Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Presentation and Minutes Now Available for

April 28th Town Hall Meeting

Dunwoody Parents Concerned About Quality Education In Dunwoody 

Click here to view the Presentation.

Click here to read the minutes.

Click here to read the Dunwoody Crier article "Charter Cluster To Be Delayed a Year"

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dunwoody High School Teacher Bryan Boucher

DCSD Regional Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Mr. Bryan Boucher, the 2012 Dunwoody HS Teacher of the Year, for being recognized as the 2012-2013 Regional Teacher of the Year for DeKalb County School District Region 1.

The 2013 Dunwoody HS Teacher of the Year will be presented during Dunwoody High School’s Honors Day assembly on May 3. The DeKalb County School District’s Teacher of the Year will be announced May 20th.

Mr. Boucher is a Social Studies teacher at DHS and is also the Cross Country coach.

Click here to read the Press Release from DCSS.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dunwoody High School Math Team

Results from GCTM State Math Tournament

Congratulations to the Dunwoody High School Math team on its showing in the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (GCTM) State Math Tournament! 

Seniors David Heavern and Will Koval and juniors Mallory Harris and Jacky Zhu represented Dunwoody in the invitation-only tournament. 

Dunwoody placed 20th in the state (that's of all schools, public and private, and all size classifications).   In AAAAA, Dunwoody ended 4th in the state.

Click here to read further information abou the GCTM State Math Tournament.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Peachtree Charter Middle School

Middle School Baseball Champions!!

The Peachtree Charter Middle School baseball team beat out 9 other middle schools (including SPX, HIES, Woodward, Blessed Trinity, Wesleyan, Sutton, etc., and in the championship game last night beat Marist 9-3) to bring the CHAMPIONSHIP trophy to Peachtree this year!! This is the first time in 14 years a public middle school has WON this title!! SO PROUD of these young men!!

L-R top:Coach Matt Wallace, Josh Hudgins, Dylan Kovitch, Paul Gies, Zach Morochnik, Jack Hardin, Shota Barbeau, Dawson Burns, Ryan Hicks, Coach Carlos Love

L-R bottom: Eli Allen, Andrew Edwards, Kelton Southard, Evan Romeo, Jace Kacena, Ben Altman, Ethan Mangum

Peachtree Charter Middle School

Odyssey of The Mind Team are State Champs!!

Headed to World Finals!!!

Here is our PCMS Odyssey of Mind Team - State Champions - heading to World Finals at Michigan State University, May 22nd - May 25th.

Left to right:
Virginia Luquire
Ginna Feiman
Kara Christopher
Karen Bass (coach)
Jackson Watson
Patrick Clinch
Maggie Bass
Bebe Franco

Millions of kids have been working hard all year perfecting their solutions to Odyssey of the Mind problems and competing within their regions and states. Only a few will advance to World Finals - these teams represent the best of the best creative minds.

Teams from around the world will compete in the 34th Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. The competition emphasizes creativity and teamwork and has grown into the largest international creative problem-solving competition worldwide.

While the competition is fierce, there is also a feeling of camaraderie among competitors. Many students form life-long friendships that span the U.S. and the globe. At World Finals, teams have the chance to learn about other cultures through a common goal . . . to be as creative as they can!

Good luck to the PCMS Odyssey of the Mind Team!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dunwoody High Math Team

Competes in Clemson Calculus Challenge

Congratulations to the DHS Math Team on its showing at the 2013 Clemson Calculus Challenge! Thomas Dellaert, Wesley Dixon, Mallory Harris, David Heavern, Angelina Hou, Will Koval, Mary Elizabeth Lee and Jacky Zhu represented DHS, which finished in 6th place in our size class.

Mallory Harris had our high score, finishing in the top 25 individuals overall. In our class, Mallory and David Heavern finished in the top 10 individuals, and Thomas Dellaert came in 15th.

