Lakeside HS – Secondary Schools Study Position

68.8% – Option A – Doraville Cluster
21.5% – Option B – Split Feeders
 9.7% – Option C – Doraville Cluster and Move Magnets

The public meeting breakouts and online survey heavily favored “Option A – Doraville Cluster” (at least before the get out the vote campaign for Option B)
Lakeside HS and Dunwoody HS select “Option B – Split Feeders”.
Lakeside HS and Dunwoody HS are way over crowded. Both schools’ campuses and surrounding infrastructure cannot handle the students they have now. They both also feel strongly about avoiding districting students out of their cluster. To accomplish this, Dunwoody is asking for additional 600 seats at their high school and 450 seats at their middle school. Lakeside HS is asking for an additional 750 seats at their school or in a secondary building off campus. Lakeside HS is committed to being creative in coming up with ideas to figure how to make this feasible.
BTW: Dunwoody cluster talked to the administration about getting an addition to the middle school before agreeing to go with Option B. Did Lakeside Cluster ask for anything else before agreeing to go with Option B?
Randy Faigin David ( is the Chairperson of the Lakeside Cluster Summit and submitted the following “Thought Paper”:

The Lakeside Cluster Summit was formed in January 2016 as a vehicle for parents, administrators and community members in the Lakeside feeder pattern to come together to address issues of concern to our Lakeside school community.
Lakeside Cluster Summit has held several meetings where the proposed options under the Secondary Schools Facility Planning and Feasibility Study were discussed.
Growth Plan
• Keep the Lakeside Cluster intact by not removing any elementary schools or neighborhoods
• We provisionally support a 750–1000 seat addition at Lakeside High School to accommodate future growth in the Lakeside cluster without changing cluster boundaries. However, if it is not possible to build a 750-1000 seat addition to Lakeside at its current location while also addressing issues such as ingress and egress, parking and traffic patterns, then we do not support the addition.
• If building a 750 to 1000 seat addition proves to be unfeasible, we support using creative and flexible strategies to create the additional high school seats needed within our cluster per our list of Creative Ideas cited below.

For example, combining a smaller-scale addition to Lakeside’s existing building with the creation of an offsite 9th Grade Academy would address overcrowding concerns by opening up additional seats in the existing Lakeside building (the current freshman class is over 700 students). It would also help make better use of existing facilities within our cluster footprint. A 9th Grade Academy also takes into account that our cluster might not always need a super-large high school building. Last but certainly not least, it models an innovative learning solution for our students. 9th Grade Academies have been shown to improve the academic outcomes for students across the board by improving the transition to high school.

• Based on this increased student population, it is essential to utilize the construction process to make Lakeside High School more accessible to buses, cars and walkers (see Creative Ideas section below)
• Ensure that the post–addition Lakeside has all of the resources necessary to operate in accordance with best practices for large high schools even if these resources and best practices are different than those used at other DCSD High Schools
• Lakeside Cluster is committed to working together to address all challenges as a united community (whether related to diversity and inclusion, growth, or anything else).
• Lakeside Cluster Summit looks forward to collaborating and partnering with the District as we work together in this process.
Consensus Principles
• Lakeside celebrates its racial and socio-economic diversity including its Title 1 high school, middle school and several Title 1 elementary schools
• We support working with our neighboring clusters in finding region and district wide solutions to overcrowding and honoring those clusters’ desires to remain intact
• Consider traffic impact and patterns when determining boundaries between clusters. Take into consideration that the impact of crossing certain boundaries may be much easier than other. For example, it is considerably more difficult to cross I85 at North Druid Hills Road than I285 at Henderson Road.
• Transportation studies should be initiated for schools that currently experience gridlock at the beginning and ending of the school
• Teachers should have their own classrooms and not have to float
• Equity and access are important but one size does not fit all—best practices may be different for larger and smaller high schools—embrace those best practices
Creative Ideas – for making a 750-1000 seat addition at Lakeside feasible
• Reconfigure access in and out of Lakeside property
• Reconfigure student and faculty parking lots, bus lanes, carpool lines and consider a parking deck
• Consider additional access points (including walkways) using property behind Lakeside, space at the intersection of Briarlake Road and Briarcliff Road and the intersection of Briarcliff and Oak Grove Road (for example, if development over the marsh at the intersection of Briarlake and Briarcliff Roads is not possible, build an elevated boardwalk style walkway to enable students to efficiently and safely walk to a school entrance while avoiding street and parking lot traffic)
• Pedestrian access through neighborhoods to back side of Lakeside campus
• Consider acquiring additional parcels of land adjacent to Lakeside
• Dedicated traffic assistance at Lakeside at arrival and dismissal times
• Work with DeKalb County to improve roads and intersections at Briarcliff and Oak Grove Roads and Briarcliff and Briarlake Roads and resolve drainage issues
• Coordinate start and end times with Globe Academy and consider staggered start and end times
• Create shuttle sites (area churches and shopping centers) with school buses to transport students from parking and carpool drop off to Lakeside
• Create and enforce non-resident attendance policies
• Research and adopt, with input and shared decision making from our building leadership and Regional Superintendent, best practices for student learning in high schools with 2,400 or more students
Out of the Box Alternatives – for keeping the Lakeside Cluster intact:
• Utilize all existing DCSD properties in the Lakeside Cluster including Heritage School currently being used by Globe Academy
• Sell the old Briarcliff High School site and possibly Adams stadium and use proceeds to support a new Cross Keys High School and to buy land for a stadium in the Doraville/Cross Keys area.
• Create a 9th grade academy at a new property (or existing property in the cluster) such as the Sports Authority space near Northlake Mall
• Acquire property at Northlake Mall to build a new high school
• Reconfigure grades among elementary schools and the middle school, such as a 4-6 school, and a 7-8 or 9 school
The Lakeside Cluster Summit would like our Lakeside school community to have the flexibility to address issues of crowding, equity and logistics together as a community. We would like flexibility to quickly meet changing needs in our cluster and ensure that today’s needs are met even as we are planning for the future. The Lakeside Cluster Summit is working hard to honor and preserve the diversity of our community.

