Redistricting the Cross Keys Cluster

Redistricting the Cross Keys Cluster to address over-crowding and reduce portable classrooms.

To serve the growing student population in the Cross Keys Cluster, 18 portable classrooms were added this year to the elementary schools and 16 portable classrooms were added to the middle and high school.

School New Trailers
This Year
Total Classrooms
In Trailers
Cary Reynolds ES 4 25
Dresden ES 12 26
Montclair ES 2 18
Sequoyah MS 8 17
Cross Keys HS 8 15

Related Posts
03/08/2016 – approved Cross Keys Redistricting Plan
02/14/2016 – Cross Keys Over Crowding – The Plan
01/16/2016 – Redistricting the Cross Keys Cluster
  Public Meetings on Redistricting Options 


The school district is currently looking to build two new 900 seat elementary schools as part of DeKalb E-SPLOST V which, if approved by the voters in May, would commence on July 1, 2017.

The temporary short term solution will be to utilize available capacity in nearby Fernbank ES, ISC, Chamblee HS and possibly Warren Tech.  The DeKalb Schools administration is engaging the public to get feedback on which of the three proposed options to implement this Fall.

Elementary (ES) Option #1

.pdf link icon  ES Option #1

  • A – Redistrict 364 Briar Vista ES students to Fernbank ES.
    All neighborhood students go to Fernbank, but Montessori and Regional Special Ed. students would remain.
    Reconstitute Briar Vista ES as a new Cross Keys elementary school.
  • B – Redistrict 269 Montclair ES students to Briar Vista ES.
  • C – Redistrict 61 Woodward ES students to Briar Vista ES. 330 new students at Briar Vista ES.
  • D – Redistrict 282 Dresden ES students to former ISC school.
  • E – Redistrict 283 Cary Reynolds students to Dresden ES.

Elementary (ES) Option #2

.pdf link icon  ES Option #2

  • A – Redistrict 364 Briar Vista ES students to Fernbank ES.
    All neighborhood students go to Fernbank, but Montessori and Regional Special Ed. students would remain.
    Reconstitute Briar Vista ES as a new Cross Keys elementary school.
  • B – Redistrict 269 Montclair ES students to Briar Vista ES.
  • C – Redistrict 61 Woodward ES students to Briar Vista ES. 330 new students at Briar Vista ES.
  • D – Redistrict 101 Montclair ES students to Former ISC
  • E – Redistrict 292 Dresden ES students to Former ISC
    New K-5 school at Former ISC with 393 students
  • F – (2017) Redistrict 383 Cary Reynolds ES students to former Warren Tech as new K-5 school
  • Move Warren Tech program to vacant Terry Mill facility
  • Note: Cary Reynolds ES will need to wait for relief until the 2017-18 school year.

Elementary (ES) Option #3

.pdf link icon  ES Option #3

  • A – Redistrict 127 Montclair ES to new Former ISC
  • B – Redistrict 269 Dresden ES students to new Former ISC
    New K-5 school at Former ISC with396 students
  • C – Redistrict 154 Cary Reynolds students to Dresden ES

High School Option #1

.pdf link icon  HS Option #1

  • Redistrict 164 Cross Keys HS students to Chamblee HS
  • These are the closest students to Chamblee HS
  • First middle and high school split feeder in DeKalb County.

High School Option #2

.pdf link icon  HS Option #2

  • Redistrict 180 Cross Keys HS students to Chamblee HS
  • These are the students furthest away from Cross Keys HS.
  • First middle and high school split feeder in DeKalb County

Public Meetings to Present Redistricting Options to Address Cross Keys Overcrowding
Revised 12/22/2015
DeKalb County School District will be holding three (3) public meetings to present redistricting options to address overcrowding in the Cross Keys Cluster. The community will have an opportunity to voice their comments on the proposed options at these meetings. The affected schools include Montgomery ES, Huntley Hills ES, Ashford Park ES, Cary Reynolds ES, Dresden ES, Montclair ES, Woodward ES, Briar Vista ES, Fernbank ES, Laurel Ridge ES, McLendon ES, Avondale ES, Chamblee MS, Chamblee HS, Sequoyah MS, Cross Keys HS, Druid Hills MS, Druid Hills HS, Warren Tech, Oakcliff Theme. Final recommendations on redistricting will be presented for approval at the March 2016 Board Meeting.

