DeKalb Commissioners Not A Fan of the E-SPLOST High School Building Additions


Stan Jester

DeKalb County Commissioners are unanimously asking the DeKalb County School District to build a new high school in Doraville and not add a bunch of classrooms to Lakeside, Dunwoody, and Chamblee Charter High Schools.

The gym, cafeteria, locker rooms, hallways, fields, etc … at these schools are already overburdened. These building additions to Lakeside, Dunwoody and Chamblee Charter High Schools will end up with more seats but little in the way of common space improvements for the students they already have, let alone the additional seats. I’m strained to understand how building additions are a good idea. Apparently all the Commissioners feel the same way.

The school district recommended the building additions because they believe it is the will of the people. It strains credulity that the will of the people can’t come up with one good reason why this is a good idea for Lakeside, Dunwoody or Chamblee.

1. The County urges the School District to build a new high school in Doraville and give priority to the redevelopment of schools in the southwest and southeast area of the county as it determines projects to be included in its capital improvement program;

2. The County urges the School District to consider the infrastructure impact caused by adding space for a substantial number of new students at Lakeside, Dunwoody and Chamblee Charter High School;

3. The County urges the School District to consider public infrastructure needs as it builds new schools, and redevelops existing schools to increase capacity;


Should Doraville have its own cluster?

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DeKalb County Board of Commissioners
The Board of Commissioners serves as the legislative branch of the DeKalb County government. The Board is comprised of seven commissioners:

  1. District 1 – Nancy Jester
  2. District 2 – Jeff Rader
  3. District 3 – Larry Johnson
  4. District 4 – Steve Bradshaw
  5. District 5 – Mereda Davis Johnson
  6. District 6 – Kathie Gannon
  7. District 7 – Gregory Adams

RESOLUTION

A RESOLUTION BY THE GOVERNING AUTHORITY OF DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA, TO URGE THE DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT TO CONSIDER VARIOUS ISSUES RELATED TO ITS CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

WHEREAS, the Governing Authority of DeKalb County believes that its efforts to attract new businesses, new jobs and new employers to the County, in part, depends on the success of its public school system; and

WHEREAS, the DeKalb County School District (“School District”) is preparing to issue general obligation bonds in an aggregate amount no to exceed $200,000,000 which will be paid back from the proceeds of an educational SPLOST (“E-SPLOST”); and

WHEREAS, this Resolution accompanies a bond resolution whereby the Governing Authority is pledging to set a millage rate for school purposes sufficient to pay the debt on the School District general obligation bonds to the extent the E-SPLOST proceeds are insufficient to pay that debt; and

WHEREAS, the School District is a separate legal entity from DeKalb County and the Governing Authority of DeKalb County technically sets the millage rate for the School District, for school purposes; and

WHEREAS, the taxpayers of DeKalb County are involved and interested in the building of new schools, the redevelopment of existing schools and ensuring that sufficient public infrastructure, like sidewalks, roads and traffic signals, are in place when schools are built or redeveloped; and

WHEREAS, the Governing Authority of DeKalb County wants to encourage the elected members of the Schoo District and the Superintendent to consider various issues and priorities as set forth below; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Governing Authority of DeKalb County as follows:

1. The County urges the School District to build a new high school in Doraville and give priority to the redevelopment of schools in the southwest and southeast area of the county as it determines projects to be included in its capital improvement program;

2. The County urges the School District to consider the infrastructure impact caused by adding space for a substantial number of new students at Lakeside, Dunwoody and Chamblee Charter High School;

3. The County urges the School District to consider public infrastructure needs as it builds new schools, and redevelops existing schools to increase capacity;

77 responses to “DeKalb Commissioners Not A Fan of the E-SPLOST High School Building Additions

  1. Bravo to the Commissioners! Unanimous? Amazing.

  2. Fantastic! Great news! Glad sanity has prevailed!

  3. Wow, a voice of reason from the Dekalb County BOC. Very interesting development indeed.

    Stan, targeted and minor question that you may not know the answer to. Why no mention of the Cross Keys MS/HS rebuild and conversion, etc. lumped in with Dunwoody, Lakeside and Chamblee in their resolution?

  4. Brookhaven is getting a new high school and not just adding a bunch of seats to existing schools. Obviously that includes a new cafeteria, kitchen, fields, gym, locker rooms, etc … that is a good idea.

  5. @ Survey Says – Cross Keys, need to be rebuilt/redeveloped. Where the MS would go is where the HS is now and there will not be a net loss or gain to the area. That would stay population neutral. The HS could be built on roads that could handle the traffic. I think if the BOC does not like where the HS is being built, they may come out with another resolution. I think the BOC feels like the NDH site has the infrastructure needed to provide for a mega school.

