January 15, 2019 at Smoke Rise Elementary School
Tucker Cluster Council (TCC) Meeting Notes
Anne Thomas opened the meeting at 6:06PM with introductions around the room.
- Over 25 people were in attendance.
- Sonja Szubski reports that the Tucker City Council voted to add money to include a look at Pedestrian safety across the city. May include, but is not limited to, flashing beacons, signage and road markings. Also, InTucker Magazine wishes to have schools send their brag information.
- Matt Holmes has brag sheets for Livsey, Midvale, and Brockett. Tucker Master Transportation Plan meeting to be held Thursday, January 17th.
- Guy Van Ort informed us of the “Georgia Yellow Dot Program” being implemented in Tucker. Click here to view the flyer.
- Rich Benevento informed us that the TCC website has been updated to include a Blog element with an article on the homepage which will automatically archive. Also Livsey will have its Parent2Parent Forum, an informative program with information regarding the transition of moving from the elementary school to Tucker Middle School. Livsey’s program will be on January 31st. Midvale is planning a forum for February 21st. Other schools looking to facilitate this transition meeting should email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Roger Carter informed us that he is looking to form an Idlewood Foundation and offered to take those “in the know” about Foundation formation to lunch. Also he would like to know what the best elementary fundraisers have been. Contact him if you have information to share 678-522-6086.
Schools shared highlights from their first semester
- Midvale – Giving Tree sponsored by the Kindergarten as a PBL brought in gifts and Bank of America donated $1000 worth of items for needy families. Media Center is getting an update through fundraised monies. New STEM partner ? IT (ask the name) is working with 2nd and 4th graders on coding and have been very impressed with what the kids already know! Additionally, Midvale is doing a daily morning science enrichment.
- Livsey – Livsey was named one of 6 Distinguished Title I Schools (Top 5% of Title I schools in GA). Construction is nearly done on the roof, kitchen and gym HVAC system. PTO is awesome and recently raised $300 in a single day by inviting families to a Zumba night. Bingo, Books, and Baked Goods is approaching. Tucker is invited to attend the Theater presentation “A Hairy Tale” in March at Tucker High School’s auditorium. Also they are beginning to prepare for Science Olympiad.
- Brockett – Celebrating Principal Seabrook’s first semester as Principal and she’s in it to win it! They have been working on school beautification: office carpet gone and replaced with tile. Media center update scheduled for the summer as well as painting murals. Each grade is in charge of an outdoor garden. Also Brockett had an Angel Tree which supported 19 families in December. PTA is rebuilding and is hosting spirit nights and recently had a successful Trunk or Treat.
- Smoke Rise – Good growth on the CCRPI and Principal McCloud gave away 2 bicycles and 2 TVs to students with the most growth. Smoke Rise had a celebration in December with 50+ Community Partners. Click here to see an excellent informational handout from Principal McCloud.
- Tucker High – IB program has expanded and STEM numbers are increasing. Academic Saturday school was implemented with the goal of increasing the graduation rate. 8 Saturdays were offered with over 300 students in attendance. THS boasts 80+ business partners and will implement a full-day Career Day event on February 27th. Additionally these business partners offer deeper exploration into students’ career pathways and open job opportunities. PTA has over 100 members and the THS Foundation will have their annual Golf Tournament in March. Robbie Barber, Media Specialist was named Media Specialist of the Year for DeKalb County. The Basketball team is ranked #1 in the Region and #3 in the State for AAAAAA
- Tucker Middle – STEM team and Robotics team placed first in their Lego competition.
- Idlewood – New Partner in Education is the Tucker Brewing Company. A Boys Mentoring program is coming online to join an already established Girls Mentoring program. Idlewood is implementing Remind as a communication tool. In December, Mount Moriah Church gave students inspirational gift bags.
PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) Presentation by Ms. Trought, TMS teacher and PBIS Coordinator. Please CLICK HERE to view the PowerPoint presentation.
- Goal of DeKalb County to decrease rates of suspension (in and out of school) by rewarding positive behaviors and /or teaching the correct behaviors in advance.
- Matrix with expectations for behaviors is hung all throughout the school (PAWS-Pride, Attitude, Wisdom and Success)
- Incentives are used with teachers and students
- PBIS team developed incentives for 1) team rewards 2) individual rewards. Includes PAWS bucks used to spend at the PAWS store open once per month. PAWS bucks are awarded to students who are caught doing something good. Rewards do not have to be tied into grades.
- Students not allowed to attend team rewards go to small counseling groups to discuss ways to be included in the next team reward.
- TMS has seen a decrease in teacher referrals with PBIS initiative-teachers are taught the differences between a minor and major infraction and given tools to handle minor infractions themselves without involving the administration.
- The PBIS program at TMS is currently in its 2nd year ( 1st year for planning, 2nd year for implementation. TMS was evaluated in October and will have an end of year data driven report to submit at the end of this school year.
- What can YOU do? Donate items to the PBIS store for the kids (who love food and snacks like spicy chips) as well as donated items and services for TMS Staff and Faculty implementing this program. Please contact TMS PBIS Coordinator Ms. Sonji Trought with suggestions, ideas or questions via email here.
2 STEM Surveys available – Lori Jones
- Sign up to let us know your field of STEM expertise so we can begin our database of STEM field experts. CLICK HERE to join the database.
- Schools are encouraged to let us know their PBL and materials needs HERE.
- TCC will try to connect school needs to those with tools and resources to help.
- All schools are asked to send the links to their stakeholders via all communications sent from schools, through Foundations, PTAs, PTOs, Facebook, etc.
QBE Presentation – Trenton Arnold
- Click here to read an excellent breakdown of what the Quality Basic Education (QBE) Act is and how DeKalb is affected by its formula, Austerity cuts, and Equalization grants
- Recommendation: contact your legislators (see below) to ask for 1. Continuance of full-funding of QBE 2. Modification of the formula to calculate equalization grants to reduce the burdens on districts with high rates of free and reduced lunch 3. Support substantive reforms and revisions to the QBE formula to respond to 21st century needs (technology, etc). Contact:
2019 GA Senate Committee for Education & Youth:
- Sen. P. K. Martin, Chair
- Sen. John Wilkinson (R-Toccoa), Vice-Chair
- Sen. Freddie Powell Sims (D-Dawson), Secretary
- Sen. Ellis Black (R-Valdosta)
- Sen. Matt Brass (R-Newnan), ExOfficio
- Sen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming)
- Sen. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah)
- Sen. Donzella James (D-Atlanta)
- Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta)
- Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro)
- Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta), ExOfficio (now Chairman of Higher Education)
Report from Allyson Gevertz, our newly elected District 4 Board Member
- Part of Mrs. Gevertz’ job is to advocate for DeKalb County schools. Let her know what is needed. We must watch for annexation where the city of Atlanta can take our schools and students (and therefore our tax dollars).
- Mrs. Gevertz has established listening sessions called “4 Feedback” where you can drop in, meet and discuss your needs. The next 4 Feedback will be at the Northlake Panera from 5-7pm on February 11th.
- Corner Cup will likely be the March meeting place. Date and time TBA
- Mrs. Gevertz was happy to announce that the salary step schedule was approved by the board on top of the 2.5% increase that was passed.
- Her website is http://www.allysongevertz.com/ and you can sign up to receive her emails and read her email archives here.
New business regarding Work Orders was tabled.
Meeting was adjourned at 7:30pm.
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