Friday, April 28, 2017

Dunwoody Reporter: "In Dunwoody, trailers trigger high school drama"

A good, very thorough article by Dyana Bagby.  This article provides more in-depth information about Nancy Jester's "war" on Dunwoody.  A small excerpt:

"The days before that April 8 Facebook post on DHS trailers, Jester and state Sen. Josh McKoon, a Republican attorney from Columbus who has led the controversial “religious freedom” fight in the General Assembly, hoped to meet with the City Council in a closed-door executive discussion. The reason? To discuss the city being a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the state over independent school districts."

In Dunwoody, trailers trigger high school drama

The number of trailers located at Dunwoody cluster schools for 2016-2017 school year:
Trailers have been a part of life in Dunwoody schools for decades.  For some  reason Jester is only “riled up” about the trailers at Dunwoody HS now, at this point in time.  Hmmm, what could that reason be?  

Number of Trailers
Austin Elementary
Chesnut Elementary
Dunwoody Elementary
Hightower Elementary
**school located in Doraville; part of Dunwoody Cluster **
Kingsley Elementary
Vanderlyn Elementary
Peachtree Charter Middle School
Dunwoody High School

Friday, April 21, 2017

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:

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: