CSD District Dispatch
News from around CSD: February 24, 2020 edition
The City Schools of Decatur District Dispatch provides parents, students, staff, and community members with the latest news from around the district each month.
Table of Contents:
- Board Spotlight: Renfroe's IB World Language
- Equity Spotlight: Clairemont
- Board Meeting Information
- District News from the Wilson School Support Center
- School News You Can Use
- Student Athlete Spotlight
- Scenes from our Schools... Photos from around the District!
- Important Dates Around the District
Board Spotlight: Renfroe Middle School
Renfroe Spotlight: IB Language Acquisition by World Language Department
French and Spanish students at Renfroe, as well as their teachers, discussed their cultural excursions and experiences learning world language outside of the classroom this year.
Seventh-grade Spanish students Ethan and Kim explained- en Espanol- about how much they enjoyed their visit to Winnona Park where they served as book buddies to the first and second grade students. Eighth-grade Spanish student Bennett discussed how he enjoyed reading to students at Oakhurst. Eighth-grade student Kathryn discussed a trip the class had taken that day to Plaza Fiesta and the Buford Highway Farmers Market. During the students' visit, they learned first-hand about the culture of the Spanish-speaking world by visiting a variety of shops and markets including a butcher, a dress shop, and a market where they were able to try foods from all over the world.
French student Sophia discussed how her class was able to go to Cafe Alsace for a traditional french breakfast and how they were able to converse with the owner entirely in French. She also talked about how she enjoyed that her class studied the French culture through activities like reading, music, and Francophone celebrations.
Shamarah discussed how she enjoyed studying the festivals and the traditional dress of Latin America. Rae, a Spanish student in sixth grade, discussed how she enjoyed the art festival and playing traditional Spanish games as well as reading books in Spanish.
All of these students spoke in either Spanish or French.
The teachers went on to explain that the world language program is actually a part of the core-curriculum at Renfroe. They said, "this is the second year our students took the STAMP test, which demonstrated the impressive accomplishments and growth of our students. The world language curriculum at Renfroe helps our students follow the pathway of getting an IB diploma at DHS."
Equity Spotlight: Clairemont Elementary
A video was shown where the students and adults described the differences between Equity and Equality based on the image below. Many described what they saw in the image below and how equity is being fair so no one gets left out or left behind, and so everyone has the same opportunities to succeed. Here is a link to the video that was shown: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ovcXDYiXzhUU8BmHx5mnCqWNhlpqWndv/view.
As a part of their equity work, each month the whole school reads the same book. The books they have discussed include, Let's talk about Race, Shaking Things Up, The Proudest Blue, Can I Touch Your Hair and Wilma Unlimited.
Board Meeting Information
These monthly Board Meetings, often on the second Tuesday of the month, are held at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom at the Elizabeth Wilson School Support Center, 125 Electric Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030. Also, the Board agenda can be found on at www.csdecatur.net/Board prior to each meeting. For more about what was discussed at previous Board Meetings, please view our Board of Education Meeting Video Library here https://www.csdecatur.net/Page/3765.
District News from the Wilson School Support Center
2020-2021 New K - 12 Student Registration
2020-2021 Registration Begins March 9, 2020
Step 1: Fill out the online registration application
Step 2: Gather your supporting documents
Step 3: Schedule your registration appointment
Go to www.csdecatur.net/enrollment to find the registration application, list of required supporting documentation, and to schedule your registration appointment.
Appointments are strongly encouraged. Walk-ins will not be turned away but may encounter significant wait times to meet with an enrollment specialist.
Registration questions? Contact us at email@example.com or 404-371-3601.
MTSS Process At-A-Glance
If your child has gone through the the intervention process from intervention to eligibility, you know first-hand that the process can be complex, and honestly, confusing. There is guidance on the internet and in various procedures manuals; however, experiences can vary.
In an effort to help all stakeholders better understand the process and the importance of each step in City Schools of Decatur, the Curriculum & Instruction (MTSS and Special Education) and Equity & Student Supports (Section 504) departments collaborated to create an at-a-glance guidance form. The document helps parents and teachers "see" the general flow of the process of interventions, evaluations, and determining eligibility for different support programs. It is our hope that this document provides guidance to school staff and is a resource for parents seeking to understand the process and desiring to participate as an informed team member. For more information, please visit https://www.csdecatur.net/Page/4015.
