Thursday, December 29, 2016

Niche 2017 Best School Districts in Georgia
What Do These Districts Have in Common?
They Are Small School Districts

I make it no secret that I am among DeKalb County School District's biggest cheerleaders and hope to see DCSD return to its former "glory days" as one of the top school districts in Georgia.  I am proud of the education I received and I am proud of the education my children received as students of DCSD.  I believe Dr. Green is moving the district in the right direction.  I hope he continues the fight.
 
I am also unabashedly supportive of the Independent School District legislation.
 
I do not believe these 2 statements are mutually exclusive.
 
Click the following link to read Tom Taylor's thoughts on the current status of the legislation:  http://www.reporternewspapers.net/2016/12/24/dunwoody-state-rep-taylor-doesnt-raise-hopes-independent-schools-bill/
 
(Note:  I am not thrilled that DCSD is utilizing district funds to fight this legislation as pointed out in the above article. I also find it interesting that Ed Lindsey, a "supposed" school choice advocate (see his support of OSD and Charter School legislation) is leading this fight against  the Independent School legislation.  Oh, well, I guess anything for a paycheck - right Ed?).
 
Public Education today is much more complex and there are many more requirements (both at the Federal and State level) than there was in my day.  While much has changed in terms of governance and accountability over the past 30+ years, the educational-governance structure has not.  I believe that local control of education is important.  I believe local control to be what is best for the diverse student learners we have in our community (ESOL, Special Ed, etc.).    
 
As the chart below highlights, the top school districts in Georgia are among those with the smallest student FTE:
 
 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Chamblee High School Turns 100!!!
Chamblee High School Centennial Events




Beginning in January 2017, and each month of the year, the Blue & Gold Foundation will be sponsoring events to celebrate alumni, students, athletes, faculty and the Chamblee Community. 
  • January 12- CCHS Swim & Dive Alumni Night
  • January 24- Wresting Alumni Night
  • January 27- Basketball Alumni Night
  • March- Dante Porter Basketball Tournament
  • April- Photo/Art Show for students and Alumni
  • May 5- Silent Auction, Atlanta Marriott Perimeter- Special hotel rate of $99/night. Click here to reserve your room.  Must complete reservations by April 12.
  • May 6- Cox Trot, School Tours and Alumni Classrooms,  Chamblee Street Concert and Block Party
  • May 7- Service at Chamblee Methodist Church, Family picnic at local park
  • July- Trivia afternoon at 57th Fighter Group
  • August- Backpack Program
  • September- Community Day of Service
  • October- Homecoming game tailgate on Friday with homecoming parade
  • November- Hall of Fame Banquet and Honoring the Veterans

Link to Blue and Gold Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/The-Blue-and-Gold-Foundation-103402116386185/?fref=ts
Link to Blue and Gold Website: http://chsblueandgoldfoundation.org/wp_1/?page_id=976

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Edison Prep: What Can a Sophomore Parent Do This Year to Ensure a
Smooth SAT/ACT Preparation Process?



December 12, 2016
By: Silvia and Brian Eufinger

Around mid-November each year, Edison Prep begins hearing from some of the earliest sophomore parents as to when they should start the SAT/ACT preparation process for their students. While no student should begin tutoring during sophomore year, there are still important, meaningful steps that should be taken during a student’s sophomore year to minimize stress and avoid pitfalls during what is a very time-crunched junior year for most students.

Three Ground Rules for Designing a Smart Junior Year SAT/ACT Testing Plan:
1. Well-designed testing plans should give students a very high probability of being done by the June test of junior year at the latest. Senior year test dates are entirely valid, but are ideally avoided because the majority of senior-year exam dates are not valid for some Early Decision, Early Action, and scholarship deadlines. Just as importantly, waiting until senior year increases household stress.
2. Students should plan to take a “one-two punch” of back-to-back test dates so that they take (and finish!) the test while they have momentum. It’s not unreasonable for most students with typical starting scores and typical score increase goals to knock the test out by taking it twice, if meaningful timed tests/practice homework occurs leading up to those two test dates. Large gaps between official tests leads to atrophy; those hours spent knocking off the rust could have been spent pushing the score higher instead!
3. Students who are in lower-level math classes (e.g. are taking Algebra II during junior year) should wait until second semester junior year to take the test. Most students in Pre-Cal or above will have 90%+ of the relevant SAT/ACT math information that they'll ever receive/need by Oct. 1st, if not before.

