DeKalb County School District - Work Session And Business Meeting (05/06/2013) 
2:16
Nancy Jester: 
Via Twitter, the 7pm Board meeting will NOT have a budget presentation tonight. That's interesting.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:16 Nancy Jester
2:17
Stan Jester: 
Looks like they are placing the budget on the consent agenda.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:17 Stan Jester
2:18
Nancy Jester: 
TAN = Tax Anticipation Note. In mid-late June district will need to get a TAN upto $130 million.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:18 Nancy Jester
2:19
[Comment From Dunwoody MomDunwoody Mom: ] 
I am not able to view the live stream from work - thanks for the updates!
Monday May 6, 2013 2:19 Dunwoody Mom
2:20
[Comment From the momthe mom: ] 
Not the budget, but the financial report was put on consent agenda. Unfortunately, "surplus" has been obtained by not allowing schools to make planned purchases with earned dollars which were frozen.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:20 the mom
2:21
Nancy Jester: 
Correct @Mom - the financial report is on the consent agenda.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:21 Nancy Jester
2:21
[Comment From the momthe mom: ] 
Seriously Lakeside community, McMahan was the best you could do....
Monday May 6, 2013 2:21 the mom
2:23
Nancy Jester: 
Two comments about the TAN and then it was placed on the consent agenda. That's not a lot of discussion about borrowing $130 million. I'll need to do a comparison on TANs with other districts.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:23 Nancy Jester
2:24
Nancy Jester: 
Need to go get my kiddos off the bus. Blog away! I'll check back in soon.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:24 Nancy Jester
2:24
Stan Jester: 
Who is the TAN going through? Did they take bids for vendors?
Monday May 6, 2013 2:24 Stan Jester
2:25
[Comment From the momthe mom: ] 
Yes, the actual TAN hasn't been issued. He said something about getting bids...
Monday May 6, 2013 2:25 the mom
2:27
Stan Jester: 
Agenda Item: C. 5. District-Wide Telecommunications Services (Year 2 of 5)
Monday May 6, 2013 2:27 Stan Jester
2:28
Stan Jester: 
It is requested that the Board of Education continue the Telecom Services RFP 12-21 to Xeta Technologies Inc./Windstream Company, at a cost not to exceed $450,000 for year 2 of a 5 year bid
Monday May 6, 2013 2:28 Stan Jester
2:30
Stan Jester: 
There was only one response to the RFP. They are speculating that is due to the complexity of the system.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:30 Stan Jester
2:38
[Comment From SusannaSusanna: ] 
It's a love fest!
Monday May 6, 2013 2:38 Susanna
2:39
Nancy Jester: 
KIds are home. I'll be on and off the blog depending on how well they behave.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:39 Nancy Jester
2:39
Nancy Jester: 
;-)
Monday May 6, 2013 2:39 Nancy Jester
2:40
[Comment From the momthe mom: ] 
These are the items that were tabled last month. So the staff is coming back with additional information that was asked for. This is a change from past and a positive one, I think.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:40 the mom
2:40
Stan Jester: 
If you can't see a comment area at the bottom, reload your webpage. It should come up now. Email me at StanJester@gmail.com if you still can't see the comment area at the bottom.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:40 Stan Jester
2:43
[Comment From Dunwoody MomDunwoody Mom: ] 
Glad to hear "promised" information is being brought forth. Never occurred before.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:43 Dunwoody Mom
2:43
[Comment From DeKalbInsideOutDeKalbInsideOut: ] 
When they were talking about District-Wide Telecommunications Services, they were talking about a metro area comparison chart ... I can't find that.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:43 DeKalbInsideOut
2:43
[Comment From the momthe mom: ] 
I don't see it either.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:43 the mom
2:47
Stan Jester: 
Agenda Item: C. 7. McAfee Annual Maintenance Renewal
It is requested that the Board of Education approve the purchase of the McAfee consolidated VirusScan, Webfilter, Spam Filter and Maintenance renewal from Lenovo.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:47 Stan Jester
2:49
Stan Jester: 
March was late so they are now going back to agenda item:
C. 4. Approval of the Human Resources Monthly Report
Monday May 6, 2013 2:49 Stan Jester
2:50
Stan Jester: 
Ward-Smith
Monday May 6, 2013 2:50 Stan Jester
2:51
Nancy Jester: 
It always perplexed me why some BOE members feel it necessary to compliment and thank staff excessively. This is their job. They do not do it for free. I don't think anyone should be rude but they do get paid tidy sums.
Monday May 6, 2013 2:51 Nancy Jester
2:54
Dunwoody Mom: 
Any idea of how many teachers did/did not return contracts?
Monday May 6, 2013 2:54 Dunwoody Mom
3:00
the mom: 
I had heard 7 percent, but teachers have until June 1 or so to back out with no issues
Monday May 6, 2013 3:00 the mom
3:04
Nancy Jester: 
The board should look at the per pupil admin costs of Cobb versus DeKalb. Will they be willing to cut general administration jobs in favor of pushing money to the classroom?
Monday May 6, 2013 3:04 Nancy Jester
3:05
Stan Jester: 
One of my frustations:
A teacher contract doesn't guarantee that a teacher will have a job next year because they can get RIF'd. It doesn't guarantee how much they will make next year because they can get furloughed.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:05 Stan Jester
3:06
Nancy Jester: 
Yes. It's a very one-sided contract.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:06 Nancy Jester
3:06
Nancy Jester: 
Thurmond - MLA is going to help district improve "culture" and "leadership".
Monday May 6, 2013 3:06 Nancy Jester
3:11
Nancy Jester: 
To the board: purchasing cars for central office staff with SPLOST money doesn't help the perception of district "culture" and "leadership". The board should have voted that down. If you want the administration to change, you can't approve expenditures like that. It speaks volumes to your priorities.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:11 Nancy Jester
3:12
Stan Jester: 
They keep talking about a strategic plan like there is none or it was done over lunch one day. In 2011 - 2012, DCSD spent a great deal of time and money on this strategic plan.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:12 Stan Jester
3:12
Stan Jester: 
DCSD contracted with GSBA to “assure that the 2012–2017 plan is congruent with current and future needs, the 2011 Strategic Steering Committee will solicit input from parents, teachers, students, administrators, auxiliary staff, business, and civic leaders in order to develop the district’s strategic plan.”
Monday May 6, 2013 3:12 Stan Jester
3:16
Nancy Jester: 
Dr. Morley takes issue with John asking for surveys. Hmmm. Interesting. Wants a plan and not too many surveys.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:16 Nancy Jester
3:16
[Comment From DeKalbInsideOutDeKalbInsideOut: ] 
I'm confused. Is the board telling the administration surveys are good or bad ... or what??
Monday May 6, 2013 3:16 DeKalbInsideOut
3:16
the mom: 
Not sure they agree. But Orson's suggestion will be too costly.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:16 the mom
3:17
Nancy Jester: 
@Mom - yep. Let's just spend a whole bunch of money to find out what we already know.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:17 Nancy Jester
3:20
Stan Jester: 
Agenda Item: C. 8. IBB - Charters: Georgia Department of Education Educational Facility Site Evaluation & Approval Form

