Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vanderlyn Elementary School Science Olympiad Team State Champion!!

Aerodynamic paper rockets that can fly straight to a target, water rockets made from plastic bottles flying hundreds of feet in the air, and suspension bridges made out of straws and tape. These are just a few of the experiments that tested the creative and scientific skills of the more than 1,300 third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders participating in the Thirteenth Annual Science Olympiad State Tournament at Kennesaw State University on May 16.

The goal of the national Elementary Science Olympiad (ESO) program ( to improve the quality of science education through problem-based and project-based competitions. Students compete as teams against other schools in 18 different events that range the spectrum of science subjects. Furthermore, students are provided with opportunities to engage in hands-on, interactive learning opportunities in STEM. Georgia hosts one of the largest Elementary Science Olympiad competitions in the U.S. with 64 teams participating this year. These teams earned their spot in the State Finals by finishing in the top tier of their regional qualifying tournament. Over 250 Georgia teams from public, private, and home schools compete at the regional tournaments each year.
This year’s Georgia Elementary Science Olympiad State Champion is Vanderlyn Elementary School from the DeKalb County School District. Vanderlyn’s Science Olympiad team also came in first place in their regional qualifier, the DeKalb County Science Olympiad Tournament run by Fernbank Science Center on March 28, 2015.
At the Georgia ESO, each team of twenty students earns points toward their overall score by competing in 18 diverse science tests and challenges. The Vanderlyn team of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders finished in the top ten in half of the events, with first place medals in the Deep Blue Sea (oceanography), Leaf & Tree Finder, and Don’t Bug Me competitions. They also finished second in the Straw Egg Drop building event and sixth in the perennial spectator favorite, Water Rockets. The Vanderlyn team is coached by parent volunteer, Dr. Karen Baker, and teacher Kevin Hughes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Chamblee Charter High School Principal LoweryTakes District Job

Superintendent Thurmond seems to be making some moves before he leaves.  Chamblee Charter High School Principal Rochelle Lowery has been promoted to "Coordinator for Leadership Development". (whatever that is - another meaningless central office job?). Anyway best of luck to Dr. Lowery.

DeKalb Neighbor: "DeKalb’s new superintendent aims
to target struggling schools"

My comment: The DeKalb School community, again, welcomes another Superintendent.  While we have been disappointed before in the individuals chosen to lead DCSS, let us hope that the Board of Education got this one right.  I make no pre-judgments on this selection. Time and Dr. Green's early decisions should give us some insight as to what his direction for DCSS will be and whether he will be successful in turning around the DeKalb School System.
by Christine Fonville
May 21, 2015 11:15 AM 

DeKalb County School District’s new Superintendent R. Stephen Green said he plans to immerse himself in the community, encourage more communication amongst school board members, parents and leaders and “continue the work that Michael Thurmond began in 2013 to keep things moving in the right direction.”

Green, who was announced as the district’s new superintendent earlier this month, met with local media to answer questions about his goals for the district and why he chose to come to DeKalb County from his previous post as superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools in Missouri.

“When I learned about the position with DeKalb County Schools, I wanted to apply and do the kind of work I’ve developed a reputation for — which is bringing school districts back to prominence,” he said.

Read more: Neighbor Newspapers - DeKalb s new superintendent aims to target struggling schools

Friday, May 22, 2015

Let's Help Remodel a Classroom at Kingsley Charter Elementary School

Via Kingsley Charter Elementary School:

We are once again asking for your help to accomplish a wonderful project! Mr. Colanino is looking to to reach a financial goal to remodel a current fifth grade classroom from top to bottom! He's hoping to convert the classroom from a dilapidated, outdated classroom to a “Super Math Lab” featuring white board areas on all four walls for student use, a computer station with laptops or iPads, updated walls to display student work, show projects, and to create a room designed to make every child excited to learn math!
Through the “Super Math Lab, the teachers will be able to actively engage students in the learning process and promote student participation while supporting the Georgia Performance/Core Standards and prepare students for a technologically advanced world through the use of real world problem solving environments and applications. Mr. Colanino has created an account through gofundme, fundraising website. Click on the following link to read more about this AMAZING Project and make your donation. Please, don’t hesitate to share this link to business contacts or to people who might help us. Thank you very much for all your support.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dunwoody High School Academy of Finance
Preparing Future Business Leaders

A nice article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle authored by DHS teacher Mr. Steve Fortenberry about the Dunwoody High School Academy of Finance.

