Monday, February 7, 2011

Here we go!

The meeting we've all been waiting for is scheduled to begin in about 20 minutes. Ramona Tyson, our interim superintendent will present her recommendation to the board for redistricting. Since this is a work session and business meeting combined, the board can choose to table the item until next month, or vote to approve. Tune in LIVE on Comcast Channel 24 or stream it live from the DeKalb Schools website by clicking here.

The agenda is below:

Monday, February 7, 2011 6:00PM

J. David Williamson Board Room
Administrative & Instructional Complex
1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard
Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083

By: Mr. Thomas E. Bowen, Board Chair

Presented by: Dr. Eugene P. ‘Gene’ Walker, Board Representative, District #9

C. ROSTER: Mr. Thomas E. Bowen, Chair
Ms. Sarah Copelin-Wood
Mr. Jesse 'Jay' Cunningham, Jr.
Ms. Donna G. Edler
Ms. Nancy Jester
Mr. Donald E. McChesney
Dr. Pamela A. Speaks
Dr. Eugene P. 'Gene' Walker
Mr. H. Paul Womack, Jr.

Ms. Ramona H. Tyson, Interim Superintendent

Ms. Shatavia Amey
Ms. Janet Kennedy

Mr. Terrell Short

Ms. Marcia Coward

Mr. Quenterious B. Tolen
Mr. Ryan Lemoine

Miss India Hervey
Miss Rushelle Stanislaus-McSween

1. National School Counselors Week Proclamation
Presented by: Mr. Thomas E. Bowen, Chair

2. Perfect Writing Score Recognition
Presented by: Ms. Stacy Stepney, Director, High School Instruction

3. National Career & Technical Education Month Recognition
Presented by: Dr. Delmas Watkins, Director, Career and Technical Education

1. David Schutten
2. Rosilind Taylor
3. Loreen Booker Brown
4. Andy Faraca
5. Verdaillia Turner
6. Deirdre Pierce
7. Aaron Perry
8. Connie Boone
9. Molly Bardsley
10. Marney Mayo
11. Khalid Muhammad Ali Farrakhan
12. Sandy Purkett
13. Tyler Brown
14. Cecil Harmon

1. Budget, Finance & Facilities Committee
Presented by: Mr. H. Paul Womack, Committee Chair

2. Business, Community & Government Relations Committee
Presented by: Dr. Eugene P. ‘Gene’ Walker, Committee Chair

3. Instruction and Board Policy Committee
Presented by: Dr. Pamela A. Speaks, Committee Chair

It is requested that the DeKalb Board of Education adopt the February 7, 2011 work session
& business meeting agenda.

Motion by: _________________ Seconded by: ________________ Vote: ________

1. Superintendent's 2020 Master Vision Plan Recommendation
Presented by: Ms. Ramona H. Tyson, Interim Superintendent


1. Amendment to the Bylaws & Policies: READY FOR ACTION ~ Public Participation in Board Meetings, Descriptor Code BCBI
Presented by: Ms. Judy O'Brien, Attorney, Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan

2. Amendment to the Bylaws & Policies: READY FOR ACTION ~ Naming Facilities, Descriptor Code FDC
Presented by: Dr. Morcease Beasley, Interim Deputy Superintendent, Teaching & Learning

1. Approval of Legal Representation - Check out our blog discussion on this topic by clicking here.
Presented by: Mr. Thomas E. Bowen, Chair

2. Approval of Minutes
Presented by: Ms. Ramona H. Tyson, Interim Superintendent

3. Financial Report
Presented by: Mr. Marcus Turk, Chief Financial Officer

4. Human Resources Monthly Board Report for February 2011
Presented by: Dr. Jamie L. Wilson, Jr., Chief Human Resources Officer

5. Additional Services Provided by University Instructors, Inc.
Presented by: Dr. Audria Berry, Executive Director, Office of School Improvement

6. Workers’ Compensation Excess Insurance
Presented by: Mr. Michael Florio, Director, Risk Management

7. Contingent\ Excess Liability Insurance
Presented by: Mr. Mike Florio, Director, Risk Management

8. Memorandum of Understanding between DeKalb County School District and Fulton County School District: Enrollment of DCSD students in FCSD conversion Charter Schools
Presented by: Mr. Robert Moseley, Deputy Chief Superintendent, School Operations

9. Vendor Approval – Mingledorff’s, Inc. (Heating and Air Conditioning)
Presented by: Mr. Steven Donahue, Executive Director, Plant Services

10. Capital Outlay Budget Reallocation (410)
Presented by: Ms. Barbara M. Colman, Interim CIP Operations Officer

11. Capital Improvement Plan Budget Reallocation (421)
Presented by: Ms. Barbara M. Colman, Interim CIP Operations Officer

12. Approval of Project Order No. 12 to Jacobs Project Management Co. for Supplemental Project Management Services
Presented by: Ms. Barbara M. Colman, Interim CIP Operations Officer

13. New Replacement Chamblee High School A/E Design Firm Approval
Presented by: Ms. Barbara M. Colman, Interim CIP Operations Officer

14. Clarkston High School- Approval of Pro-Start Kitchen Mechanical Revisions Change Order No.11
Presented by: Ms. Barbara M. Colman, Interim CIP Operations Officer



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Anonymous said...

I've heard the Sam Moss staff has allowed the old Chamblee Middle to fall into poor shape.

If anyone lives nearby, please e-mail some photo's of it to Cere for the blog! And any other photo's on shuttered DCSS facilities that they ignore, like Heritage.

Cerebration said...

Great idea for a side panel slideshow. Send photos of shuttered schools in your area to -

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed with Donna Edler last night. Her questions about Avondale Middle and Avondale High school indicated that she really hadn't paid much attention to the original plans. Both of the original proposals had the Avondale schools closing as resident schools, yet she seemed very surprised that those schools would close. Where has she been for the last month?

Anonymous said...

Apparently Wadsworth is similar/equal to Kittredge, but the area parents are not embracing it. I'm guessing that is the reason it's left open. I've heard it's an excellent school, but don't have any facts.

Anonymous said...

BTW other Countries that surpass American elementary / high school education (certainly DeKalb), do not seem to wrestle with these issues. They are there to EDUCATE CHILDREN. If I didn't know better, I'd think I had landed in an Eastern Block Country. Sadly, even they do better in testing than the American kids do. When are you all going to wake up?

My college art school Teacher said: "Don't recreate the wheel". DeKalb is not only recreating the wheel, it's not even round:). This process is going nowhere. It's an exact replication of what happened here 40 years ago. The square wheel is stuck in the MUD!

Anonymous said...

“In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards,” Mark Twain wrote in 1897.


Anonymous said...

Regarding comments about Lakeside - ~70 students are moving into the district for middle and high school, but ~50 are moving out (to Tucker) from the Pleasantdale district. Those moving from the Pleasantdale district are not apartment dwellers for the most part (if at all). Lakeside still has a large number of apartments in it's district, primarily from Pleasantdale and Henderson Mill. I know there are some wealthy neighborhoods around Lakeside itself, but those demographics do not represent the district in it's entirely. It is a very diverse district and wants to remain that way.

Anonymous said...

Not sure where DM gets it that the magnets will be moved in the future. If it wasn't a good idea this year, it won't be any better next year.

CMS and CCHS have plenty of room for residential growth and the magnet program. Both schools bring in NCLB and other out of district kids to fill classrooms. No worries.

Anonymous said...

Once again, DeKalb School leadership fails to make critical decisions. Same old, "lets put it off for another time" attitude.
Can hardly wait to see how they plan to make up the expected $50 million shortfall coming up for the next school year.

Anonymous said...

I love this comment "Is there anyone advocating for . . . the poor souls being sent to Clarkston?"

Notice what's missing in this sentiment? What about the "poor souls" ALREADY AT Clarkston?

I guess they don't matter.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a comparison of race and SES for Lakeside High School, before and after the current redistricting proposal and to compare to the numbers for Druid Hills High School. Same for Henderson Middle and Shamrock. The Lakeside plan (that claimed to represent the entire supercluster for Lakeside, DH, and Tucker) maximized SES and single family homes for the Lakeside district.

Shamrock Middle will be losing the Sagamore single family home dwellers and will instead receive 183 from Avondale Middle, which are majority apartment dwellers.

Anonymous said...

Edler supported the centralized plan, I think. That is why she was surprised to see that Avondale would be empty.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:08,

Try sending an email to the planning department at DCSS or do the research yourself.

It seems that you are making assumptions without knowing the facts.

Do your research, GET THE FACTS, examine the facts and then make a well informed, educated explanation.

Something that hasn't happened in DCSS for generations.

The tide may be turning. We'll see.
Good luck.

Anonymous said...

9:25 AM...take comfort in the fact the our oldest and only historic neighborhood was kept 100% intact.

Anonymous said...

Ok- LIVSEY got a pass
What about the ones(54) who will be redistricted and sent to Midvale. Then Livsey gets kids from Pleasantdale. I remember parents from the meetings in the communities not wanting to leave Livsey, but the lines have been redrawn.
How do the Shamrock parents who have to go to Freedom Middle feel? People do whatever the heck they can to get out of Freedom. Wow!
How do the Henderson parents who will now be going to Tucker Middle feel?

Cerebration said...

I too think that Donna Edler was shocked to see that these Avondale schools would be shuttered. Closed. Leaving blight in the community. At least if the magnets moved in, there would be life in the area. I've seen the Druid Hills property - it's not doing that area of Druid Hills any favors by sitting there closed. Same for the Shallowford ES (formerly Chamblee MS) in Dunwoody. Same for Heritage ES near Lakeside. Seems the school system is leaving vacant buildings all around the county. They need to raze them and at least keep a nicely mowed greenspace. These shuttered buildings are havens for crime and mischief.

Anonymous said...

