Thursday, September 20, 2018

DeKalb County School District - Region 1 2018 Graduation Rates

The Georgia Department of Education has released the 2018 Graduation Rates.  Below are the graduation rates for the 3 high schools in Region 1.

I will post the graduation rates by subgroup when I return from a beach trip or if it's a rainy day and I have nothing else to do - lol!!

Dunwoody High School
2018 Graduation Rate = 86.4
2018 Graduation class size = 470 students. 
2018 Total Students Graduated = 406

The Dunwoody HS Graduation Rate has increased overall the last 3 years:
2016 Graduation Rate = 79.7
2017 Graduation Rate = 85.7

Chamblee Charter High School 
2018 Graduation Rate = 82.7
2018 Graduation Class Size = 370
2018 Total Students Graduated = 306

The 2018 Chamblee Charter HS Graduation Rate increased over the 2017 Graduation Rate:
2016 Graduation Rate = 85.8
2017 Graduation Rate = 81.9

Cross Keys High School
2018 Graduation Rate = 64.4
2018 Graduation Class Size = 416
2018 Total Students Graduated = 268

The Cross Keys HS Graduation rate has decreased over the last 3 years:
2016 Graduation Rate = 73.8
2017 Graduation Rate = 68.7

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

University of Georgia - Change in Freshman Admission Decisions

For this coming year, we have been looking at our review process for our freshman admission decisions and as well our transfer admission process.....While we will still have a number of applications where we focus primarily on the academic areas of core grades, rigor of curriculum and test scores, our goal is to expand our review of a larger group of applicants to take into account all that the student does inside and outside of  the classroom.

To read the entire post click on the following link:

Thursday, September 6, 2018

John Lewis Elementary School Redistricting
Chamblee and Cross Keys Cluster Attendance Areas May Be Impacted

The New John Lewis Elementary facility located at 2630 Skyland Drive, 30319 will be opening Fall 2019. This facility will have over 500 additional seats of capacity compared to the existing facility.

Because of the space made available by this new, larger facility, the John R. Lewis ES Redistricting process is being undertaken this Fall (2018), and will affect schools in the Cross Keys and Chamblee clusters as well as move 300 students temporarily redistricted to the Druid Hills cluster back to schools in the Cross Keys cluster.

To address the opening of 300 seats of elementary capacity in the Druid Hills cluster, the Druid Hills Elementary Redistricting process is also being undertaken this Fall (2018) as part of a second redistricting process.

  • Public Input: Round 1 (October 2, 2018, 7:00 PM at Cross Keys HS)
  • Public Input: Round 2 (October 23, 2018, 7:00 PM at Cross Keys HS)
  • Public Input: Round 3 (November 27, 2018, 7:00 PM at Cross Keys HS)
  • Superintendent-Recommended Redistricting Plan
  • Board Approval (February 2019)
Further information on the redistricting process can be found at the following link:

Wesleyan School Faculty Members Named Master Teachers

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Re-Design of the CCRPI Performance Index
Are Schools with Significant ED/EL/SWD Students at a Disadvantage?

Note:  ED = Economically Disadvantaged; EL = English Limited; SWD = Students With Disabilities

It will be several months before the 2017-2018 CCRPI scores are released by the Georgia Department of Education. Once the scores are released, the scores will reflect the new re-design of the CCRPI Performance Index.  A cursory review of the new performance index reveals that the DOE is moving away from State-level performance targets to School-level performance targets.  This seems, to me at least, to be a more accurate method of determining a schools progress.

The following chart provides a side-by-side comparison of the previous CCRPI indicators and the re-designed indicators. 

My Concerns

What struck me at first glance is the elimination of Challenge Points for ED/EL/SWD student performances and the “Exceeding the Bar” performances.

In the previous version of the CCRPI Performance Index, schools could earn up to 10 “Challenge Points”:

ED/EL/SWD Performance–To what extent did Economically Disadvantaged (ED) students, English Learners (EL), and Students with Disabilities (SWD) meet their subgroup performance targets?
Exceeding the Bar–To what extent are schools successfully implementing other practices associated with college and career readiness?

The re-designed CCRPI allows the ED/EL/SWD subgroups to “earn” 1.5 points in the “Closing Gaps” component when a 6% improvement target is met:   

1.       Is that 6% per school year?  Yikes, that’s a large percentage improvement for one school year – usually a 2 to 3% increase is seen as significant.  
2.       Will schools be able to meet this 6% target? 
3.       Also, the summary for the “Achievement Gap/Closing Gap” is rather sparse on details:  “Closing Gaps – Utilizes progress towards meeting achievement improvement targets”.

It seems, to me, allowing schools to earn “Challenge Points” brought some type of recognition to those students that struggle the most academically in our schools. 

My fear is that, again, the GADOE is viewing academic achievement in a “bubble”, i.e. all students should learn at the same level, rather than recognizing and allowing for differences within the federally defined subgroups.  Are the educational institutions returning to the "haves and have nots", or did we ever really leave it behind?

