Thursday, June 25, 2015

Volunteer for " Smart Lunch, Smart Kid" Event
Wednesday, June 24th, Dunwoody North Driving Club
Update: Pictures of the Event

Update:  "Friends of Chesnut" has posted pictures from the event on their Facebook Page:

Because we need to think of some uplifting news today.  h/t "Friends of Chesnut":

A couple of Chesnut parents have organized a lunch donation and packing event on June 24th at 11 am at the Dunwoody North Clubhouse. They have set up for patches for Boy and Girl Scouts who participate with either donations or packing or both! You do not have to be a scout or a member of Dunwoody North Driving Club to participate - all are welcome! Info below along with a sign up genius link.

11am on Wednesday, June 24. DNDC Clubhouse.

Dunwoody North Driving Club is located at 4522 Kingsgate Drive; Dunwoody, GA  30338

More than one million schoolchildren in Georgia receive free or reduced-price lunch, a crucial meal that disappears in the summer. Smart Lunch, Smart Kid mobilizes communities to ensure that these children are fed by taking lunch to them in their neighborhoods, as well as providing enrichment activities and mentoring opportunities. Since its inaugural summer in 2012, Smart Lunch, Smart Kid has served more than half a million lunches, with a goal of 250,000 in 2015.

Anyone is invited to join a group that has formed to pack lunches next Wednesday at 11am at the Dunwoody North Clubhouse. Community Service Patches are available for all participating scouts.

We will be asking for a $5 donation per person, or $10 per family, or donations of individually packaged applesauce, bottled water, fruit snack, dried fruit or fruit cups. Event should take approximately 1 hour. Our goal is to package 200 lunches for Thursday delivery.

Click on the following Sing-Up link to donate or help make lunches:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dunwoody High School Teacher Spends Summer As Instructor
with "Steps To College" Program

Dunwoody High School World Languages teacher, Delia Rojo, is spending her summer, as she has since 2004, as a instructor in the "Steps to College" program.  Steps-to-College (S2C) is a summer enrichment for-credit program hosted by University of North Georgia for bilingual (or multilingual) area high school students who are also English learners.

The following is an excerpt from a Gainesville Times article about the program:

"While other kids their age enjoy time by the pool or engage in other summertime fun, 88 students participating in the Steps to College program are spending their summer hitting the books as a part of an enrichment program at the Gainesville campus of the University of North Georgia.

The 19-day program gives students a half-credit toward their high school diplomas and, for some, the ability to graduate on time with their peers. Participants are more likely to graduate high school and college, according to program co-director Harriett Allison.

A grant by the Goizueta Foundation pays for most of the program at no expense for the students. The school system transports students to and from the campus by bus.......

Delia Rojo, this year’s instructor of ESOL 2 and a current teacher at Dunwoody High School, has given up her summers since 2004 in order to help students who need her.

Rojo says she was inspired by her own experience learning a new language.

“When I first came to the states, I had to go through the ESL program in order to learn English, and I was an adult. That was about 13 years ago,” said Rojo."

Click on the link to read the entire article:

Monday, June 22, 2015

DeKalb Schools Facility Conditions Assesssment (Building SPACES)

And here we go again...4 years after MGT Consulting completed their Facility Conditions Assessment survey, DCSS is conducting another Facilities Assessment program called Building SPACES.  It appears this is all in planning for SPLOST V: to be voted on in November of 2016.

Press Release:

Click the following link for more information and the Facility Condition Assessment Site visits:

Monday, June 15, 2015

Stan Jester Asking for Comments on New Charter School Rules
Update: Charter School Policies Removed from 6/17 BOE Agenda

District 1 Board of Education representative Stan Jester is looking for comments concerning the new DeKalb School District Charter School Policies.  As many of you may be aware the Georgia Department of Education has indicated they will not approve any Charter school requests without those schools being granted full governance autonomy by their local school districts; We all know how DCSS feels about giving schools complete autonomy - see the Druid Hills Charter Cluster fiasco.

Stan Jester has provided the documents the Board will be reviewing at the June 17th called meeting.  Stan is also requesting comments.  These new rules will greatly affect 4 schools in the Dunwoody-Chamblee school cluster (Chesnut Charter ES, Kingsley Charter ES, Peachtree Charter MS, Chamblee Charter HS). 

Click on the following link to be directed to Stan's blog:
The following vague, non-specific statement from the proposed policy, in my opinion, allows the BOE to reject a Charter petition for any reason that they so desire.  How does the district and BOE determine what is "in the public interest"?
The Board shall not approve a charter petition unless the petition meets all legal requirements, and the Board deems the petition to be in the public interest.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

University of Georgia: Update to AP/IB Grade Weighting for 2016

h/t Edison Prep for the providing this information on their Facebook page.

