Friday, December 28, 2012

CrossRoadNews: State Summons DeKalb School Board
 To Suspension Hearing

DeKalb School Board members have a date to tell state officials why they should keep their seats.

The state Board of Education summoned the board members to a Jan. 17 hearing at 1 p.m. “regarding whether the state board should recommend to the governor that he suspend the members of the DeKalb County BOE.”

Click here to read the remainder of the article.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More Craziness from the DeKalb Board of Education

It's like the nightmare we can't wake up from....

An excerpt from Don McChesney's blog post "Board Chair Elections. This Should Be Interesting":

The street network tells me that Ms. Edler has been holding meetings with the new board members at her house trying to assure that Ms. Edler is chair and Marshall Orson vice chair. Dr. Walker has sent out an email saying that he would like support for returning as chair. I have heard rumblings that Mr. Cunningham is also going to throw his hat in the ring. If any of these folks become chair or vice chair it will be a disaster for the Board.

Click here to read the remainder of Don's post.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

From the Archives: Lynn Deutsch, DCSS parent, speaks at BOE Meeting

I have resurrected a post from June of 2010.  Why are we still saying the same things of the DeKalb BOE as we were 2.5 years ago?  Again, what took SACS so long???

I have known Lynn Deutsch for a very long time.  She is truly one of my heroes.  I have never met a parent more engaged and informed about education in our community, our county and our state.  Last evening she spoke at the DCSS Board of Education meeting.  I borrowed her words from DeKalb School Watch blog.  The BOE meeting will also be replayed on PDS-24 at scheduled times during the next few weeks.  If you have never tuned into or attended a BOE meeting, this might be a good time to start.  For those of us with children in the DCSS it is crucial that things begin to turn around NOW.  Kudos to Lynn for her words.

"Good Evening. I am Lynn Deutsch, a DeKalb County parent and taxpayer. Like so many others, I am beyond frustrated with the current situation in DeKalb.

As Board Members, whether or not you believe you created this mess, you are responsible for turning this around. Right now, among both interested observers and the general public, the DeKalb County School System has no credibility.

First, you must order a forensic audit. Hopefully, this thorough examination of the system’s contracts, expenses, purchases, and much more will uncover nothing more than routine day to day operational expenditures. However, as many of you have stated to the media, major changes occurred without your knowledge. This Forensic Audit will give you a much clearer picture of how a billion dollars a year is being spent and afford you the opportunity to offer a transparent view of the finances of this school system to the taxpayers. In addition, having this done before a new superintendent is in place, offers that person some protections because any wrong doings or errors will be corrected before they assume their new job.

Second, you need to act like the indictments are a big deal. They are. Regardless of the outcome of the case, this is a real black eye to our school system and a reflection of, if nothing else, pure sloppiness in how things were getting done. This matters. It will impact the school system for months, and perhaps years to come. From the seriousness of possibly having accreditation impacted to the loss of potential donations from foundations, this is a mess that will linger. Get this system in order and get it in order now.

Third, you need to adopt a new P Card policy. At most governmental institutions, misusing a P card once may be grounds for firing, even if the misuse is accidental. Misusing multiple times, would certainly be grounds for dismissal. It is my understanding that the current policy in DeKalb is to remove the P card from the user for a set period of time. Enough said. 

Fourth, I am greatly concerned that we remain a top heavy, inefficient bureaucratic organization. Concerned, but not surprised. It is time for you to change the Reduction in Force Policy. It seems to me, after sitting in budget hearings where there were many concerns expressed about cutting low hanging fruit, this is exactly what happened. In a few months when all the dust settles and school begins, I expect that there will be a continually growing outrage. Do you think you should have kept the core subject coordinators’ positions in math, science, reading and social studies? Have you looked at test scores in this system recently?

Fifth, speaking of test scores, our next superintendent should be someone with a proven track record of improving student achievement. We need an outsider who can come in and put a sharp eye to the challenges and barriers to student achievement in DeKalb and then come up with a plan to address them. From AYP status to SAT and AP test scores, DeKalb’s data shows there is a problem. Find the very best person to lead this system and help DeKalb students achieve more. 

Do not let the children of DeKalb down. Their futures are in your very hands. Shape this system up now by shaking it up. Do what is necessary to make sure that we head back in the right direction.
Petition: Governor Nathan Deal and Georgia State Board of Education: Review SACS findings, if accurate REPLACE the Dekalb County School Board

Click here to sign the petition.

Click here to read the SACS report.

By law, the GA Board of Education must hold a hearing within the 30 days after the "Accredited Probation" standing was issued to DeKalb Schools.  We hope that hearing is sooner than later.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

DCSD Region 1 School Organization Community Meeting
Dunwoody High School,  Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 19, 2012 – Every five years, school districts across the state submit a list of schools to participate in the state capital outlay program. The DeKalb district is completing an application for funding that requires a list of its schools, and the DeKalb County “Proposed School Organization” meets the state requirements. It is not a redistricting plan. In January, the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) planning staff will revise its briefing to focus the community's understanding on DeKalb's list of schools and minimize any discussion of boundary changes. This list of schools will incorporate the new schools added under the SPLOST IV capital program.