To view the full MTSS process document, please visit www.csdecatur.net/MTSSprocess.
Thank you to Community Members who attended Beyond Diversity training
Facilitated by the Pacific Educational Group, Beyond Diversity is a powerful, personally transforming two-day seminar designed to help leaders, educators, students, parents, administrators, and community participants understand the impact of race on student learning and investigate the role that racism plays in institutionalizing academic achievement disparities. Participants engage in a thoughtful, compassionate exploration of race and racism and grapple with how each influences the culture and climate of our schools; and practice using strategies for identifying and addressing policies, programs, and practices that negatively impact achievement for students’ of color and serve as barriers for ALL students receiving a world-class education.
We appreciate the Decatur Education Foundation's generosity in sponsoring this training. CSD is so grateful that our community can also receive the training that all CSD employees are going through as we all look forward to doing better by knowing better.
Equity and Student Support
Black History Month
February is Black History Month! As we celebrate we encourage our staff to read this interesting read: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/black-history-month-teaching-the-complete-history
The Equity Advisory Council
The Equity Advisory Council will convene as the Equity and Student Support Advisory Council on March 22 at 6:30 pm. This will be a virtual meeting. If you are interested in participating, email Cynthia Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) for an invitation and link to join the meeting.
Interested in Being a Substitute Teacher?
Research and Analytics: Georgia Milestones
Georgia Milestones is just around the corner. Grades 3-8 will test April 20 - 28. High school End of Course testing will occur April 28 - May 15.
New this year:
Students taking AP US History do not need to take the End of Course test. Their final grade for the class will serve as the state reported measure for US History.
As of June 2019, CSD has a new administrative regulation about testing which states: “Both state and federal law require public schools to annually assess all enrolled students. Neither the school nor the district has the authority to waive the student assessment requirement. Parents with questions about testing requirements for his/her child need to address these with the local school principal. If a parent/guardian refuses to comply with these laws, they must communicate their intent in writing to the principal at least two weeks prior to the start of testing.”
We encourage all our students to participate in state testing. Parents who have concerns, should give their principal written notice at least two weeks prior to the first day of testing.
Curriculum and Instruction:
The Decatur Career Academy
The DCA has increased enrollment by 30% since 2017. In the 18-19 school year, Pathway Completers (3 courses in the same subject area) had a 98% graduation rate and 84% pass rate on the End of Pathway Assessments (EOPA). The 122 students participating in work-based learning earned $166,000 and worked more than 25,000 hours during the 18-19 school year. Over the past 2 school years, IB Career Program students earned 50 certificates with 72% of participates completing the program. Dual enrollment students accounted for over 800 college credits earned during the 18-19 school year.
US Census 2020: A message from the City of Decatur
April 1, 2020 is Census Day. The City of Decatur wants all of its residents to participate to help inform the process for the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds to communities around the country each year for things such as health care, emergency services, infrastructure, education and food assistance.
Want more information about the impacts of the Census or do you have questions about the items on the survey instrument or even about the confidentiality of the data? Then check out 2020census.gov, census.georgia.gov or visit the City's Census webpage at www.decaturga.com because Every.One.Counts.
Scott Blvd Pedestrian-Hybrid Beacon
The City of Decatur Public Works department received approval from GDOT for Westchester Pedestrian Hawk Beacon (PHB) to go live on February 18. The new signal is now fully functional and Principal Lofstrand documented her inaugural walk, including a few tips for our pedestrian families. You can check it out here: https://youtu.be/i3J5VxLtRwQ.
If you have any questions, please contact Courtney Frisch with City of Decatur at email@example.com.
Talley Street Traffic Light Operational
Our friends from the City of Decatur have wrapped up the work on the Talley street traffic signal. The signal is currently fully operational; traffic is now controlled by the signal and the all-way stop signs will be removed soon.
Thank you for your patience as the City made adjustments to the timing of the signal in order improve traffic flow on all approaches of the intersection. We appreciate the City's quick response to find the optimal timing to accommodate all vehicular and pedestrian movements.
