Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"On the Scene With Dr. Green" - Thursday, January 26th
7:00 pm at Peachtree Charter Middle School

 
An Open Dialogue Between Parents and Dr. Green
This event will be held in the Peachtree Charter Middle School cafeteria

Monday, January 23, 2017

Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools
New Parent Council for Region 1 School Clusters


A new parent council has been formed for the Region 1 school clusters as well as for Tapestry, PATH and Oakcliff Theme School.  The council is currently looking for volunteers to serve on the Executive Board. 

Visit the Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools Facebook page for further information:  https://www.facebook.com/peachtreegatewaycouncil/?fref=ts


A Look at Students with IEP's In DeKalb Schools
What Is the Future of Students With Disabilities?

 
 
 
The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is the third largest district in Georgia, serving slightly more than 100,000 students. Recently, I compiled a spreadsheet showing the percentage of K-12, students with IEPs (students with disabilities) at each school. This was done by matching the Oct. 2016 enrollments posted of the GaDOE website with the number of students with IEPs at each school. The number of students with IEPs at each school was obtained through an open records request. 
 
Currently, 9.8% of DCSD K-12 students have IEPs compared to 13% nation wide.  
 
DCSD has eleven charter schools, including Tapestry Public Charter. 55.8% of Tapestry students currently have IEPs. If one excludes Tapestry from the calculation, the percentage of students with IEPs in DCSD charter schools is 7.5%; half of the national percentage. This is concerning to me.
 
The percentages of DCSD charter school students with IEPs (other than Tapestry Public Charter) ranges from 2.8% at DeKalb Academy of Technology and the Environment Charter School, to 11.7% at Peachtree Middle School.  
 
There are a variety of reasons why the percentage of students with disabilities in DCSD public charter schools is lower than the district average. One of the reasons I have heard from parents is, after their child is admitted through a lottery process, the school tells them it is not able to meet their child's needs, or provide the services their child requires. These families are forced back to the neighborhood schools. 
 
Another common theme heard when speaking with parents is, the charter school failed to implement their child's IEP with fidelity. Families move their students back to their neighborhood schools, hoping their child's IEP will be followed. This was my experience.  
 
In DeKalb County, there isn't an effective mechanism to enforce IEPs. Also, the GaDOE process for filing a grievance is onerous and heavily skewed in favor of school districts. 
 
Another thing that stands out when looking at the spreadsheet is the percentage of students with IEPs enrolled in DCSD magnet schools. Only 1.2% of students at Kittredge magnet and and 1.0% of students at Wadsworth magnet have IEPs. At Arabia Mountain High School, 3.4% of students have IEPs. Less than 4.5% of students at the DeKalb School of the Arts and the DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts have IEPs. Overall, 8.4% of students enrolled in magnet schools in DCSD have IEPs. 
 
Given the probable confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, I am very concerned with the hypocrisy of the rhetoric of "school choice." In DeKalb County, "school choice" does not provide families of students who have disabilities the same choices as other families.  
 
Kirk Lunde
Tucker, GA
 
Click the following link to view the spreadsheet which documents the number of DCSD Charter schools with IEP's (tab in spreadsheet):  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pASqiC6ifh2WgGTGnUNt8K5MBJmY-NEPfGZ9Pkbnit0/edit#gid=0 
__________________________________________________________________________________

My note:  If any of you were able to view Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos' confirmation hearing one had to be horrified at her views on education, especially that of children with disabilities.

“I think that is a matter that’s best left to the states,” DeVos said when asked by U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., if she believed that all schools receiving taxpayer dollars should be required to adhere to the mandates of the IDEA.

“So some states might be good to kids with disabilities and other states might not be so good and then what, people can just move around the country if they don’t like how their kids are being treated?” Kaine responded.

“I think that’s an issue that’s best left to the states,” DeVos insisted.

Later in the hearing Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., whose son has cerebral palsy, revisited the issue.

“That’s a federal civil rights law,” Hassan said of the IDEA. “So do you stand by your statement a few minutes ago that it should be up to the states whether to follow it?”

“Federal law must be followed where federal dollars are in play,” DeVos said.

“So were you unaware when I just asked you about the IDEA that it was a federal law?” asked Hassan.

“I may have confused it,” DeVos acknowledged.

Hassan said she’s concerned that some voucher programs, which DeVos has supported, require students with disabilities to give up their rights under the IDEA in order to take part. This could lead to public schools becoming “warehouses” for students with special needs and those from families unable to pay the difference between vouchers and the cost of private school tuition, she said.

“I just would urge you to become familiar should you become nominated with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,” Hassan said. “I do have to say I’m concerned that you seem so unfamiliar with it and that you seem to support voucher schools that have made students sign away their rights to make sure that the law is enforced. That’s very troubling to me.”
 
