Dr. Atkinson, true to her word, is making the rounds. She is working very hard to make a connection with the communities she serves and is looking to them to inform her vision moving forward. She has already held a State of the System Address at the Emory Lavista Parent Council meeting at Henderson Middle School, a strategic planning meeting at the main office that involved community input and has visited several schools. We were also informed by David Schutten's iPhone text message to his ODE listserve that she has extended offers to several new key administrators:
1. Kathleen S. Howell as Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.
2. Kendra D. March as Deputy Superintendent for School Leadership and Operational Support.
3. Gary Brantley as Chief Information Officer.
4. Walter Woods as Executive Director of Communications.
Below are some video snippets of her comments to the ELPC crowd. (Brought to us by Jonathan Cribbs of the Patch.)
As mentioned, Atkinson also held a strategic planning meeting, which had a "community engagement" portion on Tuesday evening. Read the report on this meeting in the AJC:
New DeKalb superintendent draws big crowd
Below are some additional email reports from attendees. I'll add more as readers send them in ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), or those who attended, please leave a comment in this post.
It was a pretty typical exercise with 30 minutes of "orientation" speeches and then break out into a room with a facilitator to answer 5 questions and then everyone vote on the answers that matter most to them.
It's important to note that none of the facilitators were DCSS staff so people were told to be free to be honest. [One of our reporters] was part of a group of 20, including some well spoken students from Arabia Mountain. There were a pretty high percentage of teachers who were also parents, and also in the main auditorium [we would have liked to have had more non-teacher parents in attendance]. The concerns raised were pretty much the same as what was described in the article, and also pretty much the same as the discussion from the Charrettees of last fall's redistricting exercise.