Friday, July 31, 2015

Dunwoody/Chamblee School Cluster Personnel Moves, August 2015

The following are the personnel moves for the Dunwoody and Chamblee school clusters as documented via the DeKalb School System August, 2015 Human Resources Report.

Dunwoody HS Cluster
Name School Classification Explanation
Kevin Afronsky Dunwoody HS Teacher, Mathematics New Hire
Justine Albree Chesnut Charter ES Teacher, Substitute New Hire
Dinshaw Anklesaria Dunwoody HS Teacher, Spanish New Hire
David Ayers Peachtree MS Teacher, English New Hire
Silvia Balbao Vanderlyn ES Teacher, Grade 4 New Hire
Haley Betz Austin ES Paraprofessional-PreK New Hire
Charlotte Bock Chesnut Charter ES Teacher, Grade 5 New Hire
Susan Carlton Austin ES Teacher, Grade 2 New Hire
Marie Dejesus Hightower ES Teacher, Interrelated  New Hire
Jacqueline Dillard Vanderlyn ES Teacher, Grade 2 New Hire
Tristan Drusky Dunwoody HS Teacher, Drama New Hire
Lori Eisinger Peachtree MS Teacher, English Resig-Moving
Joselyn Erves Dunwoody ES Teacher, Grade 4 New Hire
James Gay Dunwoody HS Teacher, Drama New Hire
Erica Glinski Austin ES Teacher, Grade 2 New Hire
Ashely Goodwin Dunwoody ES Teacher, Grade 1 New Hire
Katherine Gregoire Dunwoody HS Teacher, Mathematics New Hire
Celestia Greig Dunwoody ES Paraprofessional-MID/MOID Resig-Other
Noel Hildreth Austin ES Teacher, Grade 3 New Hire
Victoria Hogue Dunwoody ES Teacher, Grade 1 New Hire
Christopher Hosch Dunwoody HS Teacher, Health/Phys Ed New Hire
John Howard Peachtree MS Teacher, Science New Hire
Jonathan Hughes Dunwoody HS Specialist, Student Support New Hire
Nafis Karim Dunwoody HS Para, Special ED New Hire
Scott Miller Peachtree MS Teacher, Mathematics New Hire
Shamaya Price Dunwoody ES Teacher, Kindergarten  Resig-Not Released
Leslie Robertson Peachtree MS Teacher, Grade 6 Social Studies New Hire
Tina Simons Peachtree MS Teacher, Science New Hire
Nathan Thornton Dunwoody HS Teacher, Mathematics New Hire
Richonda Veal Chesnut Charter ES Paraprofessional-PreK New Hire
Dana Weimann Dunwoody ES Teacher, Grade 1 New Hire
Shanquan West Chesnut Charter ES Media Specialist New Hire
Jeffrey Zokovitch Peachtree MS Teacher, Social Studies New Hire
Chamblee High School Cluster
Name School Classification Explanation
Jordan Bender Montomery ES Teacher, Grade 2 New Hire
Denise Billingsley Kittredge Magnet Teacher, Grade 6, Social Studies Resig-Not Released
Lori Bolds Montomery ES Principal New Hire
Maria Carrero Huntley Hills ES Paraprofessional-Interrelasted Resig-Other
Cantrece Clark Ashford Park ES Teacher, MID/MOID New Hire
Jose Dejesus Chamblee MS Principal New Hire
Bettina Dorsch Ashford Park ES Teacher, German New Hire
Shannon Head Huntley Hills ES Teacher, Grade 1 New Hire
Hydi Kalmin Chamblee MS Counselor, PT New Hire
Mary Kelly Chamblee HS Teacher, MID Resig-Not Released
Helen Kim Huntley Hills ES Teacher, Grade 2 New Hire
John Lewis Chamblee HS Assistant Principal Resig-Not Released
Jansene Lucas Montomery ES Teacher, Kindergarten  New Hire
Kemberly McKenzie Chamblee HS Teacher, Interrelated New Hire
Tina Neal Kittredge Magnet Teacher, P/T Interrelated Resig-Assignment Complete
Kathrine Reck Kittredge Magnet Teacher, Grade 4 Language Arts New Hire
Jenna Schmidt Ashford Park ES Teacher, Interrelated New Hire
Frank Sisk Chamblee HS Teacher, Tech Ed P/T Resig-Assignment Complete
Christopher Smith Chamblee HS Teacher, English Resig-Not Released
Kendall Storey Chamblee HS Teacher, Interrelated Resig-Not Released
Lillian Watts Huntley Hills ES Teacher, Grade 5 New Hire
Sarah Weber Chamblee MS Teacher, English New Hire
Zachary Welser Chamblee HS Teacher, English New Hire
Katherine Williamson Chamblee MS Teacher, Mathematics New Hire
Renee Willson Ashford Park ES Teacher, Grade 5 New Hire
Kera Wilson Ashford Park ES Teacher, Grade 1 New Hire
Helen Wolcott Kittredge Magnet Counselor   Resig-Not Released
Schwon Wyche Chamblee MS Teacher, English New Hire

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chesnut Charter Elementary Selected For Captain Planet Foundation
Project Learning Garden

Dunwoody, GAJuly 28, 2015 – Chesnut Charter Elementary School (DeKalb County) has recently been selected for a Captain Planet Foundations Project Learning Garden grant. Captain Planet Foundation is an international environmental education foundation for youth inspired by the successful Captain Planet and the Planeteers cartoon.

