Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dunwoody Crier: Dunwoody School District Would have $30 Million Surplus


John Heneghan also has an article on his blog, along with a link to the entire study.  Click here to view.

By Dick Williams For The Crier thecrier.net | 0 comments                                   

The city of Dunwoody has received the feasibility study on an independent school district, prepared by Dr. Christine P. Ries, an economics professor at Georgia Tech, and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

“The revenues available to operate Dunwoody’s schools and a new Dunwoody district office will be more than sufficient to support the cost of current educational operations,” the report concludes.
The transmission of the report came on the same day the Georgia Supreme Court upheld Gov. Nathan Deal’s removal of six members of the former DeKalb County Board of Education. And it comes in the same month the current board voted down the effort by parents in the Druid Hill High School cluster to form a self-governing charter cluster.

“Hopefully this decision will give impetus to the independent school district movement,” said state Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody).

.....The study paints a clear picture of massive amounts of funds exported from Dunwoody to the county school system with little in return.

Click here to read the entire article.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dunwoody High School Quiz Bowl Team
Results from GATA Quiz Bowl Tournament
Team Qualifies for Nationals

Update:  It's official!  The Quiz Bowl team has qualified for nationals with its 5th place finish at the GATA Winter Tournament. 

The High School National Championship Tournament takes place from May 30th to June 1st in Chicago

Congratulations to the DHS Quiz Bowl Team on its performance in the GATA Winter Tournament on Saturday the 23rd. 

The A team was undefeated in the prelims, outscoring its opponents 2115 to 715, including handily defeating Walton.  The team of captain Thomas Dellaert, Jacky Zhu, Craig Sturken, Varsha Narendra, and Ryan Polk earned the #4 seed and advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to Marist. We are expecting to hear that this finish will qualify DHS for nationals for the second consecutive year, and for the second time in DHS history.

Our B team of Kendall Lowrey, Gerardo Romero, Parul Rai, Alex Hoang and Ryan Wirtz didn't make the playoffs but performed very well for a mostly JV team in a field that included most of the best varsity teams in the state.

Click here to view all results from the tournament.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dunwoody School Cluster FTE and Capacity Data


The FTE data pretty much mirrors the enrollment data released a few weeks ago by DCSD.

DCSD has also, again, re-calculated capacity.  The only real change for our cluster is Dunwoody Elementary where capacity is now below 1,000 at 973.  I am still puzzled at the 570 student capacity at Chesnut. 

Click here to view the updated Capacity Report by school.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dunwoody High School Math Team
Kennesaw State Univ. Mathematics Competition
Round 1 Results

Results are now in from Round 1 of the Kennesaw State University High School Mathematics Competition.  
This year, we are pleased to announce that Dunwoody has 6 finalists who will advance: seniors Mallory Harris, Mary Elizabeth Lee, and Thomas Dellaert, junior Zack Bloomberg, and freshmen Nate Lee and Matt Desoutter. It is a big deal to have 6 finalists from the same school, and very rare for freshmen to qualify for the final round.  Among our 6 finalists, Mallory was our leading scorer, finishing in the 98th percentile.   
Kennesaw is the largest and most prestigious individual mathematics contest held in Georgia, with nearly 2000 students competing each year from across the state.  A school is fortunate to produce a finalist each year, and in the past 3 years, DHS has had a total of 5 finalists.  Two of our finalists are repeaters: Mallory Harris from 2012, and Zack Bloomberg from 2011.
After round 1, the top 150 or so scorers are invited to a very difficult proof-based final round which is held in late January, with cash prizes for the winners. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dunwoody High School Robotics Team News

The Dunwoody Robotics Team 1264B placed first during their first tournament this year at the Fall Leadership Conference this past weekend. The conference took place over two days showcasing Georgia's best robotics teams during the Technology Student Association's VEX High School Robotics FLC Tournament. Team members in attendance were Drivers: Archish Chaturvedi and Wilson Pu and Coach/ Programmer: Tejas Sardar. Team 1264B was in a three-team alliance with South Forsyth and Forsyth Central. Team 1264C was also in a three-team alliance that finished 5th during the final playoffs. Members in attendace for Team 1264C were drivers: Ruzan Daruwalla and Alex Miller and Coach: Cender Osorio.

During the DeKalb County League opener, Dunwoody had two teams which finished in the top ten. 1264B finished 1st (Drivers: Archish Chaturvedi and Wilson Pu and Coach/ Programmer: Tejas Sardar), and 1264D finished 8th (team members in attendance: Michael Frost, Londyn Brooks, Alex Miller, Brandon Shockley.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dunwoody Elementary School Garden

Pictured in front of the salad bar are 4th grade students from Mrs, Nugent’s class (left to right): Sam Woodrow, Mia Arrigali, Neal Yates, Ethan Archibald, Grace Myers, and Azeezat Bello.

How Does Your Garden Grow?  Ask the students at Dunwoody Elementary School!!!  Students at Dunwoody Elementary harvested a variety of vegetables in the garden at the school.  Lettuce, broccoli, and radishes were among some of the crop. Fourth grade teachers Carla Nugent, Francine Goodman, Adrienne Thornton, Lashonda Nelson, and James Unger hosted a salad bar for the teachers. Students were also allowed to sample the vegetables in each classroom.

Dunwoody High School Math Team News
Round 1 of Mandelbrot Mathematics Competition

Congratulations to the DHS Math Team on its showing in Round 1 of the Mandelbrot Mathematics Competition!  In the southeast (which includes 9 states) DHS ended the round in 7th place!  We are 1 point behind the only other Georgia team ahead of us, last year's state champion team Rockdale Math and Science Magnet.  Senior Mallory Harris led our scoring, placing in the top ten individuals in the contest.  We also had strong performances from seniors Thomas Dellaert, Mary Elizabeth Lee, and Jacky Zhu, juniors Aaron Martin,Zack Bloomberg and Jacob Tallon, sophomore Ryan Polk, and freshmen Alex Hoang and Nate Lee.  The Mandelbrot Competition is a 5-round contest.  Round 2 is in December.  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Dunwoody High School Math Team
Louella High School Mathematics Invitational Results

Congratulations to the DHS Math Team on its performance in the Luella High School Mathematics Invitational!  We had a very good showing in a competitive field that included some of the best teams in Georgia and Florida. 

Our JV team of Parul Rai, Brian Hanks, Matt Desoutter, and Nate Lee tied for 3rd place and Parul was in 5th place in the individual competition.

The varsity team of Alex Mason, Jacky Zhu, Jacob Tallon, Mallory Harris, Mary Elizabeth Lee, Ryan Polk, Thomas Dellaert, and Zack Bloomberg placed 6th overall.  Mallory Harris led our varsity individual scoring.  We are still awaiting details on the individual placing.

Thanks to our parents and supporters for making our participation in this event possible.

Next away event for the math team: Lassiter High School Invitational on Dec. 7th.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Notes from the November 6, 2014
Dunwoody Chamblee Parent Council Meeting
Updated with DCSD Flexibility Presentation

I attended the DCPC meeting Wednesday.  There was some very informative information provided by the speakers.  I believe the conversation could have gone on much longer as there are many more questions than answers at this point.  FWIW, the following are some notes I wrote down. I apologize in advance as I am a terrible note-taker, so do not take what I have written as exactly what was said.
All school districts MUST choose a Flexibility Option by 6/30/15.  This is an extension from the first deadline and apparently there are some School Superintendents who would like to see this deadline extended as well.  However, many legislators are adamant that the 6/30/15 deadline not be extended.  The GABOE has a good presentation on the options.  Click here to view that presentation.
IE2 is the option that Gwinnett County Schools chose several years ago.  There is waiver flexibility with this option in exchange for higher academic goals.  There is a loss of governance if a school does not meet its targets, but there seems to be no “enforceability” of this.
Charter System  is school district based with an emphasis on school based leadership with increasing school level autonomy.  However, there is still the central governance that exists today in many school districts.  There is some funding available.  I believe a cap of $100 per student was mentioned.  This is one time funding.
Status Quo option comes about when a local district rejects all School Flexibility options.  I doubt DCSD would choose this option as they would lose all flexibility from waivers, SBOE rules or GADOE guidelines. 
System of Charters comes about when all of the schools within a district are grouped into charter cluster.  An example is the Druid Hills Charter Cluster that is seeking approval from the BOE.  
System of Charter Schools comes about when all schools within a school district obtain Charter System.
Strategic School District was mentioned, but not discussed. This is where a local district has a performance contract with the State Board of Education.  Needless to say I would doubt this option would be viable for DCSD at this time.
Trenton Arnold – DCSD Regional 3 Superintendent, spoke about DCSD’s plans with regards to school flexibility.  He indicated that the district is putting together a Flexibility Advisory Committee (FAC) to review all of the options and make a recommendation to the Superintendent who will in then make his recommendation to the Board of Education. 
Click here to view DCSD School Flexibility Presentation.
Tom Taylor – spoke about HB486 – legislation to allow independent school districts.   Will be a battle.  For many school districts outside of the Metro Atlanta area, the local school districts are largest employers.  They will be loathe to vote for anything that may affect that.  He will keep us updated on upcoming legislative hearings.  This was a shocker if I heard right – the Board of Education elections will be held on May 20, 2014.  
Andrew Lewis – Executive Vice President of GCSA gave a high level overview of Druid Hills Charter Cluster petition.  I believe the DCSD BOE is scheduled to vote on the petition Monday, 11/1


