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Conversation with you

by Dr. Booth's Blog


Posted on October 12, 2016


Hello DeKalb America,

I am glad that we have this forum to be able to share ideas, questions, accolades and concerns. It is my goal for everyone in the district to feel a sense of openess and transparency of the district. We operate for one reason – Care for Children. Help me help them. 


John Booth made a post.
Posted: 08-02-2017

Dear Athletic Department: The reason I have this BLOG is to improve communication with the community. In fact, your comments prove just how much this is needed. Apparently we have done a horrific job communicating all that we do with our young athletes. Without spending too much time on the past just let me say that we are light years ahead of where we were five years ago. The following are some of the activities we have added for our young students. (1) Pre-athletics is a program for all 6th grade students. The girls are taught by one current varsity coach and two very successful former varsity coaches. The boys are taught by a current varsity coach and two varsity assistant coaches. They are taught basic skills in three major sports for 170 days.This is a significant amount of training by some very talented coaches. (2) Our JH athletic program has three former varsity coaches working on the girls side. I don’t think you will find that level of coaching for JH anywhere. All of our male coaches are available during the boys athletic period. In fact we are moving the boys class period to where they can be better trained by all the coaches. (3) In years past students had to choose between athletics and band because both were during the same class period. However, we changed that so students would be afforded the option to participate in both, strengthening both programs. (4) Our coaches have a conditioning program available for both male and female athletes grades 7-12 for the entire summer. (5) Coach May has held a clinic for the Youth Football coaches the past two years in an effort to build/coordinate that program. (6) Coaches have offered summer clinics in VB, Basketball, Softball and Baseball. (7) The community youth programs in DeKalb are excellent. The youth football program is very strong and works well with Coach May, our new VB coach has encouraged a summer program, the little dribblers groups work well, and our summer baseball and softball programs are some of the strongest in the area with our young kids playing deep into the playoffs. With all of this we continue to explore ways to improve our programs. For example, we are moving the boys JH period this year in an effort to improve what we are doing in that program.
I learned many years ago from one of the best coaches in the state, they said “the key to success is teaching fundamentals.” I agree fully with you about building foundations whether it is in reading, math, science, social studies, art, band, agriculture, or athletics without a strong foundation our students cannot be successful. Yes we care deeply about our students no matter the grade. To say “we don’t put any emphasis on Jr High or JV athletics” possibly means we have done a poor job of informing the community of all we do for our students

Mike made a post.
Posted: 08-15-2017

Are home schooled middle schoolers allowed to participate in athletic programs and conditioning classes?

John Booth made a post.
Posted: 08-18-2017

I am sorry no we cannot allow home school participation. The University Interscholastic League (the ruling body for our athletic program) states that all student athletes must be enrolled full time the school in which they participate.

3rd grade made a post.
Posted: 08-22-2017

I know school is just starting but I got something in my child's folder I am concerned about. I would think we push kids to succeed, and I know failure is part of that, but this seems like the teacher is saying my child will fail before they ever have a chance. I will quote what is in the note:

"I also do not discourage failure. I know that sounds unusual, but I want the kids to experiment with math and learn that failure is a natural part of life. its how they recover from failure (resiliency) that matters. Failure is really just a stepping stone to success."

that's just part of it, but I feel like this is saying my child will fail and lets see how they bounce back. I would like all kids to succeed no matter what it takes. just my thought.


John Booth made a post.
Posted: 08-23-2017

We too want “all kids to succeed no matter what it takes.” In fact, educational research suggests that a child failing and then overcoming builds confidence and self-esteem. I do not feel, however, that the teacher is expecting failure but her note is an effort to educate parents that students being perfect in their grades is not the goal, but failing occasionally on the way towards success, will be part of this class, as well as part of life.

I applaud our teachers for pushing out this initiative. There is a growing body of educational research called “Growth Mindset.” If you would like to learn more “Mindset: the new psychology of success” by Carol S. Dweck would be a great place to start.

Menus made a post.
Posted: 08-30-2017

Can you help get the cafeteria menu posted on line?

John Booth made a post.
Posted: 08-31-2017

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. TISD creates those and provides the link. We are in contact with them and they should get them fixed soon. How about the every child eats free program? We want to tip our hats to TISD for doing the paperwork to make this program possible. Also, please encourage your child to eat in the cafeteria even if they bring something from home. We need maximum participation in order to keep this program going.

Cafeteria made a post.
Posted: 09-12-2017

Can you help me? I am being told by my child that they are rushed to eat their lunch. said they are being told to hurry up and eat and go outside. I understand little kids start talking and are slow to eat but they have an allotted time so they should get to eat in that time frame without being rushed. What happens is they throw their food away and don't eat. can you please check into this.

John Booth made a post.
Posted: 09-12-2017

I am glad you asked this question so other readers will know the answer as well. Child nutrition is extremely important to us. We have worked hard to provide two quality meals to every student every day with out cost and have plenty time to eat those meals. When I asked Mrs. Lee, Elementary Principal this is what she said "Currently, all elementary students have a full 30 minutes to eat lunch. If they are not finished eating they can stay and finish their lunch, we have several that choose to do so." We all want our children to be well fed. However, if you don't think this is not an accurate representation of our lunchroom please come by and visit with Mrs. Lee or come to lunch with your child on me. We will be glad to have you.