As previously noted, Shadowmoor Drive is now a part of the intersection. When Shadowmoor gets a green, please proceed through the entire intersection. You no longer need to stop at Talley.
Also, to help with traffic flow, please remember to take a right out of the Talley parking lot and exit toward Sams Street during school drop-off or pick-up times.
School News You Can Use!
DHS Named an AP Honor School!
AP Schools of Distinction (70 named)
Schools with at least 20% of the total student population taking AP exams and at least 50% of all AP exams earning scores of 3 or higher
AP STEM Schools (183 named)
Schools with a minimum of five students testing in at least four AP STEM courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles)
AP STEM Achievement Schools (94 named)
AP STEM schools (see above definition) with at least 50% of all AP STEM exams earning scores of 3 or higher.
Eighth-Graders Visit the Georgia World Congress Center's Celebrate the Difference Gathering
Decatur's own Asha Yussuf had an opportunity to speak and to represent Renfroe.
The group of eighth graders waiting for the presentation.
Martin Luther King III speaking to the group.
Glennwood's Culture Night celebrates the cultures represented by their students
Renfroe's French Students Enjoy the Cuisine and Culture of France at Cafe Alsace
Equity Work and Outreach at Westchester
Black History Month at Talley
Talley Street teachers Shannon Brewton, Vivian Carter-Cain, and Dana Wright have organized displays and student activities in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Black History Month. Students have the opportunity to participate in a Great African Americans in History Wax Museum on February 26 by researching and portraying African Americans (both past and present) who were important figures in history or who have made a positive difference in our world. Displays with historic photographs and artifacts about Dr. King, the Civil Rights Movement, and Black inventions have been set up in the lobby of the school. The PTO is also sponsoring a spoken word competition and other activities on February 28.
Clairemont First-Graders Learn Important Life Skills
Westchester Krewe Wins Mead Rd. Mardi Gras Parade
Winnona Park receives a DEF Arts Infusion Grant
Clairemont receives a DEF Arts Infusion Grant
On February 7, Clairemont's first grade received a DEF arts-infusion grant for their Poetry Jam. Clairemont's first grade teachers were on hand along with assistant principal Jean-Jacques Credi, to accept the check from DEF's Nia Schooler. Marquetta Johnson, the resident artist who will assist with the expedition, also came to accept the check with the teachers.
Over the course of April and May, Clairemont will teach poetry in connection with our Spring Expedition, which is primarily focused on historical figures. The students will choose a historical figure to be the foundation of their poetic expression as well as a type of poem. At the Poetry Jam, each child will have an opportunity to stand on a stage in front of an authentic audience and recite their own original poem. In addition, we will collaborate with Marquetta Johnson through DEF who will help our students create various visual representations for our poetry. This night, and the exhibition as a whole, will give our students a chance to proudly find their voice.
For more information about DEF's Arts Infusion Grant, please visit https://decatureducationfoundation.org/zara/.
DHS Students Get Personal Tour with Mike Glenn's Exhibit at the Decatur Library
“Voices: Reflections on an American Icon Through Words and Song” Author visits Glennwood
Clairemont's Second-Grade Expedition
Historical Georgians Visit Glennwood's Second Grade
A Huge Thanks for Clairemont Elementary's Gardening Committee
Oakhurst Celebrates Read Out Loud Day with a virtual story time!
DHS Diverse Perspectives Book Club
Westchester Stories Alive!
F.AVE Reading Bowl Team
The F.AVE Reading Bowl Team competed on Saturday at the Metro Regional Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl against teams from around the metro area. The reading bowl team is a 5th grade team that reads 10 of the Georgia Book Award nominated books, then meets weekly to create questions and study the books. Students began preparing during the summer, worked all fall and winter, even participating in scrimmages with Talley Street. The F.AVE team placed 5th overall in Saturday's competition, winning 3 rounds and tying the other 3 rounds. Our competing team members were Isaiah Waugh, Sam Epstein, Audrey Grills, Anna Charen, William Rose, Erin Ellis, Charlotte Hoppin, and Houser Pugh. Ammanuel Abebe was also part of the team, but was unable to participate in the competition.
