In DeKalb Schools there are almost 4,000 open high school seats across the county. We could redistrict tomorrow and all of our problems with over burdened common spaces and over crowded high schools in Dunwoody and Chamblee would be instantly gone.
However, the school district will be adding 600 – 750 seats at Lakeside High School, Dunwoody High School, and Chamblee Charter High School to balance out the racial diversity and socio-economics of the student populations attending those schools as well as evenly distribute the students from Doraville and Buford Hwy across more affluent schools. I believe there are many reasons why the school district has chosen this path. The main one is they do not want to redistrict because the guidelines for redistricting wouldn’t accomplish the demographic blend they are seeking in North DeKalb.
In the mean time, here is the plan for trailers at the High Schools in Dunwoody and Chamblee.
Chamblee Charter High School (CCHS)
Chamblee Charter HS awaits the addition of 600 more seats expected to be completed on or shortly after the Fall of 2020. Fall 2016 enrollment was 1,624 students. CCHS can expect a Fall 2017 enrollment of about 1,721 students and 4 new classroom trailers. If construction of the seat additions is finished on time, CCHS should max out at 10 trailers by 2020.
|Chamblee Charter High School|
|Year (Fall)||Estimated Enrollment||Portable Classrooms|
|2020||2,099||0 (New Additions Completed)|
Dunwoody High School (DHS)
In the Fall of 2016, DHS had approx 1,822 students and 4 trailers. 2 modulars were recently added. DHS is expected to have at least 12 portable classrooms before the seat additions are completed. It is undetermined where those trailers will go and if they will ever be inspected by the city.
On Monday the Dunwoody Council will vote on an MOU with the School District for building plan review and inspection of capital and facilities improvements projects within the city boundaries. While the school district and the city bang out the details of the MOU, will our children are going to school in un-inspected trailers?
|Dunwoody High School|
|Year (Fall)||Estimated Enrollment||Portable Classrooms|
|2022||2,093||0 (New Additions Completed)|
FAQ – Facility Planning & Feasibility Study
Question – Wouldn’t it be best to build the schools a little bit larger to allow for higher than expected attendance levels in the future? Put another way, why build to a utilization of 100% rather than adding additional capacity?
School District Answer – District staff are aware of the uncertainty inherent in any future forecasting. Rather than risk the cost of “overbuilding” by adding much more capacity than is needed, or “underbuilding” by building much less capacity than is needed, the District is recommending adding capacity as the forecast data indicates is needed. These forecasts will be updated annually as we track demographic shifts across the District. Our buildings will be designed so that, if warranted, we can add additional building capacity to accommodate future student capacity needs at each school where possible.
Pros and Cons of adding 600 seats to Dunwoody HS
January 7, 2017 – Moving forward, I’m trying to understand the support for the building addition at Dunwoody High School. The speculation that some Dunwoody residents would be redistricted out of DHS seems to be the only reason for any continued support of the building additions.
Is 600 More Seats At Chamblee Charter HS A Good Idea?
January 17, 2017 – Please help me understand why adding 600 seats to Chamblee Charter High School is good for anybody in that community? I suspect that any support is driven by redistricting.
750 More Seats at Lakeside HS? Why?
January 30, 2017 – Lakeside High School is currently cramming 2,184 students into a building with a capacity of 1,756 students. Only one other school in North DeKalb scored a below average 2016 School Climate Star Rating. How will adding 750 seats to Lakeside High School improve their School Climate Star Rating and academic achievement?
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Didn’t we try to pass redistricting in the Dunwoody area a few years ago only to have it fail miserably? It was at the middle/elementary level, if I recall correctly, and parents picketed because their children were redistricted out of the school that they felt was superior to the newly built school.We also have a huge contingent that believe that Dunwoody High School is a “community school” and that they have a right to send their kids to that school if they live within a certain zip code. As someone who lived in a neighborhood that was redistricted 4 times while I was in high school, I don’t necessarily share that view, but it is a strong viewpoint in the area.
I’m not arguing with your point – I think the numbers are fascinating and it certainly looks like a valid solution. However, I think the problem in Dunwoody and Chamblee may lie somewhat with the local community that insists on sending their children to a specific high school. Would that – could that – be addressed in your proposal?
