As part of its master plan to improve school facilities and alleviate overcrowding, the DeKalb County School District has released preliminary reports showing the “educational suitability” and facility conditions of schools throughout the district, including 12 that serve the Brookhaven community. 

The educational suitability reports indicated that many schools, such as Cross Keys High School, are overcrowded and have classrooms that aren’t suitably sized. Dresden Elementary School received one of the lowest educational suitability scores. 

The facility conditions reports indicated that most of the school’s are in “poor” or “below average” condition, and many need heating improvements and fire alarm replacement. 

A spokesperson for the school district said these reports are still a work in progress, and will not be finalized until late summer or early fall. 

The school district began working toward the creation of its “Comprehensive Master Plan” last August. The master plan is expected to provide the school district with a district-wide facilities plan through 2031. 

At a March 29 virtual public town hall, representatives from the architectural and consulting firms helping to formulate the master plan — Perkins&Will, Jacobs Engineering Group and Cropper GIS  —  presented the structure for the two main assessments used to grade schools. The Educational Suitability Assessment (ESA) and the Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) will be used to evaluate each school, and will be continuously revised based on feedback from the schools and principals, according to a spokesperson for the master plan. 

The school district has posted preliminary ESAs for each school in the district to its website. According to information from the March 29 meeting, the ESA evaluates program spaces in each school. Program spaces can refer to classrooms, office spaces, athletic spaces, media centers, cafeterias, and more. 

The ESA reports also evaluate aspects such as lighting, outdoor spaces, security and technology. Each school has received an ESA score, where a higher score on a scale up to 100 means the school performs better in terms of educational suitability. The ESA score is calculated in part by rating a number of different standards on a scale of one to five.

The FCA report evaluates the physical state of all facilities within the district, both to find deficiencies that need immediate attention and issues that might arise down the road. Each school has received an FCA score, where a higher score on a scale of up to 100 indicates better facilities. Deficiencies are ranked from 1 to 5, where a Priority 1 level would denote a “critical concern” and a Priority 5 would denote an enhancement that is largely aesthetic in nature. 

The current ESA reports and FCA reports are subject to revisions for the foreseeable future, but a snapshot of what those reports for 12 schools that serve the Brookhaven community looked like in early May can be found below. 

Noel Maloof, the deputy chief operations officer for the DeKalb County School District, said during the town hall that the district aims to have the Comprehensive Master Plan finalized before November 2021, which is when the next special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) referendum will be on the ballot for a public vote. SPLOST, which finances capital projects in Georgia, is a main source of funding for the school district, and voted on by the public every five years. 

“If the referendum is passed at that time, we will take the Comprehensive Master Plan — which will be produced and published in its final form by that November 2021 referendum — and then come back and work on development of a project list that will hopefully be funded by the SPLOST VI funding,” Maloof said. 

Chamblee Charter High School 

Located at 3688 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Chamblee Charter High School received an early ESA score of 65.9. The high school was built in 2014 and serves 1,755 students. According to the data section of the master plan’s website, its ideal capacity would be 1,705 students. The high school has 87 classrooms in the main building, and four additional classrooms in four trailers on the property. 

The high school scored mediocre to low scores on some safety and security standards. In particular, the report noted there are not enough hallway security cameras to monitor students. The school also scored low on technology readiness standards, including a score of 1 out of 5 for AV systems in large spaces. According to the report, there is no AV system in the gym. 

The school scored a 5 out of 5 on the question of whether accessible restrooms were available to special education classrooms, but only a 3 out of 5 how appropriately those special education classrooms are set up. According to the report, the football and soccer practice field is undersized. 

Chamblee High received an early FCA score of 91.4. According to the report, that means the high school is in “good” condition. The money needed to fix current deficiencies at the site is estimated to be $163,685. 

The school has no Priority 1 deficiencies. Priority 2 concerns include a cracked sidewalk and exterior wall replacements. Priority 3 includes a broken roof hatch safety rail and interior door replacement. Priority 4 includes bleacher replacement and interior ceiling repainting, and Priority 5 includes floor repairments and interior wall repainting. 

