Correcting Operations Austin Redistricting Guidance

DeKalb Schools Operations Department attributed false statements to me. Furthermore, neither the group of Dunwoody PACs nor I approved this map, yet Dan Drake is telling people we approved it … that’s just a flat out lie.

On November 14th I had a meeting with staff to provide guidance on Austin redistricting that I collected from a meeting of the elementary school councils in Dunwoody. Subsequent to that meeting, a staffer wrote down their recollection of my guidance.

Mr. Drake has denied creating this document and confirms the statements to be inaccurate and false. In an unprofessional and irregular manner, this document was created and curiously found its way into an Open Records Request before it was validated in any way. Furthermore, DeKalb Schools Operations Department neglected to inform me or the Superintendent that inaccurate and false statements attributed to me were released.

As I said to Mr. Drake this morning, DeKalb Schools Operations Department performed sloppy and embarrassing work that undermines trust and collegiality among the board, staff and community.

This is the email chain and document in question. I will post my actual guidance to the Operations Department staff shortly.

Correcting Operations Austin Redistricting Guidance

Ms. Tyson,
I am writing to follow up on our Wednesday phone conversation. As we discussed, the planning staff produced a document attributing statements to me that were false and inaccurate. As we discussed, if meeting notes are drafted, staff knows to send them to participants for review and validation. Dan called me after you met with him and apologized for the false and misleading statements contained in the document. He forwarded them to me so that I can correct them. Pursuant to our conversation, I am sending you my corrections.

Here are my corrections:

Based on my meeting with the elementary PAC chairs and co-chairs in Dunwoody, I presented Planning with the principles below that had general agreement from the group. I presented no map at the beginning of the meeting and I didn’t leave with a map. While I was in the room, the staff members made map adjustments back and forth. This process continued as I left the room. The final map they produced was completed after I left the meeting.

Thank you for taking the time to address this issue. As you know, the cluster is in need of more capacity at all levels. The same is true for the Chamblee and Brookhaven areas. Planning does not seem to have a long term plan to meet the growing facility needs of these areas. The DHS PAC was told in their last meeting that more modulars are coming with the potential for more loss of trees. I am optimistic that with you at the helm, we can begin to correct for the lack of comprehensive planning.



* Fill new Austin ES (AES)
* Help alleviate overcrowding at Dunwoody ES (DES)

* Geographic Proximity
* Site Capacity
* Walkability
* AES and DES sites have a low site capacity for trailers

* Projected 2024 utilization of AES and DES should be lower and equivalent given that these two sites are not well suited for trailers
* Projected 2024 Chesnut utilization can be higher given that this site is better suited for portables; asking for quads with bathrooms
* Adjust attendance zone border between AES and DES to lower DES utilization
* Adjust attendance zone border between Chesnut and DES to lower DES utilization
* All other areas – no guidance – use guiding principals

107 responses to “Correcting Operations Austin Redistricting Guidance

  1. DeKalb schools is notorious for “sloppy.” Why do you think private schools are so competitive?

  2. Concerned Parent

    Hans Williams told a PAC member weeks ago that you said all of the Dunwoody Cluster PACs agreed to this map (which wasn’t true). So you’re saying that both Hans and the staffer that made this document are lying?

  3. Dunwoody Problems

    This still doesn’t answer why it is being said (and attributed to you) that all PACs signed off on this when that is not the case.

  4. Hans is stretching the truth. I met with the elementary school council chairs and co chairs. We agreed (more or less – Dunwoody ES wasn’t thrilled) on the guidance. I passed that guidance on to the Operations Department. Operations used that guidance to develop the map.

    I’ll publish an open letter to the Operations Department with my corrections to the notes.

  5. I can only hope it’s accurate that you said no families should be moved out of Austin ES. It was surprising and concerning to see a map that had current Austin families moving schools. Our children should not have to move schools twice. My son is very nervous about moving to a new and bigger Austin in January. While it’s the same school, it’s daunting for a young child to move to a new place. To move in January, then move again in August would be completely unfair to the children impacted. No children should be moved out of Austin when our capacity is increasing.

  6. Dunwoody Problems

    Stan, in your comment above – did VES agree to moving DCFW and taking on Post?

  7. Concerned Parent

    Stan I was not told that the schools “more or less agreed.” I was told by a PAC member who attended that meeting that NO Dunwoody schools agreed to this map in your PAC meeting. Which is why no one signed the document you were trying to get them to sign saying that they agreed to the map. If PACs other than DES agreed wouldn’t they have signed your document?

  8. How ironic that Stan “The Court” Jester has become the Donald Trump of the DeKalb County School Board. Is this another alternative set of facts, Stan?

  9. Don’t blame Dekalb on this one, Stan. This is all you buddy..

  10. It’s deja vu. Elementary school parents need to calm down. There’s nothing wrong with any of the elementary schools in Dunwoody except that we need more. Keep going Stan. If the school district is making up lies about you, it means you are doing a good job. Ignore the craziness. The real parents of Dunwoody support you.

  11. Tiffany, what are you talking about? The guy who has screwed up our schools for years writes down lies. That’s on Drake, girlie. Wake up.

  12. Dunwoody Concerns

    Several Dunwoody PACs say you misrepresented their views from the Nov 13th PAC meeting and are contacting the BOE directly about this issue. Many in the community are saying the same. Your red-line and the final version of the Nov 14th notes per your email with Dan Drake will be helpful.

    Vanderlyn PAC wrote a letter about “misrepresentation” located here:

    “During the cluster-wide PAC meeting with District 1 BoE member, Stan Jester, the week prior to November 20, specific lines were discussed that would be affected by the redistricting. Neither lines from SECTION B or SECTION C were discussed in this meeting. However, the latest map in the Staff Plan presented at the November 20th meeting as “agreed upon by the PACs in the cluster” misrepresented our community’s views as the lines for SECTION B or C were never discussed”

    Dunwoody PAC wrote a letter about “ensuring our voices are accurately represented” located here:

    “Region 1 BoE member, Stan Jester, indicated Austin ES “cannot handle this growth,” but it is not clear to us how DES would be any better equipped to accommodate the projected growth of this region than Austin ES.”

    “Members of our PAC would appreciate the opportunity to speak with Mrs. Tyson, Mr. Drake, Mr. Williams and/or any Board of Education members to ensure that our sentiments and voices are accurately represented.”

    DES PAC has stated “The DES PAC did not support this map, and the first point is in opposition of what we have been campaigning for in an effort to advocate for relief of overcrowding and concerns of future growth. This discrepancy has been brought to the attention of the BoE and DCSD leadership.”

  13. concerned parent

    Stan- Do you live in section C on right map that was carved out of Vanderlyn and moved into Austin?

  14. Stan, instead of yelling fake news and passing the blame, how about just make it right? That’s what a good representative of the community would do. Your responses thus far are eye opening and very disappointing. You had the chance to fix the mistakes before this was presented to the community on 11/20. You didn’t take that chance. You didn’t speak up. You saw the map before it was presented.

