Cross Key cluster is at the epicenter of the Secondary School Facility Planning and Feasibility Study. Superintendent Green has made it perfectly clear he is going to address over crowding in the Cross Keys cluster and he is going to recluster Cross Keys.
Kim Gokce is the President of the Cross Keys Foundation. He put together this position letter of the Cross Keys Foundation
Our position is formed of guiding principles, assertions, and proposals.
Guiding Principle #1: Equity and Access First – strategic capital investments by DCSD must be made to ensure equity and access to educational opportunities and positive learning environments for all DeKalb children.
Guiding Principle #2: Size Provides Flexibility – to support long-term flexibility in capacity planning and programming DSCD should build sites to support 1,500 or more middle school students and 2,400 or more high school students.
Guiding Principle #3: Speed – due to the egregious and growing overcrowding of Region 1 and Region 2 schools, speed in decision-making and in execution are essential.
Guiding Principle #4: Incremental Progress is Progress – that all gaps and issues cannot be resolved in a single project, decision, or action must not be used as a rationale for postponing critical decisions.
Guiding Principle #5: Avoid Absolutes – the District must maintain flexibility in execution of SPLOST V projects and the response to the Study in order to adapt to future changing conditions that will arise during the implementation period.
Assertion #1: Re-clustering as a result of the SPLOST V construction should be done using whole elementary school zones wherever possible.
Assertion #2: Resulting clusters should serve between 4-6 elementary schools with enrollment targets of 500-900.
Assertion #3: Due to enrollment size and projections, no more than two of any of the following elementary schools should feed into a cluster together in the re-clustering effort: Hightower, Pleasantdale, Cary Reynolds, Dresden, Montclair, and Woodward.
Assertion #4: In their current configuration, neither Dunwoody, Druid Hills, Lakeside, nor Tucker clusters are able to absorb an additional high enrollment elementary school.
Assertion #5: Assertions #1-4 require that, as the two remaining clusters in the region, Chamblee (CCHS) and Cross Keys (CKHS) will be the receiving clusters in the re-clustering effort. Considered with geography, this assertion posits that Hightower and Pleasantdale should continue to feed their current clusters and the four remaining elementary schools must be paired as two groups, Woodward / Montclair and Dresden / Cary Reynolds.
Assertion #6: We believe that the necessary funds should be identified to support the level of educational environments all children deserve. We feel that creating a fourth cluster and high school in the Region 1 area will unnecessarily perpetuate inequities in the Region for portions of the Cross Keys Community. We also believe a fourth cluster will raise the level of initial capital required and forever burden the District with additional operational expenses. This can be avoided by keeping a three high school Region 1 strategy.
1. Where should DCSD build a new high capacity HS? (Near CKHS’ current site)
2. Should the High Achievers Magnet programs be moved? (Not at the HS at this time)
Proposal #1: Build a HS with core services to support up to 2,800 students with a site plan to open at 2200-2400 students. The site should be built near the current Cross Keys HS and the current CKHS facility should be repurposed as a 1,500-1,800 MS.
Proposal #2: Sequoyah MS should feed Chamblee Charter HS and the CMS site should be used for one of the following uses: as another feeder ES or MS of CCHS as a joint feeder along with Sequoyah MS, for future re-use for Magnet as a 4-8 academy at a dedicated facility (this frees up Nancy Creek ES to be an attendance area ES or “lower grade school” to relieve and feed Montgomery ES), or as swing space.
Proposal #3: When the new John Lewis ES opens, Dresden ES should send ~ 50%+ of its students to new John Lewis ES. A scenario may arise were the “2nd Elementary School” planned for Doraville area to relieve Cary Reynolds could absorb the remaining Dresden students. While speculative, we feel it is important to anticipate enrollment changes due to redevelopment of Buford Hwy throughout the region and be prepared to feed students north or south via the two new elementary schools to supply the future CKHS or current CCHS as circumstances direct and capacity comes online 2019 and later.
Proposal #4: We believe it is less disruptive to retain the HS Magnet seats via classroom additions at the current CCHS. Should the growth in the area continue or even accelerate in the coming years as forecast, the 800+/- seats this program represents should be leveraged at the discretion of DCSD if circumstances require it. This is a DeKalb program and should be managed as such.
Proposal #5: Keep Clarkston cluster “whole” by finding necessary funding to support the expansion of the current CHS. The Options as presented by DCSD appeared to pit CK community against both the Magnet in Option C and Clarkston’s desired expansion in A and C. We believe that unless there are no financial alternatives found, the addition requested to keep Clarkston “whole” should be considered.
Proposal #6: We believe that all remaining clusters in Regions 1 and 2 should address overcrowding via classroom and core services additions and that the Planning Department should be directed to devise such plans that minimize or eliminate split feeders.