Bulletin Board

City Schools of Decatur Board of Education - June 2022

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Bulletin Board Newsletter

The BOE meeting recap newsletter is shared after each regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The June Board of Education meeting was held on June 14. The recording is available here.

City Schools of Decatur Board of Education

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(left to right)

Mr. James Herndon, Vice Chair

Dr. Carmen Sulton, Board Member

Mrs. Jana Johnson-Davis, Chair

Dr. Maggie Fehrman, Superintendent

Ms. Tasha White, Board Member

Mr. Hans Utz, Board Member

Chair's Report

DEF Celebration of Excellence

On May 17, I had the honor of attending the DEF Celebration of Excellence. I am in awe of the accomplishments of so many of our graduating seniors, and I can’t wait to hear about all of the great things they do next.


Student Protest

The next day, I took a walk up to DHS to observe the Decatur High students who engaged in a peaceful protest against the possible rollback of Roe v. Wade. I appreciate the advocacy and agency of these students and their parents who support them. I also appreciate the administrators of Beacon Hill Middle for facilitating the opportunity for Renfroe students to express themselves.


Superintendent Search

The following day, I met with Dr. Sam King from the Georgia School Board Association to discuss potential timelines for the superintendent search.


CSD Retirement Ceremony

On May 24, I had the pleasure of attending the CSD Retirement Ceremony. Thank you, to the retirees, for your service to the students of Decatur. Hearing about the legacies that the retirees left in our district was inspiring and makes me want to do more.


DHA Annual Excellence Awards

On May 25th, I enjoyed attending the Decatur Housing Authority’s 29th Annual Excellence Awards Program. It warmed my heart to see so many of our students from the lower grades up to graduating seniors get acknowledged for their hard work. I appreciate the investment that DHA makes in our students through their awards and scholarships. Being at that celebration was extra special for me, because I realized that I had taught 9 of the 14 graduating seniors. I am just so proud of them all.


Graduation

Congratulations again to the Class of 2022! I am sorry that I was not able to attend graduation, but I heard that it was a beautiful day and program. Thank you to the DHS and Wilson Center staff who helped to make graduation such a smooth and memorable event.


GSBA Annual Conference

This past weekend I attended the Georgia School Board Association’s Annual Conference. It was an engaging and informative event, which included appearances from both of Georgia’s gubernatorial candidates and the State School Board candidates. During the conference, I also attended a breakout session facilitated by the Superintendent for Henry County Schools, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Davis. Dr. Davis discussed governance team actions that lead to student achievement. Henry County Schools has seen achievement gaps closing since revising their strategic plan. As CSD begins the process of creating a new strategic plan with the help of GSBA, I was encouraged to hear how impactful the GSBA trainings were to the successful implementation of Henry County Schools’ strategic plan.


May Celebrations

May was a busy month for celebrations! We celebrated Teacher Appreciation Day and Week, School Lunch Hero Day, National Principal’s Day, Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, National School Nurse Day, and Better Speech and Hearing Month.

Thank you to all of our employees for your contributions to the City Schools of Decatur! I hope the summer months will allow you the opportunity to catch a little sunshine and relax a bit.


Sports Celebrations and Championships

Our DHS teams wrapped up incredible seasons. In addition to the outstanding accomplishments that I shared last month:

  • DHS baseball competed in the state Final Four
  • DHS Track and Field athletes are state champions in two events - Girls’ 4x800 and Boys’ 3200!
  • DHS Girls Ultimate Frisbee team are also state champions

Congratulations to all these fantastic athletes!

There are so many other wonderful things that have recently occurred in the district such as the Eagle Scout Project at Glennwood. However, I don’t want to take up too much more time. Please check the Board’s newsletter, which will go out later this week, for a more extensive listing of the great things that are happening with our students and staff.


Laughter

Finally, during the May Board meeting, School Board members were criticized for laughing during the April work session. There were members of the community who felt that the business of the Board is too serious for laughter. We had another light moment of laughter during the May meeting, and I felt myself get anxious about whether we should be laughing. Then, I remembered the tragedy that had occurred just a couple of hours earlier at Robb Elementary School. These are difficult times for our nation and our schools. And yes, CSD’s School Board is dealing with very important issues such as student safety and equity. However, I hope that the community will allow us brief moments of levity and collective laughter. Because the reality is that laughter is not occurring on all school boards for a variety of reasons. Tragedy, broken trust, and issues of inequity are preventing smiles in a lot of school districts. It has been my honor to serve with this Board for the past 6 months, and I hope that we will continue to find reasons to laugh and smile together.


School and Employee Shout Outs

EL Education's Better World Day

In celebration of EL Education's Better World Day, Clairemont Elementary School students addressed food deserts as both equity and community health issues. Students set up a farmer's market to give the community access to healthy, affordable produce. The proceeds went to their school’s garden committee to enable a flourishing future. Thank you to Monica Nelson, Clairemont Music Teacher, for taking the lead in creating and implementing an EL Education Better World Day initiative with Clairemont students. Way to go, Clairemont!


Orton Gillingham Staff Training

Congratulations to the City Schools of Decatur teacher cohorts who completed the summer of 2021 and the year-long 2021-22 70-hour Orton Gillingham training.

Thank you, teachers, for participating in a professional learning opportunity that engages in a deeper study of explicit phonic instruction.


Talley LINKS Students Celebrate Success

On May 4, Talley LINKS students, families, and teachers celebrated the unprecedented success the Talley Street LINKS students had in the CML math competition.


CML (Continental Math League) is a math problem-solving competition that requires

above-average reading comprehension and analytical reasoning capabilities.


