Moving the Magnet and the Middle School In Chamblee

More classroom space is needed at Chamblee Charter High School. On Monday, the school district proposed the possibility of closing Chamblee Middle School and moving the High Achievers Magnet Program from Chamblee Charter High School.

Can we have a healthy and constructive discussion about this?

Close Chamblee Middle School

DeKalb Schools administration threatened the Chamblee community with this option on Monday.

At the board meeting, I asked Dan Drake, interim Chief Operating Officer (COO), about the viability of this option. He said they haven’t done any research into this option.

This doesn’t appear to be a viable option for the same reason the school district isn’t considering a satellite campus instead of the Lakeside High School (LHS) building additions.

I suspect, the administration is using this option as a scare tactic to get the Chamblee community on board with the GO bond and building additions at the high school.


DeKalb Schools administration presented this alternative to building additions at Chamblee Charter High School (CCHS). This alternative is driven more by the board than the administration.

Can we have a cordial dialogue about “moving the magnet from CCHS”? I’m an advocate for keeping the magnet at Chamblee and would like to hear more from those who would like to move it. These are the discussion points as I see them:

Move the magnet – You can’t “move” the magnet. What you can do is shut it down at CCHS and open up another somewhere else. Some of the students will go to the new one, but very few of the teachers will go.

Magnet success – Many people, including district school board members, believe the successes at Chamblee Charter HS are a result of something the school district is doing for CCHS that they are not doing for the other magnets. However, the success of the CCHS magnet program is a function of Chamblee and not the school district.

Distance – Moving the magnet from CCHS to the new Cross Key HS will severely increase the distance for many students. The board members I have talked to don’t think that distance is consequential. I don’t think most of the students from Doraville, Chamblee or Dunwoody will follow the magnet down there. This is taking the magnet away from them.

Teachers – The idea of moving the magnet is to fill those open spots at CCHS with resident students, so CCHS will still need teachers. I don’t anticipate most of those teachers will want to move.

Magnet is Unfair – I hate that the magnet program picks winners and losers. I think adding magnet programs is the solution, not completely destroying the program. I’m not a fan of the attitude, “If I can’t have one then nobody can have one”.

I’d like to know your thoughts. –Stan

143 responses to “Moving the Magnet and the Middle School In Chamblee

  1. Common Sense

    Agree with Ann. Would be great to have a N. DeKalb school district. Combine Chamblee, Lakeside and Dunwoody. Get efficiencies of scale with more schools, yet it’s small enough to have local control. Even consider making one of them like the Gwinnett Sci/Math school. But it won’t happen.

    Re the magnet, one idea no one has mentioned. Since Wadsworth has seats and Kittredge doesn’t, why not combine the two schools’ lotteries into one. You have a lottery for the magnet program. If you are selected randomly for Wadsworth you go there or give up your seat. Same with Kittredge. If you give up your seat you can apply again next year. I would imagine seats would open up because many parents would not want to drive to or put their kids in Wadsworth. Of course, there would be more bitching from people like Lose The Magnet, but you can’t please people who live to complain.

  2. Lose the Magnet

    @ Anonymous – “Board member Allyson Gevertz gave effusive thanks to Dan Drake for briefing them ahead of the Work Session, since it was such a complicated matter.”

    She is a county yes “woman.” Don’t know what the heck the people in Region 2 were thinking. She’ll go along to get along and isn’t about making meaningful change.

    And yes @Cere – the best advise would be to leave this gGod forsaken school system. I’d always heard – if you’re kid somehow makes it into the magnet, you can stay, but if they aren’t chosen and are a high achieving student, get the hell out. So, now the “winners” in the lottery get tuition for free. The losers are either a) paying out $15k – $30K (depending on where you go to school – Pius and OLA on the lower side, Marist, Wesleyan, Mount Vernon, Galloway on the higher side, St. Martins (as an elementary/middle) and Holy Innocents on the ridiculously high side). But just think of it as an additional tax.

    I’ve never been more for vouchers than I am after experiencing Dekalb non magnet programs.

  3. Common Sense,

    Did you leave out Cross Keys on purpose?

