I attended Dunwoody Chamblee Parents Council's meeting today at Dunwoody High School and here are my rough notes for those who did not attend. Others that may have attended should post items of note I missed in the comments.
Dr. Lewis changed the format of his presentation this time around and addressed specific questions that had been provide in advance. Here is a bullet point recap:
1. Workweek/Calendar: DCSS is keeping a 180 calendar but has prepared a list of non-school days that could be added to the schedule if some mandate comes externally. The example he gave was the Monday and Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving. DCSS wants to be prepared to act if mandated but has no intention of modifying the calendar at this point.
2. eSIS - The launch has been tough all around but the pain will be worth it in Dr. Lewis' eyes. He indicated that any major legacy system replacement is going to be painful and this one is no different. He did say that the training could have been better managed and timed.
3. Parent Portal - The plan has always been to hold back Portal launch until the teachers and system have mastered eSIS and have the data right. The plan is still to release the new Parent Portal in October.
4. Transportation Effiiciency - DCSS is projecting $4 million in savings for 2010.
5. Textbooks - looking at CD/DVD option but there are challenges to work out.
6. Arts/Music instruction - points available to principals will be more tightly managed and when a school leader has to choose between a math or science teacher and an art or music teacher, they're most often going to choose math or science.
7. Budget Cuts Status - hiring freeze is still in place and attrition has lead to 50 positions eliminated saving $3.3 million.
8. Comprehensive Restructuring Plan - DCSS is looking for up to $26 million in total savings by June 2010.
9. AYP - general success in improving ES and MS level, not so much in HS. McNair MS made AYP for the first time ever.
10. Principal apppointments - Dr. Lewis has been and intends to request the BoE support his efforts to select principals for schools. He feels he is best suited to identify the talent for the jobs.
11. eCommunity web site - He was very excited to announce a new web resource coming up by the end of September. He was very effusive about the amount of parent resources that would be available via this site.
12. Block Schedule - DCSS will make recommendations in November to BoE and plans to offer flexibility to schools.
13. School closings/Re-Districting - DCSS will make recommendations to the BoE in January for implementation by Aug 2010 that according to Pat Pope will, "... hit every areaa of the County ..."
14. Pat Pope hired a Planning Director to oversee the planning process for the system (wow! this could be really good news!)
That's all I have for now - please add your own commentary!