Nancy Creek Elementary School could provide relief to 600 elementary students across the Dunwoody and Chamblee clusters as early as Fall 2020.
Address: 1663 E Nancy Creek Dr
Nancy Creek Elementary School
Nancy Creek Elementary School was built in 1970 and served the local area south of the perimeter for almost 40 years. Due to under utilization, in Fall 2008, Nancy Creek ES students were moved to Huntley Hills ES and Montgomery ES to make room for Kittredge and the high achievers magnet.
The old John Lewis ES (next to Adams Stadium and Kittredge Park on N. Druid Hills Rd) was named Kittredge before they changed it a couple years ago. It was where the high achievers magnet was located before it moved to Nancy Creek.
During the redistricting process, my push to consider alternative solutions to add elementary school capacity in the Dunwoody and Chamblee clusters, including finding a new, suitable location for the high achievers magnet, was met with resistance from the former Superintendent and his staff. Interim Superintendent Tyson started in November and has taken a different approach.
Superintendent Tyson is taking a second look at moving Kittredge back to its original home at the old John Lewis ES site and opening Nancy Creek back up in Fall 2020. Nancy Creek could be used to provide relief to the Dunwoody/Chamblee Clusters until a new school can be built with a target opening date in 2023. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Superintendent Tyson soon on the potential for this plan to be deployed in the Fall.
Absolutely move Kittridge from the building formerly known as Nancy Creek Elementary School. Kittridge needs to be more centrally located for all DeKalb County students. Montgomery has been overcrowded for years. As a resident of this area for over 40 years, my husband and I highly support this proposal. Do it!
Forgive me for not knowing but where is the “old John Lewis ES site”? I’m assuming you’re not talking about the new John Lewis ES that opened in Brookhaven a few years ago. Thanks.
How would this effect the plans for the new Cross Keys HS? The plan includes using the old Kittredge property as part of the site for the new high school.
Hey Dunwoody Dad, Whoops … I meant to put something like that in there. Try that.
Stan- Sorry, not sure I’m following, didn’t see any changes to the post or anything indicating where the old John Lewis ES site is located. Thanks.
Insider, I’d have to dig up the A&E plans, but I don’t believe the old John Lewis property was going to be part of the new Cross Keys HS.
Dunwoody Dad … hmmm … ok … try that … old John Lewis ES site (next to Adams Stadium on N. Druid Hills Rd)
What will be the process of deciding who goes to the re-opened Nancy Creek? It seems like we are late in the game to notify parents of change – both those attending Kittredge and those who might move to a new neighborhood school.
Thanks, Stan, now I see it & know where you’re talking about. From what I remember seeing the sign out front there was a magnet-type school there several years ago that I’m guessing has closed. Was either a science & math school or language-based, something like that, can’t recall exactly.
The best news I’ve heard from DCSD in a long time!!
Any idea what the process will be and timeline for drawing an attendance zone for Nancy Creek?
Do you anticipate this will be a permanent move for the affected communities – ie. they won’t subsequently be redistricted to the promised new Dunwoody/Chamblee elementary school? The reason that I ask is one of the stated reasons for not wanting to move more students into Austin was not wanting to make children move twice. Redistricting children to Nancy Creek now and then again to the new Elementary school in 2023 or 2024 would violate this principle.
The old John Lewis is where the Kittredge high achievers was before moving to Nancy Creek. It was named Kittredge for a long time and is next to Kittredge Park.
Take your highest scoring school and put it in a building where they can’t really thrive – nor fit? KMS has more classes than the Lewis holds.
Stan mentioned it above, but just to highlight, the “Old John Lewis” was the “Old Kittredge” first. Kittredge has only been at Nancy Creek since 2008.
Very interesting – thanks for continuing to push this Stan. I don’t want to assume, but is it reasonable to predict if this goes through and NCES opens in Fall 2020, it would relieve primarily via portions of DES and Montgomery? Curious as to what your thoughts are on how to optimize those lines for cluster balance in the short term.
Also – can someone clarify exactly where the land is that DCSD owns on Shallowford that could be a potential school site in the future?
I expect the new Nancy Creek to provide relief to primarily MES, DES and to some extent Ashford Park. I have not considered what movements would be made. I expect the attendance lines to be drawn with Geographic Proximity being the primary driver in accordance with board policy.
The Old Shallowford Site
The old Shallowford/Chamblee Middle School campus consists of one main school building located at 4680 Dunwoody Road. The original campus was constructed in 1968, an addition to the main school building was constructed in 1969, and a gymnasium building and covered walkway were constructed in 1998.
A 2011 Facility Condition Assessment complied for the district concluded:
“The main building is in overall poor and unsatisfactory condition. The main building and site are unsafe for entry and are not habitable or operational. A majority of the main building and site systems and components are damaged, deteriorated, or worn beyond economical repair or renovation. The main building and site present significant safety and liability hazards and it is recommended that the main building, 1998 gymnasium, covered walkway, and site are to be demolished and removed.”
Having looked at the enrollment #s across both these clusters, I could see wholesale changes in lines based not just on distance, but also traffic patterns. This is merely my opinion, but logically, i could see something like just north of 285 going south to Nancy Creek along Cham-Dun Rd. Similarly, I could see some Ash-Dun Rd going south towards Montgomery. All this only happens with greater capacity across both clusters. I don’t see kids going on 285 on school buses to go one exit over (in either directly along Ashford/Chamblee/Shallowford Dunwoody Rds). There are simply no cross roads to do so aside from 285. Thus, North/South will be the only answer. I could see the Shallowford site being used as a New Magnet school. That said, it is not an ideal location for where the capacity problems reside. Thus maybe use it as a theme school. I personally think a Nancy Creek total rebuild is the ideal location as it will unburden Montgomery, unburden DES, and Chesnut. That site location would be a domino effect moving Dunwoody kids (VES/Kingsley/DES/Chesnut) south thus lessening their enrollment.
The net/net of all of this is once the new capacity arrives, people will simply have to accept change. New radically different lines will have to be drawn.
The land DCSD owns is at the intersection of Chamblee Dunwoody and…. Chamblee Dunwoody. Currently, it is an empty grass lot with a gym used by a softball team. It was the former Shallowford Elementary School from the 70’s/80’s. It was also used as a Middle School in the ’90s for a brief time.
DESParent, the Shallowford property: Leave Dunwoody Village area, passing the library on your left. Keep going until the big intersection with all the dentist offices. Turning left goes to Brook Run – don’t go that way. Instead, turn right toward Waffle House in Georgetown. The property is immediately on your right. There’s an old steel building used as a gymnasium, and occassionly rented out by a video crew for soft porn vids.
I have a hard time they could get it done that quickly.
This is great news! I hope it happens!
This re-use of this building as a traditional K-5 is perfect. Can hardly wait for the redistricting process for the first Dunwoody munchkins to be exported. In which neighborhood does Ben reside? Asking for a friend.
What is the condition of the old John Lewis school building at this time? Is any renovation required for either the old John Lewis or current Kittredge building? So you’re saying any renovations, redistricting, staffing a new school, and reworking bus routes will be accomplished in the next 6 months? I’ve had kids in the DCSD schools for almost 10 years and based on performance to date I find that timeline hard to believe.
Hey Stephen. The new John Lewis Elementary facility located at 2630 Skyland Drive opened in Fall 2019. The old John Lewis ES was used as an elementary school through Spring of 2019. Tyson is requesting a $1 million renovation project at the old John Lewis site. I haven’t seen the details/scope of that renovation yet.
Thanks, Stan. Do you think it’s realistic to try and accomplish any of this in time for next school year? Certainly the requested renovation would not be done yet.
Things are moving pretty fast. I don’t think the renovation would prevent the students from moving in. I’ll know more by this time next month.
How about renovating the Shallowford site and turning it into a specialized school for kids with dyslexia? A school like that would pull students from all local schools. It would relieve overcrowding everywhere and provided very needed specialized services to these kids. There are a lot of dyslexic kids and many more will be identified after SB 48 is implemented.
1. What is the capacity and condition of the old Kittredge/old John E Lewis building off Druid Hills Rd? Can that building be made ready in time for the 2020/2021 school year?
2. Currently KMS students continue to Chamblee Middle School for grades 7-8. What middle school would Kittredge Magnet students attend if the 4-6 magnet program moves to the location off Druid Hills Rd? Does that middle school have capacity for the 150 or so students in each grade added by the magnet program?
3. How is this proposal being communicated to magnet school stakeholders, and will we have an opportunity to be part of this conversation?
So two days ago when I asked you about timing of moving Kittredge to John Lewis you said “I don’t have a timeline for moving Kittredge to John Lewis. It’s still somewhat preliminary.” What changed in 48 hours and can we now know about the number of seats at John Lewis and grades that you would want to move. It’s really late to start talking about moving a whole school 30 minutes away. Will teachers and staff come, how many students will make the move? When Kittredge left 10 years ago it wasn’t just thrown out at the last minute without time to start applying for schools outside the DeKalb system.
A.J. Rollins | January 15, 2020 at 2:16 PM |
Stan, What’s the timing of the proposed move of Kittredge back to John Lewis Elementary? Would it be grades 4-6 ? What is the capacity of John Lewis?
Stan Jester | January 15, 2020 at 2:20 PM |
I don’t have a timeline for moving Kittredge to John Lewis. It’s still somewhat preliminary.
Are any repairs required for the old John Lewis building? From my experience 6 months isn’t enough time for DCSD to take care of whatever has rusted and broken from years of vacant neglect. It takes that long to repair locks on the bathroom stalls at Kittredge.
I back what Anon says regarding a school for Dyslexic children. We have hundreds of Dyslexic children that would love to come home to their neighborhood schools instead of paying $40k a year! MAKE THIS HAPPEN STAN! You know i have the data to back that statement too.
Stan – will the district provide a bus to the new KMS for Dunwoody kids if this move happens?
Sigh…. if you make the CHOICE to enroll your child in any of the school choice programs available inside Dekalb County that comes along with “it’s not the districts responsibility to provide transportation to your child” Also, thank you for putting this on the table. Hopefully kids at MES won’t have their basketball court taken over by trailers, and we’ll get to keep our Art teacher in a classroom vs art on a cart, oh and our stem labs that PARENTS paid to build won’t be turned into classrooms. Please please make this happen ASAP
I firmly believe reopening Nancy Creek to BOTH the Chamblee and Dunwoody clusters is an excellent idea. Thank God the idea of having a 3-5 for the spoiled MES community died out.
However, this push for immediate relief is ridiculous. Will waiting one year – so that the school Kittredge is moving to is ready, teachers are prepared for the move, bus schedules are lined up, etc – really be that big of a headache?
Why not announce it in the coming months for fall 2021. Then people can fight about the inevitable redistricting to Nancy Creek (you know they will), the John Lewis ES can be fixed, and people (teachers, students, parents) can actually PLAN for the move.
This is just same ol’ DeKalb. Rush into something instead of making a plan.
Only in Atlanta can you have the corner of Chamblee Dunwoody and Chamblee Dunwoody! LOL
@Roger P – my sense is the administration is keeping all of those details close to the vest because the communications have been a nightmare.
