Congratulations to Dunwoody High Robotics Teams 1264A and 1264B. They were winners at the OLA Vex Robotics Tournament held Saturday, November 1st. Both teams also qualified for the GA Vex State Championships!
Below is a letter from Dunwoody High School Principal McFerrin regarding the status of the students from Liberia. This letters appears to be the standard wording that the school district is using as the notice from Dunwoody Elementary Principal Sanders is identical to Principal McFerrin's letter to the DHS community.
Chesnut Charter Elementary School celebrated Silly Hat Day on October 17th, a prize earned by the student body as part of the school's new fundraiser, the Chesnut Challenge, a fun run-style event that took place earlier in the month. The students exceeded their fundraising goal by almost 20 percent, and as a result (among other prizes) they will also enjoy Free Dress Day on October 24th, and a bounce house at recess on October 31st. The funds raised from the Chesnut Challenge are being directed toward Chesnut’s increased emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
Dunwoody’s Paige McKnight (8) goes up for a kill against Creekview. (Photo by Mark Brock)
Photo Courtesy of DeKalb County School District
The No. 2 ranked Dunwoody Lady Wildcats advanced to the second round of the Class 5A volleyball state playoffs with a relatively easy 3-0 home victory over Creekview.
Creekview got out to a quick 6-0 lead in the first game before Dunwoody could get going. Dunwoody went on a 12-4 run at that point forcing a Creekview timeout as the Lady Wildcats went up 12-10.
Creekview would tie it at 12-12, but Dunwoody would go ahead 13-12 and put sophomore Madison McKnight back to serve. The Lady Wildcats would go on to win 13 consecutive points with McKnight serving to close out the game 25-12.
Dunwoody was the aggressor to start the second game of the match as McKnight would serve for six consecutive points, including a pair of aces, as the Lady Wildcats jumped to a 9-1 advantage.
Via the AJC: By Rose French The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Two Dunwoody students who recently returned from West Africa were blocked from enrolling in DeKalb schools this week as a precaution against the spread of Ebola.
DeKalb school officials said the father worked for CARE, a humanitarian organization, as a finance controller in the Liberia/Sierra Leone office. He returned to the United States on Sept. 14 with his family and tried to enroll the children Wednesday at Dunwoody Elementary and Dunwoody High.
According to school officials, the family had a letter from CARE saying more than 21 days had passed since their return from the United States, which is beyond the quarantine period for Ebola. But school officials turned the students away because the district requires confirmation from the CDC or local health department, not from an employer, said spokesman Quinn Hudson. Click here to view the remainder of the story.
I love this picture of Hannah, Gus, and DHS Principal McFerrin. Photo is courtesy of DCSD Athletics.
It is these type of moments that reinforce my belief, and insistence, that the "education" of my children go beyond books, homework and tests. To the students and faculty of Dunwoody High School - Well Done!
Jon Shirek of 11 Alive also has a great story/video on the selection of Gus and Hannah.
DUNWOODY, Ga. (WXIA) – At the Dunwoody High School homecoming Friday night, students showed true school spirit during halftime.
This year's Dunwoody High School senior homecoming court -- ten candidates for Homecoming Queen and ten candidates for King -- beamed like the sun under the Friday night lights.
That number included two special needs students their fellow seniors nominated: Hannah Keen, who has Down's syndrome, escorted by her big brother D.R.; and Gus Ashbury. He's a student with autism, escorted by his mother, Mamie.
Click here to read the remainder of the story and view the video.
This week the College Board released the SAT and AP scores. DCSD SAT scores were down around 8%. That appeared rather high to me, so after reviewing previous year's data, it became apparent that almost of the DCSD high schools had a significant rise in the number of students taking the SAT. Was this the graduating class that was the recipient of the "free" SAT test compliments of the previous DCSD administration? If so, there was a caveat at that time that the SAT scores would be reported lower.
