FAQ – Facility Planning & Feasibility Study

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Secondary School Facility Planning & Feasibility Study


Q0. Can middle and high schools get renovations even if they don’t get an addition?
A0. The secondary schools facility planning and feasibility study has nothing to do with renovations. Renovations are driven by the Facilities Condition Assessment (FCA) and the Facility Educational Adequacy Assessment (FEAA) scores found on the S.P.A.C.E.S. webpage (data tab) [http://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/building-spaces/]

Q1. Are there maps available that show which students would be redistricted under each option?
A1. No. This study is not intended to be a specific redistricting plan. Details of future redistricting will not be considered until the Board of Education decides on the best approach to address overcrowding, which will be an output of this study. This study has made assumptions about the approximate number of students that would need to be redistricted in the future under each scenario. (Note: student move assumptions are available at http://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/documents/secondary-school-study/options-handout.pdf ) Determining exactly which students would be redistricted, and where they would be moved, is a separate future detailed stakeholder-engagement process that would take place a year prior to opening the capacity addition or new school, according to Board of Education Policy – AD, School Attendance Areas.

Q2: Where would the Chamblee magnet programs move?
A2: We are soliciting input from the public as to which middle or high schools the magnet programs would be relocated to under Option C. Option C proposes moving the Chamblee MS and Chamblee HS magnet programs, but does not provide a specific location. However, if moved, these programs would be relocated to a middle and high school with enough capacity in Fall 2022 to host the magnet program (316 middle school students and 632 high school students).

Q3: If Option C is adopted and the Chamblee magnet programs are relocated, would the current magnet teachers move with the magnet programs?
A3: If needed, for any option (A, B, or C), movement of staff is a decision that would be made the year prior to the program being moved by the Human Capital Management Department.

Q4: In developing these options, was the impact on traffic considered?
A4: Traffic was indirectly considered as we developed the options, as we do not recommend sending students long distances. Please note that more detailed traffic analyses will be performed as we develop the design for the schools.

Q5: In developing these options, was the impact on core areas (like lunchrooms) considered?
A5: Yes, the impact on core areas (cafeteria, kitchen, gymnasium, and media center) was considered for each option. The cost of expanding core areas is factored into the estimated cost for each proposed classroom addition.

Q6: Can Lakeside HS, or any other school, support the recommended classroom additions?
A6: Yes, a preliminary analyses found that each of the campuses recommended for classroom additions would be able to support the recommended expansion. Each project will present unique challenges depending on the size and age of the school, the campus layout, and whether available property exists on site, but with quality engineering and architecture, each school would be able to support the recommendations.

Q7: Under Options A and C, where would the new high school be built?
A7: The targeted area for the new high school would be generally in the Sequoyah Middle School area, in or around the Doraville/Chamblee area. Both Option A and Option C would require 20 to 40 acres of land.

Q8: Under Option B, would Cross Keys High School become a middle school?
A8: Yes, under Option B, a new 2,500 seat Cross Keys High School would be constructed at the Former Briarcliff site on North Druid Hills Road. The existing Cross Keys High Facility would be converted to a middle school and include a 200-seat capacity addition.

Q9: Why does DeKalb continue to keep one-to-one middle-high feeder patterns?
A9: DeKalb County Schools is one of the few large school districts that maintains one-to-one feeder patterns from middle school to high school. The one-to-one concept has served the district well over the years by promoting community cohesion. As the district grows, keeping the one-to-one feeder alignment creates inefficiencies in balancing the enrollment between middle and high schools. In 2016, the district made the first exception by splitting Sequoyah Middle School students between Cross Keys High School and Chamblee Charter High School. Under the proposed options, Options A and C would maintain the one-to-one feeder alignment (including fixing the existing Sequoyah split feeder), while Option B would introduce at least four additional split feeders. We are requesting input from the community on how important the one-to-one feeder pattern is in this decision-making process.

Q10: Two of the options cost a lot more money than would be available under the E-SPLOST program. How would the school district pay for these options if either is approved?
A10: The E-SPLOST program approved by voters on May 24, 2016 would provide approximately $230 million over five years for constructing new schools and classroom additions. Of that $230 million, approximately $60 million has been committed to build two new elementary schools in the Cross Keys area, leaving approximately $170 million for all remaining new construction, including new capacity for additional elementary schools. The estimated costs of both Option A ($247 million) and Option C ($224 million) exceed that amount. Therefore, if the Board of Education should move forward with either option, additional funds beyond the sales tax collections (E-SPLOST) would need to be identified.

Q11: Why not move funds allocated for other E-SPLOST categories into the “New Facilities and Additions” category?
A11: The District published the budgets for the five projects/categories prior to the May 24, 2016 vote and we are bound to those amounts allocated to the five projects/categories. Increasing the amount of funding beyond $230 million for capacity needs would need to come from other revenues (or sales tax collections above the projected $500 million, if/when it happens) and not be taken from the other four categories/projects.

19 responses to “FAQ – Facility Planning & Feasibility Study

  1. I don’t understand why Kittredgee isn’t being moved as well. That area near Montgomery Elementary is overcrowded and needs the space that moving Kittredge and reopening as another ES would provide. Kittredge was supposed to move to another school in middle of county near avondale so that Austin would be rebuilt. Why do Dcsd plans always get half completed? Where is the county on this plan from 3 years ago???

