Fall 2020 Redistricting Elementary Schools

DeKalb Schools administration is presenting their final recommendation for redistricting on Monday. 432 students will be relocated out of Dunwoody Elementary School this Fall 2020.

The administration recommends redistricting approximately 102 students from Dunwoody Elementary School to Austin Elementary School. No changes to the Pleasantdale ES Attendance Area or any other elementary school attendance area in the Lakeside Cluster are recommended at this time. The administration recommends populating the new Doraville United ES by redistricting 108 students from Hightower ES, 381 students from Dresden ES and 209 students from Cary Reynolds ES.

Address: 1663 E Nancy Creek Dr

Nancy Creek – 4/5 Academy
The administration recommends providing temporary relief to Dunwoody ES by moving Kittredge Magnet to the Former John Lewis ES. Moving Kittredge Magnet to the Former John Lewis ES site will allow the Nancy Creek location to be used as a 4th & 5th grade annex (AKA 4/5 Academy) for approximately 330 students from Dunwoody ES until more permanent relief can be provided to the area via a new elementary school.

The Superintendent has commissioned a sub-committee to design the logistical plans for the move. Included among the tasks of the Logistics Team is to identify siblings who will be at both Dunwoody ES and the Nancy Creek 4/5 Academy to provide accommodations for parent pick-up, as well as transportation.

Related Blog Posts – Articles leading up to this announcement
January 17, 2019 – Nancy Creek Elementary – Immediate Relief For Dunwoody & Chamblee Clusters – Superintendent Tyson is taking a second look at moving Kittredge back to the old John Lewis ES site and opening Nancy Creek back up in Fall 2020.
January 16, 2019 – Dunwoody Elementary School – Redistricting & Utilization – The biggest concern articulated by the DES PAC is that the most recent redistricting proposal does not relieve overcrowding robustly enough.
January 15, 2019 – Removed SPLOST Projects & GO Bond – ESPLOST V projects were way under estimated and left the school district $166 million over budget. $93 million of the budget deficit comes from new facilities and additions.
January 14, 2019 – Redistricting Round 4 – Among the many challenges DeKalb Schools faces, redistricting elementary schools in North DeKalb is one of them. This is the administration’s Round 4 recommendation to the board.

113 responses to “Fall 2020 Redistricting Elementary Schools

  1. No one from Dekalb has said academy is only one year. It’s not one year. Two year minimum.

  2. Just to get the facts straight:
    DES community was ok with a 4/5 academy when DES opened. They were ok with meeting with Jim R secretly and convincing the county that their plan was the will of Dunwoody (it wasn’t).
    DES was ok with attending 4 schools: VES, DES (4/5), PCMS, DHS at that time.
    DES was ok with AES commuting 3 to 4 miles to DES as a 4/5 academy, making decision for them, and their attending 4 schools at that time.
    DES was ok for CHES to attend 4 schools: CHES, DES (4/5), PCMS, DHS and making decision for them.
    DES was ok for KES to just attend 3 schools: KES, PCMS, DHS (KES was not part of 4/5 academy) and making this decision for them.
    Fast forward to nowadays:
    DES parents who are part of magnet are ok with attending NCES for magnet thus:
    DES magnet parents are ok with attending 4 schools: DES, NCES (magnet), CHMS, CHHS.
    DES magnet parents are ok with commuting 1 to 2.5 miles from DES area to NCES.
    When magnet was previously at old John Lewis site, all Dunwoody parents were ok with commuting there and attending 4 schools: local ES, magnet ES at old John Lewis ES, CHMS, CHHS.
    County announces that magnet will move to old John Lewis site and:
    Dunwoody magnet parents all of the sudden cannot possibly make the commute to where they used to go (John Lewis ES).
    County announces that NCES will be 4/5 for DES and:
    DES parents don’t approve a 4/5 academy and cannot believe it was even proposed – they don’t even know how that concept ever came to be.
    DES parents cannot understand how they will commute 1 to 2.5 miles to NCES.
    DES parents cannot fathom how and why their kids should attend 4 schools: DES, NCES, PCMS, DHS.

