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Briarlake PTA Town Hall with Regional Superintendant Trenton Arnold - Shared screen with speaker view
Briarlake ES PTA
06:00
If you are attending via zoom, please keep your audio muted unless you are a member of the panel.
Janelle Gibson
06:47
we can hear you
steven
12:19
can you turn on captions?
Sara Amis
13:00
We can't see Mr Arnold
Mrs. Sinclair
13:57
I pinned Mr. Arnold and Ms. Lewis- I can see them and hear them
Kim McCoy
14:00
Sara, look at Diana Hardy's screen or turn on speaker view to automatically switch when someone starts talking.
Lauren Griffiths
16:26
Still can’t hear. Is it just me?
Caroline Collins
16:54
I can hear.
C M
17:15
10 teachers left of around 34 positions. That percentage is not in the teens. I believe overall staff leaving is 19 this year.
Mrs. Sinclair
17:51
Mrs. Griffiths, the audio is coming from Megan Cayes. Make sure she is unmuted.
Lauren Griffiths
18:46
Thank you everyone. Got it. Headset issue.
Heather Woods
18:47
Teachers generally don't leave mid year. My 2nd grader had 4 teachers and my 5th grader had 2. 21 years as a teacher I would NEVER leave kids mid-year
Aalia iPhone
19:00
Why are so many long term teachers going to Sagamore?
Meg Canale
19:26
Out of curiousity, Do they or have they completed exit interviews for teachers who change schools?
steven
19:41
I would like to see the statistics of turn over rate from Oak Grove,, Sagamore, Henderson Mill, Lakeside,
Caroline Collins
22:16
There are exit interviews but people may not feel comfortable detailing why they are leaving.
Emily Brannon
25:30
Exit interviews are not required for staff who is leaving. It is an option to call the district HR. However, I was given an “exit survey" online from Lewis, not an in-person interview. This form was completed by all staff leaving BES.
Elizabeth
25:44
10 teachers have left. Not a total of 10. There is more than a total of 10 staff leaving.
Caitlyn Bibza
25:45
DeKalb County only offered an exit interview if you left the county, not the school.
Caitlyn Bibza
26:14
I was also told personally my statements would fall on deaf ears.
Heather Woods
27:06
How do I link an email? I have the letter from Ms. Lucas who states she needed to leave for her mental health.
Elizabeth
28:11
You could copy it into a word document or screenshot it and then attach it through the file function in chat.
Sara Amis
28:26
Who is the speaker in the middle? I didn't get her name.
Elizabeth
28:52
Also this is an ongoing issue, I personally know of teachers who have left due to leadership several years ago. This is not a new issue.
Aalia iPhone
30:17
Is anyone there reading chat ?
Briarlake ES PTA
33:23
Thank you all for the questions and comments in this chat. The PTA is making a note of them. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that we will have time during this forum to take questions from the chat. However, we hope we can get follow-ups on any questions posed here.
steven
33:40
Before the pandemic Ms. Lewis had the school counselor Ms. Thomas and Ms. Muhammad meet with all grade levels to discuss teacher retention. This report was presented to Ms. Lewis. Where is that report? Who has access to that report? Did Mr. Arnold see that report?
Elizabeth
34:30
Will someone ask directly about the reported statistics of 14% versus the actual statistics being much higher?
Kelly Rhyne Byrd
35:02
For transparency, I've never had a conversation with Lewis as to why I am leaving BES.
steven
35:30
They are stating that 10 staff are leaving. That is not accurate. At least 18 staff are leaving.
Katelin Todd
35:36
Did you receive a survey about why you are leaving? I'm assuming the answer is no.
Caitlyn Bibza
35:49
I completed the survey as to why I was leaving in May.
Ansley Smith
36:21
The PTA representative is Eric Nathan, the PAC representative is Noy Hawkins, and the Foundation representative is Eric Poole.
Emily Brannon
36:31
I worked at BES for 2 years. Lewis walked into my classroom 4 times during that entire time. Twice for observations and twice to ask me to cover for another class. Lewis only walked by my classroom to say good morning less than 5 times over the 2 years. Never had a formal or informal conversation with Lewis.
Caitlyn Bibza
36:57
6+ teachers spoke with Arthur Reese (Human Resources - region 2) this Spring
Elizabeth
38:06
So with all these comments from teachers, would I be wrong in thinking everything leadership is saying is a farce?