  4. Gevertz really only cares about an arts school. Recall how testy BOE Chair became at the last meeting when she made her pronouncements about DSA? DSA is in his region, not hers. She has offspring who attended and attend DSA, so she has an inherent bias toward it. In fact, there is a photo on the MACE website of her protesting the protesters who picketed DSA leadership. And how many times prior to becoming a BOE member did she appear at BOE meetings to offer complete and absolute praise of Greene? She is his toady and has zero idea about what her constituents want. She exists in a rarefied state, especially if she thinks the majority of DeKalb property owners want to pay more taxes to the DeKalb County Schools Deep Bureaucracy.

  5. Lose the Magnet

    Common Sense – I’m sorry that you clearly can’t comprehend what I’m saying. I’m complaining because the goddamn magnet program is unbleeping fair. Is that clear enough for you?

    I’ll continue to “bitch” until this travesty is rectified.

  6. @LTM – safe to say we’re all super clear on your POV. And agreed it is not ‘fair’ in the sense that not everyone who qualifies and would like to be in the program have access. However, do you not see the positive impacts (I know, I know the Berlin Wall, and all of the many, many negatives you see) the program has had on the academics at the high school level?

    I have one kid in the magnet and one kid out of the magnet at CMS – I want it to stay in the chamblee cluster more for my non-magnet student than for my magnet student. If it goes away (moves or is blown up as you have so eloquently suggested) what happens with those empty seats? Who will the county put there? And what exactly have the non-magnet students (not the bitter parent) gained academically?

    It would seem to me all of your ‘passion’ for this topic could be put to better use advocating for a solution that actually yields a positive outcome for the current non-magnet students – maybe city schools that you brought up before? Or transitioning the Magnet program to an IB program to keep high-achievers in the school without being beholden to the central office?

    I 100% agree that the magnet should not be at the expense of neighborhood seats – no neighborhood kid who could walk or bike to school should be bused away to make room for the magnet. But the fear created by this distraction (exactly as intended) is keeping everyone from looking at the actual enrollment numbers. Once the new CKHS is online and the district lines are drawn for that school would seem the appropriate time for ‘where to put the magnet’ discussion. In the meantime let them cut the CCHS addition for their step one balance the splost budget.
    Put a Doraville HS on the GO bond list and let the voters take it from there.

  7. Look out for the kids

    If there’s any change to the magnet – whether it’s blown up or moved or whatever – the kids who are in CCHS need to be protected. Through no fault of their own they have attended a program with the implied promise that they would graduate from the program. Many have made sacrifices – getting up earlier, sitting in carpools on 285, losing their old friendships – to not attend the school three minutes from the house. I can see making a case for sending kids who are in middle school or in the magnet (grades 4-6) back to their home schools. But if they have made it to HS, they need to be allowed if they want to finish out Chamblee, given I assume many are in band or play a sport or whatever. Plus they’ve built up new friendships. Whatever your stand – whether you want magnet to continue or you want it to go away – you have to agree the kids have done nothing wrong and pushing them out of a school in 10th or 11th grade would be a penalty they don’t deserve.

  8. Keep in mind that if voters don’t approve GO Bonds, the District plans to move all of the non-magnet middle school students who live in the Chamblee cluster out to Sequoyah Middle School.

    Kids who literally live across from Chamblee Middle School would have to be bused to Doraville.

    This sounds like a threat to me. Why should it be tolerated?

    This isn’t just a Chamblee cluster issue, but a District issue. I can’t think of any group of parents who would agree to bus their kids out of their attendance zone just because the District failed to budget or plan properly.

    No one would “take one for the team” with this option, and the District should not threaten the entire middle school population of a cluster with something like this.

  9. Lose The Magnet

    @HP – Maybe I’m not being clear, but I feel like I’ve talked about solutions until I’m blue in the face. We need magnet parents like yourself to get behind solutions vs. hiding in your magnet cocoon. Advocate that EVERY CHILD who qualifies for the program be given he service he/she should receive. Why do some kids who get their number drawn get the access of smaller classes and innovative teaching approaches, while those who don’t get their number drawn get put in 30+ classrooms with a mix batch of student abilities? That is the question everyone should be asking. And yet, we are going to disrupt the entire county of 100,000 students to appease less than 1% of the total student population. Use this as an opportunity to provide this program to all at more than 1 school. Or get rid of it altogether. But this continual haves vs. have nots mentality is a major reason why so many families end up leaving. And the ones, like yourself, who get a child in, are fine with “Well I’ve gotten mine in” or “Well, at least one of mine is in.” Like its some wonderful gift that this shitty county school system is at least educating one of your kids as they should be educated. I’m sorry, but I demand more.

