Coyote Project

With the increase in coyote activity in our area, the Lindmoor Woods Civic Association, in partnership with the Atlanta Coyote Project will be hosting a community education session. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

flyer:

Living With Urban Coyotes
February 11 at 7pm
Christopher Hall
Rehoboth Presybyterian
2729 Lawrenceville Highway
Decatur, GA 30033


We have been seeing increased coyote activity in our community. How do we coexist with our
newest neighbors? Please the Lindmoor Woods Civic Association, in partnership with the
Atlanta Coyote Project to learn about coyote behavior, and learn strategies about how to
protect yourself, your family and your pets.

Fernbank Elementary School PTA: Message Regarding Redistricting

The PTA and School Council are in agreement that the current proposed redistricting options are very disruptive to Briar Vista and also do not do enough to address the extreme overcrowding in the Cross Keys cluster. There is not a current proposed option which we support. Superintendent Green is open to considering alternate options. As the impact is greatest to Briar Vista, their PTO has taken the lead on crafting an alternate recommendation which would meet the current and future needs of each of our school communities. This plan would not disrupt the growing Montessori program at Briar Vista and also maintains the availability of IB choice seats at Fernbank. We will provide details as soon as we have them.
 
We would like to invite our parents for coffee on Tuesday, January 26th at 8:00 am in the cafeteria to further discuss and answer any questions.
 
Our parents and community need to be sensitive and empathetic toward the conditions the children in the Cross Keys cluster are facing and the detriment overcrowding has placed on their elementary school experience. We are thankful to be back in our neighborhood in our new, state of the art building. We have capacity in our building and we welcome sharing the Fernbank experience with more students in the future.
 
Additional information and the details of the current proposed options can be found on the county website: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/redistricting/
 

Cross Keys Redistricting Meeting Summary

CHCA:

Cross Keys Redistricting Meeting Summary

The DeKalb County School District held a public meeting at Druid Hills High School on January 19, 2016, to discuss three redistricting options meant to alleviate over-crowding in the Cross Keys Cluster schools.[1]  Details for each of the three options and handouts provided at the presentation can be found at the following site:

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/redistricting/.

Clairmont Heights Civic Association (CHCA) board members attended because Elementary Options 1 and 2 both impact our neighborhood’s elementary school, Fernbank ES, and Briar Vista ES (another member of our neighborhood’s high school feeder cluster). Option 3 proposes no changes that affect our area. Neither of the High School Options would impact our neighborhood directly. Planning Department staff will consider public input from this meeting as well as from the online comment form and present their proposed best solution on February 11, 2016, at Cross Keys High School. The Superintendent will present his best solution for school board approval on March 7, 2016.

Elementary Options 1 and 2 involve moving 364 students from Briar Vista ES (excluding students who are currently part of the Montessori Program or Regional Special Education Program) to Fernbank ES in order to make room at the Briar Vista ES building for Cross Keys Cluster elementary students.  These measures are said to be a temporary solution to reduce the number of portables currently being used in Cross Keys Cluster schools while a long-term solution is sought.

IMPORTANT: There is an online comment/question form on the DCSD Redistricting website at http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/redistricting/ that any neighborhood resident can use  to submit comments or questions until January 26, 2016, at 11:59pm.  If you have an opinion about these proposed plans, the time to offer it is now.

Once the presentation of the redistricting options was complete, meeting attendees divided into small group breakout sessions to discuss the pros and cons of each option presented and to suggest additional options for Dekalb County School District consideration.  CHCA had representatives in four of the eight small group discussions. Most attendees were Briar Vista ES parents (especially from the Montessori Program), followed by Fernbank ES parents.  There were only a few Cross Keys Cluster teachers/parents in some groups, and none in others.  Participants spent most of the time discussing Elementary Options 1 and 2, and most attendees were not in favor of these options. The following are some of the opinions of the attendees:

