Monday, August 3, 2015

Chesnut Charter Elementary: Welcome to New Kindergarten Families

Starting Kindergarten can feel like a big step, so incoming Chesnut students (and their parents/guardians) get a little extra attention to help the transition be smooth and stress-free. Here's how it works:

- Upon entering the school on Wednesday, August 5th you will be directed through a number of stations. Please make sure you have two proofs of residency from within the last 30 days (if you had not registered this summer, please bring a completed registration pack with

  - After you visit all the stations, you and your child will then proceed to the kindergarten hallway where the kindergarten teachers will greet you and your child. Your child will then interact with a staff member in a nearby classroom while you fill out some paperwork.

   -It is important to note that this screening is not a test of IQ or school readiness. The information will simply be used to create balanced and diverse classrooms.

- On Friday, August 7th at from 3:00-4:00 PM, you and your Kindergarten child are invited back to the school for a “Kindergarten Meet & Greet” where you will meet your child’s teacher in the classroom, interact with other children in the class, and drop off school supplies.

 -After the Meet & Greet, your family is invited to “Kick Off to Kindergarten,” an informal get-together at Yogli Mogli (Orchard Park/Kroger Shopping Center, 2090 Dunwoody Club Dr.) to meet new kindergarten friends and classmates while enjoying delicious frozen yogurt!

While parents need to bring their kindergarten students on Wednesday to open house, students from any grade are invited to come and meet their teachers if the rosters are posted!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Dunwoody/Chamblee School Cluster Personnel Moves, August 2015

The following are the personnel moves for the Dunwoody and Chamblee school clusters as documented via the DeKalb School System August, 2015 Human Resources Report.

Dunwoody HS Cluster
Name School Classification Explanation
Kevin Afronsky Dunwoody HS Teacher, Mathematics New Hire
Justine Albree Chesnut Charter ES Teacher, Substitute New Hire
Dinshaw Anklesaria Dunwoody HS Teacher, Spanish New Hire
David Ayers Peachtree MS Teacher, English New Hire
Silvia Balbao Vanderlyn ES Teacher, Grade 4 New Hire
Haley Betz Austin ES Paraprofessional-PreK New Hire
Charlotte Bock Chesnut Charter ES Teacher, Grade 5 New Hire
Susan Carlton Austin ES Teacher, Grade 2 New Hire
Marie Dejesus Hightower ES Teacher, Interrelated  New Hire
Jacqueline Dillard Vanderlyn ES Teacher, Grade 2 New Hire
Tristan Drusky Dunwoody HS Teacher, Drama New Hire
Lori Eisinger Peachtree MS Teacher, English Resig-Moving
Joselyn Erves Dunwoody ES Teacher, Grade 4 New Hire
James Gay Dunwoody HS Teacher, Drama New Hire
Erica Glinski Austin ES Teacher, Grade 2 New Hire
Ashely Goodwin Dunwoody ES Teacher, Grade 1 New Hire
Katherine Gregoire Dunwoody HS Teacher, Mathematics New Hire
Celestia Greig Dunwoody ES Paraprofessional-MID/MOID Resig-Other
Noel Hildreth Austin ES Teacher, Grade 3 New Hire
Victoria Hogue Dunwoody ES Teacher, Grade 1 New Hire
Christopher Hosch Dunwoody HS Teacher, Health/Phys Ed New Hire
John Howard Peachtree MS Teacher, Science New Hire
Jonathan Hughes Dunwoody HS Specialist, Student Support New Hire
Nafis Karim Dunwoody HS Para, Special ED New Hire
Scott Miller Peachtree MS Teacher, Mathematics New Hire
Shamaya Price Dunwoody ES Teacher, Kindergarten  Resig-Not Released
Leslie Robertson Peachtree MS Teacher, Grade 6 Social Studies New Hire
Tina Simons Peachtree MS Teacher, Science New Hire
Nathan Thornton Dunwoody HS Teacher, Mathematics New Hire
Richonda Veal Chesnut Charter ES Paraprofessional-PreK New Hire
Dana Weimann Dunwoody ES Teacher, Grade 1 New Hire
Shanquan West Chesnut Charter ES Media Specialist New Hire
Jeffrey Zokovitch Peachtree MS Teacher, Social Studies New Hire
Chamblee High School Cluster
Name School Classification Explanation
Jordan Bender Montomery ES Teacher, Grade 2 New Hire
Denise Billingsley Kittredge Magnet Teacher, Grade 6, Social Studies Resig-Not Released
Lori Bolds Montomery ES Principal New Hire
Maria Carrero Huntley Hills ES Paraprofessional-Interrelasted Resig-Other
Cantrece Clark Ashford Park ES Teacher, MID/MOID New Hire
Jose Dejesus Chamblee MS Principal New Hire
Bettina Dorsch Ashford Park ES Teacher, German New Hire
Shannon Head Huntley Hills ES Teacher, Grade 1 New Hire
Hydi Kalmin Chamblee MS Counselor, PT New Hire
Mary Kelly Chamblee HS Teacher, MID Resig-Not Released
Helen Kim Huntley Hills ES Teacher, Grade 2 New Hire
John Lewis Chamblee HS Assistant Principal Resig-Not Released
Jansene Lucas Montomery ES Teacher, Kindergarten  New Hire
Kemberly McKenzie Chamblee HS Teacher, Interrelated New Hire
Tina Neal Kittredge Magnet Teacher, P/T Interrelated Resig-Assignment Complete
Kathrine Reck Kittredge Magnet Teacher, Grade 4 Language Arts New Hire
Jenna Schmidt Ashford Park ES Teacher, Interrelated New Hire
Frank Sisk Chamblee HS Teacher, Tech Ed P/T Resig-Assignment Complete
Christopher Smith Chamblee HS Teacher, English Resig-Not Released
Kendall Storey Chamblee HS Teacher, Interrelated Resig-Not Released
Lillian Watts Huntley Hills ES Teacher, Grade 5 New Hire
Sarah Weber Chamblee MS Teacher, English New Hire
Zachary Welser Chamblee HS Teacher, English New Hire
Katherine Williamson Chamblee MS Teacher, Mathematics New Hire
Renee Willson Ashford Park ES Teacher, Grade 5 New Hire
Kera Wilson Ashford Park ES Teacher, Grade 1 New Hire
Helen Wolcott Kittredge Magnet Counselor   Resig-Not Released
Schwon Wyche Chamblee MS Teacher, English New Hire