It is requested that the Board of Education approve the Georgia Department of Education Educational Facility Site Evaluation and Approval Form for the lease of the Heritage Center property located at 2225 Heritage Drive, Atlanta, GA 30345 by The GLOBE Academy to open and operate a DeKalb Board of Education approved public charter school.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:20 Stan Jester
3:21
DeKalbInsideOut: 
GLOBE was trying to raise a bunch of money. How is that going? A lot of parents are praying GLOBE opens sooner than later.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:21 DeKalbInsideOut
3:23
Stan Jester: 
Agenda Item: C. 9. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Sheltering Arms Extended School Year (ESY)

It is requested that the Board of Education approve the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Sheltering Arms and the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) in an amount of $5,250.00. There is no impact to general funds.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:23 Stan Jester
3:23
the mom: 
Globe opens this Fall. I think you are thinking about Tapestry.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:23 the mom
3:24
DeKalbInsideOut: 
Thanks "the mom" !!
Monday May 6, 2013 3:24 DeKalbInsideOut
3:26
the mom: 
Frustrated that Howe can't answer this question. The reason is that ESY is only 30 days. Ugh.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:26 the mom
3:26
Dunwoody Mom: 
What was the question?
Monday May 6, 2013 3:26 Dunwoody Mom
3:27
DeKalbInsideOut: 
This is a $5K expense. Why are we talking about a $5K expense?
Monday May 6, 2013 3:27 DeKalbInsideOut
3:28
Stan Jester: 
Agenda Item: C. 10. Donation of Storage Space for Fernbank Science Center