The Clemson Calculus Challenge is a one day calculus contest for high school students that consists of two components. In the morning students take an individual 90 minute calculus test consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions. The 40 questions range in difficulty from "fairly routine" for the first 10, to "very challenging" for the last 10. The afternoon competition is team oriented. Teams of three to four students compete in a six-round, free-response question tournament. Each round lasts 10 minutes, and a team's score is determined by correctness and time needed to solve the problem. The morning exam and the afternoon problems are designed to test students' knowledge of the topics contained in the Advanced Placement Calculus AB syllabus

The tournament had 300 contestants from 40 of the top math schools in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

2013 America's Most Challenging High Schools

Jay Matthews of the Washington Post is out with his annual ranking of America's Most Challenging High Schools. Schools are ranked through an index formula that's a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. A ratio of 1.000 means the school had as many tests as graduates.  These rankings are based on 2011-2012 Advanced Placement information.

DeKalb County Schools on the List:

High SchoolRankIndex# of AP Exams Taken
Arabia Mountain2483.8281004
Druid Hills6882.486530
Southwest DeKalb16361.334425
Cross Keys18081.175161

Click here to view the entire list.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dunwoody High School Math Team

Invited to State Tournament!

Congratulations to the DHS Math team on being invited to the 2013 GCTM (Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathemetics) State Math Tournament!   This will be Dunwoody's first appearance in the state tournament since 2004. Only the top 30 or so teams in the state are invited each year, and by participating in the state tournament, players may qualify for the state team that competes in the national ARML competition in June.

The math team would like to thank our wonderful parents and school community supporters and benefactors! Hard work has paid off, but none of it would have been possible without your help this year (and in years past)!   

Good luck to our team when it competes at the end of April!

Dunwoody High School Quiz Bowl Team

Invited to National Championship

It's official! The DHS Quiz Bowl Team has earned a spot and will be  competing in the High School National Championship Tournament from May 24th to May 26th, when 256 teams (follow this link to see the field: http://www.naqt.com/registration/field.jsp?tournament_id=4300) from all over the United States meet in Atlanta! This is the first time that Dunwoody has ever won a berth in the HSNCT!

The team has had a wonderful year, and wants you all to know how much we appreciate the support we have received this year from our awesome parents, and from the school community, both within and outside the building! 

Go Wildcats!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Dunwoody Area Cluster Information

The great news is that people in Dunwoody are deeply engaged in the issues affecting quality public education in our community. Dunwoody Talk, one of many local blogs, engaged in a discussion about the pros and cons of the charter cluster option, one of several considered in the community.  (Dunwoody Mom's note:  Click here to read the entry in Dunwoody Talk)

Knowledge is power. And getting up to date information about the various initiatives keeps us all in the loop. Here’s what DunwoodyParents.org had to say in response to posted questions and concerns:

We are pursuing multiple avenues for Dunwoody educational independence. These are not separate groups with competing agendas. And, rather than sabotage each other, these two initiatives are actually complementary. Let us explain why. 

Getting the legislature and the voters of Georgia to give us the opportunity to form our own school system is a long process with a very uncertain outcome. Our state reps have told us that this is a huge mountain to climb and that we shouldn’t put all of our eggs in this basket. That said, we are fully committed to pushing forward with this as the ultimate goal.

It is worth noting that in the hearing on Representative Taylor’s constitutional amendment that took place in the House subcommittee on Education on March 20, one of the skeptical members of the House asked us why we hadn’t pursued a Charter Cluster designation and pointed out that state law already provided a mechanism for granting autonomy. Our chances of success in the House improve if we can point to attempts to avail ourselves of the avenues that already exist.

Those of us working on the Charter Cluster concept are agreed that the governance model must include a structure that has the Cluster non-profit corporation as the employer of the teachers and principals. We will not be satisfied with, or push for approval of, a Charter Cluster contract that does not give us true educational autonomy. We must have (as you put it) a checkbook. The Cluster needs to be able to hire educators, reward great ones, and remove lousy ones. The DeKalb teachers in Dunwoody will have a tough decision about whether or not to leave the County’s employment and accept jobs with the Cluster. We expect the good ones to welcome the change, which will be empowering and rewarding. 

We don’t know if we can get five members of the new DeKalb Board of Education to give us this autonomy, but that is what we will ask for. If they say ‘no’, then we have an answer for the skeptics in the Legislature. 

