Thursday, July 28, 2011

ESEA School Choice 2011-12

The letter about AYP transfers according to NCLB (now known as ESEA) has been posted. You can read it by clicking here. The window to apply for a transfer is July 22 - August 4. Another (often better) option is to request private tutoring for your child and stay at your home school. If you have any questions about the Supplemental Educational Services (free tutoring), contact Dr. Linda Crowley by telephone at 678.676.0309. The state publishes an extensive list of approved vendors for tutoring. Click here to review that list.

Below is the published list of receiving schools:

Elementary Schools ESEA Choice Options:
• Hambrick Elementary - K through 5th
• Kelley Lake Elementary - K through 5th
• Kingsley Elementary - K through 5th

Middle Schools ESEA Choice Options:
• Cedar Grove Middle - Grades 6th – 8th
• Stone Mountain Middle - Grades 6th – 8th
• Chamblee Middle -Grades 6th – 8th

High Schools ESEA Choice Options:
Traditional Schedule
• Arabia Mountain High - Grades 9th – 12th
• Chamblee High - Grades 11th and 12th
Block Schedule *90 minute class periods
• DeKalb Early College Academy (DECA) - 9th Grade Only (special rules apply)
• Druid Hills High Annex @ DeKalb School of the Arts* - Grades 9th – 12th
*NOTE: the program is not part of DSA whatsoever: The program will ACTUALLY be in the now CLOSED Avondale HS; students will be considered Druid Hills "annex" students, and staff will report to the Druid Hills principal. However, students will never attend school at the Druid Hills campus - instead will attend at the Avondale campus - reopened for AYP transfers only.


DeKalb Early College Academy (DECA)

DeKalb Early College Academy is a program in partnership with Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) that is designed for high school students to complete their high school diploma while receiving up to 60 hours of college credits toward an Associate of Arts degree. The goal of DECA is to improve the high school graduation rates of DeKalb County high schools, and subsequently, the opportunity to complete college. Early colleges were created as a school reform initiative and a viable alternative to large, comprehensive high schools. DECA does not have an athletic or band program, but rather various other extracurricular activities/clubs.

Criteria for Student Enrollment at DECA
All students enrolled at DeKalb Early College Academy must maintain satisfactory academic grades, pass all sections of the Criterion Reference Competency Test (CRCT), possess a satisfactory attendance and discipline record while enrolled in middle school. All students are required to wear school uniforms. Students are dismissed back to their community high school if program expectations are not met. Students who applied and were not admitted previously are not eligible to attend DECA through ESEA Public School Choice and should select another school choice.

Arabia Mountain High School
All students enrolled at Arabia Mountain High School must maintain a 2.0 grade point average each semester. A total of ten hours of parental involvement hours (volunteer hours) are required before May 1st annually. All students are required to participate in twenty hours of “Going Green” community service. School uniforms are required for each student.

Chamblee High School
Chamblee High School is about to begin a major construction project. The school is bringing in a "trailer village" of approximately 40 trailers to accommodate construction and transfers. The construction will take a couple of years but will end up with a very nice facility for the 2013 school year.


In addition, below is the transportation information. It literally pays to choose the school furthest away from your home. You will be reimbursed for TWO round trips per day at $.51/mile. [Personally, I think free tutoring is more valuable and possibly more effective.]

Transportation Options for ESEA Public School Choice
The law states that, “The school district must provide transportation or provide FOR transportation for a student whose home school is a Title I Needs Improvement (NI) school.” For parents/guardians who are able to pay for or provide a means of transporting their child to their school of choice, the DeKalb County School System will reimburse the parents/guardians for transporting the student to the receiving school if the student is transferring from a Title I Needs Improvement (NI) school. The current federal per diem rate is .51 per mile and is subject to change. Reimbursement is calculated as round trip from the student’s home to the choice school and round trip from the student’s choice school to the student’s home. The round trip will be calculated based on the shortest distance between home and school.

For more information, the application and to see the list of sending schools, visit this link at the school system's website.
Public School Choice Hotline (678) 676-0081
Online Registration at


betty said...

So, let me get this straight. They "closed" Avondale because of it's enrollment, low numbers. But they are moving possibly 200 kids into a school that is too expensive to run at it's previous(higher)enrollment numbers? Maybe instead of PE coaches they need Title 1 coaches at the school, available all day long.

with class sizes this year these kids had better be doing better, like A's and B's. Can my kid go to a county supported 200 child school, where he will get individual attention?

