DeKalb Schools is conducting Round 3 of the new Austin Elementary School opening – Dunwoody cluster elementary schools redistricting meetings tonight at Dunwoody High School @ 7pm. The third round objective is to collect community input on the option presented which is supposed to based on attendance zone criteria set in board policy.
The school administration will take feedback from this meeting and present a map to the board in January. The board will provide input and approve a redistricting map in February.
PUBLIC REDISTRICTING MEETINGS
Austin Elementary Public Redistricting Meetings – Dunwoody HS Auditorium (7:00 PM):
• Round 3 – Wednesday, November 20, 2019
LAND USE MAPS
2019 Actuals – Dunwoody Cluster – Elementary School – Land Use
2021 Projected – Dunwoody Cluster – Elementary School – Land Use
2024 Projected – Dunwoody Cluster – Elementary School – Land Use
Stan, can we see the detailed map (with street names, landmarks, etc.) for this recommended plan?
Sure. Here you go ….
Wow! DCSD took the most disruptive plan from Round 2, and made something even more disruptive! It will impact 533 students. This is so frustrating!
This does at least appear to respect neighborhoods being kept together, balance growth, and share current and future trailer burden. I think this is a pretty decent attempt.
Jim, The very point of redistricting is to move students to more evenly distribute the overcrowding, isn’t it? As a DES parent, I’m relieved to see that happening with today’s proposal. To me, even distribution of current and future projected overcrowding was the main objective. Additionally, if long term you want less disruptive redistricting, the way to do that is to redistrict every 4-5 years rather than every 10. Can’t have it both ways. Well, unless the population never changes, which isn’t likely to be the scenario we will find our Dunwoody cluster in.
Jay, I agree. I’m happier with this option then I was with the previous options given.
Sad to see 3 neighborhoods scheduled out of DES, especially since they hadn’t been on any previous maps.
I can’t think of any reason, except a political one to move B to Vanderlyn and C to Austin. Just move B to Austin. Less disruption. B is closer to Austin than Vanderlyn. The numbers are virtually identical. Gross.
Frustrated- Dunwoody Club Forest West is also closer to New Austin than Vanderlyn. This plan also reduces traffic up Chamblee Dunwoody road and balances future Perimeter area growth across more schools.
Stan, are you having a coffee talk this week?
It’s right before Thanksgiving break. I don’t have one scheduled.
This is a complete joke and yet another obvious miscalculation or human error that will affect far more people than DCSD originally thought…..or didn’t care to consider. Pulling my kids away from their friends and neighbors because of misguided and lazy planning will not stand. Enough is enough with people representing our kids and district not knowing or caring about the long term harm vs immediate resolution.
I’m in the small portion of H that is west of N. Shallowford Rd. People in our neighborhood are quite upset, having bought into Dunwoody Green under the premise that it was in DES district. Our neighborhood should be blue and if DES is overcrowded, then perhaps the blue area west of Ashford Dunwoody should be yellow.
You bought your house in DES? I think you mean you bought in Dekalb County.
People *relied* on the fact it was in DES district and quite possibly paid a premium to be in the DES district. There is no logical reason why this neighborhood should be moved out of DES.
I’m a DES parent and we’ve been more than happy there. Unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways – we’re overcrowded and need to reduce our student population, that means some current DES areas will no longer go to Dunwoody. I find it doubtful that people would have paid more to be in DES over Austin or Vanderlyn. And, without being a real estate expert (though we’ve purchased in Dunwoody twice now), I’m guessing the effect of school zone on property value between Dunwoody, Chesnut, and Kingsley would be fairly equal. Regardless, home value is not a criteria used in redistricting, though I hear your frustration. The truth is that all the Dunwoody Cluster elementary schools have lots of good to offer and have both pros and cons. I guess my point is that it is inevitable that some neighborhoods will be moved to a new school, that’s the very reason we are going through redistricting. Kids currently at DES are used to not knowing many kids in their new class each Fall, that’s just what happens at a school that large. Saying they won’t be with their friends at school makes it sound as if they’re actually used to being in class with said friends, which, throughout our 4 years there, we just have not experienced at DES anyway.
Stan, can you explain the logic of some of the moves only being handfuls of kids? This doesn’t make any impact at all to the schools and unnecessarily disrupts kids.
