superintendent newsletter
Greetings DeKalb County School District (DCSD) Family,

I hope everyone had a great weekend and a productive second week of school. I appreciate everyone’s efforts as we adjust back to the normal classroom setting in the middle of the pandemic. We are still in challenging times, but I am encouraged by the tenacity of our scholars, teachers and staff members as they work together to make this a successful school year.
 
I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we continue to address the needs and concerns of our scholars and families while adjusting to this new “normal.”

2022 Fiscal Year Budget

Last week, the DeKalb County Board of Education approved the consolidated budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. DCSD proposed a $2.02 billion budget for all funds including the General Fund (operating budget) of $1.196 billion. The General Fund budget provides in excess of $836 million (70 percent) directly to schools with enrollment forecasted at above 97,000 students.
 
I am thrilled that the DeKalb County Board of Education approved this budget. Zero-based budgeting is something new for us, but without change, there is no change. We expect that this type of budgeting will make every decision support quality teaching. We expect to meet every student’s academic, social and emotional needs with equity, while embracing the culture and diversity of our community. We also expect to hold everyone accountable for educational and organizational excellence. To view highlights of the budget, please click here.

Quarantine Guidance

As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 cases within the county, DCSD is updating its practices to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our buildings. We have added a quarantine guidance to our Readiness Response Guide for those who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Quarantine if you have been in close contact (within six feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated.
 
If you are fully vaccinated and had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. If asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts do not need to quarantine at home following an exposure. In addition to correctly wearing masks in school, you should wear a mask in other indoor public settings for 14 days or until you receive a negative test result. You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive. Please visit our website for more information on the quarantine guidance.

My Sister’s Keeper

Last year we relaunched My Brother’s Keeper. Now, we are proud to announce the launch of My Sister’s Keeper! Young ladies across the district will engage in meaningful activities geared towards not only the enhancement of academic achievement but empowerment and self-care as well. MSK will formally launch in September with a virtual “tea” for our early adopter schools. We can’t wait to see all of the great things we know will come from our girls!

Georgia Milestones Exam Results

Today, Georgia Milestones test scores and participation data were released for DeKalb County School District and the state. We recognize that the non-traditional learning environment impacted our students as a result of the pandemic. Today’s test scores are an indicator of proficiency amongst the tested population. The scores do not represent the overall student population as evidenced by the vast differences in the number of students tested between the 2019 and 2021 test administrations. Students and teachers remain resilient in an ever-changing COVID-19 environment. 
 
The DeKalb County School District is focused on meeting students where they are to accelerate growth. During the first 10 days of school—in addition to many social emotional supports—teachers administered diagnostic assessments to students in grades 1-9 to determine students’ needs. The data results will be used as teachers plan lessons and identify the appropriate interventions for their students. Our goal is to continue instruction that is student-focused, highly engaging and relevant to students’ lives. Learning must consider the social-emotional needs of students as we work to meet the students where they are and accelerate their growth.

Comprehensive Master Plan Town Hall

 DCSD invites all community stakeholders to join us for our Comprehensive Master Plan regional town hall meetings. The focus of these meetings will be to address Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) and facility improvements. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic these meetings will be moved to completely virtual environments. Please click here to view the meeting schedule.

Please continue to visit our website and your school’s website for the latest information on back-to-school and other district news. Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Cheryl Watson-Harris

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