Dekalb Academy of Technology and Environment Elementary and Middle Charter Schools, Inc.

1492 Kelton Dr. Stone Mountain, GA 30083 (Office) 678.999.9290 (Fax) 678.999.9294

“Celebrating 13 Years of Learning with Relationships, Relevance, and Rigor”

Welcome Back Letter from the Headmaster & C.EO.

July 31, 2017

Dear (D.A.T.E.) Parents and Students,

This year, D.A.T.E.’s faculty, staff, and administration will continue to make an unprecedented effort to reclaim excellence in education, provide educational opportunities for all, and enhance authentic engagement of learning. What does this mean for the D.A.T.E. family? This means that our faculty, staff, and administrators will be committed to ensuring that a quality education, respect for education, and a tolerance for compassion and individuality will be strongly enforced. We are reclaiming our right to have superb learning experiences and I hope you all join me in Reclaiming D.A.T.E. What to Expect:

Enhanced teacher - student relationships Enhanced parent - teacher relationships Enhanced communication

Increasing authentic engagement of classroom teaching and learning Increasing standards of teaching and learning

Increasing accountability

Zero Tolerance for disruption, disrespect, and lack of interest in classroom for teachers and students

Celebration of respect, success, and individuality

D.A.T.E.’s Faculty, Staff, and I are all elated to begin another illustrious school year with you. Many great accolades have been bestowed upon the Academy since its inception in 2005. These accolades are all a part of the collective efforts of our stakeholders: students, parents, faculty and staff, the community, and other constituencies involved in the educational processes at D.A.T.E. As we continue to provide exceptional educational experiences for all of our stakeholders, I hope you will join us in all of the unique opportunities that are available to improve the quality of education at D.A.T.E.

With our unique instructional programs and recent STEM Accreditation, D.A.T.E. has continued to display a strong commitment and urgency in curriculum and instruction. In reviewing our preliminary 2017 Georgia Milestones Assessment, results indicate that our students are growing academically, while exceeding over 90% local and 60% state standards. This is certainly a testimony that we do place academic excellence as a priority here at D.A.T.E. Providing Socratic measures of classroom instruction, hands on learning experiences, and project based instructional techniques are foremost; with school accountability definitely being a priority. D.A.T.E. has continued to accelerate the standards of teaching and learning. These highlights can only be attributed to the specialized partnerships, professional teaching mastery of our teachers, and relentless talents and standards of our student body.

In addition to our academic success, our students are always looking forward to the extracurricular activities, clubs, and sports programs that enhance their social being. With having over a dozen clubs and activities, it is without a doubt that our school is actively involved in developing the whole child, setting the tone for independence, partnerships, a spirit of cooperativeness, and a winning spirit of sportsmanship. Please take time to research below the various clubs and activities that are available for our students:

Organization        Objective

This school year, we have great things happening to enhance and improve student learning, starting with Career Pathways for Middle School:

Career Pathways

Foreign Language Pathway: Students enrolled in this pathway will participate in an accelerated curriculum to earn a Carnegie unit of high school credit. By the end of the student's’ eighth grade year, they will have completed the ninth grade course and be eligible to take the next level Spanish course. To earn the high school credit, students must successful performance in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade courses. * The credit program will begin with the rising 6th grade students for 2018 - 2019.  

Performing Arts Pathway: Students currently enrolled in the band will be automatically enrolled in the performing arts pathway. The band and drama instruction will emphasize students’ abilities to participate in productions for the school community and other regional competitions.  

Communications & Media/Electric and Solar Energy/Animation and Digital Media Pathway:

One on One Technology

In the context of education, one-to-one computing (sometimes abbreviated as "1:1") refers to academic institutions, such as schools or colleges, issuing each enrolled student an electronic device in order to access the Internet, digital course materials and digital textbooks. One-to-one computing offers the benefits of equal access, standardization, easy upgrades, simple networking and the ability to monitor student progress and online behavior.