  15. Stay strong Stan. People like Jon obviously like that the school district tells lies. He just doesn’t get it. The only thing to fix is their lies. Once again Dunwoody is showing how classy it is.

  16. So…how would one request open records for how the insane Doraville decisions went down…..?

  17. @ Jennifer –

    OMG I almost spit my wine. Classy? DUNWOODY?

    Wow, thanks for the laugh…

  18. Concerned Parent

    Stan – Was your personal home’s district changed in-between the 3rd round maps and the “staff recommended plan”?

  19. These PACs are cracking me up. You know there are multiple factions in some schools. I’m sure they are telling Stan different things and representing it as the PAC. You know some parents are making other parents uncomfortable in their own school.

  20. I’ve seen an official DCSD meeting summary that was published without the courtesy of a review by meeting participants. As Stan wrote, this type of behavior “undermines trust and collegiality.” Maybe this was SOP under Dr. Green. I hope Mrs. Tyson sets some different expectations.

    Stan is the good guy here, folks. He may not be perfect but he’s the good guy. I can’t believe the small-minded comments some of you are posting.

    If this is what Dunwoody is really like, count me out.

  21. This is very concerning. Someone is lying. Who is the question. This process has been a disaster which has only been made worse by all of the rumors. How about you clear them up for us. Did you have any involvement in the drafting the current staff plan and if so, what was your specific involvement? Inquiring minds want to know.

  22. It’s pretty obvious that Stan had the maps altered without public participation, and did so to his personal benefit. When an Open Records Request revealed his misdeed, Stan tried to deflect and throw someone below him under the bus.

    There’s really no other option than to start all over and disqualify Stan from participating.

    I can also confirm that two local news stations have opened investigations into this.

  23. I would like to know what the ORR was that generated the material that was posted. Was anything else provided that was not posted?

  24. Stan has been “fact checking” Drake’s numbers for some time, yet he continues to use them to justify his lines on the “Staff Recommended Plan” to all Vanderlyn parents. Something is quite off with this picture and I’m glad we are all holding him and Drake accountable. It takes two to tango.

  25. Keep up the hard work Stan. The community needs you now more than ever. This all statues with the real estate guy in DCF whining about home values. He has a corrupt partner at the central office swamp feeding him lies. This was a total setup by Drake. I hope the interim superintendent sees how toxic Drake has been and the harm he continues to do. The real bad guy is clearly Drake. He’s the common denominator every time.

  26. Stan, get this redistricting done for the good people of Dunwoody then let them have the PantyZiffer next term. The silent majority supports this map. The DES people will never be happy. And neither will be hundreds of others. But overwhelmingly the latest map has wide support.

  27. Section H Family

    Stan, please revisit this map and look at Section H. It isn’t fair that many of the areas will be completely isolated if zoned for Chesnut. Let’s not lose focus and concentrate on how the map worked and didn’t. H residence are requesting your support please.

  28. Thanks for transparency and accountability.

  29. Light Em Up Dunwoody

    In the same effort as all of the mean spirited Dunwoody Blog let’s look at the facts… you know the blog that all of the old Sorority and Fraternity Brothers find hilarious…

    -Everyone that lives on the across Mt. Vernon between Dunkin’ and Kroger need to go to Austin, Mt. Vernon is too treacherous to cross at any given point in the day. This fact is clearly presented by Stan, so it must be true.

    -Those that live on the shopping center side of Mt. Vernon should create their own school district, I’m open for either Stan the Man District or “Real Dunwoody Parents Society of Georgia”

    -Austin should be K-12 because God knows that you all will freak out when you can’t use your immense wealth and influence (whatever that amounts to in a small city in GA) to make DHS or Peachtree any better than it already is. (Stan, can you check on that Middle School or High School at any point in your career and actually do something?)

    -Austin parents should also never cross Mt.Vernon again, you are self-sufficient with a Gas Station and not one but 2 Grocery Stores in your area, I’d hate to hear about one of you making that treacherous trek to get to 285 or Sephora… it’s just too dangerous. While you’re at it stay off of Womack and Vermack Road as well, I have a feeling you’re getting too confused at that 4 way stop sign and creating the issues.

    *Now see how dumb this all sounds and how mean it sounds? That’s what the rest of Dunwoody has been hearing and feeling for literally years going back to the other re-districting attempts. Austin parents, I hope you enjoy your new, safe school, I really do. I hope your children enjoy having a playground, some schools may lose theirs. I hope you enjoy the school that not only YOUR tax money paid for but the rest of DeKalb paid for as well. You’ve managed to alienate the rest of Dunwoody based on your elitist demands and made the rest of Dunwoody resentful as our children suffer in trailers in your attempt to preserve every last penny of your home value while discreetly (far from it) pushing aside those Renters that you don’t want any part of.

    Congrats, if the Staff Map wins you all are the kings and queens of Dunwoody…pardon our dust as the peasants go back to work figuring out how to utilize the postage stamps we have to work with while loving our schools and ALL of the diverse families that make up our communities.

  30. Obviously not everyone was happy with the most recent map and something didn’t smell right. Stan, the good news is this should be fast and easy for you to prove with your PAC support and other data and due diligence supporting the most recent Staff Plan. Or not….

  31. This rude behavior is all from a small handful of people that do not represent the feelings of most. Just read all the nasty comments on the many closed Facebook pages. It’s been eye opening to see what people in Dunwoody really think of each other. It is interesting that a realtor would be involved in trying to devalue a community. He must be great at his job. What kind of place is this?

  32. Stan,
    This situation is so upsetting! It seems that someone is misrepresenting the facts, or was careless and sloppy. Both options are disheartening, but I very much want to believe that our elected BoE rep is honest and trustworthy. I’m withholding judgement on this situation until I see the corrections you mentioned. When can we expect those?

  33. Look out folks PTO Mom aka The REAL Dunwoody Parent aka I live on the right side of Mt Vernon is back in the saddle, the kids have been dropped off and she’s sipping her Starbuck Latte.

    The only thing ugly going on around Dunwoody is the elitist attitude of SOME Austin Parents and those that WANNA-BE Austin parents that are treating the rest of Dunwoody like 2nd class citizens, you all fought to keep Renters out of your life years ago and you’ll continue to do it for years to come. There’s a reason folks don’t want you in their private Facebook pages, they want to have a discussion among their “fake” Dunwoody Parent Groups and figure out how we’re going to maintain normalcy in their schools while inheriting more students that you don’t want clogging up your hallways.

    I just hope you gain some clarity and realize Dunwoody is a great community and it doesn’t just become great once you pass the light at Dunkin’ and the Road that Shall not be named…. AKA Mount Treacherous Vernon. The community is actually larger than Austin. We all will need to work together to fix the Middle School and High School TOGETHER, hopefully you can bring some of the influential pressure you’ve applied to Stan the Man to fix the Middle and High Schools since he’s done nothing about those to his date. It’s a long treacherous journey to the middle school so don’t day dream or get too lost in thought.

