April 20th, 2021 • 6:30pm
Welcome Introduction – Erin Kirn and Sonja Szubski
School Updates (Including STEM / IB) – Tucker Cluster Principals
Brockett (Principal Antoinette Seabrook)
• Glad to be back in the building with 47% at this time, 52% (230 kids) on April 29th.
• IB authorization update – officially named a candidate school in November 2020 – County paid for 30 teachers to get IB level 1 training.
Curriculum additions in the works:
- Reading integration
- Effective collaboration strategies for teachers and students
- Spanish teacher for IB program
• Ms. Hodge is our IB coordinator. The planning mentioned above is moving forward at this time.
• Brockett has a garden established during the last school year that is in need of weed control if anyone is interested.
• 5th graders participated in a stock market game and learned a lot!
Idlewood Principal (Principal Robin Elder)
• Adding more arts under the direction of the art teacher.
• Won DeKalb County Watershed Management contest – students created art for a calendar .
• Adding a garden as well.
• Looking to add a science teacher that will add science labs.
• Very proud of staff for welcoming students. 40-45% of students are returning and staff is aware of mitigation strategies and it is going well.
• Started the Georgia Milestones this week.
• Summer school in July.
• Kaboom grant for new playground.
• New initiative for vertical planning of content for next year now and throughout summer. Dr. Cunningham has allowed 6th grade teachers at TMS to provide information to 5th grade teachers.
• Pushing for parental involvement with virtual sessions in a variety of languages with interpreters present so questions can be answered.
• Wanting a new building but looking to do great things with STEAM.
Livsey (Principal Shawna Pickett)
• Parents, students and teachers are so dedicated!
• 63% back now and expecting 75% on April 29th.
• Several teachers got reading endorsements and 1 received Gifted endorsement this school year.
• 2 girls from Livsey are on the Samsung finals team at TMS.
• The Garden is continuing. Volunteers welcome!
• STEM certification in process. Interviews for certification occur in May as it was delayed last year due to the pandemic. The STEM team led by Ms. Kelly is preparing.
Midvale (Principal Dr. Tara Dougherty)
• 55% of students should be back by April 29th.
• Ms. Hogue honored by GA Credit Union as best Teacher.
• Virtual meet in greet and virtual STEM/IB tours with breakout session on May 5th.
• IB family challenges 5th graders have IB Exhibition solving real world problems.
• Working on a game design challenge to eradicate erosion in conjunction with GA Tech.
• Week of May 17th will have career speakers, virtual STEM field trips.
• Garden PBL (schoolwide) is starting in the Fall of 2021 and doing mini-PBLs now. Collaborating with Eagle Scouts to build garden beds. Starting Twitter and instagram pages with a focus on gardens using a gnome to tell stories.
• Reauthorization for IB/STEM is next year. Reflecting on areas of growth and strength now through December. IB Training is occurring this summer and about 20 teachers will be trained virtually.
• Gardener volunteers welcome!
Smoke Rise (Principal Pamela McCloud)
• Excellent job or virtual and face to face teaching.
• Started Ga Milestones this week.
• STEM certification coming up and there will be interviews in May.
• The STEM club participated in DELL technology with Girls who Game.
• Teacher Ms. Watts wrote a grant in 2019 and received $10,000 for a classroom makeover.
• Congrats to Smokerise as #14 out of 30 in best schools in suburbs on schoolsparrow.com
• Kindergarten conquered the 900 book challenge.
• Robotics has begun: Nov 11, 2020 was the first virtual meeting. Club members wrote a program to move a robot from place to place. Will be in the new building in August, 2021.
• Selling bricks for a wall that you can engrave with your name going inside the building. Find info on Facebook.
• STEM Samsung winner, Kayla A. is from Smokerise
Tucker Middle (Principal Dr. Kathy Cunningham)
• 350-400 students back in the building. Thanks to all.
Mr. Williams (STEM Coordinator)
• TMS is working toward STEM recertification extended through next year but working toward doing it this year.
• GTRI Design challenges 7/18 awards to TMS. Best overall pitch went to all 3 grades. 8th Grade – how to turn downtown Tucker into completely solar power.
• TSA – In top 10 of MS and got 4th overall out of 115 MS which is especially impressive because we were virtual practically the entire time.
• Samsung Solve for Tomorrow. Challenges kids to identify a problem and provide a STEM solution. 6th grade got to the semifinals about 5 years ago and won money. This year, an 8th grader came up with the idea to attack human trafficking in Hartsfield. Coming up with a device to allow those who are being trafficked, a way to get help. They are in the top 10. Live pitch on April 28th at 10am streaming live. TMS has won $65,000 and can win more. Click here and vote daily through your FB account. 2 schools with most votes get extra $15,000.
• The STEM application is open now for next year. Looking for more 6th grade applicants and the 2nd wave opens on Monday, April 26th. We believe STEM can be for all students.
Dr. Mau (IB Program Coordinator)
• Check out the website to get updated information about IB.
• Dr. Mau is also the parent liaison for TMS, so she has created a parent room that will be fully functional next year.
• May13th IB/STEM presentation. Invitations going to stakeholders next week. STEM and IB community projects will be presented.
Tucker High School – Dr. Eric Parker
• 30 percent back in building (250 kids)
• Gearing up for graduation 342 graduates on May 28 at 1pm at Hallford Stadium.
• Expanding IB Career related program. Completing application and authorization. Visit 1.5 months ago. This will complement the IB and STEM program, adding Healthcare pathway in addition to AP computer science with cyber security and game design. Flyer is forthcoming. In the past week, girl’s golf team won 1st and 3rd place at the county championship, ESOL GDOE Exemplary English Learner for the state, 7 students GSTA placed in National competition and an officer installed.
• EOCs began today and MAP testing continues.
Board of Education Updates (BOE Rep District 4 – Allyson Gevertz)
• Face to face learning 5 days a week in August.
• Town Hall with Mr. Arnold next Wednesday at 6pm to give input on next year. There will be an online option through FLEX Academy for those that aren’t comfortable returning.
• Comprehensive Master Plan – The company has incorporated feedback and made edits to the plan. Additional town hall should be coming soon. Check out the CMP website to see projections in student numbers through this year.
• CARES Act – District had received CARES Act money and it’s been used on technology, PPE, buying back furlough days. Details should be available in September with a detailed report.
• Huge infusion coming from Rescue Act (313 million) – for the purpose of recovering from the pandemic, so they are currently setting the budget for next year not based on the Rescue Act. The ESSER money will be used on summer programs rolling out for students to help the whole child to help with social/emotional issues in addition to academics. Other possible uses include: buying back more furlough days, continued PPE and cleaning supplies, facility improvements to support instruction are allowed with ESSER money as well.
• 4Feedback next Thursday 29th from 9 to 11am in Tucker at Henderson Park past Livsey. Bring your own chair
DCSD Region II Updates – (Region II Superintendent Trenton Arnold and Deputy Chief Operations Officer Noel Maloof)
• Preparing for next year as well as long term items that the CARES act funding will provide. The goal is for the relief funds to reach the classroom to affect student growth.
• Region 2 Town Hall will talk about expectations for next year as COVID has not gone away. Best practices to be discussed. Still seeing regular ongoing cases in DCSD school buildings.
• Smokerise info: looking forward to a beautiful building to support our students.
• CMP conversation – Upcoming town hall is on May 4th which will be interactive and informational 6-7pm virtual.
• Regional town halls in May.
• Team is working on thoughts to get feedback to guide the work of the district.
• Nov 2021 will have well vetted CMP that includes community input as well as Principal/Cluster input.
• SPLOST 2021 referendum is coming up and will create a master list of items to work on over next 10 years. Hopeful that federal monies will allow for changes and improvements in buildings. In addition to technology and continuing virtual options as needed.
• Do you have a community group or school group that we need to hear from? If so, please reach out to me or Mr. Arnold to ask for a meeting with Perkins & Will, the consultant group working on the Comprehensive Master Plan.
• Capacity numbers from CMP are on the website developed to be more consistent with how buildings are used across the district. Used the methodology to stay static for now to give us a consistent response across the board. Team has been asked to give more information on the website regarding methodology.
• Tucker has multitude of schools working on building STEM programs, so how can we provide support for those efforts?
• Perkins & Will is listening to our concerns regarding capacity numbers. Opportunities to provide input to them is larger than seen in previous years with other consultant groups.
Notes as taken by Erin Kirn. To download a PDF copy of these notes, click here.