Apr 17, 2015, 6:00am EDT                             

One of the most important missions that a high school has is to properly prepare our students for the ever increasingly competitive global workforce.
The Dunwoody High School Academy of Finance looks to fulfill this mission and graduate students who are focused and ready for the challenges that await them. The DHS Academy is a two year program (11th -12th grades) in which students are exposed to many facets of the business environment. It is likened to a “mini” MBA, as students take courses in corporate finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, personal finance, AP macroeconomics and international business. Further, the course is heavy in group projects, team competitions, and interaction with many local business leaders that sharpen the students networking skills. It is a program that provides students with unique experiences and a real world curriculum that allows them to begin to focus in on their potential career path.
The Academy is in its 16th year at Dunwoody. Teaching is a second career for me, having left the business world after 10 years to pursue my passion of teaching. I returned to my alma mater to establish the Academy of Finance after the parent organization, the National Academy Foundation, selected Dunwoody High School to have an Academy. It started with a small group of students in 1999, and has now grown to an Academy that has 95 juniors and 90 seniors.
Click here to read the remainder of the article.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Look at Advanced Placement in DeKalb Schools

The 2015 Advanced Placement Exam period comes to an end today, Friday, May 15th.  The following is a look at the types and numbers of Advanced Placement classes for DeKalb County high schools during the 2013-2014 school year. 

**Note: For Dunwoody HS, the figures for AP Macro and AP Micro seem to be reversed.  DHS only offers AP Macro.

The data is found on the Georgia Office of Student Achievement site:

One thing I found curious concerns Arabia Mountain High School.  For an Science and Engineering Magnet school, the number of AP science and math classes offered appears to be quite limited in comparison to other "traditional" schools.  

School AP Subject# Students Tested# AP Tests Taken# Tests Scoring 3 or Higher

Dunwoody High SchoolALL Subjects461836501
Dunwoody High SchoolArt: Studio 2-D Design5  
Dunwoody High SchoolArt: Studio Drawing5  
Dunwoody High SchoolBiology5  
Dunwoody High SchoolCalculus A11111
Dunwoody High SchoolCalculus BC33335
Dunwoody High SchoolChemistry23236
Dunwoody High SchoolComputer Science A11114
Dunwoody High SchoolEconomics: Macro1  
Dunwoody High SchoolEconomics: Micro898961
Dunwoody High SchoolEng. Language & Comp303017
Dunwoody High SchoolEng. Literature & Comp323225
Dunwoody High SchoolEnvironmental Science272717
Dunwoody High SchoolEuropean History232311
Dunwoody High SchoolFrench Language2  
Dunwoody High SchoolGeography: Human575744
Dunwoody High SchoolGerman Language161613
Dunwoody High SchoolGov. & Pol. U.S.757554
Dunwoody High SchoolLatin: Vergil7  
Dunwoody High SchoolMusic Theory6  
Dunwoody High SchoolPhysics B343421
Dunwoody High SchoolPsychology14514567
Dunwoody High SchoolSpanish Language333329
Dunwoody High SchoolStatistics29297
Dunwoody High SchoolU.S. History474730
Dunwoody High SchoolWorld History909066

Arabia Mountain High School ALL Subjects280385112
Arabia Mountain High SchoolEng. Literature & Comp505021
Arabia Mountain High SchoolEnvironmental Science1010 
Arabia Mountain High SchoolPhysics B33335
Arabia Mountain High School Biology13135
Arabia Mountain High School Calculus A18181
Arabia Mountain High School Chemistry11112
Arabia Mountain High School Economics: Micro13138
Arabia Mountain High School Eng. Language & Comp636319
Arabia Mountain High School Geography: Human2  
Arabia Mountain High School Statistics6  
Arabia Mountain High School U.S. History919126
Arabia Mountain High School World History757524
Cedar Grove High SchoolALL Subjects1311658
Cedar Grove High SchoolBiology1212 
Cedar Grove High SchoolEconomics: Micro2424 
Cedar Grove High SchoolEng. Language & Comp2929 
Cedar Grove High SchoolEng. Literature & Comp1717 
Cedar Grove High SchoolStatistics18186
Cedar Grove High SchoolU.S. History34342
Cedar Grove High SchoolWorld History3131 
Chamblee Charter High SchoolALL Subjects422956701
Chamblee Charter High SchoolArt: Studio 2-D Design111110
Chamblee Charter High SchoolArt: Studio Drawing7  
Chamblee Charter High SchoolBiology212117
Chamblee Charter High SchoolCalculus A323231
Chamblee Charter High SchoolCalculus BC232323
Chamblee Charter High SchoolChemistry9  
Chamblee Charter High SchoolComputer Science A28287
Chamblee Charter High SchoolEconomics: Macro11119
Chamblee Charter High SchoolEconomics: Micro888865
Chamblee Charter High SchoolEng. Language & Comp888864
Chamblee Charter High SchoolEng. Literature & Comp838361
Chamblee Charter High SchoolEnvironmental Science353520
Chamblee Charter High SchoolGeography: Human13513586
Chamblee Charter High SchoolGerman Language343434
Chamblee Charter High SchoolMusic Theory8  
Chamblee Charter High SchoolPhysics B343415
Chamblee Charter High SchoolPhysics C: Elec & Magnetism12127
Chamblee Charter High SchoolPhysics C: Mechanics171716
Chamblee Charter High SchoolPsychology707046
Chamblee Charter High SchoolSpanish Language4  
Chamblee Charter High SchoolStatistics333333
Chamblee Charter High SchoolU.S. History666654
Chamblee Charter High SchoolWorld History10710778