Chesnut Charter Elementary School today announced that it has been awarded a $2,500 grant from Action for Healthy Kids® (AFHK), the nation’s leading nonprofit and largest volunteer network fighting childhood obesity and undernourishment by working with schools to improve nutrition and physical activity. The grant will support improvements to Chesnut’s playground. With the Action for Healthy Kids grant funds, Chesnut has revitalized its decades old Iron Mountain Forge exercise structure -- replacing rotted wood planks and safety caps for metal poles, and replenishing mulch to provide the requisite soft floor for students dismounting. The AFHK award has also funded brand new Iron Mountain Forge signage that demonstrates sample exercise activities – restoring it to a fully functional exercise structure for the students. As part of playground improvements in Chesnut’s lower field, the grant also paid for new balls and fresh gravel to refurbish Chesnut’s tetherball courts, which had fallen into disuse.
“Chesnut teachers, parents and administration recognize that opportunities to engage in physical activity throughout the school day can positively affect our students’ well-being and help them to focus during lessons. We are very grateful to Action for Healthy Kids’ for this generous grant that is helping Chesnut move forward with our increased movement objectives,“ said Veronica Williams, Chesnut’s Principal. “The refurbished playground facilities are already attracting Chesnut’s students at recess and during the after-care program, affording them with increased opportunities to be physically active.”
About Action for Healthy Kids®
Action for Healthy Kids® (AFHK) fights childhood obesity, undernourishment and physical inactivity by helping schools become healthier places so kids can live healthier lives. The organization partners with a legion of dedicated volunteers - teachers, students, moms, dads, school wellness experts and more - from within the ranks of their 34,000+ constituency to create healthful school changes. After all, everyone has a part to play in ending the nation's childhood obesity epidemic. AFHK's programs, tools and resources make it possible so that many people can.
AFHK's grassroots efforts are supported by a collaboration of more than 70 organizations, corporations and government agencies. Working together, they're giving kids the keys to health and academic success by meeting them where they are - in the classroom, in the cafeteria and on the playground - with fun physical activity and nutrition lessons and changes that make it possible for them to eat nutritiously and play every day. More information is available at www.ActionforHealthyKids.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
About Chesnut Charter Elementary School
Chesnut Charter School 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. Chesnut’s Wellness Action Team, part of the school’s Parent Teacher Council, promotes healthy habits and environment for students, families, faculty and staff in support of DeKalb County's Wellness Policy. By soliciting community, family and staff input, the Wellness Team develops and executes the Chesnut's School Health Improvement Action Plan, which addresses physical, mental and emotional wellness that lead to greater success inside and out of the classroom.
The DeKalb County School District has made available, via their website, the Charter District Application. The Board will be asked to approve the application at the Wednesday, October 8th (rescheduled from Monday, 10/6) Board of Education Meeting.
Many thanks to Dunwoody City Council Member Terry Nall for providing a copy of Superintendent Michael Thurmond's "State of the District" address.
Click here to access the text to Superintendent Thurmond's address.
As part of the presentation, Mr. Thurmond provided an update on the Dual Accreditation process that Councilman Nall has championed for ALLof DeKalb high schools for several years. Many thanks to Councilman Nall for his efforts in making sure this initiative was adopted by the Board of Education and implemented by DCSS!
Councilman Nall: "I'm especially pleased to see that the dual accreditation initiative through Georgia Accrediting Commission (GAC) for all of our high schools is underway and proceeding according to plan laid out to the school board in May. What new is we have specific dates in January for the GAC consultants team site visits to all of the county's high schools."
Page 6 of Thurmond's address lists these dual accreditation activity items (both completed and planned):
* September 11, 2014: District meets with GAC consultant to discuss plans
* September 24, 2014: District leaders meet regarding how to provide documentation to each high school for the accreditation process
* October-January: District leaders assist individual high schools with compiling evidence of compliance
* January 26-28, 2015: Site visits to the high schools by GAC consultants
* March 2015: Accreditation is agenda item for GAC Board meeting in Macon
Dunwoody Elementary School 2nd grade students planted sweet potatoes last spring in their organic gardens. Students were a part of the planting process through the harvesting of the sweet potatoes. Over a 1,000 sweet potatoes were harvested this past week. Parent volunteers made some yummy recipes to share with each classroom, for a well deserved treat!
