Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dunwoody High's Zachia Gray
2012 National Achievement Scholarship Finalist

Dunwoody High School is proud to announce our 2012 National Achievement Finalist:

                                                Zachia Gray

The National Achievement Scholarship Program is an academic competition established in 1964 to provide recognition for outstanding Black American high school students.  Please congratulate Zachia for this very distinguished recognition.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Should DCSD Continue to Pay for Advanced Placement Exams?

At the February BOE Meeting, the Board was requested to approve the payment of $650,000 to College Board for the May administration of the AP Exams.  Several board members questioned whether the school district was receiving a “return on investment” due to the low percentage (31%) of students scoring 3 or above on the test.   This is a legitimate question if all we look at is the 31% figure but fail to look at the additional data and facts concerning AP classes and exams.

A few facts:

Ø  4 schools (Arabia Mtn, Chamblee, Lakeside, Dunwoody) made up 50% of the AP test participants in 2010-2011.  3 of these schools scored at or above the 50% level in students scoring 3 or above on the tests.   

Ø  The data for Arabia Mountain skews the overall view in my opinion.  While, Arabia Mtn. had the highest number of students (1,128) taking AP exams in DCSD, only 7.3% of those students scored a 3+ on the exams. 

Ø  DSA and Druid Hills also scored above the 50% level. 

Ø  Let’s remove Arabia Mountain from the equation, and we see that the 5 schools (Chamblee, Lakeside, Dunwoody, DSA and Druid Hills), which scored a 3+ on the AP exams account for 50% of the test takers in DCSD.  I do not have any data, but I do believe that all of these schools send an overwhelming majority of their students onto college (either 2-year or 4-year).  

Isn’t this the type of criteria we should look at which to base our “return on investment” decision?  Is DCSD doing its best to prepare and assist its students into getting into college (if that is the student’s goal)?  

In today’s competitive college entrance world, our students will not receive admissions into the top colleges without these AP classes – a student will not get into either Tech or UGA without taking multiple AP classes – admissions officers from both schools will tell you this.  Due to the competitive entrance requirements at Tech and UGA, we are seeing the effect on the smaller schools in the State of Georgia, i.e.  Georgia Southern, West Georgia, North Georgia, etc., Students who are denied admission to Tech and UGA are turning to these schools for admission.  Due to the overwhelming number of admissions requested to these smaller institutions, those schools have had to modify their entrance requirements to be more competitive.  While this is a good thing for the State of Georgia, has DCSD put programs into place that will make our students able to compete for entrance to these schools?  AP classes are one of those programs that are important to many of the colleges to which our students are applying and I am impressed to see DCSD promote these classes.  Many people have complained that DCSD has spent so much time, effort and money on its struggling students that the students who want and need to be challenged academically have been forgotten.  I would rather we ask how DCSD can better prepare its students to face the challenges of an AP class and exam rather than ask if the money being spent on these exams is worth it – of course it is.  Let DCSD for once spend some money on students who want and/or need these more comprehensive and challenging courses. I believe that this is an expenditure the district should continue to pay for and I believe the “return on investment” cannot be measured in percentages of scores, but whether these AP offerings are helping our students chances of admission to the college of their choice.  I think the facts, at this time, tell us that DCSD is receiving a return on investment.   As always, this is just Dunwoody Mom’s 2-cents. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dunwoody High School JV Quiz Bowl News

Congratulations to the JV Quiz Bowl team on its performance at the JV State Tournament over the weekend!  One of our teams made the sweet 16 of the state playoffs, seeded # 10.  We had good victories over South Forsyth, Apalachee, and Flowery Branch before falling to the #7 seed.  We had good performances from Varsha Narendra, Hannah Benaroch, Zack Bloomberg, Kendall Lowrey, and Gerardo Romero, and our leading scorer was Thomas Dellaert. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Congratulations to Peachtree Charter Middle School
Highest Middle School ITBS Scores in DCSD!!

In celebration of the release of the 2011 ITBS scores by the county, the faculty and staff of Peachtree Charter Middle School would like to congratulate each of our seventh graders on their dedication and hard work. PCMS 7th Graders scored higher than any other middle school in Dekalb County and you deserve to be proud of your achievement.

Way to go Patriots!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dunwoody High Math Team Competition Results

The results from Round 4 of the Mandelbrot Mathematics Competition are in!

The Dunwoody team is in 8th place in the Southeast region, and we have a second team ranked at #25. 

Two players, Danielle Cox and Patrick McGannon tied for our highest team score in Round 4, and Anthony Butera, Sam Viness, Jessica Kim, Will Sylvester, Zack Bloomberg, and Tom Behrend were our other team scorers. 

