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SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018 • VOL. 10 — NO. 19

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Brookhaven Reporter

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The virtual world moves into the classroom PAGE 15

College counselor Q&A PAGE 16

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Fall 2018

EDUCATION GUIDE

SPECIAL SECTION | P15-28

Gearing up for the game

CHOA zoning paves way for Buford Highway highrises BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A zoning code amendment made last year by the City Council specifically for Children’s Healthcare for its new Brookhaven hospital could bring 20-story highrises to certain portions of Buford Highway without a public review process. CHOA is included in the proposed Buford Highway Overlay that is part of the city’s zoning rewrite now under review. Within that overlay will be a section tied to See CHOA on page 30

Nephtali Berudro, a freshman member of the Cross Keys High School marching band, practices the trumpet outside the school Sept. 7 before heading to Adams Stadium to support the Indians varsity football team in a non-conference game against the Callaway Cavaliers from Hogansville. The Cavaliers won 50-0.

ROBIN’S NEST Leafing through memories of a teacher’s lifelong influence

I think that a summer break is the one thing that helped get me through the monotony of the school year.

OUT & ABOUT Act3 troupe brings on ‘Godspell 2012’

City ponders the big picture of more annexation DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Should we change the school calendar?

As developers eye the unincorporated DeKalb County area south of I-85, there are growing questions as to whether the land will end up in a city — maybe annexed into Brookhaven or part of the proposed Vista Grove — and what the future will look like. The swirling development possibilities for what is now unincorporated DeKalb County really begs for a “holistic” approach to future zoning and project approvals as different jurisdictions fight over control of acres of land below I-85, according to members of the Brookhaven Planning Commission.

See COMMENTARY Page 12

See CITY on page 31

A 59-year-old Atlanta man

Page 13

PHIL MOSIER

Page 8


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Community Briefs

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The Community Development Department will host a public meeting for the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite on Saturday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to noon, at City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Road. A draft of the rewrite can be found at brookhavenzoning.com. The rewrite draft was officially unveiled to residents at public input and information meetings in June and July and presented to the Planning Commission and City Council in August. On Sept. 5, the Brookhaven Planning Commission voted to defer voting on the ordinance rewrite until its next meeting on Oct. 3. Once the Planning Commission votes on the ordinance, it will go to City Council for possible adoption. The purpose of the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite is to provide regulations to implement the land use policies identified in the city’s comprehensive plan, character area studies and other planning and policy documents. The document is the result of work that began in 2016 by a steering committee that was comprised of community residents and business owners appointed by the mayor and City Council.

SU SPECTS INDI C T ED IN FATA L S HO O TI NG AT CA P ITA L C I T Y C L UB

Four suspects including two juveniles were indicted by a Fulton County grand jury Sept. 7 on murder charges in the shooting death of a 34-year-old man outside the Capital City Club located on the border of Brookhaven and Buckhead. A Fulton County grand jury indicted Jayden Myrick, 18, and Torrus Fleetwood, 19, in the fatal shooting of Christian Broder on July 8, according to a press release from Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard. The two suspects are being held in Fulton County jail without bond. Also indicted on murder charges were juveniles Kevan Reeves, 15, and Montavious Lovejoy, also 15. The two teens are expected to surrender to authorities on Sept. 13, according to the release. Broder, of Washington, D.C., was outside the Capital City Club in Brookhaven waiting for an Uber ride following a wedding when the defendants robbed and shot him, according to Atlanta Police. Broder died several days later and left behind a wife and a young daughter. Myrick was previously convicted of armed robbery at age 14 and could have still been in state prison under a plea deal, according to media reports. However, Fulton Superior Court Judge Doris Downs chose to have him serve over two years in juvenile detention, followed by probation supervised by a private organization called Visions Unlimited, on the hope that he would be rehabilitated. Myrick reportedly was returned to detention for misbehavior, but then was to go back to Visions Unlimited. He did not show up again prior to his arrest in the Capital City crime. Outrage surrounding the private probation system led state Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta) to say at a packed Aug. 8 community meeting that she will try to end the system with legislation. The Aug. 8 meeting at the Lodge at Buckhead’s Peachtree Presbyterian Church included two Fulton County prosecutors: Lauren McAuley, the deputy district attorney for the juvenile division, and Assistant District Attorney Brendan Daughtery, who prosecutes crimes in Buckhead.

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Brookhaven’s five-building Lenox Park office complex, located near the Buckhead border, was bought in August by a real estate firm. The 32-acre office park along Lenox Park Boulevard has long been occupied by AT&T offices. Bridge Investment Group, the new owner, says it will renovate 1277 Lenox Park Boulevard, a seven-story tower that AT&T recently vacated. The renovation is for speculative office space geared for any type of potential tenant, a spokesperson said.

Spend the day or evening on the Town! Discover over 50 shops, services and restaurants. Town Brookhaven is truly your one stop shopping and dining destination with a blend of interesting boutiques, delicious restaurants and useful services.

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SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018

Community | 3

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Monumental city border signs going up on major roads BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Motorists entering Brookhaven on its major roads will soon be greeted by towering gateway monument signs that mark the city’s borders. Construction began last month of the 20-foot-tall stacked stone signs on Johnson Ferry Road, Windsor Parkway and Ashford-Dunwoody Road. The signs are slated to be finished this month. The gateway signs include the Brookhaven city seal and interchangeable banners that can promote special events, such as the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. “We are proud of our city and want everyone to know when they are entering Brookhaven,” said City Manager Christian Sigman in a prepared statement. “These gateway monument signs will also be extremely helpful in promoting special events, which help bring visitors and revenue into our area.” Two signs are being built on Johnson Ferry Road — one that will be seen by people entering the city from Chamblee and the other from people entering the city from Sandy Springs at Westcott Way. Another sign is going up on Windsor Parkway across from Windsor Lake Drive, and another at the Ashford-Dunwoody Road and I-285 interchange. The city plans to construct another sign on Peachtree Road at its border with Chamblee after gaining approval from the Georgia Department of Transportation. Peachtree Road is a state road requiring GDOT approval for such projects. Cost for the signs totals $241,310 including a $31,507 contingency fee, according to city officials. They were funded by the newly formed Brookhaven Convention and Visitors Bureau using hotel-motel tax revenue. The city set aside a $1 million budget for the new CVB last year after the General Assembly approved the city raising its hotel-motel tax from 5 percent to 8 percent. The increase was initiated to create a new revenue stream to fund the Peachtree Creek Greenway. State law requires the new hotel-motel tax money be divided with 1.5 percent of the money going to fund a project to drive tourism to the city — the Greenway — and the other 1.5 percent going toward promotion and advertising of the Greenway. Of the original 5 percent of the hotel-motel tax money, the state requires 2 percent of that funding be specifically spent on tourism, conventions and tradeshows with 3 percent able to be used in the city’s general fund.

CITY OF BROOKHAVEN

Top right, stacked stone at the Ashford-Dunwoody Road and I-285 interchange shows where one of the city’s new gateway monument signs is now under construction.

Bottom right, the city’s new gateway monument signs will stand 20-feet tall and include interchangeable banners to promote city events.