Dunwoody Elementary Teacher Michele Harrison
Receives Mini-Grant from Dunwoody Rotary

In photo (left to right): Jennifer Sanders, Principal, Michele Harrison,
and Dr. John Carr

Michele Harrison, first grade teacher at Dunwoody Elementary, is presented a check for $300 from the Rotary Club of Dunwoody.  Representing the Rotary Club is Dr. John E. Carr, Coordinator of the Teacher Mini-Grant Program.  Dr. Carr said the Rotary Club is pleased to support efforts to improve student achievement in the area of literacy.  The grant will be used to purchase more books for the reading centers in Ms. Harrison’s classroom. Ms. Harrison also received a mini-grant of $1000 from another donor which was used for additional science books and materials for science centers.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Peachtree Charter Middle School Cheerleaders Provide Red Ribbon Week Pep Rally For Kingsley

The PCMS cheerleaders provided a Red-Ribbon-Week Pep Rally for Kingsley Elementary students last week.  The cheerleaders led the Kingsley students in several cheers encouraging "Say No to Drugs",  and they gave a performance of their competition cheer routine.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dunwoody High School Quiz Bowl Team
ACF College Quiz Bowl Tournament Results

The Dunwoody Academic Quiz Bowl Team played its first ever college tournament this weekend, with excellent results.

In the ACF College Bowl tournament at Georgia Tech, the team went 5-5, defeating the University of South Carolina, Auburn University's A and B teams, the College of Charleston, and Georgia Tech's B team.  Two of our losses were extremely close games to Florida's Chipola College, one coming down to the final question, and the other to the next to the last question.   

Our other losses were to UGA, Vanderbilt and Dorman (one of the other high school teams in the tournament, Dorman is perennially in the top ten high school teams in the nation). 

Captain Thomas Dellaert led our scoring, with strong contributions from senior Jacky Zhu, sophomore Ryan Polk, and junior Zack Bloomberg. Kudos also to our assistant coach Brighton Kamen, who did a fantastic job reading and judging in this challenging event. 

The next competition for the DHS Quiz Bowl Team is Saturday,  November 16th at the Brookwood Varsity Invitational.

Friday, November 1, 2013

DeKalb Schools Enrollment Data - October 2013

One of the few data items that DCSD shares with the public is the enrollment data published by the DCSD Planning Department (Dan Drake, I presume) for the last few years.
Enrollment data as of 10/1/13 has been posted on the DCSD website.  One caveat, the information is based on eSIS data. Questions:  Were school rolls “cleaned up” prior to 10/1?  I know in mid-September there were still non-DCSD students on school rolls.  The state FTE data should be released in the next few weeks.   
I have reviewed the data and wrote up some thoughts, but well, who cares what I think.  You can review the data and come up with your own conclusions.  Click on the Report Name to view the data.
School Enrollment and Capacity Report.  This report summarizes enrollment and student capacity by school, by grade and also includes the number of portable classrooms at each school.  School capacity seems to change on whim, but you can find the latest school capacity report (the 3rd such modified capacity report in 3 years) was completed in April, 2013 and is found here.

School Population and School Enrollment Report.  This report summarizes the number of resident students and non-resident students at each school. 

Non-Resident Attendees.  For lack of a better term, I refer to this data as the “School Choice” report.  This information summarizes “out of attendance zone” students for each school.

Elementary School Non Resident Attendees Data.

Middle School Non Resident Attendees Data

High School Non Resident Attendees Data