  • Most of the discussions revolved around how disruptive the redistricting plans are without significantly addressing overcrowding in Cross Keys Cluster schools.
  • Disruption to Briar Vista Elementary School: The Briar Vista parents in attendance were concerned about the health/viability/funding of the Montessori program, in particular, and the continued quality of the school as a whole under Elementary Options 1 and 2. The quality of Briar Vista ES has been on an increasing trajectory in the past few years and there is perceived momentum toward improvement.  Separating the students who attend the Montessori Program from those in the traditional track may have the effect of disrupting this progress and dismantling the Montessori Program all together in their opinion.  The parents are worried that with the neighborhood kids vanishing the program will lose bodies, community integration, and possibly funding. DCSC staff present at the meeting confirmed that Montessori students residing within the current Briar Vista ES attendance zone would not continue to receive county-provided transportation to Briar Vista, since Options 1 and 2 would remove them from the attendance zone. Briar Vista parents in one group expressed that, while the new Fernbank facility is very nice, they feel that their children get better instruction at Briar Vista.
  • Disruption to Briar Vista Area Property Owners: Parents in one group thought that Elementary Options 1 and 2 would be destabilizing to Briar Vista area property owners due to the “temporariness” of the situation, which may affect their sense of community & property values.
  • Temporary vs. Permanent Measures: There were questions about the expected duration of these temporary measures, and there was concern that these redistricting measures would last longer than the short term. Most attendees in one group expressed a concern that short-term solutions should be avoided, especially if they had a large impact on middle and high school options later.
  • High Traffic Volume/Safety: Traffic through the Emory Clifton corridor is very difficult and will get worse as CDC adds additional parking (already planned). The difficulty of traversing this area could create a safety hazard for students, parents, and emergency personnel who need to move through the corridor.
  • Travel Time/Distance Cumbersome: The district should minimize the travel time for students in Cross Keys area elementary schools.
  • Impact on School Choice Students: Some Fernbank ES parents in attendance expressed their opinion that they welcomed Briar Vista kids into Fernbank ES, but not at the expense of School Choice kids.
  • Questions About School Capacity: Questions were raised in one group about whether the forecasted student attendance numbers were accurate for Fernbank ES. In particular, do the forecasted numbers take into account possible increased attendance at Fernbank ES as students within our attendance return to the school now that construction is complete? Do they take into account expected increases due to development in the area?

 

Option 3 (utilizing the former International Student Center facility only for alleviating over-crowding) was preferred among the options given in the four groups that were attended by CH residents.

 

Other Options suggested by members of the public:

  • Open the former Briarcliff High School (located on N. Druid Hills Rd. across from Target) using SPLOST 4 funds to renovate the facility appropriately, in addition to utilizing the former International Student Center facility. 
  • Consider moving the Regional Special Education Program to Fernbank ES to free up 3 additional classrooms at Briar Vista ES for Cross Keys cluster elementary students.  The Fernbank ES building has the advantage of being ADA compliant, whereas Briar Vista ES is not. This would move 21 special education students to Fernbank ES, but open 3 classrooms at Briar Vista ES.
  • Consider using schools in the Chamblee (Ashford Park ES, Hightower ES, and Huntley Hills ES) and Lakeside (Sagamore ES, Oak Grove ES, Hawthorne ES, Henderson Mills ES and Pleasantdale ES) Clusters, which are closer in proximity to the overcrowded schools.
  • Do no temporary measures and focus instead on permanent plans.
  • Build new schools in the Cross Keys Cluster.
  • Expand School Choice seats at Fernbank ES.

 

The next scheduled meeting is February 11, 2016, 6 pm, at Cross Keys High School where DCSD staff will present their recommended plan.



[1] A separate meeting was held at Sequoya Middle School on Jan. 14, 2016 for the same purpose.  The following summary does not include opinions expressed in that meeting.

 

(this content also available in attached Word document)

 

 

Spreadsheet of 2015 enrollment/capacity

Attached is a spreadsheet for the schools affected by the Cross Keys Redistricting plan. Also included is the same data on other surrounding schools that are not part of the plan options under consideration.

DeKalb Schools Cross Keys Cluster redistricting presentation, maps released

The Brookhaven Post:

On Thursday, DeKalb County Schools released a presentation and maps for the first round of scheduled community meetings to discuss redistricting options for the Cross Keys Cluster.

full article/ maps:

http://brookhavenpost.co/dekalb-schools-cross-keys-cluster-redistricting-presentation-maps-released/36673/

 

Ira B. Melton/ Mason Mill Park path

Commissioner Rader:

Greetings: Work will soon begin on the path linking Ira B. Melton to Mason Mill Park.  You may have already noticed the stakes for the portion that Ed Castro Landscapes will be improving.  Please note, this passage will be cleared with construction fencing to a wider width of about 10 to 14 feet just to allow for materials to be brought to the creek’s crossing.  Once complete, the path will only be 6 feet wide.  Additionally, the path will be constructed of a pervious composite material to ensure that the sediments in the flood plain don’t become mucky, making the trail impassible.  Also of note are three sections of the trail which will be improved with wooden crossings of drainage swales, again to prevent degradation of the forest floor.  We hope you enjoy these improvements. 

