Saturday, February 16, 2013
Some parents think public comments are being used to convey the wrong message to the school board's new Interim Superintendent.
The DeKalb County Board of Education held its first public meeting on Feb. 11 since reaching a costly separation agreement with former Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson. It also was the public's first official introduction to a newly-appointed Interim Superintendent, Michael Thurmond, the former state labor commissioner. The school board complex on Mountain Industrial in Stone Mountain was packed, despite what the camera showed to audiences watching the live webcast. The public speaking time slots were filled to capacity as well, which made up for the relatively light business agenda covered by the board. On the agenda for the evening was the approval of AP Tests, more computers for STEM labs and a small increase in capacity for the …
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
DeKalb schools' interim superintendent holds his first meeting.
Newly-appointed interim school superintendent Michael Thurmond wasted no time on Monday night as he held his first meeting with board members at the district's Stone Mountain headquarters. “I do not have a magic wand,” Thurmond said, "but every day we will come with one goal in mind: to become better and to inspire and educate our children.” He joins the DeKalb School District at a difficult time - his predecessor's sudden departure, probation from SACS, and a continuing struggle to maintain accreditation. Thurmond promised to restore the reputation of DeKalb's schools, according to the AJC. The nine-member school board, some of whom have only been on the job about a month, is hoping to avoid being removed by Governor Nathan Deal. Parent …
The contract between DeKalb Schools and Michael Thurmond has been released.
Details of the agreement to hire Michael Thurmond as Interim Superintendent of the DeKalb County School District have been made public. Thurmond is the temporary replacement for Cheryl Atkinson, who resigned on Feb. 8 after a contentious 16-month tenure. The deal calls for Thurmond to receive an annual salary of $275,000 plus $2,600 a month in "routine" expenses. He will have "full-time use of an automobile furnished by the Board," according to the document. If he prefers to use his own car, a monthly travel allowance of $750 will be provided. Additionally, the contract states the Interim Superintendent "is authorized to incur reasonable expenses in the discharge of his duties," and will receive full health benefits and life insurance. He…
Thursday, February 7, 2013
The board is set to meet on Friday at 4 pm.
Updated: Thursday, Feb. 7, 6:17 p.m. A statement has just been released by the DeKalb County School District: The DeKalb County Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson have mutually agreed to end their relationship effective Friday, February 8, 2013. The Board and Dr. Atkinson each determined and believe that it is in the best interest of all concerned that there be a mutual separation and they wish each other well in all their future endeavors. Original article: Cheryl Atkinson's tenure as superintendent of the DeKalb County school system is apparently coming to an end. Channel 2 Action News is reporting that DeKalb's board of education will vote on a separation agreement with Atkinson on Friday. The board is set to meet…
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
For the second time this week, the board was unable to pick a new chairman.
The embattled DeKalb Board of Education has a new vice-chair as of Wednesday, but the position of chairman remains up in the air. Jim McMahan, who joined the board a month ago as District 4 (Tucker) representative, was voted in this morning as vice-chair. Eugene Walker, however, will remain as chairman at least for the next 30 days - or until the next meeting - because no candidate received the five votes needed to win the post. Not only was there lack of concensus, but the board struggled with the voting process itself and seemed confused as to which rules were applicable. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools currently has the district under probation after finding the board guilty of mishandling funds and poor management.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Tucker parents have been watching the school system's travails for months. Now, Patch wants your opinion on Cheryl Atkinson.
It was a hot topic on Twitter this past Friday, and speculation continues that DeKalb School Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson might soon resign her position or be replaced by the embattled DeKalb Board of Education. The DeKalb Board of Education was set to choose a new chair and vice chair on Monday, but adjourned without doing so. Its next meeting is on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and Atkinson's tenure with the system may come up during the meeting. Tucker parents have been following DeKalb's school system troubles for months, and now Patch wants to know: do you believe our local school system needs a new superintendent? Is Atkinson the best person for the job, or is new leadership needed?
Monday, February 4, 2013
Board members will meet at 1 p.m. today.
The DeKalb County Board of Education is holding an afternoon meeting today, Monday, Feb. 4 at the organization's headquarters in Stone Mountain. The agenda does not provide a lot of specifics, but a likely topic is the future of Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, the school superintendent appointed by the board in Sept. 2011. There has been speculation in recent days that she may resign, but this has yet to be confirmed. Current board members are Sarah Copelin-Wood, Jay Cunningham, Donna Edler, Nancy Jester, Melvin Johnson, Jim McMahan, Marshall Orson, Pamela Speaks, and Chairman Eugene Walker. Related Items: Follow Tucker Patch's Complete Coverage of DeKalb Schools
Friday, February 1, 2013
DeKalb school board says there's nothing to confirm or deny.
Twitter is ablaze with rumors that DeKalb Schools Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson will resign. The DeKalb Board of Education met on Friday to elect a new chair and vice chair, but was unable to do so because it lacked a quorum. Check out what the world of social media is saying about Atkinson's future with DeKalb schools.
Friday, December 28, 2012
Hundreds have signed an online petition. Take our Patch poll and tell us if you believe DeKalb's school board should be removed.
Less than two weeks after being placed on probation, the DeKalb County School Board is now the target of an online petition calling for their removal. CBS Atlanta is reporting that the petition has already received hundreds of signatures, including one from Tucker resident Jan Mixon, who said, "in light of recent developments, this might be the best approach. The loss of accreditation would have a tremendous impact not only on our schools but also on our property taxes. We want to keep DeKalb County strong." DeKalb resident Grace McKenna began the online petition, calling on Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to replace the entire school board. On Dec. 17, the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools (SACS) placed the school board on probation …
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
A Tucker parent has some questions for the county's school superintendent.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Dr. Atkinson, With the administrative offices of the school district being closed until Jan. 7, will the public have access to the next revised "proposed school organization" plan before the next BOE meeting? Not having access to the most current revision could make the public comments at the next BOE meeting irrelevant. Also, with the first public information meeting scheduled for Jan. 8, there will be very little time for people to analyze and digest the next revision before being their input is given. Based on the "Victory in Every Classroom Newsletter" it looks like public input is not being sought. "In January, DCSD planning staff will revise its briefing to focus the community's understanding on DeKalb's list of schools and minimize…