  34. Austin Relief Fund

    Dear Dunwoody and Vanderlyn Elementary,

    We understand that you do not have nearly enough space for students and may have to start holding classes in parking lots. While we appreciate that this may cause some minor inconveniences, we are asking for your help in addressing a REAL crisis affecting Dunwoody’s children.

    Every day, Austin children are served gourmet hot chocolate with non-organic creamer options after recess. The emotional toll on these children due to cafeteria shortages of basic staples like sustainably sourced almond milk is immeasurable.

    But with your contributions of just pennies a day, we can end this injustice and ensure that every Austin child is provided with a fresh cup of organic fair trade hot chocolate after enjoying our new state of the art playground.

    Thank you for your generous support!

    Austin Elementary

  35. Dear Austin Relief Fund,
    Where are these parking lots that you speak of at VES? They have a bus turnaround and a very small spot for SOME staff along with street parking for already under paid teachers and Dunwoody parents to fight over. God forbid if folks park on both sides of the street… that’s when Dunwoody Police start handing out parking tickets.

    I hear the next plan is to take over the playgrounds of DES and VES… I guess when they run out of land they can always place trailers on the roof of both schools… at that point we’ll find out if the roof is rotten like many other schools in Dekalb.

    The bottom line is Dunwoody is full of smart, educated and motivated people. How are we not talking about Dunwoody Public Schools? Why are we still Dekalb Co. Schools? Is it too hard? Are we afraid of the responsibility? Why are we infighting and looking STUPID in front of the county and soon to be the City/State/Nation (if the media does pick up and run with this story) You all realize that Austin parents and whomever is lying here is going to look REALLY, REALLY bad if they AJC or a local outlet runs with this story. We should be embarrassed that with the wealth of intelligence and disposable income (looking at you parents who buy their DHS kids $50K cars) that we’re stuck with this level of garbage outcome for our children.

  36. Light Em Up, you might want to rethink that second cup of coffee. You seem to have some serious “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor” issues. Hope that works out for you. You have shown yourselves for what you are. Stay classy.

  37. Another PTO Mom

    @PTO Mom, gee, thank you for minimizing the concerns of other parents in Dunwoody. There are a lot of people that are not okay with this Staff recommended option.

  38. In all honestly, the Dunwoody cluster does need to all pull together to fight for our middle and high school. It is awful how all of this came out, and as a Vanderlyn parent it hurts to see how no one outside of our school wants to discuss our concerns. Section C should have been mentioned in round two if it was a “possibility rumored for years”. The Dunwoody Reporter article should have never been released less than 48 hours after the new map, while Vanderlyn and Kingsley parents were still reeling from the huge impact to their schools. That felt like a low blow and a “check mate”. And then to hear that “all Dunwoody Cluster PACs approved this plan”, when in fact they did not… I’m waiting for real facts to clear Stan, who I had actually come to respect after attending all but one board meetings this fall. I hope you can clear your name, Stan, as you have lost all trust from Vanderlyn parents who have been in contact with you and have shared your feedback with our community.
    Also, why does your email chain not have time/date stamp? Again, real facts that don’t make us question you further, that’s what we need right now.

  39. Another PTO Mom, the only thing that has been minimized is the reputation of the community as a whole by the bad behavior of some parents. People may want to rethink the strategy of trashing your Board member at every turn. People might want to stop telling other parents how bad they are.

  40. All I see and hear around town and online are comments about the “elitist” families at Austin who always divide the community. Austin families are not the ones who have chosen to engage and divide this community and spew hatred! At the end of the day, what does it do for you when you try to ruin people who for the most part are good and only HUMAN – not perfect.

    Check your facts before you continue to spread your divisive rhetoric. My understanding is when Austin PAC chose to go down the new school path, the only option Austin was faced with and DCSD discussed was to renovate “in place” while the children and teachers were in the building (that has no classroom doors), and in the trailers (on land that spews sewage) oh wait, you didn’t know Austin already had trailers? Renovations would not have been large enough to take in any other children from the cluster but just enough to handle its current overcrowding (currently a 500-capacity school w/enrollment of 708 or 142% utilization). That is THE road they and DCSD were going down. NO property could be found by DCSD to build a new school, not even for a swing space. This idea of using the property that the new Austin currently sits on was immediately thrown out by DCSD b/c it was considered a property restricted by deed. Austin would NEVER have rebuilt to a 950-capacity school had certain Austin parents not decided that “for the good of the cluster”, a solution for a much larger school should be found. Those same parents spent hours upon hours of mind-numbing research and ultimately found that the deed/plat for that property was incorrect. They could have buried that but for the good of the ENTIRE cluster, they chose to fight a long battle against the Mayor, the City, Dunwoody Senior Baseball, and PCMS to get the City to sell that property to DCSD. Ask any of the City Council members who are proud to have made this decision for the “entire cluster.” DES and Vanderlyn PACS were asked to help in that battle and both refused.

    Before you keep spreading your displaced hatred, understand that you are generalizing the entire Austin community – the same ones who attend your church, play basketball with your children, end up together in middle and high school, in a very short period of time – based solely on your emotions and probably a minority of families who feel the way you think we all do. Name any school and I guarantee I can find families in this for themselves (as they have a right to be). I believe all schools should speak up, so when AES asks that they not start off w/trailers in a brand new much larger school taking in an additional 180-200 new students from the cluster, without the leadership of their current Principal, they have a right to do so, without feeling guilty b/c they have already sacrificed their smaller school, as certain other schools choose not to w/their silence. Many other schools in the district, including DES I believe, had the opportunity to open under capacity and w/out trailers.Why should austin not ask the same opportunity?

    You also choose to ignore that there are “silent” families who actually don’t mind or want to move to Austin because of their geographic proximity. They are scared to say anything b/c they’d be ostracized in their own neighborhood and by the ones who are spewing this hatred.

    When you start treating people as if they’re worthless and not human, that’s when communities start dividing. Current Austin families were not part of the redistricting years ago. I don’t think Stan Jester has any children in the elementary schools. Austin home values are not outrageously out of whack with other schools in the Dunwoody cluster. Austin is not a better school than the other schools. people are complaining about devaluation of their schools based on demographics. All of these schools have the absolute BEST Principals, who find the BEST teachers, who teach your children to the best of their abilities. this is the majority of the value in your schools. All Austin families are hearing is tantamount to “bring Austin down”. You’re right, this is tearing the community apart and a waste of your time. This process will never make everyone happy Your fight would be better fought against the DCSD process and their slow response to the horrible overcrowding in this cluster as well as other surrounding clusters.

  41. Brandon Adkins

    Hello Dunwoody,

    My name is Brandon Adkins and I’m the author and founder of Life Is Good In The Wood. I wanted to out myself as I have heard that some folks in Dunwoody believe I have ulterior motives for posting recently regarding our BOE representative and the redistricting process.