Several weeks ago the "Dunwoody Crier" published an article written by Elizabeth Jester concerning the expansion of Dunwoody High School's ESL population. It was a good, positive article, with one exception - the title. The title "Immigrants Fill Dunwoody High" had little relevance to the article itself.
Below is the response to the article by the Dunwoody High School Council which appears in this weeks Crier:
To the Editor: Regarding the 9-10-14 cover story titled, “Immigrants fill Dunwoody High,” on behalf of the Dunwoody High School Council, I would like to have seen a headline that would have more accurately summarized the article content or moreover, accurately described the true nature of what fills Dunwoody High School. When the author, Liz Jester, was contacted about her title choice she explained to me that when she submitted her article it was titled, “Dunwoody Expands ESL Program to Meet Needs of Increasing International Population.” This seems a more befitting summarization of the article content. The author was unaware of the title change or the reasoning behind it. So to clarify a few points stated in the article, only 25 students of the 150 were enrolled at Dunwoody High School from the International Center at the beginning of the school year and many students in Dunwoody’s ESL program are citizens. Click here to read the remainder of the response.
Chesnut Charter Elementary School’s new fundraiser, the Chesnut Challenge, kicked-off with a pep rally on Thursday, September 18th with surprise appearances by the Dunwoody High School cheerleaders, who wowed students, parents and faculty with amazing stunts and cheers written specifically for Chesnut, as well as by 8-time NBA All-Star, 4-time winner of NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and former Atlanta Hawk, Dikembe Mutombo. Mr. Mutombo has not only had an accomplished basketball career, but he also graduated from Georgetown University where he was on an academic scholarship, speaks 9 languages, and has won multiple honorary degrees, good citizenship awards and recognition for his humanitarian efforts. Since 1997, he has been Chairman and President of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to improving the health, education and quality of life for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is where Mr. Mutombo was born. Mr. Mutombo shared stories with the students, laughed with them and took their questions. The main message he delivered, however, was the tremendous importance of education. The 7’3” superstar reminded the students never to limit themselves – they can achieve whatever they set their minds to. "We are extremely grateful for the time and unrivaled contributions that were made to our pep rally by Mr. Mutombo, as well as by the Dunwoody cheerleaders and their coach, Gayle Hard. Their support of Chesnut and their confidence in our students’ success instill even more school spirit into our 450 students,” said Chesnut’s Principal, Veronica Williams. The theme for this year’s Chesnut Challenge is “Stepping Up For STEM.” The funds raised will be directed toward Chesnut’s increased emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and will go toward Chesnut’s new STEM lab, including an interactive ActivTable and tablet PCs. The Chesnut Challenge is the school’s first major fundraiser that is being produced entirely in-house by Chesnut parent volunteers.With previous fundraisers, outside fundraising companies kept up to 48 percent of the donations. With Chesnut volunteers producing this event, 100 percent of the tax-deductible donations will go back to the school – and toward STEM - through the Friends of Chesnut Foundation. On October 2nd, after two weeks of the students raising donations to sponsor their participation in the Chesnut Challenge and winning prizes for their fundraising results, they will participate in the Chesnut Challenge – a funrun-style event in which they will jog, walk, skip and dance around a track. This event is also in keeping with Chesnut’s emphasis on wellness - tying into increased physical activity. “For parent volunteers, the fact that 100 percent of the funds our children raise will go toward STEM at Chesnut motivated us to produce the fundraiser ourselves,” said Melissa Marion-Landais, Chair of the Chesnut Challenge. “A tremendous amount of work and time have been put into producing this fundraiser, but we stand behind the importance of STEM and support our administration and faculty’s efforts to become STEM certified.”
