Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Parent Councils United: Q&A From DeKalb Superintendent's
"State of the District" Address

Many thanks to the members of Parent Councils United for taking notes during the Superintendent's "State of the District" Address.  I do not believe the answers will surprise many.  It's business as usual in DeKalb Schools.

You may leave any comments you may have on the Parent Council United's Facebook page.

Pertinent for the Dunwoody community, Question 15 on Block Scheduling (how many times has DHS requested a different scheduling model only to be rebuffed?) and 26 on the Austin re-build.

Also, number 29 re:  EOC testing and final exams. I believe this is an incorrect answer or I am misinterpreting the question.  Unless, the GADOE has changed their guidelines, the EOC is to serve as the final exam and serve as 20% of the student's final grade:

Monday, April 27, 2015

Thoughts and Prayers Go Out to the Lakeside High School Community

This is just so sad and tragic.  My prayers go out to Ms. O'Brien's family and the Lakeside community.

DeKalb County teacher killed in accident

Posted: Apr 25, 2015 10:19 PM EDT Updated: Apr 27, 2015 6:11 AM EDT
By Mandy Milligan


A DeKalb County high school teacher was killed Saturday when her car collided with a car carrying two of her students who were headed to the school's prom. 

According to Decatur police, authorities responded to the car accident on Scott Boulevard at Ridley Circle at about 6 p.m.

Police said Leah O'Brien, 33, was killed in the crash. Her 8-year-old daughter was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

O'Brien, a teacher at Lakeside High School in DeKalb County, was supposed to be a chaperone at the prom.

Students told CBS46 News they're mourning the death of the teacher, and they're also praying for the young man who was behind the wheel of the car that crashed into O'Brien's car.

Read more at:

View video at:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dunwoody High School Robotics Team Places 3rd at World Championships!!!

DHS Robotics Team 1264B

Congratulations to Dunwoody Robotics Team 1264B for their World Championship victory in their division playoffs!! 1264B went on to play other division champions to end up in 3rd place out of 450 qualifying teams!

The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is the ultimate STEM activity for middle school and high school students (ages 11-18).

Each year, an engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, use the VEX Robotics Design System to build innovative robots designed to score the most points possible in qualification matches, elimination matches and Skills Challenges. In addition to having a great time and building amazing robots, through their participation in the VEX Robotics Competition and their work within their team, students will learn many academic and life skills.

Click here for more information about the competition from "Robotics Tomorrow" Magazine.

photos courtesy of @DHSRobotics1264

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

10 DeKalb County High Schools Selected for Washington Post's
"Most Challeging High Schools"

How does the America’s Most Challenging High Schools list work?

We take the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year and divide by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June. I call this formula the Challenge Index. With a few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.00, meaning they had as many tests in 2014 as they had graduates, were put on the national list. We rank the schools in order of ratio....

Click here for State of Georgia rankings.

Click here for National rankings.

Click here for FAQ concerning the selection criteria.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dunwoody High Mens Tennis Team Caps An Undefeated Season

courtesy of Dunwoody High School Newsblast

Congratulations to our Wildcats Boys Varsity Tennis Team who capped an undefeated season Thursday with a 4-1 win over Decatur High School.  Led by Coach Charlie Meador, this brings the Varsity Boys regular season record to a perfect 15-0.  With season wins over state powerhouses including Lovett, St.Pius, Marist and Milton, the squad of 12 boys is a force to be reckoned with and looks forward to the play-off season.  Leading the team with winning records are Seniors Luke Bynum and Will Munger, Juniors JT Melton, Andrea Ubezio,  and Brandon Gita, and Freshmen Daniel Bynum  and Matthew Moussouri.  Also significantly contributing to the team's winning season are Senior Wilson Pu, Junior Paul Weinshenker, Sophomore Alex Bragg, and Freshmen Russell Heidbreder and Adam Drucker.  Be sure to come out and cheer on the Varsity Boys and Girls Tennis Wildcats during the post-season play!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Georgia Tech and University of Georgia High School Profiles

Georgia Tech publishes a comprehensive profile of each "sending" Georgia high school.  Below is the Dunwoody HS "profile" for Fall 2014 freshman class.  Click here to view additional high school profles.

UGA published the following for their "sending" high schools:

I was not able to locate the same level of data for the other colleges/universities in the State of Georgia.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Congratulations to Mrs. Dena Cartwright!
Chesnut Charter Elementary's 2014-2015 "Teacher of the Year!"

Chesnut Charter Elementary School is pleased to announce that Dena Cartwright, a third grade teacher, has been named the school’s 2014-15 “Teacher of the Year.” 
Mrs. Cartwright, originally from Princeton, Kentucky, began her teaching career in 1996 in the DeKalb County School System. After graduating from Western Kentucky University, she taught at Canby Lane Elementary, where she was grade chair and served on numerous committees. She has been a valued Chesnut third and second grade teacher for 15 years, and has served multiple times as grade chair, sits on various committees and has proudly provided sponsorship of clubs.
Although Mrs. Cartwright resides with her husband and sons in Johns Creek, her son Nate is currently a second grader at Chesnut, and Ben graduated Chesnut last May, and is a sixth grader at Peachtree Charter Middle School. Mrs. Cartwright commented, “I have had the privilege of working with so many wonderful staff members and parents at Chesnut over the years. Chesnut does not feel like just a place of work to me, it is an extension of family and a joy to be a part of each day. I couldn’t have asked for a better elementary school for my boys!”
Congratulations to Mrs. Cartwright - my youngest child was privileged to be taught by this wonderful teacher!

Good News! Michael Thurmond Proposes Pay Increases for DCSD Employees
My Suggestion To Board of Education Members

At yesterday's DeKalb School Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Michael Thurmond proposed the following pay increase for DCSD employees:

My suggestion to the Board of Education prior to your approval is this:  there should a caveat on the 2 percent increase to indicate this is for employees who make below say, a Director's level salary.  There are too many overpaid, non-teaching employees in the Central Office who should not be offered a salary increase while the district tries to recover financially.  If there are not going to be any personnel cuts in the Central Office, then a pay raise for many of those employees is not warranted... in my humble opinion. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dunwoody Cluster October, 2014 ITBS Scores

What is a national percentile rank (NPR) score?
A national percentile rank score compares the achievement of a student or a group of students to the achievement of a national sample of students who are in the same grade and who were tested at the same time of the year (fall, or spring). For example, if a student earned a percentile rank of 72 on the science test, it means she scored higher than 72 percent of the students in the group with which she is being compared.

Scores courtesy of DeKalb County School System.