Tuesday, April 15, 2008

No Change to DeKalb School Boundaries - New School for many Dunwoody 4th & 5th Graders.

This evening Dr. Crawford Lewis announced that the current school boundaries will remain intact for the Dunwoody school cluster. The new Dunwoody area elementary school planned adjacent to the Georgia Perimeter College on Womack will now serve all 4th & 5th graders from Austin, Chesnut & Vanderlyn elementary schools. Kingsley & Hightower being smaller schools that are not exceeding maximum capacity would remain intact through the fifth grade.

The large crowd assembled at Peachtree for the announcement was receptive to the idea, yet many questions were raised on transportation logistics, curriculum development and how it would affect the elementary schools that were being downsized. Questions about whether the various special programs that each of the schools now offer will be continued at the new school and/or be eliminated at the old school. School staffing questions were raised and it was announced that a principal would be assigned to the school as soon as possible to work out the logistics and PTA structure of this idea that has not been done in the DeKalb system previously.

The new Dunwoody School would be a two story facility with 107,200 square feet, 60 class rooms sitting on 17 acres which could house 975 students. The site will include 126 parking spaces, a media center, state of the art gymnasium, a cafetorium, performing arts music room, visual arts lab and a science lab.

Multi children families (like myself) who will be trying to coordinate between three schools will have some transportation coordination to overcome and it will not be an easy adjustment. A number people commented on the traffic congestion on Vermack, Tilly Mill & Womack that already exists and adding additional vehicles from all over Dunwoody to the GPC & High School 8 a.m. mix will not be a pretty sight.

I believe to assist the children in getting to school, additional sidewalks along Womack will need to be installed and dedicated bike lanes with pedestrian friendly school cross walks will need to be explored. Any other suggestions for this possible traffic nightmare?


tgt.1970 said...

What a fantastic solution. For those of us that moved here for Vanderlyn and play a big part of ensuring Dunwoodsy's continue vitality and healthy property values, we are very pleased with this win win solution.

This unifies Dunwoody, rather than creating a gulf between fellow Dunwoodians.

I'm glad we can put this behind us and focus on the next big issue for us- cityhood!

mary said...

I do not think this new idea is a good idea. Moving children from one elementary to another ementary to complete 4th and 5th grade cannot be good for the kids! And again changing them to Middle school and High School. It is better they stay in the same school all elementary levels. And for the parents (if you need to walk your elementary children to 2 different school and tha same time, What can you do?) and the traffic,etc

Reggie Ho said...

Love they neighbor as thyself. I think we all know that this is the fairest, most-equitable solution for everyone. If the attendance lines were never re-drawn, our inconveniences would most likely be over-shadowed by relief that our schools were no longer overcrowded. Let's choose to be thankful for the committee's hard work and look ahead to what will inevitably be an awesome school. Go in Peace!

KParent said...

The Academy sounds like a great idea! Some Kingsley parents love it! But.. we weren't invited to the party. We won't be a part of what will "inevitably be an awesome school". This is not a fair and equitable solution for Kingsley. This does not unite the community. Sadly, I don't think anything will. It certainly doesn't make Kingsley Charter School neighborhoods feel part of the "Dunwoody community" (not that we ever did)and good luck uniting the rest. That's part of the reason I'm voting no to cityhood. These school issues are just a microcosm of the issues we would have as a city. Maybe we should draw the city line at Tilly Mill, since us low-lifes over here on the other side of the tracks don't "play a big part of ensuring Dunwoody's continued vitality and healthy property values" (except Fran Millar's neighborhood, which is part of the Kingsley attendance zone, where all the kids go to private school and property values are healthy). It's a win-lose-uncle situtation for Vanderlyn, Kingsley and the rest. Vanderlyn is the only school that appears to have a majority of support for the Academy plan, Kingsley is the sacrificial lamb (we would support the Academy if it included us), and everyone else just throws their hands up and says "we're over it". Vanderlyn wins again. Go Vikings!!! Long live healthy property values in Vanderlyn!!