BearMom made a post.
Posted: 09-14-2017

I just wanted to give a little shout out to our new elementary principal-Mrs. Emily Lee!!! In the midst of her hectic schedule she is taking (rather scheduling and finding) the time to meet with each staff member to hear concerns we may have and ask our opinion about the campus, etc. It may take her weeks, as the kids and other duties are far more important. She will still manage. It speaks highly of her character to do this as a one on one. Be it child, parent, or faculty member she is a great listener and prides herself on solving any problems that may arise. Glad she's on our team!!!

John Booth made a post.
Posted: 09-15-2017

I am very glad she's on our team as well! We have been fortunate since I have been here to have had 3 very good principals. Our exceptional elementary program is a reflection of their great work. Mrs. Lee's attention to detail is one example of the many leadership qualities she possesses. Not only does she fit into our culture of "We Can Because We Care" she epitomizes that culture.

Posted: 09-28-2017

is it possible for our band to hang around 10 more minutes after half time and play for our football players coming back on the field to start the 3rd quarter?

John Booth made a post.
Posted: 10-02-2017

Thank you for the idea. We are discussing some of the possibilities of how that might look and checking with other schools as to what they do.

Sappy Senior made a post.
Posted: 12-05-2017

Whoever's idea it was for the "Lunch With Dad" was an amazing one. I am truly excited for it! Thank-you!

(ps. The paper-towel dispenser in the girls bathrooms was a marvellous idea. Keep up the good work Dr. Booth!)

John Booth made a post.
Posted: 12-05-2017

Dear Sappy, What a fun name. Thank you for your comments. The "Lunch With Dad" started as a TISD food service idea. All campus' are taking part that day. Mr. Henslee is the one who came up with the idea to modify allowing students a longer lunch break and ability to leave campus. I too think its a great idea. I'm glad we got the dispenser fixed. If you have more ideas please feel free to e-mail or if you see me on campus just ask.

Agenda made a post.
Posted: 04-02-2018

Why was a different agenda posted than what was used in the school board meeting?

John Booth made a post.
Posted: 04-03-2018

I made a mistake.

DHS Student made a post.
Posted: 04-17-2018

The food in the cafeteria has gone downhill again. Students need a good meal while we are at school. The quality of the food was better the first half of school. It is also frustrating when the meal provided does not match up with what was listed on the menu. I can only eat popcorn chicken and under cooked food so many times a week. I really hope that the cafeteria can get better. Thanks for hearing my concern.

Athletics made a post.
Posted: 04-18-2018

I understand that the AD is new and inherited a bad situation, but it seems the girls program is still on the back burner. He has spoke with the boys, High school and Middle school, but has yet to do that to the girls. Especially middle school. Do you think he could show interest in them also? As of now they do not even know who he is.

John Booth made a post.
Posted: 04-18-2018

I think you high school students are ganging up on me, I've gotten several comments on the same subject. That's OK and I'm glad you are letting me know your thoughts. I want you to know that I hear what you are saying about the lunch room and the quality of food going downhill. I've addressed your comments with TISD and they have responded quickly. I think we will see an improvement. If not, please let me know.

John Booth made a post.
Posted: 04-28-2018

Dear Athletics,

C’mon you’ve gotta give the new coach a chance. He came in during the absolute busiest time of the year for an AD. However, since it’s taken me a little while to answer, let me tell you what he has done for the girls program. In his relatively short tenure he has hired a girls coordinator who will focus on the girls program, exclusively, and will also be the new head basketball coach. In addition, he has hired a new head softball coach. These hires take a tremendous amount of time to search and then interview several candidates looking for the person who will fit with us. To your original question, he has now visited with the MS girls.

John Booth made a post.
Posted: 08-07-2018

Response to "Athletics". I have had someone submit a post to me calling themselves "Athletics." The post suggested we were not following our drug policy regarding a particular student and that the student is still on drugs. Please, if you have proof that one of our students is on drugs go to the police station and file a report. Further, we have followed our policy FNF (Local) for all of our students. The purpose of our policy is as stated:
The purposes of the drug-testing program are to: prevent injury, illness, and harm resulting from the use of illegal and performance-enhancing drugs or alcohol; help enforce a drug-free educational environment; deter student use of illegal and performance-enhancing drugs or alcohol; and educate students regarding the harm caused by the use of
illegal and performance-enhancing drugs or alcohol.
We feel strongly about wanting to maintain a drug-free environment and helping students who might have a problem. Lastly, sometime during the beginning of the school year, all students who can be tested according to our policy will be tested and the students do not know when that test will happen.


High school lunch made a post.
Posted: 08-20-2018

Why are we treated like we are middle school.

John Booth made a post.
Posted: 08-21-2018

Dear High School lunch,
If you are talking about the changes where all students are required to go through the lunch line and remain in the lunchroom until all students are served, it is because our food program is funded by the federal government and there are rules. If we are going to get to continue to feed all of our students for free then we need at least 90% of our students to go through the lunch line. This inconvenience is for the greater good of all the students.

Band made a post.
Posted: 09-03-2018

I first would like to say thank you. Our band sounds so much better this year. I would like to ask again like last year. Can the band hand around after half time long enough to play for the football team to enter the field like other schools?

John Booth made a post.
Posted: 09-04-2018

Dear Band,
I too thought the band looked much better. I have seen them at practice and noted how Mr. White was being a stickler for details and it showed on the field Friday night. As for the band staying after half-time that is for Mr. White to determine. I will pass on your suggestion.

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