Sagamore Redistricted Again?

According to the March 7, 2011 Meeting Minutes, Don McChesney made the motion, supported by Paul Womack, Nancy Jester and the rest of the Board of Education, to assign various Sagamore area streets to Sagamore Hills Elementary and all Sagamore students to Henderson Middle and Lakeside High School.
McChesney campaigned years ago on getting that part of Sagamore out of the Druid Hills cluster and reunited with the rest of the Sagamore community in the Lakeside cluster.
Last month, DeKalb Schools administration released its final recommendation for the New Facilities and Additions category of the SPLOST V project list. The recommendation included a number of student move assumptions.

It is estimated that 250 students, presumably Sagamore Hills Elementary, would be redistricted out of Lakeside HS and into the new Brookhaven cluster alleviating some of the overcrowding at LHS and balancing out the diversity and socio-economics of the population attending the new Cross Keys cluster.
What are your thoughts?
Sheri Lake is a parent and chair of the Sagamore Hills Elementary School Council. She spoke to the board this past Monday at public comment. She has graciously shared with us the notes from her comments.
Address to the DeKalb County School Board, October 3, 2016, Meeting

Sheri Lake Sagamore Elementary

Sheri Lake
Chair of Sagamore Hills Elementary School Council

1) Chairman Johnson, Dr. Green and other members of the DeKalb County School Board
2) Sheri Lake; Parent of one child at Sagamore Hills Elementary school and one child at the Coralwood School; I am in my second year on the Sagamore Hills Elementary School Council; during my tenure we earned certification as a STEM school from the Georgia DOE and from AdvanceEd; I am also a board member on the Coralwood Foundation board, and a founding member of the Sagamore Hills Foundation; I am a member of the Leadership Dekalb Class of 2017; Finally, I am small business owner in DeKalb County with my own law practice in the City of Decatur.
3) Today, I am here on behalf of the Sagamore Hills Elementary School Council to express my concerns about the “Secondary School Facility Planning and Feasibility Study Recommendation” proffered last Tuesday, September 27th.
4) I attended the BUILDING SPACES MASTER PLANNING INITIATIVE informational meeting on the 27th
5) At that meeting, we were told that two (2) of the major themes heard from stakeholders over the course of public meetings and surveys in August and September were:
There was 1) “Anxiety over potential future redistricting” and 2) “Except for the Chamblee/Cross Keys clusters, all other clusters asked to keep existing attendance areas intact.”
4) Sagamore Hills parents and stakeholders are among those who loudly voiced these concerns.
5) We were also told that the Secondary Schools Plan satisfied these two concerns.
7) While the recommendation includes a 750 seat addition to Lakeside;
8) That 750 seat addition also assumes movement of 250 students from Lakeside to the new Cross Keys HS. In other words, if the District is correct about population growth, it does not intend to keep our cluster intact, which goes entirely against its position that it honored our cluster’s stated desire to remain intact.
9) Given the history of redistricting and split feeder systems that have affected Sagamore Hills families, Sagamore parents have strong concerns that those 250 students from LHS to Cross Keys will come from Sagamore Hills Elementary because of our proximity to the Briarcliff location, and such a move will tear apart our cluster.
10) Thus, it is our position that a 750 seat addition to Lakeside is not sufficient to maintain our cluster;
11) Following Tuesday’s presentation, I attended a Lakeside Cluster Summit meeting on Thursday, the 29th.
12) The Lakeside Cluster Summit is comprised of parents and other stakeholders from all of the Lakeside Cluster elementary schools, Henderson Middle and Lakeside HS.
13) Last Thursday, it was unanimous among the Lakeside Cluster that it wants its member schools to stay together. It does not want students leaving the cluster to go to a new high school at Briarcliff or some other “cost neutral” location.
14) On behalf of the Sagamore Hills Elementary School Council, I would suggest that a 900 seat addition to LHS would be more appropriate and would more likely ensure that the cluster will remain intact.
15) I am asking you as the School Board to do whatever it takes to make that happen – in other words, approve an appropriate addition that will ensure that 250 students from the cluster are NOT forced to be redistricted to Brookhaven.
16) Keeping the Lakeside Cluster intact guarantees greater safety of Dekalb County students; considerably less traffic issues; walkability; and, most importantly, it keeps our school community intact and provides stability to families that have already fought hard to go to schools that are within the community in which they live, work and play.
17) You have heard from another Sagamore parent, Meg Scheid, why these things are so important to the safety and well-being of our students.
18) Sagamore Hills is part of the Lakeside Community. We play sports within this community, we are on swim teams within this community, we go to church within this community, we are members of neighborhood civic associations in this community.
19) The elementary schools in the Lakeside Cluster are not part of the City of Brookhaven or the City of Tucker, the City of Chamblee or the City of Doraville. We identify with Lakeside High School. Lakeside is our “center.”
20) Sagamore is Lakeside – we are not Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody or Tucker. All of the other High Schools and their feeder schools are part of a distinct city center. Our schools are part of the Lakeside community.
21) If the Lakeside cluster loses 250 students to Brookhaven, you will essentially be dividing neighbors between a city that we do not reside in and the rest of our Lakeside community. You are arbitrarily drawing a “city” line between multiple neighborhoods.