DCSS are you %$#%&@% crazy? Who came up with this answer? Are they also moving the kids who were at the Palace last year that were "Chamblee Annex" in there too?

Could it be we just need another high school opened? We are going to pay to heat, pay to cool, pay to clean, pay to teach, pay to secure a school for 200 kids? And this is good? The person who came up with this, the person who agreed to it and the person who presented it and the board members who approved it should all be fired. Period.

betty said...

And yes, I know DSA is there, but what are they trying to do here?

This moves gives a kid no stability, no confidence in our school system and very little in themselves. Annexes tell a kid, we couldn't educate you properly at this school but we don't have a real solution so we'll just stick ya over here and see what happens.

Catydid said...

We have 31,000 kids at schools that are Needs Improvement (not just schools that did not make AYP but schools that have not made AYP in several years). There is simply no place to put anyone who wants a transfer because there are too few schools that are eligible to receive. Call me crazy but it seems to me we should try to be bringing schools off the NI list. A radical idea, I know.

Cerebration said...

@betty - the students at the Chamblee annex were all brought to the Chamblee campus. Now they will have to accept even more - thus the 40 trailers. If there are more than that - they will need even more trailers. Plus, as far as Avondale, that school will technically be a Druid Hills annex. They have nothing at all to do with DSA. The teachers, staff and principal will all be from Druid Hills. (Seems tough on the principal.)

I agree - this is no solution. It literally creates chaos at the home school. And it's not an optimum choice for the transfer students either. Plus, we have no idea if this even does any good since no one tracks the success of the transfer students. Do they stay? Do they graduate on time? Do they graduate at all? From where?

themommy said...

Either way, there were going to be costs incurred because you had to provide room at Druid Hills for the students. At least this way, they will be in classrooms rather than buildings.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If 200 plus students accept seats at the DH annex, I suspect that they will never move to the main campus. Last year, the Chamblee annex lost 40-50 kids between when it opened and when the school year ended.

Betty, you are right. In fact, last fall at either a Dunwoody/Chamblee parents council meeting or at a Emory Lavista parents council meeting, Ms. Tyson said that the system would look outside the box for a solution to the challenges ESEA transfer present, including charter school. With the 8 or more empty buildings available, it would have been simple enough to simply open a school, perhaps for grades 6-12.

But, as always, no one followed through and of course, no one is held accountable.

Avidfan said...

And the idea of the administration transferring students to Chamblee is asinine. The school was already overcrowded (thus the creation of the annex last year), and this year half of the building will be torn down. The site will be swarming with construction equipment and workers, there is absolutely no parking -- even for joint enrollment students who are required to come and go throughout the day, there are not enough lockers to go around so only seniors will have them, there will be no playing fields, and on and on and on.

As we've all said, this system is exclusively reactive and never proactive. They've known for a long time that this situation would exist but thought of no new solution, insteaud following the usual shuffle-the-chairs-on-the-deck-of-the-Titanic approach.

Anonymous said...

Remember, only 11th and 12th Grade students are being given the option to transfer to Chamblee. Typically, very few students in these grades partake of the transfer option due to the fact they are already active in the activities at their current school.

Avidfan said...

I do know that offering Chamblee to only juniors and seniors will reduce the number of transfers, but still. Dumb, dumb, dumb. How does transferring even one additional student into this chaotic situation help anyone? And, of course, Chamblee didn't even make AYP.

Can't someone come up with some idea to try instead of just moving around this poor kids?

Cerebration said...

Those 11th and 12th graders will spend the rest of high school in a trailer in the middle of a major construction project. Some choice.

Anonymous said...

The best option for these students is stay at their home schools and opt for the tutoring option. I am still befuddled as to why so many parents prefer to put their children on a Marta bus each day. Tutoring has shown to be a much better solution to a child's academic struggles.

Cerebration said...

What many people don't realize is that many of the high-achieving students already at these receiving schools do well due to private tutoring. The A+ Learning Center in Tucker is full of high-achievers from Lakeside, as are many private tutors schedules.

Dekalbparent said...

Construction is a huge disruption - so Chamblee will have a torn-up campus, torn-up building, reduced facilities, herds traveling back and forth from trailers to building, and new students (9th graders and AYP transfers) who don't know their way around. Good way to get the year started.

Druid Hills missed AYP last year. They made it this year, and did a great job of bringing up scores in every group (not so much as to be suspicious, though!). Seems the administration and faculty pulled together a well-functioning school.

Now, they will be stretching administration, probably relocating some teachers, possibly having some teachers split their days. Will the two-campus Druid Hills make AYP this year?

