Monday, August 31, 2009

Reminder: Dr. Crawford Lewis scheduled to address the DCPC on Wed Sept 2nd at 9 am


September 2nd, 2009
9:00 a.m.

All DeKalb County School Parents Welcome!

Dunwoody High School
5035 Vermack Road
Dunwoody, Georgia 30338
Phone: 678-874-8502

For more info or to get on the mailing list - dcpc2009@comcast.net

64 comments:

Rick Callihan said...

I can't make it that day. Can someone ask Dr. Lewis why Vanderlyn is 134% capacity, Austin is 117% capacity, and the new $20 million school is 75% capacity?

Bob Fiscella said...

Rick,
I hope to make the meeting. The question I have for Dr. Lewis is, what are the plans for the Dunwoody cluster of elementary schools in the next 5-to-10 years? It's quite apparent that the new Dunwoody Elementary School was built to one day be a K-5 school (one peek at the restrooms will tell you that). Obviously, the current arrangement is the best the DeKalb County School System could come up with at present. But the DCSS certainly has its eye on possible changes in the future, perhaps in the next couple of years. I'd like for Dr. Lewis to let the taxpayers know exactly what the DCSS is thinking. This is a hot-button issue, but as taxpayers I feel we have the right to know.

Rick Callihan said...

Bob,

I do not think "the current arrangement is the best the DeKalb County School System could come up with at present".

I think the current arrangement is the best Jim Redovian, Oxford Chase, Ashford Chase, Wellesley Place, and Springfield could come up with.

No where else in the country will you find this type of 'arrangement' whereas a new school is built to relieve overcrowding but sits 26% empty while Vandy is 134% capacity and Austin 117%.

The traffic issue could be helped if Dr. Lewis had hired an urban planning firm and redistricted Dunwoody. Instead, he agreed to a bad plan put in place with support of some politically powerful people over your way.

Bob Fiscella said...

Rick,
Agree with all of your points and take it a step further. Dr. Lewis did the best he could in trying to appease all parties concerned. The initial lines drawn for the new school, when it was going to be a K-5, was a joke. It lumped my subdivision, as well as a few others, into a school that was going to be dominated by children who live in multi-family dwellings. In and of itself, no big deal - I don't have a problem with that. But history clearly tells us that in similar cases, such a situation results in much lower test scores, not to mention much lower parential participation. And with that comes much lower property values (I'm a realtor, I know what buyers want and what they don't want and how that affects pricing). It simply wasn't fair. And if the school system tries to resurrect those lines, the fight will start anew. I'm certain if it was your subdivision lumped into a similar situation, you'd feel the same way - and you'd fight it! Am I estatic with the current lines? No. But at the same time, it's a much better situation that what the original lines would have brought.
And with all that said, I think principal Johnathan Clark has done an amazing job at Dunwoody Elementary!

Dunwoody Mom said...

Perhaps someday a mature, adult conversation can take place amongst Dunwoody parents so that redistricting which will benefit ALL children can take place. Oh, and Bob, my children attended elementary school (do so at PCMS and DHS) with those "apartment people" and I will hold my childrens academic prowess up against any Vanderlyn child's.

Bob Fiscella said...

Dunwoody Mom,
First off - you used the phrase "apartment people" not I. And what is it about the above thread that is not a "mature, adult conversation." To further clarify, I don't really care who my children go to school with as long as the school is safe and it's a great learning envirnoment (which Dunwoody Elementary School is). I went to public schools all of my life (save for one year in Catholic school), and I plan on that being the case for my children. But I do read statistics.
On a non-educational issue, rightly or wrongly, there is a reason that home values are higher in Austin and Vanderlyn compared to right across the county line in Sandy Springs.
Dunwoody Mom - I'd love to sit down with you and discuss further. Heck, we'll invite Rick, too! Sounds like a great coffee conversation.

Rick Callihan said...

I do not think it is the role of Dr. Lewis to protect property values or to appease all parties concerned. His role is to provide adequate learning environments to the district. These environments should be consistent county wide so that the children are treated equal.

Of course the schools can be the same all over DeKalb, but the students differ in ability.