Specific Steps to Take During Sophomore Year:
1. Between January and April of sophomore year, have your student take a full-length mock SAT and mock ACT on two separate days. Do not waste your student’s time on the increasingly-popular, abbreviated “combo SAT/ACT comparison tests” that are often offered at schools or other firms and claim to quickly diagnose which test is a better fit. These “combo tests” are half-length, are full of inauthentic questions made up by the tutoring companies themselves, and due to a terribly small sample size of questions, are unreliable, volatile and about as accurate as simply flipping a coin. When the SAT/ACT is worth the same as three entire semesters of a student's GPA during the college admissions process, it is worth taking just 6.5 hours to make sure you are pursuing your student's naturally stronger test. We certainly do not enjoy grading twice as many bubbles for prospective students, but it’s the right thing to do to avoid wasting students’ time and parents’ money. More info on signing up for mock tests is at the bottom of this post.
2. If a student is exceptionally busy and can’t do two different mock test dates, we can always compare his/her Sophomore PSAT scores to a real, full-length mock ACT. For about 80% of students, there’s an obvious winner when the Sophomore PSAT and mock ACT scores are compared.
3. A student can then compare the exam dates for his/her stronger test (SAT/ACT) against his/her extracurricular time commitments/conflicts during junior year in an effort to select the most conducive test dates. Because of exam-date conflicts or an overloaded portion of the year (e.g. a sport plus 4 AP classes), many students find that they don’t have 6 or 7 possible testing plans to choose from, but just 1 or 2.
4. Having these mock test scores in hand during late sophomore year allows you to make intelligent plans for your student’s junior year. We typically build our tutoring calendar for the entire next academic year by May 1st and, like all tutoring companies, we simply fill our calendar for group classes and 1-on-1 on a first-come, first-served basis.
 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Dunwoody High School Students Score Perfect 100 on
Advanced Placement Exams

information courtesy of DHS enews:

WE ARE PROUD to announce that 2 of our students scored a perfect 100 on the recent AP exams!

Anna Dolder, graduate of the class of 2016, scored a perfect 100 on the AP Economics exam ... only 28 out of 135,000 students worldwide can claim this achievement!

Rohan Narendra, a senior this year, scored a perfect 100 on the AP Spanish Language & Culture exam ... only 108 out of 163,405 students worldwide can claim this achievement!
 
Great to note that only 5 students in the state of GA earned perfect scores and 2 of the 5 were from Dunwoody!! Go Wildcats!



Below is the summary of all AP exams taken by Dunwoody HS students for the 2015-2016 academic year. 

Information courtesy of the Governor's Office of Student Achievement: https://gosa.georgia.gov/sites/gosa.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/AP_2016_DEC_1st_2016.csv

The Dunwoody HS data for AP Economics Micro and Macro should be reversed.  Students enrolled in the Academy of Finance take the AP Macro exam.

Test Subject
Number of Students Taking AP Tests
Number of Tests Taken
# of Tests Scoring 3 or Higher
ALL Subjects
546
1,192
838
Art History
3
   
Art: Studio 2-D Design
7
   
Art: Studio 3-D Design
3
   
Art: Studio Drawing
5
   
Biology
19
19
19
Calculus A
22
22
3
Calculus BC
26
26
13
Chemistry
47
47
12
Computer Science A
9
 
 
Economics: Macro
1
   
Economics: Micro
131
131
107
Eng. Language & Comp
51
51
43
Eng. Literature & Comp
41
41
34
Environmental Science
78
78
36
European History
22
22
14
French Language
10
10
7
Geography: Human
115
115
87
German Language
1
   
