Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Congratulations to Dunwoody High School
Math Team On A Stellar Year!

The Dunwoody HS Math team ended its season over the weekend with several big events.  

1.  Juniors Zack Bloomberg and Alex Mason won 4th place in Mu Alpha Theta's national math video contest, Mathematical Minutes, winning a $250 cash prize.

2.  We took two teams to the Clemson Calculus Challenge, one of the only calculus-only tournaments held in the United States.  We competed against some of the best math teams from medium-sized high schools from Georgia, South Carolina, and surrounding states.  Representing Dunwoody were seniors Thomas Dellaert, Mallory Harris, Mary Elizabeth Lee, and Jacky Zhu, and juniors Zack Bloomberg, Aaron Martin, Alex Mason, and Jacob Tallon.  Of about 200 contestants, our top scorers were Mallory Harris and Zack Bloomberg, who were 17th and 28th respectively in our division.  Dunwoody came in 4th place in the medium-sized school division.

3.  At the GCTM Varsity State Math Tournament, held in Macon over the weekend, our squad of Thomas Dellaert, Mallory Harris, Mary Elizabeth Lee, and Jacky Zhu performed extremely well, earning 3rd place in Georgia AAAAA. The tournament is by invitation only, so we are very proud that the team qualified through its performance at tournaments earlier in the year, and also that we improved on last year's 4th in AAAAA. 

My note:  Congratulations and Thank You also go Teacher and Sponsor, Mr. Wise. His enthusiasm and support for not only the Math and Academic teams he sponsors, but for all of his students, past and present, that he has so wonderfully taught and mentored is beyond measure. Mr. Wise is the epitome of a great teacher and role model and he will be missed at Dunwoody High School.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Peachtree Middle School Plants an Apple Orchard

Arborist Robby Astrove demonstrates planting an apple tree.

On a beautiful day before Spring Break, students and teachers at PCMS planted an apple orchard adjacent the school garden known as The Living Classroom. Seventh-grade life science teacher, Nancy Bustamante, the sponsor of the garden, coordinated the orchard effort with Robby Astrove, an Environmental Educator and Fruit Tree Arborist. After Mr. Astrove taught the students the proper methods for planting the trees, the students enthusiastically dug the holes, positioned the trees, added compost, and finished with mulch. The large variety of apple trees will be a wonderful additional to the garden by adding shade, beauty, and of course, apples. More trees are planned for next year.

(From left to right) Students Lauren Parker, Zion Moore, and Sophie Zhang next to their apple tree

The PCMS Foundation provided the funds for the trees. The garden has been used in a variety of ways by the school. It includes a fenced-in area that has several raised beds that the health classes presently are using for growing vegetables. Sixth graders have used the garden to test anemometers calculating wind speed, and another class calculated the most efficient spacing of plants. Ms. Bustamante is now seeking certification for the Living Classroom as a Monarch Marking Station in order for students to track and study the butterflies.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dunwoody High's Mallory Harris and Maddie Dill Selected as UGA Foundation Fellows

Congratulations to Dunwoody High students Mallory Harris and Maddie Dill!  They were selected as UGA Foundation Fellows – the University of Georgia’s premier undergraduate scholarship program.

Founded in 1972 by The University of Georgia Foundation’s trustees, the Foundation Fellows Program is the university’s foremost undergraduate scholarship, placing students in a community of similarly dedicated scholars, offering a stipend that approximates the cost of attendance, a post-first-year Maymester study abroad program, individual travel-study grants, group travel-study opportunities each spring, research and academic conference grants, dinner seminars with some of the university’s best minds, and a mentoring plan that matches Fellows with professors who share their interests.

The following information is courtesy of the UGA Foundation Fellow Facebook page:

“We have another new Fellow to announce! Maddie Dill is student body president, editor-in-chief of the yearbook, and a three-sport varsity athlete at Dunwoody High School. She devotes her time to bettering her community through serving on advisory boards for several international nonprofits. Through travel and mission work, Maddie has witnessed the vast medical disparities that exist, and she plans to work in the global health field to bridge this gap and offer hope to underserved populations.”

