Board of Education’s Two-Day Board Retreat
Reveals a Shared Vision for Success

board of education 2023 retreatThe DeKalb County Board of Education met at a two-day retreat on August 23 and 24, where they engaged in meaningful discussions with school district administrators on various topics. These included facility usage, construction and upgrades, updates on Cognia’s accreditation progress, audit findings, a review of the superintendent’s first 30 days, and an evaluation of the Board. The retreat proved to be a productive time for reflection and planning, with a particular focus on the District’s future.

“It is essential to maintain open lines of communication with our District administrators as we stay informed by asking questions and providing crucial feedback. This retreat was an excellent opportunity to do just that,” said Mr. Diijon DaCosta. “As Chair, I am committed to seeing that Board members stay informed about the latest developments in our District. These types of collaborations ensure we are working towards a shared vision for the future of our scholars, staff, and families.”

This sentiment was echoed by Board Vice-Chair Mrs. Deirdre Pierce, who highlighted the value of such engagements.

“These retreats offer important opportunities to learn, share, and understand the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ behind decisions, which is incredibly helpful,” she said. “I thoroughly enjoyed our time together and felt that all of our well-versed professional presenters and facilitators did an excellent job of providing information that focused on enhancing our proficiency as a governing entity.”

One of the retreat’s focal points was the discussion surrounding the new Superintendent, Dr. Devon Horton’s, first 30 days at the helm. Board members were unequivocal in their praise for Dr. Horton’s “Disrupting for Excellence” leadership style, hailing his achievements in ensuring a successful launch of the 2023-2024 school year.

“I was most pleased by Dr. Horton’s positive review of the opening week of school and how his organizational realignment focuses heavily on the ultimate success of our student scholars and the extraordinarily bright future we can expect in DCSD! A win-win for our students, employees, and communities!” Mrs. Pierce said.

While recognizing there is much work ahead, the Two-Day Board Retreat created a solid foundation to build upon. It set the stage for an informed and collaborative team approach between new District administrators and Board leadership to improve the academic, social, emotional, and physical outcomes for the District’s nearly 92,000 students and 14,500 employees.

A strong partnership between the Board of Education and District administrators is essential and was evident throughout the retreat. Their governance plays a critical role in developing policies, setting clear objectives and standards, fostering accountability, and prioritizing equity in the District’s initiatives to promote academic excellence and responsible financial management.