  2. Q9-A9: DeKalb had split feeders previously and went to a vertical alignment for all schools 12 yrs ago. There was as much angst about that change among parents/staff/students who loved their school as there is now. Was it hard to make friends in middle school and leave some of them to go to a different high school – sure.. but that happens every time we change jobs, sports teams, churches, etc. It’s a life skill. It also opened the door to make new friends. Many friendships made in middle school lasted through high school and beyond and students reconnected at sporting events, academic teams, STT, etc. Their circle of friends actually expanded. No one likes change but when it comes, it often isn’t as awful as the demon we have created in our minds.

  3. This is just a secondary facilities. The district is committed to building two new elementary schools in the Cross Keys cluster area. One of those being the new elementary school at Skyland Park in Brookhaven.

  4. I understand it’s just a secondary school study but I think the question is legitimate. Several years ago the county put out a plan that discussed moving Kittredge to another school so that Austin would be rebuilt. it is my understanding that Kittredge still in its current location and Austin has never been built so it begs the question why aren’t these plans ever really finished? What is the point of going through all this rigmarole like we did just to come up with a lot of unfinished plans?

  5. June 2014 article on this blog. Austin Elementary update. Why isnt the magnet ES part of this discussion, if serious consideration is being made to moving the magnets. Maybe this is just part mof the show Dscd has always put on for us.

  6. It’s already been decided that the over crowding in the elementary schools in the Cross Keys cluster will be addressed by building two new elementary schools. While moving the high achievers magnet out of Kittredge is a valid discussion point, it is still outside of the scope of this particular feasibility study.

    The Austin Elementary rebuild is still on. There are quite a few moving parts to this particular engagement, so it’s taking a while. I don’t understand what moving Kittredge has to do with the AES rebuild.

  7. Kittredge was to move out so that austin could move in. Then Nancy crk was to revert back to neighborhood school. Why discuss moving mid and high portion of the magnet if not considering moving the feeder school, kittredge.

  8. Austin had 654 students enrolled this time last year and Kittredge allegedly has a capacity of 590. It would be tight, but that seems feasible. Nevertheless, it’s been decided that over crowding at the elementary level in the Cross Keys area will be addressed with the addition of two new elementary schools. Middle school and high schools are within the scope of the discussions and elementary schools are outside the scope of this feasibility study.

  9. Q2- Would the Magnet teachers move?? I suspect that the teachers might have something to say about moving, not just the Human Capital Department

  10. I do not support moving the magnet program from the high school for 3 reasons:
    1. Chamblee High was recently ranked as the 2nd best school in the state of GA. Success stories such as this
    are very far and few between…. Dekalb is going to make a decision to remake the school by moving
    the magnet program? Shame.

    2. The Magnet program by being at CCHS helps to bring additional resources to non magnet students at the schools – specifically the number of those all important AP courses.

    3. If the county will not be achieving its’ goals of freeing up the number of seats they hope by moving the magnet program. A vast number of magnet students come from the area around CMS/CCHS as they in part originally made their decision to enroll their children in the program by the location of the program. If the magnet program moves to the SW corner of the county, they will not move with it but return to their home schools – which include CCHS and Dunwoody etc… And I will add, that I have spoken to a high school magnet program teacher and they suspect that over 1/2 of the magnet teachers will not move with the program should it move.

    I understand that it is easy for most to think of the magnet program as something that does not pertain to them
    because so many qualified students did not “win” the lottery. And it is easy to think of this group of kids as a
    a subset that can be moved around as 1st resort because the kids that attend really do not have a permanently drawn district lines per se but it does not mean they feel any less pain or anxiety of getting shuffled around.

  11. Where was Chamblee ranked # 2 in the state? I’ve been looking online and not finding it.

  12. I usually reference the AJC who reported 2 DeKalb County high schools among Newsweek’s top 500. Chamblee Charter High School and DeKalb School of the Arts were among Newsweek’s top U.S. high schools for 2016. They were two of 10 schools in the state to make the list.

  13. A number of people have asked if middle and high schools can get renovations even if they don’t get an addition.

    I talked to Joshua Williams (COO) and Dan Drake (Director of Planning and SPLOST Programming) earlier this evening about renovations. Dan Drake said the Facilities Condition Asssessment (FCA) and the Facility Educational Adequacy Assessment (FEAA) will be the major drivers for renovations.

    You’ll find those reports on the DeKalb SPACES website (and click on the Data tab)

  14. I am still curious as to where Holly is getting “Chamblee High was recently ranked as the 2nd best school in the state of GA”. The link to the AJC article may have it in the top 500, but it isn’t the second out of all GA high schools. Looks like it may be 7th, and 431 nationally. If Holly comes back, I would love to know the source for “second best school”.

  15. My apologies my typing / mind got ahead of me ! They are top 2 in county of Dekalb and 7th in state of Georgia.

    My error My fault. 2nd or 7th .. no one can deny that something is going very right there.

  16. Thanks so much! Definitely agree they are both great statistics and it is a great school. Was just afraid I had missed something about how awesome it was!! 🙂

  17. Not to take anything away from DSA at all because I think it is a great school offering excellent arts experiences but if all schools could pick their students and require that they maintain a B average to stay there, we would have lots of great schools by the ratings used to judge schools in most of these lists.

  18. 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.

  19. Dedicated server

    That end is the involvement of the community in determining how and when collectively owned funds are going to be spent to provide opportunities for sport and recreation experiences. Through undertaking a feasibility study the chances of developing an unsuccessful facility are minimised, and the potential for efficiency is increased.