For these reasons, all D.A.T.E. students in all grades 1-8 will have their individual devices in classrooms to maximize and increase technology instruction and master the 21Century tech skills:

Grades    One on One Technology

k-4                    Google Chrome Books

5-6                Window Laptops

7-8                     IMac Laptops    

As we continue to forge ahead with twelve years of exceptional teaching and learning, let us not forget about the community spirit that is needed to maintain the integrity of our wonderful

  1. Our motto, “Learning with Relationships, Relevance, and Rigor,” is the cornerstone of our very existence. Let us continue to embody this motto, not with only words, but with actions that deem us worthy of being named among the best charter schools in Georgia, (Atlanta Business Chronicle, 2010). We are all here, willing and ready to ensure that we all embrace the exceptional learning experiences. Have a great year and continue to make this one of the best schools ever!


Dr. Maury Wills

Dr. Maury Wills, Headmaster and C.E.O.

Our Faculty and Staff

We are very fortunate and thrilled to have a dedicated, committed, and diverse staff. The teachers and other staff have worked very hard over the summer to reflect on the school’s curriculum: The Georgia Standards of Excellence, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics (STEAM), attend staff- development programs, including environmental science/technology workshops.

As the children age, staff will try to become more of a facilitator, encouraging learning from other classmates, from reference resources including: computer, class library, and a local library; to volunteers in the classroom; and from active participation, record-keeping and drawing conclusions regarding project-oriented tasks. The staff will be required to undertake training and teacher workshops will occur weekly. Teachers shall be encouraged to explore and develop new environmental/technological lesson plans consistent with the curriculum. Teachers with different relevant environmental experiences, differentiated learning experiences, and brain based learning experiences participated in weekly workshops, so as to allow for inter-classroom sharing of someone with specialized training, as well as interactive training.

2017-2018 D. A.T.E. Faculty and Staff

Administrative Staff

Dr. Wilson, Ms. Thomas, Dr. Taylor, Dr. McCladdie

Admissions Counselor/Parent Liaison

Ms. Armstrong

Administrative Assistant Staff

Ms. Mitchell- Executive to C.E.O./HR Assistant

Ms. Garret – Bookkeeper/Business Manager

IT Director

Mr. Allen


Ms. Grant

Custodial Staff

Mr. Wynn

Mr. Isley

Ms. Gebremichael

Ms. Magand

Receptionist/Nutrition Coordinator

Ms. Caddell

STEAM Coordinator 

Ms. Shillingford


Ms. Nealy

Ms. Everett

Ms. Moore

First Grade

Ms. Gurly-Math

Ms. Robinson-Reading /ELA

Ms. Burns- Science/Social Studies

Second Grade

Ms. Stroy- Reading/ELA

Ms. Foster - Math

Ms. Bivens-Science/Social Studies

Third Grade

Ms. Boussicaut-Reading /ELA

Ms. Hamilton – Math

Ms. Richey -Science/Social Studies

Fourth Grade

Ms. Heard-ELA

Ms. Shields - Math

Ms. Sams-Science/Social Studies

Fifth Grade

Mr. Parker – Science/Social Studies

Ms. Radford-Math

Ms. Parker – ELA

Sixth Grade

Ms. Davis - ELA/Social Studies

Ms. Bailey- Math

Mr. Fillingame- Science

Seventh Grade

Ms. Carter- ELA/Social Studies

Ms. Noble- Math

Mr. Cooper- Science

Eighth Grade

Ms. Caffey ELA/Social Studies

Ms. Venisee- Math

Mr. Terrelong- Science


Ms. Howard


Ms. Reid

EIP/Title I

Ms. Leaphart

Ms. Venissee

Special Ed.

