PTSA General Meeting Notes, November 10, 2014

Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm

Old Business (Lyn Brown)

  • Minutes from previous meeting were unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report (Emily Ayers)

  • Enrichment Fund Thank You letters were distributed and remaining letters will be sent home via students.
  • SPA Dance was slightly over budget; however very successful event, 300 students attended.
  • Spirit Wear sales have generated a $500 profit, to date.
  • Concessions sales raised over $500 during Premiere Weekend.

President’s Report and Announcements (Terry O’Toole)

  • SPA Dance Update ‐ PTSA recognized Mr. Landes, SPA dance faculty sponsor, with a gift card to Outback for all his hard work and dedication to SPA.
  • Teacher Appreciation Committee Update
    • Pizza Friday, October 31st was well received by staff
    • Educational Support Personnel will be fed lunch on Nov 12th
    • Teacher Conference Dinner, November 12th
    • DSA Staff Holiday Breakfast, December 19th
  • Dark Night ‐ November 14 ‐ 16: 21 plays will be showcased over three days in four shows. Running time is approximately 2.25 hours. Still need volunteers. Flyers were made available to all to help promote the production.
  • Holiday Concert ‐ December 4 at Avondale Baptist Church.
  • PTSA General Meeting ‐ January 12th

Legislative Update provided by Allyson Gervertz.

  • The most pressing issue facing DCSD right now is the superintendent search. Michael Thurmond’s contract ends on June 30th and the BOE is soliciting proposals from search firms. Bids will be unsealed on Wednesday and the BOE will choose a search firm. Parent Councils United (which includes the Emory LaVista Parent Council, Dunwoody Chamblee Parent Council, Tucker Parent Council, and South DeKalb Parent Council) is recommending an Independent Superintendent Search and Selection Committee of top‐tier leaders be appointed. Both Atlanta and Boston school systems have chosen independent search committees. Hopefully, over the next week or so, we will hear that the BOE has appointed a committee to help choose the best search firm that will then find us the best possible superintendent to lead DCSD.
  • Annexation and cityhood are also pressing issue for DeKalb. The cityhood movement does not impact public schools, but the annexation movement does. Many neighborhoods in the Druid Hills Cluster (DSA is technically in the footprint of this cluster) are pushing for City of Decatur or City of Atlanta annexation. One annexation map places Druid Hills High School, Fernbank Elementary, and Briar Vista Elementary school all within City of Atlanta boundaries. Case law indicates that Atlanta would also take these physical school properties. All DeKalb residents should pay attention to the annexation issue because it will ultimately impact all of DeKalb County.
  • The Board of Education has not voted on the Charter System petition. It is unclear whether there will be opportunities for public input before the BOE votes.

Assistant Principal’s Report (Mr. Winchester)

  • Georgia Milestones test will replace CRCT and EOCT. EOCT will be administered by will not count as 20% of student’s final average however the score will appear on the student’s permanent record. GA Milestones test results will not impact promotion as the CRCT in past years, as this year will serve to set a baseline for test results. This test is still critical in that it will be reflected on the school’s overall performance, or score card. Students are encouraged to take this test as seriously as they have taken other standardized tests.

Principal’s Report (Ms. Susan McCauley)

  • Ms. McCauley recognized all staff in attendance.
  • Parent Teacher conferences will be held on Wednesday, November 12th using a different sign‐up process this year. Parents will have the opportunity to sign up for conferences in the school lobby between 3:20 ‐ 3:55 on Wednesday, conferences will begin at 4 pm. New structure will allow time for faculty to eat dinner being provided by the PTSA and prepare for conferences.
  • Office will be open Monday ‐ Wednesday of Thanksgiving week.
  • Comedy Combat will be held on November 12th.
  • First semester finals will be administered December 12‐19.
  • School office is closed for Winter Break. Teacher work day is Jan 5th and students return to school on Jan 6th.
  • New student applications are available on the website. There will be six open house dates scheduled. Please share this information with students/families interested in attending DSA next year.
  • Drama Ensemble were Region 4 One Act Play winners.
  • DSA now has two FaceBook pages. DeKalb School of the Arts page will include performance and other general information regarding school. Parents are encouraged to like and share. Second page, Parents of DeKalb School of the Arts is a private page for those families attending DSA, and included detailed information about the school and is geared toward new parents/students. Join the group and engage in the conversation.
  • Georgia Accreditation commissioning process is underway. SACS will visit DSA in January.

Reflections Announcements (Mr. Mastrogiacomo)

Mr. M extended a thank you to the parent volunteers that assisted with this year’s entry preparations and judging. The first place winning entries will continue to the County Contest.
Following is the list of winners that were recognized with a certificate of achievement. First place winners received a check from the PTSA. Mr. M presented the video created by Taylan Ayre‐Jones to the appreciation of the PTSA meeting attendees.

Creative Writing:

  • High School
    • 1st Place……Alyssa Tirrell
    • 2nd Place….. Elias Reta

Visual Arts

  • 8th Grade
    • 1st Place….. Alexis Dove
  • High School
    • 1st Place….. Ally Cartwright
    • 2nd Place……Cassandra Turk


  • High School
    • 1st Place…….Zemirah Davis


  • 8th Grade
    • 1st Place….. Maya Owen
  • High School
    • 1st Place….. Amelia Stork
    • 2nd Place….. Ashley Gathers


  • High School
    • 1st Place….. Taylan Ayre-Jones
    • 2nd Place….. Taliyah Henderson


  • High School
    • 1st Place…. Danielle Swatzie

Closing Remarks (Terry O’Toole)

  • History Club is sponsoring a shoe drive through December 15th to support Soles4Souls. Pleasensend in your new or gently used shoes.

Meeting adjourned at 7:40

Minutes submitted by Lyn Brown, Secretary, DSA PTSA