We need to make three other points. First, the community discussion and work that would be required to submit a petition to the County for a Charter Cluster is the exact same effort we would have to undertake to start our own school system. Getting community-wide work groups together to define what—and how—to teach in an autonomous Dunwoody must be done regardless of whether or not we are asking the County for a Charter Cluster or the Legislature and the State Board of Ed for an independent system. Everything we put into a Charter Petition is reusable when we get our own system. 

Second, our current efforts to submit a Letter of Intent are entirely non-binding. We are not committing the community to anything, only trying to secure an opportunity for us to decide whether or not to pursue a Charter Cluster Petition. We will only go down the petition path if there is strong community support, but to get to that point, we need a Letter of Intent.

Allegra Johnson (President)
Robert Wittenstein (Steering Committee Representative)

Dunwoody Elementary Student Places 4th in

Georgia Young Authors Competition 2013

Dunwoody Elementary School is very proud to announce that 4th grader, Abigail Watts, placed third in the Georgia Young Authors Competition for her story “Life of a Pure Bred Mutt.”

Abigail with her teacher, Adrienne Thornton

Dunwoody Elementary Flat Stanley Projects

Second Grade 2013

Elizabeth Bass with a group of second grade students displaying their Flat Stanley projects

Second grade students at Dunwoody Elementary School proudly display their original Flat Stanley Projects. The Project provides an opportunity for students to make connections with students of other member schools who have signed up with the project. Students begin by reading the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown and becoming acquainted with the story. They then create paper "Flat Stanleys" (representative drawings of the Stanley Lambchop character) and keep a journal for a few days, documenting the places and activities in which Flat Stanley is involved. Each student's Flat Stanley and its respective journal are mailed to other people who are asked to treat the figure as a visiting guest and add to his journal, then return them both after a period of time. The Flat Stanley Project was started in 1995 by Dale Hubert, a third grade schoolteacher in London, Ontario, and Canada. It is meant to facilitate letter-writing by schoolchildren to each other as they document where Flat Stanley has accompanied them. Dale Hubert received the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2001 for the Flat Stanley Project. Students find it fun to plot Flat Stanley's travels on maps and share the contents of the journal. Often, a Flat Stanley returns with a photo or postcard from his visit. Some teachers prefer to use e-mail for its quicker travel time. In 2005, more than 6,500 classes from 48 countries took part in the Flat Stanley Project (historical background taken from Wikipedia). Sponsoring teachers at Dunwoody: Elaine Mach, Avis Holbrook, Mary Margaret Warshaw, Bonnie Birrell, Elizabeth Bass, Charlotte Davis, and Tami Slaton. Parent volunteers also assisted with the project. The Flat Stanleys will be mailed all over the country.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dunwoody Crier: Dunwoody and High School Council Pressing for Accreditation

By Dick Williams For The Crier

City officials and the Dunwoody High school council are politely pressing the interim DeKalb school superintendent for his approval of the high school’s effort to seek single-school accreditation from the Georgia Accrediting Commission.

So far, Michael Thurmond has been non-committal. Two school board members said in an email they planned to inquire of Thurmond Tuesday, after The Crier’s print deadline.

While Thurmond has been saying he did not believe the DeKalb schools will lose their accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/AdvancED, the city and Dunwoody parents want a backup.

“I represent a community not willing to gamble that the remote possibility of uncontrollable events will not occur,” wrote City Councilman Terry Nall to Thurmond last week.

Nall pointed out to Thurmond that the school system would bear no cost, with the necessary funds being raised in the city. He also said no central office assistance would be needed, allowing the staff and the school board to address the complaint from SACS about governance when it placed the DeKalb schools on probation in December.

Click here to read the entire article.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dunwoody High School Math Team News

Walton MathFest Results

Congratulations to the DHS Math Team on its performance at the 2013 Walton MathFest! In the JV contest, Ryan Polk, Parul Rai, Shannen Santiago and Athena Zhang did particularly well, finishing in 5th place as a team and scoring 3 spots in the top 10 individuals. Ryan Polk was 6th overall, and Parul Rai and Athena Zhang tied for 8th.

Our varsity team also did well, finishing 11th overall in a very competitive field. Our top scorers were David Heavern and Jamie Traner (both of whom finished in the top 40 individuals), Giang Ha, Thomas Dellaert, Mallory Harris and Jonathan Olson.