I think it was a great first step. Not to sure that the problem can be solved without sawing the baby in half. There is more to do and the presentation alluded to that repeatedly. There are more schools to close or reformat. The 2020 strategic plan will have the same kind of public input. We already know that there are many differences of opinion on this. Slow down or do it, reform everyone but not my school,nuke the magnets-no keep the magnets, etc. We are only 45% done on filling the seats. Some implications I caught from the presentation are that this approach means that SPLOST IV will feature a build out at Henderson Middle to relieve crowding. Avondale elementary kids are now in the Druid Hills feeder. The stuff is all on the web site so look it over. The consultants were blown away by the extent of the public involvement in this first step. They had never seen such particpation and they are are old hands at this. Congratulations to those who were involved. Perhaps with that kind of involvement we can refashion our school system so that eventually there is a win win.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:30
Henderson Middle currently has 1476 students, 13 trailers - the Lakeside folks didn't create a plan to make HMS overcrowded to get SPLOST IV $. It has been overcrowded for years. The good folks at HMS have been trying to get the BOE and Ms. Pope, Ms. Colman to hear their need for renovations and an addition for the last few years - with the news of unallocated funds, they have been writing, calling, talking to BOE members and Ms. Colman who all turn a deaf ear saying "there are lots of needs in the county." Womack forgets that his constituents go to HMS -the same ones that arrive at LHS - his allegiance is to LHS, Coralwood and Oak Grove. Word has it he is connected to a company that sells products like wheelchairs for the disabled? Hmmm...Coralwood.. Heck, just an acknowledgement that HMS is overcrowded and has educational inadequacies would be nice.

Dunwoody Mom, $15 million, maybe a bit less, to renovate and add the addition that has been proposed. The folks at HMS report they have the largest enrollment that has not received (or is approved to receive) a major renovation or new addition.

Sad that the plan calls for HMS and LHS to get more students next year - per fire codes, HMS will have to put the next trailer in the bus lot (that is down a very steep hill)- no more can be accommodated in the back of the school. LHS already has classes in the trailers that exceed trailer capacity.

School Dazed said...

"Losers, DHHS, Briar Vista, Laurel Ridge,Henderson Mill, the rest of Dunwoody,..."

Why is Henderson Mill included in that catergory? I did not see or hear about that much of an effect on them. What am I missing?

Anonymous said...

But, but, but... the fine leaders of the Lakeside Score effort were bound and determined not to lose any students in "their" feeder pattern. Fractured communities, they cried. Oh. They're losing Pleasantdale kids? Suddenly, it's no big deal to be "fractured" at all...

Anonymous said...

@Anon 12:59 - That's a good point. Originaly, the kids redistricted from Pleaseantdale to Livsey were supposed to stay in the Henderson/Lakeside feeder pattern, per the original decentarlized option, which would have been in keeping with the original score proposal. I know the Lakeside folks have not met to discuss this, so I don't think it's appropriate to assume they will think this change is OK.

Anonymous said...

Lakeside folks are fine with the plan. It was never about Pleasantdale.

Anonymous said...

We must really focus on how DCSS funds programs such as mgnet/gifted/IEP... DCSS does it differently from other systems. If DCSS is forced to fund on a "per student" basis -- as the state provides funds to DCSS (and, as I believe the feds funds to DCSS and the State) rather than the odd "conversion" to points and then "redistribution" approach to schools -- which enables a pooling and cheating of "home schools" in favor of the magnets and theme schools -- the home schools could realize more funds and could grow stronger. There is a short changing going on that needs to stop immediately.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh... the pooling of funds and conversion to points may also be what enables DCSS to fund the bloat at Central office? ehh? What, exactly, and how, does the state allow for funding to staff cnetral office? Is it the case that DCSS is able to bloat up central office by converting the per pupil dollars provided by the feds (through title 1) and the state (through FTEs) to "points" and redistributing on some wacky fomrula to confuse us and facilite the bloat and the "off kilter-ness" of things like gifted funding? gee.... I wonder....

Anonymous said...

They will have to add administrative /staff positions to consider even more requests for transfers - how many did they move to Clarkston that clearly can't stick given the NI status of the school?

Really, of all the moves, this one was utterly asinine. There is no way that these active parents are NOT going to request transfers, transfers that the school system will have to address. What is the plan on this one.

AND YES! A few folks have been saying all along that addressing building space without concurrently addressing instructional/school success is a problem. This is particularly true regarding a school like Clarkston. Something here is clearly broken and the system needs to fix it. The only thing that I can figure out is that they are trying to pull a fast one. Add enough potentially high performing students to the population and you can pull the school out of NI, without ever addressing the root concerns. Putting the school's success on the shoulders of the kids moved eliminates the need for the administration to admit there is a real problem that needs a real solution - not canned academic programming, but feet - teachers' feet, on the ground, armed with appropriate tools and rewards for real work done.

Anonymous said...

"Losers, DHHS, Briar Vista, Laurel Ridge,Henderson Mill, the rest of Dunwoody,..."

While Lakeside was careful to preserve their community, with minimal disruption, the DHHS lines have been sliced and diced, losing kids to Clarkston and gaining large numbers from Avondale. Same for Shamrock middle. The effects on these schools will be large. The ScorePlan looked after Lakeside first and then balanced the numbers on the backs of kids from DHHS.

Anonymous said...


Original DCSS plan sent 400 DHHS kids to clarkston and replaced them with 200 Oakgrove, Briarlake and Sagamore kids, cut out of their neighborhoods in a very nonsensical way, plus 70 Avondale kids.

SCORe plan was better for DHHS (acknowledged as such by DHMS and DHHS leadership when they finally agreed to review SCORe instead of just complaining about it) as it sent the same 70 Avondale kids, plus 130 more (200 Avondale) to DHHS. Instead of losing 400 kids to Clarkston, SCORe removed 200 outside of 285 from DHHS to Clarkston, a geographically logical move.

The net change of about 60 fewer students proposed by SCORe compared to county plans diminished the overcrowding at DHHS without leaving it under capacity.
SCORe did not balance enrollment on the back of DHHS. However, it did not endorse poaching of Lakeside students who live within 1.5 miles of LSH just to fill seats at DHHS with students who live 5 miles away.

DHHS families could have spent countless hours after work and on weekends, in endless meetings and phone calls, to prepare a logical community based plan that met DHHS needs without unduly harming surrounding schools . That DHHS did not cannot be the fault of SCORe.

Anonymous said...

"DHHS families could have spent countless hours after work and on weekends, in endless meetings and phone calls, to prepare a logical community based plan that met DHHS needs without unduly harming surrounding schools . That DHHS did not cannot be the fault of SCORe."

Anonymous said...

"Womack forgets that his constituents go to HMS -the same ones that arrive at LHS - his allegiance is to LHS, Coralwood and Oak Grove. Word has it he is connected to a company that sells products like wheelchairs for the disabled?"

I've heard that for a few years now.

Anonymous said...

"Womack forgets that his constituents go to HMS -the same ones that arrive at LHS - his allegiance is to LHS, Coralwood and Oak Grove. Word has it he is connected to a company that sells products like wheelchairs for the disabled?"

I've heard that for a few years now.

Anonymous said...

It is very possible that DHHS reps did put in time and energy...they may have taken the high road and chosen not to yell and scream and whine, but instead take their proposals directly to Ms. Tyson and Mr. Drake...unless you're part of the community, you can't know.

It's very possible that they were simply ignored in favor of LHS.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:13,

You might be accustomed to spewing your rhetoric without any basis or facts to back it up.

This blog does rely on fact and empirical data to support claims.

If you would like to back your comments and perception with data that we can all view, then please enlighten us.

Otherwise, beat it! You are definitely school board material, but not this blog material.

Unless you show some FACTS to support your case, please provide for review.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 3:13

Ironic that you are SCREAMING in your post. SCORe did not scream or try to drown out others. Every citizen had the same opportunities to respond to the surveys, send letters and email to BOE and Tyson, attend public input meetings, and express their opinions. There was no ear of a politician. All you had to do was send your opinions to everybody you could think would care, encourage fellow parents and neighbors to do the same, meet administrators and BOE members at BOE meetings or public input forums and tell them your concerns, and try to figure out who might give you an appointment to listen to your proposal. ( By the way, Board members would not meet with constitutents about redistricting and apparently had not seen the Superintendent's plan before the public did. ) Numbers based and logical ideas are welcomed. Complaints and whines aren't. Instead of waiting for somebody else to solve your problem for you and just complaining on a blog site, anybody could have developed their own alternative plan. Make it a positive alternative based on numbers, then make sure everybody inthe community gets input which will result in numerous revisions and compromises, then spend some time and effort trying to get it to Dekalb officials for their consideration. How can that drown out anybody else? The playing field was equal. Everybody has the same equal chance to be heard. Just because something didn't turn out the way somebody would have liked, doesn't mean there were any special favors or insider actions or any attempt to run over anybody else. Nothing immoral was done and decisions were made logically, not emotionally. Would it have been more moral to you to redistrict Dunwoody kids to Towers? Send Pleasantdale kids to Medlock? How is sending kids to nearby adjacent schools immoral?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:41

DHMS and DHHS PTA leadership did submit an alternative to the redistricting plans and attempt to work with the DCSS BOE on this. You can see their statement for yourself on the DCSS redistricting comments web page. Funny that Lakeside folks are still trying to talk for the DH community, even now. They did put out SCORe without other Cluster 2 input. Many parents from all over have spent lots of time and energy on this, not just you LS folks.

Cerebration said...

Ok, now that I’ve had time to calm down, let me just state my one belief.

You should not have to be “vocal” in order for school system leadership to do the right thing. It shouldn’t be about which communities brought the most often repeated ideas to the table. School system leaders should be able to investigate, compile data, analyze data and make decisions that are the best for the system. For everyone in the system. The vocal groups were able to take control of the leadership, IMO and that is wrong (not saying their perspectives were wrong, they just usurped the spotlight at all times.)

I highly doubt that legally, Tyson can implement a program that closes viable, vibrant schools with 300 or so students in active neighborhoods – and not close special, magnet or other small schools held aside from scrutiny. It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. (Another one!) She didn’t think this through – and I have to say it was most likely due to the fact that she spent too much time “listening” to the powerhouses and not “looking” at the reality of the situation at hand.

Anonymous said...


I cannot know what DHHS did in reality, I just know what they told multiple SCORe members that they had and had not done. I can't verify that they were truthful or what they did in the 4 days after the meeting with SCORe, other than that they told SCORe that SCORe was preferable to DCSS options. Feedback from my many acquaintances and friends within the DHHS/DHMS community also did not indicate any large community meetings to share ideas; they said they got nothing from DHMS/DHHS leadership, were unaware of any numbers-based plans, but were extremely aware of the energetic SCORe efforts to develop a plan, get community input via large and small meetings and email groups, and present an alternative to DCSS. The point is, speculation is pointless about what DCSS might or might not have done, who they might or might not have listened to, or why they made the final decisions. But it is NOT factual that SCORe did anything underhanded or the decision was made because of any special favors to SCORe.

Lefty said...

The Lakeside SCORe folks sent multiple emails to DHHS and DHMS PTA presidents to share the plan with them before they went public with the SCORe on 1/25. Those multiple emails went unanswered. The two groups did finally meet last week to work out differences.

I may be wrong, but it looks like the final plan has eliminated all split feeders county-wide. This is probably why the Pleasantdale kids rerouted to Livsey are going on to Tucker HS. And also why all of Sagamore is now going to Henderson/Lakeside.

BTW, Sagamore currently has kids from at least 11 apartment communities. The new plan has about half of those still in Sagamore's district.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:22,2:29,3:41,4:36, et al.

Who is SCORe to talk about/for another school's lines or feeders? The LS folks' comments on this thread are coming across as presumptuous and thin-skinned. You got what you wanted. Why so nasty?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Lefty, you say the Lakeside folks sent multiple emails? Did you type that with a straight face? And what of the Emory-Lavista Parent Council? Didn't the SCORe crowd have those email addresses? Lakesiders, as they are wont to do, threw Druid Hills under the bus. What the rest of us can't understand, is how they continue to deny their own arrogance. Their kids are more important than anyone elses'.

Anonymous said...

Lakeside -

Enjoy your antiquated, nasty bathroom, overcrowded, construction zone school & stop bashing others. How does it feel? 'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! All this time and effort of highly paid consultants, County leadership, and public input resulted in the Superintendent recommending a plan that eliminates only about half of the vacant seats.
They must be proud.

Anonymous said...

Well SCORe wasn't totally adopted. Its elementary lines outside the Lakeside area were absurd. I quit looking when I saw the hourglass shaped districts and long creaping arms along freeways.

I was surprised they presented something so ridiculous.

I think Druid Hills HS/MS was overwhelmed by all the changes thrown at them in the initial proposal. They weren't expecting to be impacted this year and then had changes along all the boundaries. Its still hard to tell what the impact will be.

Anonymous said...

The master plan is working! Look at all of us...fighting, bickering, pissin' and a moanin' while the puppet masters behind RT are laughing their collective A$$es off all the way to the bank!

All...take several deep breaths. Forget taking that sip or cup of STFU! We need a collective voice, a voice of reason, coming from "voices" within the entire DCSS community to stop the madness.

Whether it is redistricting, outsoursing, missing audits...all of the psychic discontent that is being brewed up is playing right into the hands of the palace
"guards." Be warned...they win if good men/women allow evil, ignorance,and greed to prevail!

Anonymous said...

You know what - I think Mrs. Tyson did a decent job. Some small schools are closing and I really didn't think DCSS would have the guts to close them. Yes, Wadsworth is definitely too small but it will be decided when the magnet schools are revisited, and that appears to be a high priority for the next rount.

I think this is about all they could realistically implement in the time allowed.

Hey, maybe Avondale HS and MS can be used as annexes for all of the AYP transfer students. It's centrally located...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...@7:28pm

"You know what - I think Mrs. Tyson did a decent job."

Call me Anonymous 7:28pm...I have a parcel of ocean front property in Nebraska for sale!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:19 The reason the SCORe plan was "never about Pleasantdale" is that when the Pleasantdale Elem. community was repeatedly invited to attend planning meetings to discuss the redistricting not one person bothered to show up.

Anonymous said...

As the parent of a Sagamore/Henderson/Lakeside student, I certainly wish no ill to come to Druid Hills High School. Since Sagamore has always been a split feeder, many of my son's grade school friends go to DHHS and quite honestly, I think he would have been just fine there.

However, I am grateful that my son can finish out his high school career at the school that is within walking distance instead of being transported five miles away through one of the most congested areas in this part of the county. He will still be able to enjoy the before- and after-school activities and to take advantage of the tutorials offered by his teachers. If he had been moved to DHHS, that would no longer have been possible since he has two working parents that would have been unable to spend the vastly increased amount of time it would take to transport him back and forth before and after school.

Frankly speaking, it only makes sense to send each student to the school in his/her own community. That should be the first priority in any redistricting decision.

Ella Smith said...

Fernbank did get what they wanted.

The Lakeside district has been fighting for many years to get Sagamore and Leafmore into Lakeside's district. They are so close. It makes sense. When I used to teach at Lakeside kids would do anything that lived in that area to go to Lakeside as the kids felt they were a part of Lakeside and did not want to go to another school. I am happy in this decision.

However, I have to also have sympathy due to all the schools closing in South Dekalb. However, when I talked to Ms. Roberts last night I think she explained the reason best. Several years ago the school system cosoladated and closed several schools in the north side of the county and left the south along. Now the closings are mostly in the southside of the county. She indicated there was not a need to close schools in the northside of the county as many had already been closed. This made a great deal of sense to me. Many students from failing schools are also attending schools in the central and northside of the county which also causes schools to close in the southside. The closings have to be data driven and if closings are data driven there is nothing disciminatory about this as many speakers indicated last night. This is not about where the schools are but about where the numbers of students do not meet the state standards for a full school, so closings must occur.

Anonymous said...

What is potentially discriminatory is the treatment of the system of those southern schools. Why are the merely shifting kids into central and northern schools where those school populations are ensuring that AYP is met INSTEAD of addressing real instructional and outcome deficits of the KIDS who are in those schools. DeKalb continues to run away from the real issues of instruction. all levels and in all areas.
.....schools that are in failing AYP status....gifted kids at local (not lottery winners)....special education needs.

I'm wondering how the schools that will be newly filled to the brim are going to be able to handle these loads. Classrooms in some elementary schools will likely increase to 35 kids. I DREAD the next year at my local school. We already lost our gifted teacher and see no programming for our kids. NOW class sizes will increase and the administration will be aiming at addressing magnitude issues.

What a blasted mess. I really hate this school system. The folks running it are a bunch of thieves who care not one wit for the real consumers of education, kids. Its only about money for them. NOT one penny of this is going to make to instructional will just go to paying lawyers fees to those who had a heavy hand in breaking (in every way you can read the word) the system.

Anonymous said...

re: So-called "super cluster two" -ORE plan

Inviting a few representatives from DHHS feeder schools to a fait accompli presentation at Oak Grove UMC is not the same thing as garnering input and securing consent, regardless of what the presenter claimed during the very nicely put together presentation.

Getting some kind of positive feedback from a few parents with children at DHHS is not the same thing as getting feedback from the entire Druid Hills cluster.

And even if you had, getting buy-in from 5 or 6 parents is not the same thing as making a data-driven decision based on logic and fairness.

Just because the folks involved in SCORE did not know about the conversations and proposals made by representatives from other schools does not mean they did not take place. They did take place, I assure you.

If the Lakeside folks had simply called themselves "LORE" instead of "SCORE," there would be a lot fewer irritable people over on the other side of N. Druid Hills Rd.

Lefty said...

To Anon 6:11 - Yes, I can type it with a straight face. The SCORe team are some of finest parents I know. Over the years, they have dedicated so much time to Sagamore, Henderson, Lakeside, ELPC and DCSS. The SCORe folks worked with parents from Fernbank and ELPC. And had DHMS/DHHS parents wanted to, they could have worked with SCORe folks early on.

What exactly about the SCORe plan threw DHHS under the bus? The plan retained a large portion of McLendon students. Their plan still had Sagamore split between the two. Do you have any idea how many Avondale area families might now consider public high school since they are now feeding to DHMS/DHHS?

For over 15 years, families from the split neighborhood portions of Leafmore (2-3 miles to LHS/3-3.5 miles from DHHS) and Sagamore (1.5-2 miles to LHS/3.5-5 miles to DHHS) have been trying to go to their neighborhood high school, Lakeside, and you begrudge them that? DHMS/DHHS folks have been blocking those families the entire time. They seem to think that the 6 kids per grade from these neighborhoods that end up at DHMS/DHHS make a huge difference for them. I'm sorry, but that's pretty pitiful that they think those 6 kids can make that big a dent in their AYP status.

DHMS/DHHS had every opportunity to come up with a plan as polished and thought out as SCORe. I guess they feel like threatening legal action or board member recalls is the way to go. That route would be a splendid use of our taxpayer dollars, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

"Fait accompli" is the perfect description. I am a successful professional with kids at Pleasantdale, and I had no desire to toss myself into the lion's den that was a sCORE meeting. There was no way anything I said was going to be taken seriously, and I wasn't going to waste my time being spoken over because my children's school is perceived as inferior (and, thus, me and my opinions).

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, I worked for a corporation (company 1) that got taken over by another company (let's call it company 2) with some odd business practices. For instance, instead of making capital investment decisions by building a business case and analyzing the Return on Investment (ROI), the way we did at company 1, they would have a meeting at a remote location, give presentations on the puts and takes associated with each proposal, and then vote with a show of hands on whether the proposal would be approved.

This meant that the departments with the biggest travel budgets would get their investment proposals adopted, regardless of the ROI, by packing the meeting with their staff.

Not coincidentally, company 2 is now bankrupt and the CEO is in a federal penitentiary for a very, very long time.

This whole "public input process" reminds me of company 2's capital investment decision-making process. DCSS spent a significant fraction of $1M to hire some professionals to analyze the situation and make a decision, and then the neighborhoods which packed the meetings skewed the decisions their way.

Heck of a way to run a railroad.

Lefty said...

Anon 8:22 - I'm so sorry you felt that way. The parents I know who worked on SCORe are not the loud shouters. They are the roll up our sleeves and let's work together, types. Your voice would have counted. The loudest voices in the process were the panicky ones who just wanted to keep the status quo so their own kids would be fine.

Ella Smith said...

I did go to the SCORe meeting and I did speak out and ask why they were not considering sending some of the students from Pleasantdale to Livsey in order to prevent that school from closing or to send Pleasantdale as a whole to Tucker High School as this had been discussed by the school system and had been on the table when I worked at Lakeside years ago. I was basically shot down as I think a parent from Plesantdale must have been on their committee. However, they did indicate that this may be part of Livsey plan to keep Livsey open.

The SCORe group did do a good job in preparing documentation to push their plan and no one can blame them for that. However, it was not the plan of the Lakeside PTA. It was a plan presented by a group of leaders in the Lakeside community who wanted Sagamore and Leafmore to be part of the Lakeside district and they basically presently there plan to the school administration. The meeting at the church was just to get the public support as their plan was already put in place by the committee. However, all of their ideas were not accepted by the Superintendent. The Sagamore/Leafmore group have been politically working on this change for the last three years. They have supported school board members who ran for school board with this purpose in mind. You have to give them credit for being patient and working the system to get what they wanted. I agree totally that Sagamore and Leafmore should go to Lakeside. They are a part of the local school community. These communities are close to the school and should be a part of the Lakeside community.

However, I still can understand the frustration of all the parents and students who feel right now they are misplaced in the move. I felt this way when the last maps had been presented. This is a hard think and a hard decision for the school board.

Fernbank looks like they more or less got exactly what they wanted. However, they were promised this by current school board members before the last election. However, I understand why none of these individuals want to leave their school. The plan did benifit Fernbank and Lakeside must more than it did Druid Hills High School. However, all the parents from this area appear more concerned with Fernbank than their high school and middle school. The Lakeside family were fighting for the Lakeside boundaries. They did not care so much about the elementary lines. Their emphasis was totally on the Lakeside lines.

Anonymous said...


Plesantdale parent, So you pre-judged the SCORe organizers as being unwilling to listen to your concerns and assumed that they considered you to be inferior. Every other feeder elementary participated in the discussions all along, so you have only yourself to blame if you chose not to engage in community dialogue based on some preconceived notions on your part. The entire plan's basic point is that the renovated LSH will have room for ALL current LSH students, including Pleasantdale students. Where is the unwillingness to listen or care about Pleasantdale concerns in that?The plan was continuously changed in response to community feedback. It changed on the very day that the plan was given to DCSS,in response to an elementary's school request.Sounds like the attitude is on your part, since you never even tried to participate and you assumed them to be inflexible. It seems you were unwilling to listen to anyone else's concerns or perspective.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:43
Time will tell if the Lakeside SCORe folks fight to keep Pleasantdale in the fold during this 30 day comment period.

Anonymous said...

Its clear what the plan is for North Dekalb. The "Big 3" - Vanderlyn, Austin, and Montgomery - got exactly what they wanted and are virtually clear of apartments. Wonder how that happened?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:23

You certainly hit the nail on the head on this one. I am really disgusted to read how nasty people are on here. Why don't you find a way to make DCSS better for everyone's children instead of whining on here about what others are trying to do?

Anonymous said...

SCORe never said it was trying to solve all supercluster issues. It was made clear that the major purpose was to deal with Lakeside feeder school issues, while attempting to to avoid creating devastating consequences for other area schools or for high schools in other superclusters.

The MGT consultants and DCSS continuously asked for citizens to develop Option 3. They wanted specific ideas and general platitudes that rehashed their stated criteria weren't enough to move the process beyond the initial terrible alternatives. DHHS' rightful input into its own feeder issues could have been developed with specifics and maps and put out for the entire community to review.There were meetings between Fernbank, ELPC leaders, SCORe and Sagamore to find areas of agreement related to mutual boundaries; BriarVista was supposed to attend since Sagamore was slated to lose students to BV, but BV did not particpate. SCORe did not attempt to get into Tucker issues either. DHHS ignored the many emails starting Jan 10 inviting them to participate in a solution, waaaaayy before the SCORe plan was developed or publicized or "a fait accompli" (which is inaccurate since it changed daily in response to community input). SCORe continued to send emails to DHMS/DHHS requesting a meeting all weekend after the final large SCORe community meeting at OakGrove. DHMS ignored these attempts to find common ground and published its alternative on the county survey at 11pm on Sunday night as its way of presenting to the county. The morning of the meeting with SCORe leaders last week, DHMS published its alternative on the school email update and asserted that the DHHS president had been unable to get the SCORe maps from SCORe. This is blatantly false since nobody from DHHS would respond to SCORe entreaties to talk. The worst possible assumptions and slander is being promulgated.

Druid Hills did however decide to intervene in Lakeside issues. Its alternative proposed that OakGrove and Briarlake students should not go to DHHS as proposed by the consultants, but instead stay at LSH. And the DHHS alternative decided that Sagamore should no longer be a split feeder, but should send all Sagamore students to DHHS, instead of continuing the long standing split of Sagamore between DHHS and LSH that SCORe proposed. So accusations that LSH/SCORe presumed to speak for another feeder is truly the "pot calling the kettle black."

How can DHHS call others out for acting on behalf of their communities when they talk about how they did the same thing for their communities.

DHHS was not thrown under the bus by LSH. LSH did not have that power. The county asked for alternatives and LSH gave them one based on logic, geography, and numbers, not emotion. Sagamore/Lakeside and SCORe came up with an alternative to keep local children in local schools. SCORe even kept Sagamore a split between LSH and DHHS, but that wasn't enough for DHHS. They wanted ALL of Sagamore. SCORe plan did not attempt to do anything other than keep its own neighborhood children in their neighborhood schools. DHHS may have wanted to take them away, but for what purpose other than its own advancement?

Anonymous said...

"The worst possible assumptions and slander is being promulgated."

No one at DHHS nor DHMS has tried or intended to slander anyone at LHS at any point during this process. These schools (DHHS/DHMS) have only tried to do their best to gather information from all interested and diverse parties at their respective schools, and perhaps due to very busy work schedules, travel, a weeklong snowstorm, family demands, illness, and simply to lack of a super organized community base, were unable to be as quick to respond as the LHS group. The changes in DHHS/DHMS boundaries suggested by MGT were complex and quite frankly, it took some time to ascertain a community consensus on how to react. These high school and middle school communities are much larger than the Fernbank community, which while super organized and ready to mobilize, is only one of several feeder schools for the middle and high school.

These accusations that continue to fly on this blog and on email are hurtful to all parties involved. We all live close together as part of a larger community and a common school system. Too many untruths and unkind words are filling these blogs and private email inboxes, and tOo many people are losing friends through this horrific redistricting process. I am sickened by what has happened to our community.

Anonymous said...

"What about the ones(54) who will be redistricted and sent to Midvale. Then Livsey gets kids from Pleasantdale. I remember parents from the meetings in the communities not wanting to leave Livsey, but the lines have been redrawn. "

Pleasantdale is very, very overcrowded. That is why they moved the attendance lines around Livsey. When you have trailers covering most of your parking spaces, it is time to get some real help. Thank you DCSS, this actually was the right thing to do. IMHO this is the best reason that I can think of to keep a small school like Livsey open.

Anonymous said...

Don McChesney campaigned on getting Sagamore into Lakeside. This was a done deal long before SCORe.

Anonymous said...

Ella, SCORe wasn't trying to get rid of any schools currently in its feeder pattern such as Pleasantdale. Tucker is now full at 107% capacity, so couldn't handle all of the Pleasantdale students anyway. It really would have been wrong for LSH/SCORe to overburden another school just to ease its own overcrowding at HMS.It would have been wrong for SCORe to try to redistrict all of Pleasantdale, which is north of Evansdale, but still keep Evansdale at LSH.

Anonymous said...

All the arguing and accusations on this blog are pointless. Of course each community was working for its own benefit and in the best interest of its neighborhoods. That's no surprise - it's pretty much how it has to work. Each stakeholder has the opportunity to present a case and then the governing body rules.

Obviously, not everyone is going to get what they want. It is the responsibility of that governing body to ensure that everyone is treated as fairly as possible, a very, very difficult task when there is as much inequity in a system as there is across Dekalb County.

In a perfect world, all the Dekalb communities would have been able to marshal the involvement and effort that Lakeside, Fernbank, etc were able to generate. Unfortunately, this was not the case. However, you cannot blame any group of parents for being passionate about their children and for advocating in their best interests.

Anonymous said...

I would say it was the consultants who initially threw the whole Druid Hills cluster under the bus. DHHS & DHMS had dramatic changes. Fernbank & McClendon had adverse changes and Medlock was closed and many of its students sent to Freedom & Clarkston. Undoubtedly, Laurel Ridge and Briar Vista parents were very nervous. I can imagine it was, as stated, really difficult to get consensus at DHHS/DHMS. Only Supercluster 5 which had all the closures had more disruption. Most of the rest of the district had minimal changes.

Fernbank's "big win" was merely mostly maintaining the status quo. Medlock managed to keep its students in DHHS but lost the school. McClendon stayed in DHHS but lost a big chunk of students to Jolly/Freedom/Clarkston. And the consensus on here seems to be that they all got a weakened DHMS and DHHS in their feeder pattern and probably a worse result for those 2 schools than the consultant's initial plan.

As for Sagamore and Lakeside, over half of the area changed is physically closer to DHHS and all of it is much, much closer to DHMS than Henderson Mill MS. That whole sector of the county is very congested. There may be very good arguments regarding neighborhoods and split feeder patterns that support the change, but there isn't geography.

Anonymous said...

"Obviously, not everyone is going to get what they want. It is the responsibility of that governing body to ensure that everyone is treated as fairly as possible, a very, very difficult task when there is as much inequity in a system as there is across DeKalb County."

Funny on how the communities that "won", Fernbank, Lakeside and Dunwoody, just happen to be white & upper middle class, and were obnoxiously loud & pushy, with a take no prisoners agressiveness. The Central Office and BOE folded like a house of cards.

Now that Fernbank, Lakeside and Dunwoody "got their's", good luck with getting them to help push through any reforms to the Central Office.

Kim Gokce said...

"However, you cannot blame any group of parents for being passionate about their children and for advocating in their best interests."

Agreed. Please also agree with me that the job of our elected officials and paid civil servants in DCSS leadership is to represent not only those with the will and ability to petition. It is our leadership who should be responsible for the interest of the other, less vocal stakeholders.

They are entrusted with what I consider a sacred duty to do so. A parent with seven children makes sure even the small and quiet ones' needs are met equitably no matter what their more able siblings may demand (naturally) for themselves.

Anonymous said...

"However, you cannot blame any group of parents for being passionate about their children and for advocating in their best interests."

Here's my perspective on the process as a Medlock parent. I attended 3 public input workshops, and we had good representation from Medlock at multiple meetings. However, the reality of that experience for us was that when we ended up at a table with schools (and there was more than one) whose sole agenda at that meeting was to put their own people in the reporter and recorder slots, we were unable to have an effective voice. I'm proud of our parents for being respectful of other's opinions and trying to keep everyone's interests in mind; I only wish that other schools had been as gracious.

Do I blame parents for showing up? Absolutely not, everyone should have their voice heard.

Do I think that drowning out the voices of others in our community is a respectable tactic? Absolutely not, but apparently it is an effective one within the process chosen by DCSS.

Cerebration said...

That was a well-thought out tactic. It was no secret. There was a post about it on this blog:

Attention Losers! This is How You Win ...

Cerebration said...

Emory Lavista Parent Council

With our last ELPC meeting having taken place on January 28th, the next ELPC meeting will be our regularly scheduled March 16th meeting. Due to construction and limited parking at Lakeside High School, the March 16th meeting will be hosted at Laurel Ridge Elementary. We will not host a community meeting for February.

Please note that relevant meetings on the redistricting proposal continue, including the following:

Community Meeting February 10th at Oak Grove Methodist Church Sanctuary at 7:00pm.

DCSS Board of Education Public hearings March 1st and 3rd at DCSS HQ at 6:30pm.

DCSS Board of Education Business Meeting on March 7th at 6:00pm (when the BOE is scheduled to vote on the Superintendent's recommendation).

Anonymous said...

Cerebration - I agree with you that it was a well-thought out tactic. But I also agree with Kim that those in leadership must consider the best interests of all rather than merely the interests of those that speak most loudly. When you originally posted about the tactic, I was skeptical about how effective it would be and thought it might actually backfire for the communities employing it. Now, I'm just a lot more jaded.

Anonymous said...

I am astounded that the bright folks with bright kids in the Lakeside district are not more perceptive than they seem to be. Is it because their hearts are two sizes too small? It's not just "passionately advocating for their children." Yes, their building is a disgrace. It truly is. They have been cheated there and I wonder where the heck all that passionate activism has been the past 15 years. But to advocate for a district that protects one community at the expense of others - DHHS, THS, CKHS - weakens the entire system. We had the opportunity with this redistricting to insist on systemic changes. Do you not see, Lakesiders, that when you work to preserve the best for your own children exclusively, you make yourselves more vulnerable? You will have more transfers, more Central Office special assignments, and more kids to overcrowd your building. You have created a Lakeside that will become the last port in the storm for parents interested in quality education in DCSS. You can say "I don't care about that - I am advocating for my children" - but how much better to have advocated for widespread changes that will reduce the pressure of all those people wanting to a seat in your school. Advocate for teacher quality. Advocate for true leadership in the principal's office. Your approach was short-sighted and for many, is the last straw. Bruised and disillusioned, more families are heading to private school where decisions are not made based on effective debate tactics but on what's best for children. DCSS will be poorer for these departures.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. What did Lakeside do that was so bad? I thought what they maily did was point out that the capacity numbers for Lakeside were incorrect and therefore there was no need to move any children out of the district in order to alleviate overcrowding.

Anonymous said...

I will be first to admit that there is so very much wrong with the whole system, the plan ,etc. But for those of you who continue to bash PTA presidents who tirelessly "work" for their school is wrong. Amy Power gave up her law job in order to "stay home" with her kids! HA! Now she has spent ALL her time working on behalf of a public school that she feels strongly about. What is wrong with that? Nothing. And stop slinging mud about the Yoga club and Garden club. The yoga club was started by a parent who also does a ton of stuff for the community as a whole...who has gone into OTHER DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOLS and held classes for kids there who have not taken yoga before. The Garden club is a new club in the works that is going to incorporate the kids actually having a GARDEN where they can grow healthy food and learn how food actually grows from the ground (you know, like Michelle Obama has done in the White House?) Instead of spending all your time slinging mud on a too.....could go to your Elementary school and start a Garden Club to teach the children about healthy eating (just like ONE parent) has done for each club that has been started at Fernbank. The Yoga club was started by ONE parent too. Many of the activities that go on at Fernbank happen because the parents make sacrifices both with their own careers and their own time....and they GO IN TO THE SCHOOL AND DO SOMETHING. I invite all of you to do the same. Regardless of all this redistricting mess, no matter where our children end up, you can still go into a school and volunteer your OWN time.

Anonymous said...

Of course LHS parents have been vocal and organized trying to get the school fixed for a very long time. Truth is, they don't listen to us any more than they listen to anyone else. LHS is a successful school despite the pitiful state of the building so it keeps getting pushed down the list.

As far as redistricting, my guess is that if the original plan was left as is, those 378 kids districted to Clarkston would be transferring or heading to private school just as those redistricted from Lakeside to Druid Hills would have done. It would be easier for my kid to go to Woodward since the bus picks up and drops off at the Meat Market (walking distance) and has an after school activity bus to get him home than for me to have to get to DHHS to pick him up at rush hour after practice or club meetings. The attendance lines mean nothing if the kids don't attend the school in their district. The County would be happy for lots of kids to head to private school because then they would have more to spend per child with fewer in the system so I doubt they care if more people leave the system in favor of private (and might even prefer it).

I am interested to know what you think the better solution is. What was the right thing to do? Would it be better for DHHS lose 378 of its current students (as in the original plan) or 200 (as in the current recommendations)? Is it better to have elementary schools feeding into more than one middle and high school? Is it better to chop up neighborhoods arbitrarily to get the attendance numbers right with no regard for neighborhoods? Is it better to reassign 16,000 kids versus 9,000? Certainly LHS was advocating for its neighborhood but with a rational plan that eliminates all split feeders,uses reasonable boundaries and disrupts far fewer kids in the process. Everyone is always ranting on about "go to the new school and fix it" but, based on these comments, seems like no one is willing to do it although they expected the LHS families to do it. I just don't see how Lakeside continues to get slammed when the plan was logical, rational, and met the County's objectives. You may not like it but it accomplishes more of the County's goals than either Option 1 or 2 did.

Anonymous said...

Dear anon @ 8:44 am - I will be at Medlock later today to volunteer, as I am every week, and as I will in whatever school my child ends up attending next year. Please don't misinterpret what has been said above as bashing of PTA presidents for tirelessly advocating for their own schools. My main complaint is that there were concerted efforts to squash the voices of smaller schools such as Medlock. I personally saw it happen at two of the public input workshops, as did other Medlock parents. It was an adult version of bullying, and ironic considering that January was the month for anti-bullying in Dekalb County.

Anonymous said...

The school capacity numbers used for LHS by the consultants were wrong - low by 400 seats. This was the real driver which allowed for the students in the neighborhood to stay.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:22 By not showing up to represent Pleasantdale at the SCORe meeting you and your constituents play into the fact that Pleasantdale doesn't care what happens. I assisted w/ filling committee positions for both Henderson and Lakeside, we actively sought out Pleasantdale folks to sit on committees and get involved and they are next to impossible to find. Stand up and be proud of your school and get involved outside the scoop of the elementary school.

Anonymous said...

I was one of those parents at a school organizing neighbors to attend a public workshop. I certainly do not begrudge others doing the same thing. We tried to create a majority voice at tables where we sat or took an entire table so that our voice was definitely heard during the public comment section.

What I do find wrong, however, is someone sitting at a table under the title "recorder," listening to their tablemates, and then completely disregarding their comments to push forth their own agenda. Try and spin it how you like...IT WAS THE WRONG THING TO DO. And it happened repeatedly.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article! Google the case to

Citizens file "good government" lawsuit against Wake County School Board
May 6, 2010

By restricting access to a key public meeting, the Wake County School Board violated North Carolina's Open Meetings Law, a lawsuit filed this morning says.

A group of Wake County citizens filed suit against the school board in the Superior Court of Wake County this morning. The suit targets a March 23 meeting where the board passed a resolution on policy 6200, the district's nationally lauded diversity policy. The citizens are represented by the ACLU of North Carolina, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, NC NAACP, UNC Center for Civil Rights, NC Justice Center and multiple private lawyers.

On March 23, the Wake County School Board held a meeting resulting in a resolution opposing the diversity policy in favor of so-called "neighborhood schools." Despite the overwhelming public interest and the widespread anticipation of a very large turnout, the School Board made no effort to make it possible for everyone to attend. Many of the plaintiffs in the suit allege that they were barred from the meeting, violating state law and undermining the democratic process.

"The school board has made it clear that they have an agenda to follow," said Woody Barlow, a plaintiff in this lawsuit and a junior at Enloe. "I feel cheated that they would skirt procedure just to have their way, and regardless of what people think of the policies of the board, everyone should feel threatened by their disregard of the democratic process."

People were barred from attending the meeting based on limited space -- despite the fact that larger venues were available and news organizations had offered to pay the costs of changing locations. Moreover, the ticket policy was enforced in an unpredictable and repeatedly changing manner during the course of the day. Certain people who were lucky enough to get a ticket to get into the meeting were told that they could not leave the building or they would lose their place in line, while others were permitted to leave and come back.

Anonymous said...

SCORe was not a plan developed to end the split feeder of Leafmore and Sagamore. The original intent was to simply inform the consultants that the numbers used were wrong and to ask them to take into account traffic congestion, not just miles.

The plan changed in response to community input, which is what should have happened.

Many comments are about Lakeside getting a pass. Lakeside did not "get a pass". Lakeside should not have been on the table as enrollment will be at capacity when the current construction is complete. Why would you move children out of a school that is not over capacity(to a school that is much further away).

I do not hear about Tucker getting a pass - that is because they were never part of the original plan. Lakeside would not have been part of the original plan - if the county had given the consultants the correct numbers.

I have never seen such a group of dedicated parents - please do not bash them. The do work for the betterment of all children and to suggest otherwise is just wrong.

Cerebration said...

@Anon, February 9, 2011 7:19 AM-

I only shared the link to the Fernbank email because it was posted and was relevant to the comment above it, not at all because I endorsed it. I try to get the info in front of everyone so we all can refer to the proper input for discussion.

I absolutely concur with Kim and have posted similar opinions on the blog that perhaps you missed. I am terribly concerned that our school system is much too parent-driven, with administrative leadership that can't formulate a true vision and can't imagine how to guide us toward that vision. We have a system of education delivery that we're finding is horribly inequitable and those at the bottom, the poor and the non-natives, are not getting their voices heard - and in fact, could quite possibly be being drowned out by the loudest factions—concerned with their myopic needs.

We needed to CLOSE at least 12 schools and consolidate and rebalance attendance as well as per pupil spending and educational offerings systemwide. We did not. The very expensive stand-alone magnets, DSA ( $11,612.95 per pupil), Wadsworth ($13,010.20 per pupil) and Kittredge ($11,001.34 per pupil) are still functioning—usurping funding and attention from others not so well-prepared for the "fight".

The plan Ramona Tyson presented was basically the same plan Dr. Lewis presented two years ago and never quite got the moxy to implement it due to the vocal opposition of an angry mob of parents. She allowed her attention to get derailed by the demands of a few groups concerned with a few hundred students and did not turn her attention to balancing the needs of the entire system of 100,000 students. We have not had strong, determined, fair leadership in many, many years. And I'm beyond disappointed to admit that it doesn't look like we will have it in the near future.

Anonymous said...

The difference between Druid Hills and Lakeside was really whether the original county plans primarily threatened elementary school or high school attendance areas.

In the Druid Hills feeder area, the main issue was elementary schools. Concerned with "winning" and "losing" at the elementary level, neighborhoods had less energy to unite behind a consensus plan for the whole feeder pattern. Now the superintendent's plan has made a horrible mess with the ripple effects of closing Medlock.

In the Lakeside feeder area, the primary threat was to the high school feeder pattern. It was possible to unite behind a consensus plan which also addressed concerns of feeder elementaries. The SCORE maps as shown at did NOT propose moving anyone out of the Lakeside feeder pattern.

Takeaway for DCSS: dividing makes it easier to conquer.

Cerebration said...

I think Kim said it best, "It is our leadership who should be responsible for the interest of the other, less vocal stakeholders. They are entrusted with what I consider a sacred duty to do so. "

No one is arguing that Lakeside, etc, should not have advocated for their ideas, we're just saying that the leadership gave them too much attention and too much leverage, and we think it undermined the ability for leaders to think about the system as a whole. The idea that those who didn't get their needs "heard" somehow are to blame because they did not advocate FOR THEMSELVES, is preposterous. That is what our elected leaders - and the leader they hire - are charged to do.

When we find ourselves in another terrible budget fiasco this May, having to make multi-millions more in cuts - think about the cuts that COULD have been made now -- by closing and consolidating EVERYTHING we can't afford - and allowing education dollars to flow EVENLY into our schools.

I'm sure I'll be linking then to this post, saying, "you had your chance, board."

Anonymous said...

Do you really think that Lakeside was giving too much leverage when all we really asked for was the county to use the correct data?

When the correct data is used there is no reason to move students out of Lakeside. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I've been at many BOE meetings and watched all the others online. I don't ever remember ever hearing one Lakeside parent speaking about the poor condition of the school and grounds. Or one Fernbank or Dunwoody parent complaining about Central Office bloat, about the poorly run MIS Dept., about how many millions are wasted on eSIS, America's Choice, etc.

But when the Johnny's and Suzie's of Lakeside, Fernbank and Dunwoody might have to go to a school with a slightly changed attendance line, wow, those parents are out in droves.

Now they've gotten what they want, you won't see them fighting about the waste and bloat and nepostism and incompetence and finding the salary audit and posting meeting minutes onlie, etc., etc.

We won't see or hear from them until the next re-districting.

Anonymous said...

"Now they've gotten what they want, you won't see them fighting about the waste and bloat and nepostism and incompetence and finding the salary audit and posting meeting minutes onlie, etc., etc.

We won't see or hear from them until the next re-districting."

I don't think that's true. I think what you have witnessed is people realizing that they do have a voice and that is it best heard when accompanied with facts and data. After we get through all of the redistricting, don't expect them to remain quiet.

Anonymous said...

Lakeside has been fighting the deplorable conditions, the administrative bloat and nepotism, etc. all along. Sorry you haven't been watching it or that we have not previously been as effective as we all would like. Did you hear Julie McKenna, HMS and soon to be Lakeside parent, at the most recent board meeting regarding the favoritism shown to non teaching staff re their own personal school choice? Did you attend charettes with Lakeside people? I did and I know Bob Moseley was called out then (he was a moderator, which is a whole 'nother issue for another day) on the fallacy of administrative cuts, which primarily cut school-based staff artifically called "admin".

If Lakeside had lost students unnecessarily due to inaccurate capacity numbers, would everybody be so angry at them now? Would their vocalness have engendered so much ill will? I think not. And DHMS/DHHS would still have elementary feeder issues that they wouldn't like. And as another poster said, where is Tucker in all this discussion? Did Tucker "lose" at Lakeside's expense? Lakeside asked to keep Pleasantdale but was denied. Sagamore asked to be a split feeder to DHMS/DHHS but was denied. Sagamore asked to keep students slated for BriarVista; the county ended up keeping the ones originally slated to go but sent new ones. I am just not getting the anger directed at Lakeside; obviously many of the posters just hate Lakeside and would not have been satisfied with anything other than a whole scale carving. Is it fair that so many schools in cluster 5 are being impacted when other schools are not? Maybe yes, but only if you consider that the scale economies just don't work there. Would you dismantle cluster 1 and cluster 2 schools and bus those students to cluster 5 just to fix the underenrollment? Cere, what would you have done, on a school by school, street by street basis, if you were administration to ignore the vocal and protect the needs of the less vocal? It is easier to espouse big philosophies than to right the school by school problems. The devil is in the details. . .

Anonymous said...


I too question the value of stand-alone elementary school magnets. But does it make sense to move them when you haven't even figured out what your magnet school policy is? Does it make sense to move them to Avondale when the analysis shows it will cost more to operate them that way? It does makes sense for the board to debate the policy, decide on a policy and then act on it in 2012, as the superintendent indicated. And then its up to people like you to keep the heat on them to follow through.

HMES Parent said...

Re: School Dazed:
You asked why Henderson Mill Elementary (HMES) is a "loser" under Option 3. Here are the two aspects of the problem:
Problem (1): HMES is overcrowded, while its neighbors Evansdale, Midvale, Hawthorne & Briarlake are not. The capacity calculation done by MGT was incorrect, and although we addressed that directly with DCSS and they acknowledged that their number was too high, they failed to correct that in Option 3, overstating out capacity by 25. We are at 108% capacity, not 101%, yet they left seats open at Hawthorne, Midvale, Evansdale and Briarlake rather than relieve our overcapacity.
Problem (2): HMES' major problem is its extremely high mobility rate (40%) compared with neighboring schools. HMES' population is 2/3 multi-family housing, 1/3 single-family housing. HMES serves at least 10 multi-family housing complexes, far more than neighboring schools, and the constant influx and exit of students is extremely disruptive to the classes as they are continually having to take time from instruction in order to assimilate new students and shift classrooms to deal with the ever-changing numbers. Just since the start of the school year, HMES has had a turnover of 1/3 of the student population, had to add an extra kindergarten and extra 4th grade class, and had to move our art room outside to a trailer. We now have 6 trailers (Hawthorne and Briarlake only have 2)and there is no room to add any more. To make it worse, when we have to add classes midyear, our principal does not get to hire the new teachers herself; rather, she has to take whoever is transferred to her by the County, whether they are a good fit for the school or not. HMES has been asking for help from the County for years now, requesting that a few of the multi-family complexes be spread out to other schools, so the mobility issues will be diffused and will not have such a severe impact on a single school. (In fact, many of the multi-family complexes which come to HMES are a full mile closer to Evansdale--we don't know why they were assigned to HMES in the first place.) Option 3 makes no changes to HMES, and thus provides no relief on this mobility problem. While no other elementary schools want to offer to help HMES, it would really be in the best interests of everyone in the Lakeside district to ensure that all of the mobility burden is not borne by just 2 schools (HMES and Pleasantdale). HMES is on the brink of becoming a Title I school, and it needs intervention. Even if 3 complexes were moved, HMES would still continue to have at least 7 in its attendance zone. While our PTA is active and dedicated, we are small in number compared with the legions of outspoken parents at Lakeside, Oak Grove and Briarlake. HMES is a Henderson Middle and Lakeside feeder, so these children are all going to end up together eventually -- isn't it in the best interests of everyone in the Lakeside district to make sure that these children receive quality educational preparation? We could use some community support.

Anonymous said...

Good luck getting any support. It was clear from Score that the object was to maintain the status quo. No more Mulit Unit housing at Briarlake, and the others. And certainly NO messing up Oak Grove.

Full disclosure: I live in Chamblee, and see this clear as day.

Anonymous said...

I've been at many BOE meetings and watched all the others online. I don't ever remember ever hearing one Lakeside parent speaking about the poor condition of the school and grounds. Or one Fernbank or Dunwoody parent complaining about Central Office bloat, about the poorly run MIS Dept., about how many millions are wasted on eSIS, America's Choice, etc.

Uh, Lynn Deutsch? Fairly regularly trying to hold the Board and the staff's feet to the fire.

However, I will agree with you. Part of the problem is that in DCSS we are so busy trying to make sure our schools function that it is hard to look at the big picture.

Paula Caldarella said...

Yep - Lynn is a Dunwoody parent who has spent years trying to get DCSS and BOE to do the right things.

Anonymous said...

As a Lakeside parent of longstanding, the posts about the lack of prior action by Lakeside parents is sadly on target. Yes, you have the occasional parent go to BOE meetings, but this is an extremely insular community, and the only way to get them out is to threaten to take something away from them (or, God help you, give them a black principal). Heck, they only go to ELPC meetings in any number when it is about something of immediate, how-it-affects-me import. There is no, absolutely no, vision beyond their immediate neighborhood and needs (and by neighborhood, I mean the "historic Lakeside" area--you figure it out). Sorry, folks, just sayin'. Please don't tell me that the vast majority of them care about the rest of the school system, because I know it isn't true.

Anonymous said...

"I've been at many BOE meetings and watched all the others online. I don't ever remember ever hearing one Lakeside parent speaking about the poor condition of the school and grounds. Or one Fernbank or Dunwoody parent complaining about Central Office bloat, about the poorly run MIS Dept., about how many millions are wasted on eSIS, America's Choice, etc."

Excuse me but one of Fernbank's leading voices was Marshall Orson who even ran for school board in 2008. Talk about someone who wanted to affect change in the system. He and may other parents involved in this redistricting have been involved for years with ELPC, PTAs and School Councils. They have attended many board meetings. If you are wondering why there are not the hundreds that were out in force for the redistricting meetings, that is because these people who have been attending these meetings for years are our LEADERS. Much like our politically elected leaders, these volunteer leaders give their time to spend at these meetings so that they can speak for US. That is what a representative democracy is all about, allowing few to speak for many. If we tried to have many speaking for many, there would be a lot of talking and no doing.
Druid Hills, Lakeside, Dunwoody parents all care about the lack of transparency, the wasted funds, the expensive systems that don't work. In some cases letters are written to the superintendent or to the board. In other cases when no one seems to be listening we take the job on ourselves and fix what we can within our own schools.
Yes, you probably won't see many of these people again because most people do focus strictly on themselves and on changes that directly affect them. I don't think that is a character fault that applies only to upper middle class white communities. But I am extremely grateful to the Marshall Orsons, Amy Powers, Lynn Deutschs, Faye Andresens, Sandy Spruills and all the other parents who have given so much to affect change in DCSS and who may or may not be appreciated by those who read this. Those you represent appreciate you!

Anonymous said...

One more comment about'll notice that her comments at BOE meetings--and she speaks frequently--concern ALL of DeKalb and not just Dunwoody. Monday's night meeting was just one example. If more communities had "Lynns" looking out for the whole system, we'd be better off as a system.

Anonymous said...

I was part of a group that took photos of Lakeside and the horrible grounds, moldy locker rooms, leaky roofs, crumbling stairs and wretched restrooms. I stood before the board and read a speech. It was the first televised board meeting. I gave them each a copy of the speech and the Powerpoint on a CD. That was in 2007. Four years later, they have finally broken ground.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous February 9, 2011 2:30 PM

Giga-Byte me! I would have been happy to have Ms. Moton stay. Instead was replaced....don't even get me started on this epic fail

Anonymous said...

I have to agree about the disproporionate number of apartments at Henderson Mill and Pleasantdale and the total lack of them at Oak Grove. That needs to be fixed, and I anticiapte that when (if) the county actually goes to the 900 FTE elementary schools, it will have to be addressed then.

Regarding why some of the apartments go to HMES rather than Evansdale when they are closer to Evansdale, the answer is two fold: 1) Right or wrong, the demarcation between the two schools is Henderson Mill Road at the point where that apartment complex is; and 2) Evansdale does not have the capacity to take in that entire complex. It does look like Evansdale will be taking in another complex on the east side of Henderson Mill as part of the redistricting.

HMES Parent said...

Re: HMES attendance lines:
Many of the multi-family complexes that come to HMES are closer to Evansdale, and the only reason they don't go to the closer school is because placing the attendance line at Henderson Mill Road makes the border look prettier on the map. I think there also was some misconception that the route down Evans Rd. to Evansdale would require crossing 285 (it doesn't - 285 is an overpass there). Of course, the County only seems to care about pretty maps when it comes to the attendance lines for HMES -- take a look at the crazy borders for Oak Grove and Briarlake.

I completely agree that Pleasantdale needed relief, and I'm glad that Livsey and Evansdale are going to take some of their kids. We don't begrudge Pleasantdale the relief, but HMES needs help too, and under Option 3 there are still empty seats at Evansdale, Hawthorne, Briarlake and Midvale. In fact, under Option 3 Livsey still needs to add more kids in order to reach the ideal 450 size. We have complexes with all different sizes of student populations, so I'm sure we could find one that would fit any school's available capacity. No one asked HMES whether we had room for all these extra complexes that have been added to our district -- we just have had to add trailers. Now we have run out of room for any more trailers. What do we do when new kids show up?

Anonymous said...

At this point, I think all of the NE most schools in Dekalb will be overcrowded come August (Pleasantdale, Evansdale, Livsey and Henderson Mill). Hawthorne won't be, but the plan to move students from HMES to Hawthorne was shot down because it erroded the single family base at HMES.

I don't think there truly will be relief until (if) Dekalb actually builds some of those 900 FTE schools in the NE part of the county.

Just think about what it's going to be like for all the kids when they graduate from elementary school and go to HMS, which surely will be at 150% capacity by then if renovations don't start soon.

Anonymous said...

@Cere 11:44 -

The buildings on N Druid Hills Rd are not sitting empty all the time!

I have to pass by there several times a week, and several times a month the lot is full of trucks - they are using the buildings (inside and outside) to film "Teen Wolf" for MTV. (I guess MTV doesn't care about the reported asbestos issue that prevents DCSS from using the buildings.)

How much $$ are they paying, and where is it going? I have asked by BOE rep, and got an "I'm not aware of that."

HMES Parent said...

Re: NE elem school overcrowding:

You're right, Henderson Middle School is going to have to put kids on the roof to accommodate all the elementary kids coming down the pipeline. If DCSS loves pretty maps and is truly concerned about the overcrowding at Henderson Middle, I'm surprised they didn't propose switching Evansdale to a Tucker feeder, since it's on the same side of 285 as Tucker MS.

One helpful idea I heard in all of this redistricting mess was the concept of using the old Warren Elementary building to create a bilingual Spanish & English theme school, with all bilingual teachers and bilingual instruction. There is a real need for this type of intensive language instruction, and adding another school in this NE area would help ease the overcrowding at Pleasantdale and HMES.

Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I am no OakGrove apologist and am districted into another Lakeside feeder. Believe me, we all know how different OG would be if it were a bit more economically diverse. But, it is difficult to put apartments into Oakgrove since all the apartments anywhere close to OG are much closer to other area feeders. It would mean driving through one school's attendance zone to get into OG. I don't think any of us want to advocate really gerrymandered attendance lines just to share the transience of some (some are stable) apartment communities.

Anonymous said...

Cere and Kim,

I understand the sacred duty of the elected BOE members to protect those without a voice. But this group wasn't doing it, with or without Fernbank, Dunwoody, or Lakeside advocates. Sadly, I really don't think they would have done the right (but hard) things if the vocal communities had completely sat this redistricting out. I don't see that vocal communities in any way distracted the BOE. They just aren't up to task.

Anonymous said...

You all can't see the forest for the trees.
Ramona made a smart political move
to shut the pie hole of the loudest crowd. Everyone knows it was a passive but effective "for now" move.

I promise you. You will not be forgotten. The Southside took the first lick, now it's your turn and 6k is still on the table.

I see dying trees with leaves falling.....

Anonymous said...

I'm getting a psychic vision of the future for the Druid Hills district. While Druid Hills High will remain the same, Druid Hills Middle will be moving to former Avondale Middle, after its SPLOST IV addition. This move is mainly advocated by those in the Lakeside cluster who feared their proximity to former Shamrock would lead to redistricting to Druid Hills. As for the former Druid Hills Middle, former Shamrock Middle, former Shamrock High, it will be renovated into one of the two super elementary in the district, consisting of students from Avondale, McLendon, Laurel Ridge, and Medlock , which, in turn, will leave these properties vacant. Meanwhile, Fernbank is the other elementary school and its district boundaries will remain the same. Oh, and Briar Vista will be vacated and its students will be clustered with the other schools at Old Shamrock and the name of the school will be the Bowen-Roberts-Redovian-McChesney-Copelin-Wood-Womack-Cunningham-Speaks-Walker-Tyson-Lewis-Pope Elementary School.

Anonymous said...

I think you are on to something. Additionally, the old Briarcliff HS will be renovated into one of the new super high schools, leading to the closing of Druid Hills and Cross Keys. The board is already talking about this.

Cerebration said...

I think that's true. Paul Womack has been known to talk about it. I actually think it's a terrific idea!

Anonymous said...

Number Crunching - Does anyone know why when comparing the two charts "superintendent-recommendation-resident-attendee.pdf" and "superintendent's Recommendation, Feb 7, 2011: School Enrollment" the total of students listed as "All" and the total listed as "Recomm Enr" are different? Are the students not listed the students that transfer in from somewhere?

Anonymous said...

@anon 8:39
What did Lakeside do that was so bad?

1. They had the audacity to put out a plan redistricting other peoples' schools, some in a rather ridiculous fashion.

Other than that, the reason they are getting bashed:
2. Lakeside people are on here defending #1.
3. You're the flavor of the week. Its not nearly as vicious as what they were saying about Fernbank the last couple of weeks. At least its not getting into attacks on specific people.
4. Lakeside got in redistricting something it has been working for, adding neighborhoods in Sagamore (40% W/25% AA/25% HIS) and dumped some areas in Pleasantdale (2%W 35%AA 60% HIS). They actually came out of this with a win. Others, at best, broke even. Many lost big.
5. They (apparently justifiably) avoided losing 200 students to DHHS. And then in option 3 gained 75 students from DHHS forcing DHHS to replace them with Avondale & Clarkston students. (DHHS lost 404 under the initial plan-285 under option 3-not 400 vs 200 as has been stated here; DHMS lost 290 vs. 209 under option 3). The gain of 75 is not a big impact to Lakeside, but could possibly be a big negative impact to DHHS. Only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

If anyone has looked at the overall HS/MS lines, there could be dramatic redistricting for everyone. The district is convinced split feeders should be minimized. But the schools were built w/o that in mind. Several former HSs are now MSs. Almost none of the MSs in the middle of the county serve their HS well-Columbia, Bethune(Towers), Freedom(Clarkston),Stone Mnt, Seqouyah (Cross-Keys), Henderson Mill (Lakeside) are all at the fringe of their districts. And the redrawn HS lines mean that if you live w/i walking distance of Towers, you will almost certainly go to Columbia.

This round primarily focused on the elementaries and closing the obviously underutilized facilities. But there could be a lot more changes for elementaries if they redraw HS lines and still try to avoid split feeder patterns.

Anonymous said...

Lakeside did not move Pleasantdale students out of the Lakeside district in its plan. They were always included. Pleasantdale was redistricted because if Livsey was to be saved, it needed students. Someone else created those changes. Nothing to do with the SCORe plan. Because Livsey was a Tucker feeder, there was no discussion of it at all. Perhaps Livsey supporters were responsible for that. You are right in that a dedicated group of parents have worked to get Sagamore as a full Lakeside feeder for years (and years and years) so that is not a new goal but "dumping" Pleasantdale was not part of any effort.

As far as proposing other changes to make the plan viable, that is what the consultants wanted - detailed options using County criteria. That is what was done. I believe DHHS put out a plan of their own that included moving all of Sagamore into it.

Anonymous said...

"I think that's true. Paul Womack has been known to talk about it. I actually think it's a terrific idea!"

Only if Lakeside is completely redistricted to encompass the eastern portion of the current Cross Keys district which would wreak havoc with the "Lakeside tradition".

Anonymous said...

The demographics of DHHS will change significantly under the current proposed plan and there will certainly be disruptions as a large number of new students come in and others are forced to leave. This will impact the school negatively, at least in the short term. Lakeside will not sustain much disruption.

Anonymous said...

No not in the short term, but in the long term if DHHS and Cross Keys are combined Lakeside will have an entirely new demographic as well. They will pick up all of the easter portion of the current Cross Keys district.

Cere, Kim, any thoughts on how this new super-district should look?

Anonymous said...


Sagamore may have worked for years to send all to Lakeside (ever since local Briarcliff High closed and those students were sent to non-neighborhood Druid instead of local Lakeside). But the recent SCORe plan did not in any way advocate for that. There was no mention of trying for it. It was not presented to the county. DCSS came up with that all by themselves; MGT's first proposal was to send all of Sagamore to Druid and Tyson's proposal was to send all of Sagamore to Lakeside. SCORe proposed continuing the split between Druid and Lakeside.

Anonymous said...

@9:05 "(DHHS lost 404 under the initial plan-285 under option 3-not 400 vs 200 as has been stated here; DHMS lost 290 vs. 209 under option 3)".

I looked at the Reports and Data High School proposals again. The comparison made by anonymous @ 2:29 obviously just rounded the numbers and was a comparison of Centralized plan to SCORe just for high school, not to Tyson's Plan C.

The original centralized plan A sent 414 current DHHS kids to Clarkston, replacing them with 55 Sagamore/Lakeside kids and 176 Oakgrove and Briarlake/Lakeside kids and 67 new students from Avondale. The actual numbers proposed by MGT for DHHS were 414 lost, 298 gained for a net loss of 116 students at DHHS.

The Decentralized plan B took 402 DHHS students to Clarkston, and gave 231 Lakeside students and 47 Avondale students to DHHS. With 402 lost, and 278 gained, the net loss to DHHS was 124.

The SCORe plan sent 209 DHHS kids to Clarkston, and replaced them with 195 Avondale kids, for a net loss of 14.

Tyson's Plan C takes 76 DHHS students from Sagamore to Lakeside and 209 DHHS students from McLendon to Clarkston for a total of 285 lost. They are replaced by 20 current Clarkston and 174 current Avondale students, for a net loss of 91 students.

So, the county plans A/B left DHHS with 116/124 fewer students, Plan C leaves 91 fewer students, whereas 14 fewer students were proposed by SCORe. Obviously SCORe was a much less disruptive proposal than any of the DCSS proposals.

The 76 DHHS students from Sagamore area to Lakeside includes students from several apartment complexes as well as some single family homes. So, contrary to some posters' assertions, there was no large removal of current single family home students from DHHS to Lakeside. In fact, Lakeside will be gaining multi family home students that it didn't previously serve.

I don't know where you got the racial breakdowns for Sagamore and Pleasantdale pluses and minuses for Lakeside, so can't agree or disagree with that.

Some of the lines may look hour-glass or other odd shapes in the SCORe proposal, but they do in all the DCSS plans also. But if you really study them, they follow the ingress and egress of major roads. You can't draw nice geometric shapes because the streets aren't laid out like that. You don't want to draw lines in the middle of streets (which actually occurs on several streets near me: one house goes to Sagamore and the one next door goes to OakGrove) I welcome changes that take real transportation issues into account. Sometimes that makes the maps prettier, but other times it just looks odd until you focus on the details of the streets.

People can look for conspiracies and make false accusations, but the facts and numbers speak for themselves.

Kim Gokce said...

"Cere, Kim, any thoughts on how this new super-district should look?"

A "mega-school" at Briarcliff could serve all of Cross Keys, Chamblee, and Druid Hills combined. There are barely 3,000 students from these attendance areas enrolled in the three schools.

That certainly won't happen because we are already committed to pay the bills for a $70 million dollar new Chamblee HS in-place. Just in time, too, because the 600-700 students from the attendance area are in sore need of a facility. Taken with the fact that DCSS has kicked the "Magnet" can down the road this week, I have to believe that there will be a capacity plan for a new Chamblee to house the existing enrollment of 1,600ish plus maybe another 200-300 which will quickly fill up with NCLB transfers.

Then, we'll have one brand new school at Chamblee with no capacity to spare and therefore locking down attendance area changes for at least a decade or more. And, a second newly renovated and expanded school at Lakeside that will also remain full of transfers and have no capacity and a second locked-down attendance area as a result.

That leaves both Cross Keys and Druid Hills each with more than the K-mart renovation but far short of the Bloomingdale's renovation. Let's call it just enough of an investment to make it too embarrassing to close either any time soon and voila! You have the status quo of highest possible ongoing operating expenses and lowest possible flexibility.

What's not to like?

On the other hand, DHHS + CKHS = having the only attendance area that looks like a chicken wing ... priceless!

Kim Gokce said...

... joking aside, DHHS + CKHS also = > 3,000 at peak projections and DCSS has not shown any inclination to schools on this scale. So, I believe a discussion on this possibility is an entertaining mental exercise only.

The Briarcliff property only provides future value (other than as a filming site) in my thinking in two scenarios: 1) The Magnet is centralized and CCHS (along with the $70m), CKHS, and DHHS all move to BHS site (call this the, "Hell Freezes Over" option, or 2) BHS site becomes another expensive, specialized "choice" school funded by tax dollars that magically appear from the ether and, like Arabia, the school becomes equally useless in terms of attendance area capacity.

Anonymous said...

What about lines changing between Dunwoody and Chamblee?

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem with the Briarcliff property is the heavy and dangerous traffic at the intersection and on Briarcliff and N. Druid Hills. There are accidents in the area every day, all day long. I hate to think of adding lots of teenage drivers and buses to the mix plus teens darting across N. Druid Hills to Toco Bell and Chick Fil A. Really a horrible location for a school.

Anonymous said...

"4. Lakeside got in redistricting something it has been working for, adding neighborhoods in Sagamore (40% W/25% AA/25% HIS) and dumped some areas in Pleasantdale (2%W 35%AA 60% HIS). They actually came out of this with a win. Others, at best, broke even. Many lost big.
5. They (apparently justifiably) avoided losing 200 students to DHHS. And then in option 3 gained 75 students from DHHS forcing DHHS to replace them with Avondale & Clarkston students. (DHHS lost 404 under the initial plan-285 under option 3-not 400 vs 200 as has been stated here; DHMS lost 290 vs. 209 under option 3). The gain of 75 is not a big impact to Lakeside, but could possibly be a big negative impact to DHHS. Only time will tell."

But, but, but...that is not what they asked for. Why are they getting bashed for "getting" something they didn't ask for? I guess people have to have someone to bash...

Anonymous said...

Residents resisted an office development near the site because of the traffic congestion. There are already offices there, it was simply a traffic issue. It was a very good accessible site 25 years ago, but the I-85/Druid Hills intersection nearby has become so busy, 9:29 is right. It really is not a good site for a school anymore.

Anonymous said...

Why don't we move Lakeside's middle school to the area around St Pius X because in some parts of the Cross Keys district, the nearest public middle or high school building is Lakeside High School.

Anonymous said...

My points #2-#5 at 9:05 were not what Lakeside had done wrong, but simply facts. Lakeside is probably the sole winner while there are lots of losers (other than the fact that everyone benefits from a more efficient system). So it makes Lakeside a target like the Yankees and Cowboys. Enjoy the win and don't be so thin-skinned.

@12:40 My DHHS and DHMS numbers referred to the existing students who got moved, not to the net. That is a significant impact to those students. Again, points #2-#5 were not things Lakeside did wrong. Lakeside didn't make the decisions by themselves.

Conspiracies and false accusations? I didn't say the Score lines were conspiracies and haven't heard anyone here talk about conspiracies, just that the lines were in some cases ridiculous. Nowhere are there any lines anything like Score's Jolly and Brockett lines. They have nothing to do with traffic patterns. Score even put Montreal Street outside 285, so unless there's another Montreal Street, I don't think there was any heavy study of traffic patterns when they couldn't even name the streets right.

Here's a fact. Lakeside parents protected their interests as they should have. Don't try to imply it was anything more.

Anonymous said...

"Nowhere are there any lines anything like Score's Jolly and Brockett lines. They have nothing to do with traffic patterns. Score even put Montreal Street outside 285, so unless there's another Montreal Street, I don't think there was any heavy study of traffic patterns when they couldn't even name the streets right."

Are you thinking of Montreal Road? The majority of it is outside 285. The portion inside 285 is districted to Briarlake, I believe.

Anonymous said...

From Megan at AJC!!!


The Chamber of Commerce will recognize Ramona Tyson for her work as interim DeKalb County Schools’ superintendent.

More DeKalb County news »
Chamber to recognize DeKalb schools' chief
DeKalb students compete for mock trial title
Injured snowboarder awake
Pedestrian hit by train
DA probes missing school fees
.The chamber will award Tyson the “Sirius Star Award” Feb. 24 at its annual legislative reception

Chamber officials said Tyson was chosen for her “dedication and commitment to public service as demonstrated by the character and fortitude.”

Tyson, a former deputy superintendent, was appointed interim last year to replace former superintendent Crawford Lewis.

Anonymous said...

Ramona Tyson is on the Board of Directors of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce...

Anonymous said...

Now let me get this straight...

A week or so ago, the president of Gas South or whatever, condemns the DCSS for their ongoing issues that are chasing away potential new business and this week RT is getting an award from the Chamber of Commerce...

What is wrong with this picture! Oh no, wait, there's nothing wrong with the picture, this is the Outer Limits! Sci-fi writers could not even begin to dream up a horror story like this!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have the list of names of the 29 principal, assistant principals and teachers involved in CRCT cheating?

Ella Smith said...

4:32 nobody would have those names as their names are confidential information. These individuals still have their jobs because they have not been found guilty of anything. Those names cannot be identified by the school system at this time.

If your principal or assistant principal of your school is missing then this is a good sign that they are involved but they have not formally be charged of anything.

Anonymous said...

I don't know enough to know if school populations vary this much from year to year, but why are the FTE numbers from 2009 so different from the numbers being used by the county for this process?

Anonymous said...

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. ~ Japanese Proverb

This pretty much sums up DeKalb County School System -- except for the mafia part and the untouchable thugs that make it all happen -- while do-nothing SACS, the Georgia Accrediting Commission, the DCSS BOE, the GaDOE, State School Superintendent John Barge, Governor Deal, our elected representatives in the Georgia General Assembly and our elected DeKalb County officials stand impotently on the sidelines and watch.

joshphillipson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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