I have contacted the GADOE to obtain clarification on the new scoring and, what seems at first glance, an inability of the new scoring system to allow for positive academic results in the ED/EL/SWD student subgroups – the subgroups that struggle the most academically.

You can find further information on the re-design of the CCRPI at the following link: 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Game On! We are going to #lightupthefield!

per DHS News:

We did it together!!! Thank you to everyone who donated.  So many people in our wonderful community, plus current DHS families, as well as alumni, all stepped up to raise $80,000 in less than a month!   We made the official announcement to the students first at Friday’s pep rally and they were so excited! 

Again, thank you!  We will get the ball rolling this week to schedule light installation as soon as possible and will inform the community once we have specific dates. 

Please note that we are not finished!  The Game On! campaign will continue raising money to light up the softball field, add concession/bathrooms and home seating!

Go Wildcats!

For more information about the Game On! Capital Campaign please go to our website:

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Status on Austin Elementary School Re-Build

One of the items on the agenda for the Monday, August 27th Dunwoody City Council meeting is an update on the re-build of the Austin Elementary School presented by Dan Drake, Interim Chief Operations Officer.

Click on the following link to the City Council Agenda: 

The opening of the new Austin Elementary School has been delayed from August 2019 to January of 2020.  The redistricting process will begin in the Fall of 2019.

Click on the following link to view the entire presentation:

Friday, August 24, 2018

Harriman Middle School Students Leave Positive Notes

This article linked below is uplifting one highlighting the action of students at Harriman Middle School in Tennessee.  There were no middle schools in my day, we went straight from elementary to high school (and we survived!).  However, I know how tough those middle schools years can be via my own childrens journey.  To brighten someone's day, even for a moment, can bring about a positive moment for a student - sometimes at its most needed time.

The notes are simple but powerful.

A group of students at Harriman Middle School in Harriman, Tennessee, decided to cover the campus with uplifting notes, sticking them on mirrors and tucking them into lockers. The colorful messages say things like "Never give up," "Stay strong," and "We love you." Eighth grader Nicole True, one of the students who came up with the idea to put up the notes, said she's been thanked by many of her peers who like reading the positive reinforcement.

Harriman Middle School students leave positive notes around school

HMS students leave positive notes

Thursday, August 16, 2018

**Update**: "Discussions with Davis" - New Peachtree Charter Middle School Principal

***The 9:00 listening session for Wednesday, August 22nd has been cancelled.  The 5:00 session remains on the schedule***

Greetings Patriot Parents,

My name is Donnie Davis and I am the principal of Peachtree Charter Middle School. As part of my effort to better understand the needs of our parent and student community, I will be hosting a series of listening events called “Discussions with Davis.”

These listening sessions will give our parents an opportunity to share with me directly what you think our school is doing well, as well as areas of concern we may need to address. I would ask that you please come out to the following events, which will be held in our Media Center:

Discussions with Davis
August 22nd 2018 from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
August 22nd 2018 from 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
November 6th 2018 from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
November 6th 2018 from 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Thursday, August 9, 2018

"Talk Back to The Crier" - Fundraiser for Dunwoody HS Athletic Lighting

Dear Editor:

I write this on Back-to-School eve for DeKalb County students.

Dunwoody High School needs the help of our community. Last week I saw a Facebook post and was reminded again today in the PTSO email of the need to better DHS’ multi-use sports (track & field, football, girls & boys lacrosse, boys & girls soccer and marching band) field. If you haven’t seen the recent improvements behind the school, you should take a look.

The track looks great and beautiful bleachers have been added. Through successful fundraising of hundreds of thousand dollars through the DHS Game On campaign, these additions and more were paid for by Dunwoody families and very generous contributors. The improvements are exciting to say the least in a school system that doesn’t fund the improvement of sports fields.

The ultimate plan for the multi-use field calls for the installation of neighborhood friendly LED lights.

With the addition of the lights, extra practice time can accommodate: DHS sports practice space without requiring teams to find other practice sites off campus; some home JV football, soccer and lacrosse games can be held at the typical early evening time and not called for darkness or moved to the very large and expensive North DeKalb Stadium.

Dunwoody High School will become one of the few—if not only—public high school in DeKalb that has their very own lighted field!

An existing quote for the expense of lighting the field expires at the beginning of September. Currently funds have been raised for all but 25 percent of the lighting expense equaling $80,000.

The timing is not great to ask for money. We all know that back-to-school means all sorts of surprise expenses for families, but I would like to call on the citizens of our great little city to help. If we all give a little, we can collectively raise a lot!

Click on the following link to read the full letter: 

Click on the following gofundme link to make your donation:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

2017 K-12 Student Discipline Data for Dunwoody and Chamblee Cluster Schools

The K-12 Student Discipline Dashboard has been updated with 2017 data.  The data is courtesy of the Governor's Office of Student Achievement.  