Elizabeth
38:40
Also is this chat being recorded? I want to make sure all these comments are saved along with the video.
steven
40:44
YES!!!!!!
Angela Toro
41:57
I know they are compiling questions from the chat to follow up. I don't know if its being recorded. I lost connection for a minute and lost previous chats.
Heather Woods
42:31
Can someone ask how many of her teachers are gifted certified? She gets extra money if the teacher is gifted certified why would she need a gifted teacher?
Caitlyn Bibza
42:42
Mrs. Muhammad
Elizabeth Brazelton
42:48
It says the messages are recording
steven
42:51
I saw a comment when I joined that this meeting is being recorded.
Caitlyn Bibza
42:52
'gifted teacher' did not have a roster or serve student
Briarlake ES PTA
42:57
Hi again! PTA is making a note of the questions and comments in the chat. We intend for them to be part of the record. It is unlikely we will have time for questions from the chat during this meeting and if that is the case we hope to get follow-ups.
Heather Woods
44:10
What Ms. Bibza? That means your school lost moneey!
Daniela Hartstern
44:26
I believe Mrs Sinclair is also gifted certified
Caitlyn Bibza
45:00
We were all required to get gifted certified within 2 years of working at the school
Veena Black
45:29
Majority of our staff are gifted certified.
Elizabeth Brazelton
45:33
All teachers that have been there since 2018 (my first year) are gifted certified.
Heather Woods
46:03
Bibza if you are gifted certified and you have a gifted kid the school gets money
steven
46:24
Will there be a meeting with teachers only without Lewis and Arnold in the meeting? Teachers will not be comfortable talking with admin. in the meeting and parents in the meeting. This meeting may not be appropriate for parents.
Caitlyn Bibza
46:24
Some teachers can no longer leave (even though they want to) because the district will not let teachers transfer if they missed the transfer period or have only taught at the school for 1 year
Heather Woods
47:17
Bibza food for thought always get that transfer paper!
Caitlyn Bibza
47:21
transfer deadline was February and you have to work at a school for 2 years before you can transfer to another one
Caitlyn Bibza
47:44
leaving many staff stuck
Emily Brannon
48:22
2nd grade team: 4 homeroom teachers, 1 sped teacher, 1 dhh teacher. A team of 6 is now down to 1.
Kelly Rhyne Byrd
48:23
5th Grade?
Heather Woods
49:26
That's correct! Some are basically being held hostage! I think there are exceptions for leaving before 2 years.
Caitlyn Bibza
49:52
Teacher onboarding is a mess. It falls on the grade chair and TSS every year. Admin does not assist with onboarding
Caitlyn Bibza
50:10
Leaving new and old staff unsupported
Heather Woods
50:57
So sorry Bibza! I know you were an excellent teacher and you will be missed.
Ansley Smith
52:59
It is my understanding that 4 of the 5th grade HR teachers are leaving or left mid-year. Will that grade-level be addressed?
Heather Woods
53:25
It needs to be!
Caroline Collins
53:29
Can the panel please ask how Principal Lewis plans on improving the teaching environment and culture?
Elizabeth
54:09
I think teachers are afraid to give honest opinions because of the tentacles Mrs. Lewis has with her husband being on the superintendent’s cabinet. As reported in decaturish.com, a staff member reported Mrs. Lewis would often drop his name when concerns were brought up and felt it was a power play on her part.
Kelly Rhyne Byrd
54:58
Bibza's statements about onboarding are accurate.
Adina Martinez
56:37
For the record, we were part of the 1st grade class that was dissolved (County decision due to enrollment) and I feel like the school and teacher we were assigned to handled it the best they could and it was not overly disruptive for my daughter. This is my outside experience.
Oana Cerchezan
57:56
The second grade teacher that left two months in, left not because of allotment, but because of leadership. She requested to be transferred out far before Lewis learned of the allotment. She communicated with HR for weeks about the toxic work environment
Briarlake ES PTA
58:12
Please stay muted if you are attending and NOT a part of the panel.
Heather Woods
59:00
Can someone please ask Mr. Arnold about her observation. Not sure what it is called for principals but it is called TKES for teachers.
Elizabeth
59:31
As this is an ongoing issue, why isn’t the district addressing the issue at hand, the toxic environment created by Mrs. Lewis?