The neighborhoods that were to be moved out of Vandy would have had a decrease in value (temporary in my opinion). But by pulling 4th and 5th grade out of three schools home values in a much wider area have suffered (permanently, or until the Womack school becomes a K-5).

As a realtor Bob you know this is true. A young family looking here and say east Cobb or N Fulton would quickly see the school issue here as a negative. I have not heard from one family that is happy getting their kids to two or three different schools. I know many families with three kids and three schools. You have to admit that is bad for home values not just in those few neighborhoods by you but across the cluster.

The multi-family kids you refer to from the Perimeter area do quite well on tests. They all go to Austin so look at Austin's scores. They are nearly identical to Vandy scores, give or take one or two kids.

The new Womack school is safe as is Austin as is Vanderlyn. Having Womack as a redistricted K-5 would have resulted in a safe school and a great learning environment.

In summary, folks who were being zoned out of Vanderlyn were worried about home values and going to a school with kids from multi-family buildings. Well, with the economy and the new 4-5 school you still had a decrease in home values. And your lids do eventually mix with kids in middle school (unless you pull them to private by then).

On a side note, close to 50% of Austin's students are not from the immediate area around the school, but rather from the area south of Mt Vernon Road.

DeKalb Schools have created a traffic nightmare in Dunwoody that will never end until families with kids quit moving here.

Ellen Fix said...

And let's not forget Kingsley Elementary. Isn't that under-used at the moment? If so, seems logical to send some of the Vandy kids there.

Rick Callihan said...

Ellen, it will take a huge movement to overcome the political power that resides over in those neighborhoods I mentioned earlier. It all makes sense to you and me, but to those who would be zoned out of Vandy you'd think the world would come to an end.

Ellen Fix said...

Rick, this I know. Note to Vandy parents, et. al: my kids went to both Kingsley and Chesnut -- heavy with "apartment people", if you will -- and my son was a DHS Honor Grad in the top 10% of his class. Daughter taking a full load of AP courses. Even if those schools bring our home value down, as has been suggested, we frankly prefer it because a lower assessment means lower taxes.

But Bob, not to be ornery but on the one hand you say you "don't care" where your kids go to school as long as they learn, but that lumping subdivisions into schools with students living in multi-family residences is "unfair". So it seems you actually DO care about such redistricting.

Ken Thompson said...

Rick,
From a traffic perspective DCSS's implemented plan is surely suboptimal, but the original sin seems to belong with a land use plan that created a significant population increase w/o any provision for schools in those neighborhoods. I believe they had a name for it...hmmm...yeah, that's it...SMART GROWTH.

I've heard that homes in Vanderlyn carry a premium, but I'm not real sure why. Were I looking, and were public schools a serious criteria, I'd be hard pressed to consider DeKalb, even Vanderlyn over nearby east Cobb, north Fulton, or even Forsyth. I am surprised to hear that the Austin area, where I live, carries a premium over Sandy Springs.

Anyway it seems like we have a structural problem that won't be resolved until the same government that controls development and land use is also responsible for the schools.

Rick Callihan said...

Ken,

When I mentioned schools and full-capacity at two Dunwoody Comprehensive Land Use plans the moderator simply looked at me and said, 'yes, schools,... okay. We need to think about schools. Next question?'

The problem is they city has no say in where kids go to school nor can the city stop growth due to school capacity. Perhaps Council could mention schools (require certain parcels be set aside for school use only?) once they get a hold of the Plan. Of course that is not fair to land owners, so I do not know what can be done at this point. The 'neighborhood' school of old is gone for much of Dunwoody now. I consider a K-3 a glorified Pre-K and a 4th-5th grade school is merely a middle school in disguise.

Ellen Fix said...

Ken, your last point is well-taken ACCEPT for this one fact: until people are a little more flexible and are willing to give up some of their fixed ideas, they still won't be 100% happy. It's not government that has the answer -- it's in people getting rid of their prejudices. Dunwoody is very sensitive about outside perceptions, sometimes to an irrational extent. Relinquishing some of that sensitivity might open the door to what really matters. For instance, I fought tooth and nail against the mandatory uniform policies of Chesnut and Kingsley, but ultimately I had to give in. I lost the battle -- and was badly bruised in the process, I might add, but my kids got an okay education. People need to be willing to give in to the trivial matters in favor of winning the bigger war.