The staff briefing in January will clarify that a list of schools is all that is needed to begin the state application process. The list of schools does not require any information about boundary lines. Consequently, the proposed school organization is not a redistricting plan but a list of school facilities the district expects to operate in the out years. This list is used to determine the state's award for capital project funding. DCSD staff will update the current list of 2007-12 schools to show SPLOST IV new school buildings and any decommissioned buildings out to the years 2016-17. The briefing will underscore that the Board of Education need only approve a list of schools so that the district meets state processing deadlines in order to qualify for funding. Any discussion about boundaries, if needed, would take place sometime in the future and under a separate, detailed public process per district policy.  The public information meetings about the 2016-17 list of schools will be held from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. on the following dates:

Region 5: January 8, 2013 McNair High
Region 3: January 9, 2013 Redan High
Region 4: January 10, 2013 Martin Luther King, Jr. High
Region 2: January 15, 2013 Tucker High

Region 1: January 16, 2013 Dunwoody High
District-wide: January 17, 2013 DCSD Administrative and Instructional Complex

Thursday, December 20, 2012

City of Dunwoody:
Peachtree Charter Middle School
New Track On Schedule

City of Dunwoody officials are working cooperatively with the DeKalb County Board of Education, school officials and their project management team to keep the school’s outdoor track construction project accelerating forward.
Environmental permitting will be completed, allowing for the project to commence construction on schedule during the summer of 2013.
The City understands the importance of this track project to PCMS students, families, and faculty.
The track project is a much-anticipated improvement for Peachtree Charter Middle School and the City looks forward to watching our students go for gold on their new track.
Peachtree Charter Middle School Competition Cheer Squad
Earns a Grand Champion Title…again!

PCMS cheerleaders took FIRST PLACE in the Middle School Cheer Division at the FCC State Championship held at the Gwinnett Arena, as well as the FCC State Championship Cheerleading GRAND CHAMPIONS!

Congratulations to the PCMS Competition Cheer Squad for taking their SECOND Grand Champion Title! Their first title was earned earlier at the Inferno Spirit Cheer and Dance competition in November.

A special thanks goes to our wonderful coach, Ava Moore and congratulations to all of our cheerleaders: Alyssa Sullivan, Annie Wall, Ariana Cohen, Ashton Harbin, Belle Schindler, Christy Holloway, Elyse Connor, Emily Christensen, Emma Sheehan, Erin Zeigler, Ginna Feiman, Holley Leech, Jessica Gibson, Lauren Callihan, Maddie Srochi, Meaghan Pressnall, Molly Taptich, Naomi Mitchell, Olivia Milam, Sarah Wagner, Savannah Maddux and Taylor Pressnall.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chesnut Charter Elementary News
New Track and Robotics Competition

Chesnut Foundation to Build Track at School

Chesnut has won a $5000 grant from the GA Department of Public Health that will be used to build a walking/running crushed granite track in the lower field of the school. In addition, the new grant will provide new materials for our Farm-to-School school-wide nutrition lessons. This will be a wonderful addition for the Chesnut community.

Chesnut Robotics Team Brings Home Trophy

Chesnut's robotics team, the CougarBots, have brought home a trophy in their very first year in competition. Our team won the award for Best Presentation for their proposal to create marked walking paths around our neighborhood that could be used as a way to help seniors be more comfortable while getting good exercise. (This idea has even been presented to the City of Dunwoody for consideration.)

The team narrowly missed advancing to the next round of competition due to a last-minute robot malfunction, but they earned excellent experience and showed wonderful team spirit during some challenging times at the competition. The Chesnut community can be very proud of the CougarBots' results and experience.

We thank Mrs. Kara Grant, Mrs. Stacia Brown, and our Northside Hospital Partners-in-Education for helping to make the CougarBots' first year a success!

Monday, December 17, 2012

DeKalb County School District Placed on Probation

Update from Fran Millar's Facebook post:

I with other members of the DeKalb delegation will be meeting with Governor's office on this matter after the holidays. I need to review the entire report since ONLY the media was invited to the press conference

Further to the suspension below, the State Board is required to to conduct a hearing in not less than10 days nor more than 30 days and recommend to the Governor whether to suspend all eligible members of the local board. I will monitor the State Board to make sure the law is followed.

Click here to read the entire SACS report.  Thanks to Maureen Downey of Get Schooled/AJC for providing the document on her blog.

Ok, Governor Deal, the ball is on your court.....

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dunwoody High Math Team News

Congratulations to our Mathematician of the Week David Heavern and to our JV Mathematician of the Week Parul Rai!