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Massive tax abatement, affordability dispute blew up Buford Highway deal BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A developer of a controversial property was ready to bend to the city’s demands for a mixed-use development on Buford Highway but the deal failed over a massive tax abatement request and a dispute over defining an affordable housing component. Ardent Companies anticipated investing $124 million for a proposed mixed-use development including affordable housing on 17 acres at Bramblewood Drive while seeking a $30 million tax abatement from the city. The project would have included $60 million for 300 apartments and $64 million for 170 for-sale townhomes and retail. The figures were detailed in a June 1 email exchange between City Manager Christian Sigman and Ardent Companies Director Neville Allison that was obtained through an open records request. Ardent Companies was seeking a $30 million tax abatement from the city’s Development Authority on the proposed 470unit housing project on Bramblewood Drive including retail fronting Buford Highway, according to city officials, but negotiations collapsed in August. The city issued a press release announcing the deal failed over a disagreement on how to define “affordable” housing. The city required Ardent Companies to use an area median household income of $50,000, while the developer insisted on using $68,000 household AMI. Allison accused the city of extorting developers and said the deal was a no-go once the city required a “claw-back” provision as part of the tax incentive that required a portion of any profit made on the sale of the development be paid back to the city. The $30 million abatement would have been large by city standards. In 2016, the Brookhaven Development Authority approved a $36 million tax abatement to the Atlanta Hawks over 15 years to pay for construction of a practice facility in Executive Park. Allison attempted to have the total cost of the proposed Bramblewood Drive project kept under wraps. His attorney, Simon Bloom, emailed the city Aug. 14 threatening to take legal action if any documents were released to the Reporter that included such details. Bloom noted Sigman and Economic Development Director Shirlyn Brownell signed a nondisclosure agreement on July 10 and claimed that releasing any information on the negotiations was a violation of the NDA. The city released about 100 emails last month that showed back and forth discussions taking place in June and July between city staff and Allison. When asked in an interview about Ar-

dent Companies’ total investment, Sigman declined to answer, citing the NDA. Allison confirmed the figure in an interview. “That was an approximate number,” he said, adding, “It would’ve been a great project.” The mixed-use project Allison proposed in the June 1 email to Sigman included 470 housing units on Bramblewood Drive — about 300 apartment units and up to 170 for-sale townhomes. Retail fronting Buford Highway would include possibly a coffee shop or café and co-working space, Allison stated in the email. The project was only discussed behind the scenes as part of an economic development proposal including the requested $30 million tax abatement on city, county and school taxes for 30 years. No formal application was made to the city. Ardent Companies filed with the city earlier this year on the same property a proposal to build 197 townhomes priced in the $200,000-$300,000 range. No tax incentives were requested for that project. But the mayor and council insisted the Bramblewood site be used for a mixeduse development to include a mix of housing types and price points, as well as a retail component fronting Buford Highway as part of their vision of increased density along and near Buford Highway. On June 12, days after that June 1 email from Allison to Sigman, the City Council voted to defer for 90 days a vote on the 197-townhome project to allow negotiations to continue on a mixed-use project the city and Ardent could agree on. Ardent Companies has assembled about 33 parcels on Bramblewood Drive and Buford Highway for the proposed townhome project, including 29 single family homes on Bramblewood Drive. Ardent Companies entered into contracts last year with the homeowners to buy their homes, anticipating city approval of the townhome development. The deal hasn’t gone through, leaving many homeowners angry at the city. Sigman said the city regularly hears from Bramblewood Drive homeowners urging the city to approve Ardent Companies’ proposed development. Going public about the failed tax abatement project was to let those homeowners understand what was happening, he said. The city looked at possibly buying a portion of the Bramblewood Drive property for a new public safety headquarters even as Ardent Companies was seeking to have it rezoned by the city. The city eventually decided to construct the new public safety headquarters on the 19 acres of land on Briarwood Road it purchased for construction of the Peachtree Creek Greenway. Sigman said the city has no interest in the property now. BK


SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018

Community | 5

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The Perimeter Progressives logo on display at the February 2017 debut meeting in Dunwoody.

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johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Perimeter Progressives, one of several regional political groups that rose in the wake of President Trump’s election, is calling it quits. The group, which drew more than 100 residents and elected officials to its debut meeting in Dunwoody roughly 18 months ago, said in a Sept. 4 farewell statement that the competition since then made it unnecessary. “In the fullness of time as these groups have matured and sharpened their focus, we knew that some of us had overlapping goals,” said the statement posted on Facebook. “In order not to dilute the finite energy needed to reach the results we strive for, Perimeter Progressives will discontinue operations.” Joe Seconder, the Dunwoody Democrat who founded Perimeter Progressives roughly 18 months ago, did not respond to a comment request. His name was not among those of the “executive board” that signed the farewell announcement. State records show the group formally dissolved on Sept. 7. At its founding, Perimeter Progressives was plainly Democratic, but presented as nominally open to centrist Republicans and independents who were turned off by Trump. Its debut meeting in February 2017 came as the special election for the 6th Congressional District seat was gearing up. The campaign manager for Jon Ossoff, the Democrat who would come surprisingly close to election in the nation’s most expensive Congressional election of all time, was in attendance. Also showing up were other candidates, City Council members from Chamblee and Dunwoody, and the then-president of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association. Newsletters indicate the group stopped meeting formally last fall. Since then, it has advocated various liberal causes and political positions on social media and suggested opportunities for demonstrations against U.S. Rep. Karen Handel, the Republican who defeated Ossoff for the local Congressional seat. The farewell announcement suggested other groups that Perimeter Progressives members might work with, such as Drinking Liberally and Indivisible.

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Local mayors chosen to help elect new transit board BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

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The mayors of Sandy Springs and Brookhaven have been selected to be part of a group that will elect board members to the new umbrella transit authority known as “The ATL.” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul was selected Aug. 29 to help elect the District 3 board member. Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst was chosen Sept. 10 to help elect the representative for District 5. “I’m excited about being part of the process that creates a truly regional transit system,” Paul said in a written statement. “It’s been decades in the making and will be decades more in achieving the ultimate goal, but this is an historic opportunity to play a role in expanding mobility and the continuing economic vitality of the metro region.” “Transportation is a complex issue that affects the entire region,” SPECIAL Ernst said in a press reA map shows the districts for “The ATL,” the new umbrella lease. “I am elated that transit authority. Parts of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Buckhead and Brookhaven are all included in District 3, the state of Georgia is shown in yellow. District 5, in light purple near the bottom, addressing the issue includes south Buckhead and parts of Brookhaven. holistically, and proud to play a role in The ATL’s direction and governance.” The selection is the first step to elect a district board member in a complicated series of internal votes. The ATL, or the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority, is a new authority for 10 transit systems in 13 counties. It will have a regional governance board with 16 members serving four-year terms, who must be in place by Dec. 1. The ATL is tasked with coordinating existing and future transit service provided by MARTA, Xpress, CobbLinc, Gwinnett County Transit and others. District 3 includes most of Sandy Springs, Buckhead and Dunwoody and part of Brookhaven, along with a large chunk of Cobb County. District 5 includes south Buckhead and the rest of Brookhaven, along with most of Atlanta. Ernst and Paul were chosen in separate district mayoral caucuses. The caucuses included mayors from all the cities that are a part of the districts, even if only a small piece, including mayors of Atlanta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Doraville, Dunwoody, Marietta, Peachtree Corners, Sandy Springs, Smyrna and Tucker, among others, according to The ATL website. Paul and Ernst will be part of groups that will elect one person to serve on The ATL board for District 3 and 5. Those groups will include Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and state legislators and county commission chairs who represent any part of the districts. Sandy Springs is also part of Districts 1 and 2. Buford City Commission Chair Phillip Beard was selected as the District 2 representative Oct. 16, Haggard said. Woodstock Mayor Donnie Henriques was selected for District 1 on Aug. 22, he said. Paul has previously said that he would advocate for a board member to be from Sandy Springs or Dunwoody because those cities are central to transit in the Ga. 400 and I-285 corridors. The board members must be residents of the district “who possesses significant experience or expertise in a field that would be beneficial to the accomplishment of the function and purpose of” the ATL, the legislation said. State Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs) said she has nominated a local transportation logistics expert to be the district’s ATL board member. The elections are planned to be held in October or November, said Scott Haggard, The ATL’s director of government and external affairs. Representatives will be similarly elected in the eight other districts. The full board will be joined by members appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the state House of Representatives. The governor’s appointee will serve as the board chair. For more information, see atltransit.ga.gov.


SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018

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8 | Art & Entertainment

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BROOKHAVEN

BUCKHEAD

DUNWOODY

SANDY SPRINGS

PERFORMANCES STAGE DOOR PLAYERS

Friday, Sept. 21 to Sunday, Oct. 14. Stage Door Players opens its 45th season with “A Red Plaid Shirt,” a play about two old friends who take on their retirement in very different ways. Marty wants to explore the open road on a Harley while Fred decides to pay more attention to his health, inventing many new ailments along the way. $15$33. North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Show schedule: stagedoorplayers.net.

Join us for a free concert on City Green

Sunday, September 23 at 7p.m. Home By Dark is a songwriters-in-the-round concert event. Hear the stories behind the songs and witness powerful performances. Experience how a “Song Can Change Your Life.”

Reserved seating and tables are available for purchase at citysprings.com

ATLANTA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA

Friday, Sept. 21, 7:30-10 p.m. World-renowned bass-baritone Jesse Blumberg appears with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra at the Cathedral of St. Philip for a performance of Monteverdi’s “Songs of Love & War.” $10-$30. 2744 Peachtree Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantabaroque.org.

ACT3 PRODUCTIONS

Ongoing through Sunday, Sept. 23. A small group of people use games, storytelling techniques and comic timing to help Jesus Christ tell parables in “Godspell 2012,” the revised version of the original musical. $15-$30. 6285-R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Show schedule: act3productions.org.

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SUNSET SIPS FEATURING WES YOAKAM

Thursday, Sept. 27, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Wes Yoakam returns to the Chattahoochee Nature Center with his high-energy show featuring acoustic covers of ’80s and ’90s music. Picnics welcome, cash bar. Included with general admission. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.

FESTIVALS SANDY SPRINGS FESTIVAL

Saturday, Sept. 22, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The annual festival is back this year with two days of an artist market, live music, cultural performances, a pet parade, chalk walk art competition, 10K and 5K races, children’s programming, classic rides, gourmet and festival food options. The festival is the primary fundraiser for Heritage Sandy Springs. Free. Heritage Green, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.

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BUCKHEAD FINE ARTS FESTIVAL

Saturday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 23, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This two-day festival in the heart of Buckhead features the work of about 100 painters, photographers, sculptors, jewelers, glass and metalwork artists. Artist demonstrations, live acoustic music. Rain or shine. Free. Buckhead Village. West Paces Ferry Road, Peachtree Road and Roswell Road all converge in Buckhead Village. Map and other info: buckheadartsfestival.com.

Continued on page 10


SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018

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DINE LAUGH

THE PLACE TO APPLAUD Event tickets are on sale now at citysprings.com

City Springs Theatre Company presents: 42nd Street September 14–23, 2018 Speaker Series: Col. Jill Chambers: “Veteran Empowered Care” September 22, 2018 Home By Dark September 23, 2018

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Rob Schneider September 28, 2018 The Fun Show with Cat and Nat September 29, 2018 Late Night Tailgate October 11, 2018 Girl With No Job October 12, 2018

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10 | Art & Entertainment

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News Continued from page 8

FALL FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL

The Grace of Public Education

By Stacey Abrams

Saturday, Sept. 22, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Atlanta History Center’s annual fall family program focuses on barbecue traditions and features guests from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma; grilling and craft demonstrations; a folk art marketplace; live music; storytelling; and hands-on activities at the Smith Family Farm, a preserved 1860s farmstead. Barbecue for sale; cash bars. Festival is included with general admission. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: 404-8144000 or atlantahistorycenter.com.

The Grace Public Education The Grace ofofPublic Education

My mother was eight years old when she dropped out of her segregated elementary school in Mississippi. And she didn’t plan on going back. But her neighbor, Miss Gert, had other plans. Miss Gert noticed my mom The Grace of Public Education around hopeless and penniless, gave her some odd jobs and y Staceyhanging Abrams By Stacey Abrams pocket money, and told her every single day that she was too smart to stop now. y motherMy was eight oldoldwhen shedropped dropped of her segregated mother wasyears eight years when she out ofout her segregated elementary school in Mississippi. And she didn’t plan on going But back. But When my mom finally took Miss Gert’s advice and summoned the SUKKOT FARM-TO-TABLE ementary school in Mississippi. And she didn’t plan up onback. going her neighbor, MisstoGert, hadshe other plans. to Miss Gertthird noticed my mom courage to go back school, expected repeat grade—and FESTIVAL r neighbor, Miss had other plans. Miss Gert noticed hanging hopeless penniless, gave her some oddnot jobs and my mom stick out asaround theGert, tallest girl inand class. To put it mildly: she was looking pocketto money, andafter told herpenniless, every single day that she tooshe smart forward that. But she walked in, she learned thatwas when nging around hopeless and gave her some oddtojobs and stop now. dropped out, one of her former teachers had written a note to the cket money, and told her every single day that she was too smart to principal: op now. When my mom finally took Miss Gert’s advice and summoned up the to Hall go back school,back she to expected repeat “Ifcourage Carolyn evertocomes school,to move herthird on tograde—and the next stick She’s out as smart the tallest girl inShe class. put it it.” mildly: she was not looking grade. enough. canTo handle hen my mom took Gert’s advice andwhen summoned up the forwardfinally to that. But afterMiss she walked in, she learned that she Sept. 30, noon to 4 p.m. dropped out, one of her former teachers had written a note to the That’s all it took. My mother went on to fourth grade and nine years later, urage to go back to school, she expected to repeat third grade—and Sunday, Chef demonstrations, farmers market, petprincipal: walked across the stage as valedictorian of her high school. And a ting zoo, and pickle-your-own veggies are ck out as the tallestlater, girlsheinwatched class.her Todaughter put itwalk mildly: shestage was quarter-century across the as not looking planned for this festival at the Marcus Jewish “If Carolyn ever comes back to in, school, her on that to the when next Avondale High in DeKalb County. rward tovaledictorian that. ButofHall after she walked shemove learned she Community Center of Atlanta. Sponsored by grade. She’s smart enough. She can handle it.” the Jewish Food Alliance. Free. MJCCA-Zaban opped out, one of her former teachers had written a note to the Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atThat’s the power of public school and of teachers who care. And that’s lantajcc.org. That’s all it took. My mother went on to fourth grade and nine years later, Georgia’s fundamental responsibility is to guarantee access to public incipal: why walked across stage as valedictorian her high school. And a education for ourthe children—from cradle toofcareer. quarter-century later, she watched her daughter walk across the stage as f Carolyn Hallmany ever comes back school, move herin on to the next valedictorian of Avondale in to DeKalb County. We have caring publicHigh school teachers and “Miss Gerts” Georgia, people who are willing to run not just the extra mile, but a BROOKHAVEN BIKE ALLIANCE ade. She’s smart enough. She can handle it.” That’s the of public school and teacherswe who care. And that’s marathon forpower our children. However, we of can—and must—do a lot Ongoing Mondays, 6:30-8 p.m. whytoGeorgia’s fundamental responsibility is to guarantee access to public more support them. Join the alliance for bike rides every Monday night. Three levels of rides range from a for our children—from career. grade and nine years later, at’s all iteducation took. My mother went cradle on totofourth “Getting Started” 8-mile ride through nearFirst, we must commit to fully funding our public school system. Our alked across the stage as public valedictorian ofcuts, hercombined highGerts” school. by neighborhoods to “Fit and Fast,” a 20-mile We have many caring school teachers and “Miss schools endured 16 straight years of austerity withincost-And a route at an average 15-16 mph. All rides are Georgia, people whowatched are willing to runWe notmust just the extra mile, but a the stage as shifting to local districts and educators. reverse the trend, arter-century later, she her daughter walk across “No Drop,” meaning you won’t be abandoned marathon for our children. can—and we must—do lot through identifying additionalHowever, resourceswe and rolling back measures alike if you have a flat tire or fall behind. Start localedictorian of Avondale High in DeKalb County. more toprograms support them. voucher that only funnel dollars from public schools to private tion is the Savi Provisions market, 1388 Dresden Drive, Brookhaven. Info: facebook.com/ interests. First, we must commit to fully funding our public school system. Our at’s the power of public school and of teachers whowith care. And that’sgroups/BrookhavenBikeAlliance. schools endured 16 straight years of austerity cuts, combined costI am proud to be the only candidate in the race for governor who opposes hy Georgia’s fundamental responsibility ispublic to guarantee access to public shifting to local districts We our must reverse the trend, voucher-like programs thatand takeeducators. money from schools and hand through identifying additional resources and rolling back measures like it over to private schools, and I’m the only one with a proven track record ucation for our children—from cradle to career. programs thatschools. only funnel dollars from public schools to private ofvoucher defending our public interests. Second, caring we must engage children in a more holistic e have many publicourschool teachers and fashion “Misswith Gerts” in “PAINT THE PARK” I am proudservices, to be theincluding only candidate raceservices, for governor whoasopposes wraparound accessintothe health as well eorgia, people who are willing to run not just the extra mile, but a Sunday, Sept. 23, 1-4 p.m. voucher-like programs that take money from our public mental health support, and ESL assistance for children andschools parents.and Tohand Artists of all ages and skill levels arathon fund for our children. However, we can—and we must—do a lot it over to privateservices, schools,we andshould I’m the onlyaone with a proven track record wraparound adopt more comprehensive are invited to Blackburn Park to of defending our that public schools. education formula directly addresses the correlation between poverty, paint pictures of the park, and ore to support them. student social-emotional health, and educational outcomes. Wraparound volunteers with knowledge of Second,are wenecessary must engage our children in a more holistic fashion have with the services to ensuring that children born into poverty art are needed to judge the enand assist participants. wraparound services, including access to health services, as well as same path to success as any other child in our state. rst, we must commit to fully funding our public school system. Our tries Completed pieces will be dismental health support, and ESL assistance for children and parents. To played in the park near Ashfordhools endured 16 straight years of austerity cuts, combined fund we should adopt more comprehensive I’m notwraparound running for services, governor of Georgia to beathe “education governor,” I with costRoad until the event education formula addresses the correlation between poverty, running to be thethat “Public Education Governor.” Regardless of their ifting toamlocal districts anddirectly educators. We must reverse the trend, Dunwoody closes. The winning pieces will studentincome social-emotional health, educational Wraparound parent’s or zip code, everyand child in Georgiaoutcomes. deserves access to a be on display at City Hall and featured in rough identifying additional resources and rolling back measures likethen services areaffordable necessary education. to ensuringBy thatfully children born into poverty have the high-quality, committing to our public a 2019 City of Brookhaven calendar. Art supucher programs that only funnel dollars same path to success as any other child in from ourfrom state. plies and paper will be provided, but artists education system and engaging holistically cradlepublic to career,schools we can to private can bring their own easel and canvas. Free. guarantee that all of our children in Georgia, no matter their needs, have erests. theI’m 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven. not of running forand governor of Georgia be the I kinds teachers neighbors in theirtolives that“education my mothergovernor,” had. Info: email annmarie.quill@brookhavenga. am running to be the Governor.” When that happens, be “Public assured Education that Georgia’s bold andRegardless ambitiousof their gov or call 404-637-0508. parent’s income or zip code,they every child in Georgia deserves access towho a notonly just survive: will m proudchildren to bewill the candidate inthrive. the race for governor opposes high-quality, affordable education. By fully committing to our public ucher-like programs take money from education system that and engaging holistically from our cradlepublic to career,schools we can and hand guarantee that all of our children in Georgia, no matter their needs, have track record over to private schools, and I’m the only one with a proven AN EVENING OF ART FEATURING the kinds of teachers and neighbors in their lives that my mother had. defending our public schools. ATL LATINO ARTISTS When that happens, be assured that Georgia’s bold and ambitious Friday, Sept. 28, 5:30-8:30 p.m. children will not just survive: they will thrive.

ams

s eight years old when she dropped out of her segregated hool in Mississippi. And she didn’t plan on going back. But Miss Gert, had other plans. Miss Gert noticed my mom d hopeless and penniless, gave her some odd jobs and and told her every single day that she was too smart to

m finally took Miss Gert’s advice and summoned up the GET ACTIVE back to school, she expected to repeat third grade—and e tallest girl in class. To put it mildly: she was not looking . But after she walked in, she learned that when she ne of her former teachers had written a note to the

all ever comes back to school, move her onGET to the INTOnext THE COMMUNITY mart enough. She can handle it.”

ok. My mother went on to fourth grade and nine years later, the stage as valedictorian of her high school. And a y later, she watched her daughter walk across the stage as of Avondale High in DeKalb County.

wer of public school and of teachers who care. And that’s fundamental responsibility is to guarantee access to public our children—from cradle to career. VISUAL ARTS

y caring public school teachers and “Miss Gerts” in cond, we must engage our children in a more holistic fashion with eaparound who services, are willing runtonot theasextra includingto access healthjust services, well as mile, but a ental health support,However, and ESL assistance children and we parents. To ur children. we for can—and must—do a lot Paid for by Stacey Abrams for Governor.

An evening of art featuring Latino artists will be held in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month and Welcoming America’s Welcoming Week. The artwork of Contra-

punto, an Atlanta collective of six Latin American artists, and the winners of this year’s “Portraying the Undocumented Experience Art Contest” for high school students will be showcased. Hosted by Georgia4Immigrants and the Latin American Association, where the event will be held. Free. 2750 Buford Highway N.E., Brookhaven. RSVP: apascual@thelaa.org.

LEARN SOMETHING PALS FALL 2018 CLASSES

Mondays, Sept. 17 through Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. PALS (Perimeter Adult Learning Services) presents another eight-week series of Monday one-hour classes at Dunwoody Baptist Church. Among this session’s classes are “Game Changers” (women of the West, legends of baseball); “Heroes of the Holocaust”; “The Big Questions” (such as what happens after death); Black History; and an in-depth analysis of the upcoming midterm elections. $8 for one day of classes; $50 for the entire series. Lunch can be purchased in advance for $8 or brought from home. 1445 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: palsonline.org or 770-698-0801.

SHADE GARDENING

Monday, Sept. 24, 7-8:30 p.m. Learn about the different types of shade and how to successfully garden within each type in this installment of the North Fulton Master Gardeners’ Lecture Series at Lost Corner Preserve. $10. 7300 Brandon Mill Road, Sandy Springs. Register: friendsoflostcorner.org.

“OF GODS AND MEN”: MOVIE AND DIALOGUE

Wednesday, Sept. 26, 6:30-9 p.m. A 2010 French film loosely based on the story of a peaceful situation between monks and Muslims in Algeria until seven of the monks were kidnapped in 1996 during the Algerian Civil War will be shown at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church. A discussion facilitated by Catholic and Muslim moderators follows the film. Free. 1350 Hearst Drive N.E., Brookhaven. RSVP: mdannenfelser@ olachurch.org.

PARTY WITH A PURPOSE THE ATLANTA HOMEWARD CHOIRS ROOFTOP GARDEN BENEFIT

Thursday, Sept. 27, 6-9 p.m. This second annual benefit supports the Atlanta Homeward Choir, a nonprofit that invites people who are homeless or have ever experienced homelessness to come together, form community and sing around metro Atlanta. Drinks, food, music, silent auction. $50. Newell Brands, 6655 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, Sandy Springs. Info: atlantahomewardchoir.org.


SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018

| 11

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C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer: Wes Duvall Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Melissa Kidd, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Beth Smith, Jim Speakman Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Robin Conte, Alec Larson, Phil Mosier

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Community Survey / Should we change the school calendar? Don’t mess with the school calendar. That was the message from respondents to the Reporter Newspapers’ latest community survey when asked about the possibility of year-round school and how best to handle snow days. The survey was conducted by 1Q.com via cellphones to 200 residents in Reporter Newspapers communities. The results are not scientific. Strong responses came from one simple question: Should metro Atlanta students go to school year-round, with shorter breaks spread through the year, rather than employ a school calendar with a long summer break? “No,” a 32-year-old Atlanta man replied. “That is balderdash.” Many agreed with him. In fact, respondents were against the idea of year-round school by three to one. Some were strongly against. “No. Absolutely not,” a 37-year-old Dunwoody woman said. “Hell no! Children need down time and [to] focus on just playing and being kids. Year-round schooling is the dumbest idea ever,” a 42-year-old DeKalb County man said. “I think that a summer break is the one thing that helped get me through the monotony of the school year,” a 59-year-old Atlanta man said. “Without the break to look forward to, the entire year would be a seemingly endless year of the same. A summer break also takes on the realization of the fact that you’ve just hit the next level. That’s a true mental reward!” Advocates of year-round school, although vastly outnumbered, marshalled less emotional arguments in favor of the plan. A 70-year-old Brookhaven woman proposed that a school calendar with several breaks of about a month each spread throughout the year would benefit learning. “I feel children lose too much knowledge during three months off and the first four to six weeks of the start of school is for review. This is particularly true for early and middle school.” A 37-year-old Brookhaven woman argued a year-round school calendar should be designed “with balanced breaks throughout the year to give kids the downtime they need. The variable summer and school schedules are difficult to manage for working parents. The curriculum could be better paced and balanced.” Still, a long summer break was far and away more popular among respondents to the survey. “Kids need the summer off to travel, go to camp and do various other summer activities,” a 64-year-old Sandy Springs woman said. “I taught school for 36 years and when they started having fall breaks the kids were awful!” The survey also asked respondents about another perennial school scheduling question: how best to make up the unexpected days off that are universally known as “snow days.” Should the schools make up the time by adding hours to the day or days to the school year — or just forget about them? With last winter’s bad weather, local school districts tried a variety of those options. Given five possible answers, the largest group of respondents (38.5 percent) said the schools should let students work from home by declaring digital work days — an increasingly popular tactic with school districts. About half as many thought the days should be added to the end of the year (19.5 percent) or scattered throughout the year and added to holiday breaks (18 percent). Only 14.5 percent thought school districts should forget about the days, but an even smaller group, just 9.5 percent, thought the hours should be added to the end of other school days.

What is the best way for schools to make up for “snow days” and similar cancellations of classes?

14.5%

19.5%

18%

38.5% 9.5%

During school closures, declare digital learning days so that students can do their school work at home on their computers.

Reschedule them all at the end of the school year, pushing classes back as far as necessary.

Add extra days throughout the year and shorten holiday breaks. Just forget about the lost days.

Add time to each school day until the cancelled days are made up. BE COUNTED IN OUR NEXT READER SURVEY 1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

Here’s what some other respondents had to say about a year-round school calendar “Children need down time and time with the parents. They need camps and summer activities. And the schools suck, so what good will it do?” – 50-year-old Sandy Springs man “Too many vacations are hard for working parents.” – 64-year-old Atlanta woman “A shorter break would be better — late June to mid-August. It gives kids some separation between years, some time to decompress and play, and to take classes or camp. Really, everyone gets stupid and lazy in the middle of summer — it just makes sense for students to skip that time.”

– 50-year-old Sandy Springs man “I do not believe going to year-round school calendars serves the children or families well. Children need to have time off from school and experience the joys of childhood summer. Also, it will create a completely different dynamic and schedule for both working and non-working parents. I do think it could be beneficial to have more structured activities in the summer so kids don’t get bored. Boredom can be an ugly monster in the making.” – 59-year-old Sandy Springs woman “[Year-round school should be imposed] only if they move to a four-day week, let

students sleep in more, and give periodic two-week breaks throughout the year.” – 25-year-old Brookhaven man “I think both options have positive and negative effects. Year-round school is great, as it allows smaller breaks throughout the year while also helping broaden the learning process to increase the amount of knowledge taught each year. However, some students learn differently and need a longer break. So it just depends on the student, but overall I do think year-round school has more benefits.” – 26-year-old DeKalb County woman


SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018

Commentary | 13

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Leafing through memories of a teacher’s lifelong influence “And tell me what those are, again?” my husband questioned me as we drove. “The ones with the pink flowers?” “Mimosa.” The tree, not the drink. Now, I don’t want to brag, but I do know a thing or two about trees. The mimosa, for instance, is a showy, quick-growing thing with fuzzy, pink cottoncandy-ish flowers. One of my favorite features of the tree is that its leaves will close up if you run your hand along them, just as they also close up at night. This I learned from doing a certain biology project when I was in the 10th grade, and now that another school year has officially commenced, I feel that it’s appropriate for me to reminisce about my own experience. I went to Clarkston High School, not all that far from the DeKalb County home in which I’m now living. My biology Robin Conte lives with teacher was a tiny, slim woman who barely cleared the top of her husband in an the lab bench and looked as if her first choice of career might empty nest in Dun- have been ballerina. I do wish I could remember her name. But I remember a good deal of what I learned in her class, woody. To contact her and that is mostly because she required us students to make a or to buy her new colleaf collection. We had to collect 50 leaves: gather them, label umn collection, “The them, draw an image of the tree from which they came, and Best of the Nest,” see write more scientific rigmarole that I don’t recall. robinconte.com. It was a challenge. The first 30 leaves were pretty easy to obtain. The next 15 were difficult. And the last five were excruciating. I remember that one friend lived near a gingko tree, and for three weeks she was the most popular girl in the 10th grade. We’d gather around her during lunch, panting, “You have a gingko? I’ll trade you two birch and a sycamore!” Through the whole leaf collecting and documenting process, I learned the names of a lot of trees, and much of that knowledge has stuck with me. Decades later, I have taken real pleasure in being able to impart that knowledge to my children, to walk them along a wooded path when they were young and curious and point out the reddish stem of a red maple or the wavy lobes of a white oak. I relished relaying the wondrous fact that a sassafras tree produces three different types of leaves: singlelobed, double-lobed (like a mitten), and tri-lobed. There’s a primal comfort in being able to call a tree by its name and in the connection to the natural world that familiarity creates. Once you have taken the time to learn the distinctions in the details of something as ubiquitous as the leaves that surround you, your appreciation for creation blossoms. And I don’t want to end this column sounding like a dotty old codger, but I hope that somewhere, in some classroom or in some dappled forest, there is a teacher showing leaves to a child and introducing them by name.