Rick Callihan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flashburger said...

Let's leave the term Vandy for the Commodores, please. In my opinion, all of the parents in the Dunwoody cluster are one in the same. They care about their children's education and they care about their property values. Mature adults understand this concept. I cannot help but think if the lines were drawn equitably in the first place (even if that meant carving out neighborhoods such as the Branches and placing those students in the new school), we would be past this debate and on to better things, such as worrying about the swine flu.

Bob Fiscella said...

Flashburger,
Well said!

Ken Thompson said...

Geek alert--I studied operating systems in grad school. Seems irrelevant but I did learn that there is no such thing as fair, equitable is rarely achievable, and no one is ever 100% happy.

Property owners do not have free reign over use of their property...even less now with the city. It is as reasonable to require developers of a major condo or apartment to set aside space for and address startup costs for the burden, e.g. schools, that their profitable endeavour places on the community as it is to make them pay higher taxes for the increased value of *their* property. Surely a city that can restrict property use, demand permit fees, and assess environmental impact can also address other community impacts including schools, traffic, stormwater, etc.

So long as there is a structural problem, in this case the orthogonality of land use and school planning, there will be recurrences of these problems. Fact is, the elementary school masquerading as an 'academy', and the politics behind it, are a symptom of the fact that the high density development was not well coordinated nor compatible with the community. Until the underlying problem is acknowledged and addressed, these situations will recur.

Rick Callihan said...

Flash,

I think folks south of Mt Vernon Road should have been in new school as well as those south of Womack.

There is really not a legal way to gerrymander a school district. In theory people want to 'distribute' multi-family buildings throughout the district. But due to Vanderlyn's location it is a tough sell to bus kids passed Womack school over to Vanderlyn. The new school should have been built more to the west (closer to Ashford Dun Rd) but that did not happen so we need to deal with what we have. Fact is those on the south side of Womack should no longer be in Vanderlyn and those on south side of Mt Vernon should not be at Austin. I know it does not sit well with many people, but if you were looking at this from the outside it would be very clear. I am not a realtor but I remember one thing from my college real estate class; location, location, location.

John Heneghan said...

I was hoping to attend this meeting and record the audio and/or shoot some video on my Flip camera so that I could post the items to the web for all to see. Unfortunately I have other obligations and I will be forced to miss the meeting.

Would anyone who was planning on being in attendance like to record the meeting for me? I will provide the equipment. Thanks.

Rick Callihan said...

John,

Nothing like a post featuring Dr Lewis and school redistricting to get the site hits and comments rolling in! :)

John Heneghan said...

Rick,

As usual, you started the ball rolling and fed the fire on the topic.

The list of items to be discussed by Dr. Lewis should be quite extensive yet he will probably focus on items happening in the Dunwoody cluster; almost none of which were mentioned in the comments above.

Besides school capacity and possible redistricting someday, what else would the Dunwoody parents attending the meeting like to hear about?

Thoughts?

Dunwoody Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dunwoodydem said...

my .02-

I think a much better solution would have been to either use the old Chamblee Middle school site (buying adjacent property if necessary) or to have made a new k-5 with more logical clusterwide redistricting than the original plan. But that did not happen.

I'm afraid that Ricks arguments (and others who feel the same way) seem a little self-serving to me. If anyone with kids who actually lived S of Womack felt that way, it would be much more convincing. But most of the people for the original plan live in neighborhoods that would have benefited from it much more than the current plan.

Dunwoody Mom said...

I would like to ask Dr. Lewis 2 questions:

1. With regards to the new PCMS principal, I was told that the School Council was not allowed input into this hire - even though it is required by the PCMS Charter.

2. When will construction begin on the long-promised addition to Dunwoody High School begin?

Rick Callihan said...

dundem,

My comments are not self-serving. I do not have kids in DeKalb schools. Plus, based on the location of my home it would be nearly impossible to change the elem. school for me. I know those living south of Womack want to stay at Vanderlyn but the fact is the new school on Womack is closer to you than Vanderlyn and Vanderlyn has too many kids. Meanwhile the new school has one in every four seats empty. I wouldn't mind having my house zoned for Vanderlyn, but that is not a realistic request based on where my home sets.