Mandi Abramson
59:32
Can you address the other reasons why teachers are leaving? Entire grades of teachers do not leave each year without reason.
steven
01:00:06
Since Ms. Lewis started Briarlake only 5 teachers are left on staff when she started. I think this is 7 years. This is not explained by their reasons. At least 70 staff have left since she began as principal. About 18 more are leaving this year. That brings this number close to 90. That is not normal or explained in this meeting. Is this normal for schools similar to Briarlake? This is the question that needs to be answered. I do not hear that answer in this meeting.
Aalia iPhone
01:00:52
5 min left and just about nothing addressed satisfactorily
Samsung SM-S908U
01:00:57
He speaks of community schools but even a small school like Briarlake doesn't feel like a community school as class headcount rise.
Briarlake ES PTA
01:01:38
Reminder: We will leave the submission form open through Saturday, June 11th for any additional comments or follow-up questions from the Town Hall.
Briarlake ES PTA
01:01:45
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeD0AtsgdXMQm6Id0SPQo6npTOZ-x3h0fHiJf4eo7xbiSeIgg/viewform
Aly Palmer
01:03:00
I think it’s fair to say that departed teachers on a zoom call at 630 on a Thursday night in June are not “moving out of state” or “leaving the profession.”
Elizabeth
01:04:07
Seems like nothing has been accomplished by this meeting. Will these various PTAs press more directly on the issue at hand?
Mandi Abramson
01:04:30
The families on my street are not going to Briarlake as a direct result of leadership. Specifically Lewis. It’s 3 families with experience.
Heather Woods
01:11:21
I can say as a 21 year vet and we are burnt out. We are not burnt out from the kids we are burn out from all the extra that is put on us.
Leanne
01:11:31
Can we hear from ms lewis?
Briarlake ES PTA
01:12:25
For anyone with additional comments, questions or concerns, our submission form will remain live until Saturday. The PTA encourages you all to submit via that form so we can compile all the feedback and remaining questions. Thank you. That link is https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeD0AtsgdXMQm6Id0SPQo6npTOZ-x3h0fHiJf4eo7xbiSeIgg/viewform
Heather Woods
01:12:30
Not true you can't go there His office directs you right back to her,
Sara Amis
01:13:33
I am covering this for Decaturish. If anyone has comments they'd like to make that I can quote, please let me know. Particularly about the topics covered and the responses given.
Sara Amis
01:13:45
My email is mabonwy@gmail.com
Elizabeth
01:13:45
It is my understanding that Mr. Arnold is good friends with Mr. Lewis, hence the reason nothing ever gets done.
steven
01:14:10
My expectations of this meeting have been dashed. Will there be a meeting with PTA and teachers only? A separate meeting with and parents and PTA is needed. I do not think it is appropriate for teachers to speak their mind with parents in the meeting.
Heather Woods
01:15:12
Her view of bullying might be different from mine.
steven
01:18:02
Correction. My count of staff that have left this year is 22. This includes teachers and all support staff in the school. Why is their number different from mine?
iPhone
01:18:35
Why is asking about action a loaded question?…To add to Aly’s previous comment, THANKS to our teachers, departed and current, for caring enough to be on a zoom call on a Thurs night in June.
Caitlyn Bibza
01:18:38
There is not a clear protocol or school wide behavior plan.
Kelly Rhyne Byrd
01:18:55
BES does not have a school wide behavior plan
Heather Woods
01:19:26
This statement she is making puts it back on the teacher. We have enough on our plate.
Heather Woods
01:20:38
Its not support if I have to come up with the plan.
steven
01:21:13
Briarlake does not have a formal Behavior program that we are all trained on.
Caitlyn Bibza
01:21:28
Nor is it printed or available in the handbook
Elizabeth
01:22:17
Just because you feel you are a supportive leader does not make it true.
Elizabeth
01:24:03
It appears that the common denominator of teacher’s discontent is Mrs. Lewis. It has been for years. Why will Mr. Arnold or the district not address this?
Briarlake ES PTA
01:24:10
If you want to be sure you are being heard, please fill out our PTA Town Hall form. The PTA will keep it open and active through Saturday, June 11th. Once again that link is https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeD0AtsgdXMQm6Id0SPQo6npTOZ-x3h0fHiJf4eo7xbiSeIgg/viewform
Heather Woods
01:24:54
Wow! That's awesome!
steven
01:27:12
Good question Elizabeth.
Heather Woods
01:30:07
The question should be what is her evaluation.
