Tag Archives: dekalb schools

Trailers at Cross Keys High School

The trailers have been placed at Cross Keys for a renovation project. They are not there due to enrollment/capacity issues.

E-SPLOST V includes approximately $300 million for “New Facilities and Additions” to address capacity needs across the district. The administration proposed large additions to the overcrowded high schools of Chamblee, Dunwoody, and Lakeside, even though these schools are already on postage stamp sized campuses. Cross Keys will receive a new high school.

The administration is pursuing a strategy to equally distribute the immigrant population, clustered around the Buford Corridor, to Chamblee, Dunwoody, Lakeside and Cross Keys. Once Cross keys is rebuilt on its new site and the new high school is built, the administration plans to redistrict from the Chamblee, Dunwoody, and Lakeside feeder schools to Cross Keys to more evenly balance the immigrant population. The Board of Education approved this approach. I was the only opposing vote. With the development that continues to occur in the Perimeter region, I remain convinced that a new Doraville area high school needs to be built rather than shoving more students on small campuses.

In accordance with the E-SPLOST V Project Listing and Sequencing, Phase I includes the conversion of the current Cross Keys High School (CKHS) to a middle school. This conversion is estimated to be completed sometime in 2020 and cost $10 million. A new Cross Keys/Brookhaven High School is expected to be built by 2021 and cost $85 million.

The Role of the City and County Governments
The school district is immune from zoning laws created in the jurisdictions in which it operates. The school district is not immune from all other laws of the jurisdiction, such as building codes and other development requirements. The question of how different governmental entities operating within one jurisdiction with respect to zoning and all other ordinances became settled law, or stare decisis, with the rulings for two court cases.

City of Atlanta and Decatur Enforce Codes
The City of Atlanta and Decatur enforce codes and protect the interests of its citizens.  Just recently, the Decatur School District went to the City of Decatur council to REQUEST PERMISSION to add trailers to one of their schools inside the city limits of Decatur. All school trailers in Decatur must be approved by the city council before installation. Before the City of Decatur council would approve the trailers, they wanted to know:

  • Whether the proposed use is suitable in view of the use and development of adjacent and nearby property.
  • Whether the proposed use adversely affects the existing use or usability of adjacent or nearby property.
  • Whether the proposed use results in a use which will or could cause an excessive or burdensome use of existing streets, transportation facilities, utilities or other public facilities.
  • Whether there is adequate ingress and egress to the subject property, including evaluation of the traffic impact of the proposed use relative to street capacity and safety of public streets and nearby pedestrian uses.
  • Whether there are other existing or changing conditions which, because of their impact on the public health, safety, morality and general welfare of the community, give supporting grounds for either approval or disapproval of the proposed use.

Marshall Orson is the District 2 representative on the Board of Education. His district includes Cross Keys High School.

Marshall Orson

Marshall Orson
DeKalb Schools Board of Education

Addressing the overcrowding issue in the Cross Keys cluster is one of our highest priorities given the failure of previous boards and administrations to do so. Given these circumstances, we will be building a new high school for the cluster (in addition to two new elementary schools and renovations of other schools including the current Cross Keys High School which will become a middle school). We are searching diligently for a suitable property in order to build this school as quickly (and prudently) as possible.

The Administration can address the logistics issues raised [in Rebekah’s comments]. In an urban setting, space is frequently a challenge and other schools face similar issues (e.g. Due to space constraints, many athletes at Druid Hills High School travel to Druid Hills Middle School for practices and/or matches). We are committed to providing comparable opportunities for all students and continue to work to address circumstances where there are obstacles to doing so.

Marshall Orson

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Related Posts

Enforcing Zoning, Building, and Other Ordinances
May 3, 2017 – What authority does a city or county have in enforcing its zoning, building, and other ordinances with respect to temporary and permanent building on school property? This question with respect to zoning and all other ordinances became settled law with the rulings on two court cases.

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DeKalb E-SPLOST V Project Schedule
March 20, 2017 – On Monday the DeKalb Board of Education will vote on E-SPLOST V project scheduling and associated cash flow sequencing including details of the projects, budgets, and anticipated start and finish dates.

DeKalb Schools Convocation 2017

DeKalb Schools can’t balance a budget, but they can find money to rent out the World Congress Center for graduations and the Gwinnett Infinite Energy Arena for a Convocation.

What are your thoughts?

DeKalb Schools Convocation 2017
Friday, August 4, 2017
Infinite Energy Arena : 8:30 am – 11:30 am

We are excited about our Opening of Schools Convocation on Friday, August 4, 2017 at the Infinite Energy Arena at 8:30 a.m. It will be a time to celebrate, educate, motivate and dedicate ourselves to a new school year. This event is mandatory for all DCSD employees whose start date is prior to the first day of school, August 7.

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I received this email from a DeKalb Citizen yesterday that sums up the general consensus online about the convocation…

I felt compelled to share this article because I know enough teachers who will really be stressing out that someone is being paid a very generous amount, I am sure, from outside the district, to use up a half day of their time. Besides that, as a taxpayer, I am horrified that DCSS would rent space at Gwinnett Infinite Energy Arena for this event.

We do not want to see this system falling back into the business of outside consultants, specially-purchased programs and high-salaried personnel to oversee more high-salaried personnel. This system needs to focus on support for teachers and the operations of our schools with ALL the reasons for their being to support teachers, students and principals and those people involved with feeding, teaching, caring for and transporting students.

How much did you spend per teacher on this inspirational meeting? Don’t you think that every teacher would have rather had that amount to buy supplies for their classrooms or students who come to school with nothing? You might be shocked at how much teachers spend out of pocket for their classrooms and they only do it for their students—to inspire them to learn and succeed.


Maureen Downey with the AJC talked to Superintendent Green today and wrote this article. Note: I don’t ever recall discussing this with anybody or this item coming before the board.

maureen downey

DeKalb superintendent promotes systemwide convocation as powerful and unifying

In a 45-minute phone conversation today, DeKalb Superintendent Steve Green defended the convocation, which he said grew out of discussions with school board members who wanted an event to unify the “DeKalb family” and highlight the progress and the work yet to come.

The school board was committed enough to approve $50,000 to stage the event at the climate-controlled Infinite arena and pay for buses to transport 12,000 employees from their schools to Duluth, he said. DeKalb does not know the bus cost as it will depend on how employees drive themselves.

“The sentiment was there needs to be a chance for the entire DeKalb family to hear the charge from the superintendent, to come together as one DeKalb in a collegial way and to see each other across boundaries, regions, geographic areas, north, south, east, west,” said Green. “So, there was a commitment early on to create that kind of synergy, knowing there would be opposition to it. But there was also a thirst and clamoring for it. There are tradeoffs for doing it and for not doing it.”

As a classroom teacher himself for 14 years and a former athlete, Green said he benefited from convocations that provide the same bonding and spirit building as a team huddle. “It is a way of pulling the team together for a well-planned, powerful kickoff. It is about getting the juices flowing and getting pumped up.”

Other educators reported their districts, including Bibb and Newton, have held similar gala events to kick off the new year. (Those teachers, too, would rather be spared the group affirmations and remain in their classrooms. As a teacher explained, “Personally, my strength and support always comes from my colleagues in my schoolhouse; they are all I need.”)

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