Dr. Fehrman's Friday Follow-Up
Update on Pending Grading Changes
The Board and I have received several questions about the pending changes to the CSD grading procedures and processes. Please know we are in the early phases of planning the implementation, timeline, and logistics of these changes. A decision on how to move forward had to be made so we can engage with our staff at our schools on the best way to roll out a new grading protocol and flesh out details on the various nuances for what is best for the students in CSD. We will have much more information for all stakeholders coming soon, including coffee chats, resource documents, and crosswalks.
Stronger Together Shout Out
Please congratulate the Decatur Career Academy (DCA) stakeholders as they have earned College and Career Academy Certification via the TCSG.
Full College and Career Academy (CCA) Certification is the term used when an established CCA has fully implemented the CCA model and met the Certification Standards and Assurances. To obtain full Certification, the CCA works with the Technical College System of Georgia (TSCG) Office of College and Career Academy. A College and Career Academy must meet full certification, which is granted by the approval of the State Board of Technical and Adult Education as one component of the district performance contract approval or renewal by the Georgia State Board of Education.
Over the last month and a half, the Decatur Career Academy faculty and staff have completed the review process that included an Internal Review, Presentation, and External Review. On April 12 and 13, the final phase was completed with their TCSG External Certification Visit. This is the equivalent of AdvancED accreditation for Career Academies. The Decatur Career Academy teachers, students, and the advisory team worked so hard preparing for their visit!!! The review team highlighted the DCA as one of the best programs in the state! Here are a few commendations received:
the DCA leadership and teachers have a culture of trust and collaboration
the experience and qualifications of the faculty in the DCA is top-notch
the DCA faculty and leaders have a true heart for caring for students!
the DCA supports career exploration resources like YouScience, which provides valuable information for our students
They received NO required actions!!! Congratulations to all of the DCA teachers, students, and stakeholders!
Top Dog Awards
We continue to get outstanding nominations for the Top Dog Awards, and I hope our community loves reading about our excellent employees. Our Top Dogs this week are Brandie Ivester, Saadia Foy, Cindy Clark, Shannon Stewart, Dr. Jennie Muhlhausen, Dr. Gail Hardwick, and Dr. Karla Zisook.
Keep the nominations coming! Click here to nominate a staff member for the Top Dog Award.
Brandie Ivester, Teacher at Decatur High School
“I think she should get this recognition because she is more than just a teacher. She helps with the problems that we have and she has food for us when we need it. She doesn’t have to do the things that she does for us. She could just teach us and not care about our feelings, but she cares, and that is why she should get recognized.”
Saadia Foy, Bookkeeper at Decatur High School
“Perhaps no role has been more stressful during the pandemic than sub coordination. At DHS, that responsibility belongs to our bookkeeper, Saadia Foy. Saadia navigates a complex daily puzzle of coverage that maximizes teacher planning time. She does it all with grace and kindness and, above all, excellent communication. Our teachers and fantastic substitute teachers know they can always count on Saadia for timely and thorough communication and to, as her email signature suggests, spread kindness like confetti.”
Cindy Clark, Music Teacher at Winnona Park Elementary and District Music Lead Teacher
“Cindy has gone above and beyond as the District Music Content Lead. She has pulled the team together and even took a personal day to support the middle and high school teachers and students at Large Group Performance Evaluation. What a leader!!!”
Shannon Stewart, Fifth Avenue Instructional Coach, Dr. Jennie Muhlhausen, Talley Street Instructional Coach, Dr. Gail Hardwick, District Reading Coach, and Dr. Karla Zisook, District Reading Coach
“City Schools of Decatur instructional coaches for grades 3-5, Ms. Shannon Stewart and Dr. Jennie Muhlhausen, led the customization of the American Reading Company Literacy Lab planning for 2022-23 with FAVE and Talley teacher leaders through the lens of term one's Unit of Inquiry while identifying the standards to teach and assess at the Wilson Center PLC on Wednesday, April 20. Dr. Gail Hardwick and Dr. Karla Zisook led similar work with the K-2 instructional coaches in March. Way to go, Ms. Stewart, Dr. Muhlhausen, Dr. Hardwick, and Dr. Zisook!”