2 W To GA 018 in p Pr & ne C e 2 r ol ss 0 um A 17 ni ssn st !

Robin’s Nest

Read Robin Conte’s debut book ‘The Best of the Nest’ “The Best of the Nest” offers 49 of Reporter Newspapers columnist Robin Conte’s witty essays on suburban family life, organized by seasons. They include some of the pieces that won Robin the first-place Lifestyle/Features Column award in 2017 and 2018 and first-place for Humorous column in 2018 from the Georgia Press Association.

Order the book at bestofthenest.net Follow Robin’s book-related appearances at robinconte.com. BK

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Planning chair proposes citywide ‘workforce housing’ mandate BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The Planning Commission chairperson wants the City Council to require a “workforce housing” mandate throughout the city and not just along Buford Highway as part of the zoning ordinance rewrite. A current draft of the zoning rewrite includes the middle-income housing mandate, also known as inclusionary zoning, only in the proposed Buford Highway Overlay. Chair Stan Segal made his proposal at the Sept. 5 commission meeting. Other members backed his recommendation, saying it could put Brookhaven at the forefront of finding innovative ideas to address the lack of affordable housing many cities in metro Atlanta are SPECIAL Planning Commission facing. Chair Stan Segal. “I think this is an opportunity to make that statement,” Commissioner Michael Diaz said. But the city could face a fight from outside forces. Aaron Johnson, the Government Affairs Director of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, attended the Sept. 5 meeting and voiced opposition. The ACBR is a professional trade organization that lobbies on behalf of its 2,200 members. Developers and real estate professionals understand affordable housing is a major issue that local governments in metro Atlanta and around the country are trying to address, Johnson said. “But the issue we have is with the word ‘mandatory,’ ” he said. “That word will be difficult for the real estate industry.” He said offering incentives to developers to build affordable housing is a better way to try to address the issue and offered to work with city officials to develop the incentives. He also cautioned the city from trying to implement a mandatory workforce housing provision in the zoning code throughout the city instead of one area of the city. Johnson said doing so could be detrimental to people who may be able to afford housing in a particular neighborhood thanks to a workforce housing mandate, but then not be able to afford to live in that neighborhood because necessities are costlier than what their income supports. “Like with gas and groceries … gas on Peachtree is more expensive than in other areas,” Johnson said. The city is defining workforce housing in the zoning rewrite as households earning no more than 80 percent of the median household income from the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area. That’s currently about $68,000. Census data numbers used by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development puts household income levels right around Buford Highway at closer to $50,000 per household, according to city data. The Planning Commission deferred Sept. 5 voting on the zoning rewrite draft until its Oct. 3 meeting. City staff is taking the time to incorporate Segal’s proposal into a revised draft. The provision of the Buford Highway Overlay that Segal wants included citywide states that whenever the city approves a special land use permit for rezoning within the overlay and the property is developed as a residential housing project, then 10 percent of the units must be classified as workforce housing. A residential housing project is defined as either a new housing development, rehabilitation of a current development or the conversion of rental apartments to condominiums. Kirk Bishop of Duncan Associates, the consultant working with the city on the zoning rewrite, explained 10 percent was determined to be a good figure for the city to begin with as it develops policy around workforce housing. If approved, the city can then “road test” the percentage for a while before possibly considering a higher number. The proposed overlay includes incentives to developers to build more workforce housing. Developers can get approval for one additional story for each 10 percent above the mandatory minimum. For example, 20 percent of workforce housing means one additional story; 30 percent workforce housing means two additional stories. The workforce housing units must remain workforce housing for at least 20 years, according to the proposed draft. The Peachtree Road Overlay approved by the council in January and folded into the zoning rewrite also addresses workforce housing by offering developers height incentives if their projects include at least 20 percent workforce housing. To see a draft of the zoning code, visit brookhavenzoning.com. BK


Education | 15

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Fall 2018

EDUCATION GUIDE

The virtual world moves into the classroom

Local legislators aim to prevent school shootings BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Local legislators are leading an effort to come up with potential solutions to a problem receiving greater attention nationwide: school shootings. State Sens. John Albers and Kay Kirkpatrick, two Republicans who represent parts of Sandy Springs, are serving on a Senate committee meeting coming up with ideas for school safety improvements that will be presented in a report in December. The committee, which is chaired by Albers, has met at several schools across the state, kicking off with a June meeting at North Springs Charter High School in Sandy Springs. Although school shootings have been occurring for decades, two of the deadliest occurred this year in Sante Fe, Texas, and Parkland, Fla. Those incidents inspired student-led movements calling for gun control measures and caused school districts to discuss new safety measures.

BY JOE EARLE

The first thing that strikes you is that you’re standing in mid-air, floating hundreds of feet above the towering buildings of a city. It takes your breath. Then you start to focus on the details. The city is New York. Familiar buildings and landmarks spread out around you as you glance about the city far below. New views and different buildings appear as you move your head or turn about. After a few minutes, the scene changes and you’re suspended high above London. Then Paris. Then other cities located around the world. You’re immersed in a high-flying tour of the planet that you’ve taken without an airplane. Welcome to virtual reality. This particular slice of it, this virtual tour of some of the world’s biggest cities, was produced for Google Earth and is one of the programs used to demonstrate the technology in the virtual reality lab at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Sandy Springs. Long the province of gamers and one of the regular Next Big Things touted in computer programming, virtual reality — or VR, as it’s often called — is moving into schools. Students in several local schools are donning computer-connected goggles to enter virtual worlds or using computer tablets or smartphones to blend the real with the computer-generated.

SPECIAL

Continued on page 20

Mount Vernon Presbyterian School sophomore Alec Johnson enters a virtual world.

Continued on page 24

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College Counselor Q&A

FACT:

A four-year-old may ask constant “why” questions to understand the world.

How do I get into my dream school? Fall doesn’t just mean football and colorful leaves. It’s also college application season, the time that high school seniors are rushing to pull together packets of information about themselves that will assure their admission into their perfect colleges. That’s a lot of pressure. So we thought we’d ask a few local experts for a little help. We submitted five questions to local school counselors. Here are their responses. STEVE FRAPPIER is director of college counseling at The Westminster Schools. He is a co-recipient of the National Association of College Admission Counseling’s 2018 Excellence in Education Award.

you’re 18 to 22 years old? And in what sized campus and city? Most students change their majors multiple times; as academic interests evolve, is the course catalog large enough to accommodate potential shifts? A college’s ranking has never delivered anyone success; your feeling of belonging will be that guide. Every day in my work, too, I reflect on being a first-generation college attendee, and one’s instincts are an important guide, too.

Q: How many schools should I apply to?

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Q: How do I decide what college is right for me?

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The phrase “the right college” deserves a deeper look, because, ideally, all colleges on a student’s list should be contenders for enrollment. It’s important to establish and discuss essential characteristics with your family — and to revisit those parameters as you continue to grow and evolve during senior year. Academic programs, cost, distance, and envisioning your surroundings (your new home) all play important roles. What personalities and activities do you want around you, while

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• Write truly and authentically — and proofread. • Refuse to let too many well-intentioned adults “get in your head,” or worse, handle your application materials. This should be your set of applications and your rite of passage. When I worked in admissions, one of the phrases that I used when I sensed an overworked application: a hammered-down nail doesn’t stick out.

