DeKalb Schools has announced the redistricting public meetings for the following elementary schools: Austin, Doraville United (fka Cross Keys North), and Pleasantdale. With the Austin redistricting likely to receive a lot of attention from Dunwoody residents, I plan to focus on the Dorville United and Pleasantdale redistricting efforts as they more directly affect my community in Doraville where I am running for city council, where my child goes to school (currently Oakcliff) and the surrounding areas in Chamblee and Unincorporated DeKalb. 

With Doraville United being a completely new elementary school, this redistricting is very likely to affect Dresden and Cary Reynolds at a minimum. Given that Oakcliff Traditional Theme School currently draws students from Dresden, Cary Reynolds, and Pleasantdale, it may be affected as well. The bottom line is that if you are in these schools’ attendance districts or any neighboring elementary school’s attendance area, you should be paying attention to ensure your voice is heard. 

DeKalb Schools website on this redistricting can be found here, and here is a screen shot of the Doraville United and Pleasantdale meetings:

school meetings.PNG

I am heading to these meetings with an open mind and a desire to see all options considered. These new schools are a step in the right direction in terms of relieving overcrowding and addressing poor facility conditions, but we also have to be mindful of the limited funds that DeKalb Schools has to work with and future growth at Assembly, Downtown Doraville, Downtown Chamblee, and other infill and redevelopment projects. 

I look forward to seeing the trailers at Cary Reynolds removed, and while I’ve previously written about the need to rebuild Cary Reynolds, three new developments support repairing and renovating Cary Reynolds instead. 

  1. Budgets are tight, and the money for a rebuild is not in SPLOST V and is not in the package of improvements, even if DeKalb Schools goes with the full facilities GO bond package it has been considering. Click here for more info.

  2. The SPLOST V project list includes $5.635 million for the following at Cary Reynolds: “Major building system replacement with emphasis on Roof, HVAC, Site Improvements, Site Utilities; and Installation of security vestibule.” This should go a long way towards addressing the poor facility conditions.

  3. Working with a group of neighbors and community organizations, which we call the Cary Reynolds Community Support Team, we’ve recognized some unique historic, architectural, sustainability and equity opportunities that may help us raise further funds and awareness. We’ve applied for Cary Reynolds to be recognized by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Places in Peril. Here’s our application on this unique building designed by famed Atlanta architect John Portman. If recognized, we plan to use this recognition to raise further funds and awareness necessary to repair and renovate Cary Reynolds for the benefit of its students. 

While feedback from my neighbors and data will always play a dominant role in my views, I wanted to share with you all my current thoughts as we approach these important public meetings.