Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Community & Misc. Announcements

This posting will maintain a continuous thread of meeting and other announcements that our readers might find interesting. Feel free to add your input in the comments section and we will make the link available on the home page permanently.


Cerebration said...

One big thing to think about -- all the news now is about a company out of Florida, New Broadstreet is planning to develop the old GM plant. This is a huge development, not unlike Atlantic Station. We need to consider what we will have to offer as schools for the people who end up living here. Cross Keys, Chamblee and Dunwoody are all within reach. Some long-term vision will be required.

Cerebration said...

We received this note from our friendly DeKalb County Library --

In case some members of your consortium are unaware, DeKalb County Public Library offers several online resources (databases, electronic books, etc.) that are freely available to anyone with a library card. Besides having an entire section for kids, called "Student Resources", we have other applicable resources about language learning, literature, science, and so forth. To see all the resources and to learn about the requirements for obtaining a library card, please visit the library's web site:

Best regards,


Ron Leonard, Marketing Coordinator
DeKalb County Public Library

Anonymous said...

"Stars Aligning on School Lunches"

The invitation is a small sign of larger changes happening in public school cafeterias. For the first time since a new wave of school food reform efforts began a decade ago, once-warring camps are sharing strategies to improve what kids eat. The Department of Agriculture is welcoming ideas from community groups and more money than ever is about to flow into school cafeterias, from Washington and from private providers.

“The window’s open,” said Kathleen Merrigan, the deputy secretary of agriculture. “We are in the zone when a whole lot of exciting ideas are being put on the table. I have been working in the field of sustainable agriculture and nutrition all my professional life, and I really have never seen such opportunity before.”

Congress, which will take up the Child Nutrition Act as soon as October, has much to do with this year’s focus on school food. The act, which is reauthorized every five years, provides $12 billion to pay for lunch and breakfast for 31 million schoolchildren.

That the nutritional state of America’s children is a priority for President Obama doesn’t hurt, either. Mr. Obama put an extra $1 billion for child nutrition programs, including school food, in his 2010 budget proposal.

Michelle Obama has made better nutrition for schoolchildren part of her agenda, too, using the White House garden to promote healthier eating and often speaking about the importance of good diets for children, her own included.

Anonymous said...

School Lunches: DCSS now mandates that cafeteria staff can no longer provide a cheese sandwich to any student who does not have something to eat from home. Whether a student forgets a lunch or their family has not processed the free/reduced lunch paperwork, they will go hungry.

We are aware that many students in our community qualify for free lunches, but their parents have not completed the paperwork because of language barriers, embarrassment, or even procrastination. We also have students who forget from time to time. In both cases, we are very concerned about the ability of students to focus academically when they're hungry.

Therefore, we are asking our parents to donate power bars and other snacks to teachers to provide them to students they see not eating lunch.

Anonymous said...

Son of awcomeonnow with a public hearing. Sorry about the short notice, but there will be a
meeting for city comission and mayoral candidates for the City of Clarkston tomorrow. It will be at Clarkston City Hall on Church Street at noon on Saturday, October 24.
Why this might be important to you as a parent:
If you have a child going to Idlewood Elementary, McClendon Elementary, Indian Creek Elementary, Shamrock Middle School,
Tucker Middle School, Freedom Middle School, Clarkston High School, Tucker High School, or Druid Hills High School all nine of these schools receive students from Clarkston's absurdly overbuilt, oversized, and oversubsidized (nothing market rate) apartment complexes.
Although you may not live in Clarkston, Clarkston is transiency central for all of the listed schools.
If you're concerned about ways to improve your school's viability, consider attending Clarkston's candidate meeting.
Ask any of the candidates if they won't at least try and get rid of some of the worst of the rentals in Clarkston's city limits
(there's some real hell holes on
Smith Street and Jolly Avenue South). Better yet, how about some rezoning of delapidated complexes:
replace them with single family homes and help oh, som many schools.
Offer to help support the candidates that do right by their surrounding area: contribute to their campaigns for more signs, etc.

Cerebration said...

