Who's Getting Redistricted Out of Lakeside High School

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In addition to the proposed 750 seat addition to Lakeside HS, the school district has announced it’s intention to redistrict 250 students currently attending LHS to the new Brookhaven High School cluster. The stated reason for this potential redistricting is to alleviate the estimated overcrowding at LHS.
There are other redistricting efforts in neighboring clusters as well. Sources have indicated that school district officials may target certain elementary schools for redistricting on the basis of socio-economics and demographics.
DeKalb School District has a policy on school attendance zones – “Policy AD – School Attendance Areas“. Policy AD does not contain any considerations for demographic or socio-economic factors when proposing attendance zones or redistricting.

Various sources have previously indicated that the school district intended to redistrict Sagamore ES, but I have since learned that other schools are being considered in addition to Sagamore.
On November 10, Dan Drake (Director of Planning and SPLOST Programming) and Jim McMahan (Lakeside area Board of Education representative) met with Sagamore residents at Oak Grove Methodist church. At that meeting, Dan Drake set the record straight. As one of the attendees reported to me,

Mr. Drake explained that the school system had not made a determination yet about which school might be redistricted and that they had not specified Sagamore. Someone in the audience asked, “So you might move students from Oak Grove or Hawthorne instead?” To which Mr. Drake said something like “Since we don’t know where the new school will be and that decision will be made at a later date, but yes, it could be Oak Grove or Hawthorne.”

Mr. Drake’s response seems to indicated that the district intends to move an elementary school out of the Lakeside HS feeder pattern to a new Brookhaven HS.

The problem I see with redistricting Hawthorne, Oak Grove or Sagamore Hills to the new Brookhaven cluster, is that it appears to violate DSCD Policy AD.

122 responses to “Who's Getting Redistricted Out of Lakeside High School

  1. Paula, so you can read minds now? You know what is in his heart about Chamblee? Your display of tolerance and rational discourse is impressive. Why can’t Stan simply believe that a smaller school is better for everyone. You are assigning intentions to him and eviscerating him for the intentions you invented. Don’t you see how wrong that is? You should apologize to him. I’m not saying you have to agree with him but you can’t judge his intentions. Feel free to resign from reading his blog if you find it so eviscerating to your opinions. Either that or get opinions that hold up to more scrutiny.
    I am thankful that Stan has this blog. You seem to be contemptuous of his effective use of communication so that everyone knows his thoughts on a subject. He has every right to vigorously put forth his opinions. That’s transparent. You seem to want to eviscerate his speech and openness when it doesn’t agree with you. No board member comes close to putting out this amount of information. He’s transparent and keeps us informed. Wish more board members were like this.

  2. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Well that was interesting… now back to the news desk…
    Is there anyone willing to address my question above that got lost in the storm? If we can’t talk about the substance of the issue with the needs t DHS, we truly are wasting time.
    Here’s my question from earlier:
    “What needs to be addressed exactly? I’ve heard DHS’ers say that the net increase in enrollment will be 200 or even less IF the projections are hit. What is needed to support them?”

  3. Dekalb Inside Out

    Dunwoody HS – Overburdened Common Spaces
    Dunwoody High School Facilities
    “I’m really embarrassed by some of the facilities at DHS and, again, this is part of the reason that I find it hard not to receive an investment in our school when it is on the table”, says Chad Griffith reflecting on why Option B was the best choice for DHS.
    Physical Education
    The DHS Gym doesn’t have the capacity to handle the students there now. Griffith relayed the story, “Coaches have told me that they have to run practices until 9:30 at night and they have very limited opportunity to practice out of season because of the limitations of only one gym.”
    DHS doesn’t have a working score board – “We have boys/girls soccer and lacrosse as well as other events on our track, and we have to use little flip charts for scoreboards because there is not even power to our non functioning scoreboard that is probably 50 years old”, says Griffith
    Chorus Room
    DHS needs a place for choir. “I’d expect one of the 29 new classrooms to address the chorus room need”.

  4. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Well, that’s a start but not what I really asked. But I’ll run with these dimensions you bring up and see if we can flesh out something actionable.
    Gym: I have heard the “need” for a second gym. I’ve never seen any of our HS with a second gym. How does LHS manage with larger enrollment and one gym? What alternatives have these larger enrollment schools in DCSD adopted to operate?
    Scoreboard: What’s the price tag?
    Chorus Room: Sounds like this is an open point of discussion.
    Adding these up doesn’t sound like a crisis and certainly no reason to vilify the DHS volunteer leaders above.
    Let’s focus on the gym because that seems to be the most material issue. Anyone from LHS or schools farther south with higher enrollment have a comment?

  5. chamblee getting screwed

    How about Chamblee? Its population will increase by 50% and its test scores will fall sharply. But that’s ok because we are being “socially engineered.”

  6. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Now, now Mr./Ms. Screwed, let’s deal with one illusion at a time.