@Stan Jester – when was the last time a Facility Condition Assessment was conducted on the old John Lewis building?
The magnet program is a school choice program that is offered by the DCSD, funded by all taxpayers in the district. I don’t think there’s any need to get hostile with a current Kittredge parent asking about transportation options to a new location. Whether intentional or not, DCSD is excellent at getting District 1 residents to engage in a circular firing squad while we all try and protect the turf of our neighborhood schools (and/or magnet schools, in this case). All the while, the entire reason we’re engaged in this discussion is because of incompetence, mismanagement, and sometimes worse…at all levels of DCSD leadership. Let’s focus on the real problem. It’s not parents asking about transportation options.
As a parent to kids at DES and also Kittredge, I can see the logic in using the Nancy Creek school for K-5 to relieve overcrowding (even thought it would be more inconvenient for us – that’s fine). However… the Nancy Creek school is not in good shape by any means. It’s an old school with lots of issues – maybe not quite as bad as the old Austin, but not far from it. Seems short sighted to jump so quickly into this as an option for fall 2020 given the condition of NC and the old John Lewis.
Stan, Why would you be in favor of taking the HIGHEST ACHIEVING SCHOOL IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA (Kittredge), which is made up of primarily kids from the North Dekalb area, and moving it more toward the center of the county? The south/central part of the county is already served by Wadsworth, which is the other Magnet school of Dekalb County. Part of the county’s stated goal in redistricting is to affect the fewest children possible while still try to alleviate overcrowding. Moving Kittredge magnet program and filling the school with neighborhood kids will affect a minimum of 900-1000 kids, plus create hardships for those that selected the program due to the proximity of where they lived. This action on your part clearly shows that you are NOT in favor of encouraging and challenging the county’s best and brightest and are more concerned with catering to the masses. Congratulation in contributing to the public school’s dumbing down to the lowest common denominator.
@Will a year hurt… spoiled MES? How throwing out the idea split campuses (years ago when we saw what was coming) make us spoiled? It was an idea, one that APS has implemented and worked beautifully. IF the money wasn’t there for Chamblee Cluster, unlike all other clusters to get a new school, why not look at other options? Although, if you are from Dunwoody you are probably sitting in your little bubble thinking that the new Doraville United school is in our cluster. MES, like every other school in the booming area is overcrowded. We simply asked for a long term solution not one that moved kids from one school to another only to still be in trailers. Yes, we may need to “suck it up” for a year or two, but I think we can do this like Dresden, CR and Hightower did for years with no plan for relief. Everything at this point is pure speculation and everyone needs to take a deep breath. Dunwoody/Chamblee need relief, i truly believe long term plans may finally be considered and implemented.
A further question. It is my understanding the old John Lewis/Kittredge building is in the Druid Hills attendance area. DCSD has so far made it a priority to keep students in the same cluster from elementary through middle and high school. Would Kittredge Magnet students be added to chronically overcrowded Druid Hills HS? That’s just moving these students and the number of seats needed from one overcrowded cluster to another.
I don’t anticipate the CCHS magnet going to Druid Hills.
When they moved Kittredge from its previous location to its current location, they did not change the middle school or high school. I don’t think KMS parents should be concerned about that.
However, if there are 6,000 empty seats in Dekalb High schools, why wouldn’t they move the Magnet to one of those? You could then move the Dunwoody Elementary school attendance zone to the Chamblee middle and High schools cluster to help with the Dunwoody overcrowding?!!!!!!
Enough, unfortunately most of the 6000 seats are way in south DeKalb. There is already a magnet program in south DeKalb. DeKalb would either need to close both magnet programs and relocate to the exact middle of the county, or they need to provide south and central’s magnet there and central and north’s magnet there.
Please slow down. I understand and sympathize with the need for relief for MES and the Dunwoody area but throwing money at John Lewis and Nancy Creek for a quick school move does not sound wise.
Nancy Creek is going to need money too – just this week the heating system failed.
How long will it take to complete a comprehensive communication process (including to KMS families – we haven’t heard a word from DCSD and barely a peep from our board members), a facilities assessment, get the funds approved, have a fair, competitive and open contracting process, pay for the transfer of equipment, complete construction, complete inspections and permitting, hire teachers and staff for what is essentially a new school, move in, allow faculty of both schools set up classrooms and welcome students to an appropriate and safe learning facility?
Our family will actually be much closer to KMS at John Lewis and I really empathize with the MES families need for more space. I fight, and admittedly add to, that traffic every day. But given the history of mistrust, the knee-jerk reactions of current and passed leadership, and the lack of comprehensive planning, the overspending and, frankly, waste, we should all give ourselves at least another year to get this right. Schools are not a fast-food chain. They are complex, expensive and should be well-thought-out assets to our communities and students.
Let’s do this the right way give our kids the best schools possible – which will require more than six months of spending $,$$$,$$$.
@Stan Jester – when was the last time a Facility Condition Assessment was conducted on the old John Lewis building?
Old John Lewis FCA – I’m not sure when we conducted the latest FCA on the old John Lewis/Kittredge site. It should be on the Building Spaces page, but I can’t find it https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/building-spaces/#tab-b6766642745cf064a10
Is the John Lewis/Kittredge site the facility listed under “Former Briarcliff HS” on the Building Spaces page?
TuckerMom, Former briarcliff HS site is also right next to Adam’s Stadium. Former Briarcliff HS has been demolished and removed.
Where’s the “Former International Student Center”? Is that near Adam’s Stadium too?
