Editor’s Note: This story first appeared in The District, an exclusive publication for Decaturish.com subscribers offering a behind-the-scenes look at our reporting on DeKalb County schools. To become a paid subscriber, visit supportmylocalnews.com
By Sara Amis, Contributor
DeKalb County, Georgia — Georgia Department of Education Hired Dr. Tanzy Kilpli as a special advisor appointed to help the DeKalb County School District resolve the issues outlined in the corrective action plan that GA DOE presented to the district on May 12.
Kilpli says his role is to support the district so that it can achieve the goals set for it by the state superintendent.
“My primary role is to work collaboratively with the DeKalb County facilities team to ensure that we have standard quality facilities and that they are implementing the corrective action plan with fidelity,” said Kilpli.
This action plan was developed after an inspection of Druid Hills HS by a GADOE team and a series of meetings with DCSD staff. The plan includes a list of immediate repairs to Druid Hills High School and the requirement to upgrade both Druid Hills High and Cross Keys High. It also obligates the district to address systemic operating issues throughout the district, including but not limited to maintenance workflow.
Kilplias the outgoing Chief of Staff of the Bibb County School District, brings his previous experience overseeing operations, maintenance, facilities, and capital planning services for the school district which encompasses the City of Macon.
Prior to assuming the post of Chief of Staff, Kilpli was deputy superintendent and associate superintendent in Bibb County, and director of school improvement in Peach County. She holds an Ed.D. in instructional leadership from Argosy University, an honors degree in administration and supervision from Georgia College and State University, a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Georgia College and State University, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Georgia College.
Kilpli was already expected to serve as a school improvement program manager with the state Department of Education when she was asked to take on the role of adviser for DeKalb.
Kilpli will also help the district assess existing internal processes and implement “effective and efficient” practices.
The goal, she said, was to implement best practices so the district doesn’t end up in the same place once the current action plan ends.
Kilpliwho is still completing the school year in Bibb County, has not yet been able to meet with DCSD staff in person, but has spoken to Acting Superintendent Vasanne Tinsley.
“[She was] very receptive and understands that this is a collaboration,” said Kilpli.
Kilpli said the action plan has short-term goals with a deadline of June 30, and that the first goal is to meet that deadline while developing a plan to achieve the longer-term goals. The district is required to provide the GA DOE with regular updates, and Kilpli said she would be in frequent communication with State Superintendent Richard Woods and GADOE Chief of Staff Matt Jones.
Kilpli pointed out that the corrective action plan encompasses the entire district, not just one or two schools.
“The goal is to have facilities that are a quality standard for the entire district and a safe learning environment for every student, every administrator, and faculty and staff,” said Kilpli.
To this end, in addition to improving the efficiency of operations, Kilpli will help develop a District Rapid Response Team that will address additional facility issues identified by students and stakeholders. She also plans to focus on the district’s existing comprehensive master plan as a tool to address the district’s facilities issues.
“That’s the goal, for us, to really dig into this comprehensive master plan, look at those assessments and really, really sit down to come up with an action plan to ensure that there are facilities for quality for all schools,” said Kilpli.
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