Development of Master Plan for Park to be Discussed

International Student Center
2383 North Druid Hills Road
Atlanta, GA 30329
678-676-0902 (School Office)

6:30 PM

1. Welcome and Introductions: DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Department
2. Remarks and brief description of project: Commissioner Gannon
3. Presentation: Jon Hart, MACTEC
a. Housekeeping: sign-in sheets, comment forms, cell-phones, etc.
b. Overall Master Plan Process: Inventory/Analysis, Conceptual Plan Alternatives, Final Master Plan with Public Input at each milestone
c. Existing Conditions Exhibit
d. Site Analysis Exhibit
e. ‘Area’ Exhibit
f. Opportunities & Constraints Exhibit

4. Public Input: Jon Hart, Marti Watts, John Bateman (facilitators)

What do you like about Kittredge Park?
What don’t you like about Kittredge Park?
What programs/activities/facilities would you like to be available at Kittredge Park?
What programs/activities/facilities don’t you want?

For more information, please contact John Bateman, Project Manager at 404.687.3542.

Cerebration said...

DeKalb Neighborhood Summit
Saturday, November 14, 2009
At Maloof Auditorium

A roundtable discussion on developing a new vision for neighborhood empowerment in DeKalb County.

Visit the website to register.

Cerebration said...


The DeKalb Board of Education will hold the following meetings on Monday,
November 2, 2009:

4:00pm Called Meeting to adjourn to Executive Session
to discuss a legal matter
Dunwoody High School
Room 2208
5035 Vermack Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338

6:00pm Work Session & Meeting
Dunwoody High School
5035 Vermack Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338

Cerebration said...


Monday, November 9, 2009

Robert R. Freeman Administrative Center
Building A, J. David Williamson Board Room
3770 North Decatur Road
Decatur, Georgia 30032


1. National School Psychologists Awareness Week, November 9 – 13, 2009

2. Teacher Advisory Committee Meeting, 2:00pm, Thursday, November 12, 2009,
William Bradley Bryant Center for Technology, 2652 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur

3. Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting, 5:00pm, Thursday, November 12, 2009,
Sam Moss Service Center, 1780 Montreal Road, Lawrenceville

4. System-wide Administrators Meeting, 9:00am, Tuesday, November 17, 2009,
William Bradley Bryant Center for Technology, 2652 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur

5. Emory-LaVista Parent Council Meeting, 8:45am, Wednesday, November 18, 2009,
Henderson Middle School, 2830 Henderson Mill Road, Chamblee

6. Schools Closed (Administrative Offices Opened), Wednesday, November 25, 2009 ~
Thanksgiving Holiday

7. Schools & Administrative Offices Closed, Thursday & Friday,
November 26 & 27, 2009 ~ Thanksgiving Holiday

8. DeKalb Board of Education Work Session & Business Meeting, 6:00pm, Monday,
December 7, 2009, Robert R. Freeman Administrative Center, Building A,
J. David Williamson Board Room, 3770 North Decatur Road, Decatur

Anonymous said...

The Real Cost of School Siting

Presenters: Matthew Dalbey, U.S. EPA & Renee Kuhlman, National Trust for Historic Preservation

At last count, 35% of K-8 students lived within 2 miles of their school. Because eligible Safe Routes to School infrastructure projects are limited to a 2 miles radius of participating elementary and middle schools, nearly two-thirds of America’s children are only able to access their schools by automobile or bus.

Today bike and walk advocates are examining the reasons behind where a community chooses to locate its schools. They are supported in this work by the American Academy of Pediatrics who stated “Factors such as school location have played a significant role in the decreased rates of walking to school, and changes in policy may help to increase the number of children who are able to walk to school."

Despite a growing awareness, existing community-centered schools continue to be threatened with abandonment and new schools continue to be built far from the residents they serve. Learn about the policy and practices that affect these decisions and how you can be part of the solution.

This webinar is part of the Safe Routes to School Coaching Action Network Webinar Series, developed by America Walks and the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

For more information please contact Michelle Gulley, at

Cerebration said...

Mark your calendars -

Join us at 9:15 am on
Wednesday, November 18th
at Henderson Middle School
(Refreshments at 8:45 am)

Your School: How to Effect Change

Mr. Terry Segovis,
Area Assistant Superintendent Region 2,
Ms. Teresa Allen,
Principal, Henderson Middle School
Mr. Joe Reed,
Principal, Lakeside High School

Please join us as we discuss how to direct
effective parental input.

