Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tom McFerrin To Lead Dunwoody High as New Principal

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

Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chamblee Middle School Principal To Retire October 31st

"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."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dunwoody Schoool Cluster Student Growth Model Data

**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, 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.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DeKalb County Schools/State of GA EOCT Scores

The Georgia Department of Education has released the District Level EOCT scores.  The school-level results will be released no later than July 30th.  

This is the final year for the EOCT, which will be replaced by the Georgia Milestones Assesment EOC's next school year.  Good luck to the students taking the EOC's in December - taking a test which has not yet even been created!!!  

Note:  GPS Geometry and Math II will not be part of the Georgia Milestones Assessment program.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cross Keys Foundation's Little Free Library Program
Needs Books

The Cross Keys Foundation’s Little Free Library program is always in need of new and gently-used children’s books. In order to meet the needs of all literacy levels, we stock the Libraries with:

• Board books for babies and toddlers
• Picture books with a few words
• Story books
• Early reader chapter books
• Chapter books serving students in grades 3-8
• Non-fiction

If you would like to donate books, please click here to contact the LFL Warehouse Manager to make arrangements to drop off your donation.