  10. Lose the magnet

    @anonymous – I will not be voting for the GO bond and encouraging all my friends and neighbors to do the same. No way Dekalb should get one more red cent from anyone. Clean up your damn house, Dekalb County and show us you can spend money wisely.

    Wise up, the Sequoyah thing is just a scare tactic to get parents like you to vote for it. Don’t fall for it.

  11. Magnet/No Magnet

    Just want to put out there/remind everyone not to confuse “Magnet” with “Gifted”. I disagree with @Lose The Magnet that we need to “Advocate that EVERY CHILD who qualifies for the program be given the service”… because a child only needs 75th percentile EITHER Math OR LangArts to qualify vs. 90th percentile BOTH to qualify for gifted. There’s plenty of kids who meet that basic magnet standard who don’t (and/or parents don’t) want the Magnet rigor, pace, stress and expectations. Agree every family that qualifies & CHOOSES should be offered a magnet/high track at any school.

  12. @LTM – that is EXACTLY what I’ve always advocated for – expand the program – more opportunity for more students to participate. So no need to challenge me there. I’ve always suggested – Put another one at CKHS not move it from CCHS to CKHS – and then continue to expand from there. With this approach you could organically pull students from Chamblee, Dunwoody and Lakeside willingly into CKHS without a bunch of divisive redistricting. If we continue to expand these programs there’s no reason eventually it couldn’t service every student who qualifies and wants to participate. With this approach we may not need costly additions.

    Your characterization of myself and other magnet parents as being in a cacooon and uncaring of non-magnet is categorically false and certainly doesn’t help in any way. As I already stated I have a non-magnet student that is front and center of all I advocate for.

  13. The threat of busing Chamblee middle schoolers to Sequoyah is a hollow threat designed to ignite fear. I remember when Dan Drake said there was a possibility that Oak Grove might be shifted to Cross Keys.

    It isn’t going to happen.

  14. DSW2Contributor

    * What Kirk said.

    If you don’t like something DCSD does, call the media and tip them off about how you and 500 of your neighbors will be attending the next board meeting. Be sure to get some matching T-shirts printed up so that the TV cameras can show just how many of you are there. It works wonders.

  15. @Ann T >> Yes, we wrote a blog post about the vacant seats in the south end of the county … NINE years ago!
    Read it here if you want … unfortunately, it’s still relevant.

    We also wrote one about the shuttered/vacant schools around the county causing blight. Sadly, also still relevant.

  16. So Kirk, what do you advise the Chamblee community to do in light of DCSD’s “hollow threat” to move all Chamblee middle school students out of their district, to Sequoyah Middle School?

    Seems to me that, except for the phrase “among school aged children,” this fits the definition of bullying from the DCSD Code of Student Conduct:

    Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived
    power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes
    actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding
    someone from a group on purpose.

    This threat is certainly “unwanted, aggressive behavior.”

    DCSD certainly has “a real or perceived power imbalance,” since they can redistrict as they wish. Only 1 BOE member ever seems to give a flip about Chamblee or the magnet program.

    The threat of moving Chamblee middle school students out of their attendance zone will certainly “be repeated” as this process moves forward.

    I also submit that moving only resident students out of the Chamblee attendance zone is “excluding someone from a group on purpose.”

    I agree that busing all middle school students in the Chamblee attendance zone, except for the Magnet students, is extreme and unlikely.

    But why should we respect, OR GIVE MORE TAX MONEY TO, a District that uses a “hollow threat” to ignite fear?

    Seems to me that they came up with this “solution” just to motivate folks to vote for the GO Bond. Threaten extreme action that affects your children directly, and suddenly $222 Million or $265 Million more taxes seems reasonable.

    But it’s not reasonable!

  17. I suggest the Chamblee District communicate through the NextDoor app and Facebook groups to communicate all the options on the table and organize themselves. There is strength in not only the school families, but also the community tax-payers. Keep in mind that a new Doraville High School cannot be built until a site is identified and purchased. Wishing it to happen is not going to make it come sooner.