Tucker Mom’s found it. It’s listed as the “Former International Student Center.”
School Assessment Report done in May 2016
Curious how this benefits anyone in overcrowded MS and HS locations to only move the k-5 magnet?
The Old John Lewis/Kitteridge school on N. Druid Hills for a few years was also the International Student Center and DOLA until DOLA moved and Internation Student Center moved into the old Midway Elementray School on Midway. We surely shuffle alot.
There are currently 6,000 open high school seats. As mentioned in An earlier article , the DeKalb Schools administrative team said they wanted to hire an enrollment/redistricting analytics expert for district wide redistricting and consolidation of elementary, middle and high schools.
Think about this. To reopen the old JLES/Kittredge facility on North Druid Hill, with an FCA score = 50.45, Mrs. Tyson is recommending spending $1M.
Nancy Creek has an FCA score = 33.19.
Somehow Kittredge does wonderful things at the former Nancy Creek ES in spite of poor, but sadly typical, conditions.
I wonder if renovation of the Nancy Creek site will be ‘required’ in order to get public buy-in for redistricting their students there, despite it being ‘good enough’ for Magnet kids.
@anonymous the area has been asking for their neighborhood school back. In fact, they begged it not be taking away in 2008 knowing what was coming. Yes, Kittredge does great things. Don’t forget you must score in top 25% to be eligible. I would expect a school that has high requirements to do well, unlike other schools that must teach amy child who walks through the doors
@VandyDad Please tell your “friend’ that I live in Village Mill and have a son that goes to school in a trailer at DES. Next year he will be joined by his younger brother for Kindergarten.
As much as I would like to send my children to City of Dunwoody schools, we are far away from that. Dunwoody children attending school at Nancy Creek is not exporting them, it is just sending them to another DeKalb County School.
Many of us grew up going up to Elementary, Middle and High schools much further away than any of the North DeKalb County Schools. While it may not be ideal, it is not the end of the world to send our children a few miles away from where we live.
Outrage. That is now the common sentiment shared amongst the rest of the Dunwoody community regarding the motives and actions of DES.
I just want to make sure I understand what DES really wants. I hear them say, “we want relief.” DCSD says “ok, here’s some immediate relief through Austin and now we’ll provide Nancy Creek to help too. And meanwhile, we’ll finally do the hard work of creating a comprehensive master plan to provide long term relief.”
And then I hear DES say “no, we don’t want relief thay way. We want to get rid of our apartments.”
DES will only be satisfied if they are able to hand select who is leaving their school to grant their desired relief. Their petition to remove all “West of Ashford Dunwoody Road” and send it to Austin is code for “we want apartment kids OUT of our school”. DES is being offered relief. But DES is not happy with getting relief in the form of 102 students moving to Austin or even greater relief from Nancy Creek opening. They will never be happy until they can “stick it” to Austin.
Outrage. The motive is obvious now. Let’s just call it what it is that DES is REALLY after – selective relief.
To the Kittredge parents complaining that moving it to a “central” location is bad, please recall that it would be moving BACK to its original location. Also, Kittredge is NOT a Chamblee/Dunwoody “neighborhood” school. It’s a magnet school for all of DeKalb. Here’s an article about the uproar around closing Nancy Creek from 2007:
What a horrible idea.
And let’s not pretend this isn’t about rich families wanting to make sure no poorer students even enter their community.
Central my behind. It makes it harder for everyone to get to- as a poorer family driving in to Kittredge. It makes it harder for anyone without means to get there, well hurting the program- students and teachers
Let’s face it. The entire redistricting process was a charade. The Austin PAC was always going to go to great lengths to achieve their objectives. Well played. The behavior of the partisan Austin crowd was despicable at best and I still can’t believe that some of these people are supposed to be my neighbors. I wonder if some of you would stab your own families in the back just to make sure you get what you want for your kids while others get the short end of the stick. I’m sure you all believe you pay more taxes than anyone else and are this entitled to better service. If that’s the case you should explore more of Dunwoody. Hint: there is more to our affluent community than “the greater branches”.
When high street or other developments open, we would love to see you absorb the additional students into your open capacity? But that isn’t going to happen, is it? The problem is never yours because you are running a private school masquerading as a public school. Austin and their uppity ilk have turned their back on the community.
Very disappointing to see the accusations leveled on this forum. Lots of generalizations and assumptions. Not productive at all. Come on, Dunwoody. We can do better.
@Outraged, high street won’t see kid #1 for more years. A new Elem will be built by then. Austin has had more students From multi family communities than Vanderlyn has ever imagined. Austin for the last decade had 30% + multi family. Vanderlyn has only the Indian/Asian population from The Jefferson to boost its test scores. And your wealth envy is deplorable. Stop being poor.
@notoutraged – I’m not sure where you got your data but Vanderlyn has 302 students from the Jefferson which accounts for approximately 46% of our student body. I’m not Asian or Indian with high test scores but I’m pretty sure that’s more than 30%. ♀️
Maybe this is why the Board recognized Chamblee cluster. MES, APES and HH actually cane together and submitted a joint PAC recommendation. Meanwhile Dunwoody is still throwing each other under the bus arguing who has more apartment kids? Why? Because that makes you better people? Disgusting.
@notoutraged A new elementary school will be built by then, really? How many years did Austin take, 7 or more? Also, I keep seeing this “Jefferson kids boosting Vanderlyn’s test scores”, but I’d love to see the data on that. My child’s class was more than half ESOL last year. How are the tests administered so that they can boost the test scores when they can’t speak English? Austin has no clue with their 60-70% white school. Update your information, go look up the percentages for the other schools and get back to us.
