Monday, April 24, 2017

"Northcrest Noms for Pleasantdale"
Donate to Help Re-Fill Backup Lunch Cards

Pleasantdale Elementary school is a Title 1 school nested comfortably in the Northcrest (Doraville)subdivision.

As neighbors, we volunteer often to enrich the children's education with hands on experience and first hand stories. These children are the future of the community, and we are ready to prepare them for anything.

But there is a side we haven't been able to touch yet, and that is the issue of hunger. Most of the children at the school are on free or reduced lunch, and a number of students have delinquent accounts that need to be paid.  $1200 dollars worth if delinquent accounts, to be exact.

This fundraiser aims to pay off all of the delinquent accounts at Pleasantdale Elementary School, and continue fundraising beyond the $1200 to purchase and refill a lunch card that can be used as backup when students cannot afford their lunches.

We all joke at our workplaces about being "hangry", but the struggle for some, quite literally, is real. These children don't have a say in their hunger, and they don't have any way to fix it for themselves. When they have a delinquent account, the kids are g8ven a slice of cheese between two slices of bread, and a cup for water from the sink or water fountain.  No kid deserves to live on bread and water alone.

We are partnering with Dumbledore's Army, a Harry Potter themed volunteering community,  to act as a "patronus", or magical guardian to these beautiful children.

Let's band together as a community and raise money to consistently fund a backup lunch card, and keep those lunch accounts in the green. No child should be worried about debt in elementary school, and no child should ever have to go hungry.

Let's be their patronus.

Click on the following link to donate:

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dunwoody High School Volleyball CycleBar Fundraiser
Saturday, May 6th @ 2:00 pm

Registration is open now to sign up for the Dunwoody VolleyCats Fundraiser at CycleBar in Dunwoody! Saturday, May 6th at 2:00pm. 

ALL PROCEEDS benefit the Dunwoody Volleyball program. 
ALL fitness levels are welcome. Open to all students, parents, family members, co-workers and friends - everyone who supports the VolleyCats! 
Use this link to register:  CycleBar  $25 per ride. 
Information about Cyclebar Dunwoody.

Dunwoody High Student Samantha Brewer Named 2017 Georgia Scholar

Clarkston High School student Eunice Garcia was the only other DeKalb Schools student named 2017 Georgia Scholar.

From the Georgia Department of Education:

One-hundred and eighty-three graduating seniors from schools across Georgia have been recognized as 2017 Georgia Scholars, the Georgia Department of Education announced today.

Through the Georgia Scholar program, the Department identifies and honors high school seniors who have achieved excellence in school and community life. The program is coordinated by the Department’s Excellence Recognition Office and through local coordinators in each public school system and in private schools throughout the state. Each Georgia Scholar receives a seal for his or her diploma.

“I offer my sincere congratulations to each of our 2017 Georgia Scholars,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “These students have exemplary academic performance but they’ve also gained soft skills by taking on leadership roles within their schools and communities. I am confident we will hear great things about their accomplishments in the near future.”

Students eligible for Georgia Scholar recognition are high school seniors who exhibit excellence in all phases of school life, in community activities, and in the home. Georgia Scholars are students who have carried exemplary course loads during the four years of high school; who performed excellently in all courses; who successfully participated in interscholastic events at their schools and in their communities; and who have assumed active roles in extracurricular activities sponsored by their schools.

Click on the following link to view the names of all 2017 Georgia Scholars:

Register for Chamblee Charter High School's 12th Annual "Cox Trot"
Saturday, May 6, 2017

(null) Click on the following link to access the registration form:  Cox Trot Registration Form

"Special Needs Students Look For Help to Attend National Conference"
Story by Jennifer Leslie of 11 Alive

Special needs students look for help to attend national conference
To donate click on the following link:

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Am I Missing Something?
Why The Rush To Enlarge Chamblee Charter High School?

The recently approved DCSD ESPLOST-V project plan has the 30-classroom addition to Chamblee Charter High School scheduled to begin construction in November 2018.  I question this accelerated timeline by DCSD.

This post is not to criticize Dan Drake or his hard work.  He has always been responsive to my questions.  I know absolutely nothing about enrollment projections or population trends, etc.  However, I can sit down plug in data and have, what I feel, is a common-sense look at reality.  Below is a chart I have put together of some data around which I feel it is important to review and ask questions.  I have had several conversations with other DCSD stakeholders over the past few weeks which have helped me to put together my thoughts. 

Here are my “two-cents” fwiw:

From the data below and with the questions I still have surrounding the enrollment projections, in my view, it makes sense to go ahead with the following already approved projects:
  1. New CKHS area elementary school in Doraville.
  2. New CKHS middle school to relieve Sequoyah and possibly Chamblee Middle School if magnet program will continue to be located in CMS. Or could an enlarged Magnet program move to new CKHS MS?  With extra capacity at MS additional academic programs could be a strong consideration. Can this MS provide relief for Henderson MS?
  3. New 2,500 seat CKHS high school should also relieve CCHS and Lakeside HS overcrowding?
I believe enlarging Chamblee Charter HS should be a “last-resort” conversation. I understand and agree completely with Dr. Green in wanting to “right the past wrongs” done to the CKHS area, but trying to “fit in” 2,400 students on 21 acres of land (20 acres smaller than GADOE recommends) has disaster written all over it.  