First Meeting for 2010:
January 20th: Evansdale Elementary
Future 2010 Topics:
Legislative Update, Charter Schools, Good Governance

To receive our notices, send an email to or visit our new web page

Cerebration said...

Upcoming Events - from the latest BOE Agenda


1. Emory-LaVista Parent Council Meeting, 8:45am, Wednesday, November 18, 2009, Henderson Middle School, 2830 Henderson Mill Road, Chamblee

2. Schools Closed (Administrative Offices Opened), Wednesday, November 25, 2009 ~ Thanksgiving Holiday

3. Schools & Administrative Offices Closed, Thursday & Friday, November 26 & 27, 2009 ~ Thanksgiving Holiday

4. DeKalb Board of Education Work Session & Business Meeting, 6:00pm, Monday, December 7, 2009, Robert R. Freeman Administrative Center, Building A, J. David Williamson Board Room, 3770 North Decatur Road, Decatur

Cerebration said...

An invitation from Mary Margaret Oliver


YOUR ARE INVITED to view “Coal Country”, a film about the environmental injuries from mountain top removal mining practices, hosted by me and other women legislators on Sunday, November 15, beginning at 5:00 pm at Push Push Theater, 121 New Street, Decatur. I am hosting this event to gain support and interest in HB 276, that I introduced last session to limit over time the importation of coal into Georgia from mountain top removal mines. You can review the details of HB 276 on the Georgia General Assembly web site.


Cerebration said...

ELPC Reminder for Wed. 18th @ 8:45 am, Henderson Middle School

Your School: How to Effect Change

Mr. Terry Segovis,
Area Assistant Superintendent Region 2,

Ms. Terese Allen,
Principal, Henderson Middle School


Mr. Joe Reed,
Principal, Lakeside High School

Anonymous said...

“After the Deluge: Housing Challenges for
Local Governments in the Post-Foreclosure Era””
9:30 a.m. – 11:45 p.m. • December 2nd, 2009
Manuel J. Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive
Decatur, GA 30030

Overview of DeKalb Housing Challenges
DeKalb County is the third most populous county in Georgia, 11th in the Southeast and 74th in the U.S. As the closest neighborhood to Fulton and the City of Atlanta as well as containing half of the MARTA system and I-285, DeKalb is important to a sustainable future in the Atlanta region.
DeKalb County and the municipalities have seen many successful housing projects and have taken actions to build a progressive future. A substantial portion of DeKalb’s current and future population is workforce families who need housing that is affordable and near transportation.

Between 2000 and 2006 foreclosures in the 10-county Atlanta region tripled, from about 14,000 in 2000 to almost 43,000 in 2006. However by 2008, metro Atlanta foreclosures had hit 67,007 or 4th highest in the U.S. By August 2009, foreclosures have already exceeded the total for 2008. DeKalb as one of the largest and most urban counties has been impacted greatly by the foreclosure crisis. DeKalb’s total foreclosures are only second to Fulton and will continue to be a major challenge in the coming years. DeKalb has received an allocation of $18.5 million in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP1) to address foreclosures in targeted areas of the county.

Zoning Ordinance
DeKalb County updated the county Comprehensive Plan in October, 2006 and amended in December 2008. DeKalb Planning and Development Department and their consultant Pond and Company have completed a draft update to the Zoning Ordinance.

Changing Housing Needs
While there is a strong desire in many areas of the county to maintain the livability and quality of the existing neighborhoods, there is also a growing need to address areas where neighborhoods have been destabilized by foreclosures and encourage reinvestment. With changing demographic needs, including more seniors seeking lifelong communities and a growing workforce anticipated, new types of housing and walkable neighborhoods are a need. DeKalb County has engaged the Livable Communities Coalition to develop a recommended affordable housing strategy and program to help it address this changing environment.