Renfroe's Seventh-Graders Experience Traditional African Drumming
Earlier this month, Renfroe seventh-graders were visited by an African drumming group named GIWAYEN MATA, the award-winning, dynamic, soul-stirring, self-described all-sistah, dance, percussion, and vocal ensemble that celebrates the richness of traditional Africa by exhibiting its exemplary art forms. This is an experience to enhance the unit about Africa in Individuals and Societies and celebrate black history in America. The IB inquiry statement for the unit is "Global interconnectedness leads to opportunity and conflict in Africa." As students explore what interconnectedness means while exploring the seventh-grade state standards on Africa they were thrilled with the opportunity to learn about the importance of drumming in many cultures throughout Africa and how it has influenced culture and music throughout the world.
The ensemble performs traditional, contemporary, and original pieces that address issues pertaining to people of color, women, and the environment. Students experienced a Full Circle or a compilation of songs, rhythms, dances, and storytelling. During this performance, GIWAYEN MATA presented songs, rhythms, and dances of Africa and the African Diaspora. The ensemble took the students on a journey from independent African life to and through the Middle Passage, to the United States. For more information about this group, please visit https://www.giwayenmata.org/programming.
Renfroe & DHS Celebrations and Congratulations!
A monthly digest of achievements and accomplishments of our students, teachers, and staff.
RMS students win the 2019 Georgia Stock Market game! RMS students won the fall 2019 Georgia Stock Market game coached by Mrs. Williams. They will represent congressional district 5 this spring at a special awards luncheon. The team ended with a portfolio value of $115,751.64!
DHS Mock Trial Competitions DHS sent two teams to the Mock Trial Regional competition on February 1. Both teams were outstanding after having competed in three rounds. One team came in first and will advance to District competition. The other team performed well and won the majority of their ballots. We are so proud of these amazing students who performed so well against tough competition! Outstanding attorneys on our teams include: Nayeli Shad, Rebecca Raybourn, Lauryn Williams, and Isabelle Hanna. Outstanding witnesses: Daxton Pettus, Carter Smith, and Jack Irwin-Weyant. Thank you to the Mock Trial Team teacher coaches Erika Leach and Noemi Griffin for all your hard work and the guidance you've provided these students.
DHS Ethics Bowl Team Wins State! Congratulations to the DHS Ethics Bowl team who recently had two DHS teams compete in the regional bowl at West Georgia. The teams did so well that our two teams played each other for the final. Even though this is only the second year DHS has had a team, we are now the Georgia champions two years in a row! On Thursday, February 12, the team won their most recent competition, a virtual Ethics Bowl with a team from South Carolina. Next the team will go on to the National High School Ethics Bowl at UNC Chapel Hill where they would compete against the top 24 teams in the country, out of over 500 nationally, to win the National title! Thanks to our coaches Cheryl and Eddy Nahmias who have worked so hard with these two teams.
Congratulations to the DHS debaters who competed at the GFCA state competition this past weekend. Two of our freshmen debated for 19 hours before being eliminated in the semi-final round by ONE ballot. They took home the semifinalist cup. We wish them luck at their next competitions which include: the John L. Lewis Invitational, varsity state, and nationals in late March!
DHS Choir Students Join the All-State Reading Chorus.
Eighteen DHS students and their teacher, Dr. Elise Eskew-Sparks, represented Decatur High School last month in Athens at the All-State Reading Chorus, a select honors ensemble consisting of 100-110 students from across the State of Georgia. DHS is also set to send one of the largest groups - 48 voices - back to Athens for All-State Chorus this month. Congrats to our DHS chorus students on both of these amazing performances.
Congrats to Herr Snider and the DHS German Club who won multiple awards at the State of Georgia German Convention. Thirty DHS German students attended and the club came home with close to a dozen awards including winning second overall for their skit.
Lucy Johnson - Flute
Alice Rope - Oboe
Ava Defilipo - French Horn
Jackson Jeffries - French Horn
Jason Zgonc - Trumpet
Jackson Chapman - Trombone
Emma Xuan - Viola
Hazel Patti - Bass
Cici Clark - Bass
RMS students win the 2019 Georgia Stock Market game!