Community supporters interested in contributing to the Chesnut Challenge may contact Melissa Marion-Landais at email@example.com.
Dikembe Mutombo with Chesnut Principal Mrs. Williams
The Georgia Department of Education has released the school
level ACT Scores. The DOE is reporting
only the Composite scores, no Subject scores as they have done in previous years. (Update: GADOE replied that ACT only sent Composite scores). Click here to view scores for all
Georgia High Schools.
5 DeKalb County high schools (and only 2 “traditional” schools,
Dunwoody and Lakeside) recorded scores higher than the Composite National
Average of 21.0:
DeKalb Early College
DeKalb School of the Arts
Click here to view the ACT National Readiness Report.
Click here to view the State of Georgia ACT Report.
About 1.4 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.
article and photo courtesy of DeKalb County Schools Paige McKnight is following in the footsteps of her mother to play college volleyball at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. in 2015. The senior from Dunwoody has been a big part of the Lady Wildcats’ success the past two seasons including the school’s first ever Final Four appearance (Class 5A) in 2014 and the climb to the No. 2 ranking in Class 5A this season with a 21-3 record. McKnight has 1,175 assists in her career including her first three years of play through the 24 matches this season and 841 kills while also chalking up 666 digs, 302 aces and 110.5 blocks. Click here to read the remainder of the article.
Kaiser Permanente's Doc Broc surprises the Chesnut walkers!
DUNWOODY -- On Wednesday September 3rd, Kaiser Permanente's mascot "Doc Broc" was on hand to greet more than half the student body of Chesnut Charter Elementary School at the first Walk to School Day of the school year. Kaiser’s wellness champion, who encourages healthy eating habits and plenty of exercise, surprised the children and their parents. Chesnut’s Wellness Action Team, part of the Parent Teacher Council, is committed to promoting healthy habits and environment. Chesnut is proud to support Walk to School, part of the Safe Routes to School program, and looks forward to walking with students worldwide on October 8th as a part of Safe Routes to School's International Walk to School Day.
Doc Broc poses with (l-r) Isabel and Madelyn Ramo.
Isabel is in Pre-k and Madelyn is in first grade at Chesnut
Wildcat Gridiron Club is having a tailgate fundraiser on Friday, September 5th
from 5pm-7pm at the DHS Vs Chamblee game. Tailgate will be at 3641 Pierce Drive
NE - on the far side of Chamblee school where all the parking is. Game time is
7:30pm. Come early and choose from two great food trucks - Hail Caeser or
Mighty Meatball. Tickets are $10 per person and includes an entree and drink.
Dunwoody Gridiron club will be selling tickets during lunch next week in the
front hall Tuesday through Friday. Power 96.1 radio station will be at our Pep
Rally and at the tailgate. We're looking forward to another great Friday
Dunwoody High School Softball Team Car Wash Fundraiser; Saturday,
September 6th @ 10:00 – Burger King @ Georgetown.
One of my biggest concerns surrounding the new Georgia Milestones Assessment System is the speed with which the GA Department of Education is implementing the new system. While the GADOE is proceeding with the new assessment system, waivers were granted at the August 21st Georgia Board of Education meeting for the following items:
Promotion and Retention Requirements for Grades 1,3,5 and 8
Requirement that End of Course Test Scores contribute to 20% of a students final course grade.
From the waiver request. Click here to read the entire waiver request.
Georgia Milestones is a new assessment program that includes end of grade measures at the elementary and middle school levels (grades 3 – 8) and end of course measures at the high school level. Given the 2014-2015 school year marks the first operational administration of the new program, there is significant technical work that must be completed, including, but not limited to, setting the achievement expectations (i.e., cut scores), prior to releasing scores. A waiver of the student promotion and retention requirements, set forth in Rule 160-4-2-.11 PROMOTION, PLACEMENT, AND RETENTION, sections (3)(a), (3)(b), (3)(c), for reading in grades 3, 5, and 8 and mathematics in grades 5 and 8is requested as results cannot be issued until the necessary technical work is completed. Additionally, a waiver of the requirement that the end of course measures contribute to the final course grade, as stipulated in Rule 160-4-2-.13 STATEWIDE PASSING SCORE, sections (2)(d), (2)(e), (2)(f), is requested. The waiver is requested for the 2014-2015 school year, through July 31, 2015. The necessary technical work will be completed during the summer months of 2015, with results being released in fall 2015.