Click the following link to read the entire article: https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2017/01/18/trump-education-pick-idea/23198/
_____________________________________________________________________________

Dunwoody HS Girls Swim/Dive Team & Chamblee HS Boys Swim/Dive Team Place 1st at County Championships
Dunwoody Boys and Chamblee Girls Place 2nd

article courtesy of DeKalb County School District.  Pictures courtesy of Dunwoody High School

Click the following link to view County meet results:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw_Hnco-5lveWTlJNDJrRFlxaWc/view?usp=sharing

Click the following link to view final team scores:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw_Hnco-5lveTGRXNHMwZ2pRSjQ/view?usp=sharing


Dunwoody High School Girls Swim/Dive Team 
Dunwoody High School Boys Swim/Dive Team

County Dive Meet Results:



Championship streaks remained intact on Saturday at the Chamblee High Natatorium as the Chamblee Bulldogs (5) and Dunwoody Lady Wildcats (3) retained their titles at the DeKalb County Swim and Dive Championships.

The Bulldogs won their fifth consecutive title (2013-2017) behind sweeping all three relay events and a pair of gold medal performances by sophomore Liam Bell in a 252-201 win over Dunwoody with Lakeside coming up one point short of its fifth consecutive runner-up finish with 200 points.

Chamblee opened the meet by taking the gold in the 200 medley relay for the sixth consecutive year with a time of 1:43.24 by the team of Louis Cardot, Alex Miretsky, Brian Fadjariza-Dumais and Theo Hardy.

Noah Oh followed that win up with his fourth consecutive DCSD gold in the 200 freestyle even with a time of 1:47.77. Liam Bell made it three consecutive Chamblee event winners as he won the 200 individual medley for the second consecutive season with a time of 1:58.11.

The girls’ championship had the same two teams atop the standings as Dunwoody captured its third consecutive title and its 16th overall 269-208 over Chamblee.

Allie Reiter won her 6th and 7th gold medal in DCSD competition as she captured the 200 individual medley (2:11.40) for the third time and the 100 breaststroke (1:05.82) for the fourth consecutive year.

Other individual gold medals for the Lady Wildcats came from Laura Spratling in the 50 freestyle (24.83), Sydney Sloan in the 200 freestyle (2:03.08) and Lauren Davis in the 1 meter diving (419.85).

Dunwoody also won the 200 freestyle relay for the fourth consecutive year as Spratling, Reiter, Keely Sandberg and Hannah Robison swam to gold in 1:43.88, just .08 off the county meet record. Those same four also swam to a meet record of 3:42.50 in the 400 freestyle relay to break the 2014 mark of 3:46.22 set by Lakeside. Chamblee’s relay team of Brynn Lautenbacher, Julie von Biberstein, Teresa Maloney and Jade Foelske finished just behind at 3:42.99 to also eclipse the old record as Foelske almost caught Reiter at the finish.

Click on the following link to read the entire article:  http://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/athletics/2017/01/22/chamblee-dunwoody-defend-dcsd-swim-and-dive-titles/

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

DeKalb County Board of Education Norms and Standards

At the first meeting of each calendar year (or as soon thereafter as possible), all Board members shall publicly swear to or affirm their commitment to comply with the Board Members Ethics Policy, as set forth in Board Policy BH, and the Board Members Conflict of Interest Policy, as set forth in Board Policy BHA, as well as Board Norms, as approved by the Board on May 6, 2013.
Click the following link to read the DeKalb Board of Education Norms and Standards: https://simbli.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4054&AID=773015&MID=50240
 
Does Stan Jester believe he does not have to abide by the "Norms and Standards" he vowed to uphold?
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Game On - Dunwoody High School Athletic Facility Capital Campaign


Friday, January 6, 2017

DeKalb County School District 2016 Single Statewide Accountability System (SSAS) Awards

Congratulations to the following DeKalb County schools for achieving Single Statement Accountability System (SSAS) Awards for the 2015-2016 academic year.

As mandated by O.C.G.A 20-14-37 and State Board Rule 160-7-1-.01, the Governor's Office of Student Achievement develops award criteria under the Single Statewide Accountability System (SSAS) and presents them for approval to the State Board of Education. Awards are given to schools with high academic performance and/or high academic growth.  For the 2015 and 2016 awards, GOSA used College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) data from the three most recent school years to determine SSAS awards in two categories: Greatest Gains and Highest Performing.  Each award category has four tiers: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

Click on the following link to see all award schools in the state of Georgia: http://gosa.georgia.gov/sites/gosa.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/2016%20SSAS%20Award%20Schools_20170105.pdf


Greatest Gains Overview
Table 1: CCRPI Single Score Ranges
CCRPI Single Score Range
90.0 and higher
80.0 - 89.9
70.0 - 79.9
60.0 - 69.9
Lower than 60.0

Greatest Gains schools exhibit high growth in student achievement by earning a three-year average CCRPI Progress Score in at least the 93rd percentile in the state. Additionally, schools must remain in the same CCRPI Single Score range, as displayed in Table 1 above, over the last three years and be excluded from the Georgia Department of Education’s (GaDOE) 2015 Priority or Focus School list.[2] Table 2 below shows the Greatest Gains criteria by award tier.
Table 2: Greatest Gains Criteria
Greatest Gains*
CriteriaPlatinumGoldSilverBronze
Progress Score Percentile (Three-Year Average)**99th97th95th93rd
CCRPI Single Score RangeMust At Least Maintain Same Score Range
*Schools may not be on the 2015 Priority or Focus School lists.**If a school spans grade clusters (K-5, 6-8, 9-12) and is eligible in one cluster, all other clusters must be at or above the 75th percentile for the Progress Score in addition to meeting the other award criteria.

Table 3: Highest Performing Criteria
Highest Performing*
CriteriaPlatinumGoldSilverBronze
Achievement Score Percentile (Three-Year Average)**99th97th95th93rd
CCRPI Single Score Minimum in Each Year90.090.080.080.0
Achievement Gap Score Percentile (Three-Year Average)At or Above the 75th Percentile
*Schools may not be on the 2015 Priority or Focus School lists.**If a school spans grade clusters (K-5, 6-8, 9-12) and is eligible in one cluster, all other clusters must be at or above the 75th percentile for the Achievement Score in addition to meeting the other award criteria.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Niche.Com Rankings for DCSD Region 1 Schools

 
About Niche
Niche is a website that helps you discover the schools and neighborhoods that are right for you. We rigorously analyze dozens of public data sets and millions of reviews to produce comprehensive rankings, report cards, and profiles for every K-12 school, college, and neighborhood in the U.S.
 
What Sets Niche Apart

Rigorous Analysis
Niche has the most comprehensive data available on U.S. schools and neighborhoods. We’re constantly updating and connecting millions of data points to produce new rankings and insights.

What it’s Really Like
Niche has over 100 million reviews and poll responses along with transparent statistics and comparable grades to help you find the right school or neighborhood for you.

Our Data
To view how we get our data and calculate our rankings, visit the Niche Data page.

Click on the name of the school within the chart below to view the complete Niche.com data compiled for that school.

Note:  I added the Free/Reduced Lunch column.
-"*" indicates Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) percentage is greater than 95%.
-"#" indicates Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) percentage is less than 5%.



Overall Niche Grade
Academic Grade
Teachers Grade
Clubs & Activities
Administration
Food
Diversity
College Readiness
Health & Safety
Sports 
Resources & Facilities
State of GA Ranking
Free/Reduced Lunch %
 (Oct. 2015 FTE)
Dunwoody HS
A
A 
A-
A-
B+
C
A
A
C+
B+
B-
42 of 426
29.64
B
B+
B+
 
 
 
A
 
 
   
189 of 472
36.83
Austin ES 
B+
A-
A-
 
 
 
B-
       
412 of 1,252
#
Chesnut ES 
B
B+
B+
 
 
 
A
       
548 of 1,252
38.55
Dunwoody ES
B+
A-
A-
 
 
 
A-
       
364 of 1,252
10.62
Hightower ES
C
C
C+
 
 
 
C+
       
1,024 of 1,252
*
B
B 
B+
 
 
 
A
       
524 of 1,252
50.91
Vanderlyn ES
B+
A-
B+
 
 
 
B 
       
433 of 1,252
#
 
Overall Niche Grade
Academic Grade
Teachers Grade
Clubs & Activities
Administration
Food
Diversity
College Readiness
Health & Safety
Sports
Resources & Facilities
State of GA Ranking
Free/Reduced Lunch %
 (Oct. 2015 FTE)
Chamblee Charter HS
A+
A+
A+
B+
A-
B-
A+
A+
C
B+
B+
14 of 426
34.93
Chamblee MS
B+
B+
B+
 
 
 
A 
 
     
154 of 472
31.8
Ashford Park ES
B+
B+
B+
 
 
 
A
 
     
417 of 1,252
26.5
Huntley Hills ES
B 
B 
B 
 
 
 
A
 
     
595 of 1,252
65.91
Kittredge  
B+
A-
A-
 
 
 
B+
 
     
340 of 1,252
7.69
Montgomery ES
B+
B+
B+
 
 
 
B 
       
456 of 1,252
8.23
Overall Niche Grade
Academic Grade
Teachers Grade
Clubs & Activities
Administration
Food
Diversity
College Readiness
Health & Safety
Sports
Resources & Facilities
State of GA Ranking
Free/Reduced Lunch %
 (Oct. 2015 FTE)
Cross Keys HS
C+
C+
B-
B-
B
C-
B-
C+
C
C
B-
270 of 426
86.8
Sequoyah  MS
C 
C 
C+
 
 
 
C+
 
     
401 of 472
*
Cary Reynolds ES
C
C
C 
 
 
 
C+
       
1,068 of 1,252
*
C
C 
C
 
 
 
C-
       
1,123 of 1,252
*
Montclair ES
C-
C
C
 
 
 
C-
       
1,148 of 1,252
94.52
Woodward ES
C-
C
C
 
 
 
C-
       
1,141 of 1,252
*