“As if hearing Charlayne Hunter-Gault's charter lecture on Nelson Mandela this morning wasn't enough excitement -- we also heard great news from a new Fellow, Mallory Harris!

Mallory Harris attends Dunwoody High School, where she is president of the school’s chapters of the Math National Honor Society and the Harry Potter Alliance. She volunteers at Emory’s Department of Neurology. Mallory led a team of writers as senior staff at Wizarding Life Networks, an online magazine inspired by the Harry Potter series. She intends to study Applied Mathematics and Neuroscience and become a medical researcher.

Dunwoody High Student Ashton Jordan Awarded Gates Millennium Scholarship

Congratulations to Dunwoody High School student Ashton Jordan! He is a recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship for outstanding achievement for the class of 2014.  

Each year The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice.

This year was a very competitive one for the scholarship awards as over 52,000 scholarship applications were received by the Gates Foundation, the most in program history. 

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 1999 to provide outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline area of interest. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

CCRPI Scores - 2012-2013 School Year
&Revised Scores for 2011-2012 School Year

The Georgia DOE hase released the CCRPI (College and Career Readiness Index) reports. Below are the overall scores for the Dunwoody cluster schools. It is important to view all the data in its context - and there is a lot of data! The links are provided below.

Click here the Press Release from the Georgia Department of Education.

Click here to view the adjusted CCRPI data by District/school for 2011-2012.

Click here to view the CCRPI data by District/school for 2012-2013.

Click here to access an Excel Spreadsheet with the 2011-2012 data.

Click here to access an Excel Spreadsheet with 2012-2013 data.

Click here to view a summary of the changes to the 2012-2013 CCRPI.

Click here to view a more detailed summary of the changes to the 2012-2013 CCRPI.

Click here to view the CCRPI Accountability page.

School Name
2011-2012 Score

2011-2012 Score
Austin Elementary
Chesnut Charter Elementary
Dunwoody Elementary
Hightower Elementary
Kingsley Charter Elementary
Vanderlyn Elementary
Peachtree Middle
Dunwoody High

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Michael Thurmond Talks Charter School System

Below is an interview WSB-TV's Erica Byfield conducted with DeKalb School Superintendent Michael Thurmond in regards to DCSS becoming a Charter School System.  The "interview" appears, at least to me, as nothing more than a PR piece for Thurmond.  In fact, his answers are so rehearsed, I believe he knew the questions beforehand.  Of course, there is the obligatory North vs South question thrown in.

Below is also an excerpt from an article in the AJC regarding DeKalb's Charter status.  The Board of Education appears willing to approve for the entire school district what they denied the Druid Hills Charter Cluster. Make sense? Well, it is DCSS.  Also, a question, if the school district becomes a charter district, what does that mean for the current conversion charters? Will DCSS deem them unnecessary and deny their petitions? 

By Ty Tagami
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The DeKalb County School District may become the next big metro Atlanta system to give more autonomy to principals and parents, if the school board votes as expected next month to pursue charter system status.

Every Georgia district must decide by summer 2015 whether to maintain the status quo or to restructure and push more decisions from the central office to the schoolhouse.

Click here to read the remainder of the article.

Also, if you have not reviewed the Flexibility Advisory Committee Executive Summary, you can view by clicking here.

Click here to view the district's presentation on "Charter System" and "Status Quo" options.

Monday, April 7, 2014

DeKalb Schools STAR Students & Teachers Honored

The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program honors Georgia's outstanding high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development.  During the past 56 years, the STAR Program has honored more than 24,000 high school seniors who have in turn chosen their STAR Teachers to share in this recognition.

The Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation, Inc. was selected in 1994 by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce to coordinate the state STAR program in association with the Chamber and the Georgia Department of Education. 

Every accredited high school in Georgia is eligible to participate in the STAR program.  To obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on one test date on the three-part SAT taken through the November test date of their senior year and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average.  Nominees' SAT scores must be equal to or higher than the latest available national average on the math, critical reading and writing sections.  Each high school STAR Student is asked to name his/her STAR Teacher.  

DeKalb County High School STAR Students and their teachers were recently honored by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce at its annual STAR Luncheon.