Unless there is something that I am overlooking, I believe you can provide the CKHS community what they should have and deserve to have without bringing about possible catastrophic affects on the CCHS community. Wouldn't it make more sense to build the new CKHS area schools (ES, MS, HS) and then step back and see where the school district is as far as population trends? 

Via the EPSPLOT-V Project list, this is what is being proposed for Chamblee Charter HS:
  • Adding 30 classrooms
  • Minimum enlargements of media center, cafeteria, kitchen
  • A parking deck
  • Synthetic turf on practice field

Question:  Can Chamblee-Dunwoody (2 lane road) handle the extra school traffic? Traffic along this road is a stand-still most mornings and afternoons.

CCHS is the ONLY DCSD high school that does NOT have a track and large (95,000 sq ft) playing field under its control for its athletes.  CCHS is only allowed to use North DeKalb Stadium when events are not scheduled.  Spring is a busy time for athletics in DCSD and CCHS was unable to use North DeKalb at all in March.    At its projected enrollment, CCHS will be a AAAAAAA school with minimal practice facilities for their athletic teams. That seems, to me, totally unacceptable. 

CCHS also doesn’t have the luxury of using the Chamblee Middle School practice field as it is a 32,000 square foot field (smallest among DCSD middle schools).  So, PCMS stakeholders, count your blessings for the amount of land PCMS has on hand. 

These particular thoughts are Chamblee-centered.  My thoughts on the unacceptable delay of PCMS and DHS additions at those schools will follow.  

October 2016 FTE
Projected 2016-2017 Enrollment
Under/Over DCSD Projection
2016-2017 School Capacity
+/- Capacity
DCSD Projected Enrollment 2022 (Option: Do Nothing)
Add'l Enrollment to Reach Projections (2016 vs 2022)
+/- Capacity (Option: Do Nothing)
Ashford Park ES  
Will Ashford Park "gain" 166 students in 5 years?
Huntley Hills ES
Projection appears sound here.
Montgomery ES  
Will Montgomery "gain" 211 students in 5 years?
Chamblee MS  
Will Chamblee MS "gain" 276 students in 5 years? Let's hope not.  The CMS campus is not equipped to handle the number of projected students.
Chamblee Charter HS
Will Chamblee HS "gain" 677 students in 5 years? Again, let's hope not.  The CCHS campus is not equipped to handle the number of projected new stuents.  Also, not seeing this unless luxury apt/townhome "boom" in Brookhaven/Chamblee brings more students public, which is not typically the case w/ this type of housing.
Cary Reynolds ES  
Will Cary Reynolds "lose" 65 seats in 5 years?
Dresden ES  
Montclair ES 
Will the Montclair students redistricted to Fernbank return to CKHS Cluster?
Woodward ES
Sequoyah MS
Will Sequoyah MS "gain" 423 students in 5 years? 
Cross Keys HS
Will Cross Keys HS "gain" 859 students in 5 years? How much of an effect will current gentrification of Buford Highway have on CKHS cluster student enrollment?
Henderson MS
Will Henderson MS "gain" 207 students in 5 years? 
Lakeside HS
Will Lakeside "gain" 423 students in 5 years?


Congratulations to Dunwoody High and Chamblee Charter High
2017 Shuler Award Nominees!

Fashioned after Broadway’s Tony Awards, the Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards – Shuler Hensley Awards celebrate excellence in high school musical theater. The Awards are named in honor of actor/singer and Georgia native, Shuler Hensley, winner of the prestigious Tony Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award. The program embodies a spirit of camaraderie and celebration for the arts in high schools across Georgia. Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre provides a beautiful, state-of-the-art home for the Shuler Awards. The Shulers are a part of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards – The Jimmy Nederlander Awards.

You can watch the 2017 Shuler Awards, Thursday, April 20th at 7:00pm on Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB).

Dunwoody High School drama students Nina Stecker and Paris Ruiz will be part of the opening ensemble, performing with Tony-winning actor Shuler Hensley.

The AJC has a write-up about the program:
16 DeKalb schools students will take part in awards on live TV

To learn more about the Shuler Hensley Awards click on the following link:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Nancy Jester Verbally Goes After Dunwoody City Officials Over
Dunwoody High School Trailers
Reporter: "Dunwoody Officials to Meet With DeKalb County School District Over Trailers"
The Crier: "DHS Trailers Rile Nancy Jester"

Has there ever been any elected officials who go after their constituents in the manner that Stan and Nancy Jester go after the people that they were elected to serve?  A certain person comes to mind:  Vernon Jones.

As a constituent, I am ashamed and embarrassed of the continual inexcusable behavior of these 2 elected officials.  Our community deserves better. 