Cross Keys High School

Cross Keys High School at 1626 North Druid Hills Road received an early ESA score of 54.1. The high school was built in 1958 and serves 1,699 students. According to the data section of the master plan’s website, its ideal capacity would be 1,271 students. The high school has 65 classrooms in the main building, and 27 additional classrooms in 12 trailers located across the property. 

The school scored fairly well on outdoor spaces and security standards, but low on technology readiness. On the question of if there are adequate charging stations available, the score received a 1 out of 5. According to the report, there is only one projector or smart board per classroom. 

The report stated that a majority of Cross Keys’ classrooms and science labs are smaller than they should be. The school scored a 1 out of 5 on every single special education standard. The school also scored low on fine arts standards, and does not have a choir space, dance space, orchestra space, or theater, according to the report. 

Cross Keys High School’s FCA report has not yet been released at the time of publication. 

Kittredge Magnet School

Kittredge Magnet School at 2383 North Druid Hills Road received an early ESA score of 60.1 The high school was built in 1958 and serves 478 students. According to the data section of the master plan’s website, its ideal capacity would be 408 students. The magnet school has 26 classrooms in the main building, and eight additional classrooms in two trailers on the property. 

The magnet school received scores of 2 and 3 on all security standards. According to the report, the cafeteria and media center are located centrally in the school, and could not be secured for functions at night without opening the rest of the school. 

The school scored well on most questions of whether classrooms and other learning spaces were appropriately sized, but received scores of 1 out of 5 on every single special education standard. 

Kittredge Magnet received an early FCA score of 61.4. According to the report, this means the school is in “poor” condition. The money needed to fix current deficiencies at the site is estimated to be $3,561,509.

The only Priority 1 concern is “emergency exit signage,” which the report says needs to be replaced. Priority 2 deficiencies include gutter joint repair, window and roofing replacement, boiler replacement and electrical transformer replacement. Priority 3 includes repainting bricks, while Priority 4 includes carpet replacement. Priority 5 includes duct cleaning and removing abandoned equipment. 

Chamblee Middle School 

Located at 3601 Sexton Woods Drive, Chamblee Middle School received an early ESA score of 62.1. The middle school was built in 2006 and serves 1,000 students. The school has 62 classrooms in the main building and no trailers on the property. 

The school scored low on standards involving technology, particularly on the question of whether there is adequate AV equipment for large, presentation spaces. According to the report, there is no AV system in the gym. Many classrooms and science spaces are undersized, and according to one comment, some teachers have been bringing in their own shelves to create more storage space. Many of the special education classrooms are smaller than required, and the school received a 1 out of 5 on the question of whether accessible bathrooms are readily available to special education students. 

Chamblee Middle received an early FCA score of 73.4. According to the report, this means the school is in “below average” condition. The funds needed to fix the site’s current deficiencies are estimated to be $2,566,538. 

Priority 1 includes replacing fire alarm panels and the fire alarms themselves, while Priority 2 includes various types of roof replacement. Priority 3 includes repairing potholes towards the front of the school’s driveway and cleaning the roof drain. Priority 4 includes installing a new roof access hatch, and Priority 5 includes some wall painting and removing old equipment. 

Ashford Park Elementary 

Located at 2968 Cravenridge Drive, Ashford Park Elementary received an early ESA score of 56.6. The elementary school was built in 1955 and serves 718 students. According to the data section of the master plan’s website, its ideal capacity would be 480 students. The school has 30 classrooms in the main building, and 14 additional classrooms in 15 trailers located on the property. 

The school scored low on the standard of storage space for student records. According to the report, records are located in various storage areas throughout the school. The report also states there are no AV systems in the cafeteria, the gym, or any other large presentation space. 

According to the report, windows and natural lighting in classroom spaces is very good. However, first grade classrooms were found to be too small. Fourth and fifth grade classrooms were located in trailers. Just the second and third grade classrooms were found to be sufficiently sized. The school received scores of 1 and 2 for all special education standards. Both the music and the art rooms are located in trailers. 

Ashford Park received an early FCA score of 55.2. According to the report, that means the school facilities are in “poor” condition. The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $5,255,233. 