41 responses to “Sagamore Redistricted Again?

  1. Let’s just add another 6,000 seats to Lakeside and EVERYONE can go there.

  2. Cindy pietkiewicz

    Everyone should know that the chamblee cluster schools were not “for” breaking up our cluster” but only open to some changes that we were told were inevitable to bring more diversity to the new cross keys cluster. the chamblee cluster is the most affected in this facility and potential redistricting and chamblee high and cross keys high should have sifnificant support in the planning for the major changes to the populations being served to ensure Chamblee high remains an strong diverse school and that cross keys can serve the new ashford park population with high academic rigor. I’m hopeful both schools will be strong but change must be managed carefully and with enough people and financial resources for the growth and changes

  3. At the risk of being repetitive, adding 1,000 seats to Lakeside High School every 5 to 10 years is not a scalable solution.

  4. The Chamblee cluster contains schools that are already in Brookhaven, and more logical for the Cross Keys/Brookhaven school. Sagamore was brought in to the discussion and we quickly learned it was to create a more diverse Cross Keys cluster (or Brookhaven Cluster). But we are among the closest students to Lakeside. Almost all of our students are less than 2 miles from the school, with many within 1/2 mile. A portion of Sagamore has always been in Lakeside (after Briarcliff was overcrowded in the 50’s.) The rest has been shifted around so much, it is ridiculous. To bring in additional students from Tucker, 5-6 miles away, and push out students within 2 miles, is not logical. Also, demographics should not be the driving factor on whether there is academic rigor (that’s a Dekalb problem). Each high school in Dekalb needs the ability to address its own populations. Have extremely rigorous classes for high achievers, and supportive classes for those who struggle. If a population has more or less of a demand, you adjust the number of classes accordingly. But you don’t eliminate ANY level of rigor entirely. There should be a full range of AP classes ready to be offered at each school. They may not be offered based on demand (scheduling each year), but we need the teachers in place who CAN teach them if needed. Some high schools might have 5 sections of Calculus II, and others only 1. Some may work with other high schools and have 1st period be a class that other HS students could attend for the highest rigor courses. There are so many ways to get the academic rigor back up to where it needs to be.
    I agree, Chamblee Cluster is DEFINITELY the most affected. Sagamore is just trying to have a voice, as we always do, because we have been moved around so much. However, if we end up staying in the Brookhaven cluster, there are parents who are going to put all of their efforts into making it the best high school in Dekalb. We just have to demand it, and stop letting the county dictate what we can offer within the walls of our schools. (I realize that is a huge battle. But I’m ready. I hope everyone else is.)