Mandelbrot results
We also now have results from Round 2 of the Mandelbrot Mathematics Competition: In Round 2, Parker Hollander was our leading scorer, with strong supporting performances from Will Koval, Will Altman, Thomas Dellaert, Wesley Dixon, Penny Kahn, Jonathan Olson, and Andrew Weatherly.

After two rounds, DHS is now ranked 13th in the Southeast (up 2 places from Round 1), and our 2nd team moved up 7 places to 22nd. Individually, Will Koval and Parker Hollander are on the Leader Board, in 21st and 32nd place respectively overall.

Additionally, Andrew Weatherly, Jonathan Olson and John Riordan are ranked in the top 100, and in the top 150, we have Penny Kahn, Wesley Dixon, Craig Sturken, Thomas Dellaert, and Will Altman.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dunwoody High Students Selected for Honor Band

Auditions for Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) District IV Honor Band were held this past Saturday at Lithonia High School. DHS is proud to announce that the following 17 students earned positions in this year's Honor Band:

9th and 10th Grade Band

Olivia Plumb
Amy Minnoch
Aaron Martin
Katie Kish
Caroline Kish
John Hudson
Daniel Nixon
Joseph Nixon

11th and 12th Grade Band
Josh Klein
Taylor Haas
Scott Kayhan
Brendan Sexton
Conor Wheeler
Nate Galerstein
Oliver Ni
Josh Galerstein
Jonathan Krieck

Special kudos to Caroline Kish, Daniel Nixon, Nate Galerstein and Josh Galerstein for earning First Chairs in their sections. ALL of these students also qualify for the final auditions in January for the 2013 Georgia All-State Band. Please congratulate these students and on this incredible accomplishment.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dr. Cheryl L.H. Atkinson, Superintendent
Guiding Questions - Summary
Dunwoody High School – Region 1 Roundtable
Tucker High School - Region 2 Roundtable

Many of the same issues and comments from both Regions.  This comment from the Tucker roundtable sums it up for me:
·         We are all on the same team.
o   Parent concerns are not an attack on the District.

Click here to view the summary of the Region 1 Roundtable. 
Click here to view the summary of the Region 2 Roundtable.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dunwoody High School

Governor’s Honors Program Nominees

The Georgia Governor's Honors Program (GHP) is a six-week summer residential instructional program (four weeks in 2013) designed to provide intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students challenging and enriching educational opportunities not usually available during the regular school year. Activities are designed to provide each participant with opportunities to acquire the skills, knowledge and attitudes to become independent, life-long learners. The Georgia Governor's Honors Program is fully-funded by the Georgia General Assembly, and operates at no cost to the participant.

Congratulations to the 143 DeKalb County School students nominated for the Governor’s Honors program. Click here to view the DCSD Press Release and list of nominees.

Good luck to the following Dunwoody High School students as they prepare for their upcoming Governor’s Honors interviews:

Zachary BloombergMathematics
Kelly CarterSpanish
Sindy ChavezFrench
Elizabeth ClearyGerman
Jeanne DavisCommunicative Arts
Thomas DellaertMathematics
Bridget EiseleSpanish
Josh GalersteinMusic/Brass(Tuba)
Nate GalersteinMusic/Brass(Euphonium/Baritone)
Noah GoldsteinBiology
Mallory HarrisMathematics
Kristin IngramCommunicative Arts
Joshua KleinMusic/Brass(Trumpet)
Mary Elizabeth LeeMathematics
Kendall LowerySocial Studies
Aaron MartinMathematics
Sarah MontgomeryMusic/Woodwinds(Clarinet)
Joseph NotoMathematics
Saakya PeecharaCommunicative Arts
Robin SpratlingSpanish
Jacky ZhuMathematics

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chesnut Charter Elementary School
Robotics Tournament and New Track

Chesnut CougarBots To Compete on Saturday, Dec. 8th

This is the first year of competition for Chesnut's Robotics team, the CougarBots. They have been preparing -- building a robot, programming it, and creating their presentation -- for many months. They'll have a chance to put their robot and ideas to the test THIS weekend. Anyone can attend the competition to cheer them on!
  • Saturday, December 8 at Tucker High School, 9am - 5pm
Contact for details on when the CougarBots will be competing during the day -- or come at the end for the championship rounds -- if you'd like to stop by and see what it's all about!

A New Track Coming to Chesnut

Chesnut has been awarded another grant, bringing this year's total to $6400 so far! Our first grant paid the steep start-up costs of Chesnut's Technology Club and Lego Robotics team, and this new award will be used to.... build a walking/running crushed gravel track in the lower field. In addition, the new grant will provide new materials for our Farm-to-School school-wide nutrition lessons.  The new track and enhanced nutrition lessons are being supervised and overseen by Chesnut's Wellness Team. If you have any questions or would like to be involved in the work of this group, please contact

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dunwoody High School Journalism Students
Attend National Convention

Photo courtesy of Ms. Carter, DHS Newspaper Advisor; Picture taken on the site of the Alamo. 