Priority 1 concerns are replacing emergency exit signs, fire alarms, and wall pack lighting. Priority 2 concerns include gutter joint repair, water heater replacement and electrical unit heater replacement. Priority 3 includes fixing concrete sidewalks and installing an ADA-compliant ramp. Priority 4 includes some painting and flooring replacement, and Priority 5 includes trimming overgrown trees.

Montgomery Elementary School

Montgomery Elementary School at 3995 Ashford-Dunwoody Road received an early ESA score of 54.5. The school was built in 1963 and serves 707 students. According to the data section of the master plan’s website, its ideal capacity would be 600 students. The elementary school has 38 classrooms in its main building, and nine additional classrooms in nine trailers located on the property. 

The school scored well on most technology standards, but according to the report does not have AV systems for large presentation spaces. 

The school received scores of 1 and 2 on all standards relating to special education. According to the report, both special education classrooms were undersized and did not provide access to restrooms. The art and band classes are both located in trailers. 

Montgomery Elementary received an early FCA score of 75.8. According to the report, that means the school is in “below average” condition. The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $2,362,315.

The school’s Priority 1 concerns are replacing emergency exit signs and wall pack lighting. Priority 2 issues include gutter joint repair and electrical transformer replacement. Priority 3 includes removing debris from gutters and repainting exterior metal doors. Priority 4 includes painting the interior ceiling, and Priority 5 includes tree trimming.

John Lewis Elementary School

John Lewis Elementary School at 2630 Skyland Drive received an early ESA score of 76.4. The school was built in 2017 and serves 893 students. There are 61 classrooms in the main building and no trailers located on the property.

The school received mostly scores of 4 and 5 on all standards related to security, outdoor spaces, and non-instructional spaces. The school also scored well on the question of whether classrooms were appropriately sized, but kindergarten and pre-k classrooms were found to be too small. The school received scores of 4 and 5 on all standards relating to special education. 

John Lewis Elementary received an early FCA score of 99.7. According to the report, this means the school is in “good” condition. The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $106,571.

The school has no Priority 1 deficiencies. Priority 2 concerns are a cracked sidewalk that needs fixing and repairs to an elevator. Priority 3 includes removing gutter debris and repairing exterior brick. Priority 4 includes roof cleaning, and the only Priority 5 concern is cleaning up outside around some of the school’s entrances. 

Briar Vista Elementary School

Located at 1131 Briar Vista Terrace, Briar Vista Elementary School received an early ESA score of 60.5. The school was built in 1955 and serves 394 students. There are 33 classrooms in the main building and no trailers located on the property. 

The school scored low on the question of adequate storage space for student records. According to the report, some records were found in rooms that were unlocked. The school also scored low on the question of whether the thermostat can be controlled in individual classrooms. The report stated that the temperature is controlled by the county system. 

The report stated that a couple of classrooms are undersized, and the school received a score of 1 out of 5 on the question of whether there were accessible bathrooms readily available to special education classrooms. The report also stated that some special education classrooms were too small. 

Briar Vista Elementary received an early FCA score of 46.4. According to the report, this means the school is in “very poor” condition. The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $7,048,843. 

The only Priority 1 concern is replacing the school’s fire alarms. Priority 2 includes fixing a cracked sidewalk, replacing gas piping and replacing the boiler. Priority 3 includes fixing a curb ramp to make sure it’s up to ADA standards and installing an ADA ramp that goes down to play fields on campus. Priority 4 includes cleaning the roof and adding hand-rails to stairs that are ADA compliant. Priority 5 includes general exterior cleaning. 

Cary Reynolds Elementary School

Located at 3498 Pine Street, Cary Reynolds Elementary School received an early ESA score of 53.3. The elementary school was built in 1961 and serves 470 students. There are 39 classrooms in the main building and no trailers located on the property. 

According to the report, only the cafeteria has an AV system for large presentations, and the school has a major roach infestation problem in its kitchen. The report also stated that 80% of the blinds in learning spaces were “missing or broken.” 

On the question of whether special education classrooms were configured correctly, the school received a 3 out of 5. However, according to the report, the special education classrooms do not have toilets, changing areas, or speech therapy areas. 

The school received a 2 out of 5 on the standard of whether or not the food spaces were appropriately configured. According to the report, the kitchen is “way undersized” and there is no serving area.