    I’m a husband, father to three, a Dunwoody resident, an attempting follower of Christ and yes a real estate agent. My primary home is located in the Vanderlyn district, but I also own a rental home in the Austin district and my mom lives in the Kingsley district.

    Prior to my third child being born I was a stay-at-home dad for five years. Once the third was born I decided I needed to turn the day-to-day duties over to a fabulous nanny and get a job outside of the home (AKA a much easier gig). We’ve all been told to do what you love, so I put some thought into it. I loved my community and the city of Dunwoody. I had previous real estate experience as a CPA and so I decided to combine the two and start Life Is Good In The Wood.

    As a dad, a property owner and a real estate agent (that solely focuses on Dunwoody), I clearly have an interest in ALL Dunwoody schools being amazing. I would love nothing more than to have clients come to me and say, “Find me a home in Dunwoody. I don’t care what school district it is in because they all are a 10 in my eyes”.

    When the redistricting process started I was very neutral about the process. I attended all three community sessions and provided feedback in person and through surveys. I thought this was the way it was supposed to be done. It was a formal process and there were interpreters there so that ALL of Dunwoody could participate. Seemed fair, right? Then the “staff recommended” plan came out and I began to hear about side meetings taking place and how certain areas of Dunwoody had our BOE rep’s ear more than others. Well that didn’t sound right I thought. Isn’t he representing an entire district? So I decided I had better get a lot more involved. I have not been happy with what I’ve discovered during that process and it was apparent to me that most of the people I knew felt the same way but had no way of expressing it now that the community sessions were over. So as information became available to me yesterday I decided to share it with ALL of Dunwoody.

    That’s it! I’ve never met our BOE representative. I have no personal vendettas or desire to make one neighborhood more valuable than another. I’m simply a parent that cares and didn’t like what I was seeing happen to ALL of Dunwoody. I hope we can ALL fix what has happened to our relationships with our neighbors and come together as one community to come up with a solution that represents ALL. Thanks and hope you have a happy holiday season!

  42. Eye on the Ball

    DCSD has very successfully distracted us from the bigger and far more important picture of what is happening at the high school and middle school. There is a critical vote happening at Peachtree next week and there is very little discussion around this vote. Why are we fixating on one tiny piece of the pie, we need to think big picture!!! Every elementary school in Dunwoody has its strengths, and will continue to shine regardless of where these lines end up being set. The tone of the redistricting conversation has become divisive and counterproductive. Our children will spend 7 years at the high school and middle schools, and we will all be in the same schools together as one community, we should be building bridges and fixing the issues plaguing those schools!!!

  43. Actual PTO Mom

    @PTO Mom – is that you Nancy?????

  44. Been around a while

    It is my understanding that To fulfill an ORR DCSD needs to send the actual records as they exist. They cannot he changed. So why would Dan contact Stan before they were sent?

  45. @Brandon
    You question Stan’s motives without meeting him, without knowing him, you jump to conclusions based on rumors and now you’re surprised that your motives are questioned. That’s called having the shoe on the other foot. You’re a part of the problem not the solution. You are a toxic NIMBY that is the worst of these other narcissism wine-swilling housewives with too much time on your hands. No one believes you care about ALL Dunwoody schools and working together when you gathered the worst personalities in the internet to start your tirade.

  46. @Light Em Up Dunwoody You add no value to this thread. Your are misinformed. Do you really think you are the first person to come up with the idea that Dunwoody should form its own school district? That would require the state legislature to amend state laws. But thanks for the great idea! Just go back to your bitter rhetoric why don’t you.

    @Brandon Adkins-your posts and comments are slanderous and based on an “anonymous source”. If the ORR is proved to be inaccurate look at the turmoil you have created. You are using your followers on your business page to promote your personal agenda, you are as unscrupulous as you accuse Stan of being! Shame on all of you.

    The VES PAC’s letter claimed to be looking out for community as a whole. That is clearly a lie, they have divided this community. They were quiet in the early rounds, and are now throwing a temper tantrum over losing their “preferred” families. It’s illegal to redistrict based on the type of dwelling, but they have no problem asking the county to do just that and everyone is calling the Austin parents elitists.

  47. @Fed Up. Your recollection of how the new Austin actually came to fruition is spot on. I remember vividly being told by Mayor Mike Davis and the City Council of 2015 that the old Dunwoody Baseball Fields was “deed restricted” land and must be kept as a park. I remember filing open records requests (filed on 10/30/15 if anyone would like to see proof of what we worked on back then) and having my husband going down to Dekalb County Deed Room to find a ledger entry of that pesky deed restriction. I remember being told that the Ball Fields were on too small of a property because of the state requirements for a new school. I remember looking at land plats myself and comparing them to other sites schools were on because I wasn’t accepting that answer as a valid reason. You know what happened after some mom just kept asking questions? When some moms figured out there was no deed restriction? The Land Swap was born! And the City Council took the credit for making this deal happen. No moms tried to bask in the glory but there were several of us behind the scenes working to make that land swap happen. We, the “terrible” Austin moms, back then had to fight Dunwoody Senior Baseball, PCMS families and many others because we were taking away their fields and part of the PCMS land. I remember how terrible we were made out to be 4 years ago. All so we could help get this larger school in Dunwoody.

    I bought my house in Austin in November 2009 because I was told a new school was coming to Austin. At the time I had one child and she was 10 months old. I assumed by the time kindergarten rolled around, that new school would be built. Well, that 10 month old is now (almost) 11 years old and I still haven’t entered the new school. My eldest child’s ENTIRE elementary school career was supposed to be in a different facility. So, when people feel lied to by DCSD, I get it. Because I’ve been lied to the entire time I’ve lived in Dunwoody.

    If people in Dunwoody can’t see the bigger picture, then Dunwoody deserves every trailer we get. And trust me….more are coming….

  48. $50k cars for kids? You must not like your kid. My son’s Raptor was $68,500. @Light em Up, stop being poor!

  49. Brandon, it is impossible to create a map that please more than 60% of residents. Not even the Christ you follow can do it! Now the anti-Christ, aka Dan Drake, he can whip up a map a minute. Brandon, were you okay with the leaked Dan Drake map that took 20% of current Austin students out of the building after construction?

    The truth is that the kids don’t care what school they gonna be at. It’s you whiny ass parents that are all uptight and full of anxiety. And if you child is worried, it’s because they hear you complaining.

  50. Branden, Where do “followers of Christ” take the Biblical lesson to throw stones at people they have never met?

  51. concerned parent

    Brandon- I don’t know you but really appreciate you standing up and bringing this to everyone’s attention.

    I still haven’t not heard Stan explain why the “email chain” he posted is missing dates and has different subject lines??

    How do we add Daniel Drake to this discussion? Perhaps he can add some clarity?

  52. I have no skin in this Dunwoody game, at least not this one. But, DunwoodyMom said it right in her last paragraph just above. Why don’t you people give the new school you’re potentially redistricted to a chance? Go on a tour, meet the principal and teachers before you pass such harsh judgment that’s being spewed on this page. Wow, is all I can say, but I’m really not surprised honestly.