Scott, I firmly believe students in Dunwoody should go to school in the Dunwoody cluster. That could easily be done by redistricting the elementary school in Doraville. Brookhaven is getting its cluster, Chamblee has a cluster … Doraville needs a cluster.
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And people think parking is a problem and DHS now, they will have to utilize parking lots for all those trailers
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I believe in smaller schools on smaller land parcels. The school building should fit the land and community in which it exists. Small, land-locked school grounds should not have densely-build facilities devoid of green-space and adequate parking for student, parent, and community involvement.
If the recent traffic problems have taught us anything, it’s that living, working, and attending school in a small, close-knit community is an ideal worth working towards. If my children miss the bus, they can walk to school. If they have to stay after school for an activity, they can walk home.
We need a beautiful, new Doraville high school to serve the students in that community, followed by sensible redistricting with student safety a priority. Don’t waste tax revenue building unwanted additions that will detract from our campus and lead to more traffic and a diminished quality of life in our communities.
We did redistrict the schools in 2011. I was on the BOE at the time and worked through that. It was very successful for Dunwoody. We eliminated lots of trailers and created a very successful k-5 school with the full utilization of DES.
No one is arguing that anyone within the city limits be redistricted out. It makes no sense that Hightower goes to Dunwoody given the overcrowding. It’s not fair to the students to have such overburdened schools.
Building a Doraville High School was widely favored by a majority of parents. And no one has even asked the residents that don’t have children in the schools. It’s also their tax dollars and they should be afforded the opportunity to give feedback.
If the City Council would engage the school district on this issue, they could negotiate for this. So far they are letting the school district break the law by not enforcing their own city building codes and ordinances as they should. Right now children are in schools and trailers that do not have Certificates of Occupancy.
The city is letting that happen. It is shameful.
Feasibility Study – Public Input
Breakout session at Cross Keys HS
Option A – Doraville Cluster
Option B – Additions to current High Schools
This image pretty much sums up the public input. In North DeKalb, I put it closer to 75% of the residents want a Doraville cluster. I just don’t think a Doraville Cluster would give us the demographic blend the school district administration seems to be striving for.
Chamblee Charter High School achieved diversity by hosting the magnet program. I would love to see a new Doraville cluster that follows the same model. I’d like to see a program similar to the Gwinnett School of Science and Math where Dekalb students in Region 1, 2, and 3 can attend more conveniently than Arabia Mountain. I also favor redistricting. A tough choice, but solves a lot of obvious issues, except parental comfort.
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Nancy Jester, how many children from Hightower feed into PCMS and Dunwoody high on average?
You have approximately 140 kids from the Hightower attendance zone in each grade at PCMS and DHS. So in PCMS you have about 400-450 total students from that attendance zone, and in DHS you have about 560.
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What happens when the apartments by State Farm are built and those kids end up in the dunwoody zone?
more building=more kids=overcrowding
I do believe my children should go to DHS. I live in the 30338 zip code and bought in Dunwoody for the schools. I don’t want them to go to doraville or chamblee high.
And @Amanda that’s is exactly the point the county is forgetting. I won’t name names, but you have a number of people who regularly (or at least used to regularly) post on this site and have made no mistake as to their intentions. There were scare tactics employed, online advertising purchased by the Cross Keys foundation, and questionable “ballot stuffing” to change what was a pretty clear majority for option A into a “small majority” for Option B (the non Doraville HS option). Interestingly the POV of these folks and the county changed from the survey being “just one input” (when option A was losing) to “what the people have spoken” after option B squeaked out a narrow win (thanks to the questionable tactics listed above). Furthermore, it was clear as to what the county wanted to “win.” Doraville was never going to get a new high school. How do I know this? 1. The options were designed to intentionally enable “B” to win – Option C was specifically designed to split the option A vote (its only difference from option A was to move the magnet program, thereby theoretically splitting the vote of those who favored a Doraville High School). 2. The change of heart noted above about the change in the survey’s role from being “one data point” to being a major factor in the decision once Option B emerged as a slight winner. 3. Scare tactics designed specifically to encourage the Dunwoody cluster to vote for Option B. 4. When presented to the public, the plans for the “winning” option B that when revealed that these plans were dated well before the original options were even presented to the public – the county had gone so far as to get specific plans developed – just for option B
Lets fact it here, we were sold a bill of goods with the illusion of choice. It was all designed out of Stone Mountain only to make it look like you had a say. They knew what they were doing all along. Because when you are social engineering, you make sure that people don’t realize that is what you are doing or they’d never go for it. And when they figure it out, you have a loyal group of soldiers within the community all the ready to call those that disagree “racists” or some other horrific term, thereby silencing their opinions. It was very nicely played. Stan, to his credit, was the only one to stand up to this.
That’s how we are where we are today.
It is wrong to blame Buttmunch for scare tactics and rigging the vote. I believe your second paragraph is a more accurate description of what happened. It isn’t social engineering as much as a belief that the administration knows better than the stakeholders. The love of power.
Also, there were some overtly racist comments posted on this blog last year. People have a right to hold and share those opinions, but don’t be surprised when they are labeled accurately. Please respect the opinions of those who are offended by the racism.
Kirk – I think you are naive. I’m not saying there were some comments that crossed the line (DIO, Chamblee getting screwed), but I think that there were many “holier than thou” types that made anyone that disagreed with their POV feel like they were awful people. The “card” was played way too much when there wasn’t a solid argument from those who couldn’t argue why building a Doraville High School was not a good idea. Stan asked many times for someone to say why Option B was better for the non Cross Keys districts – none of the Option “B” supporters could ever answer that question. The ardent CKHS types did the same thing that they accused the rest of the clusters of – they were only looking after themselves and not looking at the big picture. Unfortunately, the county was acting the exact same way.
The plan includes “busing” something that would definitely include rides from Clarkston of 45 minutes each way. I know we need to be diverse but their are betterways. Also State Farm Insurance is opening a multi story tower near the Dunwoody MARTA station and they want seats at Dunwoody High School for kids who have parents that work with state farm
I get that you still carry a torch for a Doraville High School, but what exactly is the end-game on this one? Even if the school board reversed course tomorrow and authorized a Doraville HS, the physical building won’t be ready for a few years, and in the meantime, CCHS and DHS will still be over-crowded, necessitating trailers. I have no objection to the trailers being properly inspected, but I’m not seeing the link between building the additions and the trailers.
The point of this post is the plan for trailers at DHS and CCHS. I would also like to note that we could get rid of every trailer at Peachtree MS and Dunwoody HS today. There are almost 4,000 open high school seats across the county. There are 363 open middle school seats in the Cross Keys Cluster alone. If we redistrict, all of our problems with over burdened common spaces and over crowded high schools and middle schools in Dunwoody and Chamblee would be instantly gone.
Somebody is going to break the yoke DCSS has on Dunwoody. Will it be the Jesters? Can’t say, but they stand up for what makes sense and what’s right. Cramming more and more kids into DHS in trailers or new buildings without expanding the infrastructure to support them is not a good plan for anyone. But of course, there is no land or money allocated to expand the infrastructure. Thanks DCSS. And all those kids who eat lunch, use a locker, take an art class, park, play sports, etc. thank you too. Way to go. Stan and Nancy, please keep up the good fight for redistricting and/or Doraville High School because it makes sense and it’s the right thing to do.
Ain’t it funny that we are about to spend nine digits worth of money to fix a problem that could probably be solved by a couple of interns with a map over the weekend?
Yes, let’s redistrict now! That’s a great idea. Let’s start by helping those poor Vanderlyn children in their un-inspected, no certificate of occupancy, trailers. There’s room for them at Kingsley I’m told.
Wait, I thought the brilliant minds of the county in corroboration with Kim Gokce, Rebekah Cohen Morris and Alyson Gevertz got us here? Isn’t this the utopia we were promised?
One of the reasons redistricting was not an option considered by the district is the opposition to it from Dunwoody and Chamblee. It is unfair to say Cross Keys was looking out for itself and not acknowledge that those communities did exactly the same thing. Nobody looked at the big picture except the district administrators and the picture they looked at was political. They created a problem on the north end of the county and were not going address it in any way that would upset the rest of the county.
Remember, Dan Drake predicted within 5% the current enrollments back in 2012. He told the BOE the district needs to redraw attendance lines or the current “crisis” would happen. Everybody freaked out and nothing was done. Option B is better than option A because it doesn’t require acquiring land and building a new high school, more added seats for less money. It wasn’t the best possible option. The best possible option wasn’t on the table.
Finally, if someone disagreeing with your POV makes you feel like an awful person, you probably shouldn’t be posting on a public blog.
Chamblee Getting Screwed,
You named three people I know and you must not.
Those three are some of the very few who work for what is best for students, not their property values or racial beliefs. Each has a focus which may not align with what you want, but, like the Jesters, they are trying.
Lunde – your comments clearly show your biases. So I will lump you in with the folks who are ruining our high schools with their crazy option B plan that doesn’t consider the needs of all the students – just the Cross Keys students.
I would like to point out that the difference between the most currently published cost for Option B (additions at various north end high schools) and what was proposed for Option A during the feasibility study is negligible. So, in the end, all of these additions do not add more seats for less money after all.
I agree with your statement that DCSD “created a problem on the north end of the county.”
DCSD folks are paid big bucks. They should have the conviction to make the best decision for our students and teachers, even if it’s unpopular.
We teach our children to stand up for what is right. And yet there will be no consequences – and continuing big salaries! – for those who caused the problem.
Hey Stan, I looked at the table you posted about trailers at Chamblee Charter HS. There’s gotta be something wrong.
The official capacity of CCHS is 1810. But your chart shows that CCHS will have 4 trailers when it has just 1721 students, at 95% capacity with 89 open seats.
If schools need trailers at 95% capacity, what’s going to happen after the E-SPLOST-V additions? DCSD’s own projections show that all Region 1 high schools will be at 99% capacity.
I share your concern that trailers absolutely should be inspected and earn a certificate of occupancy. But I also think we need to know more about how capacity “on paper” compares with a workable capacity that provides a good learning environment for teachers and students. I’m thinking that having trailers and teachers who must float from classroom to classroom all day isn’t good for anyone.
This is an earlier version of the Capacity Calculation guide. The version used to come up with the current numbers is no longer on the district’s website. The first page describes how the district calculates school capacity. The numbers on subsequent pages have changed, but not the methodology.
This issue was discussed in Nov. 2015 on the Dunwoody School Daze blog. http://dunwoodyschooldaze.blogspot.com/2015/11/guest-viewpoint-solving-problems-on.html
Dear Chamblee Getting Screwed,
Feel free to lump me wherever you like. I admit and accept my biases and agree with you, Option B doesn’t consider the needs of all students. I have commented that it is a poorly thought out solution. When asked, I shared my reason for supporting it over Option A, but of course the devil is in the details, and the difference in cost isn’t as much as anticipated.
Dunwoody School Daze posted my solution over a year ago. It is what I have written in comments on this blog.
DeKalb Schools’ temporary classrooms in Dunwoody aren’t certified for use
Please see the AJC today. This is about the mobile units.
I’m not sure how they determine when trailers are needed at high schools. That calculation is much simpler at elementary and middle schools. That would be a good conversation to have with the principal or governing board at CCHS.
DunwoodyMom is here with her white-guilt mentality. She loves to hate the blonde hair blue eyed of Vanderlyn. But DunMom hasn’t seen kids at Vanderlyn since her baby left da wood. I can’t copy and paste pics here, so go look at the twtter page of @scottshows and look at his Vanderlyn field day photo from Wednesday. It resembles Kingsley more than Dun Mom’s or her family’s Facebook photos. And look at the FB photos of the other Ossoff cheerleaders like EH – her kids are great but their friends all look like Casper the Friendly Ghost. haha #DoAsISayNotAsIDo
It would be so much easier to believe you and Nancy truly cared about the well-being of students in trailers if you hadn’t already made such a big deal about starting a Doraville Cluster. All of your blustering and accusations to the Cities of Dunwoody and Chamblee is just sour grapes grandstanding for your ulterior motive to get your way. You never made a big deal about the number or condition of modular classrooms at other schools in the district before this. Suddenly, Nancy is sending letters to town governments in her role as a county commissioner to help you with your agenda, Stan? Spare us the petulant, childish political bullshit.