Livable Centers
DeKalb participates in the ARC Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program. Perimeter Center Mall, Northlake Mall, Emory University, Downtown Decatur, Brookhaven, Avondale and the Kensington MARTA station areas are all LCIs. More planning and design efforts as well as zoning and private development may be needed to transform these areas from job centers to livable communities with not only housing but other amenities provided to create a desirable location to live, work and play.

Anonymous said...

I am sick and tired of filthy DCSS rest rooms. Went to my child's elem school yesterday, and it's embarassing.
Restroom Checklist for School Administrators.

Cerebration said...

There's another SPLOST empty promise! At one point, there was $16 million allocated to upgrading old restrooms -- never happened.

Also - what ever happened to the 1500 new toilets brought up at a board meeting by Jay Cunningham and approved by the board? Let me guess - they're all sitting in a warehouse somewhere...

Sorry - but I have completely lost patience with our "leaders" - I am sick and tired of listening to them argue about lawyers and investigations and race issues and their own stupid nonsense - when our children continue to suffer in these horrible facilities - day in and day out!

Anonymous said...

Annonomous 11:05 Restroom issues have been chronic, consistent and ignored for years. When I dared to bring this to attention of a principal, I was unceremoniously called back into the office where principal and AP accused my interest of restroom sanitation as perverse and purient. Left office so stunned, shaken and concerned, called lawyer regarding potential legal action. When PTA was notified response from president was "your concerns are not our concerns." I remember this day like it was yesterday. Never stepped foot into the school again until principal retired. GRTBG.

So it makes you wonder why restroom conditions remain the same or worse. And yes, we have the if not one of the world's experts in public facility sanitation, Dr. Keating right here in our backyard but I believe his
input or suggestions are not welcomed by DCSS.

Welcome to DCSS.

Anonymous said...

"There's another SPLOST empty promise! At one point, there was $16 million allocated to upgrading old restrooms -- never happened."

Cere, do you know where that is listed online about the SPLOST money for rest rooms? I'm going to show it personally to my BOE members.

I too, am sick and freaking tired of Crawford Lewis and his do nothing overpaid upper management
(sorry for the prudes on this site who don't like the word freaking). Things have to change.

Anonymous said...

Our schools are dirty period. Whether it's the rest room, classrooms, hallways, or the hvac duck system. Parents and employees shouldn't have to put up with this. What is a shame, is that people in Building A and B, don't have to use the restrooms in such filthy conditions and their buildings are much nicer.

With the financial crisis, I don't see change.

Anonymous said...

I would like to put some of the blame where blame is due. The students. They are lazy and think that we should pick up after them.

Yes, I see brown ceiling tiles at work daily and a school system that states you just got a new roof 6 years ago. Too bad we just put a work order in for 65... Yes, I did say 65 new leaks and nothing is going to be done about it.

The roof was put in by an out side contractor who won the bid. Too bad no one checked in on them. They just through the tar up there, went to sleep in the trailers during the day and there was nothing the principal of our school could do because they were not DCSS employees.

Anonymous said...

At our school we got completely new toliets... That are now broken. Cheap. Cheap. Cheap. The plastic hinges that hold the seat to the toliet are now all broken in the girls lockers room. Hope that they can stand up.

They were not built for kid use. They were not built for any use. They are also low and I do mean LOW flush toilet. It takes 2 flushes just to ge toliet paper to go down. I hate to see how many flushes it takes to get a number 2 to go down. Oh wait, kids to do not make sure if number 2 goes down, they just leave it there all day.

It all goes back to home training. Treat others the way that you want to be treated.

Cerebration said...

Actually, that's a large component of Dr Keating's clean restroom program...making the kids take more responsibility and pride in the restrooms (found at the links above provided by Anon). But DeKalb won't let the guy in our schools anymore. Never mind that he's in demand all over the country and the globe - in his home county - they give him a virtual "swirlie".

Anonymous said...

Active Learning Environments through Community and School Gardens
10 am, Tuesday, December 1st

The Zeist Foundation and the Southeastern Horticultural Society are hosting a roundtable and panel discussion with educators and organizations who address the importance of active learning environments through community and school gardens.

The roundtable discussion will take place at Coan Middle School from 10 A.M.-12 P.M. while the panel discussion will take place over lunch from 12 - 1 P.M. and will include representatives from local funders interested in this work.