Click here to view the latest Georgia Milestones Assessment presentation.
When Ashton Jordan asked his longtime mentor, Art Collins, for a ride to Turner Field on Wednesday afternoon, Collins didn’t hesitate. Collins, always there for Ashton, was happy to drive Ashton to the ballpark for a community service project. But Ashton didn’t need a ride on this recent afternoon. There was no community service project. Instead, Ashton and his mother, Dee Jordan, orchestrated a surprise for Collins — a VIP Braves experience, complete with a behind-the-scenes private tour, watching batting practice on the field, and primo, terrace-level seats for the game. It was the Jordan family’s way of honoring a man they call “Mr. Collins,” a 79-year-old man who has given them so much. "We knew that if we could pull this off, it would be perfect,” Ashton said. “We wanted to do something special before I go off to college.” Click here to read the remainder of the article.
Dunwoody High School was challenged by Lambert High School in the "Chillin for Charity" contest. Dunwoody High School's charity is ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease).
Dunwoody High School participants were Coach Brown, Coach Friedlander, Mr. Fortenberry and Principal Mr. McFerrin.
Peachtree Charter Middle School....you've been challenged... Interesting note: "In 2013, the national ALS Association received $1.4 million in donations between July 29 and August 14. This year, they've received $7.6 million in donations during the same time period, as of Thursday afternoon." Click here to read more about the Ice Bucket Challenge to benefit ALS.
Kingsley Charter Elementary School had a great welcome back treat as teachers returned to work. Staff was greeted by a fan tunnel of parents and students. The school is excited for the upcoming year. The motto "New Year, New Energy" inspired the warm welcome.
This is why my quest for dual accreditation for all DeKalb County high schools was so important. We cannot risk all of our accreditation on SACS alone. Our graduating students must graduate from an accredited high school. Dual accreditation (a second accreditation via Georgia Accrediting Commission) provides this safety net. Our school board approved dual accreditation beginning this Fall. I hope all of the school councils keep tabs on the progress at their respective high schools.
Accreditation agency keeps DeKalb at “warned” level By Ty Tagami The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The DeKalb County School District has made “material progress” addressing the concerns of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, but the organization did not restore full accreditation after a recent monitoring visit.
SACS will keep DeKalb’s accreditation at the “warned” level, a couple of notches below full accreditation, says a July 2 report by the organization that DeKalb released Friday.
Click here to read the remainder of the AJC article.
The GA Dept. of Education has released the Spring EOCT Test Scores. As announced earlier, the EOCT will be replaced by the Georgia Milestones EOC Tests beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.
As Dunwoody High School follows the 4x4 Block Schedule, scores are listed for both 2013 - 2014 school semesters.
Click here to view all Spring 2014 EOCT scores. Click here to view all Winter 2013 EOCT scores. Note: Mathematics II and Geometry results are not comparable to prior years. These tests will not be part of the Milestones program.
Staff / LaTria Garnigan / Tom McFerrin begins the 2014-15
school year as principal of Dunwoody High School
Article courtesy of the Dunwoody Neighbor: by LaTria Garnigan Having grown up in Dunwoody, it seems only fitting that Tom McFerrin will now lead his alma mater of Dunwoody High School as principal.