Meetings will be held:

  1. Thursday, January 14th 2016, 6:00 pm at Sequoyah Middle School – 3456 Aztec Road Doraville, GA 30340
  2. Tuesday, January 19th 2016, 6:00 pm at Druid Hills High School – 1798 Haygood Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
  3. Thursday, February 11th 2016, 6:00 pm at Cross Keys High School – 1626 N. Druid Hills Road NE Atlanta, GA 30319

20 responses to “Redistricting the Cross Keys Cluster

  1. Thanks for the post Stan.

    I have a concern with two numbers related to Chamblee: 1) There are three numbers floating around about capacity 1500 (construction company), 1600 (number of lockers) and 1695 (reported by county); 2) Estimated growth in current attendance area (the current senior class is about 125 students smaller then the freshman class so the current estimate of 1397 I feel could be up to 100 students shy of the actual growth). I doubt these numbers are able to account for the new higher density and infill construction in the area as well. I feel some clarification and adjustment is needed prior to a final decision.

    In addition, I feel one possible long term solution is bringing Sequoyah back as a high school. Having been a previous high school it appears to have the facilities to support all the high school activities, it could make the search for suitable property easier for the county and alleviate future overcrowding at the schools it borders (Chamblee, Cross Keys, Dunwoody, and Tucker).

  2. Hey PatW,
    Capacity is a function of class size among other things, so the county would be the best source for current capacity. Obviously estimating growth is an art and not an exact science.

    Cross Keys HS has 15 trailers on it. The school district’s options are limited for the short term. Like you said, that area needs another high school. Sequoyah MS has 17 trailers on it, so I’m not sure what you would do with all of those students if you turned it into a high school.

  3. Sequoyah would be a down the road option for a new high school only after new property was found for a middle school. Just felt it might be easier to find property suitable to build a new middle school rather than a high school. In other areas I have lived in they have used vacant retail space as a temporary bridge while new construction was finished. Think we really need to get outside the box on this one. Quite a challenge. Keep plugging!!

  4. Stan, I have two points. First, I was deeply troubled at how the funds from the last SPLOST were spent. The image of administrators stretching the definition of what the voters approved to buy new cars for themselves at the depths of the Great Recession was very trobling. Their arrogance really left me with a bad taste. Second, my taxes just increased by over 22%. And those of other residents increased even more. Accordingly, I will not vote for this until I am convinced that the sharp increases in my taxes and those of others are not sufficient to fund the needs of the DCSS. My understanding is that many administrators have been replaced but remain in the payroll in “created” positions. I am favorably inclined toward Dr. Green, but I would oppose any tax increase of the authorization of any new SPLOST until I am convinced that those administrators who I’m convinced abused the last SPLOST.

  5. Hey Howdy,
    The service cars purchase was $300k wasted. It was indicative of the administration’s judgement. However, it is a relatively small problem compared to the bigger problems with SPLOST IV.

    Allow me to relay what Nancy Jester said. The 10-Year Facility Master Plan “did not consider capacity and projected growth when SPLOST IV projects were identified,” she said. “The SPLOST process is political. The data was made to fit the predetermined decisions in order to justify the building list.”

    She goes on to say,

    “The DeKalb Board of Education sent a referendum to the voters that funds building new elementary schools where we will only need 40% of the current capacity. Yet, in areas that are already at 100% and projected to need much more, DeKalb is adding very little capacity. Many communities are looking at having trailers in perpetuity. Even if some of the capacity needs were addressed in the next SPLOST, effectively a generation of children will have gone through school in trailers.

    When SPLOST IV ends, DeKalb’s taxpayers will have given the school district approximately $2 billion to build and improve schools. It is unconscionable that we have so many children in trailers throughout the district. The weight of this fact was not lost on me during the SPLOST IV process while I was on the board. This is the primary reason I voted against taking this referendum to the public.”

  6. I would like to make an observation about PatW’s concern about higher density coming to Region 1. I have heard this concern regularly over the past twenty years as large parcels have been planned for large scale, multi-use and high density residential. The theory that they bring higher rates of school children to an area just hasn’t panned out. On the contrary, if the site plan is replacing multi-family or even single family, such plans often lead to a net loss of school aged children.

