Most owls rely on their ability to extract information from visual images, and the Dunwoody owl is no different. With that in mind, I took the latest high school and middle school attendance area map from the DeKalb County Schools and overlaid circles with a 2½ mile radius over each of the high schools¹. I then took the October 2015 capacity information and color coded the circles:
- Red for schools that are currently at 105% of capacity or higher
- Green for schools between 70% and 105%
- Blue for schools that are under 70% of capacity
Here is the result:
Over at Dunwoody School Daze, Kirk Lunde makes a very strong case for the need to redistrict to help solve the overcrowding in the Cross Keys cluster.
The visualization above reinforces Kirk’s statement that we need to address more than just Cross Keys’ overcrowding. One third of our high schools are overcrowded. And almost all of them are clustered in the Druid Hills/Lakeside/Tucker corridor. This can’t be solved by simply carving out a neighborhood here and there. The fastest way to alleviate this is a southward shift in attendance.
But that’s just a temporary solution. The population trends are clear, even if some people claim not have seen them.
I think there’s a further step to take.
Let’s look more closely at the overcrowded area.
There’s a section that is not within 2½ miles of any high school, yet has overcrowded schools around it. As we enter the discussion for eSPLOST V, It’s time to think about something different.
A new high school in Doraville can alleviate overcrowding in Cross Keys, as it will draw off the northeastern end of that bizarrely shaped attendance zone. It can alleviate crowding at Lakeside and Tucker by drawing off of some of their attendance zones. It can even alleviate overcrowding at Dunwoody, as that attendance area borders Doraville.
By all means, we need to ease the overcrowding now, and redrawing attendance zones is probably going to be necessary.
But I believe it’s time to think boldly. It’s time to actually build for the future, not react to the past.
It’s time for Doraville High.
¹The circle over Cross Keys is not centered over the school due to the inability to draw outside the boundaries of the original document. Nevertheless, this does not impact the conclusions.
Thank you for this post and the great maps. I agree with everything except one line. “It (a new Doraville H.S.) can alleviate crowding at Lakeside and Tucker by drawing off of some of their attendance zones.”
The solution to overcrowding at Lakeside and Tucker (and Clarkston, and Druid Hills) is to push attendance zones south and east.
I would also like to see a new cluster formed around Avondale H.S. It makes no sense to have an empty high school sitting there.