Dunwoody High School journalism students and advisers recently attended the National Scholastic Press Association Journalism Convention held in San Antonio, TX. They went from session to session collecting new ideas to bring back to school. From convergence media to covering sensitive issues to the latest design tips, the days in Big Sky Country were filled. Click here to view the Convention Program.

Congratulations go to the Yearbook staff for their award from the National Scholastic Press Association of "First Class with Two Marks of Distinction" (in photography and design). The yearbook is currently in competition for NSPA's Pacemaker Award, considered by many to be student journalism’s highest honor.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dunwoody High School Math Team News

Congratulations to Will Koval, Mallory Harris, and Jacky Zhu on their performance in the Kennesaw State University Mathematics Competition! 

Based on their first round scores, these three students have been invited to compete in the finals of the competition in January. Being a finalist is a very significant accomplishment in and of itself--the Kennesaw Competition is one of the two most prestigious statewide math contests in Georgia. Of nearly 2000 contestants, Will, Mallory and Jacky are among the top 175 students chosen as finalists, and this is the first time that Dunwoody has had multiple finalists in the same year. We'd also like to recognize with honorable mention sophomore Zack Bloomberg and senior Jamie Traner, both of whom narrowly missed making the finals.    

For more information on the contest, visit

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Peachtree Charter MS Competition Cheer Squad

Takes 1st Place 

PCMS cheerleaders took FIRST PLACE in the Middle School Cheer Division in Stockbridge, Georgia as well as the Georgia Blast Cheerleading GRAND CHAMPIONS! Because of this, they were awarded a sweatshirt, a banner, and a bid to participate in the Inferno Spirit, Cheer, and Dance Finale in Jacksonville, FL this Spring.  

In addition, PCMS took first place in the jump competition (Elyse Connor), first place in the lib contest (Emma Sheehan, Alyssa Sullivan, Olivia Milam, Molly Taptich and Erin Zeigler) as well as the Georgia Blast Cheerleading winners of Best Jump Incorporation.

A special thanks goes to our wonderful coach, Ava Moore and congratulations to all of our cheerleaders: Alyssa Sullivan, Annie Wall, Ariana Cohen, Ashton Harbin, Belle Schindler, Christy Holloway, Elyse Connor, Emily Christensen, Emma Sheehan, Erin Zeigler, Ginna Feiman, Holley Leech, Jessica Gibson, Lauren Callihan, Maddie Srochi, Meaghan Pressnall, Molly Taptich, Naomi Mitchell, Olivia Milam, Sarah Wagner, Savannah Maddux and Taylor Pressnall.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dunwoody High School Math Team News

Congratulations to the Dunwoody High School Math Team on its performance in Round 1 of the Mandelbrot Mathematics Competition!  In the opening round (there are five rounds total, spread out through March), the team placed 15th in the Southeast Region (covers 9 states). Dunwoody also has a second team that made the leader board, placing 29th.

Our leading scorer, senior Will Koval placed 18th individually. Bobby Karnick, John Riordan and Andrew Weatherly all scored in the top 100, and also making the top 150 scorers were Parker Hollander, Valeriya Savchenko, Craig Sturken and Jamie Traner.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Former Dunwoody High Standout Treavor Scales
Ends Harvard Career with Win Over Yale

Boston Globe:  Harvard Tops Yale In The Game 

Collton Chapple arrived from Alpharetta, via Greater Atlanta Christian High School. Treavor Scales signed on from Stone Mountain and Dunwoody High School.  The Georgia boys. At Harvard...Their presence, and impact on the program, even prior to Saturday’s 129th edition of The Game, was immeasurable.

Thanks to Steve Barton for "tweeting" out the link to the article.

AJC:  Metro Atlanta Pair Help Harvard Extend Streak

Neither Chapple nor Scales knew much about Harvard football until they got recruited. Choosing an Ivy school means foregoing football opportunities available elsewhere. Chief among those is the chance to compete in the playoffs or a bowl game. The Ivies banned postseason play decades ago; the world has changed since Harvard’s 1919 team won the national championship and the Rose Bowl. Still, Harvard offered opportunities other schools didn’t....“As a parent you say I hope he realizes what we’ve been teaching him as a kid, that education is first,” Steven Scales said. “When he said, ‘Dad, Mom, I want to go to Harvard,’ we said, ‘He gets it.’

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chesnut Changers:  Those Raked Leaves Are Piled Treasure

I love these updates from Chesnut Charter's Ecology Club, the Chesnut Changers.  If you would like to follow their blog, click here and enter your email information in the appropriate field.

This Thanksgiving season as brightly colored leaves fall from the trees, instead of thinking of them as a nuisance that you’ve got to gather up and put curbside, why not see them for the free resource they really are? Decomposed leaves are excellent mulch and all-purpose soil amendment for your flowers, lawn, favorite plants and vegetable gardens. Light and spongy, leaf mold compost has lots of air pockets, which encourage worms and other beneficial organisms to live in your garden soil. It is also slightly acidic, which can balance a pH problem in your vegetable garden if your soil is too alkaline (your pH is near 8 and you want to bring it closer to the 6.5 – 7 range).