The DHS Mock Trial team did a fantastic job in their competitions.
DHS Ethics Bowl Team Wins State!
Congratulations to DHS debaters!
Congratulations to the 18 DHS students selected to be a part of the All-State Reading Chorus!
Congrats to the DHS German Club!
Spotlight on Student Athletes
Student Athlete Spotlight: Winter Sports End with Some Amazing Accomplishments!
Congrats to our Boys Varsity Basketball team who played in the State Playoffs for the first time in over 10 years! A special Congratulations to the following boy's basketball bulldogs for being named all region.
- MaKenzie Norman#0 - 1st team all-region
- Sherard Lucas #11 - 2nd Team all-region
- Kasheem Grady #13 - Honorable Mention
- Kenric Lanier #22 - Freshman of the Year
Shout out to Coach Gilbert for leading the Decatur Bulldog Baseball team to be ranked 9th in the state in the pre-season. In addition, seven of Coach Gilbert's Decatur baseball scholar seniors who have committed to play College Baseball were recognized at the City Commission Meeting this month.
Congratulations to the Decatur Swim team! They concluded the season with the GHSA State Championship Swim Meet. Overall, the boys came in 8th out of all of the 4A-5A schools. The girls came in 10th out of all of the 4A-5A schools.
- Hally Laney was named to the 4A-5A All State 1st Team for her performance in the 200 IM.
- Annie Pfeufer was named to the 2nd Team for her performances in the 100 and 200 freestyle.
- Camille Messionnier and Madelyn McElroy were named to the 3rd Team for their contribution to the 400 freestyle relay team.
- Fiona McElroy was given an honorable mention for her contribution to the 200 medley relay team.
- Simon Abrahamse, Ryland Rembert, Quinn Cattanach, and Jason Hinson were named to the 3rd Team for their performance on the 200 medley relay. Jason was also recognized on the 3rd Team for his performance in the 100 fly.
- Nathan Hall was given an honorable mention for his contribution to the 400 freestyle relay team.
Be sure to root on our amazing teams at their next games. The full calendar of all DHS Athletic games and meets is listed on the right hand column of the Decatur Bulldog Boosters page.
Congrats to these three DHS wrestlers who went on to the State playoffs!
Congrats to our amazing DHS Swimmers!
These seven DHS scholars were acknowledged by the Mayor and the City Commissioners for signing on to play baseball at the University level!
Scenes from our Schools... Photos from around the District!
College Heights Pre-K students enjoying a picture walk with their favorite books.
Lita from Escuelita de Lita teaching Spanish to her College Heights students.
Ms. B's College Heights class learning about water, mirrors, and reflection.
Clairemont students celebrate the 100th day of school!
Clairemont's second-graders enjoying their expedition on force.
Clairemont students celebrate the 100th day of school!
Westchester celebrates the 100th day of school!
Westchester is proud to have won the Mead Street Mardi Gras' Best School Krewe for the 4th year in a row!
Westchester celebrates the 100th day of school!
Oakhurst celebrates at DEF's Mead Road Mardi Gras with a Old Town Road theme!
Principal Tanisha Sanders presenting at the EL Education Regional Leadership Cohort in January.
Senor Valerio goes above and beyond to help his students.
Glennwood celebrates the many cultures represented by their families during the Glennwood culture night!
Glennwood says goodbye the their interim music teacher Mr. Eugene.
Glennwood displays the traveling photography exhibit, Moments in Black History. Each photo was sponsored by a CSD family. This exhibit was originally displayed at Winnona Park and will make their way around our district.
Winnona Park celebrates the 100th day of school with dominoes!
Ms. Ella Harley, a Kindergarten para at Winonna Park and her students all showing their school pride of their local Historically Black College and Universities- Spelman and Moorehouse!
More Domino fun on the 100th day of school at Winnona Park!
Future Talley families and community members mingle with Talley and CSD staff as well as School Board Members during the Talley Open House in January.
Thank you to all who came to the Talley Community Open House! We were so proud to show our community this beautiful new school.
