Monday, October 19, 2009

Oct 22 - DeKalb Delegation Town Hall, our State Senators and State Representatives (and other announcements)

DeKalb House & Senate Public Hearing
7 pm, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009
Porter Sanford Center
3181 Rainbow Drive
Decatur, Georgia 30034

-It is always important for our state senators and state representatives of the DeKalb Delegation to hear from their constituents. It is also important that they hear our concerns regarding the DeKalb County School System. If you remember a while back, Gwinnett County schools received $40 million from the state for facilities, and DeKalb received a million. Even Clayton Co. schools received millions more than DeKalb. A weird situation when you take into account that the DCSS Director of Internal Affairs Ron Ramsey is also a long-time state senator (Ron has missed most of if not all of the DeKalb Delegation town halls over the past five years).

I want to believe that our state senators and state representatives are aware that when it comes to attracting new businesses to DeKalb, and retaining present businesses, that the school system is one of the most important factors. The DeKalb Delegation hopefully realizes that all of the various scandals over the past year, such as the Pat Pope investigation, the Sembler proposed land buy at N. Druid Hills, Sembler wanting a huge tax break at Brookhaven, Gene Walker on the Development Authority, the Jaheem suicide, the eSIS debacle, etc., along with other longstanding issues such as the bloated, top heavy Central Office, promotions and increased pay for principals now in jobs where they have no prior experience, and the disgraceful conditions of schools such as Cross Keys and Sequoyah, etc., all have an effect when it comes to keeping DeKalb's economy healthy.

So come on out this Thursday and let your voice be heard!


Cerebration said...

I've been wanting to check out that Arts Center anyway!

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.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see Kim Gocke give some state rep's and senators a tour of Cross Keys, inside and out. They should see the restrooms at Lakeside too.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone offered to give the senators and representatives a tour? It might be worth extending an invitation for them to see the conditions our schools are in.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea: Host the next DeKalb Delegation meeting at Cross Keys!

Cerebration said...

Somehow, I don't think they can be shamed.

Cerebration said...

Reminder! -- attend this interesting Emory Lavista Parent Council meeting on Wednesday --

Please join us this Wednesday at McLendon Elementary School with refreshments beginning at 8:45am. Meeting topic:

Your DeKalb County School System:
How to Effect Change

Guest Speakers: Terry Segovis, Area Assistant Superintendent Region 2, and Ramona Tyson, Deputy Chief Superintendent Business Operations

Cerebration said...

Yet another announcement for a good "school" cause -

From: Rob Augustine
Date: Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 11:47 AM
Subject: Invitation to fundraiser for DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation
To: Rob Augustine

Dear Friends,

I'm writing to invite you to a fundraiser on November 9th for the DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation.

I've been serving on this Board for several years, and this is our first major fund raising effort. It is being held at the Hellenic Community Center Ballroom on Clairmont Road.

The Foundation's goals are to enhance our students' and teachers' achievements in science, math and the arts. Practical ways to provide this enhancement are scholarship programs, leadership training, and many other efforts to help make our public schools all that they can and should be. Your participation in our fundraiser event will certainly help us achieve these goals.

I hope you will consider participating in a fun evening, at a great venue, with lots of friends and supporters of our DeKalb County school system.

Please see the attached invitation for detailed information.

I hope to see you there on November 9th!!

Thanks for your time, Rob

P.S. Please feel free to forward this invitation to your friends and colleagues.

Kim Gokce said...

@Cerebration: Amen on GM! I was PO'd that Dr. Lewis wasn't represented at the initial press conference and ranted later about it here:

GM plant shuts down in Doraville

@Anon: "I would love to see Kim Gocke give some state rep's and senators a tour of Cross Keys, inside and out."

Already taken a couple and have a few more to take ... it has taken decades to get into this mess and it will take many years to get out of it. Getting our BoE and Superintendent committed to collaborative planning at the County, City, and State level will be critical.

Still waiting to see how the new "planning resource" that was hired last month will be leveraged. The only thing mentioned specifically about this person's role so far is that they will attend DeKalb Cty Planning Department and BOC meetings - a good start.

I was encouraged to see Don McChesney recognize the Foundation work at Coralwood Center as a model he would like to see more widely emulated. I'm working on that, too, gotta go ...

Paula Caldarella said...

If the rumors are to be believed, DeKalb County has left out the City of Doraville with regards to the plans for the GM plant property. What hope then do we have of DCSS being involved?

Cerebration said...

Really - what a cool place this would be to live in they created a hometown environment that included an elementary and middle school (high school?) that children could walk to - you know, live, work, play, go to school...

Kim Gokce said...

Right. However, with no actual working relationship between the County and the School System, this remains a nice fantasy. We haven't been able to plan for our existing community schools to thrive ... I remain hopeful but not optimistic about any major development at the GM site.

Paula Caldarella said...

I read an article recently where the Mayor of Doraville would like to see a Charter school within the city. Might be a good way work it in with this new development.

Cerebration said...

Another announcement -- (reminder?) --

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

Cerebration said...

