Dunwoody HS Trailer Park

Dunwoody High School (DHS) will be a trailer park until at least 2022. This Summer a new 4 classroom quad with bathrooms will be placed next to the picnic tables. Over the next couple years, 2 more 4-classroom quads are expected to be placed next to the quad going in this Summer. If all E-SPLOST projects are on time and budget, the permanent classroom additions are expected to be completed in 2022.

The School District will first have to get land disturbance permits from the City of Dunwoody before installing these new mobile quad classrooms. It is undetermined if the school district will seek waivers to the City of Dunwoody’s ordinances forbidding cutting down trees and/or having temporary structures. It is also unknown what will be done with the trailer park once the trailers are eventually removed.
Last year the school district underestimated enrollment for this academic year. The school district estimated that the Fall 2018 enrollment at DHS would be 1,941 and Fall 2019 enrollment would be 1,977. The district estimated 2,093 students at DHS by 2022.
Official enrollment at DHS is currently 1,982 students. A large class is expected to come up from Peachtree Charter Middle School (PCMS) causing enrollment to increase to a now estimated 2042.
At the DHS council meeting yesterday, central office staff mentioned they expect enrollment to peak at DHS next year. When questioned about trailers at PCMS, Central Staff noted that they were increasing the number of trailers at the middle school next year. I don’t understand how enrollment will peak next year for DHS while at the same time they adding more trailers at the middle school.
It is reasonable to expect the number of students at DHS to continue to swell and squeezed like sardines into a school and campus originally designed for about 1500 students. The addition that is planned wont’ be completed until 2022 IF COMPLETED ON SCHEDULE. There are thousands of empty seats across the school district. The overcrowding at Dunwoody, Chamblee Charter, and Lakeside High Schools could be fixed tomorrow by redistricting.

48 responses to “Dunwoody HS Trailer Park

  1. sent via Facebook
    Many projects are years behind. Both Smoke Rise E.S. and Pleasantdale E.S. were to be completed before now, but neither has broken ground yet.

  2. E-SPLOST IV was passed 7 years ago and those projects are still going on.

  3. sent via Facebook
    They just finished up all of the eSPLOST III projects last year.

  4. sent via Facebook
    Personally I hope the City of Dunwoody refuses to issue the necessary permits and forces the school system to reevaluate.

  5. Kim, Feel free to reach out to the city council. Note … Dunwoody City Council refers to the school district as a “Sovereign Government”. Let me know how the convo goes.

  6. Sick of this nonsense

    Treating the school district as a sovereign government with little to no oversight and waivers to play by their own rules is precisely why we’re in this current mess. The leaders of our school system and government agencies must work together to protect the interests and needs of all stakeholders. The school system must seriously re-examine their enrollment projections and revise their SPLOST V project list to build a new high school (in addition to replacing CCHS) to relieve overcrowding in Regins 1 & 2. The current list was created AFTER the vote, meaning citizens didn’t actually approve the current projects – only the BOE did. Until new Schools can be built, the district needs to relocate the magnet programs in overcrowded schools to facilities with empty classrooms. They also need to thoughtfully redistrict to eliminate “learning cottages”. With the alleged focus on safety and security, the district must get rid of the trailers, not add more.

  7. Tom Lambert – Dunwoody Councilman, Terry Nall for Dunwoody, Lynn Prager Deutsch. Can we please refuse to issue the permits and bring the school system to the table?

  8. Terry Nall, Dunwoody City Council

    sent via Facebook
    Kim Wilson, Please send your inquiry by email to our city email address so we can capture and respond on our open records system. I’m at: Terry.Nall@DunwoodyGA.gov

  9. Bob Lundsten

    That cannot and will not happen. Though it makes a good sound bite, the schools are not a sovereign state ( someone needs to explain that to our council). They need to have their buildings inspected but they are except from our Zoning codes in many ways

  10. Stan,
    You stated “Over the next couple years, 2 more 4-classroom quads are expected to be placed next to the quad going in this Summer.”
    Is there space for these units, other than parking lots or athletic fields?
    Where will they build the new addition, if there are at least 4 quad units on the campus? Talk about a nightmare construction scenario, especially since the construction span covers almost 2 entire school years.
    Shouldn’t Dunwoody stakeholders, including the City of Dunwoody, insist that there be a viable plan for all anticipated portable units before approving this “phase 1” project of adding one more quad?
    The new Dunwoody HS addition is only supposed to bring school capacity up to 2093 students, and that’s in 4 years.
    But if DHS is already at 1982 students, that means that they only need 111 more students to reach 2093 levels.
    DCSD’s projections for DHS enrollment last fall was off by over 100 students, so it’s hard to believe that enrollment will grow by only 111 more students in 4 school years.
    Something seems mighty wrong here.

  11. Sylvia Richardson

    As a retiree from Gwinnett Schools, we opened as many as 4 schools a year, on schedule. They were ready for students the first day of school. Incompetence was not tolerated. As the superintendent said “this is not an adult employment agency.” I can only hope Dekalb can one day the exceptional district it once was. This is where attention and voting matters!

  12. stan,
    the dcsd building spaces website has projections through 2022 for all schools. they are from march 2016 so they are a bit dated. BUT IT DOES SHOW DUNWOODY HS 2022 enrollment at 2093, which is what they used for e-splost-v planning.
    but they certainly don’t show dunwoody hs or pcms enrollment peaking next year. it shows steady growth through 2022. it also shows that the dcsd forecast has been low for both dunwoody hs and pcms.

  13. Bob Lundsten yet, what Kim Wilson is suggesting is exactly what the City of Decatur does with Decatur City Schools, so there is absolutely more that our Council could do, if they so desired.

  14. Bob Lundsten

    They cannot stop them. The council has VERY little input on what the schools can do. Refusing permits is not one of them. Just take a look what Decatur Schools did with the expansion of the HS. That never would have passed the strict codes of Decatur if it was not a school.

  15. This is how the City of Atlanta and City of Decatur deal with the school district. Why can’t Dunwoody?

    City Building Permits For The School District
    May 30, 2017 – Many jurisdictions in Metro Atlanta seem to clearly know they are in charge of compliance with their local codes and vigorously perform that task. I’m not sure why others shirk that responsibility.

    Before the City of Decatur would approve the trailers, they wanted to know:
    • Whether the proposed use is suitable in view of the use and development of adjacent and nearby property.
    • Whether the proposed use adversely affects the existing use or usability of adjacent or nearby property.
    • Whether the proposed use results in a use which will or could cause an excessive or burdensome use of existing streets, transportation facilities, utilities or other public facilities.
    • Whether there is adequate ingress and egress to the subject property, including evaluation of the traffic impact of the proposed use relative to street capacity and safety of public streets and nearby pedestrian uses.
    • Whether there are other existing or changing conditions which, because of their impact on the public health, safety, morality and general welfare of the community, give supporting grounds for either approval or disapproval of the proposed use.

  16. Nancy Jester

    I have opposed this plan from the start. I have stated, and still believe, that the school district must build another high school in the Perimeter Area. If you look at the attendance zones for Chamblee, Dunwoody, Lakeside, and Cross Keys, this is obvious.
    When school councils were debating whether to support or oppose various DSCD plan, I told the Dunwoody School Council that the information they were being fed from DSCD was incorrect. I told them that the promise of $23 million would be lowered. I told them that the promise of improvements for athletics, chorus, band, etc. would not materialize in the plans. I was ignored. I was correct.
    Now we see that the renovation/addition amount is $17 million….several million dollars less than originally promised. We see the plans don’t include improvements in chorus, music, band, athletics, etc.
    Now we see this addition will not happen on a timeline that was dangled in front of the Dunwoody school council. The schedule shows, at best, that the addition/renovation will happen in 2022. Keep in mind that DeKalb has never met it’s scheduled deadlines. SPLOST III projects were just recently finished. DHS is in SPLOST V. Several SPLOST IV buildings have only recently seen real progress (think Pleasantdale ES, Austin ES).
    The answer is to redistrict. DCSD have over 4000 open seats. If a few hundred are redistricted in total from Chamblee, Dunwoody, and Lakeside High Schools, the problem is solved tomorrow.
    For planning purposes, the school district knows that it needs to build a new high school in the Perimeter Area. Doraville and the rest of the Perimeter area need more high school capacity. Look at the distribution of high schools in DeKalb. It’s clear that there needs to be another high school west and north of I-85.

  17. This is a shoulda coulda woulda comment but they should have built a new Dunwoody high school on the PCMS property and moved the middle school to DHS. Lots of wasted land at PCMS that could have been an ideal location for a new big high school with athletic fields/facilities. There were 2 Dunwoody area high schools for a long time (Dunwoody High and Peachtree High). I agree that an additional school or redistributing of some sort for sure…and soon.

  18. Hello Mr. Jester,
    I hope that DCSS will look at where the growth is in the county and respond to it. If that means building schools in certain area, DCSS can show the need based on the population. I know that BOE members represent certain areas, but also aren’t they suppose to act in the best interest of all students?
    Are we just going to keep making certain schools bigger and bigger and bigger? This does not benefit the students or the community.

  19. dcss escapee

    Sick of this nonsense and Sylvia Richardson– all I can muster up is “bless your hearts” The citizens of DeKalb county keep putting these people into office, and for years the graft and thievery has been unaddressed. People are promoted based on who they know and never on what they know… I fear it will never change– just look at my nom de plume

  20. If a few hundred are redistricted...

    The comments that here all that needs to happen is redistricting fly in the face of the last 15 years in Dunwoody.
    Austin families nearly lost their minds with the suggestion that some Austin kids would go to Vanderlyn, clearly a completely inferior place for their children. Vanderlyn families threatened lawsuits about their kids going to the 4-5th academy, now K-5 DES, clearly again, a completely unacceptable alternative. Chesnut families were shifted over to Kingsley, and that was a hubbub. In 15 years+ of active involvement, I have not seen, not once, any volition within Dunwoody to advocate as a group, with the possible recent exception of GLASS. The suggestion that redistricting could fix this problem immediately ignores that the easiest solutions that would be proposed would touch Hightower, Chesnut, and Kingsley kids with very low – or no – impact on DES, Vanderlyn, and Austin. Then we’ll get to home values and who paid more to live where, and well… that’s right where the conversation gets ugly and eventually stops. When Dunwoody can learn to advocate for all Dunwoody kids and pool it’s power for the protection and improvement of all, that’s when we can talk about simple solutions like redistricting.

  21. Stan Jester

    I hear you. People are petrified of redistricting. Are you suggesting that the K-5 DES redistricting was a failure? It seems like you’re still a bit upset about that.
    Question – Why do you suppose that many on the Dunwoody School Council as well as others don’t want redistricting, but never admit it? I hear all kinds of lame reasons why not to go with the option that calls for redistricting. My guess is that everybody knows redistricting is a fact of life.
    Adding 600 seats to Dunwoody HS every 5 years is not a scalable solution. Eventually we have to build a new school and redistrict. The building additions plan is a disservice to academics and quality of life for everybody in the Dunwoody community.

  22. Has total redistricting been proposed in detail? Is there a map showing what the new clusters would look like?

  23. Stan Jester

    Redistricting on that scale has not been proposed.

  24. If a few hundred are redistricted...

    I wasn’t at the time, nor am I now, upset at all about DES – I’ll tone down the snarky comments. The 4-5th academy was a great idea and I think I recall that test scores were nice and high there during that brief period. I even recall some people being surprised at the performance because the original population there came from Vanderlyn (I think?), Chesnut, and Kingsley. Decatur has had a 4/5 since 2011 and it also performs very well, though also is periodically eyed for K-5 expansion, for the same reason that DES was converted – capacity needs. That was understandable, and pretty predictable given the lopsided overcrowding issues at that time. Why can’t people own their feelings against redistricting? Because it leads to the uncomfortable truth, IMO, that Dunwoody isn’t really that united when it comes to educating all Dunwoody kids. There is a clear line of demarcation for many people between DES, Vanderlyn and Austin, then Kingsley and Chesnut. And Hightower, of course, which isn’t Dunwoody City but is Dunwoody HS feeder. Lots and lots of people voted for the option that would’ve redrawn Georgetown out of DHS, across a highway – something they wouldn’t tolerate for their own kids because neighorhood schools, etc. – because it more safely preserved their own attendance zone and would’ve reduced their own overcrowding at DHS. I’ve occasionally wondered how a Dunwoody City School District would address the issue, as most assuredly, it wouldn’t disappear with the creation of a new structure and might even become more visible given such a smaller and closer-to-the-people organization, compared to DCSS.

  25. Adrienne Duncan

    You can put a lot of concerns to rest in Dunwoody’s District 3 with one word:
    Would you support or oppose the redistricting of students residing inside the Dunwoody city limits to schools outside of the city?

  26. @Sick >> True words. Trailer villages and an ‘alleged focus on safety and security’ do not go together. Shame on the Dunwoody City Council for failing to protect students in their community from the horrible decisions made by the massive countywide school district (not to mention the hit on property values a trailer village high school will have).

  27. @Adrienne >> The real question is, would Stan (and You) support culling through students currently enrolled in over crowded schools and sending the ones who live in other districts but attend on a transfer back to their home school? I guarantee you will find hundreds. Should it be ok for transfer students to overcrowd schools in other communities? And if there are still enough students to overcrowd this school, you Stan (and You) be in favor of building a new high school in the Doraville community next door to relieve the burden on Dunwoody (and Lakeside)? Or are you (and Stan) just going to stand by and watch the school district continue to add on and add on and place trailers as band aids to schools in current locations that are completely landlocked and literally bursting at the seams? We have PLENTY of school buildings in DeKalb that are under-enrolled. We once wrote a blog post about the transfers out of south DeKalb schools, leaving them to close and causing blight. Our data was gathered by a citizens task force and was accessible online for a while. The school district does not share information like this anymore, so there is no way to update this 8 year old post, but I would bet a chicken dinner that it’s still the same deal. http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2010/05/north-vs-central-vs-south-whats-deal.html

  28. Transfer Count – The October 2017 Non Resident Attendees is the published student transfer count between schools. According to the matrix, DHS has a total of 54 transfers.
    Enrollment/Capacity – The 10/03/2017 Enrollment Report are the enrollment and capacity numbers this year for every school.
    Student Assignment – According to the student assignment policy, “Students may enroll in certain schools outside of their attendance area where space is available.” I would need an opinion for our legal staff, but it doesn’t look like over crowded schools should have transfers.

  29. a comment on April5 mentioned GLASS. Ha Ha Ha. GLASS was the voice of reason? BS. Where is GLASS now? Nowhere! GLASS was fake. They never intended to do anything. They set up GLASS to make it seem as they were doing something so that others would not set up their own group. GLASS was a fraud and I regret giving them money

  30. Adrienne Duncan

    (Responding only for myself, not speaking for Stan)
    “The real question is, would Stan (and You) support culling through students currently enrolled in over crowded schools and sending the ones who live in other districts but attend on a transfer back to their home school?”
    “Should it be ok for transfer students to overcrowd schools in other communities? ”
    “And if there are still enough students to overcrowd this school, you Stan (and You) be in favor of building a new high school in the Doraville community next door to relieve the burden on Dunwoody (and Lakeside)?”
    ” Or are you (and Stan) just going to stand by and watch the school district continue to add on and add on and place trailers as band aids to schools in current locations that are completely landlocked and literally bursting at the seams? ”
    Not by choice.
    Pretty straightforward where i’m sitting. But the question that Dunwoody parents ask is: do Dunwoody kids attend schools inside Dunwoody city limits. That answer would either put a lot of minds at ease or raise more concerns.

  31. If a Few Hundred,
    There was NEVER a map to draw out Georgetown. Total lie. NEVER HAPPENED. We were presented with Option A, B, etc. There was NOT a map. Please stop your lies. And GLASS was mismanaged from day one. I regret giving them money. Where is GLASS today? What happened to the money? Did the group officially un-register?
    The 4-5 Academy was the best thing to happen here. I’ll agree with you on that. Now that Austin being rebuilt, let’s see how these new lines will be made.
    The ideal situation is to remove Hightower from DHS and make the DHS cluster only residents of Dunwoody.

  32. dcss escapee is exactly correct. History repeats and repeats and repeats itself in DCSD. They count on the passage of time, because with that, parents and ‘squeaky wheels’ come and go. New people ‘discover’ these acts of incompetence, waste and graft, and go to work opposing it … but get nowhere, because leadership knows that all they have to do is sit quietly and wait for time to pass and people to move on. Nearly EVERY SINGLE POST written on our DSW blogs (1 and 2) could be written or updated today. This is why we gave up, it was becoming a Groundhog Day cycle of reporting. Nothing will change unless and until this enormous, under-performing, goliath of a district is broken down into several smaller districts – including perhaps a few city districts – with focused, elected school board leadership that cannot get away with allowing corruption, waste and graft to continue at least not nearly at the current rate – as test scores lie dormant. As long as ‘some’ students get what they need, and their vocal parents are ‘happy’, the district leadership will continue on with the bad decision-making status quo – paid for by taxing homeowners at nearly the highest rate in the state.

  33. Adrienne,
    Will the DHA discuss the trailers at DHS? DHA seems like it has all its eggs on FoodTrucks and parade and PCID. How about some discussions on HOMEOWNER issues! ANd, I do appreciate your involvement w DHA. I know its a volunteer group. Pay my annual dues and try to watch on FB.

  34. Don’t believe me? Test scores were the WORST ever under the leadership of Ramona Tyson, yet here she still is, doing ???, collecting a mid-six-figure salary, poised for a million dollar + pension package … Hmmm. Perhaps she just ‘knows things’.
    ps. Glad to see your responses Adrienne. But the ‘not by choice’ response to allowing the band aid approach to expansion is of concern. It proves my point above – the district knows that they can just plow through with their ineffective plans because anyone who complains will be gone in a few years. Many I know personally back in the day, gave up and sent their kids to private schools.

  35. Adrienne Duncan

    If you watch last night’s video recap, you’ll see we spent the majority of the discussion on water/sewer capacity. Yes, that does focus on PCID because that’s where the highest density is and that’s where the latest proposals for development have been. But it’s an issue that affects everyone, including those whose only thought is a rooftop bar within walking distance from their home. 😉 Nancy made it a point of emphasizing that all of us HOMEOWNERs are paying more in water/sewer because of the problems generated from high-density housing. So in response to your concern – we did focus on “HOMEOWNER issues!” last night and every meeting.
    The DHS trailer issue was in the queue since the new trailers are going to tap the sewer line. We ran short on time.
    If you’d like a specific discussion or want to see a certain speaker address DHS questions (including trailers) the president sets the monthly agenda. Send a request to either dhaadmin@dunwoodyga.org (the general contact address) or to me personally at dhapresident@gmail.com.
    Sorry for the hijack, Stan. I have a feeling if I get the message I requested you’ll be getting a phone call. 🙂

  36. Thanks for those links Stan. The enrollment/capacity report is always interesting. It shows the huge variance in enrollment levels among schools – requiring several trailers at some, while hosting empty seats at others. What I am looking for is the number of students who LIVE in a district, but transfer out to another school in another district or a magnet/theme school. It’s literally thousands of students. One summer morning I had a meeting with a Dunwoody administrator. While I waited, there were at least 6 young people there waiting as well (no other parents). As I chatted with them, I found out they were ALL there for an ‘Administrative Transfer’. One girl told me this was her third high school in DeKalb. She said it was very easy to get a transfer.
    The enrollment by grade is always accessible at the GDOE. https://oraapp.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fte_pack_enrollgrade.entry_form
    They even break it down by race and gender. https://app.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fte_pack_ethnicsex.entry_form
    Even though the documents I referenced have been removed from the online archives, my former blog partner and I do still have them on our own hard drives. I could always dig them up and send them to anyone who wants to see them.

  37. There’s also the issue of lying about residency. Would anyone in DeKalb be open to checking residency as they do in Fulton and Gwinnett? I have a relative who works in admissions in Fulton county – and she says they are vigilant about checking attendance zone residency.

  38. I grew up in Massachusetts and up there if you lived in a given town/ city you went to the high school for that town/city. It would be unheard of to attend school in a different town/city that where the student lived. So why do we have students coming into DHS who don’t live in Dunwoody?

  39. Stan Jester

    Kate, DeKalb County School District was established in 1873. Most of the cities in DeKalb were formed in the last 10 years. Obviously it is different for cities with their own school district.

  40. Adrienne,
    Please see if Sup Green will attend a meeting, or the regional super or daniel drakes.

  41. Adrienne Duncan

    ReDistrict –
    I do not take agenda requests via social media or blogs.
    Please contact me via email or phone and use your real name.

  42. I agree Stan. May I ask–In the plans above, it appears as if the gazebo is outlined in orange. Is the county proposing to demolish the gazebo for temporary trailers? Aha reported that it was built by a student and completed fairly recently. Has DeKalb County reached out to the student?

  43. Hello A. The fire marshal said the district can build right next to the gazebo if they spray it with some special clear fire retardant. I’ll reach out to the scouts and let them know.

  44. Michelle Fincher

    Stan – I saw that a new single-family/townhome development is being built in Doraville (Heights at Carver Hills), and is districted to Chesnut/PCMS/Dunwoody. Their website does not provide information concerning the number of units. Has DCSD studied the impact of this and other communities presently in development stages to our schools? Do they monitor the market? Would that information change their decision for the additions and instead build new facilities?
    I’m also concerned that no one seems to be talking about the crowding at PCMS. Yes, they have land for trailers, but that doesn’t mean it is any less impactful to the learning environment as a whole. Anyone who hasn’t done so should visit PCMS during a class change and see the mass of adolescent humanity trying to get through the hallways. Then, go to Chamblee Middle, a school that is not over-capacity and see the difference. As long as DCSD decides not to fill empty seats and redistrict all of DCSD, our area will be in need of both a new middle school and a new high school.
    Given that my kids have such a spread of ages (oldest graduated in 2013 and youngest will in 2026), I am like Cere above, and have realized that DCSD just does the same thing over and over again. I still care, but have realized it is a huge waste of my time to show up to meetings with DCSD administration just to be led astray, whether it is by intent or incompetence.

  45. Hello Michelle. The decision is part fiscal and part philosophical. Fiscal: It would be more expensive to build a new high school in Doraville. They would have to purchase land, build a new gym, new locker rooms, new football field, etc… With the building additions, they are just adding classrooms, parking spaces and cafeteria tables. Philosophical: Many board members and administrators don’t want “Cross Keys 2.0”. They would like to divide up and bus the children from Doraville and the Buford Hwy to the more affluent high schools to balance out racial and economic diversity.
    DeKalb Schools has a planning department. They are supposed to be accounting for all kinds of variables. At this recent DHS council meeting, Dan Drake, Director of Planning and SPLOST Programming for the DeKalb County School District, mentioned that PCMS has a big population wave that is expected to crest with the current 8th grade class. Drake then went on to say that PCMS will be getting more trailers in the near future. I didn’t quite understand that dynamic.

  46. Michelle,
    I don’t know what student yield rates DCSD uses for new housing developments, but I was very surprised by the low predictions for a planned 41 townhome development in Chamblee, less than 1/2 mile from Chamblee Charter High School.
    The documents presented to the City of Chamblee government predict that this new 41 townhome development will yield just 3 new students in the Chamblee Cluster:
    1 at Huntley Hills Elementary School
    1 at Chamblee Middle School
    1 at Chamblee Charter High School
    That seems mighty low to me, but of course these numbers came from Professionals.
    My point in mentioning this is that if these yield rates are correct and typical of Region 1, then the school enrollment impact of the tremendous number of new homes and apartments in Region 1 may be less than an average person like me would guess.
    Unless the Professionals are wrong……

  47. For those lamenting the fact that several projects (Austin, Pleasantdale & Smoke Rise) are just now really gaining traction, one of the main reasons has been trying to find property on which to build.
    The District had to negotiate with the City for Austin, DeKalb County for Pleasantdale, and finally decided to deal directly with Sears because it the City of Tucker kept delaying a decision on rezoning for the huge project at the old Sears property.
    The negotiations with the county took at least a couple of years because the county kept changing its mind on how much land they were willing to sell.Property for the new Smoke Rise became necessary due to the lack of sewer to the current site. Austin was going to be rebuilt on its current site, but the location of the pipeline and power lines made that problematic – and expensive to rectify in order to meet the demands of the Dept. of Ed (GA) to approve the site.
    So its not always the District’s fault.

  48. Insider,
    You make a good point EXCEPT
    that I would hope the District would be savvy enough to anticipate the complexity of these issues and develop realistic schedules. Instead, the District tends to over-promise and make people happy at the beginning, until they realize that the projects will be dragged out for years.
    The only reason that Chamblee Charter High School was built so quickly is that it used QSCB bonds that had to be spent within 3 years. Bless whoever thought up QSCB bonds!