DeKalb E-SPLOST V Project List

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In February of this year, the DeKalb School Board adopted a resolution calling for a referendum on the ballot in May, 2016 to continue the one percent sales tax for educational purposes (E-SPLOST).

The referendum did not have a list of projects but gave defined project categories: Safety, New Facilities, Improvements, Technology, Capital Equipment and Project Expenses. Additionally, $60 million has been earmarked since April for two new elementary schools in the Cross Keys cluster.
Since April, in an attempt to solidify a project list, the school district has had a steering committee, 3 rounds of public input and various surveys.
At the Nov 7 Board meeting, the administration presented their latest Proposed 2017-2022 E-SPLOST Project List.
It’s 39 pages and wasn’t given to the board or public ahead of the presentation. After going through it, I have numerous questions. COO Josh Williams said they would be collecting questions and comments over the next few weeks.
Leave your questions and comments on this blog and I’ll collate them and get responses from the administration.
Below are the presentation, video and summary of the board questions and answers.
Presentation – Board Q&A Transcript Summary – Video

Board Q&A
Jim McMahan – Once the board votes on the project list, can that list be changed?
Josh Williams – Our intent is that this is the project list we use moving forward. Any changes to this current project list should come before the board.
Stan Jester – Clarkston HS is 200+ seats over capacity. But it’s in the middle of 4 or 5 clusters way under capacity. Half of the clarkston population is closer to Towers high school which is way under capacity. Why not redistrict those students to Towers?
Dan Drake – It would have created split feeders.
Stan Jester – Is Indian Creek back on the list for a renovation?
Dan Drake – Yes. Indian Creek is a tear down rebuild to a 1,200 seat elementary school.
Stan Jester – The current condition of Indian Creek is pretty good. We’re talking about tearing down a perfectly good school.
Dan Drake – Indian Creek, we want to add capacity. More than 800 students are within walking distance of the school. We looked at renovations, but thought it was more cost effective to tear it down and build a new school.
Stan Jester – Month after month with stakeholder engagement, as the consultants put it, there was overwhelming support for a new Seuqouyah area high school. After all the stakeholder engagement, everybody wanted a new Doraville cluster. Why didn’t we go in that direction?
Dan Drake – In the third round everybody wanted the Doraville cluster. But the online survey came out in the end for additions to the existing schools
Josh Williams – In the presentation there is an email address for community questions and comments. We’ll take and consolidate those emails.
Stan Jester – Have we talked to people in Doraville like the mayor? Does the mayor want a cluster?
Dr. Green – We talked to the mayor but that topic did not come up. The mayor wanted to know about Cary Reynolds. The mayor didn’t realize at the time that a new elementary school would be brought into the area. We met about a week or so ago.
Stan Jester – At that meeting she didn’t say she wanted a cluster for her area?
Dr. Green – That did not come up.
Dan Drake – There was some discussion about a high school, but not a cluster.
Stan Jester – So she said she wanted a high school and elementary school. They are already have a middle school, that sounds like a cluster.
Dr. Green – The main topic was to advocate for Cary Reynolds.
Stan Jester – Did she say she wanted a high school?
Dr. Green – We talked about Cary Reynolds. Then we looked at the bigger picture and saw that a new elementary school would be placed in that area. The conversation stayed with the renovation knowing they were getting a new elementary school.
Stan Jester – So, no discussion about the high school?
Dr. Green – No.

61 responses to “DeKalb E-SPLOST V Project List

  1. Here’s a simple one: The “2nd elementary school” for relieving the overcrowding of Cross Keys cluster schools has been “in-plan” since April 1, 2015. What caused it to be taken out of plan? I realize the answer is “we don’t have the money.” That begs the question where did the money intended for that replacement get allocated?
    I’m open to the possibility that there is a higher priority need within the system but do not know what that may be.

  2. Good Question Kim. I’m quite perplexed by this.
    The graphic at the top, or one like it, has been on every presentation since April saying “$60 million is committed for two elementary schools in the Cross Keys Cluster”

    Nov 7 Presentation – Dr Green said Doraville was getting an elementary school
    Dr Green said at this very same presentation “We met with the Mayor of Doraville a week and a half ago and she did not realize at the time that a new elementary school would be brought into their area … The conversation stayed with the renovation knowing they were getting a new elementary school.”
    Nov 7 – Project List presentation – Buried on page 25 of the presentation, Doraville is no longer getting that elementary school. Brookhaven is getting an elementary school and Indian Creek, whose Facilities Condition Assessment report says their school is in fine shape, is getting a rebuild.