    I’ll tell you what’s happened over in the Chamblee cluster since the staff recommended maps were released. MES parents who are slated to move to Huntley Hills have gone on school tours there, met the principal and teachers. And, guess what…..they all had great things to say and aren’t running around kicking and screaming about being potentially redistricted anymore. So, kudos to those parents for attempting to take a bunch of crappy lemons dealt to them by DCSD and making lemonade. All of you Dunwoody whiners should take note.

  53. Why are people so nasty on here? We are one community or we are supposed to be. Lets just get the facts without attacking people. Did Stan propose the staff recommended map or not? Did he tell Mr. Drake that ALL of the school PACS and PTOS approved the map? Once answered we can take it from there.

  54. Folks, at least Brandon has the guts to attribute his post to his real name. If you want your critique of him to be considered, or any critique for that matter, why don’t use your real name?

  55. He has to use his name after he used his business to promote his sons’ school agenda. Now he’s trying to clear his name!

  56. Agree Neil, I think it’s safe to say everyone in their respective districts will have an opinion and a thought on what may/not have happened and why. Arguing and pointing fingers, as comical as it is, does no good and continues to divide our community. Stan represents all of Dunwoody so we should give him the respect to respond. However, Stan, I think it is safe to say everyone would like to hear a response and if not coming soon, could we have an update on the delay?

  57. Can someone catch me up w what is proposed for the old Shallowford site and also Nancy Creek?

  58. Done with Dunwoody Green

    Dunwoody Green help me understand your statement that area H will be isolated. By virtue of the fact that it’s a neighborhood, it is not isolated. Are you afraid of having to share a school with the apartments that are close to you?

  59. Still waiting for you to publish your “real” guidance to the Operations Department. The difference between the first staff map and the second are huge and, if it’s been falsely attributed to you, then why not tell us what you did say to Operations? You said you would publish it shortly. Also would like to know why you said all Pacs were in agreement (except DES wasn’t thrilled). VES did not approve this map. Are you saying otherwise? Not sure why we can’t get any answers or information from you.

  60. Chamblee lemonade??

    @ Survey Says –

    You’re full of … if you think everyone in Chamblee has played nicely. MES wants a 3-5 academy where Kittredge is because they don’t want to be with the great unwashed in Huntley Hills. One person even said they would rather cover the school with trailers than be forced to redistrict to that school. Ashford Park is screaming about having to cross a “busy road” to get to their redistricted schools. I could go on and on…

    Might want to actually get your facts straight next time. In the meantime, go back to your own whining community.

  61. @Curious, the short term plan for the Shallowford site is…nothing.
    The long term plan for the Shallowford site is…nothing.
    (There is a fast pitch softball team, the Flames, that leases the gym that still remains on the property.)

  62. @Chamblee Lemonade, sadly you are the one who is misinformed. Lots of things and opinions have changed since round 1 discussions, which is where the points that you reference in your post were first surfaced. Many people have become more open-minded about the proposed changes as we’ve all gone through this process TOGETHER. More than I can say for Dunwoody, at least from an outsider’s point of view.

  63. Oh, and one other thing Chamblee Lemonade……southern Dunwoody might want to think about warming up to those of us living in and going to school in the Chamblee cluster. We may all be attending some of the same schools in the future.

  64. I really am glad to see the discussion on this, because I’m approaching it as a learning opportunity. I do care about all the schools in our cluster, as I’ve been attending meetings for everything I can to educate myself and spending countless hours researching what has happened in the past redistricting.

    Let me add that I am glad to hear the heart of “Fed Up”. I hear it through the anger and frustration. We all fear the unknown that comes with redistricting. If it helps at all, I’m a mom of four and our oldest two started at a school with over 1000 students. The school had so many school choice kids (because the principle was a huge proponent of this) that the school was “overcapacity”, but not quite into trailers. We absolutely LOVED that school and still miss it. The larger school allowed for more educational opportunities, resources, and so much more than the small school our children are at now. We love our small school too, but there are things we miss. When we moved away, the first grade had 9 classes and my daughter knew every single kid by first if not by first and last name. My older daughter was in 3rd grade, so of course she knew everyone too. It was a great community and that’s what I’m hoping for at the new Austin as well. Don’t let the size scare you! And, for the record, I, a Vanderlyn parent, was pushing for the new Austin to open without trailers as well.

    Also, its my understanding (have not verified yet) that DES opened under capacity as a 4th & 5th grade academy. All the schools were overcrowded and realized that DES was under capacity, so then came the redistricting of 2012 that left our community relationships in shambles. I’m sure Despina or someone else on here can verify.

    Also, zero of the PAC that was at Vanderlyn when Austin was fighting for the new school is still there today. So please know that all the new families at our school do not fully understand these fights from the past, nor should we be held accountable. Our current Vanderlyn community is just having a hard time understanding why we have 191 students coming into or out of our school for no real benefit to any of the schools, and definitely no huge benefit for any of the students since they are all great schools!

    Anyway, I hope we can all come together, as the Dunwoody cluster, because we do need to get past this and work on the issues at our upper schools. And talk about sending future growth south, because we are fullllllllllll! All of us! Otherwise, we are going to loose great families, because when you don’t feel like you are being acknowledged by your reps or your community, it quickly feels like a waste of time to even try to help with any of the issues in our schools. Let’s start talking in person. Start healing. And start getting things done, for our children and all the children in DCSD.

  65. Chamblee lemonade??

    @ Survey Says – I stand by my statements. Even you admitted they are true. What – you no longer want to take over Kittredge? What – people in Ashford Park aren’t still having a fit about having to cross a road? Not sure if you’re just making things up or that naive.

  66. No making things up over here and I’m not naive. Our cluster PACs have actually been working together for the betterment of our shared schools after the latest round of maps were released…..what a concept! Continue believing what you want to believe @Chamblee lemonade.

  67. @Curious With regards to Shallowford, DeKalb County School District has no plans for it. They seem to believe that the property is not suitable for their now standard 950 student elementary school even though the property is similar in size to the new Austin property.

    With regards to Nancy Creek (currently the Kittredge Magnet School), there has been some discussion about moving the Magnet elsewhere in the district which would then allow Nancy Creek to be used as a neighborhood school. The attendance zone for that school would be open for discussion but could potentially help relieve overcrowding in Dunwoody.

    It disappoints me that the Dunwoody community has failed to reach any consensus as to what the big picture goals of redistricting should be. Without that consensus people are going going to be disappointed and upset by every proposal. I have yet to hear of any family in a single family home that wants to move from their current school. Inevitably those that are redistricted are going to be separated from their neighbors no matter what lines are chosen.

    Regardless where lines are drawn this time around, one fact will remain, in 2020 Dunwoody will still have significantly more students than we have classrooms for. When relief comes, be it in the form of a new school or substantial addition(s) to existing schools, we will need to go through redistricting again. While you may not have to move this time around, you may be moving next. For those who purchase a home because it is zoned to a particular school the only thing I can say is “Buyer beware”.