Ms. Carmichael

Media Center

Ms. Aswad - Media Specialist

Ms. Cole- Media Clerk


Technology – Mr. Randolph

Band/Music – Mr. Johnson

Physical Education - Mr. Anderson

Physical Education – Mr. Smith

Drama Art - Ms. Thompson

Spanish – Ms. Milo

Environmental Sciences - Ms. Shillingford


Ms. Haye


Ms. Franklin

Instructional Paras

Mr. Wilson

Ms.  Wynn

Ms. Owens

Ms. Sumpter


Open House

Come out and meet your teachers, review the syllabus, and get an understanding of the expectations and standards of D.A.T.E., as well as your child’s expected classroom experiences.

 Grades        Date and Time

K, 2, 4, 6, 8                                             Wednesday, August 2, 2017    4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

1, 3, 5, 7                                                                        Thursday, August 3, 2017   4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Our Location/Building

We are still truly excited about our current location, which is 1492 Kelton Dr, Stone Mountain, GA 30083. Over the summer, the school has been thoroughly cleaned and polished. In addition, you will notice our enhanced landscaping, grounds improvements, parking and our refurbished parking lot. Take time to cruise through our grounds to notice the flower garden, vegetable garden, and the water-pond. Enjoy yourself and be at peace with nature 

Important Information

School Hours

The Dekalb Academy of Technology & Environment school day begins promptly at 7:45 a.m. and will release all students at 2:45 p.m. All students are tardy at 7:50 a.m. if they are not in their classrooms. All students that arrive after 8:00 a.m. must enter through the back parking lot and proceed to the gym to be signed in by guardian. This year, we will continue to strictly enforce the tardy policy to ensure that all students are not missing quality instruction and/or classes being interrupted form the distraction of students entering the classes

Observation First Two Weeks of School and Communication

In order to continue to complete student assessments and build relationships with students, parents will not be allowed to make classroom observations during the first two weeks of school. In addition, teachers can’t hold conferences prior to school, during dismissal and during

transitioning periods, as they are monitoring a full classroom and supervising the instructional process. Please be sure to make appointments at the front office, or feel free to email the teacher, or the teacher liaison.

Before Care and After Care

There will be before-care as well as after-school care. Before-care will start at 6:30 a.m. and it will be available based on the needs of the parents. After-care will take place after school and will be between the hours of 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. There will be a fee associated with before- care and after-care. More information about this program will be available at a later date. All payments are to be made a week in advance by debit/credit card, or money orders. If you arrive late in regular school pick up after 3:30 p.m., there may be a $20.00 fee due to your child being placed in aftercare. Please access our website to sign up and make payments to enroll in this program. Students who remain for tutoring and clubs/organizations are not permitted in aftercare, unless they have prepaid.


Before- Care Weekly: $55.00 After- Care Weekly: $75.00 Combined Care Weekly: $85.00 Additional Sibling +10.00


Lunch for the academy will be provided and catered by a Piccadilly’s Cafeteria: This food service agency is committed to providing the best menu and healthiest foods possible. Therefore, they will serve absolutely no pork and will adhere to the highest level of sanitation possible by servicing students on disposable strophe plates each day. This food service company is certified and meets USDA food requirements. This food service also agrees to meet or exceed the minimum requirements as to nutritional value outlined by the USDA meal requirements. A  menu will be sent out monthly and parents may have the option of paying the $3.50 lunch fee daily, or in advance. We will also provide more details about this prior to school and during both Open Houses. Note: The school will not be responsible for students who do not bring their lunch. Please visit our website to make payments and to sign up for lunch program.

Free and reduced lunch will be offered for families who qualify. Please visit the following website to sign up and register on line to ensure that you benefit from the program:

Lunch can’t be dropped off for students after 9:30 a.m. Lunch must be present at the school in the morning, prior to 9:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. There is no school personnel available to transport lunches to the classrooms.


All students in grades 4-8 will be furnished a school lock/locker combination. Grades K, 1, 2, and 3 will have lockers without locks. Students may bring their own locks for gym in order to dress out in P.E. All locks must be removed after P.E. classes.