  18. Let me preface this with the fact that none of my children attended Kittredge or Chamblee magnet programs, nor did I place them in the lottery, even though they were all eligible. The simple fact is that I wanted them to attend their neighborhood schools, with their neighbors, to build a sense of community. Despite having attended schools that seldom receive awards for academic achievement and are riddled with causes for concern (overcrowding, teacher retention, poor physical conditions, absenteeism, non-English speakers, no/few translators, poverty, etc…) the dedicated staff members at their schools created environments where my children learned not just about academic subjects, but also about being a productive member of a diverse community. They never suffered academically for having attended their neighborhood schools. In fact, they ranked in the 96-99th %ile nationally on their ACT exams, thanks to their public, non-magnet educations.
    Parents naturally love and want the best for their children. Listening to other parents sing the praises of the magnet schools, and fearing that their home schools might not provide enough academic rigor for their children, a lot of parents apply for the lottery. It used to be that a couple of kids per school were admitted to Kittredge, but some years 5-9 kids would be selected. That may not be a big deal for a large elementary school, but for a tiny elementary school, losing 10-20% of the high achievers and gifted can be devastating. Parents whose kids were not selected sometimes feel cheated and start exploring options (private, charter, online, homeschool) to give their children an extra advantage. Parents who didn’t apply begin to question their decisions and follow suit. Before long, enrollment numbers in uppergrade classes fall, sometimes causing a class to collapse a few weeks into the school year because DCSD has trouble accurately predicting enrollment from one year to the next. Instead of 3 fourth grade classes with 22 kids each, your child is now one of 33 kids in each of the two fourth grade classes. The remaining students recognize that a lot of “smart” kids no longer go to school with them, and you have to reassure your kid that they are brilliant and will be just fine where they are. Neighborhood friendships fade, as the magnet kids become more involved in their new schools.
    It bothers me that DCSD fosters this environment of disparity and exacerbates overcrowding with the magnet programs. Schools in regions 1 and 2 need seats for residents. Why does DCSD continue to allow the rights and desires of some high achievers, gifted kids, and their parents to supersede the rights and needs of non-magnet students?
    DCSD needs to develop a long-range facilities plan that moves magnet programs to the underutilized schools with thousands of empty seats. Announce that the class of 2023 will be the final year of the Chamblee Charter High School being located at Chamblee, so that none of the current students will have their educational program impacted. Without the magnet program, CCHS will likely not need an expensive building addition, saving millions of dollars that are needed to offset the $95million budget shortfall. Next year, transition the current 4-8 magnet students to a facility with empty seats, and open up Nancy Creek ES to resident children to alleviate overcrowding and get rid of some trailers in the region.
    Moving the magnet programs will be a bitter pill for some magnet families to swallow, but you know what else is difficult to endure for the citizens of DeKalb? Paying $2+billion in SPLOST and still having overcrowded schools, having to pay higher property taxes for the next 15 years thanks to the proposed GO Bond, watching DCSD employees use scare tactics to pit communities against one another in a fight for tax dollars, years of classes in dirty trailers with moldy carpet, lunch periods starting after breakfast and ending right before dismissal, attending school in a construction zone for 2-3 years, HVAC that never cools or heats properly, 50+ year old bathrooms that have never been replaced, raw sewage, leaky roofs, peeling paint, too-small bus lanes, not enough parking, not enough PE/athletic space, not enough music/art space, etc…
    Create a plan to move the magnets, restore neighborhood schools, save money, reduce taxes, and build new schools instead of adding to existing, previously expanded ones.

  19. @frustrated – you hit the bull’s eye but that requires DCSD to have the courage to make the hard decisions in the best overall interest of all students/taxpayers. The magnets got to Chamblee because Chamblee didn’t have enough resident kids for the school. Now, there are other schools with empty seats and Chamblee residents need their building back. Move the magnet to fill some empty seats – or at a minimum, restore the Cross Keys project to 2500 seats (which if they were smart and planning for the future they would do anyway) and put the magnet there. As for Nancy Creek, Dunwoody students shouldn’t have to sit in trailers when there is a school in their community that could be used which doesn’t have any trailers.

    Bottom line – students shouldn’t have to sit in trailers or be moved out of their neighborhoods when options to free up spaces in their neighborhood buildings exist and taxpayers shouldn’t be asked to pay for additions when some overcrowding can be solved without additional cost.

  20. Frustrated,
    I appreciate your calm assessment. My experience with my kids is much the same. Most of the angst that “my kid didn’t win the magnet lottery” is misplaced, unless you have a child who is truly alone academically compared to others in her/his school.

    It sounds reasonable to “move the magnets,” but keep in mind that there is an identical High Achiever Magnet program in south DeKalb that is much, much smaller than the one in Chamblee.