The discipline dashboard summarizes district- and school-level discipline data for all public schools in Georgia. Aggregate data is provided on in- and out-of-school suspension rates, expulsion, the total number of disciplinary incidents, and the total number of students receiving disciplinary action. Data used in this dashboard are limited to data present in GA•AWARDS or received from GADOE.

Also, the Enrollment Data does not match up with any FTE data, so I'm not sure how this data was derived.  

There was no data reported for several elementary schools within the Dunwoody and Chamblee clusters.   No reason was given for the omission of the data for those schools.

The dashboard allows the user to aggregate discipline data by the following subgroups:

  • Disability Status
  • Economic Status
  • English Learners
  • Gender
  • Grade Level
  • Race/Ethnicity
Click on the following link to access the K-12 Student Discipline Dash Board:

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dunwoody High School & Chamblee Charter High School
Principal "Welcome Back" Letters

Click the following link to view Dunwoody High School Principal Coles' "Welcome Back" Letter:

Click the following link to view Chamblee High School Principal Braaten's "Welcome Back" Letter.
Chamblee Charter High School "Welcome Back" Letter

Click the following link to access the Dunwoody High School 2018-2019 Registration Packet:
Dunwoody High School 2018-2019 Registration Packet

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Celebration of Life for Zachary Chamblee, Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at 10:00 AM

h/t Dunwoody Council Member Terry Nall.  Flag your flags on July 31st in support of Zachary and his family.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Peachtree Patriots Help Clean Up PCMS!

Our students, staff and families came together on Saturday July 21st to help clean up the grounds of PCMS. 

Everyone enjoyed meeting Dr. Davis, our new Principal and getting the campus ready for the first day of school! 

Monday, July 16, 2018

**Updated with Official Announcement ***Peachtree Charter Middle School Principal Reassigned for Next School Year

**Update:  Word is that Mr. Heptinstall has been re-assigned to Sequoyah Middle School as an Assistant Principal**

According to Audra at "The Aha Connection", PCMS Principal Brian Heptinstall will apparently be leaving PCMS at the end of this school year:   

I was contacted by a very reliable source yesterday that told me PCMS Principal, Brian Scott Heptinstall, will be re-assigned next year.  

Read more at the following link:

Mr. Heptinstall is the longest serving principal in the Dunwoody Cluster, having been at PCMS since, if I remember correctly, 2007.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Updated with New Article: Reporter News: "North Springs High Suddenly Ends Out-of-District Enrollment"

The story takes another turn:

Some parents said all along that North Springs had a special dispensation from FCS to continue out-of-district enrollment. FCS now acknowledges that is partly true and that it will allow students who enrolled during or before the 2016-17 school year to continue attending, if they pay the tuition fee and get clearance from their home districts
The decision by Fulton County Schools to end out-of-district enrollment comes only a month before school starts.  I know this decision will effect a few Dunwoody families.

North Springs High suddenly ends out-of-district enrollment; parents hire lawyers

Fulton County Schools has abruptly ended a longstanding program allowing out-of-district students to attend Sandy Springs' North Springs Charter High School for a fee. The largely unexplained move, announced the week of the Fourth of July holiday and just over a month before the school year starts, has 14 families scrambling - and seven of [...]

Friday, June 22, 2018

Petition to Reassign Chamblee Charter High Principal

Personal note:  In the last few days I have had conversations with a couple of CCHS stakeholders that are supportive of Principal Braaten.  I appreciate and respect their views.  As for myself, there just seems to be so much distrust, disorganization, etc. coming from the CCHS principal. A new school year is just a mere 6 weeks away and I fear the ones that will suffer the most are the STUDENTS.  As the primary function of the schoolhouse is to educate the students, I feel a change must be made in the leadership at CCHS.

Also, for those that have asked me what this has to do with Dunwoody...for the 2017-2018 school year, there were 90 students zoned to Dunwoody HS that attended Chamblee.  

Sign the Petition

Dr. R. Stephen Green: Reassignment of Principle Rebecca Braaten from Chamblee Charter High School.

On Common Ground: "DCSD's 2018 Graduates Earn $140 million in Scholarships"

More than $140 million in total scholarship funds were awarded by higher education institutions to DeKalb County students in the Class of 2018.

Region 1:

Chamblee Charter High School - $16,224,324

Cross Keys High School - Cross Keys High – $4,158,974
Dunwoody High School - $12,790,079

Chamblee Charter HS and Dunwoody HS led all DCSD high schools in awarded scholarship funds.

DCSD's 2018 graduates earn more than $140 million in total scholarships - On Common Ground News - 24/7 local news online

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Dunwoody School Cluster Staff/Teacher Resignations

Below are the Dunwoody School cluster staff/teacher resignations as of May 31, 2018.  I believe teachers/staff have until June 15th to return their contracts for the 2018-2019 school year.

This information was provided in the monthly Human Capital Report as presented in the June 11th, Board of Education Meeting: