Is 600 More Seats At Chamblee Charter HS A Good Idea?

Please help me understand why this is good for anybody in the Chamblee Charter High School cluster community?

Chamblee Charter High School (CCHS) currently has 1,624 students enrolled. School district administration is currently predicting CCHS will have 2,328 students (518 students over current capacity) by year 2022. To address the capacity issues, the administration plans on constructing a 600-seat, three-story addition extending the current footprint and bringing the school to 120 classrooms with a 2,410 student capacity
The conceptual plan includes

  • 116 space parking lot in front of school fronting Chamblee Dunwoody Rd
  • Kitchen extension (984 sq/ft)
  • Cafeteria extension (1,891 sq/ft)
  • Media center expansion (2,647 sq/ft)
  • 2 story employee parking garage
School Kitchen Cafeteria Media Center
Existing Size Proposed Addition Revised Size Existing Size Proposed Addition Revised Size Existing Size Proposed Addition Revised Size
Lakeside HS 4,258 1,546 5,804 8,560 2,025 10,585 6,466 4,391 10,857
Dunwoody HS 2,469 1,731 4,200 7,536 485 8,021 5,795 2,020 7,815
Chamblee Charter HS 4,322 984 5,306 7,719 1,891 9,610 6,963 2,647 9,610

Stan Jester

How is this 600 seat building addition good for the existing Chamblee Charter HS community? Chamblee Charter HS Governing Board and Chamblee MS PTSA expressly don’t want it. I am opposed to this addition for the reasons below.
In the school district and board’s infinite wisdom, we are moving forward with this plan. Please help me understand why this is good for anybody in the CCHS cluster community? I suspect, like whatever support there is for the Dunwoody additions, any support for the CCHS building additions are driven by redistricting.

Guideline for Educational Facility Site Selection
This GA DOE Guideline for Educational Facility Site Selection applies to the existing sites on which a new educational facility will be constructed. In accordance with these guidelines, the minimum useable acreage requirements of the State Board of Education are 20 acres plus one acre for each 100 students in FTE for High School Facilities.
If the new capacity for CCHS is 2,400 students, then the total site acreage for this high school should be at least 44 acres.
However, the 2016 Chamblee Charter HS School Assessment Report says the school has a total area of 20.6 acres. The guidelines allow for a waiver or variance of the minimum useable acreage requirements. Unless DeKalb Schools plans on purchasing 20+ more acres, then DeKalb must get waivers for the GA DOE Educational Facility Site Selection guidelines.
Guideline for Square Footage Requirements for Educational Facilities
The Georgia Department of Education spells out the facilities square footage requirements in the Guideline for Square Footage Requirements for EducationalFacilities
Formula for Cafeteria Requirements:Middle and High School = Total FTE divided by 3.15 multiplied by 12
(FTE x 3.809). The bare minimum requirement for a school with a capacity of 2,400 students is 9,141 sq/ft. The conceptual plan has 9,610 sq/ft. While the cafeteria meets state standards, it won’t exceed the standards by as much as it does now. The added cafeteria space is not proportional to the added student capacity of the school. There is less cafeteria space per student.
Kitchen Requirements and all support areas for food service: Schools with more than 2,100 students require at least 4,200 sq/ft of kitchen and food service area. The conceptual plan has 5,306 sq/ft. Once again, while the conceptual plans for the kitchen addition meet state standards, the addition is not proportional to the added student capacity. There is less kitchen space per student.
The DOE guidelines require a minimum of 8,175 sq/ft for 2,400 students. The conceptual plan has 9,600 sq/ft. The conceptual plans are proportional to the new building addition.
Major high school facility corridors shall be at least 12 feet wide with an additional foot added for each width of lockers to be located in the corridor. The corridors already meet state standards and will not be adjusted. As the population grows to capacity, the students can expect to be packed in the hallways like sardines.
High schools must have a gym of at least 22,000 sq/ft. The size of the gym will not be adjusted. All problems with the current capacity of the gym will be exacerbated as the student population grows.
Traffic, City Code, Parking, etc…
The above list is not inclusive of all the reasons I object to this building addition.

Please help me understand why this is good for anybody in the existing CCHS cluster?
I’m still waiting to hear from anybody that has anything positive to say about the Dunwoody building additions. DHS school council, Dunwoody School Daze, the two ladies from Kingsley and Chesnut that wrote the board and senior administration regarding their concerns about my representation of the community, I challenge you all to tell me the positives that would come from the Dunwoody HS building additions that wouldn’t happen otherwise. –Stan

Furthermore, not only is it a bad idea once … the district plans to continue adding building additions to these schools every 5 years or so.
November 2016 FAQ
10. Why build to a utilization of 100% rather than adding additional capacity?
Rather than risk the cost of “overbuilding” by adding much more capacity than is needed, or “underbuilding” by building much less capacity than is needed, the District is recommending adding capacity as the forecast data indicates is needed. Our buildings will be designed so that, if warranted, we can add additional building capacity to accommodate future student capacity needs at each school where possible.

Related posts

Pros and Cons of adding 600 seats to Dunwoody HS
January 7, 2017 – Moving forward, I’m trying to understand the support for the building addition at Dunwoody High School.

109 responses to “Is 600 More Seats At Chamblee Charter HS A Good Idea?

  1. Does the 20.6 acres include the stadium? I looked through the assessment report and could not come up with a positive answer.

  2. Excellent question. The 20.6 acres does not include the stadium. The stadium is a district asset and is considered adjacent to the CCHS site.
    Use of North DeKalb Stadium by CCHS is permitted with special request from schools. CCHS does not have a practice site for track and field, so CCHS track and field teams practice at the stadium. CCHS physical education classes are permitted to use the stadium during the day. However, after school use is limited due to numerous events scheduled at the stadium including soccer, lacrosse and track for Varsity and JV competitions by the DeKalb Schools this stadium services.

  3. Tim DeBardelaben

    Will Dekalb County BOC allow permits for all this. If you look at Lakeside addition they are doing away with almost all the green space of the school. The parking in the front of building will practically be on street parking. A parking deck that close to homes will be a eyesore to many neighbors near school.
    When will anybody be held accountable for the poor planning in the past. Now we are letting the same people lead us down the same path of poor planning.
    Why are we already overcrowded in our two newest schools? Both Chamblee and Tucker were under built. Lakeside was overcrowded when they completed their last addition.
    Dekalb needs two new High Schools in the area. When are the leaders in our county going to realize this and make the hard decisions that need to be made?

  4. I will write more later. But my short answer to this is…..HELL TO THE NO!

  5. No its not.
    As Tim D stated, why did they get the sizing wrong in the first place and under build these places?

  6. Huntley Hills School Council, PTA, Foundation and Bill Armstrong, I’m asking you to help me understand your support for the building additions. What happens to make this a good thing for the Chamblee Charter HS community?

  7. Furthermore, not only is it a bad idea once … the district plans to continue adding building additions to these schools every 5 years or so.
    November 2016 FAQ
    10. Why build to a utilization of 100% rather than adding additional capacity?
    Rather than risk the cost of “overbuilding” by adding much more capacity than is needed, or “underbuilding” by building much less capacity than is needed, the District is recommending adding capacity as the forecast data indicates is needed. Our buildings will be designed so that, if warranted, we can add additional building capacity to accommodate future student capacity needs at each school where possible.

  8. Stan, I agree with you that the CCHS plan will be a disaster, but aren’t we are beating a dead horse? Clearly DCSD thinks that less than a 1% “safety margin” for growth equates to “adding much more capacity than is needed.”
    The other BOE members, who all voted to approve this plan, clearly agree that this plan is a good thing for CCHS (or they don’t care, and see this as another way to “stick it to” CCHS and the other high schools in Region 1). And as you mentioned, there are some Chamblee stakeholders who think that the DCSD plan is a grand idea.
    They believed that approving the DCSD plan NOW, with its many obvious flaws, was the best course of action.
    They believe that DCSD will add appropriate acreage to CCHS and find the millions in funds to do so.
    They believe that mega-high schools are an improvement over smaller high schools in every other DCSD Region.
    They believe that mega-high schools will attract students and teachers, and yield improved academic outcomes for students.
    They believe that when CCHS and Dunwoody and Lakeside outgrow their facilities AGAIN, that DCSD will have another “positive and fiscally responsible” plan which the BOE and voters will embrace.
    I realize that you are trying to prevent this terrible plan from happening, but I believe that it is too late. I listened to all of the thoughtful and committed speakers who begged the BOE to defer the E-SPLOST-V vote to reconsider some of these very issues, and the BOE completely ignored them.
    This is a very sad time.

  9. Why are we still discussing the merits of the board approved building addition? – Currently, whenever anybody asks me about the building additions, I tell them what a horrible idea this is and how detrimental it will be for the Chamblee Charter High School students and community. I would like to understand and be able to speak to the positives for the building additions over the Doraville cluster option. Please let me know if anybody comes up with one. –Stan

  10. @Pat W,
    FYI, the sizes of all DCSD facilities, including stadiums, are at It states that North DeKalb Stadium is 7.32 acres.
    It’s curious to see that Chamblee Middle School and Chamblee Charter High School would BOTH almost fit in the 29+ acres of the Dunwoody HS campus.
    The campus of Arabia Mountain High School is bigger than all of the Region 1 high schools COMBINED, with over 79 acres. It’s a pity that it’s located in Region 4, which already has 1000 excess high school seats.

  11. Bill Armstrong

    Stan, can I borrow your time travel Delorean? If we are going back to the Fall to have a “do-over” on the board’s vote, I’d really like to make a few changes to some playcalling by the Georgia Bulldog coaching staff.

  12. You do realize that Arabia Mountian was voted on by the Voter in SPLOST 3 (?) as a means to alleviate overcrowding in Region 4. After the high school was built Jay Cunningham and Dr. Lewis decided the building was to nice for the area and guess what. It became a Magnet School. Just another bait and switch by central office.

  13. chamblee getting screwed

    Here’s the deal. Chamblee got screwed (see what I did there with my name?)
    Here are the consequences:
    1. Chamblee’s rankings and reputation will most certainly drastically go down. No more being ranked as one of the top schools in the USA. You cannot bring 600+ kids in from failing elementary school feeders and expect the same educational results.
    2. Discipline issues will increase. 600+ students coming in from lower socioeconomic backgrounds whose native language is not English will cause disruption in the community. Gokce will call me a “hater” for this, but it is a legitimate fact.
    3. Chamblee High will become Cross Keys 2 plus the magnet. There will be few resident students remaining that actually live in north Brookhaven/west Chamblee who aren’t in the magnet program. A real estate friend of mine got 10+ calls and numerous listings in the few weeks after the announcement. Word is that a number of resident parents are applying their 5th and 8th graders into private schools. As such you likely won’t need all those seats because numerous folks will not tolerate being socially engineered into an overly large high school by the county. They bought their houses near a well ranked smaller high school – not a monstrosity mega school in which English is a second language becomes the norm. Sorry but those are the facts.
    So there you have it. Magnet kids will be ok if they chose to remain in magnet, but the rest of the school will be Cross Keys 2. You see, folks don’t ever think about unintended consequences of their actions. The consequence here will be losing most residents who aren’t in the magnet program that can either afford to go to private or move to a district that has not been screwed over.
    We personally are debating whether magnet is worth it at this point.

  14. So, I have elementary aged children (one not even in elementary school yet). To chamblee getting screwed, I don’t disagree at all with the logic you’ve laid out here, and have agreed with the logic in many of your previous posts. But, I truly hope you are wrong on this one. If everyone in the CMS/CCHS district has this same mentality and outlook about our area schools, then certainly we’re all doomed! My family is planning to dig our heels in and ride this one out, while hoping for the best possible outcome, given the potential circumstances. While this may seem foolish in the eyes of some, I hope others will take the same approach and vow to work hard at keeping CMS and CCHS the great schools they are today, regardless of what the student make up actually ends up looking like. Do I wish the BOE’s decision had been different last December? You bet I do. But, the decision has been made and I’m ready to move forward to the next phase in the most positive way possible.

  15. ConcernedParent

    Interesting take from both Chamblee Getting Screwed and Survey Says. In hindsight, I just am really disappointed in our community for letting this happen. I’m disappointed that the Chamblee cluster didn’t fight this harder. If memory serves, only MES was actively offering additional suggestions options. I’m disappointed that Ashford Park just threw up their hands, sold out their cluster, and acquiesced to a plan that wasn’t very well thought out. I’m disappointed in some folks that like to think of themselves as the “champions of Cross Keys” were so narrowly focused on “rescuing” Cross Keys that they wouldn’t consider the impact at the other schools and didn’t work to listen and work with folks who might not see things the same way to come to an acceptable solution. Instead, they resorted to bullying type tactics and name calling. I’m disappointed that those in the CCHS/CMS cluster who were equally narrowly focused on only keeping the magnet at CCHS.
    The magnet program is a big real reason we are in the situation we are in. In full transparency, I am of the belief that the magnet program selection process needs to be radically changed or even fundamentally blown up. It is government picking winners and losers (choice, yeah right!) and results in forced divisiveness between the “haves” (those that are lottery winners) vs. the “have nots” (those who can’t get in because they don’t have the luck to get their name drawn). But yet, major decisions around the entire SPLOST V program and decisions on school buildings revolved around 600 magnet students. And we reap what we sow. Chamblee gets to keep the magnet, but at what cost? There were still be many on the outside looking in and the school will now be insufferably large. A mega school on property designed for a community school. I don’t see how there are any winners here. And if you believe what Chamblee says, CCHS will be come magnet plus Cross Keys 2 unless something is done. But hey, the school still gets to keep the magnet program, though…..

  16. Bill Armstrong

    Survey – good for you – trust me you are not alone. I’m not sure where you are, but at Huntley Hills many are thinking along the lines you express. I say many because I would not presume to speak for all. But our “rainbow” Title 1 school is performing fine, our kids move on to CMS & CCHS & continue to do so.
    Concerned – many good points on the consequences of the “Magnet at all cost” gambit. I have a resident CCHS & a Magnet at CMS, and I struggle with what you say. Yes it can be positive, but at what cost? And it does seem that many of the lottery winners think they got picked by the computer because they “earned it more.” Whenever I’ve reminded my son’s friends, as I did him, that there were very likely kids in their home schools that tested just as well if not better than them, they often seem shocked at the idea. I wonder what they get told at home. I could go on . . . but
    “Champions of Cross Keys” – well I certainly wouldn’t tag myself with that – but if others do – so be it. “Fixing” their situation, “rescuing” as you say, well that was a stated purpose of this effort. Not the only, but clearly a major priority. I always kept that in mind when considering alternatives. “Haves & have nots” – the language for your lottery winner-loser point, yes – well I think it could be applied to Cross Keys and the children feeding into there & those into CMS/CCHS. I think this result is overall a positive step. Far from perfect, but I think workable.
    Referring to +600 CCHS as “Magnet & CK 2” – well, I guess my kids do, & will fall into both. And many of their friends. If “those kids” coming to Chamblee is going to ruin the school, well what does that say about the school? Not the kids, the school. I know that many “champions of preserving Chamblee – with the Magnet” well it’s been pretty clear that some would prefer to have what I have heard referred to as a Title 1 Cluster centered in Doraville. Better to serve “those kids.”
    Social engineering? Well, that sounds like some engineering in itself. Motivated by what? “us vs. them?”
    Bullying & name calling? Yeah, but it came from both sides. Always has, people get emotional – it’s their kid’s education. Better passion than apathy. Well, to a point.
    Bullying? Not sure I bullied anyone – I never sent out a single “official” email telling all in my school (HHES) what to do, think or say. Yeah, I sure got some (CMS especially), but I didn’t feel bullied. I’m a big boy.
    Yes, some name calling was directed at parents opposed to the result, but some of the worst name calling coming from them? It was aimed at kids. “Those kids.” Ruining “our” school, “our” test scores, “our” reputation, “our” property values. Phrases like “culture clash” were bandied around with impunity by some – assuming all in the room agreed with them.
    We can talk acreage and crowded hallways all we want. But I’ve sat in enough meetings, read enough emails & blog posts to know that for some, I’m not going to even say most, but it is many, that it isn’t about the crowded hallways, it’s about who’s crowding them.
    The schools are getting built, others are getting expanded, everything will be redistricted to some extent. I say move forward within the process. Refighting it over & over – not helping.

  17. I don’t condone the name calling and racism. All I can say is that adding 600 seats to CCHS does nothing to improve academic achievement. I have a litany of reasons why this is bad for the students and community at large. I’m just getting started.

  18. Stan,
    Did you forget DCSD is a Strategic Waiver School System? We don’t have to follow any of the state guidelines. How many students are in classrooms at Lakeside now? 40? 45? 50? Some classes are in each of those categories. The thing is, if you look at the student enrollment projections from 2012, the entire current “crisis” was predicted and the BOE chose not to address it. They were more interested in getting SPLOST money into their districts. That is why the SPLOST IV additions were not large enough. The district committed to build 900 seat elementary schools where only 650 seats are needed. Thurmond didn’t do anything about it. He was more interested in contracts for his friends. I expect to see some changes in the plans, the usual “bait & switch,” as time goes on.