Gov. & Pol. Comp
17
17
17
Gov. & Pol. U.S.
111
111
74
Latin: Vergil
7
   
Music Theory
11
11
10
Physics 1
34
34
23
Physics 2
16
16
16
Psychology
157
157
109
Spanish Language
50
50
48
Spanish Literature
1
   
Statistics
46
46
22
U.S. History
54
54
49
World History
97
97
70



 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Chesnut Elementary 5th Grader Ryan Roebuck Advances To
Regional Social Studies Fair


Chesnut Elementary School fifth grader, Ryan Roebuck, was selected as a winner at the 2016 Social Studies Fair for his project "How Does Technology and the Internet Affect Bullying?"  Ryan will be among the students representing DeKalb County with projects in the regional competition.  

Chesnut Robotics Team Takes 1st Place at
First Lego League Regional Tournament

On Saturday, December 3rd, Chesnut Elementary's Robotics Team was awarded first place in the Core Values and Robot Performance categories at the  First LEGO League (FLL) Regional Tournament that took place at Chamblee Charter High School.

Chesnut Robotics Team and teacher coaches Mark Chicoine and Michelle Quintans.

Dunwoody and Chamblee Cluster CCRPI Scores 2015-2016 Academic Year

The Georgia Department of Education today released the fourth College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), based on data from the 2015-2016 school year: http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Pages/PressReleaseDetails.aspx?PressView=default&pid=495

Below are the Dunwoody and Chamblee cluster scores:

Congratulations to Dunwoody High School, which had the highest score among traditional high schools in DeKalb County (93.4).  Only choice schools DeKalb School of the Arts (103.1) and DeKalb Early College Academy (106.5) scored higher.

Congratulations to Peachtree Charter Middle School, which had the highest score among traditional middle schools within DeKalb County; overall 4th behind Kittredge Magnet (Grade 6=103.6), Wadsworth Magnet School (6th Grade=92.7) and Chamblee Middle School (85.1).


Among elementary schools, CCRPI scores of Austin (97.1), Vanderlyn (93.4) and Dunwoody Elementary (91.6) are 1,2 and 3 among traditional elementary schools. The only elementary schools scoring higher are Kittredge Magnet (106.4) and Wadsworth Magnet (Grades 4/5=103.8)


2014-2015 CCRPI Score
2015-2016 CCRPI Score
Achievement Points
Progress Points
Achievement Gap Points
Challenge Points
ELL/SWD Performance Points
Challenge Points
Exceeding the Bar Points
Austin ES
98.9
97.1
46.7
38
10
1.4
1.0
Chesnut ES
77.8
61.0
29.1
25.9
4.2
0.8
1.0
Dunwoody ES
93.6
91.6
42.0
37.2
4.1
2.1
2.0
Hightower ES
65.9
66.9
22.5
35.2
6.7
0
2.5
Kingsley ES
65.4
75.6
34.5
34.1
5
0.5
1.5
Vanderlyn ES
91.2
93.4
45.9
34.8
10
1.7
1.0
Peachtree Charter MS
79.5
78.8
35.3
34.8
6.7
1.5
0.5
Dunwody HS
86.1
93.4
42.4
40
8.3
1.7
1.0
Chamblee HS
87.5
87.5
41.8
37.6
6.7
0.4
1.0
Chamblee MS
79.4
85.1
38.6
37.6
7.5
0.9
0.5
Ashford Park ES
78.5
87.5
41.0
33.1
8.3
4.1
1.0
Huntley Hills ES
79.0
72.0
27.7
34.4
8.3
0.6
1.0
Montgomery ES
84.4
87.3
40.8
35.8
8.3
0.9
1.5
Kittredge Magnet (Gr 4/5)
102.9
106.4
54.5
39.9
10
1
1.0
Kittredge Magnet (Gr 6)
95.8
103.6
53.6
40
10
-
0