Cary Reynolds received an early FCA score of 72.4. According to the report, this means the school facilities are in “below average” condition. The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $4,597,619. 

The school has no Priority 1 deficiencies and only four Priority 2 concerns, which include gutter joint repair and fixing cracked sidewalks. Priority 3 includes fixing accessible parking spots and a curb ramp to meet ADA requirements. Priority 4 includes replacing a basketball goal and fencing, and Priority 5 includes interior door repainting. 

Dresden Elementary School 

Dresden Elementary School at 2449 Dresden Drive received an early ESA score of 41.5. The school was built in 1963 and serves 583 students. The elementary school’s main building has 44 classrooms, and there are three additional classrooms in three trailers on the property. 

On the question of storage, the report states that Dresden Elementary has “an obvious storage issue.” According to the report, the school is currently using one of the science classrooms for storage. The school scored 1 out of 5 on every outdoor space standard. The report stated that the head custodian mentioned many campus cameras don’t work. 

On whether the school evokes a sense of “pride,” Dresden received a 1 out of 5. The report stated the school does not showcase trophies or have the school name on the wall, but does showcase “mildew odor and stains everywhere.”

According to the report, roaches were seen dead and alive all over the school. On the question of whether classrooms were appropriately sized and configured, the school received a 2 out of 5. According to the report, most classrooms are missing one or two ceiling tiles. There is no science room in the school, and the school is using regular rooms for special education classrooms. 

Dresden received an early FCA score of 56.8. According to the report, this means the school is in “poor” condition. The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $6,189,695. 

According to Priority 1 concerns, a fire alarm is missing in the school and other fire alarms must be replaced. Priority 2 concerns include replacing a cast iron water boiler, gas piping, some air conditioning, and an electrical transformer. Priority 3 includes replacing an asphalt driveway and replacing non-ADA door knobs. Priority 4 includes ceiling tile and carpet replacement, and Priority 5 includes removing abandoned equipment.  

Montclair Elementary School

Montclair Elementary School, located at 1680 Clairmont Place, received an early ESA score of 62.6. The school was built in 1967 and serves 641 students. There are 41 classrooms in the school’s main building and no trailers located on the property.

Montclair scored low on outdoor space standards. According to the report, there are several playground areas, but the field behind the school is in “rough condition.” The report also stated that there is “no sign of presentation equipment” in the cafeteria, gym, or other large presentation spaces. 

The school received a 4 out of 5 on the question of whether classrooms were appropriately configured or not. According to the report, there are no designated areas for special education classrooms, which are instead distributed throughout the building. 

Montclair received an early FCA score of 69.9.  According to the report, that means the school falls just between “poor” and  “below average” condition. The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $3,396,154.

The school’s Priority 1 concerns are replacing emergency exit signs and fire alarms. Priority 2 includes replacing an electrical transformer and cast iron water boiler. Priority 3 includes replacing the driveway and removing gutter debris. Priority 4 concerns replacing carpet and ceiling tiles, while Priority 5 includes duct cleaning. 

Woodward Elementary School 

Located at 3034 Curtis Drive, Woodward Elementary School received an early ESA score of 55.2. The school was built in 1961 and serves 589 students. The school’s main building has 43 classrooms, and there are three additional classrooms in three trailers on the property. 

According to the report, the school has only one smartboard or projector per classroom, and has no AV system in the gym. The school scored a 3 out of 5 on the question of whether classrooms were appropriately configured. On the question of whether special education classrooms have readily accessible bathrooms, the school scored a 1 out of 5, but received a 3 out of 5 on the other special education standards. 

Woodward received an early FCA score of 52.3.  According to the report, that means the school’s facilities are in “poor” condition. The money needed to fix all of the school’s current deficiencies is estimated to be $3,712,956. 

The school has five Priority 1 concerns, including replacing fire alarms, security alarms, and sprinkler systems. Priority 2 includes gutter joint repair and ductwork replacement, and also states that the school’s mechanical and HVAC piping system is “beyond its useful life.” Priority 3 includes installing an ADA-compliant ramp and removing gutter debris. Priority 4 includes replacing carpet, and Priority 5 includes removing abandoned equipment and repainting the interiors of doors.