Category Archives: DeKalb Schools

Capacity Determination Guide

So, the capacity of your school is constantly changing. What’s up with that?

Last week I discussed the Enrollment/Capacity/Trailers in Region 1 Elementary Schools. How does the school district arrive at those capacity numbers?

Supporting Documents
 Austin ES Redistricting – Capacity History and Summary
 Doraville United ES Redistricting – Capacity History and Summary
 Prototype Elementary School Capacity Report Analysis
 2017 Capacity Reports – All DeKalb Schools

Capacity Determination Guide

The functional capacity of an educational facility is defined as the number of students the facility can accommodate. The “Instructional Use Model” recognizes that the functional capacity of a school is dependent on the use of instructional spaces by educational programs offered by the school for any given year. The Instructional Use Model methodology first counts the numbers of the various types of instructional rooms in the school, which creates the school’s room inventory.

Typical room types include: general classrooms, kindergarten rooms, special education rooms, science rooms, gyms, etc. The room type inventory can change from year to year depending on the educational programs offered in the school or how the various rooms in a school are used.

The total of rooms for each room type is then multiplied by the maximum students‐per‐room (or the loading factor) to determine the capacity by room type. Loading factors vary by educational program and are comparable to a “teacher/student ratio”. The capacities of all room types are totaled to identify the gross capacity for the school.

The gross capacity for the school is then multiplied by a scheduling factor, which takes into account the realities of how the space is used, to determine the functional capacity. The scheduling factor recognizes the fact that, typically, not all classrooms are scheduled for every period at a school. For example, high school students move from room to room and enroll in a variety of courses. As a result, some rooms will sit empty or will be less than fully occupied at any given time. Teacher preparation periods will also contribute to rooms not being used for instruction at a particular time. Therefore DCSD uses a 65 percent scheduling factor to reduce the gross capacity of the building to reflect the unused rooms due to the realities of how a high school functions. Middle schools and elementary schools are assigned a 85 percent scheduling factor.

On the capacity calculation sheets, you’ll notice a line item for Adjustments (to account for over/under utilized space). If a classroom needs to be tweaked for some reason, there is also a balancing item called “Adjustments”. For example, let’s say one of the 4-5 rooms is much smaller than the others and can only hold 26 students. Then there is an adjustment of “-5” to account for that small room. The adjustment is subjective and ripe for abuse. If this number is large, then something is wrong (putting students in a classroom they shouldn’t be in, data manipulation, etc …).

The following exhibit lists the loading factors and scheduling factors used to calculate the functional capacities for DeKalb Schools. Since different scheduling and instructional models are used at elementary, middle, and high schools; the room types are divided into three levels with different loading factors at each level.



Elementary Schools – 85%
Middle Schools – 80%
High Schools – 65%


In schools with low enrollment, there could be rooms that were built for instructional use and are now being used for non‐instructional uses. These underutilized rooms should be classified as general classrooms.

Career Technological spaces many times have combination of a lab and classroom paired together. The paired is counted as one space and provided as the capacity shown in R.43 (above).

Media Centers and High School Orchestra rooms are considered instructional units by Georgia Department of Education (GA DOE). These rooms are included as their own room types but DO NOT contribute to capacity.

Classrooms in trailers are not counted.



Redistricting First Round Summary
September 30, 2019 – Amazingly overnight, the capacity of the new schools went from 900 to 950. The capacity of all other schools in the feeder pattern dropped by 5% – 20%.

DeKalb Schools Extends School 1 Hour For Solar Eclipse

The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will extend its school day by one hour on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, to provide safe viewing and instructional opportunities related to the expected solar eclipse that day.

Dismissal will occur one hour later than usual, at the end of the extended learning period. Our three-tier dismissal system starts with elementary schools, followed by high schools, and finally middle schools. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s school to determine the exact dismissal time on Monday, Aug. 21.
According to NASA, the solar eclipse will occur across North America that day when the moon obscures 97.4 percent of the sun. The solar eclipse will be viewable around 1:02 p.m. and end at 4 p.m. DCSD reminds its community that it is not safe to stare directly into the sun without special glasses, and it is providing lessons that will allow students to safely take advantage of the moment.
Those lessons may include the distribution of special viewing glasses, and opportunities to view the eclipse using monitors and safe viewing options. Many teachers will also include information on the eclipse in their lessons that day, as appropriate.
Note: It’s a bad idea to look directly at the sun during an eclipse.

Other schools delaying dismissal:
COBB COUNTY – 45-minute delay
FORSYTH COUNTY – 40-minute delay (ES I: 3:00 p.m., ES II: 3:40 p.m., High: 4:20 p.m., Middle: 4:55 p.m.)
GWINNETT COUNTY – One-hour delay
HENRY COUNTY – One-hour delay (Elementary: 3:25 p.m., High: 4:15 p.m., Middle: 4:55 p.m.)
MARIETTA CITY SCHOOLS – 15-minute delay
PAULDING COUNTY – One-hour delay (Elementary: 3:30 p.m., High: 4:25 p.m., Middle: 4:35 p.m.)
ROCKDALE COUNTY – Elementary: 3:00 p.m., High: 3:45 p.m., Middle: 4:30 p.m.

Cobb County School District – Eclipse 2017 Parent Information
The 2017 Eclipse Across America will happen on Monday, August 21st and Cobb Schools are ready! Cobb teachers and students will have the opportunity to experience an extremely rare and awe inspiring event – a total solar eclipse. Cobb will be using this “teachable moment” to increase the science literacy of our students. We will be utilizing a variety of resources curated by NASA, the Tellus Science Museum and Cobb educators to provide an unforgettable learning experience for our students K-12.

Information For Parents

Cobb is in the path of the eclipse. We will experience a 98% total solar eclipse. The eclipse will begin after lunch and last about 2 hours. The skies will gradually begin to darken as the moon moves into the path of the sun. Over time the sky it will become increasingly dark. Here in Cobb, the near total eclipse will happen between 2:35 and 2:40. It will last just over 2 minutes. Then the skies will gradually become filled with more light, as the moon moves out of the path of the sun.
Each Cobb school will provide students opportunities to participate in the eclipse phenomena. Participation will vary from going outdoors to view the eclipse with official eclipse glasses or student engineered solar eclipse viewers (pinhole cameras) to watching the live NASA eclipse broadcast. Teachers across the district have been working hard to align the learning experiences on the 21st to concepts taught in each grade or course. For example, students in grade four will be learning about the motion of the moon and Earth and how it relates to the Sun. While students in Kindergarten will be communicating observations about the sun and moon in the sky. And students in grade eight will be exploring light waves and lenses.
Schools interested in having students go outdoors to view the eclipse will be sending home forms requesting parent permission. To learn more about the 2017 Eclipse Across America please visit