  5. I do not live in the Sagamore ES district, but I am convinced that SHES is part of the Lakeside community, and SHES students should attend LHS. SHES is located closer to LHS than many other elementary schools in the feeder pattern. If we’re going to considering redistricting any communities, we should take an objective look at all DCSD communities.
    I cannot understand why the school system would suggest adding hundreds of seats to Lakeside, which finished their last renovation project in 2012, without exhausting every effort to find alternative solutions to overcrowding. Adding additional seats to LHS will cause more problems in our community than it will solve.
    Although I was not part of the Lakeside Cluster Summit, I read their position paper and strongly agree with their request to be granted the autonomy to solve our overcrowding problems. One potential solution that has not been discussed is to move the freshman class out of LHS, which would effectively eliminate overcrowding. Henderson MS, which is currently being renovated to add 26 classrooms and enlarge common spaces, could be turned into a traditional junior high school for grades 7-9. Sixth grade could be moved back to the 7 elementary feeder schools. While this would cause overcrowding at some schools, it would distribute the burden over multiple campuses. When Globe Academy finds their “forever home”, the old Heritage ES could be put back into service to relieve potential overcrowding at OGE and SHES.

  6. One thing to remember is that when voters approved ESPLOST-V there was absolutely nothing in the ballot wording or the DCSD ESPLOST-V website to tell voters that “increasing diversity” would be a factor in determining how ESPLOST-V funds would be used.
    This might be a noble goal, but I am shocked at how much this goal seems to be driving ESPLOST-V facility funding decisions.

  7. Kate Eastburn

    MS_PublicEd you are spot on and succinctly wrote my thoughts but way better than I could have explained so Thank you! I just can’t understand the logistics of moving kids who are the closest to LS to a school far away and have their walkability or safety challenged. Seriously. Is the diversity argument really valid here? Sagamore as so many have mentioned is so small and the diversity factor they will add in will be a drop in the bucket. I think the agenda here too is that City of Brookhaven wants to annex parts of the Sagamore Community into their City up to Clairmont. I just wish this had been an honest discussion from the get go. It seems to me Sagamore has been on the table for Cross Keys before the public meetings.

  8. MS_PublicEd,
    I agree that all levels of rigor should be available at all high schools. But this ignores the reality of class size and staff allocation. If a school has a small population that needs AP or advanced classes, it’s “too bad, so sad” unless there are 28 students who sign up for that class, because that is how many students it takes to “earn” a teacher. If a principal decides to offer that advanced class with fewer students in it, in order to serve those who need that level, he/she must compensate by having other classes with more than 28 students in it.
    You mentioned “Some may work with other high schools and have 1st period be a class that other HS students could attend for the highest rigor courses.” Does this ever happen in DCSD? It sounds interesting and perhaps the logistics would be similar to dual enrolled students, but I have never heard of this being offered in DCSD.
    So, while I agree that classes should be offered to meet the needs of all students, it is more easily said than done.

  9. Always easier said than done, but Dekalb has used that for too long. It is done in other counties, so we need to start thinking beyond Dekalb’s status quo and figure it out. When I was at Lakeside, Dekalb allowed Henderson HS students to come to Lakeside for AP Calculus, because both schools had students who needed it, but neither could fill an entire classroom (or maybe there wasn’t a teacher at Henderson, not sure). In Gwinnett, it is done every day with the dual enrollment math with Georgia Tech. A few schools are designated as the host schools, and all other students go to those locations for 1st period, then return to their own for the rest of the school day. It’s not massive amounts of kids moving around, but it allows those that need it an opportunity to get the class. Not through a magnet, but through collaboration between schools and the county (maybe that’s what you are talking about in your dual enrollment statement). Also, Dekalb could free up some teacher points by not requiring 4 Social Studies classes. No competitive college out there requires 4. The required ones are World History, US History, Economics (1 semester) Political Systems/Civics/American Gov (options there, but also all 1 semester). That’s it. It’s great to have the extra available as an elective (AP Human Geography as an intro to AP course rigor) but otherwise, not needed. And yes, sometimes if a high rigor class (especially in science or math) has 18 or so, another teacher may have more than 28. But that teacher is given another period with fewer. You balance the teacher’s full day. And this might only be for the upper grades, when more students are doing dual enrollment (MOWR). I just want the discussion to be more in depth, given more opportunity to think outside the box, and look around at what is working in the state and other states.
    So I agree, it is absolutely challenging to figure it out, and there’s not a perfect solution. We need the leaders who can figure out how to implement, even if it is baby steps. We have examples we can use in other schools, we need to bring some of those ideas to Dekalb. There are probably people with ideas that have never, ever been done anywhere (who ever thought Differential Equations would be taught in high school? That’s two levels above AP Calc. But that’s where some of our students might be!! And the Academy model being used in struggling schools is very interesting to watch, where several academies exist in one school.) The point is that each school has very different needs.

