Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Just another reason why we need HR 4, Independent School Districts Legislation to Pass
AJC:Foreign teachers face unequal working conditions
DeKalb County Schools Spends the Most on International Teachers

I certainly believe a City of Dunwoody School System would be able to attract qualified teachers without resorting to sketchy teacher recruitment firms such as the one highlighted in this AJC article. If these teachers are not employed by DCSS, can we, as parents, feel comfortable that our children are being taught by persons with non-suspect backgrounds?  There are way too many questions not being asked by DCSS or asked/answered of the recruitment company.

It's also very troubling that the Human Resources Administator for DCSS appears to know next to nothing about the recruiting and hiring process of this company.

"Ward-Smith said the district does not involve itself in the details of how the recruiting firms operate.“They provide training, lodging, moving expenses. Is that taken out of the salary that the district pays? I can’t say,” she said.

By Chris Joyner - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Chamblee High School science teacher Shaheen Begum is the kind of teacher you hope your child draws.

She has two decades of experience and was teacher of the year at her last school. Energetic and engaging, Begum wakes with a desire to instill a love of science in her students.

Although she teaches in the DeKalb County school system, she’s not a DeKalb County teacher. She has no pension, no tenure and if she wants to take a sick day, the cost of the substitute comes out of her pocket.

That’s because Begum is from India and was recruited to teach in DeKalb schools by Global Teachers Research and Resources, a Jonesboro company with a troubled labor history that is currently the target of a new federal investigation into alleged unfair labor practices.

Click here to read the remainder of the article.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Congrats to the Wet Wildcats!
Dunwoody High Girls Swim Team - County Champs!
Boys Team Takes 3rd Place

(photo courtesy of the DHS Swim/Dive Team)

Article courtey of DeKalb County School System

The Dunwoody Lady Wildcats got their championship off to a fast start as well as the team of Laura Spratling, Allie Reiter, Hannah Robinson and Kaleigh McGrady opened up with a record setting performance in the 200 medley relay following the Chamblee lead.

A record setting time of 1:52.15 knocked 3.72 seconds off the mark set by Dunwoody in 1992 and set the tone for eight gold medal wins for the Lady Wildcats. Dunwoody would tally 265 points to out swim Lakeside’s 224 and break a three-year win streak for the Lady Vikings.

The title is the 15th for Dunwoody spurred on by a pair of swimmers capturing two individual gold medals on the day. Allie Reiter repeated as the 100 breaststroke champ (1:07.11) and captured the 200 individual medley (2:12.94). Laura Spratling who won a pair of gold medals in 2014 as well won two entirely different events in taking the 100 backstroke (1:00.39) and 100 butterfly (59.89).

Kaleigh McGrady, who teams with Reiter, Spratling and Hannah Robinson for two relay gold medals, brought home the individual gold in the 100 freestyle (55.08). The foursome pulled off Dunwoody’s second consecutive DeKalb County gold medal in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:44.89.

Diver Abbey Yates won her second consecutive county title with a score of 385.95 in the one-meter diving event.

Click here to view all the results from the DeKalb County Swimming/Diving Championship.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dunwoody Elementary School Collects School Supplies for
Fairington Elementary

Have you seen the images of the fire damage at Fairington Elementary School in Lithonia? They are heart-breaking. DeKalb school officials believe someone set fire to a Kindergarten classroom last weekend. 

Here is a story with additional information:

We are excited as Dunwoody Elementary School can be part of the healing process. The PTO is collecting the following school supplies to replace those that were damaged in Fairington's Kindergarten wing:

Crayons, 24-count
Blunt-tip scissors
Glue sticks
Primary journals
Watercolor paint sets
Dry erase markers + erasers
Kindergarten writing paper
White copy paper
Construction paper
Baby wipes
Ziploc freezer bags, 1-gallon + 1-quart sizes
Hand sanitizer
One lightly used or new kindergarten appropriate book

We will deliver collected items to Fairington Elementary next week. Please send in supplies with your child on or before Tuesday, January 27th and place in the collection bins located in the school foyer.

Thank you for your generosity!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Austin Elementary Collecting Donations for Montclair Elementary Families Displaced by Fire

As some of you may have heard, there was an apartment fire in DeKalb County this past week that completely destroyed the apartment building. Thirteen families from the Montclair Elementary community lost everything in this fire. These families are in need of adult and children's clothing, toiletries, and household items. We are asking the generous families of Austin to help by donating gently used items. Please bring your donations to the school by February 2nd. The stage will be used as the collection area. Thank you for any items you are willing to donate.

If you would like to drop items by Austin Elementary, the school's address is:  5435 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody, GA 30338

AJC: Offers Coming In to Dunwoody High's Nick Buchanan

Things have really picked up for Nick Buchanan after he got a last-minute scholarship offer from UGA last week.

Shortly after UGA officially got involved, South Carolina anted up with an offer to the Dunwoody High School offensive lineman later the same night.

More could be coming. Buchanan thinks he may get an offer from Florida during a meeting with the Gators coaches on Wednesday. And Penn State could be soon after that.

Click here to read the remainder of the article.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

DeKalb County School System Just Cannot Quit with the Legal Fees

Remember that $750 fee DCSD instituted against teachers who left the district after being told they had to sign a contract in early April?  My guess is that the legal fees over this lawsuit will far outweigh the fees collected by teachers leaving after signing their contracts.  Click here to read the lawsuit.

From the lawsuit: 

"In spite of the Director of Educator Ethics at the PSC himself meeting with the Defendants personally to inform them the memo that Defendants sent out to all DCSD educators and the Plaintiffs was in error, Defendants continued to unconscionably and in bad faith violate the Standards of Ethics regarding "Honesty" by continuing to inform the Plaintiffs and each DCSD educator who resigned prior to June 1st that their resignations would be considered  "job abandonment" and "penalties" may apply."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Update from GLASS (Georgians for Local Area School Systems)

via the GLASS Facebook pageYou can also follow GLASS on Twitter:  @GLASS2DAY.

New legislation to allow for the creation of independent school systems in Georgia has been dropped! State Representative Tom Taylor submitted the new language for the resolution, which is now known as HR 4.

Important Changes:

1) ANY municipality (city) in the state of Georgia (regardless of incorporation date) will have the opportunity to create a city based school system, should the need and desire present itself.

2) Independent school systems are defined as a school system that will exist within the boundaries of a single municipality. 

Out the gate, GLASS is happy to share that this resolution is showing strong bipartisan support. Our state legislature realizes that by providing a high quality education for all students, the entire state wins - from the future for our children to the businesses that will be drawn to Georgia.

Parents: Is Georgia Tech On Your Students’ Radar?

Thanks to a reader of the blog for forwarding this to me, via Edison Prep.
Georgia Tech admitted its Early Action students this past week. Some key stats for the admitted students were:

SAT average: 2146
ACT average: 32
Avg. # of APs: 10...
97% have taken AP calculus or a higher level of math

If you are a parent of an 8th/9th grader and Tech is possibly on your radar, make sure you stay on top of your student's "math pathway" so that his/her curriculum will include AP calculus by graduation, since it's tough to be part of that 3%!

Click here to read the full press release from Georgia Tech.

Dunwoody High Academic Quiz Bowl Team
GATA Winter Tournament Results

Congratulations to the Dunwoody HS Quiz Bowl team on their performance at the GATA Winter Tournament held Saturday, January 10that Cedar Shoals High School in Athens.  The DHS Varsity Team placed 4th in a field of 32; Dunwoody JV placed 5th in a field of 16 and Dunwoody “C”  placed 1st in the Novice Division.  

Click here for complete results of the tournament.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dunwoody Reporter: Ms. Lori Vesole, Dunwoody High School
Teacher of the Year

A nice article via the Dunwoody Reporter highlighting Dunwoody High School's Teacher of the Year.

Posted by  on January 8, 2015.

The 2014 Dunwoody High School Teacher of the Year didn’t start out as a teacher. Lori Vesole earned degrees in communications, Spanish and Latin in 2007, and started her career in the field of nonprofit marketing.

Her experience working with young students showed her the importance of early encouragement. “In working with elementary school students, I saw that if they didn’t get the proper motivation then, they were more likely to drop out or not finish because it was too hard,” she said.

So, instead of pursuing a master’s degree in business administration, as she originally planned, Vesole only looked at teaching programs. She graduated from Georgia State University with a Master of Arts in Teaching in 2009, and joined the English Department at Dunwoody High School in 2009.

Six years later, she is part of the foundation for programs focused on students who speak English as a second language. This year, Vesole said, these students account for 20 percent of the student body.

Click here to read the remainder of the article.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Dunwoody School Cluster October 2014 FTE Data

The Georgia Department of Education has released the October 2014 FTE and Free & Reduced Lunch data.  The data for the Dunwoody cluster schools is shown below.  The cluster FTE is up from 7,154 students in October 2013 to 7,250 students in October 2014.  The largest growth is at Dunwoody HS (+115), which has led to lack of available parking for staff, teachers and students. 


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dunwoody Crier: "Independent School System Measure
Back to House"

By Dick Williams For The Crier

A week from the start of the 2015 General Assembly session, state Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) has pre-filed his bill for a constitutional amendment to allow the creation of new school systems. 

The bill was withdrawn in the last session, even though it had the support of roughly half the state House members. It must receive two-thirds support in the House and Senate to be placed on the ballot.

House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones (R-Alpharetta) praised Taylor’s effort in the 2014 session.
“Getting HR 486 out of subcommittee and the full Education Committee with one hearing each is real progress,” she said. “This is most definitely a heavy lift to accomplish.”

Taylor said he made one change in the bill to make it easier for legislators across the state to understand.

Click here to read the remainder of the article.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Well, because with my children are away at college and I need something to do that I enjoy....

Both of my children are in college.  I have really tried to put my K-12 "life" behind me and move forward, but it has been hard to do.  I miss seeing my kids and talking with them every day. This "empty-nest" life has been a tough adjustment, so I thought I would start back the blog.  We'll see how it goes.