It is requested that the DeKalb Board of Education accept the donation of the approximately 5,000 square feet of temporary warehouse space from the Stone Mountain Industrial Park, Inc. for the use of storing Fernbank Science Center’s collections.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:28 Stan Jester
3:31
Stan Jester: 
They are discussing what is being stored. Mr. Orson wants to know more about some of the items being stored ... Discovery Shuttle items.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:31 Stan Jester
3:33
Stan Jester: 
Agenda Item: C. 11. Henderson Middle School Capital Renewal- Code Requirements, Renovations & Addition A/E Design Firm Approval

It is requested that the Board of Education and the Superintendent execute a contract for Architectural & Engineering Services for Capital Renewal- Code Requirements, Renovations & Addition at Henderson Middle School in the amount of $715,600, to BRPH Architects-Engineers, Inc., the most responsive and responsible offeror whose proposal meets the requirements and criteria set forth in the Proposal Documents.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:33 Stan Jester
3:34
Susanna: 
He said "everything from a robins egg to a buffalo" or something like that - is stored at Fernbank! Sounds like an episode of "Hoarders" to me!
Monday May 6, 2013 3:34 Susanna
3:35
the mom: 
school systems have a hard time getting rid of stuff, so do museums, probably a nightmare
Monday May 6, 2013 3:35 the mom
3:35
Nancy Jester: 
@Susanna - I like the way you think!
Monday May 6, 2013 3:35 Nancy Jester
3:37
Stan Jester: 
Agenda Item: C. 12. DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Intergovernmental Agreement

It is requested that the Board approve the annual renewal of the Intergovernmental agreement between the DeKalb County School District and DeKalb County Government to lease school buses to DeKalb County to transport students participating in the Summer Parks and Recreation program.

No discussion
Monday May 6, 2013 3:37 Stan Jester
3:38
Stan Jester: 
Agenda Item: C. 13. District Wide Narrowband Conversion Services

It is requested that the Board of Education award the District Wide Narrowband Conversion bid to Alpha Communications, Inc.; the most responsive responsible bidder, in the amount of $604,751.50.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:38 Stan Jester
3:43
DeKalbInsideOut: 
I didn't know the Guillory clan still worked for DCSD. That guy was the exec of transportation a few years back.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:43 DeKalbInsideOut
3:44
Stan Jester: 
Agenda Item: C. 14. Request to Georgia Department of Education for Approval of Seven Elementary School Sites Including Request for Minimum Site Size Variance of Five Elementary School Sites

It is requested that the Board of Education approve the application to the Georgia Department of Education for site approval of the rebuild of Austin Elementary School, Fernbank Elementary School, Gresham Park Elementary School, Peachcrest Elementary School, Pleasantdale Elementary School, Rockbridge Elementary School, and Smoke Rise Elementary School. It is further requested that the Board of Education approve a request for a variance to the minimum site size requirements for Austin Elementary School, Gresham Park Elementary School, Peachcrest Elementary School, Pleasantdale Elementary School, and Rockbridge Elementary School.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:44 Stan Jester
3:46
Stan Jester: 
Half those schools are going to be over capacity by the time they are finished with the rebuilds. Once again, very frustrating.
DCSS 2016-2017 School Organization - Enrollment and Capacity
Monday May 6, 2013 3:46 Stan Jester
3:47
Stan Jester: 
Agenda Item: C. 15. Approval of Five-Year Local Facilities Plan