See you out on the trail!

 

Cross Keys Cluster Redistricting Plan

CHCA Board Member Kara Rozell:

DeKalb County School District is holding several up-coming meetings to discuss the Cross Keys Cluster Redistricting Plan.  Information about the proposed plan options are posted here: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/redistricting/.  

All the schools in the Cross Keys Cluster are significantly over-crowded. DCSC is looking to build a more permanent solution, but needs a temporary solution for the immediate future (starting Fall 2016).  

There are 3 options for redistricting the elementary schools and Options I & II impact Fernbank Elementary School directly.  Both of these options move all Briar Vista ES students not in the Montessori or Special Education programs at that school to Fernbank ES (364 students) to make room for Cross Keys cluster elementary students to move to the Briar Vista ES facility.  Option III utilizes the former International Student Center (on N. Druid Hills Rd. near Target) to relieve over-crowding and does not impact Fernbank ES or Briar Vista ES directly.

The Cross Keys High School will also under-go redistricting, but the current plan does not impact the Druid Hills Cluster schools. The three meetings are structured as follows:

 

- Round I (Jan. 14 & Jan. 19): Presentation of the Plans and Small-Group Discussions of each option [NOTE: the Jan. 19th mtg is being held at DHHS at6pm]
 
- Round II (Feb. 11): Presentation of DCSC Staff Recommendations [at Cross Keys HS, 6pm]
 
- School Board Mtg (March 7): Presentation of Superintendent Recommendations & vote
 
Please try to attend the Jan. 19th mtg at DHHS and share your opinion about the options presented.  Please keep in mind that the DCSC will only consider input related to the criteria established for the redistricting process (which can be found within the agenda and handouts posted on the above website). Input that relates to this criteria will have the most sway.
 
 

Data about enrollment/capacity related to the Cross Keys Redistricting Issue

Data about enrollment/capacity related to the Cross Keys Redistricting Issue

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/planning/

 

Dekalb County School District Redistricting Community Mtgs

Dekalb County School District Redistricting Community Mtgs

Upcoming public meetings regarding Cross Keys attendance area overcrowding and DCSD's response. It's understood these meetings are progressive; if you would like to participate/ offer input, the first two meetings would be the forum.
--------------------------
News Release:
The DeKalb County School District will be holding three (3) public meetings to present redistricting options to address overcrowding in the Cross Keys Cluster.
The community will have an opportunity to voice their comments on the proposed options at these meetings.
The affected schools include Briar Vista ES, Cary Reynolds ES, Chamblee HS, Cross Keys HS, Dresden ES, Fernbank ES, Montclair ES, Warren Tech, and Woodward ES.
Final recommendations on redistricting will be presented for approval at the March 2016 Board Meeting.

Meetings will be held:
1. Thursday, January 14th 2016, 6:00 pm at Sequoyah Middle School – 3456 Aztec Road Doraville, GA 30340
2. Tuesday, January 19th 2016, 6:00 pm at Druid Hills High School – 1798 Haygood Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
3. Thursday, February 11th 2016, 6:00 pm at Cross Keys High School – 1626 N. Druid Hills Road NE Atlanta, GA 30319

 

Suburban Plaza update: LA Fitness open, Starbucks construction begins

Decaturish: A week and a half after Walmart opened in Suburban Plaza, a second new business is open.

LA Fitness Decatur opened Friday, November 20. An employee who answered the phone at LA Fitness confirmed the opening and said the gym will even be open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The employee said no group classes were scheduled yet, but said to keep checking online.

http://www.decaturish.com/2015/11/suburban-plaza-update-la-fitness-open-starbucks-construction-begins/

Commissioner Gannon Newsletter

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Holiday Sanitation Schedule

  • Thursday, Nov. 26 - Thanksgiving Day observed; no sanitation collection service
  • Friday, Nov. 27 - Residential customers whose regularly scheduled collection day is Thursday, Nov. 26 will be serviced on Friday, Nov. 27

All Sanitation Division administrative offices, including customer service, will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 27.