    DHS, LHS, and CHHS can not handle the extra traffic. They (schools) do not have the area to expand the roads leading to their schools. Also, these schools do not have the space to expand their common areas and the school system has stated that they will not expand them. The BOC is thinking about the safety of our students and staff that will be in the building.

  6. @ Stan – When you say that Brookhaven is getting a new HS…… Are you saying that all of Brookhaven will be going to the new HS?

  7. It made no sense that DCSD would commit itself to these additions without first considering traffic impact, road capacity and environmental issues that could render the construction plans infeasible. Glad that the Board of Commissioners is taking a sensible position. BUT – what is the effect of this resolution? Does it have the power to get DCSD to change the plans, or will it just fall into the bin with all of the other sensible objections, to be ignored by Dan Drake etc. (for whom the main argument for going forward seems to be “we want to get going, so we don’t want to be distracted with logic)?
    And on that topic of “let’s get going asap,” they crowed about our bond rating so we could get started even earlier on these SPLOST V projects. But when you see the list of construction committees being formed, the first group of projects aren’t SPLOST V at all — they’re leftover SPLOST IV projects!

  8. Got it Stan, that actually makes sense!

  9. This is the language in the E-SPLOST V project list – “Build a New Cross Keys HS (2,500 seat capacity) at Briarcliff site (or cost-neutral alternative site).” So, they are breaking up the Cross Keys cluster. Turning Cross Keys High School into a middle school and building a new elementary and high school down there … it’s shaping up to be a Brookhaven cluster.

    It is estimated that 250 students, presumably Sagamore Hills Elementary, would be redistricted out of Lakeside HS and into the new Brookhaven cluster alleviating some of the overcrowding at LHS and balancing out the diversity and socio-economics of the population attending the new Cross Keys cluster.

    Redistricting won’t happen until a year or so before a school opens.

  10. Ok. Now that I have sat back and thought about the new MS at CKHS site, maybe this one should be addressed by the BOC also. Right now, and I did the same thing, we are looking at it as students riding the bus too and from school daily because of the lack of transportation at home. When Ashford Park and others move to the new site, there will be a new traffic boom for the NDH area. Parents are going to be there to drop off for morning activities and parents picking up to get their kids to after school activities.

    Am I wrong for thinking about that?

  11. Don’t see how the north end of Brookhaven goes to a Brookhaven High School – that’s as bad as the kids in Doraville having to travel down Buford highway to Cross Keys HS.

  12. “Build a New Cross Keys HS (2,500 seat capacity) at Briarcliff site (or cost-neutral alternative site).” Brookhaven HS will work out well if the cost-neutral alternative site is in the middle of Brookhaven

  13. Maybe Stan, but really…..what are the chances of that happening? I think back to all of the arguments against a Doraville High School, with the biggest being the difficulty of finding a location in the Doraville area….and the $$$ it would cost. Can’t the same exact argument be made for this alternative site to the existing Briarcliff location for said new Brookhaven High School? Land in Brookhaven is also scarce (at least the size needed for a new high school) AND expensive.

  14. Scott Gillispie

    This is bogus – it’s actually in support of a new HS in Doraville + more spending in south county. Which just means take care of everyone…which is why it then says ” as it determines projects to be included in its capital improvement program”. So this is basically the same sort of language used to declare National Peanut Butter Day. (Just looked it up, it’s January 24).

    Unless the county commissioners know where there’s 30 acres in Doraville for a new school…

    I don’t really believe this “cost-neutral” site malarkey either. The center of Brookaven is the MARTA station – are you going to fit a high school in the back parking lot? And those Cinebistro auditoriums are pretty big…

    The only place it makes sense geographically for M-C residents to go is Chamblee HS – you will not find a closer reasonable HS site. Which is why all of the “city school district” stuff needs to remain a nonstarter.

  15. What does this do to the MES population? Brookhaven and Chamblee are so intertwined in certain areas. I see how certain parts of Brookhaven go to the new CKHS but not others. All those neighborhoods just north or NE of MES and directly acrooss street from MES? Are we trying to create city schools or make proximity a priority as one main reason orginally stated by CK Foundation: kids shouldn’t travel past one school to attend another.

  16. “Difficulty of finding a location in Doraville.” I’m limited in what I can say about the district buying and selling land before the deal is signed. Given the project list, the school district is building two new elementary schools in North DeKalb. Let’s just say finding land has been easier than even I anticipated.

  17. Montgomery ES and the parts of Brookhaven and Chamblee that are very intertwined – that’s a big question mark. I spent some time with the MES school council to give them my thoughts on that recently. Until we know where the new schools are going, it’s impossible to say what will happen.

