Plans to redistrict DeKalb County’s schools could have broad implications on which students in north DeKalb County attend which schools – particularly elementary school students.
Under one option that was presented to the DeKalb County Board of Education Jan. 3, a plan to centralize magnet schools across the county would redraw attendance lines for five elementary schools that serve families who live in the Dunwoody and Brookhaven areas.
The centralized plan would move the magnet programs from both Chamblee High School and Chamblee Middle School to Avondale middle and high schools.
A key part of that plan sends the Kittredge Elementary School magnet program, located at 1663 E. Nancy Creek Dr., to Avondale Middle School. Kittredge would be “repurposed” under the option and become a neighborhood school that would draw elementary school students from the Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Chamblee areas.
The footprint for a reconfigured Kittredge Elementary School cuts a a broad swath extending north to I-285 and extending south to both sides of Chamblee-Tucker Road between Montgomery and Huntley Hills elementary schools.
The school, which currently houses only the magnet program, would draw from Chesnut, Montgomery, Huntley Hills, Ashford Park and Cary Reynolds elementary schools.
The same centralized plan would redraw attendance lines across Dunwoody and Brookhaven.
Dunwoody Elementary School would draw from students currently attending Chesnut Elementary School in a pocket that is north and south of Peeler Road. The school would also pull students from Vanderlyn Elementary School in an area south of Mount Vernon Road. Dunwoody Elementary would also gain students from Austin Elementary School in an area south of Mount Vernon Road.
Vanderlyn Elementary School would pick up students that are in the footprint for Austin Elementary School in a residential pocket north of Mt. Vernon Road.
Austin Elementary School would pull students Vanderlyn in an area between Dunwoody Club Drive and Mt. Vernon Drive.
Meanwhile, Montgomery Elementary School would siphon students from Austin Elementary School in an area north of I-285 and east and west of Ashford-Dunwoody Road. The change would also pull students from Ashford Park Elementary School east and west of Peachtree Road.
Ashford Park Elementary School would shrink its footprint by losing students who live in a pocket west of Peachtree Road to Montgomery, losing students located in a pocket south of Dresden Drive to Woodward Elementary School and losing students to the newly configured Kittredge Elementary School at areas north and south of Peachtree Road.
Kingsley Elementary School would gain students from a pocket between Happy Hollow and North Peachtree roads.
Hightower Elementary School, meanwhile, would lose some students to Chesnut in a pocket north of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.
Under the “centralized” option, Chamblee High School and Chamblee Middle School would lose their magnet programs to Avondale high and middle schools.
The loss of the magnets would draw some students to Chamblee high and middle schools currently in the footprint of Dunwoody High School, Cross Keys High School and Peachtree Middle School.
The redistricting proposal, which was executed by the consultant group MGT is moving along a speedy timeline. Public hearings are scheduled across the district, including one at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at Chamblee High School.
Ramona Tyson, interim superintendent, is scheduled to make her final recommendation on redistriciting to the school board Jan. 31.
Meanwhile, a “decentralized” option put before the board would have a much more minimal impact on attendance boundaries. The option would keep the magnet at Kittredge, but it would affect attendance lines at Dunwoody, Chesnut, Kingsley, and Vanderlyn elementary schools.
The decentralized option would keep the current footprints intact for Chamblee high and middle schools.