  10. It’s outrageous to pull Sagamore out of a school that we can walk to and is part of our community.

  11. Proximity and traffic doesn’t seem to make sense for moving Sagamore, not to mention that they are solid members of the Lakeside community. Why aren’t they looking at moving pockets far distances from the Lakeside core rather than those in walking distance?

  12. Thank you Sagamore for donating your children to the cause.

  13. I support keeping SHES at LHS due to proximity, not tradition. However, the argument to organize attendance lines according to proximity to schools supports the concept of split feeders, something the community has vehemently opposed. We cannot have our cake and eat it, too. Everyone needs to accepted that widespread redistricting and possibly split-feeders are long overdue in the county. We should request logical, objective decision-making and oppose special-interests and social-engineering.

  14. Moving Sagamore out of lakeside will only create more traffic issues and take us away from a school that is walking distance. There must be a better solution

  15. Chamblee High Parent

    This whole thing is a sham. It was brought about by the Cross Keys Foundation and Ashford Park Elementary School. Do your history on the President of Cross Keys Foundation. This is not a school foundation associated with CKHS. Their “president” has been in place for many many years with no turnover. He basically promised the group at APES that if they broke away from Chamblee they would get a shiny new school and promised them that Sagamore would go along with it. He has the ear of senior
    Leadership at DCSB. This is agenda driven politics at its best all in the name of “diversity” and DeKalb County has been baited hook line and sinker. Don’t let that fool you. I really hope that Sagamore stays because then this little scheme will blow up in their face. APES and Cross Key Foundation should be ashamed.

  16. Don McChesney

    Stan. You are so right. The solution is not to keep increasing the size of Lakeside. The campus can’t take much more usurpation of its acreage. When we went to Middle Schools we really messed up feeder patterns. Two of the middle schools served as high schools. Pleasandale and Evansdale feeder patterns need to be considered. Does Tucker MS and Tucker HS fit into the solution?

  17. What Chamblee High Parent posted is true, look for yourself. This is the community position statement Ashford Park Elementary put forth to the county over a month ago. You’ll see it includes moving Sagamore Hills to Cross Keys with them.

  18. Not very smart...

    I don’t know about you all, but when I voted for SPLOST (a major regret at this point), I didn’t see anything about forced diversity being part of facilities building. Once again, Dekalb takes strong school districts in Chamblee and Lakeside and “waters them down.” Way to go Dekalb.

  19. Sorry to have to say it...

    This is our lack of a comprehensive immigration policy that has put us in this situation. We are expecting the folks in both the Chamblee and Lakeside cluster to rearrange their lives, impact their property values negatively, and hurt their schools because we have such an explosion of illegals in the Buford Highway/Doraville corridor that good, hardworking, tax paying citizens are bearing the brunt of it. It is their schools that will suffer. It is their kids that will have to be redistricted. And if you dare question it, you will be called unAmerican, unsympathetic, or worse. This is what our country has become.