The Crier article:

From the Reporter article (Both The Crier and The Reporter articles represent the below response of Terry Nall, who bore the brunt of Jester's tirade):

 "Councilmember Terry Nall, who Jester singled out in her vocal criticism of city officials, said he was disappointed in Jester’s public “attack” against the city.

“Not since the days of former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones has our Dunwoody area been under attack by a sitting, elected DeKalb County official. I thought those days were behind us,” Nall said in a statement.

Dunwoody adheres to its obligations as a city. Any claim or suggestion by Commissioner Jester to the contrary is simply incorrect,” he said."

Also, I don't recall Nancy ever showing concern for the Vanderlyn trailers (which have been there for DECADES).  I don't recall Nancy ever showing concern for the ever-growing Peachtree Charter MS trailer village.  Will Nancy also go before the Chamblee City Council and blast their leadership for not intervening in the new CCHS addition?

Nah, I believe this behavior from the Jesters stems from their insistence on a Doraville high school to be built NOW. 

Click on the following link to read the entire article:

Wesleyan School Earns 4 Shuler Nominations

Wesleyan School is thrilled to announce it has received four Shuler Awards nominations for its fall production of “Kiss Me, Kate.
Students from the Peachtree Corners preparatory school competed against seventy-five public and private high schools from around the state to earn a nomination for these Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards.
Nominees include Lexi Mellott for Best Supporting Actress as Lois Lane/Bianca, Lauren Pavelec for Costume Design, Maguire Wilder for Technical Execution, and the entire cast for Best Show Stopper.
The winners will be announced at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on April 20 from 7-9 p.m.  State winners will then go on to New York City and compete for the Jimmy Awards, which is a national award given to the top high school actor and actress.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Wesleyan School Expands Summer Camps to Include 4-year olds

Wesleyan School is thrilled to announce it is expanding its summer camp offerings to include activities for 4-year-olds.  The camps, which are open to Wesleyan students and non-Wesleyan students, previously were available to children 5-years-old through middle school.  
The move is part of the school’s continued commitment to serve local families in the most convenient way possible.
“Adding 4 year old was an easy decision,” said Kelly Weatherly, Director of Auxiliary Programs at Wesleyan School. “More families have duel working parents and in order to support them, as well as assist in preparing their child for school, we thought it wise and helpful to create a 4-year-old program. It is a win-win for everyone!”
The school is offering multiple camps for the new age group, including, Summer Day Camp: Discover an Adventure , Summer Day Camp: Xtreme STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics),  Summer Sports Camp, and Big Fun Day Camp. Wesleyan also offers full-day camps focusing on fine arts, athletics, and academics – like chess, Lego robotics, movie makers and game designers, and science camps, for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Last year, children from Dunwoody, Peachtree Corners, Johns Creek, Brookhaven, Roswell, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Decatur, Suwanne, and Duluth attended at least one of the school’s camps. 
To learn more about the new camp offerings, visit:

Sunday, April 16, 2017

DeKalb County Board of Education Meeting, Monday, April 17
Dunwoody High School Community Donation Approval

From the April 17, 2017 DeKalb Board of Education Work Session Agenda:

The Dunwoody High School Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO), School Council, and Community Association, a 501c3 corporation, requests approval to install artificial turf, spectator seating, and outdoor lighting for the multi-purpose field, replace the existing running track, and construct a new field house facility with concessions and ADA compliant restrooms at the school. The completion of these projects will help improve the school’s athletic facilities.

To date, the DHS Community Association has raised $400,000 in support of its Game On! Capital Campaign initiative with a goal of raising a total of $1.2 million over the next few years.  The District has allocated $790,000 under its voter-approved E-SPLOST V program to install artificial turf on the football/practice field at the school. Additionally, the voter-approved E-SPLOST V program includes the design and construction of a 26-classroom addition to address overcrowding concerns at Dunwoody High School. As such, district staff is recommending an architectural feasibility study be conducted to ensure the new building addition and any associated storm water retention changes do not impede or prohibit starting the construction of the new artificial turf and other athletic improvements as requested by the DHS Community Association.

As per the Board approved “E-SPLOST V Project Listing with Anticipated Start and Finish Dates (March 20, 2017)” document, the construction of the classroom addition and artificial turf installation is not scheduled to commence until July 2020. The acceptance of this donation and cooperative partnership between the District and the Dunwoody High School PTSO, School Council, and Community Association will allow the athletic improvements to occur prior to this date, if the architectural feasibility study determines that these athletic improvements will not impede or impact the construction of the new classroom addition and associated storm water management facilities.

The Facilities Management Department will continue to work with the DHS Community Association to ensure each project phase meets all design and construction standards and guidelines. In addition, the Facilities Management Department will assist with securing quotes from qualified vendors in accordance with the Board’s Purchasing Policy DJE.
Click on the following link to view the Dunwoody High School PTSO, School Council and Community Association Proposal/Support letters: