Facilities Planning Online Survey

The Secondary School Facility Planning & Feasibility Study is a study based on public input on how to address overcrowding in middle and high schools. We are currently in the 3rd round of stakeholder engagement.

Timeline:  Aug 23 – Sep 16, 2016:
• Request for Cluster-level joint formal school council response
Online Survey on three Options

Request for Cluster-level joint formal school council response

Superintendent Stephen Green

Dr. Stephen Green
Superintendent, DeKalb County School District

“We believe that our school councils are very important to the decision-making process within the District. So much so, we are asking for our school councils from the middle and high schools within each cluster to come together and develop a joint letter (with signatures of the school council chairs) to the Chief Operations Officer detailing their viewpoints on the three options or another option by September 16th.”

Online Survey – Current Responses
As of high noon on Tuesday Aug 30, there were almost 1,200 responses. You may take the survey up until midnight on September 16, 2016.

SUMMARY of Round 3 Proposed Options

Option A – Add New Sequoyah Area Cluster
• Re-cluster existing Cross Keys Cluster
• New Sequoyah Area High School (at future site) + New Cross Keys Area Middle School at Briarcliff site
• Additions at five existing secondary schools
• Total New/Additions: 4,200 HS + 2,300 MS = 6,500 seats
• No split feeders (maintains 1-to-1 MS-to-HS alignment)
• Dependent on significant land acquisition for new high school
Option B – Split Feeders
• Re-cluster existing Cross Keys Cluster
• New Cross Keys High School at Briarcliff site
• Additions at five existing secondary schools + conversion of HS to MS
• Total New/Additions: 3,450 HS + 1,500 MS = 4,950 seats
• Split feeders in Regions 1, 2, & 3
Option C – New Sequoyah Area High School & Relocate Chamblee Magnets
• Re-cluster existing Cross Keys Cluster
• New Sequoyah Area High School + New Cross Keys Area Middle School at Briarcliff site
• Relocate magnet programs to school(s) with available capacity
• Additions at five existing secondary schools
• Total New/Additions: 3,800 HS + 2,050 MS = 5,850 seats
• No split feeders (maintains 1-to-1 MS-to-HS alignment)
• Dependent on significant land acquisition for new high school

IMPACT of Round 3 Proposed Options

NEW/REPLACEMENT SCHOOLS ADDITIONS TO EXISTING
SCHOOLS
Option A
New Doraville Cluster
New 2,400-seat high school in Sequoyah area

New 1,400-seat middle school for Cross Keys at Briarcliff site

1. 600-seat Cross Keys HS
2. 500-seat Sequoyah MS
3. 400-seat Lakeside HS
4. 800-seat Clarkston HS
5. 400-seat Freedom MS
Option B
Split Feeders
New 2,500-seat Cross Keys HS at Briarcliff site (Convert current CKHS to 1,500-seat middle school) 1. 600-seat Chamblee HS
2. 600-seat Dunwoody HS
3. 750-seat Lakeside HS
4. 300-seat Clarkston HS
5. 200-seat at former CKHS
Option C
New Sequoyah HS
New 2,000-seat high school in Sequoyah area

1,400-seat middle school for Cross Keys at Briarcliff site

1. 600-seat Cross Keys HS
2. 250-seat Sequoyah MS
3. 400-seat Lakeside HS
4. 800-seat Clarkston HS
5. 400-seat Freedom MS

Unredacted Survey Results To Date


Timeline
Aug 23 – Sep 16, 2016:
Online Survey on three Options
• Request for Cluster-level joint formal school council response

Sep 27, 2016
• Present the Secondary School Study final recommendation at the Building SPACES Presentation

Oct 4 – 17, 2016
Five public hearings in October to discuss the E-SPLOST V project draft list.
The draft list, compiled through the Building S.P.A.C.E.S. Initiative, will be publicly presented Sept. 27.

Each public hearing will be at 7 p.m. at the following locations:
• Oct. 4, 2016 at Tucker High School (Region 2)
• Oct. 11, 2016 at Miller Grove High School (Region 4)
• Oct. 13, 2016 at Chamblee High School (Region 1)
• Oct. 17, 2016 at Columbia High School (Region 5)
• Oct. 18, 2016 at Stone Mountain High School (Region 3)

Oct 4 – 24, 2016
• Online Survey on draft E-SPLOST project list

Nov 7, 2016
• Board COW discussion on E-SPLOST project list

Dec 5, 2016
• Formal Board approval of E-SPLOST project list


Round 3 – DeKalb Secondary School Facility Planning and Feasibility Study
August 25, 2016 – Round 3 of a study based on public input on how to address overcrowding in middle and high schools. The scope of the study was later expanded to include renovation and capacity recommendations for middle and high school facilities in all regions.

Chamblee Magnet Moving? It’s Still On The Table
August 10, 2016 – Is the option to move the Chamblee Magnet Program still on the table? Superintendent Green refutes any communications saying it’s off the table.

Pros & Cons
Planning and Feasibility Study Options

July 25, 2016 – Committees consisting of steering committee members and two representatives from each of the forty middle and high schools studied and discussed these pros and cons of the four potential options to address current and pending capacity needs.

Cost Estimates
Planning and Feasibility Study Options

July 20, 2016 – Based on 2022 enrollment projections, the Steering Committee discussed these Cost Estimates for the four potential options to address current and pending capacity needs.

DeKalb Secondary School Facility Planning and Feasibility Study
July 18, 2016 – The study will identify the challenges and opportunities facing each middle school and high school, determine options to address the needs identified, and prepare regional master plans to implement the options. Here are the problems, the funds and the options.

Chamblee Magnet Program – Is it moving?
July 13, 2016 – Any truth to the rumor of moving the magnet program from Chamblee Middle and Chamblee High? Steering committees discussed the pros and cons of the following four potential options to address current and pending capacity needs.

9 responses to “Facilities Planning Online Survey

  1. Moving the Chamblee magnet is not a smart or fair option in any way. There is already a magnet program at SW DeKalb, with an entire magnet high school – Arabia – just a few miles away. Chamblee is the only magnet program for high schoolers in the north end of the county.

    Also, as I’ve said before, why are you pondering ways to simply provide ‘more of the same’? It seems like the perfect opportunity to finally build options: a vocational/technical campus that is worthy of the commute and/or a science-tech magnet high school (perhaps both on the same campus). Why not use the enormous space at Briarcliff to build a high tech learning facility to train students from all over the county for real jobs – jobs that pay well and can lead to a productive life – especially for kids not planning on attending college right out of high school. Then expand Cross Keys right where it sits. There is something like 56 total acres on that land. Cross Keys has the space to hold far more students than Lakeside – especially if you build it like it’s a small college campus. You could put the magnet program here and make Chamblee just a traditional high school. Or mix it up – Cross Keys is the vo-tech, Chamblee is the magnet and “New High School” at Briarcliff is built to handle 2,000+ students. Cross Keys is very accessible via Marta so kids from all over could ride to the Brookhaven station and walk to school. Briarcliff and Chamblee are also very accessible properties via Marta trains and buses. Think outside the box – try something inventive and appropriate for the 21st century!

    For a really great example of a very successful vocational high school from my hometown of Ohio. There is a waiting list to get in! http://www.pentacareercenter.org/

  2. Plus – all three plans include adding MORE seats to Lakeside! The capacity at this school already surpasses all others in the county (already over 2,000) – and the place is the most landlocked, difficult to access property in the system. Really? Plans are to add 400 or 700 more seats? Where? In paddle boats in the creek out back? Adding more seats here and there is a really bad idea. We need to build more high schools. There’s a lot of land at Cross Keys to expand – and the Brookhaven Marta station is walkable from there. We have an enormous property on Druid Hills at the former Briarcliff High School location. Thankfully, due to public outrage, it wasn’t sold to the developer who was chomping at the bit to buy it from Dr. Lewis and crew. And we all know the rest of that story.

  3. ps – I noticed a few comments about millage rates and spending property taxes wisely. Just want to reiterate what most everyone already understands – the construction and renovations of schools is paid for with E-SPLOST dollars – the penny we have all continued to vote on ourselves for nearly 20 years now. (The current one – SPLOST V is a 4 year tax that will bring us to 20 years worth of extra pennies.) The average E-SPLOST has brought over $500 million each time (over 4 years). That’s over $2 Billion so far. This is all from a penny sales tax – not from your property taxes. Property taxes pay for school operations – which is another $1 Billion+ (consolidated budget) each and every year. To put it in perspective – our school superintendents run a Billion Dollar Enterprise called a school district.

  4. I appreciate that Dr. Green is acknowledging school councils, the elected body of parents, teachers, community reps, and school administrators established through state law to serve as an advising and recommending body to the local school, school district and state, not to be confused with parent councils, (grass roots groups originally created to provide an information exchange between parents and the school system who currently have a pretty limited number of participants but seem to be the “go to” group for the district. Unfortunately, Dr. Green is now asking clusters of councils to come together and send a unified recommendation regarding the options presented and wants them to accomplish this by Sept. 16. First, many schools don’t have functioning school councils, others that have been “functioning” have not been addressing the issues the law provides for and only a handful (or less) have worked as a cluster for more than a few months. Trust and relationships have not been established…the needs/focus of elementary schools in a given cluster will be very different than those of the middle and high school. Asking them to come together to agree to split up (or in other words, do the hard work for the district) is unrealistic. Instead, ask each school council to meet as a cluster to hear one another’s needs and then take that into consideration when writing each school’s response. School councils can’t possibly provide an informed response by Sept. 16, esp with the vague answers received at the meetings last week.

  5. September 16 is an aggressive deadline, but I’m guessing there is something driving that date. Numerous council clusters across the district have already started coming together on this initiative, so it can be done. We’ll have to gather information by other means for the communities that have weak or no school councils.

    I agree, different schools need different things. I have asked the clusters to include the elementary school councils as well. School councils are the boots on the ground at schools and were elected by and represent the community. One of their jobs is to advise and make recommendations to the administration and board. We are asking them to perform their duties on this initiative. They are adults and freely chose to be part of their board/council/assoc , so I’m not inclined to tell them how to do their jobs.

    I like the idea of school councils working together and sharing information. Instead of the board and administration adjudicating their differences, we are allowing them to work it out themselves. Hopefully this will also help tear down some of the walls between communities.

    The timeline is tight and the information from which to make these decisions is imperfect. The steering committee and administration are looking at the same set of data. I will try to provide as much data and insight as possible.

    I’m looking forward to the conversations and receiving the various council recommendations.

  6. Elementary schools are going to have a voice – it’s just reality. The same involved parents from the high schools and middle schools are often the same parents in elementary schools. Elementary schools are also entitled to see what is happening downstream and how it might impact their community, and today’s elementary students are going to feel the full impact of the decisions being made with this initiative, not today’s high school juniors and seniors.

    For example, Ashford Park has a German immersion program, and they want to ensure they are tied to the successful German program at Chamblee Middle and Chamblee Charter High School. Several proposals have them being moved to a high school at the Briarcliff site. That is just one example.

    It is a lot to ask of the high school councils to get everyone “under” them to agree, but they can at least get everyone’s concerns and priorities down on paper and rank them. If you can come up with compromises within clusters, it could “save” some things that each community finds valuable. Honestly, it was unrealistic to expect that a consulting company could come in and get enough information on the ridiculous number of school communities we have in DeKalb and form any sort of plan that would work on the first try.

    I appreciate that councils are being asked to do this and at least being given lip service. I feel like there is a level of uncertainty and discomfort on the school system level with this entire initiative, and hearing from the councils might actually give them some good ideas to prevent a political implosion upon presentation of a final solution.

  7. Amy

    Are you aware that several high schools, including Dunwoody and Lakeside, offer German? A new high school could certainly offer German

  8. I don’t have a child at Ashford Park – I was just in meetings with them at Cross Keys where they expressed this concern. Their fear is that they would be moved out of the Chamblee cluster, which offers far more than standard German. At CCHS, sophomores are taking AP German and then continuing to German 5 and 6, which aren’t offered elsewhere. In addition, there are three different, extensive German exchange programs offered at CCHS. CCHS has a relationship with the German government in which there have been visits back and forth by the leadership there helping CCHS hone its program to allow CCHS students to qualify for German university and compete for jobs with natural-born German citizens based on their high-level language skills. It really is unique, and I would assume that is why they would want their elementary immersion children directed toward that program instead of a standard high school language program.

  9. By the way, the online survey allows multiple votes from the same person/computer. We just voted 3 times in a row from the same laptop, and each vote was separately tallied in the results. So…..I would venture to say this survey is pretty much invalid. The County might want to look into this.