Congratulations to Dunwoody’s STAR Students and their teachers:

Dunwoody Maddie Dill Erik Vincent
Mallory Harris Rand Wise

The following are the DeKalb County School District High School Star Students and Teachers.  I apologize for the schools/students missing from the list.  Thank you for the Druid Hills info.

Arabia MountainFabian Dwight FlowersElla Davis
Chamblee Mollie Rose SimonChristopher Smith
ClarkstonPhat Chang Teresa Brooks
ColumbiaNydrel Jack Kisa Orlowski
Cross KeysKui Sit Monique Warton
DeKalb Early CollegeNaud Ghebre Jason Butler
DeKalb School of the ArtsElisa Branwen Guinn Sandra Beth Williams
Druid HillsAdriano IqbalPaul Johnson
LakesideHolly Elara Brooks Michael Washington
LithoniaOnneka Venessa McQuennie Ahmariah Jackson
Martin Luther King, Jr. Indigo Gill Calvin Leaks
Miller GroveAmirah Garland Lissy Philip
RedanKiandra A. Smith Akilah Hill
Southwest DeKalbChelsea A. Jackson James Bailey
StephensonZoe-Ann V. Robertson Mario Miner
Stone Mountain Vy HuynhKeatra Wright
TuckerMary Elizabeth KhoTeresa Milam

Thursday, April 3, 2014

More Dunwoody High School Math Team News

The 2013-2014 Rocket City Math League Competition has recently concluded, with Dunwoody High students performing very well. The competition, sponsored by Mu Alpha Theta, the math national honor society, is a multi-round national level contest that also draws competitors from Asia and Europe.

It is divided into levels based on what courses contestants have completed. In the Comprehensive Division, which ranges into the Calculus and beyond, senior Mallory Harris placed 36th out of nearly 2000 contestants.  Seniors Thomas Dellaert and Mary Elizabeth Lee also finished in the top 200, Thomas in 107th place, and Mary Elizabeth in 158th.  In the Advanced Algebra Division, sophomore Parul Rai placed 64th; in the Geometry Division, freshman Mary Anderson placed 176th.

The 2013-2014 Log 1 contest, also sponsored by Mu Alpha Theta, has also wrapped up its final round. The Log 1 features a team element in addition to individuals. Dunwoody competes in the eastern region, which includes the 9 eastern seaboard states (and Washington, DC) from Florida up to Pennsylvania and also the Caribbean. Dunwoody placed 10th in the region, with only one Georgia team (Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology) ahead of us. Individuals compete in 3 divisions based on year and math courses. In the junior division, freshman Nate Lee placed 24th. In the intermediate division, sophomore Parul Rai placed 25th. In the senior division, senior Mallory Harris placed 16th.

This has been a very successful year for the Dunwoody High School Math team, and we still have two more major events to finish out the season in late April--the Clemson Calculus Challenge held at Clemson University and the GCTM Varsity State Mathematics Tournament, held in Macon. Last year our team did well in both, finishing 4th in Georgia AAAAA, and we are looking for our seniors to improve on last year. Go Wildcats!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dunwoody High Math Team News

Two big announcements:

1.  For the second year in a row, our Moody's Mega-Challenge Team has made it into the second round of judging. Of nearly 1200 teams from around the country that entered the contest, only 200 were selected to continue on in the competition. Of 32 Georgia teams that entered the contest, Dunwoody is one of six that will continue to compete for awards that range up to $20,000 for first place. This contest is only open to juniors and seniors, so it is very rare for group of students to achieve this twice, but this is exactly what Jeanne Davis, Thomas Dellaert, Mallory Harris, Mary Elizabeth Lee and Jacky Zhu have done. Congratulations, and good luck in round 2!

2.  DHS Math Team juniors Zack Bloomberg and Alex Mason have received word
that their entry into the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematical Minutes Video Contest has been chosen as one of the top 8 from all over the United States.The video is featured on the Mu Alpha Theta webpage -- it's the very first one.  (I have also embedded the video below)   Over the next two weeks, math honor society chapters all over the country will view the eight videos and each chapter will submit a ballot.  The top videos earn monetary awards.  Good luck, Zack and Alex!