  19. Strategic Waiver School System (SWSS) waivers don’t apply to construction requirements. The GA DOE Guideline for Educational Facility Site Selection is SBOE Rule 160-5-4-.16 (a) 6 – Facility Site, Construction, and Reimbursement. Here is the list of DeKalb Schools’ waivers: Exhibit B – Flexibility Component of Contract For the DeKalb County School District

  20. chamblee getting screwed

    Bill Armstrong – there you go again. People are racists because they don’t want failing schools being districts in their school? How is that racist? Hate to break the news to you pal, but there are differences here. You and Gokce can live in your rainbow and lollipop world, but the fact of the matter is that these kids need different services than the kids that are going to chamblee high. Most of them are either illegals themselves or are first born citizens. They need acculturation. They need programs for their families to be able to learn English. They need much different things than the kids, white, black, Asian, Arab, and yes Hispanic have at Chamblee High. You see Chamblee High with these magnet program has all races and creeds. But those kids come from a very different place and have very different needs.This is not a race thing, moron. This is a social economic thing. And the social engineering that’s going alon harms everyone. Yes, I’ll say it. It makes no sense not to create a Doraville High school to meet the needs of many of these folks. Instead, the social planners like yourself who are intent upon trying to make a utopia of x% this and y% that create much more chaos. So if you are going to imply people are racist for merely stating the obvious, you’re bullying people.

  21. I know tempers are running high on this topic, but let’s be careful with the tenor and tone please.

  22. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Screwed, it’s Gökçe and I prefer my world to be all rainbows and unicorns. 🙂

  23. Mr. Gökçe and Chamblee Getting Screwed, Let’s stay on topic please.

  24. I sincerely would like to know what supporters of these building additions see as the features of this option.

  25. I guess I had better respond to Anonymous…
    but first, a disclaimer, I live in Tucker. I am not a member of any of the school councils, or PTAs mentioned earlier.
    I supported the Huntley Hills Elementary School Council’s proposal because it addressed overcrowding without requiring the magical acquisition of 30 (or so) acres of land in Doraville. Due to the historical mismanagement of school construction and maintenance, the school district continues to face more needs than resources. In order to address as many needs as possible, I supported the option which did not include tens of millions of dollars in site costs.
    That said, I think Stan has raised some valid concerns regarding the planned high school expansions. I am not convinced the proposals (as they currently stand) are well thought out. Personally, I am not against 2,400 seat schools. However, I don’t like the idea of 2,400 seat schools on sites that can’t support a school of that size.
    Beating a dead horse here, but I believe there should be massive redistricting. The Brookhaven cluster should straddle I85. Avondale High should be renovated and used (along with much redistricting) to alleviate overcrowding in region 2. This would have minimized the size of the additions to the high schools in regions 1 and 2.
    Money should be the factor driving decisions, not parent’s fears and prejudices. (I am looking at you, chamblee getting screwed) In my opinion, the administration’s choice, with the BOE’s approval, does not represent smart planning or good money management. They got close, but swung and missed.

  26. Also,
    Thank you Stan, for correcting my error.
    Unfortunately, based on past experiences with the GaDOE, I have little faith in their desire, or ability, to enforce construction requirements. DeKalb has historically ignored GaDOE rules and regulations without any consequences. I don’t see that changing any time soon.

  27. Food for thought –
    The Secondary Schools Study consultants noted there would be 2,800 empty high school & middle school seats in the district in the year 2022. (A more accurate number is 3,485 because Avondale H.S. is going to be empty.)
    However, instead of utilizing a single one of those seats, the administration decided to create 6,042 seats.
    What if the district did the New Brookhaven High and Cross Keys conversion? Together that adds 2,700 additional seats.
    Renovating and utilizing Avondale High brings that number to 3,385.
    The total number of additional seats created by school additions is 3,350.
    The need for high school and middle school additions would be eliminated and tens of millions of dollars saved to be used to repair leaking roofs.
    This wasn’t done because it required redistricting.

  28. If we want to know what academic performance (based on average milestone scores) will be like in a few years then it is probably best to look at today’s 5th graders that will feed into Chamblee. We know that Montgomery, Kittredge, and Huntley Hills will feed into Chamblee. My best guess is that Cary Reynolds (and future Doraville ES) and a portion of Dresden will also feed into Chamblee. Academic reputation will take a hit, but Chamblee will still be an above average school. The weighed average of the combined group puts us around the 78% percentile. Even if Montgomery pulls out 100%, Chamblee will still be above median as long as Kittredge stays.
    If we want Chamblee to be a great school, then the focus needs to be on helping the Sequoyah cluster. I think the extra elementary school to relieve the poor conditions in that area should help a lot. The realignment will hurt, but there is room to grow.

  29. Bill Armstrong

    chamblee getting screwed – you are aware that much of the black & Hispanic population at Chamblee High is not the result of the Magnet program – but rather the resident population? Although not so much from MES – “not that there’s anything wrong with that” – my family has a very large group of friends on the other side of Cham. Dun. – I know I’m shuffling around plenty of girls to Perimeter Mall & they “invade” my house for sleepovers, none drive – yet.
    To see this all you have to do is visit the 7A & 7B (resident) & 7C (magnet) hallways in CMS – the first year they are together in the same building. Well sort of “together.”
    I’ve had a child on 7A (now at CCHS – 9th) & now on 7C – both fine hallways full of great kids – many of different socio-economic status.
    Or check out a Kittredge yearbook – I’ve got last year’s you can borrow if you’d like. So if you’re telling me that the Kittredge – 7C – CCHS Magnet path is a pipeline to your rainbow connection, those of different needs from “those kids” you refer to . . . well . . . not sure I can change your mind.

  30. Hispanic and English Learner Graduation Rates
    Where should Hispanic and English Language Learners go to high school for the best chance to graduate? According to the GaDOE 4 Year Cohort 2016 Graduation Rates. Cross Keys HS (CKHS) has a different curriculum than CCHS and DHS. I’m guessing the academic experience at CKHS is quite different. Perhaps that would account for the difference in academic achievement between the schools for Hispanics and English Language Learners.

    School Graduation Rate – English Learners
    Cross Keys High School 56.8%
    Dunwoody High School 31.0%
    Lakeside High School 26.3%
    Chamblee Charter High School Too Few Students


    School Graduation Rate – Hispanics
    Cross Keys High School 70.2%
    Lakeside High School 62.5%
    Chamblee Charter High School 59.5%
    Dunwoody High School 57.6%
  31. Bill Armstrong

    Kirk – much solid food for thought. The factor of redistricting has come up every time any proposed school closings, new schools, additions, etc. Nature of the beast.
    BTW: While we are discussing the size of the CCHS school site, (which I too would like to see expanded, if it can be done), I think it would help some to come to grips that CCHS is not a “suburban” school. It’s really fairly “urban” – & I’m not talking the code word for black – I’m talking the realities of where it is – even with added property. It’s locked in pretty tight – but is facing an increased need with a growing demand – more population (plus the Magnets). The whole area is. It’s going to need to built tight on that site. Pushing past 2K might seem like “mega” to some, no longer our “neighborhood” HS, but that ship has sailed. At least in size compared to the past. But go to a football game on a Friday night – feels much like a neighborhood school to me – certainly for an urban HS, inside 285. Others sports, plays, concerts, same deal.
    And these hallways. I was there recently for AP night. Those hallways looked eerily familiar to my high school in 1980. Same width, same floor, doors to classrooms. Lockers? Yep – standard hallway.
    Bell rings? full of kids. Changing rooms. Yep, still works.
    And when they build more classrooms, those building will have hallways too, right? I bet they do. It’s not going to be trailers.
    And I will say this – if the concern is really the “physical plant” and not a potential change in academic performance & “reputation” then I would expect many would look at those ES with high performance, that have many trailers & wonder why everyone hasn’t left those schools long ago.

  32. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean it’s to be done. To quote a comedian, “Just because you can drive with your feet doesn’t make it a good idea.”
    These building additions mean less common space per student … more crowded gym, cafeteria, locker room, hallways, etc … it’s detrimental to the students and community of CCHS.
    All the schools in DeKalb are urban schools … but Lakeside, Chamblee, Dunwoody and Clarkston are the only ones they plan on squeezing more students into like sardines. In the past when other areas of DeKalb were over capacity, they built new schools even though they’re urban too. Just check out the size of the properties of all those high schools South of 78.

  33. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    CCHS current common areas were spec’d to support > 2,000 students. I think the advertised figure at construction was 2,200. If the enrollment lands at 2,200 would you consider that ok? 2,300?
    Will construction be disruptive? Surely. Will there be challenges for the school to accommodate 2,400 students? Surely. Will it be the Armageddon-like experience folks here are calling it? Hell-to-the-no. Even if the enrollment reaches 2,400 (and that is very much a question) it seems to me that figure is marginally above the published capacity of the cafeteria and gym components.
    Stan, if you truly believe the facilities will be inadequate, can you please provide specific recommendations so that we can rally behind those? The project teams and community can surely adopt those as advocacy goals. I’ve asked that question here a couple of times and no one has offered any square footage they think the CCHS cafeteria needs to be nor what additions to the CCHS gym complex must be made. Those seem to be the two key areas. So what should they be?
    I’m a loudmouth and will happily add my voice to yours if we have a real message to get behind.

  34. CK does an excellent job tailoring their course selection to the needs of their community. Here is a short list of the unique course offerings that they have that CHHS does not offer.
    Compared to the unique course offerings that CHHS currently has for the learners in their school.
    There is no overlapping between the two.
    The county is not going to award the schools enough points to make each program work. We will have to double programs. In reality that is not going to happen. That is why I see all students losing in this scenario.

