In 2020, the Dekalb County School District will open the new “Doraville United” elementary school. This new facility is meant to serve as a pressure valve for the district, and will hopefully lead to less crowded class rooms for elementary school students throughout North Dekalb.
The addition of a new school does require that attendance zones be revised – always a controversial thing. I applaud the school system for working to relieve overcrowding, however I do have some concerns about the last plan that was shared with the community.
My first concern is that the plan splits the Northwoods neighborhood into two attendance zones. About two thirds of the neighborhood have been put into the Doraville United school district and another third has been left in the Cary Reynolds attendance zone:
My worry is that splitting the neighborhood into different attendance zones could have negative consequences for the long-term cohesiveness of the community.
I’m also concerned about how families in Winters Chapel Hill and the Cornerstone apartments will be affected by the new attendance zones. These neighborhoods are currently districted to go to Dunwoody High School, and I believe the promise right now is to redistrict them into Doraville United for elementary school, and then move them back to the Dunwoody cluster after elementary school. I hope the school district honors their promise, and does not short change the families that live in these neighborhoods.
Finally, the Cornerstone Apartment and Jasmine Apartment communities have been split into different school zones – with Cornerstone being placed in the Doraville United attendance zone, and Jasmine remaining in the Hightower attendance zone. There are a lot of families who frequently move back and forth between these apartment communities, and some thought should be made for how children will be affected if they keep bouncing back and forth between elementary schools, even if they actually moved just a few yards down the street.
Again, I applaud Dekalb Schools for working to relieve overcrowding, but hope that they take the issues mentioned above into consideration while developing their final plan.
While the surveys to give feedback about this plan are no longer open, you can still provide feedback to the Superintendent of schools, as well as our local school board members.