  3. Tim DeBardelaben

    I have lost all confidence in DCSD.. Cross Keys High School has had negative connotations for fifty years. Think the reason that new school at Briarcliff is being named Cross Keys is to create controversy. That way Marshall Orson and Jim McMahan will be able to push to sell the property. They are wanting a new BROOKHAVEN HIGH SCHOOL. If DCSD had reopened it as Briarcliff it would have given the school a proud history and an active Alumni. Why is it that split feeders are bad for some Elementary schools but okay for Sagamore Hills?
    To me it is shameful the fact that certain Board members have used Cross Keys for their on political gain. Think somebody should hold the Planning Dept accountable for their continuous short term planning. We keep spending money on the same schools. Can’t Planning Dept look further than 5 years. Obviously not. As a taxpayer I find it bothersome that we are spending MILLIONS of DOLLARS so rich kids can park their cars at Dunwoody and Lakeside. The fact that DCSD is being forced to build parking decks should tell you there is not enough room to do what Operations Dept is pushing to do. Projects like these are why there is such division between NORTH and SOUTH Dekalb. Do you think if you were a parent from South Dekalb would this plan make you happy or do you think you would say it is unfair????

  4. 1200 seat elementary schools. Is that the future for Dekalb?

  5. Many of us warned when this esplost came out that there needed to be a specified list of projects. We knew that by not doing that that we would have an elephant constructed by committee. All educators know how committee work turns out.
    Having a Doraville cluster is a must. Why is Dr. Green ignoring this? I have an idea. Why don’t you call the Doraville mayor and get her side of the Dr. Green discussion. It was evident from the transcript you published that Dr. Green preferred not to answer the high school question. Way to hold his feet to the fire.
    Dan Drake seems to feel split feeders are ok in some situations but not others. How does he decide?

  6. For the record, the FCA at Indian Creek was a 38. Not exactly rated as a pretty good school.

  7. Tim DeBardelaben

    Dan Drake should be replaced. He is obviously incapable of planning long term. Chamblee, Dunwoody and Lakeside all have either been built or had additions recently. Lakeside was overcrowded the day they completed their last addition. As a taxpayer I object to spending millions for parking decks. Joshua Williams needs to look further than the end of his nose. Hate saying it but this looks like a Pat Pope plan.

  8. Mark, point well taken. Good shape may not be the best characterization of the condition of Indian Creek. It is, however, in better shape than almost 20 other schools in DeKalb. One of those being Cary Reynolds which also has almost twice as many trailers on it was just supplanted on the project list by Indian Creek.

  9. I understand we have to prioritize, but does it make sense to prioritize artificial turf, next generation active boards, and ERP software upgrade ahead of relieving the overcrowding situation in the northern part of the Cross Keys cluster? That’s $37 million worth of projects that could be used for a new Doraville area elementary school.
    4 year upgrade cycle for PCs (22 mil)? Can we get by with a 5 to 6 year cycle? 10 million for musical instruments is nice, but does that provide more value than getting rid of trailers? Why is getting high school kids out of trailers > getting elementary school kids out of trailer?

  10. SPLOST V funds were prioritized and broken down into categories. In May, the voters approved the prioritization and following funding for those categories which were set in stone with the referendum and can no longer be changed.

    Resolution Item $ millions Percentage
    1. Safety and Security $15 3%
    2. New Facilities and Additions $230 46%
    3. Facility Condition Improvements $100 20%
    4. Technology Improvements,incl. ERP $65 13%
    5.Buses, Vehicles, and Other Capital Equipment $40 8%
    Management and Contingency $50 10%
    Totals $500 100%
  11. Tim DeBardelaben

    Artificial Turf for practice fields is not a wise investment. Two vandals and a gallon of paint can do six figure damage in less than an hour. This administration wants their legacy to be Taj Mahals. They talk about cost effective when they should be talking about effective. Personally will be surprised if a recall movement doesn’t form. Think it is time to remind Board members that education is their purpose not feeding their egos