Rick Callihan said...

For Bob and others,

How would you feel about moving 3rd graders from Austin and Vanderlyn to the new Womack Road school? It would fill the new school to capacity and get Austin and Vanderlyn down closer to 100% capacity.

When DeKalb first put out charts on this issue in 2007 I saw that as an option.

Flashburger said...

Rick,
I wouldn't be opposed to that idea. The school would be at capacity, Vanderlyn and Austin would have more wiggle room and neighborhoods would remain in their home school.

Bob Fiscella said...

Rick,
It certainly seems to make sense. I will have a 3rd grader next year, and to me it doesn't matter if she's at Vanderlyn or Dunwoody Elementary. I'd rather it be at Dunwoody Elementary, simply because of the state-of-the-art equipment and an air conditioning system that works.
Responding to Dunwoodydem - you're absolutely right, my feelings are self-serving, but I don't feel to the detriment of others.
John - as for other questions to ask Dr. Lewis - dress code at Dunwoody Elementary. One of my son's teachers told him, "please don't wear that shirt again." It was an almost new, white-collared shirt that just happened to have a couple of small design patterns on it. Of course the Dunwoody Elementary dress code is solids only. I've spoken to Mr. Clark about this, and we'll just have to agree to disagree, but the dress code seems rather arbitrary. Especially when one considers that if a teacher wore the same shirt, it would have been fine.

Momfirst said...

I'd like to know when the north side is going to get our promises fulfilled. Jim Redovian told me in May that the construction would start in July....have I missed something? Lakeside, Cross Keys and Dunwoody have gotten the shaft and we're tired of it.

themommy said...

How come only Austin and Vanderlyn folks get a vote? Chesnut students attend the 4/5 as well. Or do we continue to ignore our "poor relative."

Dunwoody Mom said...

themommy, there are too many "apartment people" at Chesnut.

Bob Fiscella said...

themommy,
as far as I'm concerned, and probably much to the dismay of Dunwoody Mom, let's have Chestnut third graders as well! I was simply responding to Rick's comments. Is Chestnut still overcrowded?

Ellen Fix said...

Bob: I feel your pain re. the shirt episode with your son. As I mentioned earlier, years ago I fought against the dress code rules dictated by the charter school crowd and royally lost. Now D.H.S. is enforcing the no flip-flop rule, and I've sent my opinion to every member of the DeKalb School Board. Redovian could cite no statistics regarding injuries or drawbacks of wearing flip-flops (although granted, I know there have been some). Hopefully, Dunwoody Elementary's fine teachers (?) will override such concerns. Good luck.

Dunwoody Mom said...

No dismay here. Bob, the Vanderlyn parents are not subtle in their dimissmal of children who do not attend the gilded Vanderlyn. When my children were in ES, I don't know how many times I had parents tell me to my face, with my children standing there, how sad they were my children attended Chesnut. I'm not sorry at all. My children received a wonderful education with families who did not feel a sense of entitlement either for themselves or their children or who would look down their nose at other families because they dare live in a apartment!!

Or at a summer swim meet against Vermack, overhearing the comments made at our pool about Chesnut children.

There, I've held that in for a very long time - I feel better now.

Rick Callihan said...

themommy,

I left Chesnut out on purpose for two reasons. Maybe you are the person to correct me. First, moving Chesnut 3rd graders would put the new school over capacity. No way will Dr Lewis put trailers at another new school. 2nd, I thought Chesnut was way below capacity. Pulling 3rd graders would make it worse. Do you know how many kids are at Chesnut this year?

Rick Callihan said...

I would not take seriously anything said by Jim R., our so-called representative on the Board. Jim led the other Board members to believe all of Dunwoody wanted a 4-5 school and that those opposed were anti-apartment. He had both facts backwards as more people were opposed to the 4-5 than were in favor, and it was not Austin folks worried about 'mixing' with children from multi family developments.

Bob Fiscella said...