At our November PTA Clean and Beautiful workday, Chesnut family volunteers and Chesnut Changer students joined forces to collect more than a dozen bags of leaves destined to be next year’s leaf mold compost. Meanwhile, Chesnut Garden Leader Carissa Malone opened eight bags from last year’s compost project, adding the finished leaf mold to the cabbage and garlic beds.

So doing, we kicked off a new Chesnut tradition: annual leaf mold composting to feed our school garden! Taking the abundance of our local renewable resources (fallen leaves from the school’s front lawn), and converting them into a soil conditioner for our veggie garden is a great example of a self-sustaining practice that anyone can adopt. Here’s how we do it:

Click here to read the remainder of the blog entry.

Friday, November 16, 2012

DCSD Releases Questions and Answers from Parent Roundtable Meetings

From DeKalb County School District Facebook Page:

A current list of questions and answers from the parent roundtable meetings can be found here: and accessed through the Parent Portal. Please note that we are in the process of securing some answers, and the document will be updated accordingly. Have a great fall break!

My note:  Prepare yourself...some of these answers are well, just sadly, a bunch of malarky.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chesnut Charter Elementary’s Robotics Team Shines in Practice Meet

Chesnut Charter Elementary's very first robotics team -- the CougarBots -- participated in a scrimmage event on Friday night, October 26th, at Freedom Middle School in Stone Mountain. The event was hosted by DeKalb County Schools, and members of the Fernbank High School Robotics Team were there to assist the participants with robot design and programming tips.

Click here for a link to a YouTube video that shows what elementary FLL Robotics competitions are like and for a photo of part of our CougarBots team at their scrimmage.

The First Lego League Robotics competition has three parts: robotics, research and development of a solution for the competition theme (this year, "Senior Solutions"), and presentation. In the robotics section, kids build robots from a Lego robotics kit, and then the robots must be programmed to run a pre-set course and perform some tasks.

The CougarBots presented a first draft of their plan to start a walking club for senior citizens in the Dunwoody North subdivision before an FLL judge. Our team was well prepared for this stage of the season, and he praised the students' creativity and presentation and gave them pointers to use for the FLL qualifying competition, which will be held in December. Go, CougarBots!
DeKalb County Schools and its Deficit
by Fran Millar on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 12:47pm
The link to this Facebook post was sent out via Twitter by Sen. Millar.  I hope it's okay to post.

We have eight Georgia school systems with fund balances as of June 30, 2012 in deficit positions. This means that school systems expenditures exceeded both revenue and available fund balances (reserves). In other words they have no money as of June 30th.

The good news is for seven of these school systems no one deficit exceeds $3.5 million. Most are under $150,000.

The bad news is DeKalb’s deficit is $14.5 million as of June 30, 2012. I have communicated this information to Mark Elgart (SACS). I am also sure it is substantially larger at this time.

All of these districts must submit a plan to the Georgia Department of Education detailing how they will get their budgets back in balance by June 30, 2013.

This appears to be another nail in DeKalb’s coffin. If SACS puts DeKalb on the step prior to loss of accreditation then the State can intervene.

It appears it is finally time for SACS to step up. Hopefully their evaluation of DeKalb will be done around Thanksgiving.

I also understand the forensic audit (in depth financial audit) commissioned by School Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson through KPMG should also be available in the near future.

Bottom line as taxpayers with or without children in DeKalb Schools you need to be concerned.

No wonder 64 percent of DeKalb voters approved the state via the commission as an alternative authorizer of charter schools. It is called frustration with the status quo of mediocrity in the aggregate.

Senator Fran Millar

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dunwoody High School Cross Country News
Girls Team Wins AAAAA State Championship
Boys Improve from 15th to 12th Place
Courtesy of Coach Boucher and DHS News

History was made for the Dunwoody cross country team on Saturday in Carrollton at the 2012 GHSA State Championships. The boys led off the warm afternoon by improving on their 15th place team finish last year with a 12th place finish in the 5A race. The Wildcats were led by Blake Tiede (49th), Adam Christopher (55th), and Connor McKnight (61st). They were followed by the rest of the Varsity boys - Tyler Lu, Quinton Johnson, Cadmiel Velazquez, and Noah Goldstein. A great end to a great season for the boys team!

The girls then took the line in what was to be a tightly contested battle for the team title and for "podium spots" (top 4 teams). The girls steadily moved up throughout the race and when it was all settled, Dunwoody emerged victorious and earned their first ever State Championship! The girls finished with 86 points, and were followed by fellow Region rival Lakeside who finished second with 135 points. The girls were led by a State Champion, Alex Cameron, who finished first by 19 seconds. She was followed close behind by Kailey Williams, who finished fourth overall. Following close behind her were Ansley Heavern (16th), Erin Berger (25th), Kenzie Johnson (41st), Ann-Marie Sills (49th), and Jennifer Hardister (91st).