Also, can we talk about getting a 4/5 grade building at VES in place of our nearly two decade old “portable classrooms”? Maybe connect it all to the main building? Oh and maybe a nice new auditorium like they got at AES? Heck, I’d just settle for repaving the dang bus turn around so our children won’t get hurt on all the potholes and craters.
High street will add to DES enrollment before a new school is built. I’ll bet you a dollar. It’s telling you think I speak in support of Vanderlyn when I really speak in support of DES. Austin has created a lot of enemies due to selfish actions and advocacy. You sleep in the bed you make. Good luck.
I have zero wealth envy. I will walk and go to private school (which is exactly what DeKalb wants— to collect my school tax and give me nothing for it). The real envy I have is for other counties who seemingly have their act together. Dunwoody is fighting a losing battle against a corrupt and inept county leadership. Fighting between factions inside of Dunwoody is a sideshow. There are schools in the county that are at 50% capacity. Your wealth is being sapped and redirected. Wake up.
@chamblee. You are off base and clueless. We have elementary schools designed for 900 pushing hundreds if students over capacity. Apartments are only an issue because Austin does not absorb their fare share. It is factual and incontrovertible. Go read the numbers and look at a map. You might learn something. Your Pollyanna idealism and naïveté resembles the intellectualism of a child.
We are being thrown scraps and fighting over them. The board likely recognized Chamblee because they see dollar signs ahead with the massive overbuilding.
Most of Austin homeowners didn’t want a new school. Many in dunwoody , including our then school board rep, believed Chesnut should have been rebuilt as the new school. Austin and Vanderlyn very similar demographics. Both have 3-4% economically disadvantaged, compared to 60% at Kingsley. Like it or not, when you go buy a home near a school, and you want the school with highest achievers, this is the only star that directly correlates to high test scores. Fact. If you seek diversity for your kids’ schooling environment, this is also the only stat you need to see. Both Vandy and Austin have under 20% ELL (ESOL) population. Austin has 89% white and asian, Vanderlyn 88% white and asian. But all the kids go to same middle and high.
Outraged, I agree 100% with your last comment
@concerned dekalb parent
You wrote (I am summarizing) that Kittridge is where the best and the brightest attend. That is completely false. The scores to qualify for Kittridge are lower than the scores to meet gifted qualifications. You have to lottery in- so your argument doesn’t hold. Furthermore- as a parent with two children in the Dunwoody cluster gifted at an elementary and PCMS, I absolutely disagree that they are “catering to the masses.” There can be effective differentiation in school and I see it every day.
The magnet school should never take up space for our own residents.
You strike me as the type that has no idea what goes on outside of Dunwoody. You missed the point. In the Chamblee cluster the PAC’s actually worked together to come up with a resolution. The comments about taking “fair share” of apartments is disgusting. Meanwhile HH is begging not to lose their ESOL kids. Dunwoody could learn a thing or two. However, you showed yourself by insulting my intelligence. It was also my understanding that the Chamblee Cluster reached out to all Dunwoody schools to work together, guess we know how that went.
@Chamblee – why is that disgusting? The multi-family housing has unpredictable growth. It’s a huge factor to the overcrowding and unreliable forecasting at all our schools. Just this year at Vanderlyn (and in other years) we had to add two classes in November due to this. It should be spread amongst the schools equitably for that reason. No one or two schools should take all the multi-family housing.
@ Chamblee – you’re presenting an interesting (non-factual) argument. The first thing MES (notice it spells out ME) did was try to steal Nancy Creek for a “private” 3-5 school. They didn’t want Huntley Hills, didn’t really care what happened to Austin. Only after public admonishment did they back down. Most ME parents don’t want to combine with HH at all. They scream look at the HH test scores, look at the apartment kids…
This wasn’t some coming together because Chamblee is so magnanimous, it was merely the same kind of thing that Austin tried. So get off your high horse and attempt to at least tell the full story, if not the truth.
The facts are pointing to the conclusion that DES is only interested in ‘selective relief’.
The facts are pointing to the conclusion that Austin’s community is not only interested in the well being of their own school, but the well being of PCMS and DHS as well – where ALL these elementary students will merge in the end. The bigger picture is just as important here.
Here are some of those facts – the Austin PAC supports the plan that will also address the ever requested long term planning and relief for the middle and high school too – the development of a Comprehensive Master Plan. The Austin community has not encouraged their community to knowingly submit multiple surveys in regards to redistricting feedback. The Austin community has not made threats to sue others in the community or submit ORRs on their neighbors. The Austin community is not scheming behind a private facebook page set up specifically for Redistricing. The Austin PAC did not push back on the Staff Recommended Plan that included trailers at the new Austin. The Austin community is not petitioning for specific areas to be included or removed from their attendance lines.
Outrage. Yes, there is outrage – over the fact that school communities have done these very things.
Let’s keep our focus on long term success. Let’s be honest. Let’s show up at Board of Education meetings and speak up about the bigger issues, crucial issues – Overcrowding. Long term planning. More seats. Proper fiscal management. Safety. Addressing deferred maintenance. There is much to feel outrage about within DCSD.
@Outraged As a DES parent I am very concerned that we might be pushing for selective redistricting. You mention this as a fact. Would you please direct me where I would find this fact?
With regards to multi-family housing, the only fact I’m aware of is that DES parents are very concerned about that all of the to be developed apartments around the mall are left to DES in the currently proposed plan.
I don’t understand what the mystery growth that Dunwoody Elementary is talking about. We know exactly where the apartments are. The City of Dunwoody insists that no new apartments will be built except for Highstreet.