    The Magnet schools in south DeKalb have space for more magnet students, but they just don’t come.

    You mention moving the Magnet program, but where would it go? The only high schools with space for a program similar to Chamblee’s are all close to the Southwest DeKalb HS Magnet program. Kids already have that option, yet they don’t go.

    Maybe that would change if the Chamble High Achievers Magnet program was destroyed, and there was no other choice.

    But that means dismantling a successful program just on the hope that moving the program or starting new ones will be successful.

    Why is that a good idea?

    Further, moving the Magnet program would leave Region 1 high schools with no School Choice option. That doesn’t sound at all fair or reasonable.

    Region 2 has 2 IB high schools, Tucker HS and Druid Hills HS.
    Region 3 has Arabia Mountain HS, where ALL students must apply and be selected.
    Region 4 has DeKalb Early College Academy (DECA).
    Regon 5 has a High Achiever Magnet program at Southwest DeKalb HS and IB at Martin Luther King, Jr. HS.
    Region 6 has the Math, Science, and Technology Magnet program at Columbia HS.
    Region 7 has DeKalb High School of the Arts.

    There has been talk about moving the Magnet program to the new Cross Keys HS. They will call that a Region 1 program, although the new school is located outside of the Region 1 attendance zone where its students reside.

    Perhaps that would work?

    But it would make the Magnet program LESS convenient for students from the overcrowded Regions 1 and 2, meaning that more of those students might just decide to leave and add to the overcrowding at their home school.

    It would make the Magnet program MORE convenient for students from the very empty Regions 3, 5, 6, and 7. (Region 4 is overcrowded.) So that would mean even more empty high school seats in schools that are already very empty.

    Keep in mind that there are currently 8 DCSD high schools that each have 500 or more empty seats.

    Let me repeat: There are currently 8 DCSD high school that each have 500 or more empty seats!

    So making the Chamblee Magnet program LESS convenient for students from the overcrowded Region 1 and Region 2 and making it MORE convenient for students from the terribly empty Regions 3, 5, 6, and 7 doesn’t make much sense.

    I don’t trust DCSD to resolve this problem. Every few years the “move the magnet” idea is floated, but they’ve never had a good plan that is equitable for kids in Region 1.

    This issue seems to come up as a threat any time DCSD has failed to plan properly. I’m tired of Magnet kids and teachers being the target of well-paid adults who didn’t plan properly.

  21. Fully agree with EVERY point made by Anonymous above.

  22. Lose the magnet

    @Frustrated you hit the nail on the head. Why do we continue to divide communities because of a silly program that separates haves and have nots?

    @Anonymous – your premise is completely and 100% flawed. You continue to operate out of this incorrect mindset that “something is better than nothing.” That is completely wrong. You just want to keep the magnet because, well, its the magnet and we have to have it. What you really mean is that “my kid and the other select few that got it need it and the rest of you unlucky ones are on your own.” Now, you can come up with solutions on how to make this program more accessible to all who qualify. And yes, if you want to dial up the scores and grades to a higher level and truly make it a high achievers program I’m all for it. But what you are proposing is the same old same old. Perhaps, think out of the box.

    One other thing @Anonymous – cry me a river about the “poor magnet kids and their parents.” They are getting all the advantages simply because they drew the lucky ticket while a number of families who don’t draw the lucky ticket are forced to move or pay tens of thousands of dollars in private school tuition. So, please, spare us all the crocodile tears for the magnet families.

  23. Lose The Magnet,
    I will rise to your bait just once. Never did I talk about the “poor magnet kids and their parents.” My kids were not in the magnet program. I’m talking about keeping successful programs and providing realistic access to programs to everyone, even to those who live in Region 1.

    Also I’m not opposed to “dialing up the scores and grades to a higher level and truly making it a high achievers program.” That’s how the program used to be and I think that’s a better model.

    And, please, no one is “forced” to move or pay tens of thousands of dollars in private school tuition if their child isn’t selected in a school choice lottery. Assuming that this is the only option if your child isn’t selected is the epitome of NOT thinking outside of the box. There are so many ways that a parent can enrich a child’s education.

    Do you advocate getting rid of all School Choice programs?

    Or are you just opposed to the High Achiever Magnet program at Chamblee?