    Cities tend to be communities of interest, but many people in Brookhaven feel like they are part of Chamblee … or at least the Chamblee cluster. Brookhaven is still getting a sense of itself. Once the Brookhaven cluster is better formed, I’m inclined to ask the parents and the citizens what they want to do. People in Dunwoody want to go to the Dunwoody cluster. People in Chamblee want to go to the Chamblee cluster. I suspect people in Brookhaven will want to go to the Brookhaven cluster … but maybe not … we’ll see.

    I wrote this about Doraville back in November. Doraville deserves a high school because Distance and Transportation Matter. Doraville deserves a high school because “Community” Matters. Doraville deserves a high school because being able to “participate in activities” matters. Doraville deserves a high school because every other city has a high school within their city limits except Doraville.

  18. Well this is an interesting development. Stan, is there any precedence with something like this? What would you imagine happens next in terms of a DCSD response to this resolution?

  19. chamblee getting screwed

    Awww…poor Scott….poor Kim Gokce…go cry in your beer. No way they additions get passed now! Politically this is devastating to anti Doraville High folks – the same folks that couldn’t come up with a compelling reason for the additions. Glad to see that BOC is at l set somewhat sane – unlike the school board. Build that School! Go Doraville!!

  20. The school district is autonomous and traditionally has never listened to anybody. I refer you to the TAD. That property is now essentially abated and the school district is getting less now than it would have with the TAD.

  21. So, “chamblee getting screwed,” from your comment it sounds like you know that DCSD can’t go forward with the additions now that the BOC is opposing them. That was my question above – is that correct? Does DCSD have to have BOC approval to build the additions? Or can they ignore it and build the additions anyway? Thanks.

  22. Dekalb Inside Out

    Mr. Jester, About the TAD, people in the know have told me that Dr. Green didn’t care about the money but felt slighted that he wasn’t asked/begged earlier in the process. I know the board chair said the TAD would have passed if the project were in South DeKalb. Can you confirm any of that?

  23. Even though the county will be responsible for a host of services, the county doesn’t have any jurisdiction over these building projects.

    About the TAD, I’ll tell you what I told the AJC, “I think a number of people may feel disenfranchised and feel they weren’t included early enough, even though most of the money is coming from the school district.”

  24. Stan. Who do you see going to the new elentary school? I know one is at skyland, but where is the second going? I think it is so unfair of the Board not to be more transparent with future plans. Families need time to make arrangements if they don’t like where their children might be attending to school.

  25. The second elementary school would be a rebuild for Cary Reynolds. Personally, I think it would be between where CR is now and 285. So it would basically be a new bigger school for the CR zoned students. I do not see it pulling from other elementary schools. But I am just guessing.

  26. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Lynn: I’m advocating for the “rebuild” but I’m not getting the vibe that they see that is the preferred approach. Just sharing – it ain’t over. If it is standalone new, it will definitely pull from more than one ES in the region is my guess simply due to size of current zones and geography.

  27. Where is the other elementary school going? – The project list language says “Build new ES for Cross Keys North (plus land purchase; location TBD in/around Doraville area)”. At the November board meeting, Dr. Green recalled a conversation he had with Doraville Mayor Pittman saying, “We talked about Cary Renolds. Then we looked at the bigger picture and saw that a new elementary school would be placed in that area.”

    The announcement of exactly where it’s going will be much like the announcement of the new elementary school at Skyland. There are apparently numerous properties to choose from. Once one is selected and the school district moves on it, I’ll let you know ASAP.

  28. So, Stan….if there are numerous properties in/around the Doraville area to choose from, are any of them large enough to house a new high school?

  29. Land requirements for elementary schools and high schools are obviously quite different. The minimum useable acreage requirements of the State Board of Education are:
    Elementary School Facilities – five acres plus one acre for each 100 children in FTE.
    Middle School Facilities- 12 acres plus one acre for each 100 children in FTE.
    High School Facilities- 20 acres plus one acre for each 100 students in FTE.

    I’m not involved in the search, so I’m not familiar with all the properties the district has looked at.

  30. Excited that there are a lot of land options that have presented themselves for new schools. Ultimately, I think you have to take a step back and decide which option brings the most money to District 1. That’s what’s ultimately needed. Clearly, Option A with a new middle school at Briarcliff and a new Doralville HS is that choice. Surprised that the BOC would support that as their choice, but District 1 is where the need is.

    Option A and B solve the big problem (capacity).

  31. Pleased parent

    This is a wonderful development! Thank you, Dekalb County Commissioners! DeKalb County School Board Members and DeKalb School System Administration, please look for properties where new high schools may be built to address overcrowding. Thank you!

  32. William Blackwood

    Stan,

    The BOC posits the school district’s need to take “public infrastructure” into account as the school district “redevelops existing schools to increase capacity.” One does not need to parse too much to infer that the latter phrase can be read as an acknowledgement of the need to close and to consolidate existing schools in order to address the noteworthy underenrollment throughout south DeKalb.

    Do you concur?

  33. I take that to mean the school district should take into account city and county infrastructure needed to provide public services before deciding to increase capacity at existing schools.

  34. Cindy pietkiewicz

    Thanks for keeping us informed Stan. Hope a more sensible decision than what Dcss developed will result in the future. The decision was so baked and biased from the beginning and not logical. We need more schools on the north side even i this means consolidation where enrollment is down. Don’t try to save $10m to have to spend $100 million a few years later while harming education through overcrowded schools

  35. Mr Jester,

    When the school system is planning to build or increase the size of a school, does the school system talk to the county government about the impact on traffic and the public infrastructure? Does the school system planning department look at safety issues of students and how that may be impacted.? I mean things like sidewalks and traffic lights and even safely exiting the schools . It seems like the input of the county government should be involved in the early part of the planning discussions with the school system planning department.

  36. So, what does the DeKalb CEO, former superintendent of DeKalb schools Michael Thurmond have to say on the issue? Did he vote as well? He would obviously have quality insight.

    Also, what does this part mean >> “give priority to the redevelopment of schools in the southwest and southeast area of the county”

  37. Joy, the school district released a statement saying “The district has informally discussed these plans with most of the appropriate local jurisdictions”. After speaking with one of the local jurisdictions, Dan Drake and team had an informal informational session with said local jurisdiction. The school district presented the feasibility study and the local jurisdiction gave them some thoughts off the top of their head.

    Looks like the school district was giving the cities and county a heads up that this is coming. There was no actual study or discussion. Really, the only study I’m aware of was to see if it was physically possible to cram more students onto those existing school properties.

  38. Frustrated DeKalb Parent

    Does anyone know the permitting/approval process for the Dunwoody, Chamblee and Lakeside additions by the respective responsible entities (cities and county)? Does zoning come into play?

  39. Why do I feel like Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber when he says to Mary Swanson, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance. YEAH!”

    Is it possible to change course Stan? While appreciated, are the commissioners too late?

  40. Russell Carleton

    If there’s a chance, then we need to talk about the “R word” and very very soon. It’s probably a loser politically, but I’m guessing that’s driving 80% of this. The system needs a good redistricting because that’s the adult thing to do.

  41. chamblee getting screwed

    What we need is no gigantic schools on properties that can’t handle them. I don’t want my kids crammed with 2500 others into a building and property designed to hold 1600.

  42. chamblee getting screwed

    We also need a school that can help the assimilation of students where English is not the first language spoken at home.

  43. Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber? 1) LOL 2) Until a shovel hits the dirt, there is always a chance.

    Talk to the school councils and board members and let them know how you feel.

    Redistricting – There will be redistricting with the new elementary schools and there would be redistricting with a new Doraville High School. It would be extremely difficult to give exact numbers and say who’s going where. Everything now is a VERY rough estimation.

    Lay of the Land – The Cross Keys HS & Sequoyah MS – Position and Kim Gokce’s Cross Keys Foundation – Position are based in economic and racial diversity. They feel segregated and ignored while Chamblee and Dunwoody allegedly get all the resources.

    Dunwoody high school council and Peachtree MS governance positions are motivated by redistricting. The people who fear redistricting are very motivated. Superintendent Green just pulled the rug out from DHS on another issue, so the DHS council might be learning how the central office works.

    Lakeside would be affected by redistricting the most. People on the Lakeside High School council feel strongly on both sides, so they never came out with a position.

    Board of Education – Many of the board members are geographically removed and are going with the district recommendations. Other board members can’t bring themselves to redistrict communities out of Lakeside and/or don’t want Cross Keys 2.0 … even though Cross Keys HS is one of the highest performing high schools in the county.

  44. Gokce’s Foundation and Cross Keys High School position is Cross Keys myopic and looks at nothing but Cross Keys. It does not take into account the issues that it will cause on all of the other campuses. As has been pointed out here repeatedly, none of the folks advocating for this position can make one statement as to how it benefits the other schools. Because it doesn’t.

  45. @RunAmok>> not following. So are you saying you are for the plan to add on to Dunwoody, Chamblee and Lakeside? (BTW-Why not Tucker?) Or are you saying to leave Cross Keys as is? I kind of vote for that one – it’s a great property. But the school still needs a lot of attention … the “feeling segregated and ignored while Chamblee and Dunwoody allegedly get all the resources,” isn’t ‘allegedly, although I know you legally have to add that word Stan. Cross Keys still lacks an auditorium and art/workout/band facilities. But they do have some nice tech programs due to the fact that the High School of Technology North was placed in the Cross Keys facility when Dr. Lewis traded their original building by Perimeter College for land nearby to build Dunwoody Elementary. That move and investment came from the HSTN budget (which btw, is less than the HSTS budget and the HSTS was left as a stand alone tech school but I digress), not the Cross Keys budget. And now, that school is just considered part of Cross Keys. The whole thing was weird and yet another ‘easy fix’. Cross Keys could be a great place to fully expand that tech program … with room for a campus-like facility and Marta nearby. Tech schools don’t need auditoriums and band rooms so that would work. Build a new middle school and traditional high school somewhere else and make CK into a vo-tech high school. I’ve pitched this idea for years to deaf ears, because apparently, in DeKalb, everyone goes to college!!

  46. In fact, it’s kind of wasteful to turn Cross Keys into a middle school after spending so much to move the High School of Technology North into the building. There are automotive tech facilities, medical care facilities, child development, cosmetology, etc. Or at least there used to be. Are they still there? There’s no info about it on the CK website or the DeKalb schools website. Students have very little chance of even finding out about the tech programs there – programs that prepare students for jobs – and not jobs at McDonalds.

  47. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Hi Cere. Yes, the Certified Nursing Assistant Pathway (Health Sciences) is still here and thriving along with Manufacturing and Engineering, Construction Engineering, in addition to the ones you mentioned. The key failure by DCSD at the time of “merger” was the elimination of the principal position which led to the elimination of the counselor position. In essence, these are the key resources for recruiting enrollment from the seven high school service area.

    I’ve raised the issue with the administration regarding the fate of these programs and even suggested that leaving them in place might a good idea even when the property is repurposed. It is still very much a self-contained set of programs that could operate independently of the MS at the same site. This might help bring the resources back to fully manage and promote the programs around the region. It also might be interesting so that the middle schoolers could learn about these amazing Pathways not as a substitute for post-secondary but as a supplement.

    Some of these Pathways are designed to get kids skills to be “work ready” but that doesn’t mean they are not also continuing onto college. Some of our most successful students go through a Pathway just to increase their earnings while they work their way through school. This is really powerful especially when the pathway aligns with their intended course of study (pre-med, pharmacy, civil engineering, etc.).

    Good discussion for the community to have and will surely be integral to the CAC for the HS and MS sites.

  48. @Kim – “In essence, these are the key resources for recruiting enrollment from the seven high school service area.” I have to disagree with you on your statement about this, but I do see where you are coming from. We pay (taxes) for a huge PR department for very little return. This is part of their job. I can’t tell you how much mail I got from the county to apply my kids to Wadsworth or come to the Open House at Wadsworth when they were younger. This was not coming from Wadsworth because I called the county office and asked. This was coming from the county PR department. If you are going to do one thing at one school, then you do it for all schools. If the county publicized the CK program like they did Wadsworth, how much could this expand the program and benefit all the students of DCSD?

    For example, when LHS was expanded, they were going to get a nursing tech program. I do believe that this program has never happened at LHS, but they have a classroom for it. What a great area to put it in. You have so many Emory and CDC parents that live in that area and whose students go to LHS that could make that program awesome and a true gem for the county.

    @ Stan – Can you please provide us with the information on what you meant by DHS got the rug pulled out from under them? As parents, and taxpayers we need to know what is happening in all schools so that we can the county accountable. If all the schools CAC’s banded together on an untied front and told the county, work with us together not separately. What a powerful message that would send to Josh Williams, Dan Drake, and Dr. Green. Keeping everything separate benefits the county. Meaning, this school may get something extra that this school does not.

    @Russell – You are so correct. The “REDISTRICTING” word needs to come out and be addressed. So many superintendents have sidestepped this issue to keep their job. We have too many open seats in the county.

  49. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Hi Lynn – I hear you. We have received Wadsworth solicitations, too, but always from the principal’s office. I’m relating what actually happened. I used to tag along with the Head Counselor on her tours. The standalone school had both a principal and a head counselor. The head counselor was specifically responsible for going the the feeding schools to disseminate information about the pathways and recruit students. That is all.

    The “nursing” program is at CK now and, yes, it is a gem. 🙂

  50. Stan, you always have such great data. Any chance you know how much money was spent to build the special facilities/create these unique programs currently located at CKHS. I can’t even fathom that money being flushed down the toilet when it is clear these are wonderful programs that greatly benefit the students and the entire community.

  51. @ Kim – Then why build the same space at LHS and never use it? Isn’t that wasteful SPLOST spending and something we are all trying to avoid?

    I am just saying that the county PR department can get out into the schools and not sit behind a secured wall all day. (If you have been to Central Office you know exactly what I mean by that statement.) Just think how much they could help everyone (students, staff, and parents) in the county. That should be in their job description and they should have to post the good in so many schools in their territory each week. Just my personal opinion.

  52. Capital Improvement Program – Monthly Status Report (MSR)
    The SPLOST MSRs are in theory used to provide the highlights of the program and projects. This monthly report is allegedly used to gather the facts, analyze them as a whole, determine the most beneficial path for the School District and the community, and make informed decisions.

    You can find those status reports here. It is relatively easy to find things
    http://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/splost-iv/#tab-5fe5d0363451ee6bd5c

  53. Online and Social Media Communications

    http://www.dekalbschoolsga.org
    • Number of visitors to website- 32,385
    • Number of times webpages on the site were viewed- 112,204
    • Most popular day & time for website traffic- Tuesdays at 4pm

    Facebook (DeKalbCountySchoolDistrict)
    • 22 total posts made this week reaching a total of 42,000 people
    • 7,872 people follow the DCSD page.
    • Dr. Green’s Statement on Diversity & Students Video Update- the post has reached 14,311 people and has 1,669 post clicks, 200 likes, 21 comments, and 84 people shared the story to their personal pages. From the shares, the post gained an additional 291 likes. This brings the total number of likes, comments, and shares to 619.

    Twitter (@DeKalbSchools)
    1. 17 total tweets made reaching 22,200 people (average 3,200 people per day).
    2. 9,241 people follow the DCSD Twitter page.
    3. Top Tweets This Week:
    • Photo: Students from @DeKalbSchools International Community School with their signs that were made in support of immigrant students. Tweet was viewed 1,750 times.
    • Photo: Cyber Safety Day is almost here! Join our LIVE Cyber Safety Twitter Chat from 9-am-10am on Febru-ary 7 & use #CyberSafeDeKalb to participate! Tweet was viewed 1,541 times.
    • Had a great time on the @DjGregStreet show on @V103Atlanta. Thank you for supporting #thebridgetv24. Tweet was viewed 1,129 times.

    Instagram (@DeKalbSchools)
    • 1,484 people follow the DCSD Instagram page.
    • Seven total posts this week reaching a total of 2,765 people.

  54. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Re: cost of Career Tech “wing” at CKHS

    The total SPLOST III investment in CKHS was ~$16.9M. Of that, ~$11M was an original earmark for general renovations not including the HSTN move. I believe a new roof was added to the scope after the fact for ~$1-2M. Therefore my best guesstimate is that the new facilities for CareerTech were in the range of $1-3M.

    Re: “flushed”

    I think the best approach from a cost perspective is to continue supporting the programs right where they are. But if they have to move then much of the capital equipment can move with them. The instructional spaces can be re-purposed just fine.

  55. Kim, I have no doubt they can be repurposed, but is that truly a wise use of taxpayer dollars?

  56. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Yes. 🙂

  57. @Cere,
    The Cross Keys Technology Center is featured prominently in the “About Us” tab on the Cross Keys HS website. The exact website is http://www.crosskeyshs.dekalb.k12.ga.us/CrossKeysTechnologyCenter.aspx. There is a lot of good information here.

    @ Kim and @Hilary,
    Regarding the fate of the Cross Keys Technology Center, remember that DCSD stated in the November 21, 2016 FAQ response that the Cross Keys Technology Center would move to the new high school location:

    20. What is the plan for the Cross Keys Technology Center?
    It is the District’s intent to include the career technology facilities associated with the DeKalb High School Technology-North program in its proposed new Cross Keys HS facility. The details of this program will be determined in the design of the new school, and any changes or modifications to the existing program will be decided in the design process.

    So DCSD isn’t getting rid of these programs. Instead, it will spend lots of money to move all of that equipment to the new 2500 seat high school.

    As far as leaving the Technology Center at a middle school location, that would be strange since only students aged 16 and older can take Technology Center classes.

    I don’t know what the right answer is, but I am a bit concerned that DCSD published their intent yet is happy to entertain Kim’s recommendation to do something different. I wonder if they would give others the time of day.

    How does the public know what DCSD decisions are real and which are open to discussion?

  58. Hmmmm, not from my point of view. Can you please explain how you see that as a wise use of resources given the multitude of needs theoughout the county?

  59. @Cere – what I meant about the Cross Keys foundation POV was that it really benefited only Cross Keys. They got a new school and there was no Doraville High. As a result, additions are required at every school. That is not beneficial to anyone, but Cross Keys. I’d like to hope that a plan could be put together that doesn’t just benefit one group, but is beneficial to all. The one plan that advocated for a new Doraville High and still provided a new CKHS was a good start. That never seemed to get much traction however.

  60. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Anon: “that would be strange since only students aged 16 and older can take Technology Center classes.”

    I may not have been clear in my comment. I believe that leaving the programs in place is a realistic possibility because they operate independently of the school today. The students would still be high school students from the seven service area HSes. I don’t see that as a problem and, in fact, I see it as an option with the potential benefit to the MS students becoming aware that such programs exist.

    The “CTAE” wing on the 4th hall has it’s own formal entrance and could operate with no change from today. Students bus in for the 1/2 day programs and would continue to do so. It may be that certain programs make more sense to be offered from a hub like this and others might make more sense to co-locate with the HS. In any case, it’s not the immovable object or crisis decision folks would like it to be.

  61. @ Anonymous “@ Kim and @Hilary,
    Regarding the fate of the Cross Keys Technology Center, remember that DCSD stated in the November 21, 2016, FAQ response that the Cross Keys Technology Center would move to the new high school location:”
    What happens when the students that are slated to go to that school do not use those services? Meaning, South Buford Hwy is changing and many of the families are having to move North above PDK. Does this mean that we will be busing from the north end of Buford Hwy to an even harder area of South Brookhaven to get to? Have we really fixed a problem or are we creating an even bigger problem?

  62. @Stan – I am sure that this was overlooked on accident because so many people are talking about so many things today, but if you have just a few minutes to answer this question I know myself and many others would appreciate an answer. Again, thank you for all that you do.

    @ Stan – Can you please provide us with the information on what you meant by DHS got the rug pulled out from under them? As parents, and taxpayers we need to know what is happening in all schools so that we can the county accountable. If all the schools CAC’s banded together on an untied front and told the county, work with us together not separately. What a powerful message that would send to Josh Williams, Dan Drake, and Dr. Green. Keeping everything separate benefits the county. Meaning, this school may get something extra that this school does not.

  63. Is there any news on this? Its been awfully quiet as it relates to planning, construction, etc. Did the school board ignore the county recommendation? Is it changing plans to add on to all those schools? Is Doraville High back on the board as a consideration? Haven’t heard much in the last 2-3 weeks and wondered where things stood?

  64. Stan Jester

    No change in direction. SPLOST project plan should be released in a couple weeks.

  65. So in other words, full steam ahead on a crappy, poorly thought out plan.

    #sodekalb

  66. So, it doesn’t look like the school board considered the Board of Commissioner’s point of view at all. According to the ESPLOST V project list slated for discussion at Monday’s work session, DCSD is forging ahead with additions at 4 high schools: Chamblee, Dunwoody, Lakeside and Clarkston. Interestingly, now that the budget numbers for each school addition has been “finalized” on this list, the total budgeted for all four additions together is almost identical to the budget allocated for the new Cross Keys/Brookhaven High School. So much for “Option B” being cheaper. I do find it interesting that Chamblee is slated first on the project list for any additions, before the other three schools. Here’s a link to the project list from the DCSD site (see pages 3 & 4 for the addition info): https://simbli.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4054&AID=800126&MID=58907.

    Also, according to the presentation that goes along with this project list timeline, it seems pretty clear the intention is to sell the N. Druid Hills property and build the new Cross Keys/Brookhaven High on the north side of 85. See pages 13 & 14: https://simbli.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4054&AID=800125&MID=58907.

    One last thing I find interesting is at the end of page 14 of the previously mentioned presentation. It says that $0.5 million as been transferred from Program Contingency to Cross Keys North ES (for purchase of land). So, DCSD is able to purchase enough land to build a new elementary school in the Doraville area for $500,000??? WOW is all I can say. For all those screaming about how expensive it would be to purchase land in Doraville for a new High School……whatever.

    And finally, for those who will surely say I’m bitter and a sore loser, you bet your a$% I am, especially now that this info’s been released. What a crock we were sold!!! We’re all Suckers!!!

    Stan, are you planning to start a new post about this?

  67. So Dr. Green and Central Office and taking their middle finger and flipped it to the BOC? Nice…… Yes, this will be rubber stamped by our board with Stan being the only NO vote. (IMO)

    Thank you, Survey Says for now showing us that CCHS is now going to be done first. So Dr. Green and Central Office again have tweaked the SPLOST V order again. I would hold them to the original list where CCHS was in the second round of building.

    Word on the street is 4-6 trailers are coming to CCHS soon for next year because of the growth that is coming. Who else has heard that one? I would like to know where they (DCSD) is planning on putting these trailers.

  68. Lynn,
    Chamblee Charter HS has been told it will get 4 trailers next year (2017-18). They will be placed on the only green space large and flat enough to hold them, between the practice/softball/baseball fields.

    Keep in mind that although DCSD says that CCHS capacity is 1810, they are adding 4 trailers just to accommodate the projected 1842 students for next year.

    DCSD Planning shows that CCHS will add 75-100 students each year through 2022 (http://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/projects/operations/forecast/chamblee-charter-hs.pdf), so more trailers are coming for sure. When construction begins in November 2018 DCSD projects that CCHS will have 1975 students. More students are projected to enroll during the 21 month construction phase.

    I think DCSD moved CCHS up to the front of the line because the new Cross Keys HS won’t start construction until 2019. DCSD Planning shows that Cross Keys HS will have 2012 students by then, in a school built for 1306 students.

    Cross Keys already has approximately 20 trailers. That’s crazy! So where will some of those students go? Hmmmmm.

  69. @Anonymous – Thank you for the information on where the trailers are going to be placed.

    It will be interesting to see how many students from CMS actually go onto to CCHS. I know several in the Magnet program that live in Dunwoody, that are going back to Dunwoody for High School and I know that there are many other parents in the resident and magnet program that are waiting on April 1 and hoping that their child gets into a private school because they are not sure of the future for the high schooler.

    If you have not seen the trailers at CK, please go and see them. You will be disgusted. I know that the community in CCHS would not allow this to happen at CCHS, let’s band together and help CK trailers look nice for the students and staff.

  70. Lynn,
    I wholeheartedly agree that Cross Keys trailers should not be disgusting.

    However, think about what you wrote. You wrote that parents and community members need to ‘band together and help CK trailers look nice for the students and staff.’

    DCSD has a huge and well-paid Operations staff who is supposed to provide appropriate resources. Don’t they have the primary responsibility here?

    Further, Cross Keys HS has the formidable Kim Gokce, who seems to have uber-access to DCSD staff.

    If DCSD is content to send crappy old trailers to Cross Keys, and Kim Gokce with all of his influence can’t change that, then what influence would parents and community members have?

    Parents and community members spoke LOUD and CLEAR about not turning CCHS into a 2410 seat school on a tremendously under-sized site. It didn’t matter one bit. DCSD had their mind made up.

  71. Lynn,
    Also, I agree that some families will seek other options so that their students will not have multiple schools years of construction as part of their high school experience.

    I think this will be true for Lakeside, Dunwoody, and Cross Keys, as well as CCHS.

    One way of managing overcrowding is to create a situation in which folks voluntarily leave. Perhaps that is an unspoken objective here.

    The DCSD plans leave Lakeside, Dunwoody, Cross Keys, and CCHS with a TOTAL of 70 “extra” seats over the 2022 projected enrollment for these schools of over 9000 students!! Less than a 1% safety margin for unexpected growth.

    But if enough students voluntarily leave, then it all works out.

  72. Is Lynn’s request for information concerning Stan’s comments on the ‘rug being pulled out from under DHS’ just being ignored? I would also like to understand what was meant by that comment, perhaps Lynn was addressed privately, but there are others interested in what happened to DHS. Transparency matters.

  73. @ Anonymous – “DCSD has a huge and well-paid Operations staff who is supposed to provide appropriate resources. Don’t they have the primary responsibility here?” I agree 100% but they (DCSD) has chosen not to handle the landscaping and beautification of our school but has left it to the parents and the school custodial staff. I really like the Cobb County approach. They let professional landscapers come in and keep the property beautiful for a simple sign in the front of the school. What a win-win for everyone.

    We have plenty of professional landscapers in our area. How many cars go back and forth on NDH every day? How much more work would these landscapers get when people actually see their work. Personally, I would support a landscaper who supported a high school that is very much in need.

    Stan – Are there any rules against this in the county? Is this something we could propose to the local businesses in our area?

  74. Interesting idea. Talk to your principal and school council. Schools make various trades with third parties from time to time.

  75. @ Open – “Is Lynn’s request for information concerning Stan’s comments on the ‘rug being pulled out from under DHS’ just being ignored? I would also like to understand what was meant by that comment, perhaps Lynn was addressed privately, but there are others interested in what happened to DHS. Transparency matters.” No, I am just like you. Still waiting for an answer.

  76. chamblee getting screwed

    As I said many moons ago and was laughed at by some and disparaged by Mr. Gokce for saying it – Chamblee is most definitely getting screwed.

  77. “The Rug” – The gym, cafeteria, locker rooms, hallways, fields, etc … at these schools are already woefully overburdened. Will the additions address any of these project shortfalls? Like the Dunwoody High School Council said, ” information provided to date is not sufficient to ensure this will happen”. According to the recently released DeKalb E-SPLOST V Project Schedule, it will be a minimum of three and a half years before the shovel hits the dirt at DHS. So, I don’t expect any answers anytime soon.

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