All classes may have recess throughout the week; however, this is dependent upon the classroom teacher and the management of instructional time that may be needed to complete the required instructional goals.

Uniform Policy

Students shall be required to wear full dress uniform on Monday through Thursday and Spirit Wear on Friday. For boys, this uniform shall consist of a green blazer, khaki pants, white oxford short/long sleeve shirts, a green tie, and brown or black shoes. For girls, uniforms shall consist of a green blazer, khaki skirts, skorts or jumpers, white Peter Pan collar  blouse with green cross-tie, and brown or black shoes with white knee high socks. No Tennis Shoes and No Capri pants can be worn. All kindergarten students may wear khaki shorts, in addition to the previous stated requirements with green tie and a green blazer. The green blazers (k-4) blue blazers (5-8) must be worn everyday throughout the school week Monday through  Thursday. Students may not wear hoodies or polos that are not purchased from the school/PTO. Students may not wear jackets in the classroom, but may wear coats at discretion of the teacher. Students may take Blazers off in the classroom, but must wear Blazers at all times in the hallways. The consequences for not wearing the school uniform will be strictly enforced. Enforcement of the uniform policy will be overseen by school staff of Dekalb Academy of Technology & Environment. The school will strive to achieve compliance through use of incentives and positive reinforcement measures and will resort to disciplinary action only when positive measures fail to result in compliance. The school will communicate with parents, so that expectations, rationale, and benefits are clearly published. Dekalb Academy of Technology & Environment will implement the Dekalb County School Code of Conduct as it relates to the policy and rules coexisting with the D.A.T.E. student handbook. The Charter School Uniform Company is the school’s contracted uniform source and can be contacted at (404.289.4774). The web address is: and the physical address is A1412 Moreland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316.

When necessary, DeKalb Academy of Technology & Environment will implement the following discipline policy;


  1. First infraction: The student will be sent to the office to call parents and request the parent to bring the appropriate clothing along with a conference with the Dean of Students. Student will be assigned to the Refocus Room and a second Disciplinary Uniform Deficiency will be sent home, or parent contacted via email or phone call.

  1.  Second infraction: A written Disciplinary Uniform Deficiency and assigned In School Suspension.

  1. Third Infraction : A written Disciplinary  Uniform Deficiency and referred to Home School


Transportation/Pick up Drop Off

In order to maximize the space with the limited time we have, there will be multiple lanes (4) during morning drop off and all students will be dismissed form their cars, until the next load of cars are permitted into the parking lot. Parents, be careful to follow the directives of the staff and volunteers as to avoid any injuries, or parking citations. The parking lot in the mornings and the afternoon will be filled to capacity, so that all students are dropped off and picked up while the lot is filled with cars.

All kindergarten and first grade students will be dismissed from the gym this year. Parents will need to park their cars and escort children from the gym to their vehicles.

Capital Campaign

We are currently engaged in a capital campaign to continue improving our school’s facility and future expansion plans. One of the distinguishing characteristics of a charter school is the level of parent involvement. Parental involvement will encompass volunteering and supporting school programs and initiatives. One of the support functions parents assume at a premier charter school is to assist with obtaining financial resources. Our charter mandates parental financial support by establishing a parent driven Capital Campaign Committee. This committee is tasked with raising

$50,000.00 to support programs and provide additional resources for our school.

The Capital Campaign Committee has targeted three distinct channels for raising financial resources to support the school. The three channels are: parental support, corporate sponsorship and fundraising events.