This was a great day of "Firsts" for the Dunwoody cross country program. Alex is the school's first individual State Champion, this is the girls first ever State Championship (2nd overall for the school - Boys - 1974), and the first team cross country championship from a DeKalb County school since 1982. Congratulations to the girls on their great performance, they have worked hard all season and stayed focused on their goals. It paid off with a DeKalb County Championship, a Region 6-AAAAA Championship, and, now, a 5A State Championship!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dunwoody Elementary Participates in
The Bert Show's "The Big Thank You"

Last year, Dunwoody Elementary School participated in The Big Thank You for the Bert Show. The purpose of The Big Thank You is that every single soldier stationed or deployed outside the United States deserves to receive a letter of gratitude on Thanksgiving Day. DES wanted to give our troops a “Big Thank You” with a little taste of home this Thanksgiving. As part of the Skills Builder block, students created letters that were heartfelt, handwritten, original, and free of any political statements. The purpose of the letter is to express thanks to the military personnel currently deployed outside the United States. Students may include their mailing and/or e-mail address if they choose.

2nd grade students in Ms. Holbrook’s class: Left to right: Adleigh Rung, Madison Brown, Malisha Rahman, Blair Seigle with teacher Avis Holbrook

Mrs. Morris’ with her kindergarten class and their thank you notes to troops

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dunwoody High School Robotics Team News

Congratulations to Dunwoody Robotics team 1264B for winning the Design Award at the Vex Robotic Competition Saturday at Cross Keys High School. The members of 1264B are: Archish Chaturvedi, Tejas Sardar, Max Noto, Liam Eastham, Wilson Pu, Derick Santistevan, and Kenny Hoang.

Robotics Day at Farm Burger

After you vote on Tuesday, November 6, stop by the new Farm Burger in Georgetown Shopping Center and help support the DHS Robotics Club! A portion of all sales from 5pm to 9pm will be donated to DHS Robotics. Enjoy a delicious burger and support a great cause - everybody wins!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chesnut Charter Elementary
“Georgia Shape” Grant Recipient

Chesnut Charter Elementary in Dunwoody, GA has been named as a recipient of a $5,000 Implementation Grant awarded by the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Governor’s SHAPE Initiative. 

From the Press Release....

Twelve schools received up to $5000 each to implement or improve physical activity and nutrition plans. Those plans are determined by health-related school assessments that prioritize the schools’ needs. The money will also be used for training and technical assistance.....”

Congrats to Chesnut!!!

Click here to read the entire Press Release.
DeKalb County School District: SPLOST IV Schedule

Below is the SPLOST IV project schedule sequence to be presented at the 11/5 Board of Education Meeting. The 1st attachment seems to be an entire listing of projects. The 2nd attachment appears to list the projects in chronological order.

The Austin ES School Replacement is scheduled to start in March of 2016 and be completed in July of 2018.

Click here for the complete project list.

Click here for the project list in Chronological order.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Congratulations to the Dunwoody High School Math Team
Luella Invitational Math Tournament Results
Congratulations to the DHS Math Team for its performance in the Luella Invitational Math Tournament! The varsity team placed 5th overall, with junior Mallory Harris placing 10th in the individual competition and junior Jacky Zhu placing 26th. The entire varsity team, rounded out by Sara Srivastav, Angelina Hou, Jonathan Olson, Will Koval, Sunny Sharma, and Mary Elizabeth Lee, performed admirably, with every player scoring in double digits. In the JV division, freshman Ryan Polk and sophomore Zack Bloomberg both finished in the top 25 individuals. Good job, Wildcats!
Scenes from Dunwoody Elementary School
2nd Annual Tour de Dunwoody

Monday, October 22, 2012

Georgia Aquarium Hosts Celebration for Carol Zhou
Dunwoody Elementary School Coastal American Art Contest Award

Last year, fifth grade student Carol Zhou from Dunwoody Elementary School, won 2nd place nationally in the Coastal America Art Contest. The contest was facilitated through a relationship with the Georgia Aquarium. Sixteen students-- ranging from kindergarten through college--were recognized as winners in the national contest to create artwork that best illustrated one of the seven essential principles of ocean literacy. The winning students were invited to Washington, DC to participate in a special awards ceremony and series of ocean celebratory events. Their artwork was on display in an exhibition at the Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, the National Geographic Society, and The Smithsonian Institution during the 2012 Capitol Hill Ocean Week. These student artists represent thousands of students who created visually stunning artwork and photography, and wrote about the importance of our ocean as a part of the 2011-2012 Coastal America Student Ocean Art Contest. Carol Zhou was unable to attend the ceremonies in Washington D.C., so the Georgia Aquarium hosted their own celebration. In honor of the Georgia Aquarium's new interactive kiosk and display donated by Coastal America, Kim Morris-Zarneke, manager of educational programs at the aquarium, invited Zhou to accept her award from Coastal America and cut the ribbon in front of the new exhibit! Carol and her art teacher at Dunwoody Elementary School, Laura Fleury-Bell, also got a backstage tour of the Aquarium.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dunwoody Elementary Students Celebrate “Tiger Paws”