  35. No, it’s not OK to add 600 seats to CCHS and not expand the gym and all the other common spaces proportional to the addition in seats. We are asking the students and community of CCHS to sacrifice. They don’t want it. I don’t want it. I still have yet to hear anything positive about it for the students and community of CCHS.
    Dunwoody HS has already asked the school district to address their other Overburdened Common Spaces to no avail.

  36. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Lynn: that is the catalog for the DeKalb School of Technology North housed at CK. Those programs serve a seven high school area of North DeKalb and are NOT tailored in any way for CK student body.
    With the exception of a few additional AP offerings at CCHS the core academic course offerings are virtually identical.

  37. Kim, let’s be honest. Most of the students in that program at CK are the students of CK. There are very few students from outside that take advantage of that program.
    So if what you are saying is correct, even more students than those of CK and CHHS are going to lose a valuable resource. Not all students are going to college, but this program gives the students what they need to give them apprentice credit that they would need to get a good paying job out of high school.

  38. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Honest? Lakeside probably has more students than any other HS in the region in these programs. I do not know that you are aware at all what is happening inside Cross Keys with academic offerings.
    I think you are selling CK kids short for no apparent reason. Let me say this is ALL CAPS so everyone can hear it …
    English language learner does not equal low potential or non-college track. Sheesh.

  39. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Lynn, your question about what happens to the CTAE Pathway offerings currently housed at CK to serve seven area high schools is perfectly valid. I share your concern.

  40. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    And since we are on the CTAE Pathways subject it is one very near and dear to my heart …. our students do not have to choose between a Pathway and college or liberal arts university track. It isn’t either/or but can be both. I’ve seen it over and over and folks need to clue into the fact that our CTAE Pathways are a great asset for COLLEGE-BOUND kids.

  41. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Want to be an Engineer? Sure, take the Engineering and Manufacturing Pathway at CK and AP Calc and go to GT or Southern Poly (Kennesaw now). Want to be a pharmacist? Sure, take CK’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) CTAE Pathway AND AP Chemistry and go to Emory or Augusta or Athens. CK Foundation’s first scholarship recipient did just that.
    These and other cases I see over and over and the kids that leverage both the CTAE offerings and AP offerings are the most competitive and ready to move on for life!

  42. Probably? According to the October 2016 Non Resident Attendees Matrix, only 12 students go to Cross Keys High School that are zoned for Lakeside HS.
    While Hispanic and English Language Lerner does not equal low potential, they have a much higher chance of graduation at Cross Keys HS than Chamblee Charter HS.

  43. Mr. Gökçe, You have 4 comments in a row. We value your input, but please consolidate your comments. Thank you.

  44. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    My view isn’t welcome here and I know it. One comment or twenty. There were more than 20 LHS students just in the CNA program last I checked.
    Stan, your insight on chances of graduation are depressing because they are static and backward looking. So you’re suggesting that “mixing” these populations is a bad idea because of the failure of CCHS?

  45. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    And SO sorry for the successive comment but I don’t think the Matrix includes CTAE students who go 1/2 day which is the Pathway model. That is for students who actually attend CKHS fullt ime and live in LHS zone, I believe..

  46. Your views are quite welcome. However, I would appreciate it if you would give your comments thoughtful consideration instead of posting every couple minutes when a thought comes to you. Instead of saying “probably” and guessing on figures, research and document.
    I’m not happy with the graduation rate of those demographics at CCHS. I’m suggesting that Hispanics and English Language Learners that go to CCHS currently have a diminished chance of graduation.

  47. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Really? If that were a criteria for commenting here, half or more of the comments would be red-lined. Wild speculation is ok except for me? I appreciate the courtesy but not the pretense. I am “moderated” because I do not agree. I accept that but please don’t expect me to believe it isn’t the case.
    I’ll retire from the thread because I shared what I know on the point that was raised. The attendance matrix does not track Pathways attendees. Many students in addition to CK students leverage the Pathways at CKHS. CKHS students are like students throughout the region. Why this is controversial I have no idea. Adieu – I surrender the field as it was never mine.

  48. I second Kim’s comment “English language learner does not equal low potential or non-college track”. Oak Grove Elementary has had several English language learning families attend in the last couple of years. The principal commented in a recent school update that the cumulative improvement of those families went from a “red level” to a “green level” in just one year. In the right environment, learning and achievement is possible.

  49. Kim, 75% of the last 10 comments are from you. Consolidate please … that’s all I’m asking. And if possible, document your statistics.

  50. Bill Armstrong

    I’ll go back to my original Delorean time-travel comment. We went through the process. No it wasn’t perfect, but there was one & I think it went basically as advertised. Options were considered, position papers crafted, some communities made more noise than others. In some areas a small but vocal group did so, in other it was more broadly-spread. Some more monolithic, others more diverse in opinions. Some remained more silent & unengaged.
    Emails and calls went everywhere, board members, school communities, etc. Kim & I had secret meetings with Russian Hackers. OK – I made that part up. There was an opportunity to address the board in person at meetings, Kim & I did, maybe others here did too? Hard to tell without real names. Heck, even color-coded shirts were worn.
    And then there was a vote. A decision was made. A plan is being developed, taxes will be collected, items will be budgeted for. Things will get built. Yeah, it’s government work, but it might get done somewhat on time & even roughly on budget. And then lines will be redrawn as needed.
    So, I say let’s move on. Stay vigilant, join the construction committees, at the very least stay engaged & informed. Work hard to help the process work. Things could possible evolve and get tweaked. Maybe Dandy Donuts will get a branch in the cafeteria? save the pedestrian traffic across Cham. Dun.
    The processed worked as it should. Maybe not in result to some. Likely perfect to none – myself included. But we have a vote. Something “won.”
    Hey, I’m not happy with how the process worked in the Presidential election – at least the result. But I don’t want a re-count, a do-over. Dang it, the electoral college has spoken, thus under our rules, the people have spoken. I have a new President. I’m not moving to Canada (or sending my kids to Marist – “not that there’s anything wrong with that”)
    But as I call for with our schools: like it or not, voted for him or not, when it comes to Trump you can chose to “Stay vigilant” . . .”at the very least stay engaged & informed. Work hard to help the process work.”
    Here – our schools, on the local level, cluster, region, district, again, join the process going forward. Make it work, as best it can.

  51. Kim:
    I looked at Stan’s number for students that come to CK from other schools. The program only serves 7% of students outside of CK’s attendance zone. So yes, there are a lot more kids that use CTAE from CK than any other school in DCSD.
    I am going to try and explain it like this because I do see both sides of everyone argument. I am a band director, music has been a passion all my life. My kids have heard music from the womb and have attended more concerts in their short time on earth than most people will every hear in their life. That being said, my son excels at band to this day. He makes honor band at the County, District, and State level. He is leaps and bounds ahead of his other students in his band class. Is it the fact that I gave him the experience that he took this knowledge and it helped him grow into the musician he is today? Who knows but I am guessing what I did early on and still today with private lessons and a semi-professional instrument has given him a leg up.
    Students from CMS and CHHS have continuously put students in Honor programs whether it be Chorus, Orchestra, or Band while SMS and CKHS do not. It is not the students’ fault or the teacher’s fault, it is just from a lack of resources.
    In the same aspects, CK has a fabulous soccer program that does not mind kicking many private elite schools butts around here. I have been in the stands cheering for them when they were headed to the state playoffs. Why is that, because they are all playing soccer it seems before they really can walk.
    It is the same idea for core classes. CK students do grow and they grow a lot. Kudos to the teachers and staff but it is hard when the growth between the two (CHHS and CK) is different. Many CHHS students have parents that are not English is not a second language and can work with their child on homework and also educate their child outside of the classroom, via trips, or tutors at the elementary level. That, in turn, gives them a leg up in core classes.
    I am saying what I think many parents are worried about, is the first few years are going to be difficult. Once all attendance lines are redrawn and we get more of a hybrid of learners in the elementary feeders we will not have this worry that we are experiencing now.
    Does that make sense?

  52. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    I’ve used up my comment character quota for the day, Lynn, so I’ll leave it at this: I understand, yes.

  53. Bill Armstrong

    Lynn, not sure where your ES is, assuming here in Chamblee? But maybe Magnet?
    Regardless, you state: “Once all attendance lines are redrawn and we get more of a hybrid of learners in the elementary feeders we will not have this worry that we are experiencing now.”
    Ids like to think that Huntley Hills has a “hybrid of learners.” Go up & down our hallways, come to our events, it is a rainbow, but not just socially, culturally, racial (BTW – no majority – Hispanic, then black, white, Asian) It is socio-economically diverse. I’ll be frank – check the walkers, the buses, the carpool line, you’ll see.
    We’re Title 1 – and we use the resources wisely. We are STEM. We are both Montessori & traditional. Our results? Overall they speak for themselves. Have for years. Do we have room for improvement? Sure. Should be do better for all? you bet.
    But overall, as a parent, I am please. Our community, across the board, it is as well. This place works. It is the students, and their families. BUT it’s even more so the staff. As our Regional Super. told me last fall – she sees the “buy-in” by the staff – they embrace our Principal’s vision. Our last Principal, Dr. Leissa , and now our current: Dr. Ford, the teachers get it. And they work hard.
    The families, you dig deep, you’ll certainly find many students have families that can’t “work with their child on homework and also educate their child outside of the classroom, via trips, or tutors at the elementary level. That, in turn, gives them a leg up in core classes.” But they do value education, they want success, their children show up ready to work as best they can, and the teachers help them, they do their job. They do beyond. You know what, some of their fellow students help them too.
    And, to me at least, but I know I’m not alone in this – I know to my core that my children, and I think all the children at Huntley Hills, benefit from all this diversity – socio-economic, ethnic, racial, cultural. It builds not only tolerance but comfort, acceptance, really many of these kids are oblivious to these differences we adults are so concerned over.
    This “thing” people fear, it can be addressed. These kids at Huntley Hills – they come to CMS, CCHS, they add to the rainbow, they do well. They reflect their own school community, and it turns out, reflect CMS & CCHS – little “culture shock” for them. They live with it everyday. They do live in Chamblee, after all. Heck they live inside 285, Metro Atlanta, really, they live in America. And they reflect it all.
    Rainbows & lollipops? Well, wouldn’t you want it – if you could? With hard work, with a community – you can.

  54. Lynn, you make excellent points! So, piggy backing off your comments just above and posing this to Stan, other Board members and the community at large….how can we get ahead of this challenge….starting NOW? In other words, how can we help prepare the younger kids (and their families) who will likely move to CMS/CCHS from the Cross Keys cluster in a few years? If we could engage the district and affected communities BEFORE the transition actually happens and get everyone working together for a common goal of academic success for all students, perhaps things would go much smoother and dare I say the outcome might not be so bad after all.

  55. chamblee getting screwed

    Exactly Stan! I like that there are facts here. And the facts show that English learners have different needs and those needs are best fulfilled in a school tailored to meet those needs. When that environment goes away, those students fail. There should be schools, like across Keys is today, designed to meet those needs. They should not be grouped in with mainstream population because they will be underserved. It negatively impacts the current Cross key student and it negatively impacts the current mainstream student. This is about needs. And in the social engineering that’s gone on, people are forgetting about needs. This is not the 60s and segregation and seperate but equal as much as some of you who think you are reliving the 60s want it to be. Sometimes schools need to be customized for the best results of all. Sometimes that is ok.

  56. Jake Eismeier

    As someone who has taught at Cross Keys since 1998, from regular classes to AP, I feel the need to clarify some things posted here. To address Chamblee/Screwed – if you’re worried about test scores, and they do seem important to you, you might want to look at our CCRPI score. Higher than Lakeside. Higher than Tucker. Not too far below Chamblee. In fact, among non-magnet/selective schools, we are second to Dunwoody in the entire county. You can’t just use test scores when it suits your agenda. At Chamblee/Screwed again: your posts are so venomous and ignorant that it’s hard to know where to continue. Your assertion that getting students from our cluster will cause “disruptions” is just ludicrous. Cross Keys is known across the county for very low discipline referral rates and an atmosphere that allows real teaching. When new teachers and principals arrive at CK, their first reaction is one of the following: it’s so quiet in the hallways, all the students say “Ms.”, all the students greet me in the hallways, these are the most respectful students we’ve worked with. They are just kids, kids with the same dreams as students at Chamblee. Would it surprise you to learn that 900 of our 1300 students were born in this country? The whole CTAE issue is too complicated to get into right now- suffice to say, Stan doesn’t seem to understand enrollment at the technology school and might want to, as he told Kim, “do some research.” We have a busload of students from other schools that arrives daily to take tech. classes – they are still enrolled at their home school. This whole thread is just demoralizing. Stan – you allegedly represent part of the CK district, right? How can you tolerate some of these comments? I mean, eventually you moderated CK/Screwed, but not until his/her comments reached flat-out racism. Meanwhile, Kim gets called out for the slightest infraction. I could go on, but I’m hoping these comments represent a tiny majority of Chamblee parents and stakeholders. The Chamblee I know has incredible students and a world class faculty/administration. They would also be disappointed by much of this. I will leave Stan’s bizarre and offensive suggestion -Cross Keys has the “secret sauce” and should educate all “these” kids” – for another time.

  57. Bill Armstrong

    Stan – you have someone who seems to take your info. & comments on English learners to mean you support segregating them from the “mainstream” student population.
    Care to comment?

  58. Bill Armstrong

    Stan – you have someone who seems to take your info. & comments on English learners to mean you support segregating them from the “mainstream” student population.
    Care to comment?

  59. I asked last night and I’ll ask again tonight. What are the advantages of building these additions? No one has made an affirmative argument about the advantages of these additions. I think this question is a good one. I know that the board voted. I know that some of you wanted these additions. Please, just humor me. Some of you (Kim, Bill) preferred these additions to other options that were presented. You told us that. You won. Please just tell us now why these were better options than redistricting or a Doraville high school. Please don’t say to move on or talk about rainbow environments. We are being forced to move on. I get it. Just help me understand what I can feel good about with this choice as compared to the other options. I am really struggling here. I really need something to hold on to.

  60. ConcernedParent

    Bill Armstrong is exactly why most people don’t use their name. He just called both Chamblee and Stan segregationists. Bill, you’ve sunk to a new low. Stan shared facts. Do you know what those are?

  61. chamblee getting screwed

    Jake and Bill and Kim – the 60s called and they want you to come back. As much as you want to make this about segregation and race, it’s not. Explain to me how Hispanics at CKHS do better than other schools. It’s because CKHS tailors to the needs of those special students. You can’t get Gokce to shut up about how great CKHS is. And you all want to lump all students together even when they have different needs because it is the politically correct thing to do. But when you are presented with facts, you resort to the old liberal adage of calling someone a racist. It’s the old adage – how do you know a liberal has lost an argument? They play the race card.
    I have neither the time nor the desire to engage with people that resort to bullying tactics and hate spew. I’m done with you and this forum. Good luck Stan as the only voice of reason in this county.

  62. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    You forgot to drop your mic … again.

  63. Bill Armstrong

    Concerned – Screwed said “They should not be grouped in with mainstream population because they will be underserved. It negatively impacts the current Cross key student and it negatively impacts the current mainstream student.” Not my words.
    The 60s called & want us back? Perhaps the same could be said of Screwed. Change the word “They” to “Blacks” then read it again. Sound familiar?

  64. Bill Armstrong

    Jake Eismeier – thank you for all your work, taking the time to post, and for using your real name.
    You stated “but I’m hoping these comments represent a tiny majority of Chamblee parents and stakeholders. The Chamblee I know has incredible students and a world class faculty/administration.” Yes it does. All our 3 schools, HHES, CMS & CCHS, are a very large part of why I live here. The overall area feel, and our great neighbors are also, and all these tie together.
    How representative are some of these comments of Chamblee as a whole? Hard to say at times. Tends to vary depending on what room you are, what email thread you are a part of. As soon as I’m disappointed by someone, I tend to encounter a positive elsewhere. The more you engage to more you rub up against – but that’s just life. And I think that people who are unhappy and want to change what happened, the more noise they tend to make.
    I think you should invite some of the “keep those kids together/away” people for a tour of CK – perhaps seeing who “they” are might at least cause them to reconsider their views of their DeKalb neighbors. Maybe.
    Anyway, thanks!

  65. Bill Armstrong

    Anonymous. I think the Huntley Hill’s position paper said enough, others seem to think not.
    So I’ll ask a couple of questions, make sure we are discussing the same thing. I do not want to rephrase the question. So:
    Do you agree that the main issues were to address the long-standing situation at CK (gerrymandered boundaries, facilities not delivered as promised) generally “Cross Keys has been getting Screwed” while also addressing what all seem to agree is a need for more HS seats in North DeKalb?
    And, is keeping the Magnet program at CMS & CCHS a dealbreaker one way or the other?

  66. OK. Let’s real this back in the point. I have yet to see a single reason this is good for the CCHS students or community.
    The accusations of racism and segregation will not divert from the point that this is a bad thing for the CCHS community.
    Please give me a single point from the Huntley Hills position statement that explains otherwise.

  67. Stan,
    You have an excellent question, but I predict no one will reply. Why not? Because they don’t have to!
    The decision has been made. The rest of the BOE and many of those who post here, are not concerned about the lack of advantages for CCHS students or community. Other factors were more important.
    The fact that no one can think of one benefit for CCHS is appalling to you and me, but we were out-voted. It’s very hard to be in the minority when you see nothing but poor treatment for your community. Yes, the CCHS community will rally and make the best of this. But my daddy always said that 2 wrongs (the shameful treatment of the Cross Keys district, and now the shameful treatment to spend millions to squeeze students into undersized campuses that DCSD predicts will be at 99% capacity upon completion), don’t make a right.

  68. Except for my one Hell To The No comment, I’ve been silent on this and let others take the gunfire for dare saying that maybe the county missed the boat on this one. But you are right, Anonymous, no one right now can give one reason how this HELPS the existing students of Chamblee High. No one can say how the construction will help the students going there now. No one is saying how this will be a BETTER school once this is done. The reason as you accurately point out is because there are no advantages. This is not a path to go down to better schools. Way to go, Dekalb.

  69. I disagree. If there was a single reason this was good for CCHS, people would be jumping over themselves to state it. Check out the Huntley Hills and Ashford Park position statements. They spent a lot of time trying to come up with ways this is good for the CCHS students and community … they couldn’t come up with a single reason.
    “How is Chamblee Charter High School going to be a better school once this is done?” …. Thank you … well put.

  70. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Isn’t this a better question: “How are area students going to be better served out of this plan?”

  71. We can have that discussion once we all agree this plan is detrimental to the CCHS students and community, once we all agree on the great sacrifice we are asking them to make.

  72. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    The Chamblee community? This plan puts Chamblee kids into Chamblee HS. Come on, Stan. Ok. I agree with everything you said. it’s horrible. Good night – I look forward to moving the discussion onto serving students and not “schools.”

  73. Many people have a hard time admitting they were wrong. Your courage does not go unnoticed.
    Mr. Armstrong, “How will CCHS students and community be better off once this is done?”

  74. Russell Carleton

    Since we’re laying out facts, let’s lay them all out.
    Same report on graduation rates by subgroup that Stan linked above, but from 2015
    Graduation rates, Hispanic Students:
    Chamblee, 63.3%
    Lakeside, 58.7%
    Dunwoody, 55.7%
    Cross Keys, 54.4%
    Graduation rates, ELL
    Dunwoody, 50%
    Cross Keys, 40.8%
    Lakeside, 37.8%
    Chamblee, too few
    Same report, 2014 data
    Graduation rates, Hispanic Students:
    Chamblee, 61.8%
    Dunwoody, 61.8% (sic)
    Lakeside, 55.1%
    Cross Keys, 41.7%
    Graduation rates, ELL
    Lakeside, 35.9%
    Dunwoody, 29.7%
    Cross Keys, 26.5%
    Chamblee, too few
    Same report, 2013 data
    Graduation rates, Hispanic Students:
    Chamblee, 56.5%
    Lakeside, 48.9%
    Dunwoody, 48.1%
    Cross Keys, 43.1%
    Graduation rates, ELL
    Dunwoody, 39.6%
    Lakeside, 39.1%
    Chamblee, 38.9%
    Cross Keys, 33.9%
    Same report, 2012 data
    Graduation rates, Hispanic Students:
    Dunwoody, 61.4%
    Cross Keys, 54.3%
    Chamblee, 53.7%
    Lakeside, 43.7%
    Graduation rates, ELL
    Cross Keys, 46.7%
    Chamblee, 44.4%
    Dunwoody, 41.2%
    Lakeside, 40.0%
    The contention that Hispanic and ELL students are consistently “better off” at Cross Keys does not appear to be supported by the available data.

  75. Come on, guys! Stan (who is supposed to represent all students of his region) writes:
    “Where should Hispanic and English Language Learners go to high school for the best chance to graduate? According to the GaDOE 4 Year Cohort 2016 Graduation Rates. Cross Keys HS (CKHS) has a different curriculum than CCHS and DHS. I’m guessing the academic experience at CKHS is quite different. Perhaps that would account for the difference in academic achievement between the schools for Hispanics and English Language Learners.”
    Wow. And after reading some of the comments here, I can’t help but be reminded of this excerpt from the Plessy V. Ferguson case…All you have to do is change “Colored children” to Hispanic children (if you’re Stan) or Poor children (if you’re Chamblee Getting Screwed):
    “Laws permitting, and even requiring, their separation in places where they are liable to be brought into contact do not necessarily imply the inferiority of either race to the other, and have been generally, if not universally, recognized as within the competency of the state legislatures in the exercise of their police power. The most common instance of this is connected with the establishment of separate schools for White and [Hispanic/Poor] children, which has been held to be a valid exercise of the legislative power even by courts of states where the political rights of the colored race have been longest and most earnestly enforced.”
    CKHS has the same curriculum that Chamblee and Dunwoody have. That’s because the county sets the curriculum. We have AP courses. Stan, you asked in a previous post what CKHS’s “secret sauce” is…It’s teachers who care about ALL their students and bend over backwards to help them overcome whatever obstacles that come their way to succeed.

  76. I ♥️CK, I represent everybody in my region including the Chamblee Charter HS cluster. I’m just laying down the facts … the facts are what they are.
    Curriculum – The subjects comprising a course of study in a school
    Cross Keys High School Technology Center Career Pathways
    1. Automotive Services
    2. Computer Information Support and Services
    3. Computer Programming
    4. Construction
    5. Cosmetology
    6. Dental Science
    7. Health Care Services
    8. Manufacturing (Robotics)
    Only Computer Programming is offered at CCHS, and its 2016-17 Course Catalog only includes the first 3 courses in the pathway, not the 4th one.
    Hispanic and English Learner Graduation Rates – Where should Hispanic and English Language Learners go to high school for the best chance to graduate? According to the GaDOE 4 Year Cohort 2016 Graduation Rates, the answer is Cross Keys High School.
    CKHS’s “secret sauce”It’s teachers who care about ALL their students – Insinuating that other schools have teachers who don’t care about ALL their students? That’s quite the accusation.
    I ♥️CK, I ask you, “How will CCHS students and community be better off with this plan?”

  77. I’m not insinuating anything. I’m just answering YOUR question about what makes CK successful with their students. Do not twist this discussion by putting words in my mouth.
    Yes, we have the career/tech program but that’s not all of CK’s curriculum so don’t insinuate that it is. Why don’t you do your research on CK. We send students to Emory, Pomona, Wooster, Oglethorpe, Williams, Columbia, Agnes Scott, GA Tech and those students all come back to thank their teachers for preparing them beautifully for college.
    It truly hurts my heart to see the lack of support for the great students and teachers of CK on this blog. I’m waiting for you to ask what’s best for CK. This is your school, too. Start acting like it.

  78. Cross Keys HS is an excellent school !! I ranked it 6th out of 24 high schools in the district in my DeKalb 2016 CCRPI Trends. Well done CKHS community you should be proud of your high school.
    Technically I represent all of DeKalb. However, Cross Keys HS is not geographically in my district.
    “Where’s the story about what’s best for me and my school?” – I hear you. There are 24 high schools. Chamblee Charter High School is what I’m talking about today.
    How will CCHS be better off with this plan? Can we all agree this plan is detrimental to the CCHS students and community?

  79. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Just say, “Yes.” Otherwise, we’ll never move on.
    We have arrived here on this question:

  80. I do love the manner in which you have framed this particular matter and it does indeed offer us some fodder for thought. On the other hand, because of just what I have observed, I just simply wish as other remarks pile on that people continue to be on issue and don’t embark upon a soap box involving the news of the day. Yet, thank you for this outstanding point and whilst I do not necessarily agree with the idea in totality, I value your viewpoint.

  81. Bill Armstrong

    Mr. Armstrong, “How will CCHS students and community be better off once this is done?”
    I’m really not interested in hashing out lunch room square footage, but if you ask “better off” – to me that CCHS will consist of students in & near CCHS (wherever those lines ultimately get drawn), as it grows in population, AND the Magnet students, then the school population will attend a school that is comprised of that population. I have children in HHES, CMS & CCHS, and especially for the youngest – I find that a positive outcome.
    And to have that population at CCHS it requires an addition. Could the need for an addition be removed by another plan? perhaps. Moving the Magnets might, but even with hard #s of home schools – now, who would stay & who would go, not exact. So perhaps we’d still need trailers, or district students out.
    Or would a new high school in Doraville pull enough from CCHS (and Dunwoody) – and allow the magnet to stay, to avoid the addition? It seems likely it could, depending on where you draw the lines. Where those would be drawn & exactly who they would pull, could cut deep into our area.
    So, in general, those who want the expansion think the benefits of the larger groups (growth + magnet) outweigh the negatives of a larger school. Is that “social engineering?” If you want to call it that, I can’t stop you.
    But I would maintain that a new Doraville HS & drawing lines to keep a certain type of student out of Chamblee & Dunwoody, I think that would meet the definition of social engineering as well.
    In short, I don’t think Chamblee is “taking one for the team” – I think the resulting student population is good for the area, the students and the families. At least for my family. I’m obviously not the only one. Others clearly disagree. Some couch it in terms of lunch room size & parking spaces, others along social/cultural/educational needs. Some “in code” or only behind closed doors. Some feel empowered to publically state it.
    I’m not sure why people won’t take at face value the statement of myself & others that we see the resulting structure and student populations as benefit to Chamblee, as well as all of North DeKalb.

  82. I thought about the conversation here as I was listening to this interesting podcast about schools and education:

  83. Bill Armstrong

    And to be clear – I do not think that the academic performance of my children or others that do already attend &/or will be attending, will be negatively impacted by this addition & the students that will fill them. And I’m not going to agree that the academic performance of those students will suffer either. In fact they very well could improve. I have seen it first hand at HHES, I think partly that nobody there is operating on the assumption that performance has to suffer.
    And further, I don’t think that the size of the lunchroom is going to negatively impact academic performance either. Or the gym.

  84. To Bill Armstrong’s point, the district is breaking up the Cross Keys Cluster, the student population at Chamblee Charter HS is going to grow and he’s excited about that. I’m not sure how that’s necessarily a good thing, but if you’re excited about it, I’m excited for you. At the very least, it’s something people can say they are excited about.
    Not interested in lunch room square footage?
    Let me ask you this, Bill, were you interested in the square footage of your home when you decided to live there? Do you care about the number of bed rooms and the size of the common spaces like kitchen, eating, etc … ?
    Of course you were. Why? Because it affects the quality of life. Cramming these students into that school will negatively affect the quality of life at CCHS. I hear the valid complaints every week about how students at this school and that school don’t have enough time for lunch. The gym doesn’t have the capacity for the students there now. The halls are packed, we need more locker rooms, etc …
    I don’t ever hear anybody complain that they need 600 more students at their school.

  85. Bill: The size of the lunch room and the gym are a safety concern. Yes, it does impact performance. In a gym, if you do not have enough space students can not excel to their potential. Students this day and time want to be the big athletic star. They can not do that in a space where they can not work to their full potential because there is not enough space in their classroom. Meaning, changing out/back into school clothes will take longer because there is not enough room in the locker room. This reduces the instructional time that the teachers have with the students. In a lunchroom, students can not find a place to sit therefore many students will not eat lunch and in some cases, school is the only place where students get their only meal of the day. Without the proper nourishment, students will be hungry in class and will not be able to focus and do their best. That is the harsh reality.
    I do take offense with building a new Doraville High School to keep others out of DHS and CHHS. That is not the case. I hate that you see it that way. It is what is best for students learning and to build another strong high school in Region 1 because it will happen. The growth is going to continue, that is not going to stop. At the end of the day, the land is cheaper is now so build now. CK is getting a new school that will not disrupt student learning one bit, why can’t we do this for all the high schoolers in Region 1. It can be done!
    I promise you, after SPLOST 5 is said and done, we will be looking at building a new high school in the Doraville area.

  86. Bill Armstrong

    Stan: The lunch room, kitchen, media center, etc. If I read the facts (stats) you provided up top correctly – it seems like the addition meets/exceeds the minimum requirements. I’ll live with it. You do cite the gym & property requirements as an issue. I get that. Reduced “quality of life” – I’m not going to agree with that.
    But lunch room square footage? – if that’s really the deal breaker for some – well, I’m more interested in the academic building, and academic performance.
    My house? It was big enough when we moved in. But then our “student population” grew. Had to decide – live with it (some in HH do), move away to a larger house (some do – to Dunwoody in many cases) or add on (more & more do). We decided to add on. In significant part, after our great neighbors & location – because of the schools. Tighter on the property? yes. Wish a had a bigger “kitchen & lunchroom?” yes – kept it the same – just all new & I love to cook. The library? I added more shelves in the principal’s office. Got new HVAC & electrical out of the deal, no pool (but one down the street) & the gym – it’s way too small. But enough “classrooms” (bedrooms) – yeah I’m good. Overall I can live with it, although I have friends who moved that have larger.
    Hey, maybe I could get rid of the Magnet kid? – that would improve the student/sq. foot ratio. Nah, I think he I’ll squeeze him in.
    Oh yeah, “complaining for more kids” – well maybe not. But I do know that although we didn’t “ask” for them when we absorbed the Nancy Creek kids, we made it work. And when there were discussions last time about redistricting, our School Council did put out a statement – we asked that those same children stay (liberal do-gooder stuff, I stand guilty as accused if that makes people feel better). But we asked that those families stay, they were not “them” they are “us.”
    So take them we did, even though we have more trailers and didn’t get a bigger lunchroom, media center, or gym. I honestly have no idea what the minimum requirements are for ES. All could be larger, but it works. We did ask for a working HVAC – which BTW isn’t working so great, I think the ductwork might be the issue there. Tough to retrofit I think.

  87. The conceptual plans for the gym, kitchen, cafeteria, and media center meet minimum requirements. However, they are not proportional to the number of classrooms being added. This will diminish (not improve) the quality of life and academics at CCHS.
    You don’t agree? Well cramming these students like sardines into common spaces sure doesn’t improve anything at CCHS. Which brings us full circle …
    How will CCHS students and community be better off with this plan?

  88. Bill Armstrong

    Stan, Lynn, Anonymous, Screwed, Concerned, etc. – I have engaged here – although not until someone tipped me off that I was called out by name.
    My answers do not satisfy you, apparently you are convinced I’ve been duped or simply delusional on my view of these various plans. Well, I’d like to think I’m not a “moron” as it’s been suggested here. I have children in all 3 schools. I have actively participated in their schools, especially HHES, and I intend to do more at the CMS & CCHS level now that my crew is moving on. I’ve served 2 stints on the School Council, under 2 principals, I’ve tried to stay involved & engaged. I’ve attended & spoken at several board meeting going back 12 years. It started when Lewis & Co. really started making a mess & specifically the very first time they came after Montessori. I think that the succession after Lewis was troubling to be polite. Now under Green I’m hopeful. More than hopeful. I’m encouraged.
    Stan, clearing out my crawl space awhile back, I came across a Nancy Jester for BOE yard sign – it was in my yard. While I wasn’t totally displeased with Redovian, I felt a change could help. That stretch while Nancy served on the board was bizarre to say the least. And frustrating to her I know, me too. Maybe not always for the same reasons, but there was overlap.
    I say all this, not so much to defend my credentials (I don’t think I need to), but for people who don’t know me to know something beyond my name & school. And my posts.
    I don’t think I’m doing my children a disservice when it comes to their education, nor that of their classmates & peers. It seems clear some here do. When I considered all this, as well as all previous school issues, I’ve tried to think big picture (well, except for the Montessori thing, my daughter had just started, it was threatened, I fought for it. Selfish? Yeah. I guess you can say so).
    So big picture here, I think this will serve my children, the children of Chamblee & the children of North DeKalb as a whole. I know many that agree, won’t list them by name, but I know some here know them. And these people are very intelligent, well-informed & involved in their kid’s educations.
    I will mention Kim – he’s here. Won’t speak for him – he’s obviously more than capable. But I will add that I find him not only passionate, but well informed & well-intentioned and smart. We haven’t always agreed, but on this I think we do. In person I find people in general can be easier to know & understand. Here & in emails, etc. it can be more difficult. You rely mainly on what they write – it’s all you’ve got.
    To that end, re-reading my posts here, I read the posts of others & responded to what appeared to me to be racial, socio-economic/cultural segregation – although normally with the explanation that it would better serve both populations. And I responded by pointing out how I read these posts, I think some were blatantly that way, and intended as such. No apologies there – Screwed in particular.
    But others, I think I should give more of a benefit of the doubt, mainly because their overall tone & context of how written does seem more thoughtfully presented – Lynn comes freshly to mind. So apologies there if I read you wrong, and I do think we were on the same page when it came to a “hybrid of learners” and I presented the context where I personally see it.
    So dismiss me if you wish, the same with Kim, & others you might want to lump us with. But we won’t go away, at least in the trenches, at our schools. As best we can – all we can. But as for continuing to engage back & forth, here, I’m going to have say I’ve got a weekend to enjoy with my family. I’m sure most here do too. I’ll read, maybe post, but at this point, on this question, I think we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.

  89. I don’t believe you’ve been duped or a moron. I do believe there is some other reason you want the building additions, but you don’t want to admit the building additions are bad for Chamblee Charter High School.
    Your arguments are not logical. You don’t care about the size of the cafeteria, kitchen, locker rooms and all the other common spaces all the students use everyday (as long as they meet the bare minimum requirements). But, you are very excited about the enormous growth in the student population over the next few years?
    Sorry, it doesn’t make sense. What does make sense is the person who asked about how it benefits the rest of the district … “needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” is where that is going I’m guessing.
    So, I’m still waiting for someone to let me know … How will CCHS be better off with this plan? The enormous growth in population is the only answer put forth so far.

  90. @ Bill, I do see where you are coming from and I am thankful that you do see where I am coming from too. I have never tried to finger point or name call just present what I see to create a health discussion. These are our kids and we only want best for out kids. It is so easy for our heart to get in the way of our head sometimes. You see growing Chamblee into a bigger school why I do not.
    Here is something I do want to throw out because Bill I can see this as being a major problem as to way not to grow CHHS. So correct me if I am wrong. Even if they start CK and CHHS construction at the same time. CK will be done over a year ahead of CHHS. Building a new school from scratch takes only 1 year, while an addition takes almost 2.5 years. Once the new build is done, we will not only have trailers for displaced students at CHHS but we are having to add an extra 23 trailers for the new 600 students that are coming. That is 23 extra trailers and a couple of restroom trailers that have to come. Where are they going to put them? The only place I see that happening are the brand new baseball field and the tennis courts. They can not put them on the softball fields because that directly violate Title 9, and if DCSD thinks about doing that will be a major no-no.