  68. DCSD just loves to see us fighting while they continue to fail to do their job. Our infighting distracts us from the fact that Dunwoody is an entire elementary school short (not to mention the overcapacity at the MS & HS). DCSD is merely reducing the number of trailers in Dunwoody, and they want us to thank them for how great that feat is. We’re fighting over crumbs when ground should already have been broken for another new school. DCSD — never enough soon enough.

  69. @jm @bengreenwald. Interesting. Are there cross-cluster conversations between Dunwoody and Chamblee? The problem is Chamblee schools (Montgomery, AP) are also way over capacity (like many Dunwoody schools), and Huntley Hills won’t provide that much relief to Montgomery even. It’s not that big. This brand-new John Lewis school is at capacity already – there’s no room to move Ashford Park kids South. I’m not familiar w Go Bond admittedly, but are there specific line items that can be added for facilities that would make people vote yes? How long could that take? It seems like DUnwoody AND Chamblee need more elementary schools (versus being left to try and fight over Nancy Creek or keep pushing into each other). I’ve heard land isn’t the problem….so how can we push for funding and make them use the land they have?

  70. Blame Chip F and Redovian for this mess. We could have had a Elem school ten years ago at the old school site on Shalowford in Georgetown. Chip told board he didn’t want an Elem school across from those brick apartments. #Fact. Former board member told me this years ago. Then our two boards reps (pre Jester) did a land swap and created DES right next to Vandy. We had opportunity to have an Elem school at Perimeter but redovian didn’t do it. And why is he now running the DES PAC? DES folks have short memories. He sold them out to Vandy ten years ago. #Fact. Hilarious. He’s been attacking jesters for a decade as they exposed his incompetence

  71. @curious I’m not personally aware of any discussions, but it is obvious that the north side needs additional elementary, middle school and high school capacity. if that comes in the form of new schools and not just additions to existing schools, I see the need for redrawing all of the attendance zones and High School Cluster boundaries.

    For years I have heard the mantra that Dunwoody kids need to attend schools in Dunwoody. With such an expansion, that may not be possible. I have heard that an immediate solution for High School overcrowding is to move attendance zones throughout DCSD to fill unused seats in South Dekalb. If that happens neighborhoods currently going to Dunwoody High School will end up going to Chamblee High School.

    I don’t believe that DCSD administration really cares about the particulars of what neighborhood goes to what school and where boundary lines are drawn. What they do care about is getting votes in favor of a GO bond and the $200+ million that will give them to spend. I believe this entire process has been about making that happen.

  72. @Ben Greenwald, you are spot on with your assessment.

    @Curious, there was a line item with funds allocated for a new elementary school in the Chamblee/Dunwoody area on the most recent version of the proposed GO Bond project list. That discussion (and the revised ESPLOST V project list) have been tabled for now by the administration. If the GO Bond doesn’t make it to referendum or get passed, then everyone’s next chance to advocate for funding of a new school in their area is ESPLOST VI. Those discussions start Fall 2020. To give you a sense of when a new school could get completed using ESPLOST funds, there are ESPLOST IV projects that are still outstanding, these programs run on a 5 year cycle. In theory, GO Bond funding would be available sooner if the BOE and voters approve.

  73. To be clear, ESPLOST VI would not start until 2023, which means theoretically a new schools could be open in 2024. Realistically its more likely to be 2025 to 2030 completion. All of this means that if you currently have children in Elementary school it is not likely that they will benefit. The attraction of a GO bond is that it could potentially provide a new school earlier than that.

  74. Concerned parent

    I just want fairness. Every Dunwoody School should have the same amount of apartment complex (RENTERS ) feeding each school.

  75. Tired of rudeness

    @concerned parent- that is actually illegal. You are not allowed to look at the type of housing when determining lines, so good luck with that. Also the RENTERS in all caps wasn’t really necessary. I feel really bad for all the apartment families who are reading these blogs and Facebook groups. They must feel so welcomed in the Dunwoody cluster.

  76. Just the facts, Sir


    If you had no part in this, and that map was all Drake, then why were you 100% defending it at the last BoE meeting, explicitly telling parents that AES couldn’t handle the growth but VES and DES could?

    You were asked point blank about lying and saying that all the PACs agreed to that map, to which you had no answer. But once the Board’s attorneys released the documents, your story miraculously changed instantaneous.

    Wouldn’t it have been much easier and honest of you right then and there to respond that you had no part in those changes and you were just as surprised as everyone else? Or even release a public statement at anytime between Nov 20 and Dec 11 stating that you never saw it and it is a total mess?

    Instead it took you being caught in a lie due to an open records request to make a public statement doubling down on the same lie.

    See, it’s easy to lie (again) now and say it was all Drake, but you never mentioned
    that, not once, when you passionately defended everything about this map that you now admit is totally flawed.

    Or was that Drake pretending to be you when you stood up and adamantly defended the map at the meeting? Or maybe Hans was impersonating you?

    Can’t pin that on him them too, Stan.

    The thing about lies is once they’re out, you can’t put the lid back on them. Trust is broken forever. The map felt wrong and shady from the beginning to anyone paying attention. And now the truth has come out, confirming what everyone believed from the start.

    That one sheet of paper is so damning, that you are frantically flinging mud everywhere just hoping something will stick… “Drake is a liar”… “Hans is a liar”… oh and by far the best is “DCSD’s lawyers performed sloppy and embarrassing work”. You mean by following State law and releasing the document? I guess the lawyers are also part of the same conspiracy to move your house into the zone with a new facility and the least overcrowding? Or maybe they’re just smart enough not to hop aboard your sinking ship.

    Stan, you even posted that same map (you know the one you didn’t know anything about or approve) with the meeting reminder on this very blog (page back folks- Stan, don’t bother, it’s over, there’s screenshots). This tantrum (and deleting unfavorable posts) is fooling anyone, you’re just embarrassing yourself, insulting everyone’s intelligence and further cementing your guilt.

    So please, just do everyone and yourself a favor and recuse yourself from this already.

  77. Brute Force Attack

    Not sure how Sandy Springs pulled this off but they literally have a dedicated elementary school for high density residents (Lake Forest Elementary). Subdivisions across the street on Lake Forest are all districted to Heards Ferry.

  78. @ Just the facts, Sir
    Completely agree with you! Thank you!

  79. Please stop the stupid recommendation that Stan should remove himself from this matter. He is our rep and he needs to be involved versus having no rep. There is this notion that AES is/will be the best ES on earth. It isn’t. And another notion that homes in AES district are super high – they are not. Homes that haven’t been updated or are small don’t have a high value. That is common sense and what actually is occurring. AE 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 values are really high. That neighborhood is so nice that it seems selected when movies are filmed in Dunwoody. The neighborhood off Valley View has somewhat new homes and are very high in value – they are newer and large and have basements. They are districted for DES. Another example is Dunwoody Club Forest. This is a huge subdivision and there are some small, not very attractive looking homes there and some homes that haven’t been updated. They are not just going to sell for high value due to being in VES.