18 responses to “Lakeside HS – Secondary Schools Study Position

  1. Concerned Parent

    Stan, to be fair, early online support favored A heavily. But as the weeks progressed, there was a considerable shift. The online comments actually ended in support of B. See link to results below.
    I have no comment on Lakeside. Just wanted to be clear on results.

  2. Online comments/survey results, all because of people voting/commenting over and over for Option B and anything related during the last two days. This is a known fact by most at this point, and hardly a considerable shift.

  3. Stuffed ballots

    There was a heavy ballot stuffing initiative that transpired led by Cross Keys and Dunwoody that doesn’t accurately reflect the intention of most folks. When you have the ability to vote multiple times, it makes any voting moot. Like most thing the county does, it was incompetence at its best.

  4. Stuffed ballots

    The fact of the matter is that you had a small but vocal group who has a specific political agenda for option B and will do anything to make it happen- including “Chicago style”election tactics. Let’s hope saner heads prevail at the county.

  5. The last week of the survey went from public input to get out the vote for Option B. I received half a dozen newsletters from the Dunwoody cluster encouraging everybody to get out and vote for Option B.

  6. And, boy did they, one vote every minute!

  7. Lakeside is over crowded. There are two options – reduce the number of students or increase the number of seats. Increasing the number of seats to 750 means no split feeders and no redistricting.

  8. That is correct. Lakeside is already 400 over capacity, so this is really only adding 350 seats and allows us to remain intact as a cluster. Lakeside has a very well-balanced diversity and wants to maintain this by staying intact and being given autonomy to work out some of our overcrowding issues within our current footprint, i.e. the idea of a 9th grade academy or staggered start and end times. Also, there is room for much needed traffic improvements, it just needs to be studied and included in the budget. Just as other clusters wish to remain intact, so do we. This can all be done without split feeders.

  9. Adding 750 seats to Lakeside HS every 5 – 10 years is not a scalable solution.

  10. We aren’t talking about adding 750 seats every 5-10 years, rather we are asking for autonomy to address our cluster’s needs as a cluster vs just doing what every other cluster is doing. We may need to think outside the box a bit. Perhaps that means readjusting lines and grade levels at the elementary levels or adding a 9th grade academy at another one of the Dekalb owned sites currently in our footprint. I think as a cluster we can figure out what is best for our community and accommodate smart growth. The issue all across North Dekalb is that the county keeps approving high density building without looking at the impact on our schools. Perhaps builders should pay extra to put towards the schools that will be affected… We can also work with the transportation dept. to improve traffic flow. There are several ways to address this without just adding seats. I was at Lakeside yesterday and noticed even an awning over the outdoor seating area would greatly improve the usefulness of that area to allow kids to still eat outside when lightly raining, for example.