  91. Also, one last thing I would like to add. LHS is already looking for members to be on their construction committee. Why haven’t we heard from Chamblee yet?
    @ Stan: I still do believe that it is VERY IMPORTANT that whoever is going to the new CK have members on the construction committee, not just stakeholders that live in the current CK district. I also, think it is VERY IMPORTANT that the CHHS committee has members on it that will be from the new CHHS district. I do think you are the only person that could get this done for us.

  92. Bill Armstrong

    Lynn. I’ll look at the timeframe of building coordination when I get a chance. Good point. I would expect there is a chart on the wall somewhere in Drake’s office – or something similar!
    Construction Committees. THAT is something that’s driven me crazy. When it is stated here that CCHS opposed this or approved that – well I’d say not so fast. Maybe some at CCHS would take offense, but from where we sit – a group of HH parents – many of whom have kids at CMS & CCHS as well, we felt that CCHS leadership was very slow to get out of the gate on this. HHES – some may think our paper was not what they would like – but we got it out quickly as we quickly coordinated – as I’ve said – many of us have been doing “this” for 12 years or so.
    Meanwhile CCHS passed their draft – looked for feedback – it focused mainly on the Magnet & the achievements of the school. Not much focus or attention to detail to address the options regardless of choice. Things really got moving when the CMS parent leaders, School Council in particular, kicked it up. Then MES PTA got organized & vocal – whether I disagree or agree – I do appreciate that type of effort.
    When their group emails starting going out, I was asked if HH was going to put something out along similar lines, perhaps revisit our position in light of theirs. Our same group (SC PTA Foundation, active parents) checked with each other & decided we were fine with our original position. And while we would send out notices of the meetings, we would not send out anything directing our school community – one way or another.
    Before the “vote” meeting – Stan had a meeting at with a group at CCHS (I wasn’t there – but know some who were) – but I’m not looking to rehash that meeting. But what is on the topic of the Construction Committees is when Drake & Co. released their FAQs – it mentioned the Committees. I remember telling Stan THAT was what as most significant to me then.
    And almost immediately, beginning at that time I know of many who have inquired about &/or volunteered for the CCHS Committee when formed, many of the same who have kids in CCHS – myself included. There have been repeated emails – to CCHS leaders, before & after the holidays, but no response I’ve ever heard of or seen.
    So I take it you might be in 2 clusters? Lakeside & Chamblee? Or at least have knowledge that LHS has sent out the word, and CCHS hasn’t? The lack of anything coming from CCHS from your perspective matches mine. To be honest I’ve been so busy I hadn’t thought of it in the last 2 weeks or so, “snow” & MLK & all, but you are right, it needs to get moving.
    I’ll touch based with my HHES/CMS/CCHS crew & make sure there isn’t something I’m not aware of. But I think regardless of how members are solicited and the committee formed, it shouldn’t be just among a select group of Cluster SCs, PTA, Foundations, etc. the “usual suspects” – myself included. I think there needs to be some care & thought in what is broadcast, how & to whom.
    Have a great weekend!!! And Go Falcons!

  93. Construction Committees – I sent the administration an email yesterday asking about the construction committees. They said they would get back to me by Friday next week.

  94. @ Bill, because you have asked on several threads, I thought I would send you a little resume. Not to be mean or cute but to let you see a little more of and better understand me.
    I taught in the LHS cluster for over 15 years. I have watched students grow up, graduate from college, get married and now have little ones of their own. I do have a special place in my heart for the LHS cluster I still have many families that I call friends today. When I started working I asked to be on the LHS PTSA mailing list and I have stayed on it. (I hope now they will not kick me off.) It is nice to see what is going on. While I was at my prior school I served on the school council until I left the system.
    I have worked alongside the band directors at SMS/CKCHS to make sure that there was not a student who did not have an instrument to play in band. For many years, I felt like Fred Sanford as I went on Saturday afternoon jaunts to pawn shops to find instruments cheap then bring them back home to repair them.
    I live in the CHHS attendance zone and have watched from where APS and MES were terrible elementary schools 20+ years ago and no one would send their child there, to thriving award winning schools. I remember when I lived in AP, all the elementary kids either went to OLA or St. Martins. What changed those to elementary schools…. PARENTS. It wasn’t the teachers or administration when the change started to happen, no because they stayed the same. It took engaged parents.
    I was at the Nancy Creek meeting years ago, when Bob Worthington stood there in the back and told many parents that we just need to “Shut up because we are just background noise. This is a done deal.” I didn’t even have a kid in the system at the time but I could see the future growth and that Nancy Creek needed to stay open and not send the students to MES or HHES. We as parents even pointed out the $100K study that was done that was only a copy and paste from Virginia Beach School System.
    So I have seen the growth patterns change in all three school attendance zones over the last 20 years. I have seen where the county has not done a proper job watching this growth and it really upsets me that Dan Drake got a pay raise with his new Executive Director title and he should have seen this coming. Sometimes I feel the weather forecasters do a better job than he does. (Granted that was mean) It makes me so upset that Dr. Green can tell parents at HMS that desperately need a full-time interpreter every day that he can’t do it because it is financial then give three central office employees huge raises and have a job announcement on PATS for a “Marketing Director”. I am sorry, but there is the money for not only HMS, but you can add LHS and CKHS to have the list of schools that would receive full-time interpreters.
    I have seen so much mismanagement by this system in 20+ years I just do not have faith that they are going to get this right. The negatives here outweigh the positives by a ton.
    I know what I am about to say may come off as snarky and I do not want it to be but I really do not know how else to say it. Even though my last kid will out of the system this year, do I still not have a say? I hope so because it is my tax dollars too. I feel like it is my responsibility to educate families that are new to the system and may not know the whole history that I have been through. I do hope you understand.
    Yes, Go FALCONS!!!!

  95. Stan, I have a question or really more of a comment about the construction committees. Not knowing what the makeup of these committees is intended to be, personally, in addition to committee members from the affected high schools, it would also make sense to have representation from cluster middle and elementary schools. I hope tbat will be considered.

  96. Bill Armstrong

    Thanks Lynn – now I think I have a better sense of where you are coming from just as I was trying to let others know about.
    Your experience with the need for engaged parents to get things going, or turned around and on the right path – it rings true. I am certain that if our small group had not moved to fight Lewis & Moseley that there would be no Montessori in DeKalb. And that was the same time as that infamous “demographer’s report” that did seem to make the Nancy Creek thing a done deal before anyone knew. And even though Lewis is long gone we are still paying the price for him & those that followed.
    So I get all the mistrust and wariness from all here. I share it, but I do have hope with Green. No not all is how it should be, but I see progress. And the opportunity for involved parents to work with the system instead of against it, I see one now. The committees will hopefully be a way. They need good people – maybe you should get on one. And regardless of who is on them – we all need to watch them. Closely.

  97. Bill Armstrong

    Stan. Thanks for inquiring on the committees. Please keep us posted.

  98. Bill Armstrong

    Survey – you are right – there better be.

  99. @ Bill I am going to take this sentence that you wrote… “And even though Lewis is long gone we are still paying the price for him & those that followed.” The thing is Lewis is the only one that is gone. Everyone in the central office that Lewis put in place is still there. I know Pat Reid (Pope) is gone but her mentee Josh Williams is still in place. Anytime a Superintendent has tried to trim central office, they do not last in DCSD.
    I do hope that Green will be a good Superintendent but when he puts central office promotions and creating new jobs over what is really needed in schools, full-time interpreters, it just looks like Dr. Lewis legacy is continuing.
    I have been on a construction committee at my prior school. I did see where Brian Albanese and his team changed plans without the construction committee knowledge until it was too late. They (BA and company) stated that because they had overruns early on things had to be taken away. We had monthly meetings to avoid this and it still happened. For example, we were promised new paving, paving that had never been done since the school was built in 1962 and the next month poof it was gone, never to come back. Yes, I am talking about a SPLOST 4 project.
    We need not only parents that will be in the schools, we need architects, lawyers, business professionals that live in the affected attendance zones to help keep the school system honest.
    I would not mind being on a committee and lending my ear and historical knowledge to the projects. I just need to know…… I am going to be a CK attendance zone or a CHHS attendance zone….

  100. Now onto the topic onto why I do not want a mega school in my back yard. Students deserve to have a chance to be on the school newspaper, take any AP class they want, yearbook committee, any athletic, play/musical, or be in the top performing ensemble. When you have a mega school, there are only going to be so many teachers and so many slots on a team. When you create a mega school, your child will have a lot harder time getting into one of these fields. High school should be a time when students can explore and figure out what their passion is. It should not be a time for stressing and only excelling in one area to make sure they have a better chance of getting on the team/musical/AP/performing ensemble.