DeKalb schools lacking principals, teachers

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Almost 300 vacancies weeks before school begins


 DeKalb County School District (DCSD) may be a little light in terms of human capital by the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.

 DCSD reported having almost 300 open positions on July 10 at its monthly board of education meeting. This includes 271 teachers, 17 principals and 10 assistant principals.

 According to a report prepared by interim chief human capital management officer Everett Patrick and presented by deputy superintendent Vasanne Tinsley, this places DeKalb County second only to Clayton County in the metro Atlanta region for vacancies.

 “The following strategies are being utilized by human capital management to address teacher vacancies,” Tinsley said. “Region 5 hosted a transformative teacher job fair on June 29 at Columbia High School; there were 120 attendees and 16 certified teachers were recommended. Region 4 hosted a mini job fair at the [Administrative & Instructional Complex] on June 26. As a result of the fair, 24 teachers were recommended and hired. Region 4 will host another job fair on July 13 at Martin Luther King Jr. High School.”

 Tinsley said human capital is also recruiting college graduates, working with teachers who did not re-sign DCSD contracts and teachers from other districts in transitioning to DeKalb County.

 “There are 42 people in the final hiring stages,” Tinsley said. “As a reminder, DeKalb will be offering an annual salary to substitute teachers who qualify for long-term assignments during the 2017-2018 school year.”

 Tinsley said the process to hire principals and assistant principals is underway. According to a report by board of education member Stan Jester, DCSD Superintendent R. Stephen Green will conduct interviews July 17-July 20, with confirmations being announced at the Summer Leadership Conference on July 24 at Miller Grove High School.

 The 2017-2018 school year begins on Aug. 7.

DeKalb County School District reported approximately 300 vacancies—17 of which are principals—at its July 10 board of education meeting. School starts Aug. 7. Photo submitted.

DeKalb County School District reported approximately 300 vacancies—17 of which are principals—at its July 10 board of education meeting. School starts Aug. 7. Photo submitted.

 Until that time, DCSD will implement a four-phase principal selection process made up of a resume review, interview and school council interviews. The process whittles down three to six candidates to two or three candidates, according to district officials.

 Principals are needed at Chamblee Charter and Lithonia high schools as well as Miller Grove Middle, Dresden, Flat Rock, International Student Center, Kelly Lake, Montclair, Murphey Candler, Oak View, Panola Way, Rock Chapel, Shadow Rock, Snapfinger, Stephenson Middle, Stoneview and Woodridge elementary schools.

 Assistant principals are needed at DeKalb Early College Academy, Warren Tech, Dunwoody, Lakeside, Southwest DeKalb and Towers high schools as well as Montclair, Narvie J. Harris, Redan elementary schools.

 Based on the district’s process, Green will be conducting 34 to 51 interviews candidates for principal positions.

 Nine DCSD principals left DCSD due to retirement of firing for low performance in May. Chamblee Charter High School principal Norman Sauce III accepted an administrative position the same month at the Griffin-Spalding County School System.

 Jester said he is pleased the school district’s hiring system is thorough but also is concerned about how long the process is taking.

 “Principal candidates are anxious to know if they are still in the running,” Jester said. “My concern is that they are getting other offers from other school districts and taking the bird in hand by going somewhere else.”

 Fellow board member Joyce Morley has repeatedly called for more transparent reporting and a deeper understanding of DCSD’s hiring process.



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