The three-year Project Learning Garden program provides schools with strategies for building effective and long-lasting garden-based learning programs. Teachers at pilot schools are provided with professional development for every grade level, interdisciplinary curriculum aligned to state and national standards, lesson kits with the necessary supplies for hands-on learning, a schoolyard garden, fully-equipped mobile cooking cart, and a summer garden management intern.
We wish Chesnut great success as they work to implement this important program. It is our hope that our combined efforts will educate and empower todays youth with the skills and knowledge to cultivate a better tomorrow,” says Leesa Carter, Executive Director of the Foundation.
Gardens can provide a context for multidisciplinary learning, ranging from nutrition and science to social studies, math and language arts. Students benefit by expanding their palates, taste-testing healthy foods, and learning about food origins; engaging in authentic science field investigations; manipulating the environment to understand math in real-life applications; recreating historical activities; and writing across all these disciplines.

“Chesnut’s school master gardeners, facilities team, ecology club and recycling team have put a lot of sweat equity into building our farm to school and ecology programs. Two years ago, when the majority of our kindergarten class registered for ecology club, we chose to instead integrate monthly farm to school lessons into the kindergarteners’ school-day. Project Learning Garden is the natural next step for Chesnut, and I am grateful to Captain Planet Foundation for supplying our teachers with the necessary resources to incorporate farm to school and ecology concepts into our curriculum school-wide,” explains Chesnuts principal, Ms. Veronica Williams. “As we develop our STEM initiatives, which focus on environmental stewardship, Captain Planet Foundation is the ideal partner for us, helping us bring curriculum to life in an experiential and hands-on manner.”
As a Project Learning Garden school, Chesnut will provide the following to its students:
  • At least one Learning Garden lesson per grade level in Year 1, and three lessons per grade level in Year 2.
  • Learning Garden lessons taught in an outdoor setting, engaging students in hands-on activities and environmental stewardship.
  • At least two harvest or food preparation and healthy taste-testing activities per year.
As part of the program, Chesnut will receive the following:
  • Garden installation or revitalization, depending on need.
  • Three interdisciplinary garden lessons tied to Georgia Performance Standards for each grade level, including kits with supplies for hands-on lessons.
  • Professional development workshops.
  • Fully-equipped mobile kitchen cart for taste-testing foods from the garden or math & science lessons in the classroom.
  • Outdoor Classroom Kit, with basic supplies (like a wagon, cones, magnifying glasses, etc.) for outdoor learning.
  • Assistance with summer garden management.
  • Colorful, interpretive garden signs.
  • The opportunity to qualify for a $500 garden enhancement grant, upon completion of lesson feedback surveys, tasting event surveys, and student pre / post-tests (Year 2)
  • The opportunity to qualify for a $500 garden enhancement grant, upon completion of the Interactive Sustainability Tool Kit to help third year Learning Garden schools transition to independence while maintaining a record of garden assets and resources (Year 3).
About Chesnut Charter Elementary School
Chesnut Charter 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.
About The Captain Planet Foundation
Founded in 1991, Captain Planet Foundation was created to support hands-on, environmental projects for youth. CPF's objective is to encourage innovative projects that empower today's children to become environmental stewards. The Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) is located at 133 Luckie Street NW in Atlanta, Georgia. It can be reached by phone at (404) 522-4270.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Crossroads News: No Diploma for 1 in 6 Seniors
in DeKalb County Schools in 2015

The following is an excerpt from a recent article in Crossroads News.  Clink on the following link to read the entire article:

One in six – or 964 – seniors in the Class of 2015 left the DeKalb School District in May without a high school diploma.

While 5,261, or 84.5 percent, of the class got diplomas, the seniors leaving the district after 12 years with just certificates of attendance were enough students to fill schools the size of Columbia Middle or Cedar Grove High schools, which had 2015 enrollments of 933 and 998 students, respectively.....

Johnson said the Board of Education is looking for more progress in decreasing the number of students who leave the district without diplomas.

“That is why we hired a superintendent [Dr. Stephen Green] with a curriculum focus,” he said. “That should impact our graduation rate.”

