Monday, September 19, 2016

Dunwoody High School Council Recommendation: Secondary Schools Facility Planning and Feasibility


  1. Well, considering that the school district specifically said that any plan which would require significant redistricting would have to affect all areas, this proposal misses the mark entirely. It is pretty selfish to ask other areas of DeKalb county to bear the entire burden of student moves while the Dunwoody cluster remains unaffected. This proposal seems to be based entirely on assuaging fears of Hightower, Chesnut, and Kingsley parents at the cost of other students in the district and in the cluster.

    The common areas of PCMS and DHS were simply not meant to handle this many students. Kids at PCMS already have to go to lunch as early as 10:45 and as late as after 1:00 because the cafeteria can't handle the number of students. And computer labs are always booked. There are many other examples. You can add class rooms, but you can't fully mitigate the effects handling many more students than a school was initially designed to handle. Option A is clearly superior to Option B (as modified or not) for the students who would actually attend PCMS and DHS and for other students in the county who wouldn't have to bear the burden of moving. And what happens if we wend up with Option B without the modification???

  2. Oh, my dare the desires of the Chesnut, Kingsley, and Hightower communities be taken into consideration. I know, and you know, what Option A is all about....

  3. My point is the desires of the entire cluster and the county be taken into account, and how the schools will function need to be taken into account. The DHS proposal was clearly driven by only a few schools not wanting to be districted to a new high school and not the rest of the cluster or county or how the schools will function for ALL of the students. It is selfish and hypocritical to expect everyone else to have split feeders and Dunwoody to not--that is selfish and a non-starter with the county.

  4. There is some subtext missing here about the elementary schools in question being redistricted... Did I miss the memo?

  5. Dr. Green requested recommendation from the HS and MS of each cluster. Several elementary schools took the time to discuss and address the recommendations hoping they would be a part of the over-all discussion at the HS/MS level. Option A creates an entirely new school cluster, drawing about 600 students from DHS and 500 students from PCMS to a new Sequoyah HS. On the surface that sounds acceptable. However, this plan also assumes no split feeders, so potentially students (many City of Dunwoody citizens) that now feed into Hightower, Chesnut and Kingsley would be zoned into the Sequoyah HS cluster. The redistricting lines will not be made public until a year prior to the opening of the new HS - this is a big unknown for those elementary school communities. Option A also appears to provide ZERO ESPLOST dollars to the Dunwoody cluster. I do believe the school system erred in not allowing elementary school councils to have an official recommendation. These changes are more likely to affect the elementary students/families than the current high school students/parents – just my 2 cents.

    To my thoughts: When I first reviewed the Options, I did believe Option A might be the best for our community. However, as I read and received feedback, I realized this option creates a totally segregated school cluster. I don’t believe this is the right decision for the students involved, nor for the school system as a whole.

  6. Hightower students get cheated as soon as they leave elem school. The Feds set up Title 1 schools/funding to insure extra funding to help them get a quality education. PCMS and DHS do not qualify as Title 1 so they do not receive the Federal funding these kids need. The end result is a high drop out rate for the Hispanic (Hightower) student body. You claim to care, but offer no solutions except to zone them to the same school as your kid, believing you have done a good deed. Reality is the opposite

    Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.

  7. It seems as if some of these council people want to keep Hispanic Hightower in Dunwoody, where they will continue to me a minority, as opposed to creating a majority Hispanic high school. But it's not okay for white kids from Dunwoody to be a minority at a new Hispanic high school? If it is okay for Hispanics to travel to a school where they will be minorities, why is it not okay for white to travel to a school where they will be a minority. Asking for a friend :)

  8. Q. from an observer in Chamblee who serves on the Huntley Hills School Council & who has read too many variations of various cluster Recommendations, Statements of Principles (or in some cases whine letters) than I care to admit, and tried to contribute at least a little input/comment on Chamblee's paper (which I’m not particularly thrilled with), I ask . . .

    Have the Dunwoody people, who have put their own efforts into crafting this, and posted in many other places for public comment/debate - put any thought into how repeatedly bringing up the issue of "parking" at DHS comes across to the "outside" world?


    BTW DUNWOODY MOM - I appreciate your comments regarding the lack of true & direct input from the ES level. Our HHES Council has done what we can to provide input to the Chamblee HS & MS paper, and many of us now have younger & older kids at 2, if not all 3, schools. But you are right, those most impacted will be those in ES whose kids will age into the resulting schools.
    Anyway, after all these years nice to see your name, I just have no time to be posting all the time in the various venues online. Probably not good for my blood pressure either.

    Bill Armstrong
    AKA "Chamblee Dad"

  9. First of all, I'm never a fan of anonymously posting. I feel if you have something to say, be open and honest about it. So, I'll make sure my name is clear here. My name is Erika Harris. I am a Kingsley parent, a Dunwoody resident, and an educator with experience in highly entitled to Title One schools. I've taught in and lived in both.

    I would encourage some of the previous posters to read the following articles that specifically address the benefit of socio-economically diverse vs. social-economically segregated schools (AKA Title One schools.)

    The evidence says, with overwhelming support, that socio-economically diverse schools offer tangible and intangible benefits that far exceed the opportunity of schooling in a predominantly Title One (severely economically disadvantaged) school. For ALL of the kids.

    If, as a poster above assumes, that the benefits of Title One status far outweigh the benefits of an integrated school, then why aren't affluent parents flocking to Title One schools (as individuals) to benefit from the extra funding?

    Because money isn't everything. Because you already (maybe without knowing it) are realizing the benefits of being in a school that is not housing a majority socio-economically disadvantaged population.

    If you asked a socio-economically disadvantaged student's parent if they would rather attend one of Dunwoody's schools, from elementary through HS, over a Title One HS, they would ten times next to Sunday pick a Dunwoody school. How do I know this? Easy. I've asked my Title One parents at my school. They are happy to pay higher rent in Dunwoody to afford their children the opportunity to attend PCMS and DHS over other neighboring options.

    So, while I appreciate the consideration being offered to segregate the Title One population because it is "best for them", I just have to disagree.

  10. Hi Bill. I did have the opportunity to review the HHES position paper. It was obvious, to me, that much research and discussion went into HHES’ position. It was also obvious to me that the greater CCHS community would reject the HHES position. The position adhered to the core principles that DCSD defined for the process: Cost, Distance, DIVERSITY, Community. It was a position paper that could have been a conversation “starter” for the entire CCHS cluster. I am disappointed that the HHES, and other elementary schools, had little voice in this process.

    Paula Caldarella

    P.S. You rock Erika!!!

  11. I find it ironic that Dunwoody is being criticized for recommendations that keep a very diverse cluster together, rather than recommending an option that would, potentially, make the cluster less diverse. What a world....