Dear Tucker Cluster Stakeholders,
We’ve been working on an update for you! Please read ahead to learn more about what is happening in the Tucker Cluster and the DeKalb County School District.
Smoke Rise Elementary School Update
The building recently closed to be cleaned and disinfected due to COVID-19. The DeKalb Board of Health has reviewed the situation and stated staff may return on February 16th.
Additionally, many TCC stakeholders may be wondering about the redistricting plan that will take place with the new school building. We were too! Here’s what Region II Superintendent Mr. Trenton Arnold stated: Our Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP) process is going to drive future decisions by the district associated around new buildings, facilities funding, program needs, and attendance lines. The vendor that was hired to work on the CMP is to begin making presentations to the BOE very soon. Perhaps at the March meeting. All interested stakeholders are encouraged to start monitoring this process closely.
Returning to School
The teachers are back in the school buildings. There are 500+ pending ADA/FMLA requests from teachers. Last week DCSD received 40 resignations – 11 of those were retirements and 17 were certified staff. The Superintendent announced that the district is proceeding with the re-entry plan. The exact timeline of student return has not been announced as of February 11th. To learn more please view the Superintendent’s report addressed to the BOE. It starts at the 19th minute, 12 second mark. The report includes, status of PPE in schools and progress on work orders. One school in our cluster, Idlewood Elementary School, has an isolated HVAC issue still in the works.
Virtual and In Person Learning Updates
Region II student engagement remains high. It comes very close to mirroring what we would see on an average daily absentee rate. Schools are still following up with families when students are not engaged as expected.
Right now, state assessments are still moving forward with in person requirements, including EOCs. The GA DOE has not given any updates on their administration, and while they did allow for the EOC weight towards the final average to be dropped, it would be up to the US DOE to grant the state flexibility in administering assessments (as they did last year).
February 8th, 2021 BOE Meeting Updates from DCSD Rep Allyson Gevertz – District 4
- The Board recognized Exceptional Children’s Week, National School Counseling Week, and Black History Month.
- The CFO presented an update on the ERP transition. 23 of 27 modules (in Finance, Human Resources, and Operations) have begun implementation with a goal of achieving the use of all modules by June 2022.
- The Superintendent gave a school readiness update and shared facts regarding access to professional development for concurrent teaching, the amount of PPE in school buildings, the number of post-hardship-waiver teacher resignations, the status of ADA accommodation reviews, and the progress on work orders (especially HVAC). See link above. The District is proceeding with the re-entry plan; As of February 8th, the two week percent positivity rate for DeKalb was 9%.
- The Superintendent presented an update on the DCSD Foundation (a separate non-profit 501(c)(3)) already approved by the Board. The newly drafted bylaws are ready for Board review and may be voted on in March.
- The Board approved several policy suspensions for the graduating class of 2021, including the number of credits for graduation, the selection of electives, the Carnegie unit for PE, and the payment of fees. The changes align with other metro school districts.
- The Board approved the proposed budget calendar, which includes finalizing zero based budgets in April and publicly advertising tentative FY22 budgets in May.
- The Board approved a hybrid learning device refresh project which will provide new devices to all staff members whose job function requires access to a device. The last systemic refresh of equipment was prior to the 2015-2016 school year.
- The Board approved an emergency PPE purchase of a disinfectant cleaner.
- The Board approved the SPLOST V fence installation projects at multiple schools including Dresden, Henderson Mill, and Oak Grove.
- The Board approved the SPLOST V design/build services for track and turf installation at multiple schools including Lakeside and Cross Keys.
- The Board approved a CARES Act grant donation from DeKalb Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson. The donation was a little under $200,000. It would be used for the purposes already approved for CARES act $$ like technology and PPE. The Commissioner specified categories like that where she would like it used.
The TCC encourages you to follow Allyson Gevertz for DeKalb Schools on Facebook for real time updates.
Our next meeting date is Tuesday, April 20th at 6:30 pm. A meeting reminder will be sent with Zoom login details.
Please encourage fellow stakeholders to join our mailing list by sharing this post.