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
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.
6) IN FACT, THE PLAN DOES NOT HONOR THOSE CONCERNS AT ALL FOR MEMBERS OF THE LAKESIDE HS CLUSTER.
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.
22) WE ASK THAT YOU PLEASE NOT SUPPORT THE DESTRUCTION OF THIS COMMUNITY! AND PLEASE VOTE ONLY FOR A PLAN THAT INCLUDES A SUFFICIENT ADDITION TO LAKESIDE THAT WILL ACCOMMODATE ALL OF THE STUDENTS WITHIN THE LAKESIDE CLUSTER.