full newsletter

http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=ef5c6991fe780fc647f49a76d&id=04e2cb34f5&e=8e7bc83eb6

 

CHCA Zoning and Planning Presentation

attached: Jim Smith's power point presentation for Nov. 18 CHCA Community Mtg

Civil War Walking Tours at the DeKalb History Center

Civil War Walking Tours at the DeKalb History Center
 
Have you ever wanted to know more about the effects of the war on the citizens of this area? Experience the war through the eyes of the people who lived through the battle, the siege of Atlanta, and the surrender and occupation. This one-hour tour includes an exhibit at the DeKalb History Center and a walk in downtown Decatur.
Meet in lobby at Historic Courthouse in Decatur (101 East Court Square)
Friday November 13 at 3 p.m.
 

"It is time to issue a Call for BLUEPRINT II"

Commissioner Gannon:

Nov. 5, 2015

Dear Friends,

It is time to issue a Call for BLUEPRINT II.

Almost two years ago, DeKalb County citizens from neighborhoods all across the county came together and began a process to redefine our County government.  We called it a Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb. With Tuesday’s election and the success of the ethics reform ballot measure, DeKalb can look back on those two years of work and see how much has been accomplished. Together, we have brought about three key reforms.
[FULL LETTER]

Commissioner Gannon: Fall Newsletter and Your Vote Is Needed NOVEMBER 3

Important Countywide Referendum on Ethics!!!
Everyone Get Out and Vote!
Tuesday, November 3

DeKalb County audit oversight committee info

via Civic Association Network:

10/27/15

DeKalb County audit oversight committee

The DeKalb Board of Commissioners today voted to put Belinda Pedroso

and Harold Smith Jr. on the five-member audit oversight committee
created under House Bill 599.

Smith, a retired internal auditor at the Georgia Department of Labor,
was approved for a four-year term.

Pedroso, president of the DeKalb Section of the National Council of
Negro Women, was approved for a one-year term. She currently serves as
a trustee of the DeKalb library system.

Other committee members will be appointed (one each) by the county's
CEO, the chair of the DeKalb County House delegation and the chair of
the DeKalb County Senate delegation.

"DeKalb Special Newsletter"

Interim CEO Lee May - "Up Close and Personal Townhall Meetings"  [MORE INFO]

Commissioner Rader: BOC Agenda Summary from 10/27/15 & other news

BOC Agenda Summary
To view the summary, [CLICK HERE]

*The next BOC Meeting is November 10th.

REMINDERS! 
*Daylight Savings is this weekend.  Change your clocks back before you go to bed Saturday night.

*Don't forget to vote on November 3rd.


Have a very safe Halloween weekend!

Jeff Rader
On Twitter @raderjeff

DeKalb Ethics Reform: vote on November 3!

MANA: On November 3, DeKalb voters will have the opportunity to vastly strengthen the code of ethics that governs county operations. And you would never guess it by the rather bland wording on the ballot.

[MORE INFO]

 

 

 

 

Commissioner Gannon: Fall Newsletter and Your Vote Is Needed NOVEMBER 3

Commissioner Gannon: Fall Newsletter and Your Vote Is Needed NOVEMBER 3

Important Countywide Referendum on Ethics!!!
Everyone Get Out and Vote!
Tuesday, November 3
Municipal Elections


DeKalb voters have the opportunity to approve sweeping improvements to the ethics laws affecting County officials and employees as first advocated by Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb and supported by the County Operations Task Force. To implement the law, voters in DeKalb must approve the changes by voter referendum. You helped get this law passed by the General Assembly. Now all of DeKalb County needs to go to the polls to continue the march toward reforming DeKalb.  

Ballot Question: “( ) YES ( ) NO

Shall the Act be approved which revises the Board of Ethics for DeKalb County?” 

You can help implement it by voting YES on November 3rd.

The new legislation will:

  • Create an independent Board of Ethics. No longer will the Board of Ethics be appointed by the CEO and Board of Commissioners.
  • In addition to elected officials, all County employees, appointed officials and contractors must comply with the ethics standards.
  • The Ethics Board will hire an Ethics Officer to make certain all County officials and employees are aware of the standards. This ethics officer will monitor a hotline and report alleged ethical violations to the Board of Ethics.
  • The Board of Ethics has the power to fine, refer for prosecution and reprimand.

[FULL NEWSLETTER HERE]

 

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