Per AJC article, Austin was the highest percentage overcapacity. Austin will not have empty seats in August, as it is taking 100+ students (from the Ashford Dunwoody Rd area) in the temporary redistricting, and will take more when the comprehensive plan is released. But families do not want to make multiple moves understandably, so a comprehensive plan is required to avoid moving families multiple times. It is very obvious that DES parents are trying to use the redistricting to tailor their student population. DES parents are the elitists and would have families redistricted multiple times if it means they have fewer “high growth areas” which has become code for apartments. DES parents didn’t complain about their increased enrollment when a large neighborhood of $1M houses were built on Vermack and zoned to DES. We all need to focus on the 7 years our kids will be together in very close quarters at PCMS and DHS!
The return of the current Kittredge building to the Brookhaven/Chamblee cluster makes absolute sense. This could bring HH back below its maximum instructional capacity and relieve Montgomery of almost 400 students. The actual instructional capacity at Montgomery was quoted at 545 kids prior to consolidating the Nancy Creek kids (and w/o trailers) and it’s currently projected to have almost 1000 students by 2021 without relief.
Returning Kittredge to the cluster would allow DCSS to remove most of the trailers from Montgomery ES, redistrict the original Nancy Creek ES neighborhoods back to the school and possibly provide some relief to the Dunwoody cluster by pulling some of the Georgetown subdivisions into the footprint. Even with this relief, Montgomery would still be above 115% of (pre trailer) instructional capacity by 2022.
People!! Enough with the generalizations, accusations and insults. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all!
If the District is serious about a CMP and moving the magnet out of Nancy Creek (as it should), then it makes absolute sense not to be redistricting kids twice in just a couple of years. It also makes sense not to pay to add trailers at new Austin just for them to be removed when Nancy Creek and a new school are added. It is pretty apparent that many at DES want to selectively redistrict multiple times for their own perceived benefit (“getting rid” of minority apartment kids) above the needs of the rest of Dunwoody and our limited budget. The interim plan makes a ton of sense by providing partial relief until a permanent solution can be implemented in 2-3 years. This, along with shelving the crazy middle and high school additions, is the most logical thing the school system has proposed in a long time.
@jay in 2 to 3 years half of the redistricted kids will be in middle school so it won’t matter that they are redistricted again. I don’t know where you are hearing that DES parents only want children from apartments to move as they are some of the most excited about relief to Nancy Creek where those spots will likely be taken by DES children from single family homes.
@Ben Greenwald- it is premature to say exactly where DES’s relief with a Nancy Creek move is definitely going to come from at this point, but there is a really good chance that the bulk of the relief will come from the multi-family units in the wedge between Chamblee-Dunwoody and Shallowford north of 285. That’s really beside the point though, because every DES PAC comment and the private DES redistricting group has made it clear the the DES position throughout this process has been to push apartment kids onto Austin or elsewhere. With Nancy Creek and new school possibly adding to capacity, DES’s capacity problems will be solved. It’s a win for everyone in District 1. Adding expense and redistricting kids twice (there are plenty of kids and multi-kid families in third grade and below) just doesn’t make sense.
@Jay. I just reread the DES PAC it is wrong, misinformed and misleading to say that DES has been advocating for the movement of current multi family away from DES. I just reread the PAC letter and it had no mention. I also reviewed the private FACEBOOK group posts and there is no mention other than frustration that of all the future growth around the mall, none is zoned for anywhere but DES. The desire is that those future high growth areas be shared with Austin.
I would ask that you stop spreading misinformation.
@Ben. Exactly. High growth areas around the mall is a euphemism for high density housing. That’s all that is currently there and that’s all it will ever be.
Every comment out DES PAC and DES-parent led maps and suggestions I’ve seen moves ONLY multi-family housing out of the DES district. Calling it “High Growth” doesn’t make it not multi-family. I welcome @Ben Greenwald to share all of these supposed proposals and formal comments that would prove me wrong.
Regardless, the current interim plan provides immediate relief, without additional cost or multiple student moves, while a long-term solution for the overcrowding can be implemented. If Nancy Creek opens up as a neighborhood school, then this will alleviate possibly all or at least most of DES’s overcrowding, Given all of that, the only reasonable inference for moving additional “High Growth” sections to Austin trailers is to move them out of DES simply because they are multi-family units. And as far as High Street, the District won’t see any students from there until the CMP and a new school can be implemented.
@Jay by every I assume you mean o because there have been no maps approved or endorsed by the DES PAC, with the possible exception being the staff proposed map in meeting 3. DES has been very clear. We expected 200 of our students to go to Austin to provide the relief we had been promised. Why are you so opposed to Austin and DES ending up with roughly equal student populations in August 2020?
There is only one school that got exactly what it wanted and that is Austin which will have empty seats when it opens it doors in August 2020. Explain to me why it should not the trailer burden?
Those high growth areas are years away from producing any new students. Dunwoody city council and DCSD have expressed the belief that they will produce few students per unit although I am skeptical. The reality is that where they are zoned for 2owo should have no impact on whether or not Austin can take 200 students now from DES.
Bringing them up in the 2020 discussion is a red herring.
Ben, Actually … everybody is happy with the map except DES.
First, the school system projects Austin will open barely over capacity. Second, you can see my reasoning in my posts above regarding wasted costs in putting trailers in just to remove them in two years and not redistricting kids multiple times. You may not like my reasons, and you don’t have to, but they are reasonable positions. And I think the idea of Nancy Creek opening and taking the bulk of DES overcrowding is a great idea. I’m not in favor of having any kids in trailers, so I think this new plan is the most pragmatic and economic way to get that done quickly.