 Dunwoody Elementary School students enjoy a blowup slide as part of a reward system in which students can earn “Tiger Paws” for good behavior.
From left to right. Ms. Woolfalk. Angel P., Aubree H., Ms. Harrison, Abhishak P

Audrey Barria in Ms. Harrison’s first grade class

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dunwoody High School Pep Band Welcomes
Dunwoody Elementary Students and Parents
 to International Walk to School Day

Dunwoody High School's Pep Band performed recently at Dunwoody Elementary School to help welcome all the walking students and parents during International Walk to School Day. The event was such a success that the amount of DES walkers that morning increased from previous walks. The band was also featured on the 11Alive 6 a.m. news show.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

"I Think There Is a Chance I Can Become Someone Special in Life"
 (and Other Reasons to Give These Children a Hand)

The following is an excerpt from Dunwoody resident Pattie Baker's Foodshed Planet article.  It is a moving and compelling article about the importance of Arts in our schools.  As many of us in the Dunwoody community are aware, the Peachtree Charter Middle School Drama Club IS a place where middle school students CAN become someone special. If you have never had the opportunity to attend a PCMS Drama Club's performance, I urge to take in next spring's performance of "Once On This Island, Jr".  The PCMS Drama Club is fully self-funded and needs your support.  Please support this year's PMCS Drama Club Fall Festival.  The Festival will be held Saturday, October 20th from 9 to 2. 
"What brings me here?" the 7th grade girl wrote on a piece of torn notebook paper as she leaned forward on the long table in the "cafetorium," as did about 60 other middle school boys and girls at this after-school drama club when asked to address that question.

After a short delay, she answered. "When you are on stage, it can be kind of scary, but after you pass your second sentence, you own it."

"You can come in, be yourself, and not be judged by anyone,"another wrote.

The answers continued to pour in...

Click here to read the remainder of Patti's article.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dunwoody High Girls Softball Team

Region 6-AAAAA Champions!!!

The Lady Wildcats were eliminated from Playoff competition by Forsyth-Central.   Congratulations ladies on a great season!!!

Congratulations to the Lady Wildcats!

Update from DHS News:

Congratulations to the DHS softball team on a fantastic afternoon of softball at the South East Athletic Complex. The girls battled Lakeside winning 1 - 0 to earn a place in the championship game. The Wildcats took on undefeated Miller Grove team, winning by 13- 6 to force a second game. The Lady Wildcats kept their bats hot for a convincing 9 - 6 victory to win the Region 6 Championship, the first time for Dunwoody in over 10 years. The team will move forward to State Sectionals at home on Wednesday.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dunwoody Elementary and Dunwoody High School
Join Together for International Walk to School Day!

International Walk to School Day is Wednesday, October 3, 2012. As part of Dunwoody Elementary School’s International Walk to School Day program, the Dunwoody High School Pep Band will be playing from 7:10-7:45 a.m. near the Dunwoody Elementary marquee sign at the entrance to the school.

Put on your walking shoes, get those bikes ready, and join in this Wednesday!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Congratulations to the Dunwoody High School Quiz Bowl Team

Congratulations to the Dunwoody Quiz Bowl Team on its 3rd place finish in the GATA Fall Tournament at Marist this weekend! In the opening event of our season, Erin Thomas, Sahima Godkhindi, Thomas Dellaert and Zack Bloomberg went 9-1 in the tournament, outscoring thier opponents by a combined score of 3060-1620. We also had a second team in the tournament, anchored by juniors Saakya Peechara and Mallory Harris. In their first high school tournament ever, the second team players performed very well,qualifying for the playoffs.   

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DeKalb School District Receives Letter from Sam Olens, Attorney General, State of Georgia

From DCSD Website...
DCSD to respond to letter from Attorney General
DCSD received a letter from the Georgia attorney general today "regarding potential closed meetings" alleged in a Sept. 6 Atlanta-Journal Constitution news story. In the letter, the attorney general requests information regarding meetings between the Board of Education or a committee of the Board with officials of AdvancED or SACS. The district is responding with the facts, and the subsequent response to the attorney general will be shared with the public.

Click here to read the letter from Sam Olens. 

Click on the links below to view the referenced articles:

AJC Article - DeKalb School Board Bars Public
News Article - Administrative Process or Closed Hearings?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dunwoody Reporter:  School Newspapers Refocus to Meet with Changing Times

By Melissa Weinman and Stacy Bubes

Over the summer, Dunwoody High School teacher Desiree Tabor Carter reached out to the community for help getting a newspaper started at the school.

