up and changed channels. One of my fave Seinfeld episodes:
"SERENITY NOW!!"

Just seemed so apropos after 3 plus hours of watching that mess.

Anonymous said...

That was the policy that changed today, JSlider.

Goodnight all. This meeting never end.

Anonymous said...

How much are we going to spend on the Bryant Tech Center?? More wasted money being thrown on MIS?


And go get 'em Nancy Jester!

She said it: Kids go to the front of the line!

Anonymous said...

NO MORE MONEY FOR MIS conference rooms, kitchens, etc.!!

Anonymous said...

It is delusional to think that south Dekalb will grow again. No credible predictions postulate anything of the sort. Quite the opposite.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, as someone who bought a home in South Dekalb to be close to work--I have lost a couple of years' salary to devaluaton of my home. And no, I don't expect to get it back.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Nancy Jester!!!

The Bryant Center reno's have a new kitchen, fancy conference room, a lot of non-data storage room waste!!

Vote no!

Anonymous said...

Hell no for a million dollars on laptops, when the school system allows them to be stolen at least once a month!!

Anonymous said...

Tony Hunter had no background in educational technology. He was basically a sales rep. who sold a big software program to Ramona Tyson.

Would love to see him teach in an actual classroom for a week.

Anonymous said...

New software for the new laptops, but they need to add the security sotware to all the laptops.

Anonymous said...

Go Donna...be tough on Tony Hunter!

Anonymous said...

Ramona's getting defensive. The BOE is asking about all the money spent on MIS with NO RETURN ON INVESTMENT.

No she's throwing it back on the principals, of course.

Anonymous said...

I read a comment by SCW in the paper. She said something about kids being packed in rooms like sardines. I want to say that that is not because the building can't hold them, but because they have removed teachers from the building. Four classes may have been cut to three after the start of the year, resulting in overcrowded classrooms, but not overcrowded buildings.

Anonymous said...

Ramona's very defensive about Title 1.

How about all the staff that are paid from Title 1 bucks, like Audria Berry's army of do nothing instructional coaches??

Great to see her defensive. She wasted millions as head of MIS. Millions.

Anonymous said...

WOOHOO!

Two things, Ms. Tyson just said that she is concerned about using Title 1 funds for stuff

Second, she said that they are going to look long and hard at how they spend Title 1 funds. Perhaps more should be spent on people.

I do think that poor children need access to technology at school. They don't get it at home.

Read about digital divide.

Anonymous said...

You GO girl! Everybody is afraid to say what Jester is saying--technology is not always the answer!!

OMG what did Ramona just say? It might be better to put more teachers in classrooms than to purchase products? WOW!!

Anonymous said...

BROWN,DOROTHEA GENERAL ADMIN SECRETARY/CLERK $59,960.35


Every time Nancy Jester is on camera that fool Dorothea Brown is in the background making stupid faces.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the "digital divide" is a problem. But just buying hardware is not the answer. I have watched kids in my Title1 school playing computer games in class far too many times. Too many to count.

Anonymous said...

Jay Cunningham:

1) Can barely speak English.

2) Is calling out Nancy and Don on Title 1, yet he has no understanding about what it can be used for.

3) Hey Jay, why are you defending Ramona so much about the laptops, when they are stolen so frequently??

4) Nancy, Jay has no idea what the term "efficacy" means.

Anonymous said...

OOOH that was harsh. "Welcome aboard and we'll see how this goes in the future." OUCH

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of computers and laptops at some schools, sitting around unused, still waiting to be "set up" by MIS. Figure out how to run the ones we have before we buy new ones.

Anonymous said...

How did the computer vote come out? (couldn't watch anymore).

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jay is trying to put Nancy in her place.

Quote: "OK, we'll see how this goes in the future". The scowls for the camera.

It took a long time for the firewors to come.

Jay forgot about the Atlanta school system's scandal involving Title ! funds for Erate:

http://news.cnet.com/Eroding-E-rate/2009-1028_3-5236723.html

http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-schools-defy-bid-542472.html

http://www.parentadvocates.org/nicecontent/dsp_printable.cfm?articleID=2893

Anonymous said...

Oh my oh my.

SCW telling Nancy and Don "There was a study about technology and learning".

I haven't been so entertained in years.

Anonymous said...

My, What an interesting first meeting so far ! It is certain that the redistricting process is going to bring out the best (hopefully) and the worst(without a doubt) in people. As with many discussions on this site, it is going to be important for some groups to acknowledge that certain information that is simply the truth vs vehemently stating that others are "being mean to them". Case in point.

It is interesting that such a small segment of the student population (magnet students) was admittedly utilized to drive the process. How ironic, that the magnet parents work so very hard to protect their cherished magnet world only to have it threatened with consolidation at Avondale. It was almost as if the consultants came out of the gate saying " these magnets are garnering a disproportionate amount of resources". Why else would their first information have been that consolidation of magnets was a solid financial and consideration worthy option ?

OMG - Dr Walker , get the real information - How many cherished "high achieving" parents do you think DCSS has pissed off by their stupid administration of the magnet program. Seriously, the admission criteria is ridiculously low and it is a gold mine of test scores because it was self created by the system. Really, are you that clueless or that misdirected in your analysis of the situation. His comments that DCSS was not a business like General Motors could not have been more accurate of his "do nothing" attitude - As he said " parents want minimal disruption.

Nancy, careful where you step. I hear your loyalty to magnets coming out. Put on that numbers thinking cap and I bet you will have to admit that the plan makes some sense. Don't try to play the card that parents really don't see the magnet system as inequitable, they do.... We are just tired of being called whiners and sore losers.

All in all, I think that the consultants did a find job with a very complex issue. Wow, they even got SCW to shut up, Impressive. The day of reckoning has come Dekalb County. The evidence was clear, We can no longer afford to pay for specialty schools and small schools - the truth is out and boy is it going to be interesting !

Anonymous said...

Our CTSS can't figure out how to set up the computers we have now. I guess it is just easier to buy new ones when MIS doesn't know how to operate the ones we have.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta schools overpaid for a lavish computer network that costs taxpayers millions more to run.
By PAUL DONSKY and KEN FOSKETT
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 05/22/04

SUMMARY:
Atlanta Public Schools misspent or mismanaged nearly $73 million from a national program intended to give poor children access to the Internet, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation has found. With virtually no limit on spending, Atlanta since 1998 has built one of the country's most lavish computer networks for schoolchildren. Much computer equipment bought by the Atlanta school district languishes in storage. Some gear bought with federal 'E-rate' funds has been stored up to three years. Atlanta asked E-rate to subsidize an additional $81 million in 2002, in part for still more upgrades. E-rate officials denied nearly all of the request after finding that the district wasn't making price the primary factor when awarding contracts.

Top district officials said they could not answer many questions about E-rate spending because key decisions were made before they came to work for the district.

Cerebration said...

Sarah was worse - "Why don't you explain how technology works to those board members who might not understand."

Meow!

Anonymous said...

fyi -- the state mandated that we go to the 6-8 middle school structure in the mid 90s and attached money to it... it may cost us state money to do any k-12 school(s).

Anonymous said...

1) How does Audria Berry still have a job?

2) The board should thoroughly question Audria Berry every single time she wants to spend a penny.

Anonymous said...

SCW is totally lost -- It is beyond pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Budget shortfall?

Please completely eliminate Dr. Audria Berry's Office of School Improvement. Put the few productive Instructional Coaches back into the classroom. Let Berry and all the rest go.

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