It is requested that the Board of Education adopt the resolution to approve the July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2017 Local Facilities Plan and approve the subsequent submittal to the Georgia Department of Education for their approval.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:47 Stan Jester
3:48
DeKalbInsideOut: 
What plan? I don't see one attached to the agenda item.
Monday May 6, 2013 3:48 DeKalbInsideOut
4:12
DeKalbInsideOut: 
Who asked to change SPLOST? I missed where this came from.
Monday May 6, 2013 4:12 DeKalbInsideOut
4:14
Stan Jester: 
Adjourning to Committee of the whole. Will return at 4:20.
Monday May 6, 2013 4:14 Stan Jester
4:15
[Comment From Doraville guyDoraville guy: ] 
Look at Cary Reynolds. Why won't this district do something to help with the overcrowding there??
Monday May 6, 2013 4:15 Doraville guy
4:15
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
No board members have effectively advocated for the community. Though it shouldn't require that.
Monday May 6, 2013 4:15 Guest
4:16
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
DIO I just turned it on, what about changing SPLOST?
Monday May 6, 2013 4:16 Guest
4:17
DeKalbInsideOut: 
Orson was explaining to the board why the SPLOST list cannot be changed. I missed what question prompted that response.
Monday May 6, 2013 4:17 DeKalbInsideOut
4:19
Nancy Jester: 
I've been away for a while. I didn't see who was asking about tweaking SPLOST. That must have been an interesting comment. Wonder why someone would ask that?
Monday May 6, 2013 4:19 Nancy Jester
4:28
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
gotcha.
Monday May 6, 2013 4:28 Guest
4:28
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
There is going to be too much high school capacity in SW part of the county when all those additions are complete.
Monday May 6, 2013 4:28 Guest
4:28
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
No way to fill those schools unless major changes are made. Closing McNair, Towers, etc will probably have to happen to fill those schools down the road. Hard on communities to lose their high schools
Monday May 6, 2013 4:28 Guest
4:33
Nancy Jester: 
@Guest - you are right about capacity. Unfortunately the SPLOST plan does little to increase the capacity in areas that need it. SPLOST IV effectively means that for 10 years, some children could be in trailers. SPLOST was drafted by the administration but was based on adults not children.
Monday May 6, 2013 4:33 Nancy Jester
4:35
Nancy Jester: 
SPLOST dollars were distributed by board district and not based on need. That is why I voted against this action as a board member.
Monday May 6, 2013 4:35 Nancy Jester
4:36
Nancy Jester: 
School Councils should have a seat at the table in the principal selection process and evaluation. If the community doesn't embrace the principal selection, that individual will not be successful.
Monday May 6, 2013 4:36 Nancy Jester
4:37
Nancy Jester: 
The Board is once again not advocating for school communities. They are going to only get "input" and then promptly ignore it. Business as usual.
Monday May 6, 2013 4:37 Nancy Jester
4:53
Nancy Jester: 
Thurmond discussing "concerns" about revenue projections.
Monday May 6, 2013 4:53 Nancy Jester
4:55
Stan Jester: 
"We missed $7 Million in revenue" ... I would not say that's great news. We can't capture revenues accurately.
Monday May 6, 2013 4:55 Stan Jester
4:57
DeKalbInsideOut: 
Is anybody else hearing what I'm hearing?
Monday May 6, 2013 4:57 DeKalbInsideOut
4:57
DSW2: 
Thurmond just asked for an extension to tomorrow at 4 PM to produce the proposed budget. (Once again, he came to class unprepared… and without his assignment. Teachers – should he suffer a lower grade?)
Monday May 6, 2013 4:57 DSW2
4:58
DeKalbInsideOut: 
Where is any of this "missed money" documented ?
Monday May 6, 2013 4:58 DeKalbInsideOut
5:00
Stan Jester: 
I'm incredulous everybody is giving high fives over this HUGE oversight.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:00 Stan Jester
5:00
DSW2: 
Really - I think the new Board is FAR too casual about these egregious missed deadlines. First, he asked for a month's delay for his "90 day plan" and now - the DAY his budget is due (which is already late) he announces that he isn't prepared! PLUS - how very weird -- FOUND MONEY! Whoo Hoo! So - can we actually believe ANY budget they produce?
Monday May 6, 2013 5:00 DSW2
5:01
DSW2: 
And now - they are discussing that the STAKEHOLDERS need to be educated on exactly what the Board does... they are 'not full time on this"...
Monday May 6, 2013 5:01 DSW2
5:06
[Comment From Doraville guyDoraville guy: ] 
Thanks for pointing that information out about capacity Nancy. It really doesn't surprise me that you mentioned it was about adults not children. We really need to work hard at getting back to what this district is for -- the education of children -- not for the pleasure of adults. Thank you so much.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:06 Doraville guy
5:06
[Comment From got2getoutgot2getout: ] 
The new found money is probably the past due legal fees yet to be paid. they will pay it once the budget passes.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:06 got2getout
5:08
Nancy Jester: 
Thanks Doraville Guy!
Monday May 6, 2013 5:08 Nancy Jester
5:09
Nancy Jester: 
Re: nepotism
I've also thought the problem is "friends" more than "family". How do they vet "friends"? It's a system that relies on self reporting and enforcement by a superintendent.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:09 Nancy Jester
5:10
Nancy Jester: 
I think that Dr. Morley just said she supported firing "family". Interesting.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:10 Nancy Jester
5:11
Nancy Jester: 
There is nothing new in this discussion or regulation. It's about enforcement. Thurmond says he's serious about implementing the policy.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:11 Nancy Jester
5:12
Stan Jester: 
At Parent Council meetings Mr. Thurmond said he's interested only in implementing this nepotism policy with new employees moving forward.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:12 Stan Jester
5:20
DeKalbInsideOut: 
What norms is she talking about? There is no document attached to the agenda.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:20 DeKalbInsideOut
5:22
Doraville guy: 
A major step in the right direction -- having norms!
Monday May 6, 2013 5:22 Doraville guy
5:22
Stan Jester: 
Agenda Item: D. 1. g. Board Norms

The board norms Dr Morley is talking about is not on the agenda.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:22 Stan Jester
5:23
DeKalbInsideOut: 
doravill guy, Board norms good? Hard to say ... we don't know what they say.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:23 DeKalbInsideOut
5:25
Stan Jester: 
Agenda Item - D. 1. h. Strategic Planning Process Framework
Monday May 6, 2013 5:25 Stan Jester
5:25
Doraville guy: 
Well it sounds like these folks know how to operate more professionally -- no more I'm going to slug you comments to the media ( hopefully )
Monday May 6, 2013 5:25 Doraville guy
5:25
DeKalbInsideOut: 
I'm going to slug your Zepora Roberts was voted out.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:25 DeKalbInsideOut
5:26
Doraville guy: 
I'm aware thanks
Monday May 6, 2013 5:26 Doraville guy
5:29
[Comment From Dunwoody MomDunwoody Mom: ] 
Will Trenton Arnold be heading up the Strategic Process? I see Ramona Tyson sitting next to Mr. Arnold.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:29 Dunwoody Mom
5:31
Nancy Jester: 
@DIO and Doraville Guy - Board Norms are fine. The problem comes into play when they are used to effectively silence some board members. I was constantly threatened by other board members with ethics violations because I would expose flawed budgeting or biased governance and alerted the public about it.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:31 Nancy Jester
5:32
Nancy Jester: 
Also Dr. Elgart thinks that Board members should have scripts when talking with "stakeholders". Don't we want thoughtful representatives - not simply parrots?
Monday May 6, 2013 5:32 Nancy Jester
5:34
Dunwoody Mom: 
Dr. Pringle speaks of the Consolidated School Improvement Plans? Has anyone found the CSIP's to be helpful and effective?
Monday May 6, 2013 5:34 Dunwoody Mom
5:35
Nancy Jester: 
@Dunwoody Mom - I think they are busywork. That was my impression as a parent on a school council and a board member.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:35 Nancy Jester
5:36
Stan Jester: 
I'm more concerned about the budget than a strategic plan.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:36 Stan Jester
5:36
Nancy Jester: 
How is "culture" and "leadership" going to change if we see the "old guard" back again? Just look at who is advising the Superintendent. That gives me pause.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:36 Nancy Jester
5:39
DeKalbInsideOut: 
Orson seems to be saying that most people believe the critical mistake is that we take too long and spend too much money. Actually, Orson believes, the critical mistake is that we don't take long enough or spend enough money on a strategic plan.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:39 DeKalbInsideOut
5:39
Nancy Jester: 
I'm not saying that Strategic Plans can't be helpful but we seem to keep churning plans. It seems like The Full Employment Act of Consultants and Educrats. Plus, we'll get a new Superintendent sometime and I'll bet they will want to "realign" resources to their new "mission" or "vision". And the churn will happen again.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:39 Nancy Jester
5:41
Stan Jester: 

Nothing quite as permanent as a temporary tax or interim superintendent.

Monday May 6, 2013 5:41 Stan Jester
5:41
Dunwoody Mom: 
Agreed Stan. The budget is THE most important discussion that needs to be taking place. The budget is going to set the tone and "conversation" of stakeholders. I know what I expect to see.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:41 Dunwoody Mom
5:43
Stan Jester: 
Thanks, Dunwoody Mom. I thought I was going crazy. I don't see anybody attempting to constrain the budget.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:43 Stan Jester
5:45
Nancy Jester: 
DCSS tweeted me back that they will post Board Norms soon.
Monday May 6, 2013 5:45 Nancy Jester
6:01
[Comment From Retired DeKalb teacherRetired DeKalb teacher: ] 
Budget is the most important item!! This will tell me a lot about this group. Does anyone besides me think the new members are keeping quiet and the "super" and Melvin are running the show?
Monday May 6, 2013 6:01 Retired DeKalb teacher
6:01
Stan Jester: 
They are taking a recess and moving into the board room for public comments. They didn't say when they would reconveine.
Monday May 6, 2013 6:01 Stan Jester
6:02
DeKalbInsideOut: 
I'll second Retired DeKalb Teacher. Thurmond, Melvin and Orson are running the show. I'll remind everyone that Thurmond annd Melvin were brought in by Walker.
Monday May 6, 2013 6:02 DeKalbInsideOut
6:11
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I disagree with retired teacher. New board members were very active and questioning earlier. I missed part of meeting. What is deal with revenue situation?
Monday May 6, 2013 6:11 Guest
6:14
Stan Jester: 
I agree with Guest that the new board is trying very hard. The question is, are they asking the right questions?

Revenue: I'll have to review the videos, but Mr. Thurmond said he found $7 million for this year and found $32 million from the previous year. There was no documentation in the agenda.
Monday May 6, 2013 6:14 Stan Jester
6:17
Stan Jester: 
Public comments have begun.
Monday May 6, 2013 6:17 Stan Jester
6:24
Nancy Jester: 
Commenters discussing setting up Tapestry Charter for ASD inclusion for middle school are terrific advocates.
Monday May 6, 2013 6:24 Nancy Jester
6:34
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
They are. Wonder about their financials.
Monday May 6, 2013 6:34 Guest
6:35
DSW2: 
This teacher from SW DeKalb is saying he had over 500 books to repair - using tape!
Monday May 6, 2013 6:35 DSW2
6:38
DeKalbInsideOut: 
Question: Considering how bad we are, would it be too much to ask to just be average?
Monday May 6, 2013 6:38 DeKalbInsideOut
6:38
[Comment From Dawn FormanDawn Forman: ] 
Glad that he is bringing this up! Textbooks for gym don't make sense. There were many books that fell apart the first year they were purchased, and this should have been addressed to the company that they were purchased from.
Monday May 6, 2013 6:38 Dawn Forman
6:40
Nancy Jester: 
@Dawn - Good point! Thanks for blogging!
Monday May 6, 2013 6:40 Nancy Jester
6:42
Stan Jester: 
I bet Robyn does love her job. She's a counselor and has made close to $70K for the last 6 years.
Monday May 6, 2013 6:42 Stan Jester
6:43
Stan Jester: 
This information is available at http://www.open.georgia.gov/ ... fyi
Monday May 6, 2013 6:43 Stan Jester
6:52
DeKalbInsideOut: 
I guess the administration is still recruiting people to speak at this.
Monday May 6, 2013 6:52 DeKalbInsideOut
6:57
DeKalbInsideOut: 
donde?
Monday May 6, 2013 6:57 DeKalbInsideOut
6:59
[Comment From Just JanJust Jan: ] 
Really Marcia? You've seen these board members out in the community?
Monday May 6, 2013 6:59 Just Jan
7:04
Stan Jester: 
The current speaker is making a number of points. Having the work session and board meeting in one day is too much in one day. It doesn't allow for public input among other issues.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:04 Stan Jester
7:11
[Comment From DeKalb School WatchDeKalb School Watch: ] 
we think Linda Podger Williams, who is usually very well-informed, is very wrong about dual accreditation. Making it mandatory is unnecessary, but dual accreditation should be allowed when parents in schools want it. The need for GAC accreditation is that it makes it possible for students who qualify to obtain a HOPE Scholarship. HOPE Scholarship eligibility depends on qualified students graduating from an accredited high school. Thanks to Terry Nall for the work he has done to spearhead this movement for dual accreditation.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:11 DeKalb School Watch
7:12
[Comment From DeKalb MomDeKalb Mom: ] 
I'm behind and just now listening to Sunshine Robyn. I am all for positive, but then there's denial and delusion.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:12 DeKalb Mom
7:16
[Comment From Dunwoody SupermomDunwoody Supermom: ] 
Exactly, DSW...Well-informed community members recognize the importance of allowing high schools the option of seeking Dual Accreditation.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:16 Dunwoody Supermom
7:26
DSW2: 
So it's 7:25 pm and they are finally starting the business meeting.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:26 DSW2
7:28
DSW2: 
Inspiration without action is meaningless. – Jim McMahan
Monday May 6, 2013 7:28 DSW2
7:34
DeKalbInsideOut: 
We're are now joined by Terry Nall, Dunwoody Councilman and on the forefront of the push for dual accreditation.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:34 DeKalbInsideOut
7:34
Stan Jester: 
Hi Terry. How's it going?
Monday May 6, 2013 7:34 Stan Jester
7:35
[Comment From Terry NallTerry Nall: ] 
Great! Thanks to you for hosting this live forum.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:35 Terry Nall
7:35
Stan Jester: 
What's the latest with dual accreditation?
Monday May 6, 2013 7:35 Stan Jester
7:40
Nancy Jester: 
I can't wait to hear from Terry Nall!
Monday May 6, 2013 7:40 Nancy Jester
7:40
[Comment From Terry NallTerry Nall: ] 
The BOE resolution on this was delayed until June 3. The dual accrediting agency, Georgia Accrediting Commission (GAC), has offered a number of financial and procedural details that will be beneficial to all high schools county-wide. More time is needed to hammer out these details.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:40 Terry Nall
7:44
[Comment From Terry NallTerry Nall: ] 
The new details will result in level equity for all schools regardless of location in DeKalb, provide financial savings to the District, and uses the summer productively to have all high schools ready for accreditation approval by GAC in time for its Sept 8 meeting (the final meeting of 2013).
Monday May 6, 2013 7:44 Terry Nall
7:47
[Comment From Terry NallTerry Nall: ] 
If you haven't already, let the BOE know of your support for dual accreditation for all DeKalb County high schools. Every student in DeKalb should have the opportunity to graduate from an accredited high school. GAC dual accreditation is a "safety net" back-up at the local schoolhouse in the remote possibility of uncontrollable events that may or may not affect the SACS District-wide accreditation status.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:47 Terry Nall
7:48
Stan Jester: 
What do you see as uncontrollable events here?
Monday May 6, 2013 7:48 Stan Jester
7:50
[Comment From TruthseekerTruthseeker: ] 
Dual accreditation is a no brainer. Why is there such a debate? It should be done for the students. Of course Elgart has pretty much said that DeKalb will not lose its accreditation.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:50 Truthseeker
7:51
Stan Jester: 
Yes, Mark Elgart refuses to support dual accreditation for the district.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:51 Stan Jester
7:51
[Comment From Terry NallTerry Nall: ] 
Great question Stan! First up is a ruling of the Georgia Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the law that enabled the Governor to remove and replace members of the school board. The court clerk estimated this decision should be released by the end of 2013. If the law is overturned, I would expect prior board members to be reinstated and we're back to where we started. How would SACS respond to that? We can only hope for the best, but hope is not a strategy.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:51 Terry Nall
7:52
Guest: 
Uncontrollable Events = Walker, Cunningham, Copelin-Wood.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:52 Guest
7:52
Stan Jester: 
Sorry ... Thurmond refuses to support dual accreditation.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:52 Stan Jester
7:53
[Comment From TruthseekerTruthseeker: ] 
Yes. Elgart is not going to try to damage his empire and monopoly.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:53 Truthseeker
7:53
Stan Jester: 
But, why wouldn't Thurmond support it? If Mr. Thurmond supports the kids, then he would support dual accreditation.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:53 Stan Jester
7:54
[Comment From Terry NallTerry Nall: ] 
The second threat comes in July 2014 with new BOE elections. We'll still be under the SACS cloud then. Restoring SACS full accreditation could take a long time to achieve. We need the safety net in place.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:54 Terry Nall
7:54
Dunwoody Mom: 
@Truthseeker - Elgart said DCSS would most likely not lose accreditation in December - I do not recall Elgart making any predictions beyond that.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:54 Dunwoody Mom
7:55
Terry Nall: 
@Truthseeker. You're spot on. How could anyone be opposed to something so obvious and so targeted to the protection of all students?
Monday May 6, 2013 7:55 Terry Nall
7:56
[Comment From TruthseekerTruthseeker: ] 
SACS, the Governor, and a few local state legislators will absolutely lose consciousness if Walker wins his suit.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:56 Truthseeker
7:56
[Comment From TruthseekerTruthseeker: ] 
Dunwoody Mom
Monday May 6, 2013 7:56 Truthseeker
7:57
Terry Nall: 
We should all listen to Elgart closely. "Highly unlikely" is not the same as 100% guaranteed.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:57 Terry Nall
7:57
Truthseeker: 
@Dunwoody Mom: you do not read the tea leaves very well. Do you really think SACS will remove accreditation now?
Monday May 6, 2013 7:57 Truthseeker
7:59
Terry Nall: 
The Justices will rule on the constitutionality issue only, not the public policy issues tied to the specific personalities involved.
Monday May 6, 2013 7:59 Terry Nall
8:00
Dunwoody Mon: 
I don't read tea leaves - no need for snippiness.
Monday May 6, 2013 8:00 Dunwoody Mon
8:09
Stan Jester: 
I'm very glad we found this money. Can we spend it on reducing furlough days or lowering class sizes?
Monday May 6, 2013 8:09 Stan Jester
8:10
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Skeptical about found money.... anyone else?
Monday May 6, 2013 8:10 Guest
8:10
[Comment From PSDadPSDad: ] 
@ Truthseeker... I don't think DM suggested that SACS would act "now"... but if Romona T is left in charge we can't expect that the response will be any more effective than her last two attempts.
Monday May 6, 2013 8:10 PSDad
8:10
DeKalb School Watch: 
Where is the "found" money coming from?
Monday May 6, 2013 8:10 DeKalb School Watch
8:11
Dunwoody Supermom: 
I can't believe noone on the Board questioned this "found money"...if Nancy Jester didn't find it, it's not to be found....unless....
Monday May 6, 2013 8:11 Dunwoody Supermom
8:13
Stan Jester: 
We need some documentation on the found money.
Monday May 6, 2013 8:13 Stan Jester
8:15
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
The Board may already know. I guess we will find out tomorrow.
Monday May 6, 2013 8:15 Guest
8:15
Rock Star: 
Maybe it's the lost textbook money?
Monday May 6, 2013 8:15 Rock Star
8:21
Truthseeker: 
@PSDAD:You are right about Tyson. Elgart's job was to get rid of the BOE and the trade off would be no ultimate sanctions. If you only could get your legislators to talk, the whole scenario would be more apparent. Remember the legislature could not act without SACS starting the ball rolling.
Monday May 6, 2013 8:21 Truthseeker
8:21
Stan Jester: 
Thank you for joining us at this Realtime blog. I'm on a mission to monitor and report on the factual accuracy of what is said by the DCSD board and administration. I've started a new website FactChecker.StanJester.com

Go there and let me know what you think. We'll hold them accountable one way or another.

--Stan

Monday May 6, 2013 8:21 Stan Jester
8:22
DeKalbInsideOut: 
Atkinson would still be Superintendent if it weren't for those text messages.
Monday May 6, 2013 8:22 DeKalbInsideOut