After 4 rounds, we have 3 individuals in the top 60: Jessica Andersen, Anthony Butera, and Nick Teissler.  Also scoring with honorable mention after 4 rounds are Patrick McGannon, Tom Behrend, Zack Bloomberg, Morgan McInnis, Danielle Cox, Will Sylvester, and Erik Van Winkle.

The 5th and final round of the Mandelbrot takes place in March. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dunwoody High School Announces
National Merit Scholarship Finalists

Dunwoody High School is proud to announce three finalists in the 2012 Competition for
National Merit Scholarships:

1.  Jessica Andersen
2.  Danielle Cox
3.  Anne (Annie) Lashinsky

Congratulations ladies!!!
Chesnut Charter Elementary School
Wins $5,000 in Grant Money

News from Dunwoody Mom’s favorite elementary school…

In the past weeks, a lot of behind-the-scenes work by some dedicated parents has paid off for Chesnut Charter ES.  The school is benefitting from close to $5000 in grant awards that have come through in the last several weeks:  

Chesnut has won a grant from our Partner in Education, Northside Hospital. Valued at $1500, Northside's generous support of our school will allow us to purchase digital microscopes for the 3-4-5 grades -- these scopes are high school quality and can interface with the Promethean boards in the classrooms. Students will be able to take digital photographs of whatever is on their slide, which can later be included in reports, Powerpoints, and other electronic formats.  Students in grades K-1-2 will be receiving Eyeclops microscopes -- age-appropriate scopes that will show kids the wonder of magnification!  This will be a wonderful boost to the science curriculum in the school, and lots of fun to use for our students and teachers.  Thank you, Northside Hospital!

This year at Chesnut's Field Day in May, Chesnut students and staff will have a healthy snack, and meet the farmer who grew it and the chef who baked it!  Georgia Organics has awarded Chestnut Charter Elementary a 2012 Farm to School Grant for $2,300 to run a Simulated Farmers Market with Chef Demo on Field Day. This grant is funded by a contract with the DeKalb County Board of Health “Communities Putting Prevention to Work” Obesity initiative which aims to create a healthier community. They are working closely with DeKalb County Schools Nutrition Department to support their existing Local Harvest of the Month program -- click here to read how Chesnut students have been participating in this program by promoting Georgia-grown food in our own cafeteria.   On Field Day, classes will rotate through the simulated farmer's market, tasting pizzas baked on-site, topped with seasonal produce from a local farmer and Chesnut's own vegetable garden. Once students have sampled the different pizzas, they will “shop” at the farmer’s stand, where the grant will allow each student to take home (free of charge) one serving of the featured produce in a reusable shopping bag, along with a pizza recipe, the Dekalb County Wellness Policy, and information about local farmer's markets and pick-your-own farms. Chesnut Ecology Club students from all grade levels will help the farmer run the stand when their class visits, sharing with their classmates what they have learned about how the seasonal produce was grown, why it’s nutritious, and why eating locally matters.  For more information, or to get involved with farm-to-school activities at Chesnut, email

Chesnut has been awarded a $750 grant through the "Let's Play, Dr. Pepper, Snapple, and KaBOOM!" program. Chesnut won based on our demonstrated ability to maintain and 'spruce up' our KaBOOM playground over the years since its installation in 2007 -- thanks to the dedicated work of PTA volunteers Andrew Hirst and Mona Henderson, caring for the playground has been on a 3-month regular rotation through the Clean and Beautiful program at our school. Many thanks to Andrew, Mona, and all the students, parents, and teachers who've ever worked on a C+B... your involvement showed KaBOOM that we were dedicated to our school and helped to earn this award! If you would like more detail and some great before-and-after photos of the playground, click here to read the KaBOOM playground grant application Nov 2011.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dunwoody High School Named
Advanced Placement Honor School

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358,

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge today named 367 Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools.

Georgia has much to be proud of when it comes to the success of Advanced Placement," Superintendent Barge said. "Much of this success can be attributed to the dedication to rigor and excellence at each of our AP Honor Schools."

Advanced Placement (AP) classes and exams are administered by the College Board, which also administers the SAT. AP classes offer rigorous college-level learning options to students in high school. Students who receive a 3, 4 or 5 on AP exams may receive college credit.

Dunwoody High School was awarded:

AP STEM SCHOOL: Schools with students testing in at least two (2) AP math courses and two (2) AP science courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics B, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science).

AP MERIT SCHOOL: Schools with at least 20% of the student population taking AP exams and at least 50% of all AP exams earning scores of three (3) or higher.