For those interested in applying to the University of Georgia, the UGA Admissions blog is a good source of information:

"Ever since I have been at UGA (18 years or so), we have added .5 to every AP or IB grade during the calculation of the UGA GPA (excluding schools who add points to actual teacher grades on the transcript). In a review of the weighting practices of a large number of high schools with which we work, we have seen a growing trend of schools adding 7 to 10 points to every AP/IB teacher grade, so that an 85 in AP Biology becomes a 92 or 95 on the actual transcript. In light of these changing high school policies, UGA is changing the weighting policy for the applicant pool for 2016 and beyond and will be adding 1 point to each AP/IB grade in our calculation of a GPA. In practice, this means that if a student makes a B in AP Biology, this would count as a 4.0 (3.0 + 1.0) in our GPA calculation process.

The University of Georgia values students challenging themselves in rigorous high school courses, as the best way to prepare yourself for college courses is to challenge yourself in the high school classroom. We encourage students to take the strongest courses possible in which they can still be successful, and we want to recognize this in how we calculate a GPA. We will continue to add weight only to AP or IB grades, as these are nationally and internationally standardized. We will also continue to review the strength of every applicant's curriculum within the context of their school's offerings separate from our GPA calculation, where we will review all core courses a student takes, be they AP, IB, Honors, DE, Accelerated, CP, etc.

While this is not a huge change, and the past policy of adding .5 for every AP/IB grade worked very well, we felt making this change would help address the growing shift in grade policies by a number of high schools."

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pebble Tossers: Service Projects for June and Beyond

Is your student, Girl Scout or other civic organization looking for volunteer opportunities? Pebble Tossers is an organization devoted to finding meaningful volunteer opportunities for children and teens. 

Pebble Tossers ': "Our Mission is to ignite a passion for volunteerism in youth that develops their character and impacts our world for a lifetime. We make volunteering fun and meaningful by matching children’s interests and abilities with the needs of their community."

Click the following link to learn more about Pebble Tossers and its mission:

Here are some of the June volunteer activities available via Pebble Tossers. Click on the title of the event to signup.
June 1 - July 30, 2015
Provide lunches for kids who miss out on lunches when school is out for the summer. Multiple locations around Metro Atlanta.
Friday June 12, 2015 from 6:45 PM to 9:00 PM
Pebble Tossers volunteers will organize and provide a fun, friendly, and interactive activity night for the youth residents at the Atlanta Mission's My Sister's House, which offers residential care for homeless women & their children. Activities to include: board games, arts & crafts.
   June 16, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM
   Provide a dinner for Kate's Club orientation. Click to see the menu items needed for June 16th.
Saturday June 20, 2015 from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Volunteers will work together to preserve & beautify the adopted section of the BeltLine which includes removal of trash & debris, cleaning signs & fixtures, and noting any damage or vandalism. We will also monitor birdhouses for the Urban Wildlife Habitat and weed the Wildflower Pollinator Garden. 
Tuesday June 23, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Project includes meal packing, bread wrapping, box taping, and all other aspects of the kitchen including dishes and clean-up. Senior Connections produces almost 2,500 meals every weekday for delivery to seniors. Volunteers must be age 12 & up.
Wednesday June 24, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7:45 PM
Volunteers will help with the cookout by room set up & decorations, transport residents from their rooms, assist with serving food, visit with residents while eating. Food for volunteers too!
Sunday June 28, 2015 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Volunteers will help with set up, transport residents from their rooms, take them around to view the different cars, serve refreshments, visit with residents while enjoying the show, transport residents back to their rooms, and clean up.
   Monday, June 29, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
   Project includes meal packing, bread wrapping, box taping, and all other     
   aspects of the kitchen including dishes and clean-up. Senior Connections 
   produces almost 2,500 meals every weekday for delivery to seniors.    
   Volunteers must be age 12 & up.
Other projects include: Bingo & activities with seniors, Swim assistants and Tract & Field assistants for Paralympic athletes 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dunwoody HS & Chamblee HS Cluster - School Personnel Loses

This list is derived from the May and June DeKalb Schools Human Resources Report to the Board of Education.

**Note:  It has been reported that Laura Fleury-Bell, Art Teacher at Dunwoody Elementary has left the school system but her departure has not been reflected in the HR reports.

Also, Chamblee HS parents are asked to complete a Principal search survey.  Click the following link to access the survey:

Dunwoody HS Cluster
Name School Classification Explanation
George Amanambu Dunwoody HS Teacher, Science Resig-Retiring
Nicholas Bach Dunwoody HS Teacher, History Resig-Financial Reasons
Joanne Baker Austin ES Teacher, Grade 1 Resig-Moving
Jeannette Beck Dunwoody ES Teacher, Grade 3 Resig-Retiring
Frances Berry  Peachtree MS Teacher, Science Resig-Retiring
Silvia Bilbao Vanderlyn ES Paraprofessional, Pre-K Resig-Family Reasons
Timothy Blackmore Dunwoody HS Teacher, Interrelated Resig-Retiring
Susan Brannan Kingsley ES Teacher, Preschool Spec Ed Deceased
Anna Calhoun Austin ES Teacher, Grade 2 Resig-Moving
Ramona Celestine Kingsley ES Teacher, PreK Spec Ed Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Leon Chaffee Peachtree MS Counselor Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Michele Cygnarowicz Peachtree MS Teacher, Art Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Dennis Downer Peachtree MS Teacher, Spanish Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Carole Dunn Peachtree MS Teacher, Social Studies Resig-Moving
Steve Foster Peachtree MS Officer, School Resource Resig-Retiring
Kimberly Henard Kingsley ES Teacher, Grade 1 Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Shawanna Hindsman Hightower ES Teacher, ESOL Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Jacklyn Johnson Peachtree MS Teacher, Science Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Janice Jordan Chesnut ES Teacher, Grade 1 Resig-Retiring
James Kerr Dunwoody HS Teacher, English Resig-Moving
Manjini Kulkami Dunwoody HS Teacher, Mathematics Resig-Spouse Transfer
Casey Lowe Dunwoody ES Teacher, Grade 1 Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Traci Lowe Kingsley ES Teacher, Grade 5 Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Jennifer Mattison Dunwoody ES Teacher, Gifted Resig-Personal Reasons
Laura Merritt Chesnut ES Teacher, Grade 2 Resig-Spouse Transfer
Jenna Michaels Vanderlyn ES Teacher, Grade 2 Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Akeyla Peele Hightower ES Teacher, Grade 4 Res-Another Position in GA Sys
Wendall Simpson Peachtree MS Teacher, S/PID Resig-Personal Reasons
Nolan Watford Dunwoody HS Teacher, Latin Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Allie Williams Peachtree MS Para, Special Ed Resig-Another Position
Ledredus Wimbush Dunwoody ES Teacher, MOID Resig-Contract Not Accepted
V. Devine Wright Dunwoody HS Teacher, English Res-Another Position in GA Sys
Bernadette Zagrodny Peachtree MS Teacher, Speech Lang Path Resig-Retiring
Chamblee High School Cluster
Name School Classification Explanation
Betty Alspaugh  Kittredge Magnet Teacher, Grade 6 Science Resig-Retiring
Michelle Boisseau Huntley Hills ES Teacher, Preschool Spec Ed Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Kelsey Brannan Chamblee HS Teacher, Science Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Meghan Brodie Ashford Park ES Teacher, Grade 2 Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Aimee Douglas Montomery ES Teacher, Kindergarten Resig-Leaving Teaching Prof
Gail Gavant Chamblee HS Teacher, Mathematics Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Gail Gelestor Ashford Park ES Teacher, Interrelated Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Adeyemi Green Kittredge Magnet Teacher, Gifted  Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Kristin Markiton Chamblee MS Teacher, Interrelated Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Tonya Mitchell Chamblee HS Teacher, Music-Band Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Allison Nelson Huntley Hills ES Teacher, Grade 1 Resig-Other
Jennifer Nickerson Montomery ES Teacher, Grade 2 Res-Another Position in GA Sys
Carolina Patino Ashford Park ES Teacher, Interrelated Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Sandra Racine Huntley Hills ES Para, Special Ed Resig-Retiring
Erin Reynolds Ashford Park ES Teacher, MID/MOID Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Apryl Scayola Montomery ES Teacher, Grade 5 Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Sara Schear Ashford Park ES Teacher, Grade 1 Resig-Not Released
David Scott Chamblee HS Teacher, Mathematics Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Shannon Sevcik Montomery ES Teacher, Grade 1 Resig-Contract Not Accepted
Adrienne Smith Chamblee MS Secretary, MS 10 month Resig-Another Position
Carlos Sutton Chamblee MS Teacher, Math Res-Another Position in GA Sys
Witcher, Pureterrah Chamblee MS Teacher, English Resig-Contract Not Accepted