A parent at Dunwoody High School has written the following plea for relief to Dr. Crawford Lewis and copied me asking that I let the community know. She states that there is a developing situation at DHS that could be catastrophic in terms of AYP, the ability to offer specialty classes, and a sense of community "ownership" of our neighborhood schools. Below is the email she sent last evening after the DHS PTSO board meeting. Despite the August 1 deadline for parents transferring students, and the availability of spots at receiving schools Stephenson and Redan, Dunwoody accepted 7 more transfers yesterday and are under orders by the school system to continue accepting them.
Dunwoody's enrollment has surged to 1640+.
Dear Dr. Lewis,
If DeKalb County Schools is a "Premier" school system, why is this administration failing Dunwoody High School?
We are short 3 math teachers. In a block schedule, that's a critical loss that cannot be made up by the affected students.
Because my son's Gifted Lit/Comp class has too many students to meet federal standards in gifted education, it has been redesignated as an Advanced class. Will the same thing happen to all of his classes, including AP World History?
Congestion on the streets within the school neighborhood and accessing from I-285 is reaching a critical mass. Kids are jaywalking and waiting too close to the street at the MARTA bus stop closest to the school. We've already had one accident. Will a student be hurt next?
Several times in the past week, on my way to work in the morning, I have seen students dropped off by parents as early as 6:30 am. In evening, returning from a meeting at Peachtree Charter Middle School, I saw students waiting in the outdoor picnic area for a ride home. Are the rules different for transferred students? Because at DHS, students hanging around unsupervised are sent home.
It's very clear that the DeKalb County School System has failed every student involved:
Why is Dunwoody High School receiving so many students when schools like Stephenson and Redan are under capacity, yet met AYP? (DHS did not.) We have known since last spring that students would transfer to DHS. We prepared all summer to make the projected 130+/- students welcome. Then everything fell apart in the week prior to the opening of school.
- the students transferring from failing schools, eager to experience a quality education and enduring commutes lasting more than an hour each way because their home schools have failed them.
- the students sitting up to 35 deep in classrooms without teachers and textbooks.
- the students either sharing a locker or without a locker at all.
- the students having classes changed two, three, even four times as the school staff desperately tries to place them in a viable schedule. Can we possibly achieve AYP in this environment?
- the students forced to bring lunch to school because now there simply isn't enough time or capacity for every student to have a hot lunch.
- the students who simply cannot get to class in time because gridlock happens in the halls and on the stairs during every class change.
You allowed far more students than our capacity to transfer . . . without giving us the teachers, support, and trailers to accommodate them. You are continuing to allow students to transfer despite an August 1 deadline for application.
Why are you doing this to us? Why, if everyone involved, from the Administration to the School Board, KNEW this would happen, is DHS not better supported?
I am saddened by what has happened to Dunwoody High School.
Do something about it. Now.