Overcrowding within the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) Regions 1 and 2, including Lakeside High School (LHS), has become a crisis. The simplistic DCSD Board of Education (BOE) response has been to approve physical plant expansions to three high schools in those areas (specifically LHS, Chamblee Charter HS, and Dunwoody HS) in order to increase the student capacity at each school.
LHS has a strong heritage of academic excellence, but over the past 10 years its academic performance has steadily declined. In 2005, LHS ranked 107 out of the best 1,200 high schools in the United States according to Newsweek magazine, and was the top high school in Georgia. In 2006, LHS ranked 135 nationally. But since 2006, LHS has not been ranked anywhere in Newsweek's list of the best 1,200 high schools.
Assuming continued growth and DCSD's 2022 enrollment projections, the proposed expansions would not only fail to solve the overcrowding problems, but would create new and bigger problems. Far from improving the staff's ability to raise student academic performance, expansion of existing facilities would almost certainly further compromise student academic performance, safety, and access to extracurricular activities, and well as impact local traffic and neighborhood quality of life.
Petition to the DeKalb County School Board
We, the undersigned group of LHS supportive citizens, join the LHS School Council and the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners in urging the DCSD to halt this LHS expansion and develop a real, not casual, strategic plan for the whole district before building or expanding any existing facilities. A better plan would most likely include building a new high school for the impacted Regions.
For LHS on a stand-alone basis, we urge the BOE to immediately reverse the expansion decision, reduce the student population to 1,796 level it was expanded to accommodate in 2012, and invest in appropriate repairs and maintenance needed at the current site.
Educate DeKalb Education