Spectators at the Talley Open House ribbon cutting ceremony.
One of F.AVE's PE classes practicing a flashmob dance with Coach Hallman.
Students enjoying F.AVE's last Cast Gathering.
F.AVE's movie night in January.
Congratulations to our DHS wrestling team for a strong showing at Regionals and Sectionals!
Congrats to ninth grader Audrey Trujillo who rocked the 50 free at the GHSA state swim meet.
The DHS poets competing in the February 12 Poetry Slam! The winning poem will be featured in next month's Decatur Dispatch!
Renfroe's Spanish students went on a field trip/ scavenger hunt around Buford Highway Farmers Market and Plaza Fiesta. What a fun way to practice speaking in Spanish and learning about Spanish culture!
Renfroe's French students took a field trip to Cafe Alsace in Downtown Decatur to enjoy a traditional French breakfast.
Renfroe students collaborate on a 3-D architecture project. They made cars, trains and even a 3-D model of the City of Decatur logo!
Important Dates Around the District
Upcoming School Breaks:
- No school on March 16, 2020, Professional Learning Day for Staff
- No school on April 6-10, 2020 for Spring Break
Upcoming PTA/PTO/PTSA Events: (in chronological order)
Glennwood's Casino Night Silent Auction - February 29
For tickets or more information, visit www.glennwoodpta.org/auction.
College Heights Bid for Chick's Little Luau Auction - March 6
For tickets or more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/BidforChicksLittleLuau.
The Bulldog Bash - March 14
Support your Decatur athletes and at the Bulldog Boosters’ annual chili-cook off. For more information, visit https://decaturbulldogboosters.org/product-category/bulldog-bash-march-14-2020/
The Oakhurst Annual Give-a-Hoot Auction - March 20
For tickets or more information, visit https://oakhurstelementarypta.org/.
Winnona Park Spring Auction - March 21
For more information, visit winnonaparkpta.org/events/spring-auction/.
Westchester's Battle of the Band - March 27
For more information, visit https://www.westchesterrocks.org.
The F.AVE RAVE! - April 18
For more information, visit https://favepto.org/events/f-ave-rave/
Safe Routes to School News:
Safe Kids Dekalb fair - May 9 at DHS
Streets Alive Decatur returns on May 9.
For more information, visit https://www.decaturga.com/activeliving/page/decatur-streets-alive Volunteers are needed. To sign up, email Cheryl Burnett at Cheryl.Burnette@decaturga.com.
From Georgia Commute Schools: February is LOVE MY BUS month!
All month long, Georgia Commute Schools' goal is to get students to LOVE riding the bus to and from school in metro Atlanta. We want more students to ride the school bus whether it is once a week or every day to decrease carpool line traffic around schools and traffic district-wide. The school bus is important not only because it’s safe, cuts down on traffic congestion, and reduces air pollution, but riding the school bus is also a time for students to bond with their peers and increases the likelihood that students will arrive at school on time and ready to learn! To find your CSD bus route, visit https://www.csdecatur.net/Page/596.
This March, Safe Routes to School will celebrate Georgia Walk to School Day! Look for more information from your school newsletter as to which day your Safe Routes to School representative has chosen to be your official "Georgia Walks to School Day!
Decatur Education Foundation News:
Will you join our Carpool Crew? Our mentees need rides to some of their after-school activities. Their destinations might be the same as yours! For more info and sign up, please visit: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0C4FACAC2CA6F94-mentees
Registration has begun for the annual Tour deCatur 5K and one-mile fun run at www.tourdecatur.com. Decatur’s biggest 5K event is happening this year on Pi Day, 3-14! Early bird pricing and guaranteed t-shirts are available through February 27th. If your whole family runs, consider a Family Sponsorship. For $250, you’ll receive 4 race entries, 4 race t-shirts (kids’ sizes too!), a yard sign delivered to your door, and your family’s name listed on the event banners! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up your family.
Upcoming Appreciation Date:
March 1-7: National School Social Work Week
March 2-6: National School Breakfast Week
March 16-20: GSBA School Board Appreciation Week
Have a date you'd like us to add to the next newsletter? Email Sarah Jones at email@example.com. Thanks!