-A representative from Sedexo
-Erin Croom, Farm to School, Georgia Organics
-Dr. Marilyn Hughes, Director of Nutrition Services, Atlanta Public Schools
-Kyla Zaro-Moore, Southeastern Horticultural Society
-Bobby Wilson, Atlanta Urban Gardening Program, UGA Coop Extension

Please contact Patti Johnson with the Zeist Foundation at to RSVP.

Where & When
Coan Middle School
1550 Hosea Williams Drive, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30317
December 1, 2009

The Southeastern Horticultural Society (SHS) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting the knowledge, art and enjoyment of horticulture throughout the Southeastern United States. SHS provides year round educational programs, events and access to plant resources.

The Zeist Foundation embraces a holistic approach to address the needs of children, youth and families in the areas of education, arts & culture and health & human services. The Foundation seeks opportunities to leverage its investments in organizations that are innovative, collaborative, and sustainable in serving children, youth, and families.

Cerebration said...

Sorry Anon - I missed your comment earlier. The $16 million was a SPLOST 2 line item. Sadly, the excuse we hear is that SPLOST 2 was not well-managed and projected had to be defined as "above" or "below" the "Line" - an imaginary line where the budget stopped. I think the restrooms fell into that neverland.

Anonymous said...

For pre-teens, teens and parents:

"Education and Leadership Day"
11 am to 1 pm, Saturday, Dec. 5th
Old Historic Courthouse, Decatur

Education and Leadership Day is Saturday, December 5th
Brought to you by the DeKalb Bar Association
11 am to 1 pm, Saturday, Dec. 5th
The DeKalb Bar Association welcomes you to the 2009 Education and Leadership Day on Saturday, December 5th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse on the Decatur Square. Inspirational speakers will discuss the importance of education and leadership for ALL AGES. Guests will then break into groups where professionals from various industries will be on hand to help outline plans for success and answer questions. There will be music and entertainment as well.

The event is supported by the DeKalb Bar Association, the DeKalb County District Attorney and Solicitor-General, the DeKalb County Police and Fire Department, the Boys and Girls Clubs of DeKalb, and the University of Phoenix. The event is free and open to all members of the public thanks to our sponsor, The DeKalb History Center.

•Director of Public Safety - no matter how much you've achieved, keep striving for more, adult education
•Chief Assistant Solicitor-General - girl's can do anything and everything
•Detective in the Gang Unit - stay in school and away from gangs, gang education
•Attorney at Law - how kids end up in the juvenile justice system, scared straight
•Assistant District Attorney - keep dreaming and achieving, no dream is out of reach for anyone
•Attorney at Law - be a leader and mentor in your community
•University of Phoenix Representative - leadership and education

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything about doing away with the gifted classification at the high shool level?

themommy said...

No, but frequently schools exceed the class size limits (even at the magnet programs) which means that the school has to manually alter transcripts to get the gifted label back on the classes.

What exactly have you heard? Is it from the state or county?

Anonymous said...

the mommy,
I am not so sure about the magnet setting exceeding the limit of students (gifted or otherwise a) ..... That would be pretty difficult, given that their class sizes are far ( and I mean far ) smaller than those for the common folk.Did I mention that this has always been a travesty but perhaps even more so in the day of cutbacks and shrinking public school system dollars.?

Cerebration said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the class sizes for gifted students is a federal mandate. Same is true for ESOL and special education. I think that DeKalb has to serve students labeled gifted just as they have to serve special ed and ESOL. The sad part is that the "general" classes are allowed to grow out of control - and those students need the same kind of attention. The excuse is "the budget" - however, I think a billion dollars a year really should be plenty to provide a quality classroom size and education for ALL students. Maybe the feds need to start mandating class sizes for "regular" students.

Dekalbparent said...

Cere -

You are correct that there are limits on gifted class sizes. They are set by the state and they vary by age level.

HOWEVER, here is how DCSS gets around that: they just change the name of the class. So a "Gifted" American Literature class becomes an "Accelerated" American Literature class, which has no class size limit.

So, your kid's transcript does not reflect that the took the most challenging class, even though they did!