Asst. Principal Derrick Thomas Promoted to Renfroe Principal

From the Superintendent’s Report for next week’s Decatur school board meeting…

I have met with members of the RMS SLT. They have discussed the opening at RMS for principal and decided to move in the direction which I requested; to promote Mr. Thomas as the Principal of RMS. I believe this will provide the continuity that the school personnel and parents will need. Mr. Thomas has proven to be an effective Assistant Principal and I have great confidence in his ability to do just as well as the Principal. Congratulations to Mr. Thomas. The RMS team of teachers, parents and Derrick will now proceed to hire an Assistant Principal through a posting and interview process.

CSD Board To Vote on Modifying Facility Use Fees

On the docket for next week’s Decatur School Board meeting (Action item “g”), “modify facility use fees effective April 1, 2010 by creating three categories of users.”

In short, the new, proposed categories are:

  1. Schools within the school district with the high school having the first priority of facility use.  Schools – other than the high school – would be allowed one event per calendar year.
  2. Second category would be entities that directly support our students such as PTA/PTO, boosters, Decatur Recreation After School Program, Farm-2-School, and DEF.  These entities would reimburse the district for custodial and technician overtime and FICA.  City-wide activities and/or events that directly involve City Schools of Decatur students such as the Decatur Book Festival would fall into the above category.
  3. All other entities would be in the third category subject to the facility use fees as approved by the board at the January 2010 meeting. The facility use fees account for actual maintenance and operating expenditures from fiscal year 2009 (custodians, utilities, and maintenance overhead). These fees would enable the district to be fully reimbursed for its costs.

Sounds like many non-profits would still fall under category 3.

In terms of how DHS’ rates compare to other area facilities of like size, the agenda item has this to say…

Continue reading “CSD Board To Vote on Modifying Facility Use Fees”

Should CSD Raise the Millage Rate Instead of Furlough Teachers?

An AJC article from late yesterday – recaping the Decatur School Board budget meeting on Tuesday – quotes one Decatur resident upset that the Board isn’t considering raising the millage rate (read: raising taxes) instead of furloughing teachers for three days in the coming school year.  In a comment last night, Karass agreed.

I’d like to get an unofficial read on this again, because when I asked at the end of 2008, 70% of those responding to a DM poll had some concern about tax levels in the city.  And things weren’t looking all that bad budget-wise at that point.

iPod Touch Coming to Decatur Classrooms

UPDATE: Asst. Superintendent Thomas Van Soelen provides a few more details on how the iPod Touch will be used…

Last week, we had an exciting kick-off to our pilot using Title II-D funds. This grant, provided by the DOE, allows City Schools of Decatur to pilot a digital learning environment outlined as Goal #1 in our state-approved District Technology Plan 2009-2011. It is our goal to increase and upgrade digital tools in the 21st century classroom, including handheld equipment. City Schools of Decatur used the allotted funds to outfit one classroom with a class set of iPod Touches, an iPod syncing/charging station, and a document camera, as well as training classes provided by an instructor from the Kennesaw ETC.

The iPod Touch handheld devices have shown great promise in the classroom. From educational apps to the standard or graphing calculator, from Google Earth to iTunes U podcasting, from the new release of the integrated voice recorder to audio books applications, the iPod touch fits well with our Goal #1 in our District Technology Plan. This inaugural program, funded by Title II-D funds, will allow us to provide a cutting-edge digital environment for our students while we analyze its impact on student achievement and engagement.

The grant includes:

* iPod Touch- generation 3- class set of 27 
Parasync Syncing/Docking station

* Elmo Document Camera to project teacher ipod for class 

Two days Professional Learning (classroom, ESS, Gifted, or IST teachers, media/IT specialist, or instructional coach- up to 5 teachers total)

* Equipment for professional learning (classroom, ESS, Gifted, or IST teachers, media/IT specialist, or instructional coach- up to 5 teachers total)- 5 ipod touches for teachers

* $150 iTunes card for classroom teacher to purchase educational apps for the iPod Touches

At last night’s Decatur School Board meeting, the board approved a three-year lease agreement with Apple of 124 computers at the cost of $129,540, per the agenda.

However, in addition to 124 computers, which will be spread across the district based on enrollment levels, the DNO’s Jillian Wells reports on a new initiative to use iPod Touches in the school system.

This initiative will also allow student to use the handheld iPod Touch as an educational tool throughout the system. These currently popular devices can sync applications simultaneously so that they can be used for a multitude of activities, such as quick research.

Wilson adamantly supported the efforts to increase the availability of more advanced technology in the classroom, citing the iPod initiative as one means of doing just that. She said that encouraging the proper, honorable usage of the iPods and of electronic devices in general could cut down on cheating, while allowing students to use these devices for academic purposes.

Rob Pope Requests Recount

I confirmed late last week that Rob Pope had requested a recount in his bid for the At-Large School Board seat, but was asked to keep it quiet until after the recount was completed since there wasn’t much hope that the results would change.

In the meantime, InDecatur reported an unconfirmed rumor and then confirmed it with the city.

I recontacted Rob this morning.  Here’s his official response to the recount rumors…

I have officially requested a recount and the Board of elections has agreed that pursuant to Georgia Code (election results being within 1%) a recount will be completed. Many people have asked about a recount and I want to bring closure on the issue and move on with helping out in the schools.


Rob Pope

The recount will take place tomorrow at 10am.

School Board Candidate Garrett Goebel Launches Website

Emily notes that Garrett Goebel, school board candidate in District 1 and the man who helped keep DM commenters honest during the reconfiguration effort, has launched a website supporting his candidacy.

At the site, you can learn Garrett’s platform, read his bio (including a list of volunteer efforts), endorse Garrett and donate to the campaign.

Oh and don’t miss the pic of Garrett getting down in the mud, building what I can only assume is a castle wall in his yard!

Rob Pope Launches Campaign Website For School Board Run

rob pope

Laura and Judd write in with a link to Rob Pope’s newly launched campaign website for the at-large seat on the city’s school board.

On the site, not only will you find the truly great pic above, but also Rob’s bio and his stated goals.  Improving communication between the city commission and school board, along with wider implementation of surveys, top his list of specific action items.