The First Gift Campaign is the parental support campaign. Each family is asked to make a yearly donation of at least $250.00. You are not limited to just contributing $250.00, and therefore; three donor levels have been established. Donations will earn credit toward you required volunteer hours for the month. Those contributing $250.00 will earn 40 volunteer credit hours. Other contribution levels include:

Silver Donor ($250 - $299) and 40 volunteer credit hours) Gold Donor ($300 - $399) and 60 volunteer credit hours) Platinum Donor ($400 or more 120 volunteer credit hours)

The Capital Campaign allows parents the opportunity to make a financial investment into the education of their child. You have chosen to send your child to this school because it offers a unique learning environment. In order to fulfill the requirements needed to provide this quality education for your child, we need your financial contributions. Checks should be make payable to D.A.T.E. Development Fund. We look forward to having 100% participation in this campaign. Together, we will make this a “Premiere” Dekalb County Charter School

Parent Volunteer

All parents are required to volunteer at least 20 hours a month.We strictly enforce this policy and find this involvement very important in the academic support of all children. The parent liaison will monitor this process throughout the year. Below, are some ways that parents can contribute their time, skills, and resources. Please take time to review so that you can begin the New Year off to great year.


All D.A.T.E. Parents are highly encouraged to join and participate in the school’s Parent and Teacher Organization. The primary purposes of the PTO are to be the main fundraising entity of the school and to increase and promote school-student-teacher-family spirit, parental involvement, and community involvement. The PTO has major fundraisers throughout the year and is responsible for major activities and purchases, such as play-ground, audio and visual, and technology. This year, all paid PTO members will have unlimited access to a few amenities the school has to offer. Please be sure to join PTO at the next open house.

What Can I Do At School?

As a parent, or an adult who plays an important role in the life of a child, your involvement in your child's education at school and at home shows your child that you value education. Teachers can see that you care about your children's learning. You can provide teachers with the most reliable source of information about your child. The partnership between you and your child's teacher is powerful.

How Can My Community Be Involved In My Child's School?

Here are some ways communities, parents, and teachers can work together to provide a high quality education to all of their children:


The curriculum, instruction and assessment initiatives are aligned with those of the State of Georgia and enhanced to include our unique instructional focus on technology integration and environmental sustainability. It is our mission to prepare learners who are equipped with the competencies that exceed the expectations for 21st Century College and Career Readiness.   

Our core instructional programs seek to provide systematic and meaningful support as the Academy employees live out the mission statement:

“ education a student population about the essential need to consider environmental ramifications of technology and other business decisions, via a hands-on, community-oriented instructional curriculum.  The school will improve student achievement via a curriculum which:

The DeKalb Academy of Technology and Environment Charter Schools provide instruction to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.  Technology instruction is based on the International Society for Technology in Education.  The Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are used to maintain rigorous instruction, ensure maximized performance on local and state assessments and produce learners who are prepared for advanced secondary education and the workplace.  


STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, (the Arts) and Mathematics. In 2015, D.A.T.E. became certified as a STEM certified school through AdvancED. This distinguished certification recognizes the unique educational opportunities offered at our school. Through an integrated approach to teaching STEAM disciplines, the competencies addressed through an AdvancED endorsed STEM education include:

Through project-based learning, STEAM educators focus on real world-applications and engage students in learning experiences within the community, business and industry partners, and other relevant extended day opportunities.  

Reading/English Language Arts (ELA)

In addition to the reading/ELA literacy curriculum outlined in the Georgia Standards of Excellence, the teachers incorporate supplemental reading and writing programs to improve students reading comprehension and Lexile development. The Units of Study in Opinion/Argument, Information and Narrative Writing: A Common Core Workshop Curriculum, Grades K-8 (Lucy Calkins and Colleagues from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project) are used to improve writing skills and stamina. Leveled reading programs are also being used to meet students at their performance levels and provide opportunities for guided reading instruction to improve reading and academic performances (Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Books, Heinemann).


The Georgia Standards of Excellence for mathematics focuses on actively engaging students in the development of mathematical understanding by using manipulatives and a variety of representations, working independently and cooperatively to solve problems, estimating and computing efficiently, and conducting investigations and recording findings. In mathematics classrooms, students will learn to think critically in a mathematical way with an understanding that there are many different ways to a solution and sometimes more than one right answer in applied mathematics. Teachers use MY MATH (McGraw-Hill) K-8 instructional resources. MY Math is “customized for the way teachers teach, personalized for the way students learn and individualized to maximize student success.”  These resources enhance the mathematical skills and concepts as well as builds mathematical vocabulary.