Why aren't we (DCSS) paying attention to improving the schools that Need Improvement? We need to be looking at schools that miss AYP two years in a row (as we have discussed, one year can be any sort of aberration - as long as there is an understandable reason and a remediation plan, I can't get too wired up about it).

Triage is a good approach while you look around at the situation, but you have to be assessing the situation at the same time and making plans to remedy the problems permanently. All I see is triage.

Anonymous said...

I think you will find that some Chamblee students have decided to go to other schools this fall both inside and outside of DCSS.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me how you can have an "annex" that's miles away from it's home building? Anyone with an iota of common sense can see that the annex kids don't benefit from the home school's environment. And isn't that the whole point?

My child attends Tucker MS and this year the annex kids will be at the main campus (the Avondale annex closed). The only time I saw any of these kids was at the honors ceremony. The kids from the two separate schools did nothing together during the school year and didn't know each other. TMS didn't make AYP for the first time this year. Coincidence that it was the first year of having an annex? I'm sorry, but if you're not in the same building and being taught by the same instructors, you are in a completely different school. This practice ought to be done away with. I agree that you need to just open up more schools. DCSS is a joke.

Dekalbparent said...

Ran into a man whose 10th-grader son is apparently quite a football player. The coaches at several DCSS high schools want him and he has been contacted by them. He has been promised a transfer and transportation to whichever school he chooses.

It's still going on folks...

Anonymous said...

Really? The A+ Learning Center in Tucker is full of high-achievers from Lakeside, as are many private tutors schedules.

Don't let the cat out of the bag... There are also Saint Pius, Westminster, and Woodward kids there also.

Cerebration said...

I'm not letting anything out of a bag, just trying to reinforce the idea that tutoring will do more to help students at failing schools than transferring to a "passing" school. If I were a parent of a student in a failing Title 1 school, I would request the best tutoring available for my child.

betty said...

Checked out the tutor list they (DCSS) included in this information. It is so user un-friendly. There are places listed for Fla, NC, Conyers, Lithia Springs. I would think that the target audience for this type of list is gonna want something very easy to find, it they choose this route. The state or county didn't make this any easier for these parents.

Stop talking about A+ in Tucker. If you guys keep talking about it, I will never get my kid in a slot for tutoring.

September said...

When my kids needed extra help, I paid for private tutoring. I was very happy with the individualized attention that my children got. It made a big difference. I really think that this option should be offered before allowing a child to transfer out of a school.

Anon said...

Re tutoring. A few years ago, there was a really great article in Atlanta Magazine that shed a lot of light on the amount of tutoring that many top students were having. It primarily focused on Walton High and private school students, but it talked about how the most in demand tutors tutor until 11 PM most school nights.

Anon said...

fyi -- my son, who was an honors student at LHS and then pulled private had tutors off and on from 8th grade on. The tutoring continued at his private school so he could remain in AP Calculus (they wanted him to drop to Honors calculus - even after first marking period). He wound up with high Bs and a 3 on on the exam. At Pace, they require the teachers to stay after school every day for an extra "class" period for help -- every day -- to work with the kids. They are always there. There are resources always available for the kids and peer tutors are also available (I know that this is also available at DCCS schools and at other privates) but what I have determined is that there appears to be more of an emphasis at Pace on the "safety net" to help the kids by having the faculty remain for help every afternnoon; by only scheduling one final a day during exams week (done by subject matter -- all math exames on the same day, etc) with a scheduled review the day before and early dismissal -- this is much more "user friendly" than what we experienced in DCSS and then the "resource center" and tutoring in house is available before there is the need to reach out to outside tutors, whoc are also there and avialble. I have heard fewer stories of outside tutors being used than I have heard coming from some similarly situted schools (e.g. Paidea, Woodward, etc.). When you start really honing in on differences, it is pretty startling and the thing that strikes me is that the more focused the attention on the student, the more it seems to work -- across the board. The shuffling doesn't work and large classes don't work. You also need folks teaching the subject who really knows the subject who can communicate the subject (this is why peer tutoring sometimes works and oftentimes doesn't).

Anonymous said...

I am confused to why DCSS is opening an annex in the old Avondale High building. The purpose of them closing the building was because of enrollment and the hope to save money for the DCSS. As a 2010 graduate of Avondale high School I feel that this is really unfair. DCSS didn't think this through any at all. When Avondale closed they housed 590 students, and their reopening the building for Druid Hills annex that would only house 200 students. What since does that make? The entire DCSS BOE is thinking backwards and need to change the way they run things before everything goes wrong!