Their persistence through tough times, motivation to learn and consistently excel, and ability to collaborate with their peers in sharing ideas, knowledge, and skills gave them what it took to achieve such an accomplishment. Way to go, Talley Tigers!


Posse Scholar

Congratulations to DHS senior Salmoncain Smith-Shomade! He was selected as a Posse Scholar. He will attend The George Washington University with a 4-year full-tuition leadership scholarship. Congratulations Salmoncain!


Eagle Scout Project at Glennwood

Glennwood would like to give a shout-out and huge thanks to seniors Jacob Leavey, Thomas Horton, Quinn O’keefe, Eric Hanson, and scouts of Troop 175. Jacob is working towards his Eagle Scout and he and his friends built four picnic tables for Glennwood students. Way to go, Jacob!


Glennwood Teachers Complete Understanding Dyslexia Course

Glennwood teachers and staff, along with CSD staff from the Curriculum and Instruction team, attended a two-part course entitled Understanding Dyslexia. The course was taught by Brenda Fitzgerald, executive director of Georgia Educational Training Agency which has been a leader in education for 25 years. Way to go, Glennwood!


Math Endorsement Crew Shout-out!

We have a cohort of eight teachers and instructional coaches who just finished their 1.5-year-long journey to complete the Metro RESA Math K-5 Endorsement program. These risk-takers engaged in this work completely virtual for the first year. They all worked very hard, were diligent about showing up for classes, and really become a math family. Congratulations on a job well done!


Gifted Endorsement Shout-out

Eight teachers gave a significant amount of their time this year to earn the Gifted Endorsement for their teaching certificates, which required taking four courses from August-May outside of school hours. The Metro RESA Gifted Endorsement instructor raved about this cohort of dedicated teachers. She was so impressed by this group and shared that they did amazing work from start to finish that will really benefit our students. Thank you to this cohort for all of your time, effort, and stellar work!


DHS Students Participate in CTI State Leadership Conference

Decatur High School Career Technical Instruction (CTI) received a PTSA grant that allowed four students to participate in our CTI State Leadership Conference at Rock Eagle in Eatonton, Georgia. The conference was April 19-21, and students participated in competitions, attended leadership classes, met other CTI students from all over Georgia, and explored a variety of activities. Although all students attended for the first time, we had two students place in their competitions: Jack Gregory placed 3rd in Public Speaking and Jade Gamble placed 2nd in Catering Food Service Table Prep. Way to go!

Board Spotlight

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CSD Leadership Academy

The June spotlight recognized the staff members that completed cohort 2 of Leadership Academy. The CSD Leadership Development Academy is designed for any staff member aspiring to move into a leadership position, any newly appointed leader who has not yet completed the Academy, and any current leader seeking additional leadership training for advancement in CSD. Congratulations to the graduates!


Cohort 2 Graduates:

  • Sarah Coleman
  • Briana Dayton
  • Edwin Ellis
  • Gail Hardwick
  • Kimberly Jones
  • Katrina Monroe
  • Kelly Nichols
  • Lyndsei Pacini
  • Kinsey Simpson
  • Brittany Stewart
  • Kizzy Terry

Board Consent Agenda Items

The Board unanimously approved all consent items:

  • Personnel Report
  • School Nutrition
  • Financial Reports

Action/Discussion/Information

School Nutrition Budget Amendment [Action]

The Board unanimously approved the school nutrition budget amendment.


For the current fiscal year, the school nutrition department was able to serve meals at no cost to all students within the district. As a result, the revenue earned by the department that would normally come from paid student meal participation shifted to federal revenue earned through USDA reimbursement. As the school year closes, the School Nutrition department submitted a budget amendment to show the increase in federal revenue earned and show the decrease in projected local revenues.


Financial Impact

The School Nutrition Program received an additional $526,764 in revenue as a result of the Federal Program, which allowed all students to eat free.


RFP 22-007 Custodian Services [Action]

The Board unanimously approved RFP 22-007 for custodial services.


Based upon the selection process outlined in the board meeting agenda, the evaluation committee recommended that Environmental Service Partners be awarded these services. Further, we recommend that the superintendent and staff be authorized to execute a contract for $528,000.00 for custodian services.


Policy Monitoring Report [Information]

The June school monthly data report was on the agenda for information. The monthly data reports from principals are provided to support school improvement plans that take a systemic approach to improve student achievement and school quality. These reports present a graphic summary of important school data to allow the Board easy access to important metrics that the school is measuring to determine how the district and the school are doing on meeting district and school goals. The reports will be updated monthly and posted on the Board of Education agenda to provide all stakeholders with up-to-date information on how the school is progressing in meeting its goals.


State of Departments [Discussion]

Each department at the Wilson Center will share a State of the Department report for the Board’s consideration. The Community and Government Relations and Enrollment, Operations, and Human Resources departments shared their reports this month.


Superintendent Search Timeline [Discussion]

The Board discussed timelines provided by the Georgia School Boards Association. The timeline that the Board approved included community engagement prior to the job being posted. More information will be provided about the search and community engagement in the coming months.

Board of Education Meeting Information

Next Board Meeting: Next Regular Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 12, at 6:30 PM. VIRTUAL ONLY for the July meeting.


Link to Join Board Meeting: https://csdecatur.zoom.us/j/95614159391


Board Agenda(s): To access the CSD Board of Education meeting agenda(s), supporting documents, and meeting minutes, go to Simbli Solutions.


Public Comments: Click here for information on how to sign-up to speak at a CSD Board meeting.


Contacting Board Members:
Letters and email are effective ways to make your views known. Email the entire Board at board@csdecatur.net. Click here to view board member bios and contact information.