  20. If diversity is one of the principles used to redistrict then the school district won’t be following its own policy. If diversity is a goal then it can’t be a goal for one area and not all of the school district. That would be discrimination, right? Isn’t that when you treat somebody/area different than everybody/everywhere else? If we have to be more “balanced” with regards to “diversity” then every school and cluster must receive the same treatment. Every school and cluster, from Dunwoody, to Tucker, to MLK, to Towers, to McNair, to Arabia Mountain, would need to be balanced with the same principle of diversity. Funny thing is DeKalb County schools are about 78% black, 10% white, 11% hispanic, and 1% Asian. The white, Hispanic, and Asian populations are concentrated north of Highway 78. Balancing schools based on the principle of diversity, and applying that rule consistently, means that each school should resemble the district-wide percentages for each ethnic group. That would require moving quite a lot of kids. I stress that this would be a violation of policy and, even if policy is changed by a vote of the board, the application of this policy is likely discriminatory and would possibly be subject to a court challenge.
    I understand the Cross Keys Foundation’s mission. What is likely to happen if redistricting is based on diversity is that you create Cross Keys 1 (CKHS now) and Cross Keys 2 (apologies to Chamblee). You’ll see property value decline in areas that redistricted in Cross Keys. You’ll see more kids go private or do home school. The school district just doesn’t have the luxury of trying to ask parents to sacrifice their kid or property value on the alter of diversity when this request would disproportionately affect only a certain area and one group.
    The school district can’t make the claim that Cross Keys is problematic regarding achievement either. CKHS’s test scores show it to be the 7th in performance rankings. In the top 7 group, only three others are neighborhood high schools, like CKHS. The others are magnet/specialty schools. There are 13 regular high schools below CKHS in achievement. All of them serve a student population that is almost 100% black. If diversity improves achievement, then what is DeKalb doing to promote diversity at the almost 100% black schools that perform below CKHS?
    Talking about diversity in some places but not others is purely political and has nothing to do with educating kids. Its wrong. It violates DeKalb’s own policy. It’s discriminatory. It won’t produce the results its promoters think it will. Reaching for diversity nirvana is likely to further degrade the district. It will undercut the very tax base that generates the funds that those left behind will so desperately need. Its a lose – lose for the entire district.

  21. Public schools NEED parents/families to invest in their neighborhood schools to make them work. When I moved to GA in ’93 few attended public schools. Since then communities came together to make schools better. After several elementary schools became schools, the attention was moved towards the secondary schools. Now in 2016, CMS and CCHS have become strong NEIGHBORHOOD schools that were reaching typical children, not just the Magnet. Now DeKalb comes in and decides to “shake it up!” WHY would families continue to invest when at any time they could be pulled from their current school. Parents give time and money to make these schools work INSPITE of being part of DCSD! Breaking up the Chamblee, Lakeside or any successful cluster is NOT how you fix another. This is NOT about race or social economic difference and not wanting our children to attend school with other children. It’s about keeping communities that are working well together. It’s about helping communities that need and want great schools in their area. One thing I noticed through all this is that the focus for CK cluster only seemed to be for the south side. What about the north? Why shouldn’t they have new schools in their neighborhood? One of the very reasons the Chamblee cluster works is because of the community around. MES/APES and HHES attend church, scouts, sports, and community activities together. Parents knowing one another, knowing who your kids go to school with makes this work. DeKalb just may destroy the few things that work. If Dr. Green truly understands the communities in which he is presiding he would take the time to know this. Understand why so are upset about the change. I’m afraid that like education the pendulum swings. Dr. Green may very well destroy the schools and people will head back to private!

  22. Trying to Make it Work

    Moving kids out of Tucker and into Lakeside and then bumping out Sagamore Hills ES is ridiculous. If they really want to solve Tuker’s overcrowding then move Tucker HS kids south – there is plenty of excess capacity in Stone Mt HS and Stephenson HS. Chamblee High Parent is absolutely right – the potential move of Sagamore into Cross Keys HS is all the work of the head of the CKHS foundation to appease Ashford Park ES. For some reason DeKalb is going along with it – which is the really frustrating part. Sagamore ES has had no say at all in the matter…

  23. Chamblee High Parent

    But the president of Cross Keys foundation’s property value will rise, so it’s all good..

  24. I think the issues raised above, no matter the tone of the post, are legitimate. Why doesn’t DCSD take the lead and acknowledge this? I thought that step 1 in conflict resolution was to acknowledge the problem.
    Now Chamblee Charter High School will have to figure out how to serve students from 2 separate K-8 paths that yield dramatically different academic results. It’s no small task. Some are unwilling and some are overwhelmed with the scope of the task, while a few are energized by the “social justice” aspect of the changes.
    Obviously, no one from DCSD has offered help, since DCSD hasn’t even acknowledged parent concern. Nothing is changing in the K-9 arena, except that supposedly a new elementary school will be built somewhere in Doraville to relieve Cary Reynolds ES. A new building alone won’t change academic results.
    It feels like education in DCSD is a zero-sum game: for every winner there must be a loser. But even my son understands that this doesn’t have to be the case.
    In another thread on Stan’s blog, an insightful person posted the idea that DCSD isn’t really concerned that these changes may result in families moving or choosing private school:
    Instead of looking at the supply side, by providing enough seats and making sure that DCSD is chosen by middle class families, DCSD is looking at the demand side. DCSD is comfortable with making decisions that reduce demand, making other options more attractive so that these pesky overcrowding issues and concerns about academic excellence will go away.