    DES at one point championed a 4/5 school and didn’t care that AES commuted up to 4 miles to it. Now DES thinks the 4/5 school is a horrible idea and that a 1 to 2.5 mile commute is very far. But the same DES parents would be completely ok (if their kids are accepted into the magnet program) for their kids to attend 4 schools, and to commute 1 to 2.5 miles to NCES for magnet program for 4,5,6 grades. The current magnet ES is basically similar to 4/5 academy other than it is a 4/5/6 school.
    The proposal would only be for 1, maybe 2 years.

    I understand that DES and everyone wants what is best for their kids, but all I see that community doing are putting together clever retorts, responses, and claims to advocate for what they want and pawn it off as the will of the people.

  3. Stan,
    Quitting before you’re fired by the votes is always the right political move to make. Congrats on a career built on nothing but controversies.

  4. What were your positions?

    Stan – Since you’re quitting, why not come clean with your position on all this? People have asked repeatedly for you to say if you supported a one year wait on the school change. Did you support KMS moving, did you support Nancy Creek for Chamblee or for Dunwoody. You’ve got nothing to lose. Why not FINALLY stand up and tell the truth?

  5. Stan,
    I’m curious, which board members voted to approve the Kittredge proposal? This vote primarily effected District 1, so one would assume that a reasonable and unbiased board would consider the wishes of district 1 families and representatives when casting their votes. Obviously this isn’t a reasonable or unbiased board as most of the Dunwoody families are vocally opposed, Chamblee/Brookhaven families are obviously against this move, local administrators oppose it, and you (our board representative) are opposed.

    Chamblee/Brookhaven families might have embraced this plan if it provided relief and returned this resource to the neighborhood children, instead DCSS sent an obvious message that it will not be equitable with the distribution of resources to our students. This decision is so obviously misguided (at best) that there must be some avenue for appeal, either the state board of education or litigation. Interested in your thoughts.

    Sorry to hear that you have decided not to run again. I’m sure that it’s frustrating to put so much energy into advocating for transparency and equity and getting so little support from your community.

  6. The work session went long including a long discussion about Dunwoody/Chamblee redistricting. I have a lot of feedback from the administration to write about.

    My line of questioning included why the administration didn’t get direct feedback from me or the community on this plan, our many concerns with the implementation of a 4/5 academy and building a new elementary school in a timely fashion, why the chamblee community was left out of the Nancy Creek relief, why are we removing the only and very popular magnet program from North DeKalb, concerns about Nancy Creek and the Old John Lewis being ready by the Fall, why didn’t we put more students in Austin … etc …

    The item went on the consent agenda and passed unanimously. Nobody was budging. Given the conversations I had with board members and the superintendent prior to the vote, I’m not surprised. We will survive to fight another day.

  7. Thanks Stan. Kittredge moves closer to every other cluster, so what’s not to like for them. It will be especially nice for all of those parents that drive past Wadsworth to get their kids to Kittredge. Still surprised that Chamblee was left out of the relief. Looking forward to your next post with that feedback from the administration.

    Hang in there.

  8. Stan,

    Would it be fair to say that on this issue the other Board Members chose to just go along with the recommendation from the Superintendent/Staff? It is shocking to me that they don’t care about how wasteful it is to leave so many empty seats, but then again having tons of empty seats in schools is the norm for many of them in their regions.

    As an aside, I thought it was incredibly disrespectful for a few of the other Board Members to leave the room during the public comment period. We have a one hour period once a month to express our views to the Board as a whole and they chose not to be bothered.

  9. PS Dad. Thanks for the comments. I really want to answer your comments here, but every point is a large discussion that needs context. I’ll post something tomorrow.

    Ben. The other board members were happy with the Superintendent’s thoughts and plan regarding open seats. The board members getting up and leaving is part of a larger conversation. I suspect it has something to do with the audit committee discussion that preceded public comment.

  10. KMS and Dunwoody School Parent

    Stan- this might be part of the larger commentary that you are planning to provide… as a Kittredge parent in a two working-parent family with another child at another Dunwoody school, this change is going to massively impact our family… How to get both of our children to and from school when one is now going to be over 12 miles/45 minutes away from our home (on a good/normal traffic day) is going to be a real challenge for us. What is the timeline for the district to provide bus information as well as a plan for the John Lewis facility (which is in terrible condition per the photos that have been shared with us) to us so that we can make an informed decision on whether to keep our kids at KMS or put them back in their home schools?