  12. The 3 options about Artificial Turf presented at the October E-SPLOST input meetings were
    1 – $0, no artificial turf
    2 – $6M, 4 high schools/1 middle school
    3 – $9.8M, 9 high schools/1 middle schools
    Yet the final E-SPLOST Project List is $14.43M for 19 high schools. There must have been some strong public input to cause this big change.
    The October estimates must have been bad, as the amounts changed substantially for several of the schools: Clarkston HS went from $2.73M in October to $0.800M in November.
    Towers HS went from $1.03M in October to $0.83M in November.
    Dunwoody HS, Lithonia HS, Miller Grove HS each went from $0.43M in October to $0.780M in November.
    I don’t want to be overly picky, but these things matter when the public is being asked to make choices.
    Artificial Turf money could have been better spent in Category 3 for Major System Renewal. The October meetings had an option for $83M, yet the recommended plan allocates $71.4M for this category. Or the “extra” Turf money could have been set aside for lead remediation or ADA improvements, all of which are in Category 3.

  13. I wonder if the Mayor of Doraville understood that the promised Doraville elementary school is dependent upon the public approving a bond referendum. Maybe she thought that the Doraville elementary school was still a “sure thing” on the E-SPLOST-V project list.

  14. I really hope people will remember this experience when it comes time to vote for ESPLOST VI, that will surely precede any sort of project list.

  15. If the SPLOST new facilities and additions proposes to build a new Cross Keys High School at Briarcliff, why are they still proposing to turf the Cross Keys High School fields? It may seem like a minor detail, but paired twith the fact that we are already adding on to brand new schools, details like this are the reason that we continually question the planning department.

  16. Scott Gillispie

    I would think trying to add a new Doraville cluster will just lengthen the timeline of dealing with the Cross Keys overcrowding, since there is no available land where it’s needed (so you’ll have to go through eminent domain processes). And time is of the essence, since I hear there’s a lawsuit coming – we’ve got to have active progress on fixing the Cross Keys boundaries.
    Not to mention that it would be wedging a new school up against the county line, and the uncertainty of what happens to the population numbers -need to keep this from being the north county version of Arabia Mountain. Expanding the existing high schools and then redistricting is a fine solution.

  17. Scott, Thanks for the comment. You’re not alone. One of the common sentiments I hear from people currently in the Cross Keys cluster is a desire for something “Right now and good enough” over a solution that is perhaps better but may take longer to implement.

  18. But, isn’t that thinking in a vacuum? What may benefit one cluster in the immediate term has detrimental effects for at least 3 other clusters in the longer term. Proponents of the current plan don’t seem to be taking this into any truly serious consideration besides giving it the necessary lip service. The county shouldn’t be “scared” into making any rash and hasty decisions on such a large scale because of a potential lawsuit threat. Prudent and thoughtful decisions should be made going forward for the county as a whole.

  19. Survey Says: Can you share details about the “potential lawsuit?” I keep hearing this and find it fascinating. I would have expected to be contacted by anyone bringing a suit on behalf of …who??

  20. A Cary Reynolds Teacher

    I teach at Cary Reynolds Elementary School. I would like to know why this school continuously gets the short end of the stick? Last year, we were one of the largest elementary schools in the county. We still have 20+ trailers and our building is in horrible condition compared to schools that are getting torn down and rebuilt. We have an immediate need for a larger facility a newer facility!! Our building is 55 years old. It’s time for equity in truthfulness and all children deserve adequate modern facilities not just the the communities that have the most vocal parents.

  21. A Cary Reynolds Teacher, I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s unfathomable that after a school replacement for Cary Reynolds has been on the project list for so long and is so desperately needed, that it has been suddenly snatched away. We should all be demanding answers about how and why this has happened. It’s just plain wrong and the County administration should be held accountable for the promises they’ve made in this regard.
    Kim G, I’ve heard the lawsuit rumor tossed around over and over in various places. I would love to know the answer to your question. Why don’t you ask Scott Gillispie, he seems to know something about it, as mentioned just a few comments above.

  22. Kim – Why would you expect to be contacted regarding a potential lawsuit? Are you really that important?

  23. Run Amok – apparently, since Survey Says s/he is hearing it over and over again. It’s absurd.

  24. Kim, I have a few questions about your position:
    *Are you saying that you have never had a conversation with the school district leadership that directly or indirectly communicated that a lawsuit was brewing?
    *Do you think that one of the main points over the years has been that the CKHS attendance zone looked differently than other districts?
    *Wouldn’t a Doraville High School solve the problem of children and students having to travel so far to high school?
    *Wouldn’t that help parents whose mobility is limited to be more involved in their children’s education?
    *Wouldn’t a new high school at Doraville help accomplish the Foundation’s stated mission: Every opportunity for every child?

  25. Scott Gillispie

    In re lawsuit: this is heresay at the moment: per my wife, who spends her time actually talking to people rather than yacking on the interwebs – as the HHES PTA president, she talks to a lot of folks in the Spanish-speaking community (fortunately, she hasn’t forgotten all of her HS and college Spanish). Anyway, what she’s told me is that a Latin American legal aid group is preparing a lawsuit for after the first of the year against DCSD based around the unfairness of the CK cluster lines. Whether it actually materializes, hard to say – it may depend on how quickly the selected plan fixes the problem, now that people are actually willing to talk about it. As lawyers like to say (but don’t really mean), ‘time is of the essence’.
    The sticking point on a Doraville High School is land – they need 30 acres. Assembly is only 60 – do you think they will yield half of it to a school. The right answer might have been the old KMart, but a developer’s got that now, that ship has sailed. It’s going to require eminent domain unless land falls out of the sky, and that process will move this out to ESPLOST VII or VIII.
    Also, Chambleeites – if they do actually find land for a brand spanking new HS with plenty of room, where do you think the magnet will go? And the clearest Chamblee message from the whole fall process was ‘magnet first, everything else second’.

  26. Scott,
    I think the Chamblee message has been misconstrued. I have not heard anyone say “magnet first.” The question was and remains, “what are the details?” If we move the magnet, where are we moving it to? A major concern is that if we move it too far away that many magnet students in Dunwoody, Lakeside and Chamblee opt-out of the magnet and remain/return to their resident school, creating more seats needed in those schools, not less. Which would mean we have moved the magnet for nothing.
    Stan, my question for Dan Drake, Josh Williams and Dr. Green is this: What will you do from this point forward knowing that this process has created greater distrust among your stakeholders?
    Information has been shared in limited ways and we were asked to ‘trust the process’ Well we have a lot more information now and we don’t trust the process. EVERYONE knows that the survey was not a referendum – why are they all of a sudden in Round 3 treating it that way. People voted multiple times skewing the data. If you combine A & C (which both support a Doraville HS) the “vote” is evenly split – so how could that data possibly be used to decide anything?
    It is possible that some thought additions were a viable option. Now that we have seen the actual plans we see, as they are being proposed that is not the case. We need to stop this freight train – we need to defer the vote on the project list. Doraville needs a new ES – I don’t think anyone disagrees with that. For some reason people seem to have less heartburn about being able to find land for an ES than they do a HS, but both are needed and the planning department and their consultants need to figure out a way to make both happen.

  27. Scott Gillispie

    Hilary – I disagree – if you put all of the feedback from the Chamblee cluster schools into a word cloud, ‘magnet’ would be in 80 point type. Personally, I think the magnets have served their purpose and need to be retired – let’s just make sure all kids have access to honors and AP classes, and move on. But I accept that I’m in the minority.
    I do agree that the new school priority should be a new ES to relieve Cary Reynolds; when my wife and I drove past there and saw all those trailers, she cried a bit. Then she got mad. I’m not sure at all where that would go either – maybe the international village site where Chamblee city council is attempting to fight off a car dealer putting a 20 acre parking lot?

  28. Anonymous2, thank you for asking. Here you go – answers in []
    *Are you saying that you have never had a conversation with the school district leadership that directly or indirectly communicated that a lawsuit was brewing?
    [Yes. Folks with special, magical powers have identified me or the Cross Keys Foundation as bringing or threatening a lawsuit. That is absurd. Have the words “lawsuit” and “DeKalb” ever passed my lips? Yes. Just as it has yours – it is commonly discussed and has been since folks in Doraville started asking why they weren’t districted to CCHS – go see them.]
    *Do you think that one of the main points over the years has been that the CKHS attendance zone looked differently than other districts?
    [Yes. See . And it is one of the first things EVERYONE notices about it. I’ll repeat my main points I have made consistently over the years for reference: 1. The isolation of the apartment kids of BuHi has been a decades long process that is the result more of classism than racism (what many others claim), 2. The isolation of this population has been carried out in a slow, but deliberate series of decisions that are driven by the politics of both “white” and “black” leadership – it’s not a “white people” thing, 3. Zoning, land use, and federal fair housing regulations have a part to play in these dynamics, 4. Many from “majority” areas do not want their kid to be a “minority” in a minority school (the numbers don’t lie). I’ve been told repeatedly by my white brethren that they appreciate my efforts for “those” kids but that once a school goes below 50% white they can’t in good conscience send their kids there.]
    *Wouldn’t a Doraville High School solve the problem of children and students having to travel so far to high school?
    [Of course. As would having them districted to the nearest high school at CCHS. This is geography – something I have always acknowledged. It is too many of my neighbors who have warped the earth to their purposes over the years – not me.]
    *Wouldn’t that help parents whose mobility is limited to be more involved in their children’s education?
    [see above]
    *Wouldn’t a new high school at Doraville help accomplish the Foundation’s stated mission: Every opportunity for every child?
    [For the kids in the new Doraville HS, yes. For the kids “left behind” at the old CKHS, no. Personally, I would love to have 900-1,100 HS on every block. I don’t see that as an option. Someone needs to find the funds (aka taxes for that).]

    For more in-depth discussion of the very valid questions you raise, please read the Cross Keys Foundation position statements. We have spent thousands of hours collectively collecting, analyzing data, and formulating what we believe to be the most practical guidelines for the decision. We undestood that one of the primary goals of the entire exercise is the decomposition of the current cluster. By definition, this was bound to be most disruptive to the CCHS cluster. Though we can see it is also connected to DHS, THS, LHS, and DHHS and beyond. A highly complex problem has been created by us over the years and there’s not magic solution that will allow us to move beyond it without a lot of $$$ and a lot of pain.
    Are we thrilled to see the great school cluster that has accomplished so much with so little support go away? No. Cross Keys and Sequoyah are very, very special places. Are we happy that so many lives will be disrupted to undo the decades of bad decisions? No. Do we realize that it is inevitably destined to do so? Yes. To see my elaboration on my personal thinking and a link to the published Foundation position letter, see:
    As long as people such as yourself engage in good faith dialog and investigation, I remain confident that the best of the worst paths forward will result.

  29. On the “2nd Cross Keys” new elementary school – we all need to dig into this and I will. I hope Stan, you, too, can provide some insight now that this is all in front of the Board.
    My assumption is that it was viewed as “more balanced” (aka, politically digestible) to also address a very similar need at Indian Creek area rather than spend “all that money” on Region 1 schools.
    Cary Reynolds and Montclair elementary schools are the “Ground Zero” catalysts for that $60m to be identified. It will be unfortunate if those commitments were made prematurely. The Doraville community and the Bulldogs have been waiting for far too long in darkness.
    The fact that the efforts of the Cross Keys Foundation and others brought those conditions to light is a point of pride for me. If, ultimately, no relief is in sight with SPLOST V, I will consider it another 5 year failure like we faced in 2011. In SPLOST IV, we worked just as hard to have some of these issues addressed then and precisely $0 were allocated to the BuHi schools.

  30. Scott, re: “word cloud” … the clear, loud ring of truth is in your words. Sorry to hear how your wife was struck by what she found at Cary Reynolds. Let her anger be fuel for tireless and loving action on behalf of those kids and their teachers. This is not a new situation and many good people have been working for a very long time for a better outcome. It will come. It is just a matter of which 5 year advocacy cycle. I thought and believe it should be SPLOST V. We failed in SPLOST III and IV.

  31. Hilary, to your point about folks have less heartburn about finding land for the “new ES” in Doraville versus a HS site. The reason for this I believe is that it is highly likely that the “new ES” would (and I think, should) be built at the current Cary Reynolds site with no new land acquisition required.