  25. I think the particular goal here is to get everybody out of trailers. While concerned about individual student achievement, I don’t think the academic achievement of a school in aggregate is a primary driver in the secondary facilities feasibility study.

  26. Dear Stan,
    I guess we will have to disagree, because I think that academic achievement 0f a school in aggregate should always be a strong factor in District and BOE decisions.
    Ignoring the vast academic issues created by this building plan, rather than taking positive action to define, reduce and solve those problems, is just wrong. I understand that it isn’t the job of Dan Drake or Joshua Williams to evaluate academics, but why isn’t someone at the District evaluating the District plan from an academic standpoint and “owning” the situation and reaching out to affected schools?
    This isn’t a typical ESPLOST program, where folks may disagree about which HVAC system gets replaced or which playgrounds are updated. This involves redistricting of thousands of middle and high school students. Maybe a more wholistic evaluation was needed.

  27. School achievement affects property values and communities in general, so I am keenly aware of and motivated by the potential affects of the district’s final recommendation on everybody in the district. I don’t believe, however, the district is as concerned as I am.

  28. Stuffed ballots

    That is correct. If anything, the district would prefer a bunch of C level schools vs having a few A level schools. Everyone shoot for mediocrity. It’s DeKalb county for goodness sake!

  29. Sagamore Hills Elementary School deserves to be heard. They DO NOT want to be included in any move whatsoever to Cross Keys.
    1. Sagamore has been feeding into Lakeside for 50 YEARS! Since Lakeside opened!
    2. They are so close to Lakeside they could walk! Making them go to another community? Why?
    3. Sending them to an outside neighborhood, crossing MAJOR roadways (HWY 85) for either HS or MS is so unsafe and such a headache. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is opening a HUGE facility, add in traffic for that, regular traffic and then add in over 2000 high school students driving, trying to get to school on time. SOUNDS LIKE AN EPIC DISASTER!
    4. Sagamore needs to stay in their current cluster! Let Tucker work out their Cluster of 150 kids. They want to keep their kids, and just add in another 150 seats to Lakeside addition or let them create a 6th or 9th grade Academy to help alleviate crowding. There are solutions!

  30. Rethinking this facilities update

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am very concerned about the impact of so many construction sites across regions 1 & 2 high schools for the next 7 years. I know a new Doraville high school was not chosen in the final rec but I’m thinking that was a mistake. The area is underserved. If we add a high school in that area we will have a far less disruptive path to a seat solution. For all of you who say it will be a CKHS.2, I say it doesn’t have to be. Programming and lottery seats can bring prestige and community buy in – we’ve seen it happen at Chamblee. I mean, does anyone really want 2500 seat schools ? Why are we accepting this? Another high school helps us all keep manageable student numbers, reduces traffic and balances educational services throughout the regions.

  31. There is a hidden plot to create diverse schools and bus white people out of their neighborhoods. All they want is diversity. They don’t care if they make you drive 5 hours more a week to get your child to band practice, cheerleading practice, etc. They don’t care if they make you go to a mega-school, because smaller schools make it impossible to incorporate that illegal-immigrant-complex. They don’t care if you specifically moved into your house for your child to go to a good school and paid taxes accordingly. Diversity is all they care about. These council-members only get promoted in their secret-club by pushing their secret agenda. So, never mind if your older child can safely bike, run, or walk to their neighborhood school. Walkability is not part of their agenda. They only give lip service to walkability. The problem is communicating the ‘secret club’ or ‘secret agenda’ problem to the other members of the neighborhood without violating the rules of political correctness. However, the more you publicly call them on their hidden agenda in a credible way, the more likely they’ll back down into the shadows.