    DCSD School Choice includes
    – Montessori programs (2 ES)
    – Dual Language immersion programs (5 ES)
    – Theme schools (6 ES, 1 MS)
    – Special Interest Magnet programs (3 ES, 2 MS, 3 HS)
    – High Achiever Magnet programs (2 ES, 2 MS, 2 HS)
    – International Baccalaureate programs (3 ES, 3 MS, 3 HS)
    – Career Pathways program (1 HS)

    DCSD may have too many School Choice programs. I don’t think anyone at the District ever does an evaluation of how students in School Choice programs compare with those who aren’t in those programs. Do they do better academically? Do they stay in the programs or return to their home schools? How does the graduation rate compare? In a real District this type of analysis would be readily available and could be used to make a valid decision on whether a Magnet program, or any program, should be continued.

    For fun, I looked at other metro districts.
    Cobb has only 6 magnet schools, all at the high school level. One of these is an IB program.

    Fulton has 7 magnet schools, all at the high school level plus IB programs (3ES, 2 MS, 4 HS). Fulton also has the AVID program (7 ES, 11 MS, 8 HS).

    Gwinnett’s website doesn’t separate out Magnet schools. As far as I can tell they have just one magnet program, although each of their high schools has some sort of Academy or specialized interest program that appears to be open just to those zoned to that school.

    NONE of these districts has a Fine Arts school for any grades.

    If DCSD was really an educational institution, they would have noticed the different way that peer districts operate and at least considered whether some sort of change would be good for DCSD students.

    But instead they raise the idea of “closing or moving the magnet program” any time there is a crisis. So far it has worked for them, as it’s like yelling “Squirrel!” and distracting folks from the real issues.

    Real issues like significant E-SPLOST cost overruns. Proposed corrective actions that cost taxpayers more than twice as much as the cost overrun. And still no plan to build a new high school in area of the District where new houses and condos and apartments are erupting on nearly every corner.


  24. @anonymous: The Dunwoody and Chamblee parents sent plenty of their 4-6th grade children to Kittredge when it was at the site of the current proposed Cross Keys and that was well before any shuttle service. Unlikely they wouldn’t be willing to send their high school students that same distance but maybe.

    Imagine a long term facilities plan….imagine a district that has a toolbox with “temporary” options other than just trailers when overcrowding occurs somewhere. Now those would be progress!

    Kittredge used to be only for students who scored in the 99% on ITBS…then it dropped to 96% and has slid since then down to average at 75%; bring back something for those truly brilliant.

    Kittredge was also never intended to be the model it currently is….staff were to teach there to learn best practices and then return to their home schools so all schools would have staff trained to teach “like Kittredge” and over time, all elementary schools would have plenty of staff trained with best practices for all students. Too bad that didn’t ever come to be – we wouldn’t be fighting with each other if every school had “Kittredge”.

  25. AB,
    There used to be door-to-door service for magnet students going to Kittredge when it was located on North Druid Hills Road near Adams Stadium.

    Every morning for 3 years I heard the bus pick up my neighbor’s child at o’dark thirty.

    I agree that a long term facilities plan would be wonderful.

    I agree that it’s a shame that the teaching practices at Kittredge were never shared with regular schools.

  26. @anonymous – I stand corrected on the transportation. Thank you.

  27. Lose the Magnet

    @Anonymous – Thank you for your research into other counties, but you fail to see the forest for the trees. The problem with Dekalb is if you have a highly academic child who DOESN’T get their named drawn, there are no more options for you (unless you want to give them a substandard educational experience). In all the counties you mention, either the home schools are stronger OR they have additional programs within the home school that compensate for not being in the magnet. Ever ask yourself why the demand is so high for the magnet program? Well, it’s because the resident program for advanced kids is pathetic. Compare what a 5th grader gets at Kittredge vs. (Fill in the blank) Dekalb Elementary school.

    @AB – you hit the nail on the head. Too many are being left behind.

    @Anonymous – your response to @AB is typical magnet parent. “Too bad those practices weren’t shared with regular schools.” And that is the extent of yours and the typical magnet parent’s concerns….But don’t you dare take away the magnet program from your precious ones! Double standard here?

  28. I really agree that the parents that get in a school choice program are very much like “sucks for you”, but they are not going to upset the apple cart for those that don’t get in. That’s probably the right move on their part.

