Monday, August 25, 2008

Kindergarten restrooms, are they needed in the new school?

Kindergarten restrooms, are they needed in the new school?

My quest to obtain a couple of the electronic site plans for the new 4th & 5th grade elementary school on Womack has been thwarted by the claim that the plans are not final, instead the DCSS provided me a few hard copy drawings of the school. In fact for $50.00 I was given every drawing related to the construction of the school, all 33 lbs of drawings.

In the next day or so, I will be posting some of drawings that I thought needed to be shared with the community but first I will need to have them converted to an electronic format. Since I have no use with the complete set of drawings and there is no school PTA to give them to, they have been donated to the Dunwoody Homeowner's Association for their review & use.

The one item that jumped out at me when looking at the drawings was that the classrooms are still labeled as being a traditional elementary school and if you look at the kindergarten classrooms (at the photo above) you will see the plans for individual classroom bathrooms. Fourth & Fifth grade classrooms don't need individual toilets but if the long term plan for the school was to be converted back to a traditional elementary school then the rooms should at least be plumbed for them to be added later.

The DCSS hasn't notified me of when the final plans will be available but the best person to ask is Ms. Pat Pope, Chief Operations Officer of the DCSS at (678) 676-1331.

When the final electronic plans are available, I'll be sure to post them on line.


Rick said...

John, save your back and don't bother giving anything other than the print showing the outside view of the school to the DHA. They will not take a stance on the new school being a 4th-5th grade school as foolishly planned or if it should be a traditional k-5 school. The DHA will for sure want to know if the new school's sign will be Colonial architectural style, but other than that they have no opinion.

As far as the toilets in the kindergarten rooms, I hope they do at least set plumbing for them. At one of the last Womack School 'information meetings' Mrs Pope said the school would be built so that it could be easily converted to a K-5 a school (once Dr Lewis and the community realizes the huge error of having a 4-5 school)

On a side note I read today another school redistricting story in the AJC (!-1814370570&UrAuth=%60NYNUOaNYUbTTUWUXUaUZTZUbUWU_UaUZUbU[UcTYWYWZV&urcm=y ) Seems like every other school district in the USA, including Georgia school districts, redistricts their kids when the schools get full. But we are special here in DeKalb (Dunwoody). We have our school board rip the 4th and 5th graders out of their neighborhood school, away from younger siblings and bus them to an "academy" for 4th and 5th graders.

themommy said...

The building is being designed to be multi-use and to easily switch purposes. Down the road, as enrollment wanes, we very well may need fewer elementary schools and certainly would want to keep the newest building and close the older ones.

Rick said...

Wow! Even Clayton County knows what to do when schools are overcrowded, but not DeKalb.

"The district is looking at re-mapping its school zones to even out the distribution of students."

What a concept.

DunwoodyParent said...

Rick...I would venture to guess that you are within walking distance of Austin Elementary and were pretty sure that the "redistricting" planned for the Dunwoody cluster would not affect your children, other than to perhaps move a few apartment dwellers out of your neighborhood school. Unless you're willing to offer up your children to attend a K-5 school at the Womack site, I don't think you have much room for complaints here.

In order for a K-5 school to work at the Womack site, MANY more neighborhoods would need to be identified to attend the school. Are you and your neighbors willing to volunteer?

Rick said...

I am outside of walking distance from Austin. You are right that due to my home's location it is doubtful I would be redistricted elsewhere.

The original plan would have taken 'apartment dwellers' as you call them out of Austin, and a couple hundred more kids from single family homes too.

The new school redistricting plan should be made in a way that students not from single-family homes are evenly distributed to Austin, Womack, AND Vanderlyn. The new Womack schools needs to be as strong as Austin and Vanderlyn, agreed.

But the 4-5 plan is a bust, you gotta admit that. Why is it that we are the only community in GA, perhaps in the entire world, that is trying to solve over-crowding with a 4-5 school?

DunwoodyParent, please show me ONE school district that has created a 4-5 school (pulling kids from top-performing K-5 schools)to resolve over crowding. Just ONE, that's all I am asking from you. Fine me just one.

DunwoodyParent said...

This isn't exactly the situation that we have, but it's very close....Falls Church City, Virigina, is a small city of about 10,000 residents. The school system is one of the best in the country. Children in Falls Church attend an elementary school for Kindergarten and 1st grade and then a second elementary school for grades 2-4. Then, they go on to middle school for 5-7, and high school for 8-12. I doubt there is much literature available which would support this model, yet the school system is outstanding -- the average SAT score is 1737. I don't know how they decided to break out the grades this way, but you can't argue with success.

I have no doubt that our Dunwoody schools can continue to achieve great success regardless of which building houses which grades.

Rick said...

Looks like a nice district. Problem is it is nothing close to ours. The entire district has only 1900 kids. Our high school alone has nearly that many.

They spend $18,474 per kid while DeKalb spends only $8500 per kid!

And the two elem schools are only 1.3 miles apart.

Can't argue with the success of their schools, but this is comparing an apple to an orange.

What they have created is a nice small knit community school system. That's great. My aunt lives in Falls Church. I can tell you the taxes there are double what we pay here.

I think we should have a City of Dunwoody School District, breaking away from DeKalb. Our taxes will go up and we'll need bonds to build (or buy) schools. But in the long run this is the only thing to save our community from DeKalb schools and the NCLB fiasco affecting DHS.