@of course everyone else is happy.
Austin is empty
Some of Vanderlyn didn’t have to move to Kingsley.
Kingsley didn’t see an influx of more ESOL students
Chesnut didn’t get split
Hightower got its overcrowding relieved
DES got screwed.. Every proposed map prior to the Superintendent’s saw DES sending 200+ students to other schools.
Would someone please explain why it’s a bad idea for those students to go to Austin?
So, everybody got what they wanted. Yet, the hate is on Austin and coming from DES. This isn’t a good look for DES. DES should be saying, “Please give us more relief” … not “Stick it to Austin with our apartments”.
@Ben Greenwald “Austin is empty” way to spew misinformation. Realtors have confirmed the bump that Austin will experience. Our entire fourth grade was in trailers, and in addition to the bump we are taking over 100 students from “high growth areas”
So it could be more than 100. DES was not built to be a prototype school, it is larger and has a larger capacity than Austin. Additionally, it has much more land than Austin which sits on a retaining wall over the nature center. As much as bitter DES parents fight to stick it to Austin children, there are land constraints that will have to Trump any petition or whining. DES should have a larger enrollment, it was built to have a larger enrollment so stop fighting for Austin to have the same student enrollment in 2020. I’m sure DES parent opposed Nancy Creek because they may lose their single families in Georgetown instead of the “high growth areas” they so desperately want to dump.
Back to logistics.
One of the eSPLSOT IV projects on the approved list was a new roof for the former Kittredge/former International Student Center/former John Lewis E.S. The budget was $659,467.02. The last mention of this project is in the December 2017 Monthly Status Report. The project was still in the “Planning” stage.
Did that building get a new roof?
If not, what happened to the budget, and was $60,000 spent on?
@Outrageous: What were Austin PAC’s objectives that they went to great lengths to achieve? To fight for years to get a larger school to help alleviate at least some of the overcrowding when most of Dunwoody was unwilling to help them fight for it? It has been embarrassing to watch DES complain about their “unique overcrowding” problems. They show data tables highlighting that they have the “greatest number of trailers” (next to HES and VES w/both showing 1 less trailer) when the rest of the table shows the true overcrowding numbers based on the rate of utilization…HES-151%, DES-121%, VES-136%, CES-139%, KES-95%, AES-147%. Out of those statistics, you tell me which schools are/were the most overcrowded? It certainly wasn’t DES. Just because they have the most number of students does not mean they are the most overcrowded.
Show me any shred of evidence that anyone from Austin “conspired” behind everyone’s backs, “paid DCSD off”, etc… It’s laughable that b/c things are not going your way, the immediate reaction is to project how you feel onto Austin families. If only it were that easy to make things happen at DCSD. LOL. My uppity a$$ would definitely pony up there.
Is there not at least one DES parent that questions the intention of their PAC? Are they wanting relief from overcrowding or relief from something else? Because if it were truly for overcrowding, you’d take it in any form.
9/26/2019 – 1st community input session, DES “conspires” to have several DES parent reps in all rooms and all were prepared with fliers that included a data table showing “mobility” rates with racial “diversity” rates listed immediately below. Included in these fliers is a map with DES recommending that they move “ALL students West of Ashford-Dunwoody” to Austin.
9/26/2019 – DES sends a letter to DCSD asking them to take this redistricting opportunity to “help DES respond to one of our school’s most substantial challenges—student mobility.” “Studies on mobility show that mobile students tend to underperform academically.” “… can you please consider a more equal dispersal of students who have the potential to be mobile?”
10/23/2019 – 2nd community input session, 3 different options are offered. Option 1 relieves DES of 201 students. Option 3 relieves DES of 239 students. DES creates new maps Options 4-6. Each map includes the entire West of Ashford-Dunwoody to be moved to new Austin. There were true grievances from other schools and neighborhoods, but good ‘ole DES wants what they want.
10/27/2019 – DES sends letter to DCSD requesting “expansion of section ‘A’” to include the entire West of Ashford-Dunwoody moving to Austin. After being called out on their discriminatory request, DES no longer using “equitable distribution of mobile students” as their argument to move apartments to Austin. Instead, they are calling it “equal distribution of risk”.
11/20/2019 – 3rd community input session option relieves DES of 242 students. DES utilization rate drops to 105% w/3 trailers. New AES opens at 109% utilization rate w/4 trailers. Any neighborhood that voiced concerns gets what they want at VES, CES, and DES! DES still unhappy b/c Austin not getting “ALL students West of Ashford-Dunwoody” w/some DES parents, in breakout rooms, still using words like “mobility” and “transient families” and equitable distribution of them. @Outrageous – Who were you saying is “despicable?”
1/13/2020 – Ramona Tyson announces recommendation. VES is left intact, CES is left intact, HES moves 108 students to DUES, AES opens under-capacity. DES is relieved of a smaller number of students than anticipated (102) but with immediate plans by DCSD to open 600+ seats for Dunwoody/Chamblee cluster relief and to eventually build a new elementary school.
1/17/2019 – DES circulates petition for Austin to get all property “West of Ashford-Dunwoody” …the never-ending quest.
Austin parents were warned that AES has an “optics” issue, possibly stemming from the last redistricting many years ago. As the push for a new school evolved, AES PAC chose to take the high road, to find a solution for a larger school, to engage w/other Dunwoody cluster PACS (as the Principals chose to do so as well), to start fighting for what was good for the cluster in regards to PCMS and DHS. All of this so DES could cast the first stone during redistricting…and shoot for the moon. There is absolutely NO negotiating for DES. It is ALL or nothing. I am finally understanding that AES can never do enough good to change their “optics” as “uppity ilk” because it is undeserved and only projections of your insecurities. Good luck with that.