Congratulations! Great job! Way to go!
Congratulations to Shannon Stewart!
Shannon Stewart, the FAVE Instructional Coach, has been selected to serve as the City Schools of Decatur representative for the GaDOE ELA Standards Review Teacher Working Committee. She begins her committee work in May 2022. We are so proud of Shannon! She has made such valuable literacy contributions to the CSD grade 3-5 learning community this academic year. Congratulations, Shannon!
Congratulations to our Young Georgia Author Winners!
Molly Davis, a 6th-grade Renfroe Middle School student (pictured), is the Metro RESA's Young Georgia Author first place winner for the work titled Up in the Air.
Emerson Keen, a 10th-grade Decatur High School student, is the second place Metro RESA's Young Georgia Author honorable mention for the work titled Us, Growing Up.
Way to go, Molly and Emerson!
Awesome Author Visit
Glennwood, Westchester, and the Decatur Virtual Academy (K-5) students welcomed former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush for a virtual author visit on April 12. The twin sisters were debuting their newest children's book, The Superpower Sisterhood.
The book celebrates friendship, sisterhood (and brotherhood), and shares the message that life is pretty exciting with friends by your side, kindness matters, and anything is possible!
We had the honor of being the FIRST stop on their book tour. The book will release on April 19. This amazing opportunity for our students was brought to us by Little Shop of Stories in Decatur. We are so grateful for their continued partnership with City Schools of Decatur because together, we are growing GREAT readers!
CSD Announcements and Updates
Tentative FY2023 Budget Approval
The Board approved the tentative Fiscal Year 2023 budget at their meeting earlier this week. Click here (starting at 1:35:04) to listen to the presentation by Chief Financial Officer Lonita Broome. The final FY23 budget approval and tentative approval of the millage rate will take place at the May Board of Education meeting at 6:30 pm. Prior to the May 10 board meeting, a public hearing on the budget will be held at 6:15 pm. Public comment and input are appreciated. Additionally, the budget feedback link is active, and public comments and suggestions can be submitted via the link at https://forms.gle/CGXXUL6BWWiGKBXF6.
2023-2024 and 2024-2025 Academic Calendar Stakeholder Feedback Surveys
It is time to gather stakeholder input on the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 academic calendars. First, please review the linked calendars. Each calendar has three options for stakeholders to review. The “standard” option for both years follows the current calendar setup, with two early release days before fall and winter break. “Option 1” calendars have an early release day once a month. “Option 2” calendars have a mix of early release days and digital learning days. In calendar options 1 and 2, the addition of the early release days or digital learning days are intended to be used to provide our staff with additional time for professional learning.
After reviewing the calendars, please provide feedback via this survey link. The survey for feedback will remain open through May 13. School SLTs will also review the calendar options at their next SLT meeting and send additional feedback and input to be reviewed. All stakeholder feedback will be reviewed and considered before a recommendation is made to the Board for approval of the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 academic calendars in August or September.
Extra Mile Award
Students: Do you know a teacher or CSD employee who has gone “the extra mile” this year? Nominate them for the CSD Extra Mile Award! The Extra Mile Award is an annual award that allows students to show their appreciation for the teachers or staff they feel go above and beyond what is expected of them.
Students (not parents) at any grade level can write an essay describing how their teacher (or staff member) goes the extra mile (parents can help younger children write the essay). The essays should be detailed and describe how the employee goes above and beyond.
These awards will be presented at the CSD Opening Day Celebration in July.
Questions? Contact email@example.com or 404-371-3601
CSD Night at Atlanta United Game
City Schools of Decatur has secured discounted ATL UTD tickets for their match on Saturday, May 28 vs. Columbus Crew. All students, family, and friends that purchase through this link will save up to 50% off tickets plus reduced fees while supplies last.
$5 from every ticket will go back to support City Schools of Decatur. The top 20 students who sell the most tickets will also get to participate in the player high-five tunnel experience before the match! Be sure to enter the name of the student who you received this offer from and select your school at the drop-down during checkout.