And yet another interesting announcement -


I'm writing from StoryCorps, America's largest nonprofit national oral history project. You and your readers will be interested to know that StoryCorps is coming to Atlanta! On October 22, 2009, StoryCorps begins an extended period of recording at its newest StoryBooth, located in the studios of Atlanta’s public radio station WABE (740 Bismark Road, Atlanta, GA 30324). WABE has previously hosted StoryCorps in Atlanta through MobileBooth in 2006 and StoryCorps Griot in 2007, but this is our first long-term commitment to the Big Peach. During our first year in Atlanta, we expect to record the voices of more than 1,500 local participants.

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another's lives through listening. Since 2003, tens of thousands of people from across the country have interviewed family and friends through StoryCorps. Each conversation is recorded for free on a CD to take home and share and is also archived for generations to come at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Millions listen to the award-winning broadcasts on public radio and the Internet. Select stories have also been published in the New York Times bestselling book, Listening Is an Act of Love.

Anyone can now make a reservation through StoryCorps’ 24-hour reservation line, 1-800-850-4406, or at Additional reservation slots will be available at 10 AM EST on the first day of every month.

Approximately 25 percent of all StoryCorps appointments in Atlanta will be filled by local community organizations from diverse backgrounds. Interested community organizations should contact Amanda Plumb at (678) 686-0388.

I hope you take the time to listen, and please tell your readers about StoryCorps’ effort to celebrate Atlanta's voices!

Amanda Plumb

Amanda Plumb
Atlanta Site Supervisor

Anonymous said...

Another announcement:

A Webinar Invitation from:
Action for Healthy Kids and the American Association of School Administrators

Take Action for Healthy Kids and Healthy Schools: From Policy to the Practical
3 pm, Thursday, October 22

Join school system leaders on a one-hour webinar that highlights district-level decision-making to impact student health and achievement.

SPEAKERS: Join AASA President, Superintendent Mark Bielang and Head Nurse of the Indianapolis Public Schools, Marsha Rae Wallis, as they share their insights on school health policy and practice to keep students in school and learning.

WHAT: Take Action for Healthy Kids and Healthy Schools: From Policy to the Practical webinar

WHY: Childhood obesity rates are rising across the country and in every community. Schools should not be expected to do it all, but effective school district leadership is vital to be part of the solution. Learn how two districts, one urban, one rural, have worked inside their districts and within their local communities to address this problem and see results.

REGISTER: Click here to register:

About AASA Leadership for Healthy Children & Schools:
AASA has championed efforts centered on identifying the needs of school leaders in improving the school environment and various issues concerning student health and welfare. Our current projects include asthma management, healthy school environments, healthy eating and active living in schools, and youth development.

Please visit for more information and additional resources.

About Action for Healthy Kids:
Action for Healthy Kids is a national nonprofit organization addressing the epidemic of overweight, undernourished and sedentary youth by focusing on improving nutrition and physical activity policies and practices in schools so that children can learn to be healthier and better prepared for academic success. This grassroots public-private partnership of more than 65 organizations and government agencies supports the efforts of Teams comprised of more than 11,200 volunteers in all states and the District of Columbia. Please visit

No Duh said...

Looks like the School Watch's audience is growing across the nation. Maybe it's time for a whole thread of nothing but announcements from the followers.


Cerebration said...

Great idea! In fact, I'm on it right now!

Anonymous said...

I have another scandel to add to the pot. A DCSS Principal gone bad. We all remember the Jaheem suicide which was a result of bullying from students. Well this time the allegations are that a Principal's bullying and abuse of her position caused a disabled student to reach out for help to a suicide crisis hotline. The situation and the principal is being investigated by the U.S. Dept of Education OCR. No word on what the PSC is going to do but a complaint was filed with them. The parent has filed suit with the district attorney's office alleging a tainted bias investigation of her complaint by the DCSS Public Safety office. The detective assigned to the case question the student and attempted secure a signed statement from the student without the parent or the student's attorney's knowledge or presence.The student refused to sign statement and called parent. The student was pulled out of class by the school resource officer, escorted to his office where she was questioned behind closed doors by two male officers wearing badges and guns without the presence of a female officer or administrator. And did I say the parent nor the attorney was notified? This is the same Principal that was using a Para professional to teaching three US History classes until word got back to the board. Cant wait for the news media to get a hold of this one.

Cerebration said...

yikes!!! Don't look for coverage in the AJC, let's do a test and see who (if anyone) reports on this...

Also - FYI - seems Pat Pope is still working - she's on the agenda for the called meeting tomorrow. Her topic is Enrollment Balancing... my question is - why is that HER job??? Seems this should be something Lewis should do.

It is requested that the DeKalb Board of Education adjourn the October 23, 2009 called
meeting to a Committee of the Whole.

Motion by: __________________ Seconded by: ________________ Vote: _____________

1. Enrollment Balancing
Presented by: Ms. Patricia A. Pope, Chief Operations Officer

Anonymous said...

"Enrollment Balancing" is code for redistricting. Isn't the planning department in Operations and therefore reports to Pat Pope?

Paula Caldarella said...

cere, I think it was said that Patricia Pope and Robert Moseley were heading up this effort.

Cerebration said...

Hmmm. Interesting. Well - let's see if they make logical decisions or politically motivated ones...