Dunwoody Trace does NOT endorse this Map! We sent you numerous emails and followed the district direct of answering survey questions in rounds 1 & 2. Refer to what was put in place by the district Stan and do what’s RIGHT! #DunwoodyTraceShouldStayInPlace
Stan, I do not endorse this map when it disrupts over 500 Children’s lives when Austin can easily just take more of the Perimeter area to elevate DES. My child lives in Dunwoody Trace and the map has moved us and 7 children to Chesnut. We are 1.5 miles to the nearest Chesnut neighborhood and literally across the street to DES neighbors. Please hear our voice and concerns we have sent you.
Hi Stan, the Woodlands (the northernmost part of Area D in the Staff Recommended Plan) is very worried about the impact on our children of being moved from Vanderlyn to Kingsley: We are separated from the rest of the Kingsley community by a major commercial area (the area encompassing the Kroger, CVS and Chick-Fil-A) which means our children would never be able to walk to a school friend’s house, nor to the school itself because of traffic safety risks. Also, based on the 5-year enrollment projections for each school in the cluster that was presented by the DeKalb County School Board at last week’s meeting at Dunwoody High, enrollment for Kinglsey is projected to continue increasing over the next five years, while Vanderlyn’s is projected to decrease, which means that in two years’ time our kids will likely be moved back to Vanderlyn anyway. Finally, the school buses for Vanderlyn run literally right by our front door, whereas Kingsley would have to add at least 15 minutes to their current routes to include our kids since there is no turn-around on Dunwoody Club Drive. Based on the data, at least the part of section D that is north of Mt Vernon needs to stay in Vanderlyn.
DES is overcrowded and the new AES has empty seats. Why disrupt the students in Section C unnecessarily?! Move Section B to Austin and keep Vanderlyn in tact. Even at 135% capacity, it is one of the highest-rated schools in the district and state. Disrupting the dynamic of Vanderlyn’s current population, without any relief to overcrowding, is nonsensical.
The new changes do not represent a fair change for all students. I hold a particular disagreement with the change proposed for the communities in Section D where children would move from Vanderlyn to Kinsley. These communities are separated from the rest of the Kingsley students by the large commercial district of three shopping centers where the Kroger, the CVS ,and the Chick-Fil-A are as well as a very busy main road. As such, these children would not be able to walk to their school friends’ houses, cultivate friendships with their classmates; this is an important step in a child’s growth towards independence and autonomy. This would also cause a burden of additional traffic disruption due to additional buses coming through the 4 way stop sign near the 3 shopping centers. Additionally, it was stated that the projected growth for Kingsley’s is predicted to trend up over the next three years and that Vanderlyn’s growth is expected to trend down. But this new map shows Kingsley over crowded and Vanderlyn under crowded.
I am extremely concerned about the latest maps. I am a Vanderlyn parent and there seems to be a lot of movement for us in this latest map which is not drastically changing the total enrollment number at our school. There is not a need to shuffle students around with little change to enrollment numbers. Vanderlyn seems to be gaining areas that are closer to other schools and loosing bordering neighborhoods that are closer to Vanderlyn than other schools. We cannot forgot that these are neighborhood schools with a sense of community. Walk to school, bus routes, carpooling, playdates, etc. Please remember, we are talking about Children. How is it that these meetings were called Austin Redistricting, this is Dunwoody Elementary schools redistricting. All schools, all students and all families need to be fairly considered. This is for the betterment of ALL of Dunwoody.
Watching the Dunwoody people freak out! Popcorn at hand…
The proposed map is very disruptive for Vanderlyn ES. Moving 99 kids out (areas C+D) and 90 kids in (area B) will free up the total of 9 (!) seats in Vanderlyn. But these are children, not just numbers. Is it worth breaking up their current ties and friendships over such small gain? Why not move Area B directly to Austin and keep the current Vanderlyn community intact?
This map completely blindsided the VES community as it brought up options never seen or discussed previously. Moving the same number of kids from Options C&D and replacing with the same number of kids from Option B is disruptive and unnecessary. Swapping kids for kids. Not to mention it isn’t in line with geographic proximity, one of the main criteria for redistricting. In addition, DCSD needs to look at the percentage of high density housing at each of the elementary schools and ensure it is balanced and equitable. This plan puts VES at 56% high density housing which is over double what AES would have. Single family homes have a finite growth and high density housing does not and I believe that VES cannot take on any additional students as we are at 135% utilization with 11 portables. Forecasting shows VES enrollment declining. But bad forecasting is what got us in this position with the community pitted against one another and DCSD tossing out random options with no basis.
1. Dunwoody Green- why can’t your kids make friends with the kids from neighboring apartments or condos?
2. Switching schools does not end friendships- just ask the Kittridge kids.
@stanjester where are you now buddy? All of a sudden silent?
You’re a joke,
I think the Jesters are out of town, vacationing.
Thanks for your work on the Dekalb School Board. My husband and I have a child at Vanderlyn. We are concerned about the Austin Redistricting Staff Recommended Plan. We believe it moves 13% of the students from Vanderlyn Elementary for a non-capacity related reason. It changes the percentage of high-density housing from 43% to 56%. Unpredicatable enrollment from the high-density housing could lead to sudden overcrowding, which the current facilities cannot support. Please keep Vanderlyn Elementary as it is currently; it’s a community that works so well together. We love that it’s a neighborhood school, and playdates are so close by!
As a Vanderlyn parent this plan seems to be disruptive with no net benefit to the overcrowding. Please keep our neighborhoods intact and reconsider the unnecessary shuffling of kids.
@You’re a Joke,
I’ve taken my boys to North Carolina. Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
@you’re a joke… How many times have you seen Orson, Turner, or Morley having a stop and chat session, having a blog, having a facebook page…… NONE….. I may not always agree with Stan, Allyson, or Diijon, but I am thankful that they are trying.
Seems to me the Vanderlyn people are scared to death that their little white bread neighborhood school may have some non white apartment dwellers join them.
@lose the magnet, according to the 2019 CCRPI data, the plurality of students at Vanderlyn are Asian.
Have a pleasant day.
@lose the magnet
Vanderlyn is 48% Caucasian, so definitely not “white bread neighborhood school.”
@lose the magnet
Also, 43% of our current student population comes from high density housing.
@lose the magnet – that’s unnecessary.
I think it is a little disingenuous to simplify the situation to ‘all Dunwoody elementary schools are good schools’. That may be true, but it is also true that Austin/Vanderlyn/Dunwoody schools score higher than Chesnut, Kingsley, and Hightower on several objective measures of education quality. These conversations may go better if we acknowledge this fact, and have some empathy for parents who are worried that their children are going to be redistricted to a school that does not provide the same quality of education that they are currently receiving. This may or may not be true, but it is a very real fear. My guess is that the parents that are simplifying this situation aren’t currently being faced with this fear.
Please don’t instigate something like that @lose the magnet. Vanderlyn’s population is 43% from apartments. It will be 56% under this plan, over double of Austin. There’s no reason the high density growth housing can’t be spread out fairly within the cluster. Vanderlyn is overcrowded at 135% utilization with 11 portables. No one is fighting that. This map simply swaps kids for kids which is disruptive and unnecessary. In addition, “forecasting” was so bad that this year VES has already had to add two new teachers and classes three months into the school year due to growth in our high density housing areas. I certainly don’t trust DCSD and their forecasting. Adding another high growth complex in place of single family homes with a finite growth rate is very concerning as a parent who has had two kids affected by late teacher and class additions. .
@Laura- I am only speaking from the perspective of a Chesnut parent. I am not trying to minimize your concerns, but your statement regarding Austin, Vanderlyn and DES having the highest scores is factually incorrect.
The elementary schools in the cluster have the following CCRPI scores, which is comprised of multiple factors including Content Mastery, Attendance, Next Level Readiness, School Climate, Closing the Gap (Disparity) etc. As a Chesnut parent since 2012 to the present, I have always thought of Chesnut as a hidden gem. Regardless of my opinion, these are the most recent scores for the three that are referenced to above plus Chesnut.
This is not a knock on any school, but I thought it was important to point out seeing as there is clear data to reference.
Yes, I know, chesnut had great CCRPI scores this year! But that are other ratings, like the Great School ratings, that Chesnut does not do as well on. And I know these ratings and scores aren’t everything, and everyone I know that goes there loves Chesnut. But I think it is a disservice to pretend that the scores aren’t out there, and that people don’t
/shouldn’t care about them…sometimes that is all people have to go on when judging schools, right or wrong…
Fair enough. My husband and I always joke that for like 100K less, we got the same house and the school is a perfect fit for us:)
Would you please share what the other score are that you are referring to? I am not sure which sites or surveys we were looking at but I love to take a look.
Everyone thinks that the ES that they attend will turn their child into a highly successful, highly paid adult – all because of the ES they attended. If you look at very successful people in all walks of life, they came from different ES types – small Midwest, suburban, city school in a large city. NYC schools were considered the best 100 years ago. The immigrants didn’t know English but pushed their kids to study. To be successful in school, it helps to have parents that are involved, who read to kids, who buy/borrow books for kids, who encourage academics, and a school that isn’t horrible. None of the schools in Dunwoody are horrible. If you work with your kids, they will do well. If they are struggling, one can hire a tutor – a teacher, a former teacher, or a professional company. If your child is bright and has passion and persistence, they will do well. They are not going to automatically do well because they attended a certain school. Every student who attends Westminster, Lovett, Wesleyan, Marist, Pius, Walton, Pope, Dunwoody, Johns Creek, Milton, etc, is not automatically going to obtain high paying positions. It takes more than just attending a certain school. All of the schools in Dunwoody are strong and have strong parental involvement. We have met students who attended Kingsley that were by far more educated/smarter than others. We have met students at Chesnut who are extremely bright – more than others.
C- I was referring mainly to Great Schools ratings- greatschools.org. (There is also Georgia School Grades – schoolgrades.georgia.gov.) BUT, I was wrong about Chesnut- its rating is 8 out of 10, same as DES. Kingsley’s is 6, Austin and Vanderlyn is 9. So sorry about that! My post should have said that Kingsley and Hightower score lower than the other elementary schools (and Dunwoody and Chesnut score lower than Austin and Vanderlyn). Hopefully, people who saw my earlier post will also see this one!
My point remains the same, though: the elementary school scores in the cluster do vary on these measures, and I think some parents are genuinely worried that their kids are going to be sent to a lower quality school than the one they currently attend.
@Stan Jester Please look at this from another lens for just 5 min…please. My kids are 2 of only 6 Children from your zone ES on Dunwoody Club Drive(21 total VES to Kingsley) that are being yanked away from not only a much better FAC ranked VES + ~380 spots down on the state rankings but away from their best friends and neighbors in Dunwoody. The tiny expansion west into Dunwoody Club Drive (D) does not make sense in any capacity and implore you to consider at least this small adjustment to keep my daughters and the other children with their friends and at the school they love….Please!
How do we address the clear conflict of interest, bias and unprofessionalism shown by you Mr. Jester? We’ll make sure our votes count in the next election cycle, but we need an equivalent of the Freedom of Information Act to comb through your emails, bank accounts. The brazen disregard for doing what’s guided by geography, equality and logic is superseded by your arrogance and bullying of everyone in disagreement with you.
Thank you for your input Ms Smith. Following board policy is extremely important to me. Please let me know where/how board policy is not being followed, so that I may advocate for your position.
Many of us are over getting caught in your back and forth. Go look back at the passionate letters of all the parents in your district, yet you only advocate for Austin. You call every other school racist for not wanting a certain type of student yet your white-washed, pristine Austin is the biggest violator (which your home now gets to be apart based on the “out of left field” tactic you pulled on this latest map). What’s this about, you wanting to retain some kind of perfect utopia in your little world? This isn’t some childish debate – grow up and stop showing off pictures of your perfect family skiing and focus on what is EQUAL for all of Dunwoody.
You are so arrogant in every response. I wonder what is wrong with you.
Ms Smith, I haven’t called any school racist. You’re throwing around a lot of accusations and haven’t backed it up with any facts. Please let me know what position you would like me to advocate for. There are no perfect solutions for the obstacles before us. I look forward to a cordial and productive discussion.
@tiffanysmith THANK YOU!!!!!! Where can we meet you for your coffee and conversation?
I’m fairly new to Dunwoody (out of state) and I had heard the first redistricting a few years ago was fairly contentious. Stan, why wouldn’t you remove yourself from the process entirely to avoid any conflict of interest allegations, or worse being accused of steering the process? It’s now becoming an issue that could have been avoided entirely, it just doesn’t make sense to alot of us. Thanks
Remove himself entirely? Stan is our biggest voice with the school board. I feel he’s an advocate for all of Dunwoody. The accusations that he is trying to somehow inflate his homes’ value or get his own kids in a “better” school are unfounded. The entire point of redistricting is to move students from overcrowded schools to less overcrowded ones, yet so many people are complaining that their child might have to change schools. Your child will make new friends while keeping the old ones. We’re currently a DES family and we don’t have any friends that we could walk to their house for a playdate. Since when is that a criteria for choosing friends? When the schools are as large as DES and the new AES, it’s not as likely all your child’s friends will be from your neighborhood. That’s a nonissue, in my opinion. In reality, it’s a bonus. We have neighborhood friends from tennis and swim team, school friends from many neighborhoods, and scout and sports friends from all over Dunwoody.
If you’re throwing around one set of arguments against your child being moved to a neighboring school, but your REAL issue is your home value *possibly* changing, you need to get over yourself. Home value is not a redistricting criteria. There was no guarantee of a particular elementary school when you bought your home, and it’s likely to change again as new schools are built and old schools are renovated.
All of the Dunwoody elementary schools have both pros and cons. Your child will receive all they need at any of our schools, and they just might make amazing new friends if they are redistricted.
@Jenj I didn’t mention anything about home values, kids walking to school…or swim clubs. I asked a pretty direct question. I’m not sure what moved you to write a dissertation, but I’m glad you got it out of your system
@matt My comment was not only a response to your comment. That was a response to observing (for months now) parents complaining about their precious children not being able to make new friends or keep old ones if redistricted, of pretending to be upset because of things like a left turn when the REAL reason was they didn’t want their children to go to a “lessor” school, and of unfounded allegations against Stan who, in my opinion, does an excellent job keeping our community informed and getting our concerns heard by our school district. Stan often goes over and above for our community.
I brought up the many organizations my son has made friends through to illustrate my point. Being friends with neighbors is wonderful. However, being able to walk to a friend’s house for a playdate isn’t a requirement for being friends. Our school is large, almost none of his school friends are walking distance from our house. Proximity to the school is a redistricting criteria, as it should be. Being able to walk to his school friends’ houses, is not a criteria, and, in my opinion, it does not need to be.
As a DES parent, the complaining gets really old because overcrowding is a serious issue and the projected growth shows it’s about to get a lot worse for DES. Redistricting isn’t fun, but it is absolutely needed. Overcrowding needs to be evenly distributed amongst the cluster. Redistricting, by definition, means that some students will have to change schools. Unfortunately, there is no way to please everyone, but it sure would be wonderful if we could work together as a community without bashing other schools or families that don’t happen to live in expensive homes.
My apologies if my comments are too long for your liking. I think through problems and explain my suggestions and comments in an effort to be thorough and clear of my meaning. It is less about getting it out of my system and more about calling people out.
@JenJ – one of the reasons a parent would choose their neighborhood school instead of enrolling their children in one of the excellent charter schools available to DeKalb schoolchildren is the fact that they want their children to have the autonomy that comes with being able to walk to their friends’ houses instead of having to be driven by their parents. Parents with one child may not mind having to hop in the car every time their child wants to work on a school project or just to hang out with one of their classmates, but for those of us who have multiple children (indeed 3 or 4), having to drive our kids every time they want to visit their friends is totally untenable.
Stan does a great job of being the voice of HIS interests. Ask a Chamblee parent how much he cares about any school except his. (Yes, he is supposed to represent Chamblee too.)
I agree he should remove himself from any voting on redistricting that affects his kids. I mean if he’s moving his house to a “better” elem school and thereby increasing its property value, how is he any better than the rest of the corrupt central office?
Please stop the stupid recommendation that Stan should remove himself from this matter. He is our rep and want him involved versus having no rep. His home is in VES and may move to AES. AES is not that good that one’s home increases. New AES will be large and crowded with too much car traffic so I don’t see how that improves anyone’s home value. Village Mill is part of DES and those home value are really high.