She was hoping to drum up support from adults, but more importantly, from kids who were interested in putting in the hours to write, edit and design a publication for their fellow students. Only a handful of students stepped up this semester. But Tabor Carter meets with the kids who are interested in the newspaper once a week, and they hope to print an issue this year.

Tabor Carter said the school published its last newspaper about five years ago, when the then-advisor was promoted to assistant principal. No one took over as advisor to the newspaper, she said, and the program never recovered.

Click here to read the remainder of the article.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

DCSD First Grade Gifted Identification

There was a discussion at the September Board of Education meeting regarding the elimination of ITBS testing for 1st Grade due to budgetary issues.  The ITBS is one of the methods by which DCSD identifies Gifted Students.  Ms. Howe led a discussion of possible Gifted Identification alternatives to ITBS for 1st Grade students, but it was obvious that this alternative could not be implemented prior to the October ITBS testing schedule. 

The following notice from Ms. March explains that 1st Grade will be included in this year's ITBS testing schedule:

In light of the discussions at the Board of Education meeting held Tuesday, September 11, 2012 regarding first grade gifted identification, DeKalb County School District will administer the Cognitive Ability Test (CogAT) and Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) to all first grade students as we have done in previous years. All students in grades 1, 3, 5 and 7 will participate in the following evaluation procedures:

  • All DCSD students in grades 1, 3, 5 and 7 will be tested for the Program for Gifted following the district-wide assessment schedule.
  • In October, the CogAT is administered district-wide to first, third, fifth and seventh grade students. These scores provide data in the mental ability area for eligibility.
  • In October, the ITBS is administered district-wide to first, third, fifth and seventh grade students. These scores provide data in the achievement area for eligibility.
  • In November, motivation and creativity rating scales (Renzulli) are completed on every student not currently identified as gifted, by the classroom teacher, in grades one, three, five and seven.
  • All first, third, fifth and seventh grade students must have a score in all four areas necessary for gifted evaluation.

Therefore, at this time, we will not be moving forward with the alternative identification piloting plan. Testing dates can be found on the Dekalb County Schools website,

Kendra D. March
Deputy Superintendent, School Leadership and Operational Support
DeKalb County School District

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dunwoody High School Announces
2013 National Merit & National Achievement
Scholarship Semi-Finalists

sent out via DHS News
We are proud to announce
Dunwoody High School's Semi-Finalists
in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Competition:

Ellen Bertschi
Hayley Hopkins

We are also proud to announce
Dunwoody High School's Semi-Finalist for the
2013 National Achievement Competition:

Erin Thomas

These students will go on to compete to become National Merit and National Achievement Finalist. Please congratulate these students and their parents when you see them in school or in the community!!
24th Annual USA Mathematical Talent Search

The 24th Annual USA Mathematical Talent Search is underway! The USAMTS is a 3-round individual mathematics contest in which students register on their own at Each round, there are 5 problems to solve. The problems are available online, and, for Dunwoody High students, a copy of the problems is also posted on the Math Team bulletin board outside room 3109. The first round solutions must be submitted by October 22nd.

Students may use calculators, computers and books, but work must be independent--no collaboration or consulting others is allowed. Participation is free and open to all middle and high school students.

Contestants do have to show work, and will receive feedback from professional mathematicians. The contest is sponsored in part by the National Security Agency.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

AJC:  DeKalb schools to go on state remedial budget plan to make up for $24 million shortfall

By Jeffry Scott
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution  

The DeKalb County school board will have to work with the state to pay down a $24 million deficit left from the last school year, even as its current budget appears headed for another shortfall of almost the same size.  

The school board knew this was coming, since by state law school district budgets must be balanced.  

Scott Austensen, Georgia Education Department chief financial officer, told the board’s finance committee Friday that once the district submits its final financial figures from the last fiscal year, which ended June 30, the state will audit the numbers and set up a remedial budget plan that will require the board to detail how it will reduce the budget in monthly reports. The process could take a couple of years.

Click here to read the remainder of the article.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

DCSD Fine Arts Coordinator Finalist in
Woodruff Arts Center's "Woodruff Salutes Arts in Education Leaders"

Congratulations to DeKalb County School District’s Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Betsy Eppes!!. She has been named as a finalist for the Woodruff Arts Center’s “Woodruff Salutes Arts in Education leaders”.

The Woodruff Arts Center is pleased to announce the 6th Annual Woodruff Salutes Georgia Arts In Education Leaders recognition program - a program designed to promote the value of the arts in education by celebrating exemplary leaders who have championed the arts in their communities and demonstrated their positive impact on the lives and learning of young people in grades Pre-K through 12. Honorees in five categories (Education Leadership, Generalist Educator incorporating Arts Integration, Music Educator, Theatre Educator and Visual Arts Educator) will be announced at a special ceremony at the Woodruff Arts Center on Saturday, September 15, 2012 during National Arts in Education Week. Honorees receive a $2,500 cash award to donate to the arts program of their choice and are also recognized in the media and at local community events hosted by The Woodruff for school representatives, elected officials, colleagues and students.