(Gee, Dr. Johnson, don't you think a "curriculum focus" should have been a focus of every Superintendent that preceeded Dr. Green?  It's not like the Graduation issue is a new one for DeKalb.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Former Dunwoody High School Principal Noel Maloof
Out At Decatur High School

Dan Whisenhunt of Decaturish is reporting that former Dunwoody High School Principal Noel Maloof is out after one year as Principal of Decatur High School.  Mr. Maloof has been named Chief Operating Officer of the City of Decatur School System.

Click on the link to read the entire article:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Charter School Showdown - Part 1 and Part 2

One of the first of MANY big issues facing Dr. Green....Will the DeKalb County School System accept and follow the State BOE rules regarding Charter School regulations or continue thumb its nose at it? 

Stan Jester has a 2 new posts on his blog regarding the Charter School situation in DCSS:

It seems that the established bureaucracy in DeKalb does not appreciate, or respect, the new rules and guidance from the State Department of Education (DOE), regarding charter school autonomy.  A showdown may be brewing between the State DOE and DeKalb unless the new Superintendent makes a course correction.  The new Superintendent has inherited a central office staff that is refusing to give up control of conversion charters despite the law and pleas from the state and local communities.

Lou Erste, Ga DOE, Throws Down The Gauntlet
Just days before the July 2015 board meeting, Lou Erste (Ga DOE Associate Superintendent for Charter Schools) sent this email to Dr. Jose Boza (DeKalb Schools Director of Charter Schools) saying that the state would recommend for denial any conversion charter where the school district only offered control over 1% of the budget.

Charter School Showdown Part 1:

Charter School Showdown Part 2:

Friday, July 17, 2015

"The Elephant in the Room - School Supply Lists and Academic Inequity"

I can recall being overwhelmed with the amount and cost of school supplies when my children were in elementary school and we are a middle-class family.

This is a spot-on post by Dunwoody resident and co-chair of GLASS (Georgians for Local Area School Systems) Erika Harris. 

I agree with these particular thoughts from Erika:

"We constantly assault these families with the guilt of needing to be actively involved in their children's education, actively involved with their schools and in their school district. Yet by the sheer magnitude and organization of a mega school system, we make it incredibly difficult for families to be actively engaged in the education process.

As an educator, if I am going to prioritize where I need the support of my students' families, I would much rather see them be able to attend the parent conference or come watch their student's performance in a school play.

There is no reason why a well-run school system for a student of any socioeconomic background, should not be able to supply the classrooms
with materials that are needed for day-to-day operation."

Click the following link to read the entire post:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Dunwoody ES Principal Johnathan Clark Named Principal of
Renfroe Elementary in Decatur

For the past several years, Mr. Clark has held the title of  "Director, Research, Assessment and Grants" for DeKalb County Schools. Which DCSS "family and friends" member will now be named to this position?

Via the AJC:

Monday, July 13, 2015

Georgians for Local Area School Systems (GLASS) Initiates Fundraiser To Assist in the Passage of the Independent School Systems Bill

Our GoFund Me has raised $1,875 so far! We are at 38% of our target goal of $5,000. Please help us reach our target by donating today.

Georgians for Local Area School System is a grassroots effort to amend the Georgia State Constitution to allow for the creation of independent school systems. HR 4, a Georgia House Resolution carried by State Representative Tom Taylor, will bring this important reformation to the Georgia constitution.

Nearly 70 years ago, Georgia (under extrememe financial, organizational, and learning outcome mismanagement) consolidated many of their school systems and prohibited the creation of independent school systems from forming in the future.  What was yesterday's solution is today's liability.

State wide our school systems are growing in population at a tremendous rate.  This growth is leading to the formation of mega school systems that are either at risk of or are currently disconnected to the diverse needs of their learning communities.

What Georgia needs are school systems attuned to the specific needs of their students, parents, teachers, and communitities.  We need school systems that are preparing our students for a competitive and global economy and work force.  We need school systems that are responsive to their tax paying constituents.  We need school systems that are able to preemtively make adjustments to their programs rather than respond reactively as crisis after crisis appears before them.

Georgia needs to reintroduce dual flexibility in the organization of their school systems.  Just as school systems can be too small to survive - school systems can be too large to ensure that each of their students are being given the best opportunity to achieve to their own highest potential.  Educational outcomes and financial efficacy is lost.

Help GLASS change the Goergia State Constitution and allow for the creation of indepenent school systems - school systems that are close enough to the communitities that they serve to allow for their students to thrive and walk into their future prepared with an exceptional education.

Through supporting GLASS you are helping with the effort of sharing this important message through: education of our state legislature and communities throughout Georgia, community events, print material, website management, and basic needs of grassroot efforts such as insurance.

Click here to access the website for GLASS. 

You can also follow GLASS via Facebook and/or Twitter.