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Q: Should I take the SAT or ACT or both?

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A: About one-third of Georgians in the

Class of 2019 took the PSAT as juniors, and of this group, many students knew from their PSAT score whether they were likely to continue with the SAT, or if they were willing to try the ACT. All American colleges accept both tests equally, with ACT being more popular than the SAT as of 2016. For those taking both the ACT and the SAT, check out the brand-new percentile comparison charts from the testing agencies, to determine which score is your best to send.

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Q: Should I take an SAT prep course?

A: How a student familiarizes with a

test — of any kind — is a personal decision. Tutoring is not a mandate in this process, and nationwide, most student do not seek a tutor due to financial restrictions. There are worthwhile and free online resources provided by Khan Academy (for the SAT) and by ACT Academy. Some students do crave the structure of an individual or group class; others might want to try a test on their own before seeking out help toward reaching a target score. For seniors who are testing or retesting this fall, it’s a matter of managing your calendar and registering ahead of time for the ACT (remaining dates in September, November, and December) and the SAT (remaining dates in October, November, and December) in order to meet colleges’ deadlines, which are often by early January. My main advice is to keep the process in perspective. The college process boils down to three kinds of decisions: where to apply, where a student is admitted, and where to enroll. The applicant is in complete control of two of these three, yet we often lose sight of how much agency young people have due to anxiety about the “getting in” part.

Continued on page 18 BK

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College Counselor Q&A Continued from page 17 SHAMONA HARRELL is head school counselor at Riverwood International Charter School

Q: Should I take an SAT prep course?

A: We first advise students to do a little self-reflection. If they are very disciplined and will set aside weekend hours to practice sample test questions available on the internet, they can benefit tremendously from this at no cost. Practicing questions and reviewing the answers is a great start. Secondly, Riverwood offers test prep classes at a minimal cost. Thirdly, students can pay for test prep through several local companies and private tutors.

TYLER SANT is director of college counseling at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School

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A: Some students know exactly where they want to apply; others want to develop a broader list to include a wider range of colleges. An average list typically includes six to eight colleges covering various cost and admission ranges.

Q: What’s the best way to have my application stand out?

A: Students are advised to meet the application deadlines and that includes deadlines for all supporting documentation. Secondly, the student’s short answer essays or personal statement as well as teacher recommendations can truly help the student stand out among multiple students applying for the same spot in a freshman class. We like to be able to learn about the student from reading their essays. Thirdly, we advise students to make sure senior grades are maintained at the highest level possible.

Q: Should I take the SAT or ACT or both?

A: We typically recommend students take at least one real SAT and one ACT to determine if they prefer one test over the other one.

Tyler Sant

Q: How do I decide what college is right for me?

A: Finding what college is right for you requires both research and self-reflection. Knowing yourself is just as important as knowing something about a variety of colleges. Once you have an idea of what’s important to you — the things you might want to study, the types of people you want to be around, the sort of environment in which you feel comfortable — you can begin to match colleges to those criteria. And there’s no one-and-onlybest-fit college. Keep an open mind and explore broadly. You’ll find many colleges where you can be happy and successful.

Q: How many schools should I apply to?

A: There’s no right or wrong answer to this (unless you’re applying to a huge number of schools with little understanding of how they might be a good fit; in that case, that’s a wrong answer). The college counseling team at HIES encourages students to apply to anywhere from two to eight colleges, deBK


SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net pending on the likeliness of admission and the timing of the applications. A thoughtful student might begin senior year with a longer list of schools in mind but prioritize their top choices for earlier deadlines. If you get good news early from a school that you love, you might not end up sending additional applications afterward. We have students every year who only send one application, though most of our seniors send four to six.

and ACT once, assuming you have time during your junior year to do so without feeling rushed. For students who are short on time or just would prefer to head in one direction and stick with it, take a full-length mock exam for each and see which you perform better on. If your scores are indistinguishable, pick the exam that felt most comfortable to you. While each exam tests similar content, the actual exam experiences are different.

Q: What’s the best way to have my application stand out?

Q: Should I take an SAT prep course?

A: I would argue that the best way to have your application stand out is to avoid trying to make it stand out. Don’t prepare the application that you think the admission office wants; prepare the application that is true to you. Play to your strengths and highlight the things you sincerely care about, academically and beyond. Remember to think of the application as one complete package. Each component presents an opportunity to introduce something about yourself. Don’t trade an opportunity to share what’s important to you in favor of something you think will be more “impressive” or stand out.

Q: Should I take the SAT or ACT or both?

Education | 19

A: Students who prepare for the SAT or ACT perform better on these tests than students who do not. However, the type of preparation I would recommend depends largely on the student and the family. In-person test prep, whether in a class or one-on-one, can be very effective. It can also be expensive. An organized student who is willing to hold herself accountable to a schedule can see significant gains through free online test prep via Khan Academy for the SAT or the new ACT Academy. No student should walk into the ACT or SAT feeling unprepared. Take advantage of the free resources available to you and consider additional prep when possible.

A: It’s not a bad idea to take both the SAT

Children have BIG ideas. At Mount Vernon, we believe when teachers know their students’ curiosities and passions, incredible things can happen.

Learn more about Mount Vernon at mountvernonschool.org/learn BK

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20 | Education

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CONNECTING LEARNING TO LIFE AT EVERY LEVEL.

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LOWER SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE

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ABOUT THE PHOTO: In the spring, Middle School students explored CONSERVATION through an Isdell Center for Global Leadership (ICGL) study tour to Switzerland.

The virtual world moves into the classroom Continued from page 15

JOE EARLE

Mount Vernon students with teacher Marie Graham. From left, Robbie Long, Bryce Jones, teacher Graham, Justin Blumencranz, Porter Slayden.

They’re taking virtual field trips to faraway places, learning about the lives of refugee families or studying the inner workings of volcanoes. Some are making their own VR products for use by others. “VR in education is still fairly new,” said Marsha Maxwell, head of educational technology for the Atlanta International School in Buckhead. “We’re looking at the ramifications and how to use it.” It’s catching notice. “It really captures students’ attention, and they really enjoy something they can [interact with],” Maxwell said. “They don’t just have to be consumers.” Maxwell likes to refer to virtual technology as “XR” instead of “VR,” in order to include the variety of types of alternative realities made possible through computers. “It’s many different platforms,” she said, including “AR,” or “augmented reality,” which adds to the real world, and “MR,” or “mixed reality,” which mixes AR and VR, she said.

Ellis Thomas, St. Pius X Catholic School social studies teacher.

Although some teachers who have tried device-based virtual lessons in their classrooms say they don’t think the programs add much, others are enthusiastic about the possibilities. “It’s pretty cool,” said St. Pius X Catholic School social studies teacher Ellis Thomas, who last year led four 22-student history classes on a virtual tour of Versailles when they were studying King

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SPECIAL

Marsha Maxwell, head of educational technology for Atlanta International School.

BK


Education | 21

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net Louis XIV. “It’s pretty cheap, too. Normally a field trip to France costs several thousand dollars.” Thomas said he could direct the students and lecture to them as they toured the French king’s home and its gardens using material made and provided by Google. He also used Google tours of battlefields from World War I and II, he said, and this year he’s thinking about leading his American history students on virtual tours of Civil War battlefields. “It’s not something you would teach with every day,” he said, “It’s kind of a supplement. But sometimes I think the VR field trips are more useful than the usual museum field trips [because they provide] the sense of being there and seeing everything to scale. It’s fairly compelling for the kids.” Students remember what they’ve encountered in the virtual world, said AIS’s

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Mount Vernon Presbyterian School teacher Marie Graham.