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chesnut Charter Elementary Selected For Captain Planet Foundation
Project Learning Garden

Dunwoody, GAJuly 28, 2015 – Chesnut Charter Elementary School (DeKalb County) has recently been selected for a Captain Planet Foundations Project Learning Garden grant. Captain Planet Foundation is an international environmental education foundation for youth inspired by the successful Captain Planet and the Planeteers cartoon.

The three-year Project Learning Garden program provides schools with strategies for building effective and long-lasting garden-based learning programs. Teachers at pilot schools are provided with professional development for every grade level, interdisciplinary curriculum aligned to state and national standards, lesson kits with the necessary supplies for hands-on learning, a schoolyard garden, fully-equipped mobile cooking cart, and a summer garden management intern.
We wish Chesnut great success as they work to implement this important program. It is our hope that our combined efforts will educate and empower todays youth with the skills and knowledge to cultivate a better tomorrow,” says Leesa Carter, Executive Director of the Foundation.
Gardens can provide a context for multidisciplinary learning, ranging from nutrition and science to social studies, math and language arts. Students benefit by expanding their palates, taste-testing healthy foods, and learning about food origins; engaging in authentic science field investigations; manipulating the environment to understand math in real-life applications; recreating historical activities; and writing across all these disciplines.

“Chesnut’s school master gardeners, facilities team, ecology club and recycling team have put a lot of sweat equity into building our farm to school and ecology programs. Two years ago, when the majority of our kindergarten class registered for ecology club, we chose to instead integrate monthly farm to school lessons into the kindergarteners’ school-day. Project Learning Garden is the natural next step for Chesnut, and I am grateful to Captain Planet Foundation for supplying our teachers with the necessary resources to incorporate farm to school and ecology concepts into our curriculum school-wide,” explains Chesnuts principal, Ms. Veronica Williams. “As we develop our STEM initiatives, which focus on environmental stewardship, Captain Planet Foundation is the ideal partner for us, helping us bring curriculum to life in an experiential and hands-on manner.”
As a Project Learning Garden school, Chesnut will provide the following to its students:
  • At least one Learning Garden lesson per grade level in Year 1, and three lessons per grade level in Year 2.
  • Learning Garden lessons taught in an outdoor setting, engaging students in hands-on activities and environmental stewardship.
  • At least two harvest or food preparation and healthy taste-testing activities per year.
As part of the program, Chesnut will receive the following:
  • Garden installation or revitalization, depending on need.
  • Three interdisciplinary garden lessons tied to Georgia Performance Standards for each grade level, including kits with supplies for hands-on lessons.
  • Professional development workshops.
  • Fully-equipped mobile kitchen cart for taste-testing foods from the garden or math & science lessons in the classroom.
  • Outdoor Classroom Kit, with basic supplies (like a wagon, cones, magnifying glasses, etc.) for outdoor learning.
  • Assistance with summer garden management.
  • Colorful, interpretive garden signs.
  • The opportunity to qualify for a $500 garden enhancement grant, upon completion of lesson feedback surveys, tasting event surveys, and student pre / post-tests (Year 2)
  • The opportunity to qualify for a $500 garden enhancement grant, upon completion of the Interactive Sustainability Tool Kit to help third year Learning Garden schools transition to independence while maintaining a record of garden assets and resources (Year 3).
About Chesnut Charter Elementary School
Chesnut Charter was established in 1968 to meet the needs of the Peachtree/Dunwoody community. In the 2000-2001 school year, Chesnut began operating as a Charter School committed to educating the whole child - developing young people who are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, well rounded, physically active, and thoughtful. Chesnut strives for it students to become honorable and contributing citizens, who are internally motivated to achieve their highest potential.
About The Captain Planet Foundation
Founded in 1991, Captain Planet Foundation was created to support hands-on, environmental projects for youth. CPF's objective is to encourage innovative projects that empower today's children to become environmental stewards. The Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) is located at 133 Luckie Street NW in Atlanta, Georgia. It can be reached by phone at (404) 522-4270.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Crossroads News: No Diploma for 1 in 6 Seniors
in DeKalb County Schools in 2015