    Town Brookhaven for all it’s residential units has exactly 6 kids at the ES level, 3 at MS level and 6 at HS level. Not exactly a tidal wave of enrollment from those units. Yes, some properties may generate more per unit but let’s be realistic about projections. As Stan said, it is an art. Suggesting higher density, multi-family of the types being planned for the area will generate a lot of enrollment is highly speculative given the actuals to be seen so far.

  7. Let’s not ruin a perfectly fine school (CCHS) by, once again ‘bussing’ in kids from out of district. CCHS has almost completely turned around from the disaster of NCLB. Let’s not bring kids in again from out of district….instead let’s take some of those MILLIONS we as Dekalb taxpayers pay in school taxes a year and build new schools. It is ridiculous that that Dekalb board waited till it got to this point to do something…..well nothing, because all you are doing is just like NCLB did, pulling kids out of their neighborhood schools and sending them to others to overcrowd them. Dekalb county is full of employees who have cheated, lied and stolen! Build the new schools and temporarily house the students while they are being built. We live in the CCHS district because we can afford to, my feeling is just that, if you can’t afford to live in its surrounding neighborhoods then you don’t get to attend its schools…..keep the kids who attend CK in their own district….

  8. I have lived in Chamblee my entire life. Back in the day, Cross Keys was our high school. I lived by PDK then and I still do. I had to drive down Buford Hwy when Chamblee was at my back door. That being said, I do not feel that my education was slighted because I attended CK. To the person in the previous post- are you aware that many of the students that attend CCHS as part of the magnet program do not “live in its surrounding neighborhoods?” I don’t hear you complaining when the test scores of “those students” contribute to Chamblee’s success. If I am understanding correctly, (with my Cross Keys education) you are assuming that a person’s bank account and cultural background determine intelligence. I guarantee there are quite a few intelligent students that live outside of Chamblee’s neighborhoods who equal if not surpass those that live within. Furthermore, it was very ignorant to suggest that we “keep the kids who attend CK in their own district.” Are you actually saying that Latino students are not welcome in Chamblee? News flash- they already live within our neighborhoods. I taught in a public school in the Chamblee/Doraville area. My students were 90% Latino. Many of those students are just as capable and intelligent. I get what you are saying about overcrowding but it is ridculous to say that because they “can’t afford” to live here they should be banned from “it’s schools.” I am proud to live in Chamblee/Brookhaven and I am also proud to be a graduate from Cross Keys High School. Class of 88 represent!

  9. Katherine Edwards

    The cheapest solution would be to reopen Briarcliff High
    School. Use it for all levels of education: elementary,
    middle and high school. This would help all schools
    that are over-croweded.

  10. No a bank account, nor where u live determines intelligence. With that said, we have worked hard to be able to afford to live in a good school district(Montgomery, CMS, CCHS). I would love to live in town, but can not afford to and would never send my child to an APS. This was never about race, you introduced that card. Schools within good districts have strong parental involvement with schools and with their children which in turn leads to good schools. We pay ALOT in taxes to live where we do. Let’s have Dekalb use alllllll that tax money and do the least amount of harm to its in district students and leave them at their schools and build new ones they can attend.

  11. Nice try, Leigh. Kate S. isn’t listening to you. You very deftly zeroed in (CK education strikes again!) on the reality of CCHS and pointed out that the enrollment really isn’t “district” kids as Kate S wants you to believe. Hilarious that the objection is “busing” other kids when just over half of the enrollment is non-resident children; meaning they live outside the defined CCHS attendance area. Let Kate S. alone with the magic beauty that is the myth known as the parent-made CCHS. The reality is quite the opposite. The high academic results, and they are great, are to be praised. But these results are traceable to hundreds of the top students from the entire County whose parents live faaaaaaar from the campus and do not provide the magic. See the second column of this matrix: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/planning/2016/october-hs-(2015).pdf (you might have to type this url into your browser)

    It is Lakeside, Tucker, Dunwoody, Stephenson, Cross Keys, Clarkston, Stone Mountain and other schools and their families that bring the magic to CCHS aggregate results. Lovely school. My own son may end up there. It is not what Kate S would have us believe.

  12. FYI, the Community Input portion of this process ends on Tuesday, January 26. Online comments can be made at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1vdO_HE18AAEqlp_gV0wrfojWgUlT5WRqME2rqgBrzIw/viewform

    The meeting on February 11 is to let the public know which solution DCSD chose.

    SO, if you have any comments, please get them in by Tuesday. This is a tough problem.

  13. I am trying not to be baited by the comments of Kate S, but I would like to assure Kim and others that she does not represent the opinions of all at Chamblee Charter High School. I would bet that only a small minority agree with her.

    I do agree that the large influx of NCLB students at CCHS in the mid 2000’s was not handled well by DCSD. But in that case, neither the students nor CCHS were notified of the transfer until July, making it extremely hard to change the existing schedule and hire many new teachers just weeks before school started. This proposed plan has a chance to succeed, since the decision is planned for March and hopefully there will be enough time to adjust staffing and scheduling. CCHS is a welcoming school.

    What bothers me the most is that DCSD did not take ANY action until now to address Cross Keys cluster overcrowding. Their BOE members, and indeed all BOE members, should require that DCSD address this overcrowded cluster. It should never have gotten this bad.

    And while I know that some in the Cross Keys cluster think that parents and community members outside of that area are also complicit in this poor planning, please remember that things have been so bad throughout DCSD for so long that even in the “good” schools the energy of parents and communities is completely consumed in just maintaining the basics. There is hardly time or energy to take on the challenge of being an advocate for other areas. Our better selves would wish to do this but sometimes we just don’t. I greatly admire Kim Gocke and others for focusing more attention on Cross Keys now.

  14. The last data from the school system shows that CCHS has about 650-700 students from within the Chamblee attendance zone. As Kim deftly points out, the rest of enrollment at CCHS comes from across the county.

    Keep in mind that this ratio (50 percent) has been fairly stable for at least the last decade or so. There is simply not an overwhelming desire from Chamblee families (or maybe there just aren’t enough of them in the school zone?) to fill that school with kids from the community.

    Re the senior class number — at almost all schools the senior class is the smallest number. Drop outs and kids not on track to graduate on time impact that number.

    The magnet program was placed there to keep from having to shutter the school back in the day. Despite years of hearing, the community is coming, the community is coming. That hasn’t happened.

    And to Katherine, Briarcliff High School has been vacant far to long to be safely renovated to put kids in there. The land can be used, but that is about all.

  15. You are correct in the fact that CCHS does not fully represent the community it surrounds. But, with the end of NCLB and the building of the new campus it has slowly started to come around. I know, because I have kids there and live in the community. With that said, it is a fact that some would rather send their kids to private to avoid CCHS…..and why do you think that is?????? If this ‘redistricitng’ of Cross Keys happens……the community will pull farther away from Chamblee Charter. You may like what I say or not, but it is the truth…..pretty or not. It is Dekalb County that is to blame for this mess, for not putting funds to use in the schools and building the schools our tax dollars should fund! It is the ‘crooks’ of Dekalb County that has destroyed this county we live in!!! Build the new schools, find the money!!

  16. FYI – Community input has been extended until Thursday at midnight. Thanks folks for the kind words. Our present pickle was foretold by those paying attention in SPLOST IV. Politics rule our public system and the devil takes the hindmost. For recent years, CK kids have enjoyed that position and well know the devil. And while I do realize there are many who wish no ill towards them I also know well there are too many who actively work to deny them any options other than isolation. Many such folks celebrate new construction for CK kids so to ensure they’ll not be moved to their own attendance area. The flip side also terrifies some of my neigbors – new school in CK land means their kids may be pulled into mix with ours – oh no! “Keep on the sunny side always on the sunny side. Keep on the sunny side of life …”

  17. Stan, are these proposed changes permanent?

  18. The administration is still finalizing their recommendations. They will present their recommendation to the public on Thursday, February 11th 2016, 6:00 pm at Cross Keys High School.

  19. Stan, I didn’t ask my question very well. Will the high school students in Zone A be permanently rezoned to Chamblee Charter High School, no matter which Option is chosen by DCSDl?

    If so, is it correct that these students will go to elementary and middle school in the Cross Keys cluster but attend Chamblee Charter High School?

    The legend in the maps released by DCSD for HS Option 1 and HS Option 2 state “Proposed Attendance Area 2016.” Does this mean that the changes are just for 2016-17 school year or is it a permanent redistricting?

    Can you clarify? Thanks.

  20. Temporary until more space is created via new builds or renovation which will take a minimum of 5-7 years.