  80. Just the facts, Sir

    @c you’re right, AES may lose their representative. But the documents and lies prove that the rest of the cluster never had a representative.

  81. Stan,
    I just saw your response to the VES PAC. Please provide some hard data to support your points. Correct me if I am wrong, but Section C crosses the “treacherous road” at a newly constructed intersection with cross walks and a stop light. Meanwhile the proposal has buses turning left across the four lanes and turn lane at Ashford Dunwoody.
    As for utilization, I believe VES drops one percentage point in most recent staff plan, but still remains almost 16 percent higher utilization than cluster average and the most trailers. Kingsley and Chestnut actually see increases. Not to mention swapping roughly 90 single family homes for an apartment complex likely increases variability. And if the Jefferson is used as a proxy, that variability should be high.
    To be clear this is not about apartments. This is a public school system and all should share in the burdens of overcrowding. Let’s let unbiased data guide us to an equitable solution.
    P.S. lots of people are yearning to see a response to your own blog.

  82. @Brute Force Attack
    It’s even more dramatic than what you stated. Homes *on* Lake Forrest were zoned to go to Heards Ferry and not Lake Forest ES. In re-reading about this, both Heards Ferry ES and High Point ES pushed most of their apartments, a few homes and townhomes, and commercial areas into the new Lake Forest. I thought it was mostly Heard Ferry that was playing rough. High Point was as well. The shape of the county, borders with Atlanta, Cobb, and DeKalb created a narrow funnel on the map that limited this redistricting to only the 3 schools.

    One novel approach to building Lake Forest that DCSD could try in Region 1 was how the land was acquired. Fulton County bought an entire street, demolished all the homes, then built the school. The overcrowding was great, and land wasn’t readily available. Fulton County created a way.

  83. For those who believe that DCSD will move Kittredge and re-open Nancy Creek as a neighborhood school, where do you think DCSD will find space for 480 grade 4-6 students?

    Moving Kittredge to Doraville United was the best near-term opportunity.

    There is exactly one elementary school (Wadsworth) and exactly one middle school (Bethune) in DCSD with capacity to absorb 480 Kittredge students. Both of these are located in Region 6, definitely south of the geographic center of DCSD.

    The only other elementary school under construction is Smoke Rise, located in the heart of the chemical/industrial section of Tucker. But if the design of Doraville United isn’t suitable for Kittredge’s grade 4-6 students then I don’t see how Smoke Rise would be any more suitable.

    So since DCSD decided not to move Kittredge to Doraville United now, I don’t see any other option in the near term that would permit re-opening Nancy Creek as a neighborhood school. We might want it to be true but the facts show that it is highly unlikely.

    This is DCSD’s leverage for a GO Bond. They have decided NOT to find a solution now, so that they can say that the GO Bond is the only way to solve this problem. This isn’t honorable and doesn’t put the best interests of children first.

    But we’ve come to tolerate this. And so this is what we’ll get.

  84. Inquiring minds

    Mr Jester-

    I have noticed you just changed your original message for the 3rd time (second time today) since this document came to light. We want to know, why you feel it was necessary to alter your post without addressing all the questions in the comments section. It is obvious that you are following the comments. So, why are you not publicly answering them? We all are beginning to question who do you represent and what else has transpired behind closed doors.. It is more apparent that you are trying to down play your roll in this current map without providing the answers all of the parents in the Dunwoody cluster are seeking. .

    Bottom line- we want a board member who can truly reflect what his/her district needs as a whole. What are you going to do make that happen?

  85. Answer The Question

    Stan – It’s a simple question. Was your personal home moved to a different school district in between the maps released for public comment and the “final” map that was released?

  86. Are We Done Yet

    Let’s take a trip down memory lane, back to 2015 when Austin found out that the land swap would go through and they could build a new school with extra seats. The then PTO president at DES approached the other PTO presidents to sign a letter asking DCSD to redistrict more high growth areas to Austin with those new seats. The VES president would not sign because she said VES would not be affected or “worse case scenarios, dunwoody club forest west would move and no one is upset by that.” You can hunt those people down and confirm. There has been some changing of the guard since then and maybe that wasn’t in the binder, but THAT was the first and only message DCSD receive from VES until Oxford Chase spoke out.

    Some of you have just started paying attention to this process, which is fine, but do your research. By research, I don’t mean half-a$$ un-researched or confirmed by a real estate facebook page. DCSD is riddled with corruption, hence the cleaning house. The fact that some of you believe that Dan Drake wouldn’t lie is cute. Many of us have personally caught Drake in lies regarding trailers, paving, coo’s, fire marshal inspections, just to name a few since JULY. When Bell departed that made the eighth cabinet-level change of the nine positions, not counting regional superintendents, since January 2018.

    God help us if we get the 2nd middle or high school we’ve been begging for. That redistricing will be a blood bath.

  87. Keep going Stan. You will never be able to make everybody happy with redistricting. You should change the name of your post every day to troll these people.

  88. How many times have I seen Dan Drake spin the truth and/or lie:

    1. Told us that he would put gutters and change roof slope on all the quads by Fall Break or Thanksgiving break so that the mold issues wouldn’t happen again. Haven’t seen any gutters yet. Or even a timeline for that matter.

    2. Told us that the oldest trailers in the Dunwoody cluster were 14 years old but when we looked it up, there are some that are over 30 years old.

    3. Told us that he had performed air quality tests on all the trailers in DCSD, but when we asked (many times) for copies of the air quality tests, we found out that they were only done for 2 quads at PCMS and 2 quads at DHS.

    4. Told us that the reason why he can’t build an elementary school tall is because Kindergarten and 1st grader’s need to be on the main level of a building so they can exit safely in the event of an emergency. Yet, he allows 3 1st grade classrooms take place on the 2nd floor of DES. Does our COO not care about those kids safety?

    5. Told me that he couldn’t rebuild a prototype school on the old Austin site (pre 2016 land swap) because of the limitations to the property (gas line under it, power lines nearby) however through an ORR I filed recently, I found the State’s approval of the old Austin site to be used for a prototype school. Meaning the land swap literally wasn’t needed.

    6. SPLOST V budget shortfalls and the GO Bond proposal. The whole thing is riddled with untruths.

    Those of you that are choosing to believe that Dan Drake is a truth teller are in for a big surprise, because I haven’t found much, if anything, that has come out of his mouth that is truth. Time for an interim COO to come in and replace the current interim COO.

  89. @Anonymous a potential new site for Kittredge is the old John Lewis Elementary which currently sits empty. Dan Drake wanted it torn down this fall. Stan helped prevent that. The new Cross Keys is a potential location for the High School Magnet. Moving the magnet would increase neighborhood capacity in north DeKalb.

  90. @Ben Greenwald,
    Right now, I believe the DCSD/GaDOE approved site plan for the new Cross Keys High School includes the land where the old John Lewis Elementary is located.