The following is an excerpt from a recent article in Crossroads News.  Clink on the following link to read the entire article:

One in six – or 964 – seniors in the Class of 2015 left the DeKalb School District in May without a high school diploma.

While 5,261, or 84.5 percent, of the class got diplomas, the seniors leaving the district after 12 years with just certificates of attendance were enough students to fill schools the size of Columbia Middle or Cedar Grove High schools, which had 2015 enrollments of 933 and 998 students, respectively.....

Johnson said the Board of Education is looking for more progress in decreasing the number of students who leave the district without diplomas.

“That is why we hired a superintendent [Dr. Stephen Green] with a curriculum focus,” he said. “That should impact our graduation rate.”

(Gee, Dr. Johnson, don't you think a "curriculum focus" should have been a focus of every Superintendent that preceeded Dr. Green?  It's not like the Graduation issue is a new one for DeKalb.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Volunteers Needed for Kingsley Charter Open House, Friday, August 7th

Volunteers Needed for the Open House (Aug 7)

Helping with Registration is an easy way to get your volunteer hours in before school even starts! We are looking for at least 30 volunteers to help with a variety of positions. Working with your child's teachers and fellow parents is a great way to start the new year. 

Click on this Sign Up Genius link to volunteer:

Thank you for your help!

Former Dunwoody High School Principal Noel Maloof
Out At Decatur High School

Dan Whisenhunt of Decaturish is reporting that former Dunwoody High School Principal Noel Maloof is out after one year as Principal of Decatur High School.  Mr. Maloof has been named Chief Operating Officer of the City of Decatur School System.

Click on the link to read the entire article:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Introducing...the NEW Peachtree Jrs 5th Grade Volleyball Team!

The Peachtree Volleyball program is growing ... we are creating a new team called Peachtree Juniors and are looking for 5th grade athletes!  This program is available to 5th grade students residing in DHS attendance zone enrolled at one of the Dunwoody cluster elementary schools or those not attending another educational institution. It is an excellent opportunity for young athletes to learn the fundamentals of volleyball in a mildly competitive environment with experienced club coaches.

Tryouts are Saturday, August 1 at the DHS gym from 1-2 p.m.  All players must attend tryouts to be considered for a team.  There is a $20 tryout fee per player, due on Aug. 1.  

Players also must bring a completed 2015 GHSA Physical Form (doctor visit required).  The form is available under the "Forms" tab. Dunwoody Urgent Care located at 1730 B Mt. Vernon Road offers $25 sports physicals and will donate $5 to the Peachtree Volleyball program if you mention it during your appointment.

To be eligible to tryout, each player must register online.  Click on the "2015 Tryout Registration" tab to register now! 

If you would like to be on our mailing list, email and include the athlete's name, grade in August 2015 & school attending in the Fall.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Charter School Showdown - Part 1 and Part 2

One of the first of MANY big issues facing Dr. Green....Will the DeKalb County School System accept and follow the State BOE rules regarding Charter School regulations or continue thumb its nose at it? 

Stan Jester has a 2 new posts on his blog regarding the Charter School situation in DCSS:

It seems that the established bureaucracy in DeKalb does not appreciate, or respect, the new rules and guidance from the State Department of Education (DOE), regarding charter school autonomy.  A showdown may be brewing between the State DOE and DeKalb unless the new Superintendent makes a course correction.  The new Superintendent has inherited a central office staff that is refusing to give up control of conversion charters despite the law and pleas from the state and local communities.

Lou Erste, Ga DOE, Throws Down The Gauntlet
Just days before the July 2015 board meeting, Lou Erste (Ga DOE Associate Superintendent for Charter Schools) sent this email to Dr. Jose Boza (DeKalb Schools Director of Charter Schools) saying that the state would recommend for denial any conversion charter where the school district only offered control over 1% of the budget.

Charter School Showdown Part 1:

Charter School Showdown Part 2: