The bottom line is that from a personal perspective -- as a parent of a current Oakcliff student, member of the Oakcliff PTA, and friend to many other Oakcliff parents and students -- I don’t want to see any changes to Oakcliff. Dr. Paschall and her staff and teachers do an excellent job, and the school district should do everything they can to retain, empower, and promote them. But if Oakcliff enrollment is projected to decline significantly, evaluating the options becomes much harder given the big-picture goal of reducing overcrowding for as many students as possible.
Charter schools cannot be viewed as the ultimate solution to problems with the local schools. Now, before you think that this is just another charter-school bashing article, I want to say that I serve on the board of PATH Academy (a DeKalb charter school with a lottery and a separate governing board) and I send my daughter to a DeKalb theme school (a public school with a lottery yet without a separate governing board).
The 2014-2015 numbers for FTE (full-time enrollment) were just over 730 students (with capacity for approximately 760). There is also plenty of room to place a couple quads (4-8 temporary classrooms with a hallway and restroom facilities) on the grounds in order to accommodate this expanded enrollment -- without taking away from the community garden or the school basketball courts.
First and foremost, in August 2016, send students in the Cross Keys cluster to Chamblee Charter HS to fill the roughly 300 empty seats available there because this makes the most efficient use of space in existing buildings. If you sent students who were incoming freshman, you could minimize disruption to student and family lives.