Offer expires May 14 or until tickets are sold out. Click this link https://fevo.me/csd to learn more.
Georgia’s Department of Education has partnered with Graduation Alliance to provide an extra layer of support for K-12 students and their families to boost school engagement and academic success during the school year.
Students who choose to participate in the program will be assigned an Academic Success Coach who will answer questions, connect them with resources, and develop a plan to help the student stay on track and engaged with their schooling.
See the picture below for more information.
Decatur High School Advanced Acting Ensemble
You won’t want to miss “She Kills Monsters” April 20-24 at the DHS Performing Arts Center! Tickets can be purchased at decaturperforms.org: select “Ticket Info” from the drop-down menu.
When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, she finds herself catapulted into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was her sister’s refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and 90s pop culture, acclaimed playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.
April 22 and 23 at 7 pm
April 23 and 24 at 2 pm
Ages: middle school and up
District CLIP Input Meeting
Please join us to share your feedback on the CSD 2022-2023 Comprehensive Local Education Agency Implementation Plan (CLIP).
ESOL and Federal Programs Family Engagement Session
CSD Families and Students- Are you Interested in learning more about financial literacy? Please use the registration link below to sign-up for this workshop. We will discuss:
Saving for Emergencies
Finance 101: Part 2
Thursday, May 19, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Community Partner Announcements and Updates
Decatur Parents Network
Decatur Parents Network invites parents to join us for a non-judgemental webinar about marijuana's impact on the young brain. This is NOT a discussion about legalization, decriminalization, or adult use. We are putting all that aside to just have a chance to hear about the potential impact on use by young people. The presenter is Dr. Merrill Norton, CMAC, ICCPP-P of Chemical Health Associates, and professor emeritus from UGA's College of Pharmacology. Register for this webinar at https://bit.ly/DecaturParentsNetworkMaySpeakerSeries
Decatur Education Foundation
It’s time to Step Up for Teachers!
Express your appreciation for a teacher or CSD staff member with a Step Up tribute: Go to www.stepupforteachers.com, make a $25 contribution and you can leave a tribute message for your favorite CSD employee. DEF will notify the honored person. For $50 you can honor two CSD staff members AND have a yard sign delivered to your Decatur address! To celebrate our DHS seniors, we also have yard signs for the Class of 2022. Your contributions support Teacher Innovation Grants and provide an encouraging boost that our teachers need to finish the school year!
Dine out for DEF
Plan to dine out for DEF next THURSDAY, April 28! NaanStop and Greg Kodesh Realty are partnering to donate 20% of sales to the DEF! NaanStop is a family-owned Indian restaurant serving our mother's recipes. We're offering family meals including 2 entrees, fresh-baked naan, handmade samosas, basmati rice, and chutneys (feeds 4).
Just place your order before 5 pm on Wednesday, April 27, and your order will be available for pick up between 5 - 5:45 pm on Thursday, April 28. Pick up location provided when order is confirmed.
- Link to menu: http://naanstop-decatur.square.site
- Pickup/drive-thru at Avery/Bucher in Decatur between 5-5:45 pm. - Order in advance before 5 pm on Wednesday, April 27. It is first-come, first-served so get your orders in before they sell out!
DEF Treasure Hunt
There are just two more weeks to participate in the DEF treasure hunt and have a chance to win some cool prizes! Just go to https://decatureducationfoundation.org/DEF-treasurehunt/ to get started! It’s a fun, FREE, family activity that takes 1-2 hours to complete.
Help with Food Insecurity
It’s our mission to eliminate the problems our kids face so they can learn and thrive. To address food insecurity, we have several Amazon wish lists that continue monthly and are currently running low. Please consider making a donation to one of the following links for Renfroe and Talley at these links:
RMS Snacks: https://a.co/d0HJHTr
Talley Snacks: https://a.co/8BxrMEz
Weekend Food Backpacks: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1IVCVGY0GCF9S?ref_=wl_fv_le