Redistricting – Geographic Proximity – Austin And Doraville United

According to board policy, recommendations for alterations in school attendance areas shall be primarily based on geographic proximity, school capacity; and projected enrollment.

The new 900 seat Austin Elementary School (AES) will open in January for the existing old Austin ES students. Redistricted students will attend the new Austin ES in August 2020. The old Austin ES had 688 students enrolled in Oct 2018. Conceptually, more students will be redistricted into the new Austin ES to help alleviate overcrowding in the Dunwoody cluster.

To relieve overcrowding at Cary Reynolds ES and Dresden ES, DeKalb Schools is building the new 900 seat Doraville United Elementary School located in the city of Doraville, Ga. Cary Reynolds is roughly 200 students over capacity and Dresden is roughly 250 students over capacity. Doraville United ES could also alleviate overcrowding in other surrounding elementary schools.

The Redistricting Processes will follow the District’s standard redistricting process driven by three rounds of increasingly specific community input.

Austin Elementary Public Redistricting Meetings – Dunwoody HS Auditorium (7:00 PM):
• Round 1 – Thursday, September 26, 2019
• Round 2 – Wednesday, October 23, 2019
• Round 3 – Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Doraville United Elementary Public Redistricting Meetings – Chamblee Charter HS Auditorium (7:00 PM):
• Round 1 – Wednesday, September 25, 2019
• Round 2 – Wednesday, October 16, 2019
• Round 3 – Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Distance MAP
The following map shows you how many students are in a particular area and how far they are from their currently zoned school. Click on map to enlarge.

Distance Map For DeKalb Schools

DeKalb Schools Region 1 Distance Map

Doraville United

Doraville United Elementary School


 DeKalb Schools Maps
 Enrollment and Capacity
 Facility Condition Assessments


Redistricting Dunwoody Cluster Elementary Schools
August 20, 2019 – The new 900 seat Austin Elementary School (AES) will open in January for the existing old Austin ES students. Redistricted students will attend the new Austin ES in August 2020.

Austin Elementary in the Crier
May 7, 2019 – Confusion and rumors circle the destiny of the old Austin elementary school once the new Austin elementary school opens.

Old Austin Elementary School
April 16, 2019 – The New Austin Elementary School (AES) is on schedule to open January 2020. DeKalb Schools is looking at options to alleviate trailers in the Dunwoody Cluster. The administration is currently looking into using Old AES to that end.

Delay in New Austin ES Opening
Aug 24, 2018 – The DeKalb Schools Operations Division was informed last week that we are experiencing a delay in the opening of the new Austin ES. This has shifted the opening of the school from August 2019 (start of the first semester of 2019-2020 SY) to January 2020 (start of the second semester of 2019-2020 SY).

Good question Ben Greenwald. I’ll promote the response to the body of the post.

An attendance area shall be established and maintained for each school in the DeKalb County School District, with the exception of certain district-wide schools. The attendance area shall relate to the neighborhoods surrounding and in which the school is located. Students must attend the school serving the attendance area where they reside unless an exception is provided by law or Board policy.

A. Alteration of School Attendance Areas

School attendance areas may need to be altered for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, population changes, capacity or operating efficiency concerns, change in the use of a school, closure of a school, and the opening of a new school. The Board, upon recommendation of the Superintendent, may alter school attendance areas. The Superintendent’s recommendations for alterations in school attendance areas shall be based on the following primary criteria:

1. Geographic proximity;
2. Instructional capacity; and
3. Projected enrollment.

When the primary criteria indicate more than one option for action, the options shall be evaluated on basis of one or more of the following:

1. Safety and traffic patterns;
2. Previous redistricting;
3. Intact neighborhoods;
4. Special programs, i.e., programs serving special needs students that require additional classroom space;
5. Condition of facility;
6. School feeder alignment;
7. Efficient and economical operations; or
8. Other criteria, to be publicly disclosed at or prior to a final decision by the Board.

The Superintendent shall develop a process for obtaining input from the community. In the case of school closures, the Board shall follow the procedures provided in state law regarding public hearings and comment. The Board, at its discretion, may accept, modify, or reject the recommendation of the Superintendent. The Board will base its final decision on the needs of all students in the District. The Board provides the Superintendent or his or her designee with the necessary authority to enact minor attendance area alterations that are consistent with the primary and secondary criteria listed above. Minor attendance area alteration are defined as a change in attendance area that involves the attendance line displaced no more than 1/8 of a mile from the Board approved attendance line and that involves a change of enrollment (positive or negative) of five or less (currently enrolled) students. The Superintendent shall notify the Board of any attendance area alterations.

B. Students Living in Areas Where Attendance Lines Are Altered

When attendance lines are altered, all students must attend the school serving their new attendance area, except that students rising into the highest grade available in an elementary school or middle school or rising into grades 11 or 12 in a high school will have the option of either continuing in their former school with no transportation provided by the District or attending the new home school with transportation provided under Policy ED. Students who choose the Board Policy AD: School Attendance option of remaining in their former school may later transfer to their new home school. Once the student has transferred to the new home school, the student cannot transfer back to the former school.

36 responses to “Redistricting – Geographic Proximity – Austin And Doraville United

  1. Stan, will the top map be updated with this year’s enrollment for the redistricting meetings?

  2. Callie, FTE count is in October. Hopefully we’ll get real enrollment numbers before the official FTE count comes out.

  3. Stan, thanks for the response. So is it safe to assume when new numbers come out, an updated map will be released for the meetings? Austin has over 700 kids enrolled, so I’m very interested in how this map compares to the new one, and where the organic growth is coming from.

  4. Hello @Callie, I don’t know how long it takes them to generate the distance map. I’m not sure what data they will give the board and public to help facilitate the public discussions on redistricting. Hopefully it’ll be as much as possible and as up to date as possible. –Stan

  5. “Doraville United” Elementary?
    Who in the world came up with that?
    Has the board voted to approve that horrible name?

  6. Lose the Magnet

    And we thought John Lewis was a dumb name for a school in an area where he doesn’t represent or live. But Doraville United is the worst name I’ve ever heard of. Trying to appeal to that market with the whole soccer/hispanic culture thing. Why did you all approve that name Stan? And what’s the political motive behind it?

  7. You don’t like the name Doraville United?

    Doraville is an international city that embraces all its citizens, creating an inclusive community that is progressive and passionate. A community that becomes one voice. We all gather together and stand united. And … it’s a big soccer community… I like the name.

    Political motive? I hadn’t considered a political motive, I was just trying to name a school.

  8. How about Doraville Elementary School…in keeping with Dunwoody Elementary, Stone Mountain Elem, Avondale Elem….or based on the road it’s on like Brockett, Midvale, Evansdale, Henderson Mill, Dresden….or the neighborhood/area they are in like Ashford Park, Huntley Hills, Laurel Ridge, Briarlake, Fernbank….in other words, an identify they already have around which they have been building their community.

  9. @Stan, Doraville United is a horrible name. Plus, it’s not up to you to “name a school.” It may be in your district, but it’s not your school. It’s being paid for by the citizens and taxpayers in DeKalb County.

    Why don’t you let the school naming process take its course? Let community members and other stakeholders come up with a name, mascot & colors that the board can approve (or not.)

    Till then, why not just refer to it the way it’s been referred to since it was first proposed? “Cross Keys North”

  10. @Lose the Magnet: The temporary site of John Lewis was, in fact, in John Lewis’ district. But the permanent site isn’t. They shouldn’t have named the school for Lewis since it would not be in his district.

    FYI: To the best of my knowledge, the Board has not officially named the new school. “Doraville United” is all Stan’s idea.

  11. @Anonymous, Don’t like the name? Sorry to hear that. Why do you say the school naming process didn’t take its course? It wasn’t my idea. One of the committee members came up with the idea that Doraville was a diverse community that comes together as one. Another member of the committee suggested we could name it Doraville United. In accordance with Board Policy FDC and FDC-R (Naming Facilitates), a Naming Committee met and selected a name, colors and mascot for the new Cross Keys North Elementary School. Principals of the feeder school selected members of the committee. I selected the other members. The Naming Committee met three times over a 4 month period. On May 16, the Chair submitted the names of the committee members to the Board of Education. The committee was unanimous in their votes.

    Naming Committee Members
    • Ms. Erica Esposito (Huntley Hills)
    • Sherry Johnson (Regional Superintendent)
    • Stan Jester (Board of Education)
    • Doraville Chief of Police/State Insurance Commissioner John King
    • Ms. Lisa Victory (Dunwoody)
    • Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman
    • Ex Mayor of Dunwoody Mike Davis
    • Doraville Councilman Robert Patrick
    • Mr. Matt Sitter (Dresden)
    • Ms. Rebekah Morris (Oakcliff)
    • Ms. Chris Avers (Cary Reynolds) (Alternate)
    • Mr. Al Tiede (Dunwoody)
    • Ms. Beth Rhodes (Oakcliff)
    • Ms. Maria Acosta (Dresden)
    • Ms. Noelia Dalto (Cary Reynolds)

    Meeting Dates
    • August 22, 2019
    • May 8, 2019
    • May 15, 2019

  12. @Stan, The way your post read, you said you were “just trying to name a school.” – which made it sound like it was one you came up with. I stand corrected.

    I hope the board will reject that name. For all the lofty rhetoric, its a horrible name.

  13. @Insider, Thank you for being a part of the conversation. I’ll relay your feedback to the Doraville Mayor, Doraville Councilman and ex Doraville Chief of Police as well as the community members from Doraville, Chamblee and Dunwoody who all like it and voted unanimously for it. –Stan

  14. I like the name. A little trendy, but Doralville Elementary School is kind of drab. But I also am fine with naming the Cross Keys South elementary school after John Lewis. Maybe I’m just an agreeable person.

  15. Stan, According to FDC-R(1), “By majority vote, consensus, or other means, the committee shall narrow down the list of potential names, mascots, and school colors to the top three. ”

    Just curious…. what were the other two names that were rejected in favor of “Doraville United?”

    I still can’t believe that “Doraville United” was the best they could come up with.

  16. I suggested Doraville elementary. Somebody else came up with Doraville Academy. Atlanta Rhythm, Shane Wilson and Hugo Arango were among the many different names discussed.

  17. So mostly elected officials and some of the same old folks that always seem to have a voice: Rebekah Cohen Morris, Chris Avers (former esplost advisory committee – SPLOST IV thats over budget), Al Tiede (served on 2015 superintendent selection process), Acosta – immigration atty… we have any regular old moms and dads on the committee – does their voice matter?

  18. But what were the top 3?

  19. Stan, which is the latest info on enrollment numbers for 2019? It differs from the planning documents published on Oct 2, 2018, that is why I am asking for clarification as I head into tonight’s meeting. Any chance these numbers will change again before the meetings are said and done? Current numbers would be most helpful. If you look at the Oct report and this current data report posted below it is interesting that the “capacity” numbers have changed. How is that possible for schools that have not been added onto? Are trailers counted? For example, Austin ES (on the Oct report) had 688 enrolled with a capacity of 588 and the other data report says Austin has 688 enrolled and 500 capacity. Similarly, Dresden ES (Oct 2) says it has 964 enrolled and 791 seats and the other report says 964 enrolled and 733 seats. Hightower capacity (Oct 2) says 566 yet on the new report it says 475… and others, but, you see the differences, right? So which are correct you think? The capacity numbers matter, otherwise the data and planning efforts will be skewed. Thanks! (October 2 report) (posted link under planning on the redistricting website 2019)

  20. When will we have information on the Cross Keys High build and the redistricting that will come from that? And Doraville United ES? We need a comprehensive redistricting plan for regions 1 and 2 and maybe 3. Throwing out options right now for redistricting without knowing the long-term plans makes it very difficult to offer ideas and suggestions. For example, if Livsey was absorbed into Pleasantdale then this would affect the numbers at the high school (Lakeside), but if Sagamore was going to be sent to Cross Keys High then the numbers would be a wash. This is just a made-up example, however, it would be nice if we could have a comprehensive redistricting discussion instead of this piecemeal redistricting that may or may not work in the long run. SMH

  21. @OverIt, We need a comprehensive redistricting program for regions 1,2 and 3 is good feedback. Long term planning – So many things are in the air right now including the GO Bond. I’m not convinced the school district knows what the plan is for the new Cross Keys HS. Doraville United is opening next year, so we have to do something.

    October 2018 is the latest enrollment data I have. I’m not sure when we’ll get updated enrollment data.

  22. HB DeKalb,

    Good catch on the changing capacities.

    School capacity is calculated based on the number and types of classrooms and the maximum number of students allowed in each type. The maximum number of students can vary based on the whim of the administration.

    Then, there is a scheduling factor which is the percent of time a room is being used.

    The real fun is the number of classrooms. You would think that wouldn’t change if the school hasn’t been altered. You would be wrong. Midvale has had four different totals for classrooms since 2011.

  23. DCSD finally posted the Agenda, Handouts, and Maps for the Cross Keys North Elementary/Doraville United elementary school redistricting meeting.

    The maps only show where elementary age children live.

    QUESTION: Since both the Chamblee and Cross Keys clusters are involved, will redistricting elementary kids from an elementary school in one cluster to an elementary school in the other cluster affect the middle and high school kids too?

    Or are they just redistricting elementary attendance zones and waiting until the new Cross Keys HS is built to redistrict middle and high school attendance zones?

    It sounds like they are changing all of the attendance zones, since one of the Presentation Charts says
    “Students rising into the 5th, 8th, 11th, 12th grade will have the option to continue in their former school, with no transportation provided.”

    This sounds like a nightmare!

    Stan, do you have any info on this?

  24. Lose the magnet

    This is relatively simple. Move everything east. Move the East side of MES to Huntley Hills, move the East side of HH to Doraville United, etc. etc.

  25. Don't think redistricting is happening

    Selected comments (there were probably at least 20 more just like these) from Chamblee Nextdoor. And this is just to move kids WITHIN the same cluster to another elem school… just imagine if they were moved to (gasp) Tucker! Don’t think redistricting will happen any time soon.

    I wanted to share some possible news regarding the current redistricting process with Dekalb County could very well impact our neighborhood. The first redistricting meeting was held last night and there seems to be a very good chance that Sexton Woods and Keswick will be proposed by the District to be redistricted to Huntley Hills for Fall 2020. We are holding a meeting this upcoming Monday night (Sept. 30th) at 7:30 at the Keswick Community Building to develop a unified position for our neighborhood. We are hoping to fight this with DeKalb and have them take the path of least resistance and leave us in the Montgomery Elementary Attendance Zone. If your child currently attends school, will attend school in the coming years or you don’t even have children (or plan to send them to private school) please come as this change will have impact on our entire neighborhood (think property values too)! To learn more about the process you can visit this link – (see info under cross keys north).

    There is a survey to complete as well, but please refrain from completing until we can send out some talking points next week – that way our neighborhood is sending the same message to the school district. We will send out the talking points and ask people to take a minute to complete the survey in another email/post next week!

    Also, please plan to attend the next redistricting meeting at chamblee high school on Wednesday, Oct. 16th at 7pm. We need lots of people there. Please share this info with anyone in our neighborhoods.
    Yes, keep in mind this was “sprung” on the community last night, time is not on our side. Need to “circle the wagons!” ASAP
    Here is my question… what exactly would be the end goal here? So you push keswick and Sexton woods to Huntley Hills then who comes in? Residents from Sandy Springs? I was under the impression that the main issue at hand was what to do with a few students at Ashford Park. My kid is in middle school now but I’d be dam&*d if I’d take this lying down.

  26. Makes a lot of sense to me. Aren’t those two communities in Chamblee? Keeps all the Chamblee people together and reduce the overcrowdedness at Montgomery. Montgomery would be for Brookhaven and Huntley Hills would be for Chamblee kids. Win Win for everyone. Let’s get behind this!

  27. Here we go again

    Lose The Magnet and all you others that no longer even have kids in DeKalb and feel these solutions are easy to just move everyone , ! I highly doubt if your kids were still there and you were at risk of being moved you would this “whatever!” Does this mean you are over crying about your kids not getting into the Magnet? We ALL know how traumatized your were by this. I would think you would welcome the closing of the Magnet. Why shouldn’t it be used as a neighborhood school?
    And the person that states all of Chamblee should be pushed out of Brookhaven, news flash, it’s not a city school district. We may live in cities but we attend county schools. These families did buy in the MES district and they would like to stay. The moving doesn’t fix the overcrowding, but I guess you would have to be better informed to understand. People like you who don’t work to keep a community together are selfish people who only care about themselves. Guess your kid’s aren’t friends with kids in Chamblee ,,

  28. Lose The Magnet

    Here We Go Again – You’re acting like an idiot. First, I STILL have kids in the system. I don’t know where you got that. Second, this has nothing to do with the magnet program. It should be over and done with as it accomplished nothing but division. But this has nothing to do with it. The point that I made and that some appear to agree with is put some organization around this and move everything east. My kids are long past elementary school and I am looking at this with an unemotional eye. You, however, are so emotional that you can’t see what is a better solution. You are clearly an emotional wreck who can’t control herself and are now resorting to insults. How pathetic. You represent the typical entitled magnet person. I’ll be glad to not have to deal with your types anymore. I have exactly 7 months left in the system. It’s a horrible system and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  29. Here we go again

    Lose the Magnet- wrong. No kids in Magnet and don’t feel entitled. As s matter of fact this will not affect my children. I want to to see a real solution, not the moving of kids. I support the reopening of the neighborhood school Nancy Creek. I’m good with moving kids if it actually means eliminating trailers and capacity. The proposed plans do not. I did not name call, however you use “emotional wreck and idiot.” Classy.

  30. So here’s a real world view… Whether you like or don’t like the magnet, moving it to another HS cluster will result in lower scores at CCHS. Those lower scores will mean that CCHS will no longer be the top school in DeKalb (other than the Arts school). Dunwoody and Lakeside aren’t far behind, and if you take away the “unfair” advantage CCHS has with the “smartest” kids attending then those schools will catch up and move forward. Your property values will suffer because suddenly people who move to Atlanta and want to live in DeKalb will see Dunwoody and or Lakeside as the best schools in the US News report. This may not matter to you but it will affect you.

    Also, the vast majority of kids attending Kittredge thru the HS are from the north end of the county, the very area where it’s overcrowded. I don’t know the breakdown, but a lot of these kids will come home to the already overcrowded schools, making the problem even worse.

    Even with Nancy Creek reopening as a school. there WILL be redistricting. If you moved into MES you might still have to move to Nancy Creek. It will also take kids from Huntley Hills, which apparently warehouses the great unwashed you MES parents don’t want your kids to be near.

    This all makes me laugh because MES parents bitched about trailers (my baby can’t learn in a trailer) but now they say they would be happy to have more trailers. Maybe that’s the solution for you – if you want to stay together so badly, pull 30 more trailers onto your campus. Fill the sports field. There’s plenty of room.

  31. Here we go again

    I vote 30 more trailers.!!!!

  32. @real world – keeping the magnet at CCHS so it can have an academic advantage to the exclusion of other high schools is not a reason for it to stay at CCHS. That pits each high school against each other high school. We should all be expecting DCSD to improve the academic success across the board and holding them and our BOE accountable for making that happen. Each child in the district deserves a great high school experience regardless of where they live, what their parents do, what color their skin is or any other trait you want to single out.

  33. Lose the Magnet

    Real World – Hate to break the news to you, but Dunwoody has already surpassed Chamblee and I believe Lakeside has better graduation rates. What do they have in common? Neither are magnet schools! So, the precious magnet program isn’t doing that much for Chamblee. Guess what? If the magnet program leaves, you’ll still get your AP classes and maybe you won’t have the brain drain of the smart kids who don’t make magnet going to Pius/Marist/Wesleyan etc. and/or moving out of the county.

    You have the typical magnet-centric perspective that the world revolves around me and my child. You’re child ain’t all that. He/she just got lucky because their name was drawn out of a hat. Maybe you should go to Vegas.

  34. It would be really nice if someone on the Board of Education would ask the Curriculum & Instruction folks what their plans are for the High Achiever Magnet program.

    I would like to hear them try to explain why they just plan to do whatever Operations says, because it’s clear that Operations is driving this effort rather than anyone who cares a flip about academics.

  35. Hate to break it to you “Lose” but I’m not a magnet parent. I see the benefit of the school though. As I stated US News ranks Chamblee higher than either Dunwoody or Lakeside. I guess you’re just making up data to fit your argument?

    And I have to echo what someone else said – why are you so against just one school when the problem is the lottery, not the school? Funny how you just want to fight, yet when you’re proven wrong (as it so often happens) you just yell louder.

  36. @ RealWorld…. “Lose” is using last years graduation rate. CCHS dropped 5.94% . They graduated 76% of their students. Compared to Dunwoody and Lakeside, CCHS is way behind. You can find the results on a prior post on Stan’s blog. US News sometimes uses data that is several years old in coming up with their rankings. Based on the drop in the graduation rate, CCHS will see a drop in the next round of US News rankings.