  32. APES got duped!!

    The alliance between the folks at APES with the diversity police who pushed forward this initiative is coming back to bite them. Sagamore wants no part of this. APES voluntarily broke ties with MES and the Chambler cluster and it will result in two very mediocre school clusters. Tell me, what do you think the concerned parents will do when their school has a CCRPI that tanks? What will they do when they see that their kid has to go to lunch at 9:30am? What about when they can’t do a pep rally because you can’t fit 2400 students in a gym? When traffic is made all that much worse because you’ve increased a school that was built for 1600 into a monstrosity to fit 2400? I can tell you what they will do. They will keep their kids in elementary and maybe middle and then get the hell out.
    DeKalb has done some dumb ass things in my years of living here, but this is the stupidest one yet.

  33. Transforming our lives

    I’m really surprised people have been this accepting and quite about this. Like sheep being led to the slaughter. Here you have an overcrowding situation CREATED BY THE COUNTY and CREATED BY INEPT LAW ENFORCEMENT OF ILLEGAL ALIENS! There, I said it. Yes, illegals and mismanagement by the county are causing this and causing the hard working parents of Chamblee High, Lakeside High and those schools underneath to be completely thrown under the bus. Someone, please explain to me why my house value and my home school that I’ve worked very hard to make acceptable has to suffer all in the name of diversity? Really?! I moved to Chamblee because I have 4 kids all at various schools. I cannot afford to send all of them to private school. I will not tolerate the high school increasing by 50%. The easy solution here was to build a Doraville High School. And it would have been an awesome school. Maybe it would have had special programming that met the needs to the group that went there? Imagine that concept? Instead, we get this. Insane.

  34. What about reopening Briarcliff High School or Margaret High School. They are already in the area!!

  35. Annie, Good question. Opening Briarcliff HS and redistricting Region 2 would work for the high schools East of 85. Unfortunately it gives the district too many seats left over in Region 2. The only way to make that work would be to send 1000+ students from Region 1 (West of 85) to Briarcliff HS. This is still on the table. The final recommendation was: “Build a new 2,500 seat Cross Keys HS at Briarcliff site (or “cost‐neutral” location in Brookhaven area)”

  36. Any classroom addition at Lakeside, however feasible, is much needed to accommodate the 400 over-capacity students that are enrolled TODAY. Moving 250 students from the Sagamore attendance area seems to only address the diversity concerns for Cross-Keys high school. Logistically, it makes little sense. Sagamore is within 2 miles of Lakeside, while students at Pleasantdale Elementary are much farther and attend Lakeside, although they are much closer to Tucker High School. What is the reasoning behind the proposed move of 125 existing Tucker High students into Lakeside High? Keep Tucker High attendance as is. Keep Sagamore students at Lakeside High. Sagamore and Ashford Park students shouldn’t be presumed to be the “backbone” of a new Cross Keys cluster based on their current success, despite the proximity to other clusters.

  37. It always amazes me at the audacity of folks to “know” what is best for others. APES position paper touts their values. cost matters, distance matters, diversity matters, community matters…it seems to me their position is more of a demand than an opinion.
    There community matters to them but have no issue with straining another community for the sake of their own.It may not have happened yet but, it always amazes me when Dan Drake gets out his “pen” and draws a line here or there that shifts 0-250 kids. This is useless and unnecessary angst on everyone. Did APES wake up one day an said say let’s grab some students over here in this little area. Sounds more like they had a handle on what may happen before Sagamore did. Wonder why? When was the APES position Map drawn and published? Is the county really entertaining this idea?
    Distance matters????
    Yes, I would love to let my teenager drive down Clairmont or Briarcliff, thru the I85 interchange merge onto the access road, turn by the pink pony, cross Buford highway and then get to school at limited parking. Or maybe turn at Briarwood, merge onto Buford then turn at Cliff Valley. What if highway is jammed? Hmmm. Alternate route, Druid Hills Rd over I85 up the hill. HAHAHAHAHAHA! These people must not travel near any of these roads or have zero idea of the time it would take a TEENAGER to drive this everyday. Heck, I know grown adults who cant take it.
    Ashford Park how dare you present a map with a grab of land/area that is not “yours”. DCSD shame on you for putting any child in this position or even thinking about it. (Yes, the school system is moving kids across 85 now for newly named John Lewis but this is temporary and I didn’t think that one was good either).
    I truly would like to know where the APES map originated from? Was this sanctioned by DCSD or is it one of those eager folks like that group in Fernbank who love to decided how everyone else’s school will be affect except their own. Engineering is good for buildings, products and biology but not so good for people. Social and economic engineering that is based on the opinions of one person or a group is always going to be an issue to someone else.
    Basically, swim in your own damn lane.