  29. Man, leave town for two weeks and all heck breaks loose. You had to use the M word!
    Three late thoughts:
    1. There is no magnet magic curriculum that can be duplicated elsewhere. The formula is easy- put 160 or so strong students together per grade with decent teachers and viola!
    2. Moving Chamblee resident kids out of CMS is a terrible idea.
    3. Still looks to me like a north Buford Highway HS that could take kids from Tucker/Chamblee/Lakeside/Dunwoody might be the best/bad choice to relieve overcrowding.

  30. Edugator,

    Actually, Pleasantdale Elementary is in the Lakeside cluster.

    Not sure if a Doraville HS would help Tucker because any seats that open up in Pleasantdale E.S. would likely be used to offset Evansdale overcrowding.

  31. When the new 950 seat Doraville Elementary opens in a year or two, the northern part of the Cross Keys Cluster will have close to 700 more seats than projected enrollment. The magnet program at Kittredge can relocate to the new school along with resident enrollment. Kittredge can be used to relieve overcrowding in the Chamblee cluster.

    Or, 600 seat Cary Reynolds can be torn down and rebuilt as a middle school. Sequoyah becomes a high school.

  32. @ thai – Pleasantdale’s enrollment in 2021 is projected to be only 610. They will have over 300 empty seats. Henderson Mill will be overcapacity by ~60 and Evansdale by ~80 – what’s the chance DCSD would actually redistrict to fill Pleasantdale? But wait – per the BOE presentation, DCSD proposes to combine Hawthorne and Henderson Mill with a 900 seat new school – but they would be at capacity when it opens if projections are accurate. What then?

    @ Kirk – yes, Pleasantdale is in the LHS cluster. Take an address in the Pleaasantdale attendance zone, most any address, but we’ll use 3672 Eaglerock Dr…those students travel 6.2 miles to LHS; Chamblee High is 1.5 miles away and Tucker is 4.4 miles away. DCSD buses them a minimum of an extra 1.8 miles to get to the 3rd closest high school. Ridiculous they are taken that far from their community – unable to walk to school, unable to participate in before and after school activities – and the cost of wear, tear on buses and gas expenses. Crazy, right?

  33. DSW2Contributor

    ^ AB and Kirk, Pleasantdale’s attendance boundaries were designed to ensure that most of the cluster’s high poverty, brown and ELL kids would be warehoused into one elementary school (Pleasandale). The few affluent white kids that live within its attendance boundaries magnet out to Oakcliff or Evansdale.

    Redistricting Pleasantdale will be like kicking the hornets nest – the Palace does not want brown ELL kids to succeed.

  34. @DSW2 – totally agree…..that’s why I was shining light on the numbers/craziness that DCSD wants us to accept hook, line and sinker – how dare we use our brain and raise questions.

  35. DSW2Contributor,

    There will be redistricting when the new Pleasantdale Elementary opens, and when the new Smokerise Elementary opens. That is what SPLOST IV was all about. My guess is the new Pleasantdale zone will releve Evansdale overcrowding and/or Henderson Mill overcrowding.

  36. Anonymous,

    I suggest the stakeholders in Chamblee tell the district, very clearly…
    We reject y0ur empty threat.
    We will not give you more of our tax money.
    We demand logical solutions.
    We want to be part of the conversation.

  37. I really hope they don’t move the magnet. The school and the magnet work well together and that’s not always the case.

    Fulton moved one arts magnet and pretty much destroyed it a bit back… my friend taught there . The school it was moved to destroyed it rather than the magnet improving the school like they claimed.

    I also hope they don’t get rid of the magnet. If they do, we will move outside of Dekalb. We can only live in a very poor district because of cost and the school was not meeting her needs and bullying was terrible. Would be better to add another magnet or raise the standards to top 10% or top 5% scores and let all qualified in than to get rid of it.

  38. Lose the Magnet

    Heather – you make a great point. However, Dekalb has been begged for years to change the standards or increase the number of seats and have done neither. Definition of insanity to think they will change their ways.

  39. The magnet used to be those in the 99th percentile on ITBS. Over time it dropped to 98, 96….and now the measurement is 75%. At a minimum, we should get back to the 90+% – the truly gifted are not served in DCSD unless they win the lottery.

  40. concerned citizen

    Can anyone tell me what is going on with this hiring freeze? Thanks so much! If it’s true, we need to know why.

  41. The central office hiring freeze was proposed to build up the fund balance.

  42. We could also have built up the fund balance by not renewing dead weight contracts in the CO in May and right-sizing salaries based on qualifications of those in CO. 🙁 Where is the audit of all the positions/their roles/salaries?