Dunwoody Mom,
I'm not going to say that I don't know Vanderlyn parents like that, but FYI we choose to swim at Kingley where many if not most of the families are from Kingsley and Chestnut. Love it there. FYI, if you know of any families looking for a pool, we have some openings!!!

Dunwoody Mom said...

Well, Ellen, at least your got a response from Mr. Redovian. I sent him several emails last school year and received no response.

Momfirst said...

Dunwoody Mom,
I'm sorry that you've had some negative experience w/ Vanderlyn parents but to lump us all together is a shame. I was a Vanderlyn parent and am now a proud P'tree & Dunwoody parent as well as a Vermack member. I just wish we could get over the bad decision and put it behind us and look forward to working together for the good of ALL dunwoody children. And I'm glad you got that off your chest because I see you berating "us" on every board out there and I'm tired of it.

Rick Callihan said...

Momfirst

I'd like to get over the 'bad decision' but I prefer to make the 'bad' into a 'good' next school year. Thanks for extending that olive branch out to DunwoodyMom. Perhaps you two can have tea together once the Farmhouse opens back up.

Flashburger said...

Rick,
I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but many people were opposed to the first redistricting plan. Here was my personal experience: When the first lines were drawn, an Austin parent (who is a friend of mine) basically said, "I can't believe they lumped all of the apartments into that school." Fast forward six months later, the same person said to me she was outraged that her two children would not be attending Austin at the same time. Please don't pretend that Austin parents are not concerned about property values. That's ludicrous. I guarantee if the homes in Austin were put in a new school with 90% of the apartments in Dunwoody, they would not be happy.

Dunwoody Mom said...

I actually miss that old Tea Room at the Farmhouse. It was one of my mother's favorite spots just to sit and talk with her daughters.

themommy said...

Chesnut is a very small school with a capacity (depending on how it is calculated) of 400 or so. It only has about 24-25 classrooms. As of this week, I believe the enrollment there was 480ish. Given that the enrollment was 570 last year, the new school has allowed for some breathing room but the school continues to grow rapidly.

Rick Callihan said...

Flash,

Of course Austin parents (the ones that would stay at Austin after a redistrict plan) would be happy.

In case you were not aware, except for the one apartment building across from the blood place, every apartment up and down Ashford Dunwoody Road (and all the ones on Mt Vernon toward Chic Fil a) are in the Austin district. The apartments by Walmart, the ones behind Macaroni Grill, all of them.

Not sure where you came up with a 90% figure. Those multi-family dwelling kids have always been at Austin and they are great students. Like I mentioned earlier, Austin and Vanderlyn scores were nearly identical for 2008 school year.

People keep moving into the Austin zone even though all those multi-family dwellings folks attend Austin. People don't seem to have an issue with it. If Austin home values take a dive it would be for the same reason as Vanderlyn or Chesnut - the 4th 5th grade school.

My issue has never been apartments, multi use, or whatever you want to call them, as that has always been a component of Austin. My issue was that pulling 4th and 5th graders away from younger siblings and their neighborhood school was bad not only for the kids, but for the families and each school.

I still think everyone would be better off (kids, families, traffic, the air we breath, etc.) if we had small local schools with K-5, not a few Pre-K Plus schools and a mini-middle school.

Fear not, I am working on a plan and hope to present it by Monday morning. The plan is sure to satisfy all involved.I am jealous of all John's blog traffic so I'll post my idea on my blog and let you know when it's ready.

I may even hold it and announce it at Bob F's campaign kickoff party next week.

Bob Fiscella said...

Rick,
You are a big troublemaker. As my campaign manager, you were supposed to keep next week's announcement secret!

dunwoodydad said...

I don't know why parents are debating this. Dekalb County Schools is a disaster. It will not improve until Dunwoody is in control of their own school system - not going to happen anytime soon.

A simple drive-by past Vanderlyn would have caused me to tell the realtor to step on the gas. Good thing they didn't give me a tour of Dunwoody High and the mysterious stains on the ceiling tiles. There is no way my kid is going to a school like that!

I chose to live within walking distance of Austin (not because they had less trailer dwellers). Things have not improved since last year. I am frightened for them with the next stepping stone.

By the time Rick and Bob are successful with their lobby, I'm afraid that my Dekalb County kids will be wearing their pants around their knees, failing AYP, and listening to hip hop instead of their dunwoody dad.

Bob Fiscella said...

Something else to keep in mind concerning school overcrowding, which doesn't seem to be mentioned often: currently there are some 4,000 more high density homes on the books for Dunwoody. With the current economy, these homes have little chance of being built now, but when the economy turns - look out! Now these homes may never be built, but developers already have the zoning, and from what I'm told, there is little the city of Dunwoody can do to stop it. If we try, without just cause (and I'm not sure schools factor into this), we could be looking at a serious lawsuit.
Just some food for thought!

themommy said...

A bit of history, years before the decision to close Nancy Creek was made, there was a presumption that DCSS would redistrict much of the development (at that point mostly proposed, in process or hypothetical) to both Nancy Creek and Montgomery which were both fairly severely underutilized. There was no talk (at the time) of this being a k-12 redistricting, rather it was just for elementary school.

However, several things happened. First, members of the Austin community did lobby a little to loudly for this to happen. (Yes, Rick this is the case.) The message -- Take the apartments please. Second, system officials responded with, we can't just move the apartments and leave the single family home neighborhoods that abut them. Finally, a group was formed (can't remember the catchy name they used at this minute) to fight this and I believe they had the tacit support of their board member back then.

So, what was, in my opinion, a very good plan, was killed. At the time, there were probably 500+ spaces at those two elementary schools. Through in a little redistricting to Kingsley, renovate the old Shallowford, and you probably wouldn't have needed a new school.

themommy said...

Rick

For good reason, the school board members believed that opposition to both the original redistricting plan and the 4th/5th grade school were about apartments.

Here are some quotes from a letter sent to board members about the 4-5

“One of the problems that the 4th & 5th grade academy will thrust upon our
Dunwoody school system is the guaranteed dilution of neighborhood children
with a transient apartment population.” (The Mommy's note here-- Dunwoody doesn't have a school system)

”The new academy will put every 4th & 5th grader (excluding Kingsley and
Hightower) in one school. The existing schools, e.g., Austin, Vanderlyn,
will have more room for the growing number of kids from apartments. << More
dilution.”

The objections to the previously announced redistricting plan were similar in nature -- I just can't find those old emails.

If I were Dr. Lewis, I wouldn't have proceeded with the building of the school. I would have said, fine, live with your situation for a few more years. There is research on redistricting and much of it says that it is easiest to reach consensus when the community reaches the point of desperation. Perhaps we really weren't there yet?!?

Dunwoody Mom said...

A possible 4,000 new homes? Where would they all go? With the exception of the Dunwoody Medical center property there seems to be very little available land in Dunwoody.

Flashburger said...

Rick,
Just one more thing. The Perimeter apartments that you mentioned previously would have been included in the new school, along with all of the complexes south of Peeler Road. That, sprinkled with a few subdivisions, was going to be our new school. I look forward to hearing your plan that will make everyone happy. Please take our concerns seriously. We've put everything we have into our home and cannot afford a $50,000 loss (temporary? probably not). Furthermore, I do not have the luxury of quitting my job to homeschool my children.

themommy said...

There were several large scale condo developments planned for the Hammond/Perimeter Center Pkwy (? about cross street) area before the economy tanked. Several are gone for good (one area will now be a high end hotel) but some of them will certainly come back, though where the AJC is moving its headquarters was originally slated to be torn down, so maybe that project is shelved indefinitely as well.

I think we are looking at a slow recovery in the real estate market and the worst in Atlanta will be condos. I expect we will see no new condo developments any time soon.

dunwoodydem said...

Are those 4,000 units the ones cited in the Crier last year? Those figures were actually off, because they included a large apartment complex on Shallowford that was torn down and is currently being rebuilt.

