Lakeside School Council Opposes Expansion

Lakeside Better Not Bigger

Educate DeKalb

 

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On February 7, 2018 the Lakeside High School Principal Advisory Council voted unanimously to oppose the planned expansion of Lakeside High School.  The following is from the official meeting minutes:

June Moore motioned to vote on whether the LHS School Council supports the county moving forward with the the proposed expansion at Lakeside and Syrena Rainey seconded the motion. The Council unanimously voted NAY. School Council determined that the expansion of Lakeside at its current location is infeasible because of safety issues precipitated by the unique geographic limitations of the site.

 


 

The Lakeside High School Principal Advisory Council did not initially address the campus expansion issue.  However, after details of how this expansion would be implemented began to emerge, the school council raised significant concerns that "the current plan is not the best approach to deliver the best educational experience possible."

Sent: Tuesday, January 9, 2018 9:37 PM
To: melvin_johnson@dekalbschoolsga.orgmichael_erwin@dekalbschoolsga.org; Stan Jester (School Board Members); marshall_orson@dekalbschoolsga.org; James McMahan (School Board Members);vickie_turner@dekalbschoolsga.orgjoyce_morley@dekalbschoolsga.org
Cc: Damian Bounds (Lakeside High); Melanie Stockwell; m s kesel427; Katie Kelly Bell; June Moore; tracey e anderson; c b bresee; FRANKIE E. HUMPHREY; Renee Wilson; Brad Bryant; Syrena Rainey (Lakeside High); Sarah Merkle; Quintina Robinson
Subject: Lakeside School Council Concerns with LHS Expansion Plans

 

Dear Dr. Green, Dr. Johnson, and members of the Board of Education.

 

During our November LHS School Council meeting, we had members of the Lakeside community come to voice serious concerns about the planned expansion to Lakeside High School. During our December meeting, we finalized our position on how we can properly represent the state of community consensus, and key concerns regarding the concerns about how education will be affected by these plans. 

We all know efforts were made to get community input regarding prospective plans to address the growing student population. It's clear that neighborhoods that feared being redistricted out of the Lakeside Cluster were most vocal and active in providing feedback. Many, if not most neighborhoods in the community seem to have very little understanding of current plans. At a minimum, this means we represent a community with conflicting interests and desires. 

The position of the Lakeside School Council is as follows:

The road infrastructure surrounding the school cannot support additional traffic. 

  • With the current enrollment of over 2,200 students, we have actually been conducting a feasibility study of traffic issues already.
  • As roads cannot be expanded around the school, it is clear that traffic congestion has already reached a critical point. 
  • The expansion plans will only exacerbate current conditions, increasing concerns with public safety and the ability of emergency vehicles to respond in a timely manner.
  • School buses routinely arrive late, delivering students past the beginning of class/home room. This also means that these buses will be late for middle school pickup, thus affecting student arrival times at Henderson Middle and other schools. 
  • The key question is not about adding 300 more students to Lakeside's current enrollment, but what an optimal number of students is for this location given the property size and road infrastructure. Given the experience during the 2017/18 school year so far, it would seem that number is LESS than 2,200, not more.  

Questions exist about how additional hard space resulting from construction will affect the watershed management in the area. 

  • Already, flooding from rain at the corner of Briarcliff and Briarlake Roads happens often when it rains, further affecting traffic congestion.
  • Either the county or the Army Corps of Engineers needs to review this issue to assess the impact water runoff around the school.

There appears to be a lack of a strategic plan to address enrollment requirements over a period of longer than the next few years. A worst case scenario means that the Lakeside community will be in the same position it is now, once the proposed expansion is completed.

Last, all decisions about moving forward with the expansion plans must be made in the context of how they will deliver the highest quality education experience possible to each and every student. 

  • We understand efforts were made to get community feedback regarding options the board was considering. It's clear our community has conflicting views. 
  • Even if the entire community was in support of expanding LHS per existing plans, we would still need to look to the education experts to determine what the optimal course of action is. 
  • Our deepest concern is that the current plan is not the best approach to deliver the best educational experience possible. 

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

 

Mike San Fratello

Chairman, Lakeside High School School Council

 

 

Lakeside Better Not Bigger

Educate DeKalb Education


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