Heather Woods
01:32:07
I want to see her evaluation because anyone can look up a teacher so her should be public.
Leanne
01:32:21
Can we hear from ms lewis?
Andrew
01:33:29
Mr Fox: why are all the hens leaving the henhouse?
Heather Woods
01:35:04
Sadly, this meeting is going to put more pressure on teachers. She will be hyper vigilant,
steven
01:36:12
I have only been at Briarlake for 4 years. I am one of the veteran teachers at Briarlake. There are only 5 teachers left at Briarlake when I started. My only question is why? I do not understand. I do not have the answer.
Heather Woods
01:38:10
More support = more work and stress for teachers.
Aalia iPhone
01:40:13
Summary;The problems are clearNumbers are factsUnhappy studentsUnhappy parentsUnhappy staffLeadership skirting responsibility
Caroline Collins
01:40:32
I hope that this meeting and the denaturish article will open a discussion and let leadership know that parents expect a constructive learning and teaching environment.
Ms. Thomas
01:40:40
We really need to focus on ADA compliance including accessibility to the playground adaptive equipment.
Heather Woods
01:41:04
I've learned in my 21 NEVER answer a survey correctly.
Ms. Thomas
01:44:07
*and adaptive equipment
Elizabeth
01:44:20
If we feel Mr. Arnold, due to his relationship with Mr. Lewis, is not the appropriate person to address concerns at Briarlake, who is the next person up that we can contact?
Caitlyn Bibza
01:44:38
Where do our HR complaints go?
Caitlyn Bibza
01:44:49
Does he not have access to them?
Elizabeth
01:45:40
Totally agree with you Aalia
Kelly Rhyne Byrd
01:46:31
Can you please clarify what changes were made?
Aalia iPhone
01:46:40
MR. OLIVER LEWISAssociate Superintendent of Accountability
Caitlyn Bibza
01:46:59
That was regarding a conversation I had with Mr. Arnold about being released as grade chair.
Aalia iPhone
01:47:12
Let’s have him be impartial- oh wait he’s married to Principal Lewis
Sarah Stone
01:48:16
A previous question was asked about how long teachers stayed at Briarlake. For their entire career, because BL is such a sweet little neighborhood school. Since Ms. Lewis started - the first year the entire special ed staff left and the total exit was about 50%. The 2nd year another 40-50% of staff left. There are about 3-4 staff members remaining that were there before she came. Such a shame.
Caitlyn Bibza
01:48:19
I had 'resigned' as grade chair and Mrs. Lewis responded saying that I could not, only she could release me, so I went to Arnold and the 'change' was that she had to release me. lol
Elizabeth
01:50:31
Too bad decaturish.com or AJC isn’t on. Maybe more public exposure would help get things done.
Angela Toro
01:51:03
Decaturish is on here.
Anne
01:51:38
Decaturish is on this chat I believe
Peter’s Iphone
01:51:46
DSA students, too.The conditions of briarlake are not good, either.If I had 30 minutes to look I’m sure I’d be able to make a video, too.
Elizabeth
01:52:01
What’s up with the broken door from the school to the gym?
Sara Amis
01:52:14
I write for Decaturish, and I am virtually here.
Aalia iPhone
01:56:44
I think answers vs non answers are most helpful.
Kelly Rhyne Byrd
02:01:02
Teachers don't feel that way
Elizabeth
02:02:08
Was Mr. Lewis the principal at Huntley Hills while Mrs. Lewis was assistant principal?
Caitlyn Bibza
02:03:20
How can you forget where you work?
1234567
02:04:51
So she worked 2 years as a classroom teacher??
Heather Woods
02:05:28
That's not true you can call him but you are directed back to her.
Briarlake ES PTA
02:05:58
As Diana, our PTA president, just mentioned our PTA Town Hall form will stay open and active through Saturday, June 11th. Once again that link is https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeD0AtsgdXMQm6Id0SPQo6npTOZ-x3h0fHiJf4eo7xbiSeIgg/viewform
Aalia iPhone
02:06:59
Ps I went to Arnold and he brushed me off.
Briarlake ES PTA
02:07:05
Thank you. Good night, everyone.
Kelly Rhyne Byrd
02:07:14
When is the next meeting?
Peter’s Iphone
02:07:17
Thank you Panel. Thank you PTA reps.
Caitlyn Bibza
02:07:23
Is there access to her credentials?