Science instruction is based on the Georgia Standards of Excellence as well as the Next Generation Science Standards. In addition to the frameworks for science education, the Next Generation Science Standards are incorporated in the environmental science curriculum and the core science classes. Through the crosscutting concepts (exploring connections between the four domains of science), science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas, students gain the knowledge and skills that engage students in direct experiences and abstract articulation of science (Science FUSION, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Social Studies

For students in grades K - 5, social studies is taught in an instructional block with science. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the Georgia Standards of Excellence for social studies heavily uses informational texts as well as direct instruction. The social studies curriculum include historical, geographic, government/civic and economic understandings as well as map, globe and information processing skills. In the middle school, social studies will be taught in the ELA block with a reading literacy emphasis for history and social studies that encompasses key ideas and details, craft and structure, integration of knowledge and ideas and improved Lexile levels (dealing with text complexity). Social studies direct instruction will be supplemented by Georgia focused resources to complement the State standards (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).


The specials’ courses connect the learning from the core classes to more specific lessons in physical education, health, music/band, foreign language (Spanish), computer literacy/technology, environmental science and robotics (K-4). In addition to these connection classes, students in grades 5 - 8 will receive experience even more specialized instruction through foreign language, performing arts and career pathway courses. Courses for the career pathway include communications and media (grade 5); electric and solar energy (grades 6 - 8); and animation and digital media (grades 6 - 8).  

Career Pathways

Foreign Language Pathway: Students enrolled in this pathway will participate in an accelerated curriculum to earn a Carnegie unit of high school credit. By the end of the students eighth grade year, they will have completed the ninth grade course and be eligible to take the next level Spanish course. To earn the high school credit, students must successful performance in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade courses.  * The credit program will begin with the rising 6th grade students for 2018 - 2019.  

Performing Arts Pathway: Students currently enrolled in the band will be automatically enrolled in the performing arts pathway.  The band and drama instruction will emphasize students’ abilities to participate in productions for the school community and other regional competitions.  

Communications & Media/Electric and Solar Energy/Animation and Digital Media Pathway:

How does the selection process work?

Students selected for the Foreign Language Pathway should meet the following criteria:

Students selected for the Performing Arts Pathway should meet the following criteria:

Students enrolled in the Communications & Media/Electric and Solar Energy/Animation and Digital Media Pathway are not required to meet any preset criteria.

Charter Focus: Technology Integration

Technology is heavily integrated in all content areas on all grade levels daily. Students are not only retrieving information via technology, but they are learning to become producers of information and products by using and creating information systems. Through these experiences, students are greater acclimated to technology with improved psychomotor skills and are more aware of technology’s influence on society. Competencies with technology integration include:

Charter Focus: Environmental Sustainability

The environmental science content is integrated in all content areas and reinforced with the Georgia Standards of Excellence in science and the Next Generation Science Standards in the specials’ course. Students learn about the natural world with partnerships with the Chattahoochee Nature Center, Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, Stone Mountain Park and Georgia Piedmont Technical College and others. By allowing students to become engaged in the wonders surrounding the environment, they will also become responsible stewards of the environment and develop an appreciation for the natural world.  


ELEMENTARY School Standardized Testing Windows

* The local testing schedules have not been set. Additional Information for each assessment will be communicated at a later date as necessary.  

Middle School Standardized Testing Windows

* The local testing schedules have not been set. Additional Information for each assessment will be communicated at a later date as necessary.  

Unit Benchmark Assessments:

Students in grades 1 - 8 will participate in unit assessments as indicated by the classroom teachers.  

DeKalb Academy of Technology and Environment Elementary and Middle Charter Schools, Inc.



                     “Celebrating Learning with Relationships, Relevance, and Rigor”