  38. Chad Peterson

    As someone who lives in Ashford Park, I’m all for Option A. But how bad does Doralville really want a high school. Name me the locations in Doralville that can be purchased (30 acre ES and 40 acre high school). Assembly? Seriously, start throwing out locations for ITP of 70 acres. You got google maps just like the APES parents.
    I support Option D. I support Option A. I support Option C. The problem is that no one else supported them. And no, advocating for a TAD when DCSD is looking to purchase 70 acres in your city is laughable. It’s the exact opposite of support. Option B can be implemented January 1st. APES looked at these facts and proposed an improvement to Option B that identified a potential parcel of land. They did what the City of Doralville, its residents, and all the residents of surrounding areas haven’t apparently done. Sagamore Hills is more than welcome to improve Option B or advocate for Option A. They are a lot closer to Briarcliff than I am. Throw out some parcels of land that you guys think are potential lots.
    I support all the options and I think most APES parents would as well!

  39. Sagamore residents HAVE advocated for Option A, and also had a voice for Option B, but for the Cross Keys location (not Briarcliff HS location). However, when the county asks for a high school cluster statement, it is hard to go directly against the high school contingency. The best longterm solution is a high school in Doraville, and even then, we all have some overcrowding that may still need to be addressed. Doraville is in a very difficult location – the area that desperately needs a school sits right at Spaghetti Junction. But we do not need to find 30-40 acres. There are options for schools that allow for less acreage if you build up. So there are smaller parcels that might be located if the schools would think beyond the traditional buildings. Or, look at the craziness with North Atlanta HS. They built straight up, in an old IBM building (granted, the entire compound is 56 acres. But it was an existing structure, so there are outside the box options). Suggestions for finding land near Doraville can also involve selling Briarcliff HS, taking some of the funds for the additions on Dunwoody, CCHS, Lakeside, and putting it towards a smaller budgeted high school in Doraville. It doesn’t have to open with an auditorium (most high schools didn’t have one until late!) It can be built with 3 stories rather than flat. I’m not sure of the details, but I would love to see a delay of the vote in December to give everyone a chance to really think about these options. The additions are going to be a huge disruption to communities. We’d love to give suggestions of land in the Doraville area – give us some time and see if it’s an option. But at this point, the county has not put in enough effort to really figure out a plan. The Options were given to most of the communities in the summer. Many residents had no idea this was coming, nor the implication of the Options. Now that we see the additions, it is an entirely different ballgame. We need to delay, regroup, and really come up with a better strategies.
    I don’t know the answers. None of us do. But I’d love a few more months to get a ton of people to the table. Not spokespersons for the clusters, but just a lot of people who really love the students and advocate for public education. If it ends up we still need massive additions, so be it. But I think the energy we all have can be channeled into something good, rather than using it to pit us all against each other. That’s the silver lining in all of this – many people are now involved, and maybe we can keep that momentum to get more changes WITHIN the buildings, with the curriculum, with leadership, with everything. Our anger, frustration, arguments – it’s passion for our communities. That’s a good thing…

  40. Chad,
    Who needs 40 acres for a 2400 seat high school?
    DCSD is planning to put 2400 seats on the Chamblee Charter High School site, which is only 20.71 acres! This site also includes the natatorium used by many schools. Although it’s cool to host the natatorium, it takes a lot of space and provides only one ‘classroom’ for PE. Yet DCSD rejected the Consultant’s Alternate Option that included land acquisition for the addition at CCHS.
    Seriously, of course I agree that a all schools needs an adequate site. But I also believe that architects are clever and if they start from scratch to build a mega-high school on a smallish site, they will do much better than trying to retrofit mega-high schools onto small sites such as Chamblee, Dunwoody, and Lakeside.

  41. Completely support up or nontraditional. I just didn’t see any North Atlanta campuses in Doralville. Would love to have someone throw out a potential site.