McFerrin graduated from the school in 1991 and went off to the University of Georgia where he studied broadcast journalism. After earning his journalism degree, he thought he might decide to teach the subject one day. So he returned to school and earned his master’s degree in education. He then took those skills he learned in college, returned to Dunwoody High as a teacher and created the Academy of Mass Communications in 2003
"After 33 years with the DCSD, Ms. Jackson is calling it quits. I have mixed emotions about it, because I love Chamblee Middle School, my teachers, my parents, and our wonderful kids so very much. I cannot imagine my life without them. However, it's time for me to start this new chapter and journey in my life, and I am anxious and excited about that. I know that He has many things for me to experience and ways to grow spiritually. I have promised the foundation that I will still be available to serve on a committee or in whatever capacity they need me, so it's not like I am really gone. Our school council has already met with our area Superintendent, Ms. Cynthia Brictson, to discuss a suitable replacement for me. They will seek survey input from the community, teachers, and students in the principal search process. My hope is that my replacement will be found before I leave on 10/31/14; so that, he/she can shadow me for a few days. I am also saving everything to a flash drive that the new principal might need. If a suitable replacement is not found by the time I leave, then I have been assured that an interim principal will be placed here until an appropriate replacement can be found. Please also know that I have been blessed with three extraordinary Assistant Principals (Mr. Childs, Dr. Briggs, and Mrs. Cromer-Nunn) who are very capable of running this building in my absence. Between them, Mr. Trice, my extraordinary counseling department, and our awesome teachers, everything will be fine.
You have my commitment that I will do everything in my power to make sure that the transition from the "old" CMS principal to the "new" CMS principal will go smoothly for all CMS stakeholders. We have a good thing going here at CMS. We want our standard of excellence to continue. I am confident that will happen. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your principal since April 2006 and the opportunity to work with your incredible kids."
**Updated with Excel Spreadsheet containing Dunwoody Cluster Subgroup Data.**
I have created an Excel Spreadsheet which contains the school level data reported by subgroup. Click here to view that spreadsheet. For some reason, the spreadsheet loads more efficiently via Google Chrone. Reminder these results are from the 2012-2013 school year. The Georgia Department of Education today released its Student Growth Model, the metric that will help educators, parents, and other stakeholders better understand and analyze the progress students make year to year. The department is also releasing a web tool, located at gastudentgrowth.gadoe.org, which will allow parents and members of the public to view visualized student-growth data. Beware the bubbles!!!
Use the Search box to find your district, or click using the list provided.
Click once on the model to choose the district.
Double-Click twice on the district for a list of schools.
Use the Search box to find your school.
Use the Pull Down options to enter data display options.
Toggle over the bubble to view data for the option chosen under "Perspective".
This data is based on the 2013 school year (CRCT for ES/MS Students and EOCT for HS students). Data reflecting 2014 school year student progress will be available in late fall. School and district growth scores are based on what are called “student growth percentiles.” Essentially, student growth percentiles are calculated for each student in each tested subject by comparing his or her standardized test scores at the end of one year to the performance of other students who had similar test scores to him or her in the past. Schools and districts are given a “median growth percentile” that offers a sense of how much a typical student at the school grew in a year compared to his or her academic peers The growth model uses two years of prior test data as pretest scores (one year is used when two years are not available). For example, growth percentiles for 5th-grade students on the 5th-grade CRCT are generated using 3rd and 4th grade CRCT results as priors.
To be honest, the amount of data is overwhelming. Unless you love data, and I do not, you could spend hours reviewing and attempting to comprehend all of the data. My assumptions could also be wrong. The massive amounts of documentation provided by the GADOE are many times unclear. I used the AJC's tool to report the Dunwoody school cluster data. Click here for the AJC database. As time permits, I may summarize the data by subgroup.
Click here to see Frequently Asked questions as provided by the GADOE. Definition of "Academic Peer": Academic peers are students enrolled in the same grade and content area or EOCT course statewide with similar prior academic achievement (academic history). In other words, they are students that had the same scores on prior state assessments. There are potentially thousands of academic peer groups – as many as there are prior score combinations. Students can be in different academic peer groups across subject areas and peer groups can change from year to year based on the most recent prior scores.