  32. Here’s one Doraville resident (and current CKHS student) view on the hotly debated topic (advance to the 10 minute mark):
    I did not know she was going to be at the September meeting to make that statement. I ran into her at CKHS at the August meeting hosted there. She had seen the documentation on the Options that night for the first time and came to her conclusion quickly. I asked her about how she arrived at her conclusion and she more or less said then what she repeated at the BoE meeting. I was very impressed with this teenager – very mature thinking for someone so young.
    If you haven’t seen what her peers have been doing the past year with their service and community development projects, you need to look up and follow “The BuHi Project.” They are being recognized around the City for their thinking and efforts.

  33. Bill Armstrong

    Quick Question:
    When did the Dunwoody School Councils disavow their paper in favor of a modified Option B, so carefully detailed in the DHS SC letter on 9/16/16? Did I miss it? We certainly know Chestnut & Kingsley haven’t. And if DHS, PCMS or any of the other ESs in Dunwoody have now disavowed it, I haven’t seen it.
    Because based on what is being presented by Stan & Nancy Jester, including the meeting in Chamblee last night, it certainly sounds as if they are working hard based on an overwhelming mandate. And looking to spread.
    I guess I’ll take an answer from Mr. Jester to start, BUT I’d really like to hear from the School Council chairs of ALL the Dunwoody Schools.
    Bill Armstrong
    Chair, Huntley Hills school Council

  34. Stan,
    Is there any chance that the vote can be delayed until February? I asked this question and never got an answer.
    If anyone other than Stan on the BOE reads these comments, it is clear to see that there are many concerns and questions. The holidays are coming. Even if there is a vote in December, I do not see a great deal of work being done the month of December.
    How can the school system being in such a rush for some things and other just go on and on and on.
    So much is happening in Region I . We are going into our second year without a Region I Superintendent.
    There are lots of leadership jobs that have been posted for months.
    There is such a rush for some things but other things can take forever.

  35. The vote can be delayed until January or February.
    To Mr. Armstrong’s questions. As you may or may not know, my constituency consists of Doraville, Chamblee, Brookhaven and Dunwoody. I don’t see how Nancy Jester’s thoughts are divergent from the Huntley Hills Position Statement guiding principles.
    I urge the Huntley Hills school council to reach out to the Montgomery Elementary School Council.
    Feasibility Study Position Statements

  36. Bill Armstrong

    Joy: I had a great conversation with Sherry L. Johnson, Ed. S., the Interim Region I Superintendent at the School Council Dinner. I was very impressed. Hopefully she will be made permanent. What I found most pleasing is her true vision for ALL students in Region 1, not just the vision of those with the most vocal, well-connected, parents. Some of whom I dare say, again – some but not all, are very elitist, selfish, divisive, even bigoted, when it comes to these issues.
    Alas – I have observed that Ms. Johnson is not very receptive to that approach. I do know she is aware that those parents are usually the vocal minority, and do not speak for the whole school, but I’m not sure they all see it that way.
    To quote her words, more eloquent than mine: “Embracing the beauty of diversity makes room to focus on teaching and learning.” But how many share that passion? Sadly not always the same crowd that shows up at the meetings.
    And she’s not just passionate, she’s very well-qualified. I encourage all in Region 1 to reach out to her, engage her. She’ll listen, but she might not always agree, nor should she. And when she doesn’t I expect she will be very clear why not.

  37. Stan, has the DCSD released the summary of the online SPLOST survey that closed Oct. 25th? Very interested to see the results and comments.

  38. I wanted to respond to the comments about Ms. Johnson mentioned just above. I attended the Chamblee Charter High Governance Board meeting last night, which Ms. Johnson also attended. She was asked how involved she is and has been in the County planning initiative. Her response was that the purpose of regional superintendents is to directly support their region schools and principals. She explicitly stated that they are not involved in strategic planning at all. However, she is able to share feedback back to the county.
    To give you an example of the direct support Ms. Johnson described last night, Montgomery had a boiler pipe burst last Friday morning which flooded the school. The quick decision to evacuate all students and staff to Chamblee Middle School had to be made. One of the first, if not the first call our principal, Ms. Bolds made was to Ms. Johnson. That set the wheels in motion for buses to arrive within a half hour, county services to arrive on site for support and cleanup, etc, etc. These are all of the things Ms. Johnson handled for our school. This is the type of support regional superintendents are expected to provide our schools. I’ll say it was an impressive and very efficient process without hiccup and the cooperation between the school and county appeared to be seamless. This infrastructure works and was certainly appreciated in a time of need.

  39. Bill A… There you go again hurling insults and accusations. Interesting, because a parent speaks up against redistricting they feel will not benefit their child/community they are horrible people. Because Bill A and Kim G speak up for others they are “martyrs,” Kim’s words in an article he wrote about how he alone is trying to save Bufor Highway kids. The two of you are the real bullies! You lead by intimidation.
    And Kim; word on the street is that you, yes you ARE behind this lawsuit!

  40. Survey Says: I saw what appeared to be a smooth handling of the water heater bursting at MES. I am very encouraged to hear the new “Regional Cabinet” model seems to be working as hoped (more delegation, nimble response). I’ve also seen other regions benefitting from this year’s new approach. Thanks for sharing the MES story.

  41. Anonymous please. I am not interested in martyrdom. The “he alone” claims … lol. Really?
    The people that I work with everyday in the schools, the service agencies, and community members know how ridiculous that claim is. There has been a long-running and sustained effort BY MANY to increase the capacity of the BuHi communities to speak for themselves and improve their own quality of life. Perhaps you just liked it better when they sat down and knew “their place.” I am the loudmouth who does dare to take these messages into “unfriendly” forums, yes. I’ll take that label and I think it is self-evident right here and now.
    My allies over the years made fun of me for “arguing with those people” … I tell them that it is critical that other readers that come along and do not comment hear alternative views. I happy to provide the service though it is a soul-sucking activity.
    The lawsuit! Yes, let’s talk about that lawsuit of mine … *sigh*.

  42. “…save the bufor[sic] Highway kids…”
    Let me tell you something true for your own consideration, Anonymous. These kids saved MY life.

  43. That’s where you are wrong. I dont have s problem with you speaking up for anyone who wants your representation. What I do find hypocritical is you bashing and name calling others standing for their community. The idea that people use the term “them” is ridiculous. Have people questioned what is going on and what is in best interest. Of their community? I should hope so!!!

  44. Oh, Anonymous! I share your disdain for name-calling. If you find where I have called anyone any name, please let me know so I can address it. Sarcasm? Guilty. Combativeness? Guilty. Self-righteous indignation? Guilty. Name calling? Nope.

  45. Gokce – to be blunt, you are one of those annoying liberals who believes that anyone who doesn’t see things your way are somehow not as “enlightened” as you. While you may not come out and directly say it, you make inferences and insinuations that show you looking down your proverbial nose at those of us who disagree with you (I.e . “maybe those people will know their place.”). It reeks of the same holier than thou liberalism that infuriates people. And yes, your ego is quite large. I’ve been following your antics for over 10 years as a “Cross Keys community organizer” and you have managed to piss a number of people off. That’s not how you get anything accomplished. You and Bill A can continue your abrasive ways and get nothing accomplished.

  46. Kim G. Two words you throw around racists and bigots.

  47. Sheila Gillispie

    Quick note – the Huntley Hills position paper is missing the wording in the top half of the paper with the guiding principles that were used. These principles are the key to our position. I am not familiar enough with the other position papers to be able to glance at them and determine if they are complete. Here is the link to the Huntley Hills position paper from August 29, 2016.
     Huntley Hills Parent Position School Facilities Planning.pdf

  48. Thanks Sheila. OK. I’ve replaced some of the position papers with the originals. That should make it easier to read. Let me know if you find one that is completely messed up.

  49. Bill Armstrong

    Survey. I think many more will enjoy similar encounters with Ms. Johnson going forward. I told her, half-jokingly, that I hoped our future dealings will be constructive for education in region 1, and not about our HVAC system – the countdown until the first big cold blast is on. People like her give me confidence and hope in this system.

  50. Anonymous: where? Who? Such a waste of time for everyone else.

  51. Scam Alert: “antics?” Lol.
    “Annoying liberals” – this simply proves you have no idea who I am and what I believe besides your vehement disagreement with my views in this matter.
    Labelling doesn’t change what’s in the can. Ad hominem much?

  52. Tim DeBardelaben

    I read what is being written and wonder if this is the new Facebook. I do not always agree with Kim since I found out that the new High School at Briarcliff was to be named Cross Keys. Obviously I think that is a huge mistake. It would give the students in the Buford Hwy corridor a new beginning. The one thing I have to say in fairness though is Kim is the only person that I have seen repeatedly at BOE meetings pounding them with the facts about the Cross Keys cluster being grossly overcrowded. He has not been hiding behind anonymous emails. He has been at times pompous and arrogant but his message about the Buford Hwy corridor has never waivered. So if you want to be taken seriously put your name on your comments when you attack a person who has done nothing other than put in countless hours pointing out a wrong.

  53. Thank you Mr. Armstrong. Thank you” survey says.” I really hope that a decision will be made. Ms Johnson sounds great. I hope that the powers that be do not leave her in the job for a long time and then bring someone in from outside as the “real” Region I person. This seems to happen frequently these days.
    I have one other question that I ask for someone to please answer.
    Why can’t the BOE delay the vote on which plan that they will accept?
    There seem to be many people that feel like their concerns have not been addressed. All of the children are important. People have the right to advocate for their children and community. This does not make someone a bad person. Our BOE needs to take more time and listen to all voices.
    Thank you Stan for having a venue for people to express their views.

  54. Bill Armstrong

    Stan. I’m fully aware of your constituency. But I guess I still tend to think of it primarily being Dunwoody. I guess that goes back to the Dunwoody City school efforts.
    So yes, perhaps I should broaden my question to all these areas.
    Have any of the school councils covering the schools in Dunwoody, Chamblee, Brookhaven & Doraville expressly dropped their position paper endorsements of Option B – with the various modifications? And have any changed their position to this Option – I’ll call “Option J” – with the Doraville High School?
    And this is an open question, not just to Stan, but to any here from any council, Chair or parent member, is there any move afoot to change your position, formally or even informally?
    I ask this as a fellow School Council Chair. I’ll state for the record that Huntley Hills has made no such change.
    And where did this proposed Option J come from? Was it brought forth by a group of your constituency? Is it something you, or someone else, will be presenting to the rest of the board, or perhaps Joshua Williams and Dan Drake?
    And as for reaching out to MES and other councils, we in Chamblee most certainly are – a joint Chamblee Cluster School Council meeting is scheduled December 2.
    This is the result of a more informal exchange for now. Clearly from the School Council dinner last month the official expectation from the system is that this will happen at the cluster, and perhaps even the regional level. And it seems the system actually has created a true liaison to facilitate and engage the Councils. Yet another change for the good.

  55. Bill, Huntley Hills’ Guiding Principles are congruent with Option J
    ● Cost matters. ​Build what you can afford and only make promises you can keep (i.e. there is not enough money and no guaranteed land to build a new school in Doraville).
    ● Distance matters. ​Minimize cars and buses on the roads and minimize the distance they have to travel. If a child can walk or bike to a school ­ they should go to that school.
    ● Diversity matters. ​Keep all of our public schools economically and ethnically diverse. No one population should be isolated.
    ● Community matters. ​Elementary and middle school communities should stay together through high school, whenever possible.
    Note: There is a subjective, but duly noted, opinion about the viability of buying land in Doraville.
    The Chamblee Cluster Response from parents and faculty representatives of Chamblee Middle School, Chamblee Charter High School, and a number of elementary schools in the cluster, support a new Brookhaven and Doraville high school.
    I’m happy to see tight, communicative and supportive clusters.

  56. Bill Armstrong

    Always tickled me. Chamblee Cluster Response: “and a number of elementary schools in the cluster.” “Number” They’re only 3.

  57. JimmyCrackedCorn

    If the parents at Kingsley are so worried about Hispanic children, where is the letter requesting the Hispanics living in Dunwoody but zoned for Hightower Elem, be rezoned to Kingsley?

  58. MES’s position is and has always been to build a new Doraville High School. It has not changed. MES was trying to compromise with the Cross Keys folks and offered up a 2 new high school solution (with CKHS becoming a middle school serving new CKHS) vs. renovations, but if a choice has to be made, MES comes down squarely in the camp of a new Doraville high.