  7. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    I did a quick dig for outdoor, multi-sport scoreboards and find a wide range of options. Assuming a higher-end one is appropriate it looks like the hardware might run between $5,000 (no video) – $15,000 (video). If we presume installation costs of 2x the price for giggles, that means we are talking between $15,000 – $45,000.
    That seems very achievable via many mechanisms – so can we stop talking about the scoreboard as part of the betrayal of DHS?

  8. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    No one seems to contradict the “Chorus Room” is still an active discussion and may be accommodated. Therefore, is it fair to say we are talking about the utilization of the gym and how it could support expected growth?
    If we can agree that this is the key issue related to the “betrayal” of Dunwoody, I think we could have a more productive dialog and perhaps even find solutions that are working at other schools with the same issue.

  9. Kim, give it a rest. The school district isn’t budging on improving any of the common spaces past what the state mandates, which isn’t enough. In case you aren’t aware the district is only adding 400 square feet to the cafeteria to meet the state requirements. The cafeteria can’t hold the current students during lunch times. The administration suggested that the parents buy more picnic tables. That’s the solution from the school district. Ask some kids what it’s like to try to find a seat for lunch when it’s raining or cold outside.
    Most parents have given up any hope of ever having their athletic fields fixed by DeKalb. The DHS Community Association started a capital campaign to raise two million dollars to improve the athletic fields. I hope you’ll donate. Here’s the link to the campaign: http://dunwoodyalumni.org/game-on-capital-campaign
    Here’s a blurb from the page:
    “The Dunwoody High School building, erected in 1972, was only partially renovated in 2011. However, no significant renovations have been made to our athletic facilities. With each passing year, we watch many schools in metro Atlanta modernize and upgrade their athletic facilities, while ours continue to remain in dire need of improvement.
    In partnership with Dunwoody High School, the DHS Community Association hired fundraising counsel, Sinclair, Townes & Company, to conduct a feasibility study regarding our athletic facilities. The results indicated we should move forward in our goal to raise $2 million to create an athletic complex to meet the needs and expectations of this generation of students.”
    While our property taxes to the school go through the roof, SPLOST dollars keep rolling in, DHS Community Association is asking Dunwoody residents to raise $2 million more of their money on top of what they already pay in taxes. With all the resources the school district has this is pathetic. The district should be embarrassed.
    The time to negotiate with the district has passed. They got their SPLOST. They played the school council for fools. Now they have no leverage. There isn’t any fixing this. I think maybe you feel bad for screwing other communities over in the quest to get what you wanted for Cross Keys. Maybe you didn’t realize how bad they are being screwed over because you believe the BS the district sells. It doesn’t matter. We are way passed a scoreboard. Don’t insult us by acting like it is that simple.

  10. Kim,
    I appreciate that you want to get down to the specifics about core spaces for high schools such as gyms and chorus rooms. That’s how problems are solved.
    But I think there is something very wrong with a District that isn’t addressing these things up front. Instead, the schools are having to fight for things that should be mandatory.
    Schools should be able to trust that the District will provide the necessary facilities when the District transforms a school into a mega-sized school. Instead, the District addressed cafeteria, kitchen, and media center spaces only. These are the areas whose size is addressed in GaDOE documents so that’s not a surprise.
    But the District apparently doesn’t think that the Region 1 mega-high schools need equitable athletic facilities. For years, in its 1400 or so student population, Chamblee has had to use off-site gym and practice field space. I can’t imagine what they will do once it becomes a 2400 student school.
    High schools with 2100+ students will likely be in the highest GHSA athletic classification. You are correct that DCSD doesn’t have any of these now, mostly because I think the classification for Lakeside hasn’t been recalculated since Lakeside got so big. Lakeside is currently in AAAAA (5A) and will almost certainly go to AAAAAA (6A) or AAAAAAA (7A) even before the 750 extra students are added.
    Most 7A schools have auxiliary gyms and sufficient practice fields for both boys and girls to field freshman, junior varsity, and varsity teams in several sports each season. But there is absolutely no room or plan or allocated budget for such things in DCSD’s plans for Dunwoody and Chamblee and Lakeside.
    Again, my point is that someone from DCSD Athletics and Facilities should be taking the lead on these issues, with genuine periodic progress reports.
    I read so much about how Dr. Green is different, but this sounds like the same old tune I’ve heard for the last 20 years.

  11. chamblee getting screwed

    Kim – you got your social engineering and your fancy new high schoool which will undoubtedly help your property value and your “foundation.” Why don’t you give it up?