  11. Survey Says, your assessment of the survey is irrational and disturbing. The counts definitely show very high response rate from Chamblee and Dunwoody and you’re claiming that Dunwoody’s responses (presumably mostly B) are somehow invalid but Chamblee’s (presumably mostly A) are valid? It should surprise no one that the two most activist (and adjacent to Cross Keys) clusters would turn out high.
    As for good, old Cross Keys, my favorite, this cluster turned out less than half the number of responses and I’m very proud of the > 800 folks who took the time to do so. Would you rather they not?
    There’s a lot of hoo-ha about this survey somehow being corrupt. That is silly. First, DCSD can de-duplicate any obvious gaming attempts just based on the technology. The data is there and shows where the “balloting” came from; Chamblee and Dunwoody by far. I celebrate the participation rate as it is important that we hear from all.
    You perhaps value those that agree with you more than those that do not. I respect those that consider Option A or C as their preferred approach. Why is it so hard for you to reciprocate with those of us in the “B” camp? In the end, from a Cross Keys cluster perspective all A vs B boils down to is whether Cross Keys HS gets replaced. Why is that so controversial?
    There are many reasonable people who realize that A + B + C will all yield elements of the final solution. Poor old Clarkston should be addressed regardless of the fact that “B” did not provide what they wanted. I talked to the kids at their public meeting and they were very rightly passionate about “Option A or C” because it aligned with their desire to stay together at Clarkston HS. What is wrong with that? Nothing, of course.
    Stop trying to pit “A” people against “B” people – it’s a false divide.

  12. No dividing here, just sharing facts about the voting observed first hand during the last two days. In that time, the vast majority of multiple votes came from Dunwoody/Option B, which I’m sure can be seen in the survey result details. Nothing more, nothing less. I guess we’ll see next week how much the survey results impact the consultant’s recommendation.

  13. Enough is enough

    Kim Gokce – Fantastic idea! I’m assuming you as “Kim” are Kim Gokce, especially with the “I” and “Cross Keys” combined – two Gokce hallmarks. And I think you hit the nail on the head with the comment about the false divide of “A” people vs. “B” people. So, maybe you can follow your own advice when, in posting on the Brookhaven Redistricting Forum in Facebook, you imply that anyone not behind Option “A” wants to “keep the apartment people separate” and you mention how “proud you are of the Dunwoody Cluster for getting beyond the divisiveness that has been present in the past and recommended voting for Option B.” That feels just a tad divisive to me – it is clear that you are making the point, vote option A, you are for segregation of the “apartment people of Cross Keys.” So, maybe, just maybe, you should practice what you preach and stop implying that anyone who is against option B is some type of segregationist bigot when there have been a number of strong points to support Option A (or C).
    So, Kim, Stop trying to pit A people vs. B people – it’s a false divide

  14. Enough is enough

    And as far as participation rate. You do realize that 800 could be 40 voting 20 times each, don’t you?

  15. Oh, and here’s a little techie article about the inability of Google Forms, which is what the County used for this very important survey, to parse out multiple responses by IP address.
    Again, I guess we’ll see how much weight the County gives these clearly flawed survey results (regardless of which way you voted) with next week’s recommendation. The proof will definitely be in that pudding!

  16. I don’t understand the reasoning. Where can I go for an explanation? Where will a 750 seat addition fit on the current property? What space/land would be sacrificed? What about the common spaces: kitchen, cafeteria, media center, gym, locker rooms, offices, auditorium, and parking lots? Will they all be expanded, too, to accommodate more students? How will the traffic situation be addressed? With the current volume of students, there isn’t enough parking for students and staff, much less parents attending a school meeting or function. Traffic is already a mess with the current volume. I’m not thrilled with the options presented, but B is definitely not something I’d choose based upon the information provided at the public input session. If others have additional information, please share it.

  17. HW, You are correct. Lakeside is about 400 students over capacity so yes, if the number is 750, it would add “only” 350 students. However, the additon/changes to campus would be made to accomodate those 400 + the 350 extra…so capacity for 750… That is a concern given the campus size/location and what Lakeside may have to sacrifice in order to add an addition and expand the infrastructure (as someone mentioned above).

  18. Enough is enough, my view on a “Doraville cluster” is not about who supports it and their personal views. You can support it and have great reasons for it. I oppose it for the reasons made considtently clear in public and private. I believe it is incontrovertible that a Doraville cluster would create “Cross Keys 2.0” whether intentional or not. Folks can support Option “style” solutions and not realize this consequence. I do not ascribe ill intent to Clarkston kids for wanting Option A or any other group. That would be absurd.
    Making a case for a Doraville ckuster isn’t an act of bigotry. Making a case against it isn’t either. Make your case without fear.