Dear Parents and Guardians:
Welcome to the 2011-2012 school year in DeKalb County School System. As we begin this school year, I want parents and guardians to know that student learning is the foremost priority of the Board and Interim Superintendent. The academic challenges facing this District are serious, but rest assured that each area of concern has been confronted and issues are being addressed so that students enrolled in DeKalb Schools will be able to achieve at the highest levels. We will insist that students needing improvement receive the additional services they need to improve learning, and commit to challenging students who are meeting and exceeding expectations to reach higher levels of academic performance.
It is well-documented that 21st century students must possess extensive amounts of knowledge and have strong skill-sets in order to be successful in college and the workforce. Therefore, to enable the school system to deliver on its responsibility to produce college and work-ready students, the following strategies, processes, and procedures will be utilized during 2011-2012 in all schools and departments.
- Triage the lowest performing schools and provide the knowledge base to all schools in order to establish the connection between student assessment data, government and stakeholder accountability measures, and tactical classroom instruction
- Accountability and performance training for our principals
- Deeper collaboration between school operations and curriculum and instruction
- Restructure the use of federal/state/local dollars to better impact success in low performing schools
- Conduct a salary class/compensation and efficiency study of all positions
- Engage in developing a system-wide strategic plan during 2011-2012 to ensure that the District has an ongoing systematic continuous improvement process in place
- Prepare for the district’s five-year accreditation AdvancEd SACS renewal
- Complete the 10-Year master facilities plan
- Continue implementation of Race to the Top (RT3) initiatives and expectations of the Race to the Top GA initiative
The task to improve student achievement in DeKalb looms large and is somewhat daunting, but it is not overwhelming. Our response to the condition of academics in DeKalb cannot be sugar-coated or swept under the rug. Change must occur. However, real change requires that each employee, parent, and stakeholder step up, assume responsibility for ensuring student success, and refuse to look down or look back. I am committed to our students, and I ask that you join with me on behalf of the 100,000 students of DeKalb County School System.
Ramona H. Tyson