  12. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Anon#1: No. I will not give it a rest. You say 400 sq ft is inadequate. What sq ft would satisfy you? Would that be feasible on the site? Can you refer to how for those of us who do not know the site? My working assumption (!) is that DSCD would put in adequate sq ft if it were feasible but I’m open to being corrected. And on the personal side, CK kids skip lunch due to the constraints so I’m not unfamiliar or unsympathetic. I wish you wouldn’t imply hateful things like that I don’t care.
    Anon#2: We are in agreement that DCSD has a long-running challenge and limitation with athletic facilities. I don’t have a solution for that but I suspect that the district would say we need to approve many more millions in bonds to support competitive facilities that are on par with the modern equivalent suburban systems. The question on the table as far as I see it is how to optimize the current site and ensure the best possible uses. Your larger question is 100% valid.
    Mr./Ms. Screwed: You keep popping up to insult me and then say your “done” with this dialog. When will that really happen? But because I’m such a self-serving bastard I’m going to use your question to share a little known secret …
    Way back in 2009 during SPLOST II implementation and SPLOST III planning, CK was in the process of getting screwed once again. There was one soul who rallied to support the school with reliable and competent advocacy and patronage: Page Olson.
    As I started my journey with DSCD Page was the single human as a parent volunteer and leader to appear to give a crap about how CK kids were getting railroaded (again). There were many others who made noise just like today. But Page was the person who walked the walk. She was ever-present and ever-vigilant as a surrogate for the BuHi community which a that time had no clue how to represent their own interests.
    So, if you must know, I have harbored a long-standing soft spot for Dunwoody, in general, and Page Olson, in particular, for its support of CK when no one else would and when it won no “brownie points.” It was clearly selfless and the CK Foundation would not have gotten much support except for the good people of Dunwoody, like Page. It was always much easier to get support from Dunwoody than other neighboring areas.
    So, Mr./Ms. Screwed, you can devise your own twisted story of why I won’t “give up” on DHS or CKHS or CCHS or any of our area schools. That’s your privilege as an anonymous and tireless sniper and snarker. My actual story is much more boring though gratifying.
    Thank you Dunwoody and thank you Page for being actual, real world stalwarts for public education in our community!

  13. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    And thank you for reminding me of the positive! This ugly and corrosive in-fighting that some are breeding and refuse to be peacemakers in has had one good side effect: good people have risen.
    In over a decade of my advocacy efforts I have NEVER seen the number and quality of volunteers who have now stood up. For sure, there have been many, many good parent volunteers in years past – I mean no slight to those that sacrifice so much for their kids. But it’s different this time around.
    That difference is where I place my hope for the future of DeKalb public schools. To all of you who are working for your kids AND better public education for DeKalb’s kids, in general: THANK YOU!
    Your sacrifice and commitment are inspiring positive change across the district and within the leadership. This is not about a SPLOST project list; it’s about how DCSD should deliver education. It’s a good start from a very poor baseline.

  14. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Those that know Page Olson will understand what high value and energy she brought to bear as a surrogate for CK. She did so completely out of personal commitment and sense of fairness when she saw the need.
    On the anonymous front, again using Mr./Ms. Screwed question as a hook, let me also say as soon as I wrote the above, appropriate shout out to Page, I realized there was also a small army of anonymous online supporters that rallied to my call for support for BuHi community kids.
    Chief among those were the blogger known as Cerebration who was a lead moderator of DeKalb School Watch blog and DSW2 blog. And there were many other anonymous commenters on those two sites that demonstrated great encouragement and support to the BuHi community. I also know that many across Region 1 and 2 and 4 have done many quiet things to support our CK area kids. It’s very inspiring and humbling to recall so many acts of kindness by so many people without a name or a face to thank.
    Thank you, Mr./Ms. Screwed for reminding me of so many hundreds of good folks doing so many good things across our DeKalb community. The future is bright and I’m as confident as ever that thanks to such folks we’ll all realize much improvement over time.

  15. DrGreenSameAsTheOthers

    My daughter attends Dunwoody High. At lunch, she sat on another girl’s lap because not enough seats. This will only get worse. Nightmare situation as population grows and the common areas stay unchanged. Thank DHS Council, for supporting 2100 seats instead of 1500. Now more kids can experience a crappy school. My daughter is a junior. If she were in elementary or middle school, I’d be out of here. This is what happens when libs serve on school boards. All this fighting. Jesters won real elections, are conservatives, and use their power (or attempt to) to make change and expose corruption. The libs on the school councils are also using their power – the power to socially engineer and to screw over their conservative neighbors. Dunwoody needs Trump to pass federal law for school vouchers so some of us can escape DeKalb since our state reps can’t get the votes for our own district.

  16. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Fun fact: DHS current enrollment is 1800+ right now.

  17. chamblee getting screwed

    Fact – CCHS now has 20 minute lunches that for many should be called brunch given the time it starts. What happens when the school goes from 1600 to 2400. Again Gokce has no clue because he has no kid at any of these high schools. Those that do understand the situation.

  18. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Right. I’ve heard that lunches have been banned at schools larger than 2000 enrolled. So perhaps a moot point.
    P.S. Welcome back!

  19. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Fun Fact: 2 out of 3 CCHS students prefer Sub-Base to the cafeteria.

  20. Paula Caldarella

    Fun Fact: 2 out of 3 CCHS students prefer Sub-Base to the cafeteria.
    Well, for breakfast , you can’t beat Dandy Donuts…:)

  21. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Fun fact: at CCHS the character trait of the month for January is, “Respect for Others.”

  22. Fun Fact: Dunwoody being at 1800 students means that we need another high school and redistricting.