So when you read the above, and see how deadset DES is to lose the west side of Ash-Dun, not willing to work within the framework of any of the options of overcrowding relief given, how do you think it looks to DES outsiders? Does it make you see why some assume you are wanting “selective relief”? I truly would like to assume the intentions are different from the way they actually look. For a school that has cried fowl for past grievances, nothing has been learned from the past. History has repeated and its embarrassing the way everyone is representing Dunwoody. That goes for all of the PACs and families on this page slinging hateful words, including some of the Austin supporters. When @Chamblee is trying to tell you that their PACs chose to work together and he/she is attacked in response. Or when Passionate momma is begging you all to stop w/generalizations and assumptions b/c this is NOT PRODUCTIVE and it doesn’t give you pause. Or others who are using their real names and trying to get something productive done, and comments are mostly insults and jabs? Its telling that everyone’s gone way too far down that rabbit hole. you’re all frustrated with the same entity (DCSD) but slinging the crap at each other. If the way DES “looks” is not their true intentions, then speak up and make it right and start working with the cluster, INCLUDING the Austin families to make DCSD keep their word about a new comprehensive plan and elementary school. Make them also plan a new or larger middle and high school because those are the schools that are going to truly matter.
Please don’t push for such a hasty temporary plan. Just when we could take a breath and look forward to future long-term, comprehensive planning, this suggestion casts more uncertainty for the 1,000+ children that would be affected (500+ to fill NC, 500+ KMS students). Surely, even a temporary plan warrants public feedback particularly from the neighborhoods and families that would be affected. (Based on the tone and wide-ranging opinions on this thread, I don’t see how this temporary move remotely addresses the obvious angst in the Dunwoody cluster.)
@outraged; @jay; @fedup; @the real fed up:
Thank you for your comments and analysis. In reading current and past comments, it is clear that DES is organized and continually pushing that high density (apts) be moved to AES. There will be a string of many comments in a row that say the same thing a bit differently. It looks like this is all orchestrated to try and advocate for their position and their position only.
Nancy Creek ES – this should be converted to an ES. Magnet can be moved elsewhere. The needs of everyone need to be prioritized over Magnet. Magnet, long ago, used to accept scores of 98% or higher in Iowa and Cogat. Then a test was included for motivation and creativity (one of these tests is called Renzulli). Then the minimum required score needed was lowered from 98% to 75%. The idea of the magnet was to take high achieving students who think differently and challenge them so that don’t become bored since high intelligent students are at risk of dropping out due to boredom. Eventually, the minimum score for the magnet program was lowered and then it became mandatory to guarantee slots to the top students from each ES in Dekalb that met the scores. And the student body is then selected by a lottery – picking names of students, who applied for this, out of a hat. Smart kids whose parents were not aware of this were left out. Smart kids who are indeed very intelligent and whose name wasn’t selected were left out. The result is that not all kids at the magnet program are even eligible for gifted program (minimum scores required for gifted and high achiever programs are higher than scores required for magnet program). The result of this is that there are more gifted-qualified students at Oak Grove and also at Vanderlyn than there is at the Magnet ES. There is a higher % of students that are gifted-qualified at each of those ES’s than at Magnet ES. Magnet seems more now about a status – you have something that you perceive is better than at your ES. Meanwhile, the student population has exploded and we now have the immediate necessity to meet the needs of housing many students and updating really old ES’s. Based on all this, Magnet should be moved back to where it used to be or temporarily disbanded until the needs of all students are met. But Nancy Creek should definitely be returned to an ES for all since it is severely needed.
Extra seats – in terms of the 6,000 extra seats available in Dekalb, those are too far and are in districts whose population is leaving. We should not do a massive redistricting where Lakeside students are shipped to Tucker or Stone Mountain, and Cross Keys are shipped to Stone Mountain and Lakeside, and Chamblee is shipped to Cross Keys and wherever south, and Dunwoody is shipped to Chamblee and wherever. The empty seats are too far. We need a new HS in Doraville (name it Doraville HS). And Cross Keys HS should stay in Brookhaven and be renamed Brookhaven HS. Brookhaven is on record with wanting Cross Keys to remain in Brookhaven and they are willing to purchase the property to expand current Cross Keys or purchase new property for this. I personally like the idea that all Dunwoody students go to Dunwoody HS, all Chamblee students go to Chamblee HS, all Brookhaven go to Cross Keys HS. At the same time, there is no room to expand Dunwoody HS. So not sure what the solution should be for excess capacity at DHS.
Parents blast DeKalb on plan to shift students
Some relief had been offered to DES in the form of sending kids to CES. DES fought that in a very organized way with survey talking points almost all being identical. Was relief also offered by suggesting some kids move to KES too? Some DES homes appear to be very close to KES , as close or closer I’d guess as the apartments are to AES. How come it’s not okay to move DES homeowners to CES and KES but it’s ok for the PAC to suggest apartment renters all move to AES. It’s not a good look at all.
I am a DES parent and I may be naive, but I believe DES parents value the school’s diversity and are primarily motivated by fear of continuing to add >25-50 students every year. We do have the highest projected growth in the cluster. We are at 1,100 students, have lost part of our playground and gardens to trailers, and have significant logistical issues. And love the idea of a comprehensive plan, but don’t trust that it will be implemented quickly, thus putting us right back at square one in a year or two. Austin has at least a little bit of room. Redistricting some of the high growth areas near Austin to Austin will help. We have been organized, because of our concerns, but I think it it unfair to characterize our actions as ‘scheming.’