  11. It is a difficult job to effect change in Dekalb schools – there are many issues in Dekalb. Gwinnett resolved their high growth education issues by building the largest high schools in the country and they still have trailers there. The schools are 4,000 and 5,000 students each which seems not optimal. Plus the county growth is relatively new so the schools are not super old. East Cobb area has no apts so they don’t have as many students in that area and haven’t had to face the accelerated need to keep building new schools for this reason. They tend to renovate and expand ES’s, MS’s, and HS’s and have so many split schools which seems not optimal. Fulton has south Fulton which is not a high growth area. A chunk of it is Atlanta and Fulton is not responsible for Atlanta schools. They have north Fulton with much of its population increase having occurred recently in past 20 years in Milton, Alpharetta, Johns Creek so they don’t have an aging infrastructure to deal with plus it looks like they don’t have as many apts with high density and a lot of kids to deal with in their growth. Dekalb has a lot apt complexes that have filled with kids – older ones that transformed from professionals to families and newer ones that have many with temporary workers and their kids. The area has been populated for some time so they have lots of old schools. And they have tons of new homes. So Dekalb has to deal with super old schools, high population growth from homes, and high student population growth from kids now living in many apts. It is tougher to handle all of this. There is only so much money available. There are more county school reps who don’t live in northern section than live in northern section so our local rep can always be outvoted (and they are). It is difficult to be a rep – by far, more folks will not agree with you than agree with you. If NCES reverts for use by Brookhaven/Chamblee cluster, then the magnet parents will speak loudly and forever against this. Maybe Dunwoody parents speak loudly and against this. If NCES stays as is, then Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody will speak loudly and forever against this. If NCES is used by Dunwoody, then magnet, Brookhaven, Chamblee will speak forever against this. That is just one part of what needs to be addressed in the county. Whatever is done with redistricting will result in many groups speaking loudly and forever against it. Brookhaven was to get a new HS (Cross Keys) and it was to be moved elsewhere by county – Brookhaven folks were loudly against this. Brookhaven offered to buy apt complexes and prepare land for a new HS and give it to Dekalb – Dekalb spoke loudly against this. A new Doraville HS was proposed to assist and the county (and I think Doraville for awhile) spoke loudly against that. Schools were renovated in the south, and the north spoke loudly against this. SPLOST proposals are every 5 years and pretty much get approved by the county regardless of how Dunwoody votes. So the county doesn’t need Dunwoody approval for any future SPLOST – it has been proven. Dunwoody voted against the prior SPLOST that gave us a new AES – didn’t matter since SPLOST passed and Dunwoody had to have the new AES school they voted against. The continued large influx of new folks into the area has made traffic very time consuming which will result in even more folks moving to the Dunwoody/Brookhaven/Chamblee area in the future due to less congestion getting to wherever when starting in Dunwoody/Brookhaven/Chamblee. This increased population will further increase the school population. The overcrowding will get worse.
    Whoever is the rep, it would be nice to continue this website and forum.
    Thank you Ginny for posting recent letter to BOE – it’s nice to be informed on what is being presented to our reps.
    Thank you Stan for your work including a website that includes various posts, and a forum that allows comments.

  12. Stan never really answers questions. It’s always about procedure and context. It’s clear he voted for this given his decision not to seek another term. Why anyone kowtows to these upward failing fools is baffling. All we parents have to do is not send our kids to school for a few days and the county would do exactly what we wanted. Good faith conversations don’t seem to happen. Just a lambasting of parents by county admin and Stan and the board (Are you going to come after me?). Stan runs on transparency precisely because he isn’t. The actual plan here is frustrating, but what is infuriating is the absolute insanity of the school system (that we pay for) and the lack of any power of the stakeholders to get any straight info or have any real input.

  13. If Stan had flipped his vote, the motion still would have passed, 6-1. The real problem is a DCSD administration that is incompetent, non-responsive, and corrupt.

    You might elect a Board member that makes you happier, but you won’t the win the war. Anyone who has lived long enough in DeKalb County knows to expect the least from its government and school board.

    If you care about your children, and have the means, move somewhere else.