Bob Fiscella said...

dunwoodydem,
That was the figure I came up with when running for city council last year. I thought some of the candidates brushed this under the carpet as they spoke of stopping the construction of apartments in its tracks. Obviously the schools wouldn't be able to handle the influx, but what about the roads? Can you imagine Dunwoody with approximately 3,000-4,000 more cars? Now with that said, I agree with themommy that condo construction will not be what it was before the current economic situation (sometime I plan to write about on my blog at www.dunwoodyusa.org).
While I've got the platform, Flashburger I believe you are correct, the decrease in property values would not be temporary.
And Ellen thanks for sharing your issues with school uniforms. While I don't expect to get far with this issue, I still think it is worth raising awareness.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Neither our schools nor our roads can handle that many more "homes" in Dunwoody. As someone who takes children to both Peachtree and Dunwoody each morning, the roads around both schools are unbearable - especially North Peachtree and North Shallowford. The traffic around DHS and DES is something of a nightmare as we're all aware of at this point.

This is a serious enough issue, in my opinion, that it should be part of the next election discussion.

Rick Callihan said...

DunMom,

Which election do you speak of? I think the election in 2010 of our new school board rep would be the appropriate place to discuss these issues. However, the person to replace Jim on the school board will have little influence if any. As long as Cunningham and Walker are there it will be an uphill battle.

The City of Dunwoody can't do anything about the schools. They can try to improve traffic and that's about it. It's a shame that the city will have to throw money at a problem created by DeKalb County Schools. Instead of sidewalks and repaving we'll need to spend money on road projects near the school cluster over there.

If K-5 kids went back to their neighborhood schools through a redistricting plan, traffic would be less over there. Kids could again walk and bike to school and parents could make less trips as well.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Sorry, Rick, I should have been clearer. What I meant was, if it is true that there are over 4,000 new "homes" planned for Dunwoody, there does need to be a conversation as to how this is going to affect traffic and schools. I understand that Dunwoody cannot control the schools, they can put together a long-term plan as far as the potential housing and its effect on our city.

Dunwoody Mom said...

I know that many advocated to renovate the old Shallowford ES, but I was not one of them. And basically, it was for traffic issues. I live near that school and the traffic was as much, if not more of nightmare on Chamblee-Dunwoody/Peeler/North Shallowford roads when CMS occupied that building. I like that the new ES sits further back from the road, Shallowford ES basically sits on top of a very busy Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.

JerryGarcia said...

Don't forget part of the reason why there are so many new school kids in apartments in Dunwoody: the DHA likes to impose rules on developers that they build at least 20% of their properties as 3 bedroom units.

dunwoodydad said...

DunMom,

I advocated to renovate the old Shallowford ES.
1. It would solve the "overflow" at Dunwoody High School.
2. It would save thousands of Dekalb County tax dollars in transportation alone, with section 8 housing a few blocks away.
3. The renovation cost would be nominal, just adding a bit more steel and iron.
4. It would also provide jobs and access to Federal monies.
5. It could be a great short term option (3-5 years) for many current (and former) Dekalb County employees.

With the potential of 4,000 more section 8 type housing units, and future local governmental issues, it is a no-brainer to renovate this site into a PRISON!

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

unwoodydad, you said, "Good thing they didn't give me a tour of Dunwoody High and the mysterious stains on the ceiling tiles. There is no way my kid is going to a school like that!"

Let me just impress upon you how lucky you are that you are (I assume) not poor and Hispanic and do not have to endure sending your children to the crumbling mess that is called Cross Keys - which by the way - is supposed to be part of the Dunwoody-Chamblee Parent Council. (Are you aware it is technically "Dunwoody - Chamblee - Cross Keys Parent's Council" - check it out on the DCSS website.)

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/public/parentcouncils/index.html

Please don't forget about Cross Keys - they are truly suffering. Drive over there. Take a tour. Then count your blessings and speak up for them, please.

Rick Callihan said...

Click here to go to my plan.

Ellen Fix said...

Rather than airing grievances against multi-family housing and ostracizing people who live in apartments, might we gear the discussion toward ways we could engage apartment dwellers in the City of Dunwoody more, and offer them opportunities to contribute their ideas and expertise to our schools and neighborhoods? In that way they may feel a greater sense of responsibility for what goes on. Perhaps as a start, each apartment community could have a school/city liaison to ensure their involvement.