    Perhaps they could keep the elementary school and use it for Kittredge. But that would mean a smaller campus for a larger Cross Keys (they plan to make it larger so it will hold the Magnet program). Changes like this typically make the cost increase. But we’re used to that.

  91. @aninymous. I believe the new Cross Keys is going to be on the site of the former Briarcliff High School.

  92. To everyone here who supports the Staff Recommended Redistricting Plan, I want you to understand that if you like this plan, you really want the plan to have been the consequence of a legitimate process. The reason is that there are winners and losers here. You’re happy with this plan because you are getting some things that you want. Unfortunately, other people are not. You want those people to be able to accept that, and move on.

    People accept the negative results of a process like this when they can say to themselves that even though they didn’t get what they wanted, at least the process was fair. They had an opportunity to voice their concerns, and those concerns were taken seriously, but in the end, other priorities prevailed. If they can say that, they can move past this.

    Unfortunately, thats not what happened here. We had a three phased redistricting process. The purpose of the first phase is to collect general community input and desires. The purpose of the second phase is to disclose to the community major changes that are contemplated, so the community has an opportunity to digest those changes and speak up if they see any negative impact from them.

    The purpose of the third phase is to present a final plan based on the previous feedback rounds. The third phase is not a “free for all” phase in which radical new changes are supposed to be proposed for the very first time. Of course, its possible that new lines might appear at this phase, but the staff ought to be extremely cautious if doing so, because any such change hasn’t been subjected to the community feedback that the whole process is intended to collect.

    There are a whole lot of people who are potentially impacted by these changes, people who have jobs, kids, and lives, and they need the time between these phases to become informed about what is going on and to organize their input. To propose significant new changes suddenly at the third phase of the process, as the Staff Recommended Plan does, totally invalidates the entire public input process.

    So if you support the Staff Recommended Plan and you are wondering when you are going to hear the end of this, you won’t, and this is why. It is not just that there are people in the community who feel that they lost something in the process. It is that those people cannot accept the results and move on, because the process itself was flawed, and it seems like the people running the process wanted it to be that way. The specter of lies being propagated about PAC endorsements, and the vitriol being flung about in forums like this just adds to the picture.

    I can’t send my kids to a school that is run by district staff and an elected representative who clearly do not care about my legitimate right to provide input on decisions effecting my family, and that is a problem that runs far deeper than who is and is not going to which school.

  93. @Ben Greenwald,
    The DCSD Facilities map shows that the old Briarcliff High School site is 17.58 acres.

    At the December 2018 BOE meeting Dan Drake presented a waiver request letter and a site plan for the new Cross Keys High School, showing a 26.8 acre site for the new school.

    You can see he waiver request letter at

    The site plan for the new school ( clearly shows that the new Cross Keys will use the old John Lewis site (east of Adams Stadium) in addition to the old Briarcliff HS site.

    (Footnote: DCSD submitted a revised site plan request in January 2019 showing a 31.2 acre site for the new school. Apparently GaDOE thinks that the Adams Stadium acreage should be included, even though Adams Stadium won’t “belong” to Cross Keys anymore than North DeKalb Stadium “belongs” to Chamblee. Just ask any spring sport coach about how little access Chamblee kids have to North DeKalb Stadium, even though it is the ONLY track and field asset and full-size practice field for the entire cluster.)

    It might be nice to think that the District could use the old John Lewis site as a new home for the Kittredge Magnet students. But that’s not what the District presented to the BOE nor what the BOE approved.

    Of course, all bets about E-SPLOST-V projects are off now. But the details matter. If the public doesn’t watch the details we’ll be sold a new bag of lies to replace the old one.

  94. This news article from November 2018 has the location being at Briarcliff High School location.

    This article on costs from last month also has it being built at Briarcliff High location.

  95. @Ben Greenwald,
    Yes, the new Cross Keys High School will be built at the old Briarcliff High School location. This property is west of Adams Stadium.

    But the old Briarcliff property is less than 18 acres. That’s why, for a 2300 FTE high school, DCSD has to also use the land on the EAST of Adams Stadium. This is the is where the old John Lewis Elementary School is located.

    That’s how Dan Drake calculated the 26.8 acres site size that he included in the waiver request to GaDOE. According to the site plan, there will be a parking lot where the old John Lewis Elementary School is located.

    That’s what I meant about details. Yes, the new Cross Keys will use the old Briarcliff High School property. But because it’s way too small, even with a multistory building, they have to include the land where the old John Lewis Elementary School is located.

    Maybe they could rework the design, but a 2300 FTE school on just 18 acres doesn’t sound feasible. Even Chamblee has almost 21 acres for its 1723 capacity.

    Keep in mind, of course, that current GaDOE guidelines say that for a 2300 FTE high school a 43 acre site is needed. But hey, what’s a few acres among friends? Let’s just squeeze 2300 teenagers plus 200 staff into a small space, in an area with lots of traffic and big CHOA/Emory construction in work, and see what happens.

    The new Cross Keys High School won’t have its own track and field facility. This new high school won’t have a baseball field on-site but will use one on the OTHER side of I-85. Again, let’s handicap the athletes at this big new school and see what happens.

    Last post on this. If I haven’t explained it well enough then I give up.

  96. Quick question: where did students from Briarcliff end up going? Why was that HS closed as it is is in a growing area so why close it? How was DC able to absorb the re-assigning if those students to other crowded schools?

  97. @C – Don’t know the specifics of Briarcliff but DCSD has closed lots of high schools (Henderson, Sequoyah, Shamrock and maybe others) over the years – those around 1996 I think. Those 3 were converted to middle schools. No new additional high school has been built in region 1 or 2 since Dunwoody was built in the late 60s – early 70s.

  98. If you look at the map for chamblee elementary schools, there is a section of John Lewis ES that is to the East of Buford Highway. Those students were sent to Briarcliff and fernbank 3 or 4 years ago due to lack of space. In exchange, my understanding is that there was a promise made that those students would be districted to the new school, which was actual possible to do.

  99. Apparently I'm old

    Briarcliff high school was closed as a traditional high school a long time ago, in the 70’s or 80’s. It was “open campus” high school in the late 80’s/early 90’s, where kids would go who needed non-traditional school/different timeline. Then at some point in the 90’s it was changed to the Art’s high school. Someone probably knows the timeline better than me, but suffice it to say that Briarcliff has not been a traditional high school for 30+ years.

  100. Druid Hills Grad

    In the 1980’s, Dekalb County did not have middle schools. Elementary schools were k-7 and high schools were 8-12. In 1986, it was determined that Briarcliff did not have enough students to stay open. The 8th grade class was sent to Druid Hills that year (86-87). The following year, the school closed and the rest of the grades were sent over. Dekalb County made the decision to convert some of the existing high schools to middle schools in the mid-late 1990’s. Redan, Shamrock, and Henderson are all former high schools which were converted and merged so that the new system was elementary k-5, middle 6-8, and high school 9-12.