Maxwell, who studied behavioral neuroscience for her doctorate. “I can read all I want about how a dinosaur moves,” she said, “but if I’m walking with one through a virtual forest, it’s very different. … The whole thing is about applications. It’s not about having experiences but how do I augment my learning?” In other words, the technology may be entertaining, but content matters. “As long as you have clear objectives, it can really add to [learning],” Maxwell said. “It’s all down to having a good teacher in the end.” VR also offers students a chance to experience places and people they might not otherwise encounter. “It seems to me to be a great way to help kids understand perspective,” Maxwell said. “With virtual reality, you really get to walk in someone else’s shoes and Continued on page 22

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22 | Education

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The virtual world moves into the classroom

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A student experiences virtual reality at Atlanta International School.

SPECIAL

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you get to see what someone else sees.” Marie Graham, director of Mount Vernon’s virtual and augmented reality lab and teacher of a 15-student VR course, believes immersive technology offers a way for students to learn empathy. One VR program she has used, she said, followed refugee families. Students who went into in their world virtually, she said, left it with opinions that differed from the ones they had held before. “The kids said, ‘They’re like us.’ I said, ‘yes.’ Then I realized [the students’] language about refugees had changed. I thought, do we harness HR.pdf this and1 SJA‘How reporter ad 4.94x4.08

use it?’ ” One answer was the VR design lab she directs. Through the lab, Mount Vernon students develop virtual reality projects for use by others. They put one together for the Center for Civil and Human Rights to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his death. Another project is designing a program to teach math and science and “basic concepts” to children in a school in a small rural village in India, Mount Vernon senior Bryce Jones said. Still another VR lab project is to design a program for pediatric rehabilitation patients at Children’s Hospital of At-

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Education | 23

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

A student experiences virtual reality at Atlanta International School.

lanta, Graham said. One idea is to create a virtual experience where a patient will feel like he or she is riding a bike. “When you’re biking with the goggles on,” said sophomore Robbie Long, “it’ll feel like you’re actually in a place. We can put it in any environment.” Graham says her class attracts students of various types, from techies to

filmmakers. She saw the importance of bringing VR technology into schools when she experienced it herself. “This is the technology that is taking off … in our world right now,” she said. “This is not going away.” At the same time, using VR in the classroom can help reclaim a technology more often associated with enter-

SPECIAL

Students at Holy Spirit Preparatory School study volcanoes using “augmented reality.”

tainment than education. “Games can be very destructive,” she said. “This is taking that technology and saying, ‘How can we use it for good?’ I love that the kids can have an impact. … I want them to be the people that do and not just think about doing.” And it can change their view of the world.

SPECIAL

Last year, one of her classes was reading a book about India. She couldn’t take them on a field trip to see a city there, she said, but she could take them to the VR lab. They donned the goggles and flipped on the Google video. Soon, they were flying about Mumbai.

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Local legislators aim to prevent school shootings Continued from page 15 Albers and Kirkpatrick said they don’t know exactly what recommendations the committee may make in its final report. But they said they will generally fall into three areas: prevention, building security and response, and possible new legislation or funding. Kirkpatrick said she views prevention as vital, but possibly the most difficult. Adding more door locks and putting armed officers in schools are “straightforward, but expensive,” Kirkpatrick said. Trying to figure out how to intervene with a possibly troubled or violent student is much more complex, she said. “That is a whole other level beyond just requiring clear backpacks,” Kirkpatrick said. Training teachers, counselors and school nurses to recognize those signs is important, she said. Schools could also implement bullying prevention measures, Kirkpatrick said. Kirkpatrick, who is a physician, said her profession has given her more interest in how to help “high-risk” students who are isolated or have a difficult home life.

“The difficult part is figuring out how to connect them to services without spotlighting them,” Kirkpatrick said. She said she hopes to hear more presentations on prevention before they need to make their recommendations. Strengthening the response to incidents may include adding budget funds for providing schools with trauma kits, which typically include tourniquets and bandages, Kirkpatrick said. One idea not currently on the list is arming teachers, Kirkpatrick said. The committee has substantially discussed it, but police officers discouraged the idea in presentations, she said. “When law enforcement comes in and people are waving guns around, they don’t know who’s who. It makes their job harder,” she said. Albers said Georgia is fortunate to not have had a major school shooting incident, as many other states have. At the same many who have provided input to the committee say they want to be prepared, Albers said there is “certainly concern” from people who are afraid an attack could happen. He said he has his own concerns as a parent of a student attending Roswell High School. Grace Truax, a student at Centen-

nial High School, spoke at the Sandy Springs meeting and said she believes every student at her school has thought about what they would do in the event of a shooting. “I run this drill quite frequently with myself, but I never know if I’ll survive,” Truax said, according to the meeting video. Garry McGiboney, the Georgia Department of Education’s deputy superintenEVELYN ANDREWS dent of external Shannon Flounnory, the Fulton County School District’s director of affairs, said at that security, speaks at an Aug. 6 Rotary Club of Sandy Springs meeting. meeting that while many student violations are decreasdents know what to do during an emering, bringing handguns onto school gency and 82 percent reported feeling property is on the rise. Most of the safe at school. handguns were brought from home, However, the number that concerns McGiboney said. McGiboney is that only 78 percent In the latest student survey, the deknow an adult in school to ask for help. partment found that 88 percent of stu“If we don’t have the trust of the stu-

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Education | 25

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Inspiring Early Learners through 12th grade

Opportunities in arts, academics, and athletics

State Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick.

SPECIAL

dents to tell us what’s going on in the school, we’re operating blind,” he said. Sandy Springs Police Chief Ken DeSimone said at the meeting that he believed that discussing some type of gun control law is needed, according to a meeting video. “Having school safety talks and not talking about gun legislation is probably like talking about the Civil War and not talking about slavery,” he said. Sandy Springs Fire Chief Keith Sanders encouraged the committee to recommend safer school designs, such as having doors with no windows and creating better escape routes. For a model of how to improve school safety, Albers said that they don’t have to look any farther than the Fulton County School District, which Albers’ district covers. He said they are talking with districts across the U.S., however. “They have certainly been ahead of the curve,” Albers said of Fulton schools. Fulton has implemented security measures such as locked front entrances, security cameras, a management system to record visitors and more school resource officers. It also is launching a mobile app that students can use to anonymously report incidents or concerns, Shannon Flounnory, Fulton school’s director of security, said during a presentation at an Aug. 6 Rotary Club of Sandy Springs meeting. The Fulton school district now has 70 sworn officers, adding six earlier this year. The DeKalb County School District has 73 resource officers, with plans to hire 10 more by October, the district said.

The Senate School Safety Study Committee plans to meet two more times at schools. The next meeting will be held Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. Chamblee Charter High School before the final meeting in Savannah. For more information, gasenatek12safety.com.

visit

State Sen. John Albers.

SPECIAL

The Fulton officers train with local law enforcement to coordinate on how to neutralize any active shooter threat, Flounnery said. But he also puts a focus on learning de-escalation and crisis intervention tactics. “Often the tools officers need are not on their duty belt,” he said. Despite the increased discussion about school security and the recent major shootings, Flounnery said students are not in more danger at school. “Schools are still the safest place for kids to be. Without a doubt,” he said.

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New faces at local schools Marist School starts the school year with a new president and a new principal. Father William Rowland was named president of the school and Kevin Mullally named principal earlier this year. Rowland had been serving as acting president prior to his appointment. Mullally started the 2017-18 school year as vice principal and academic dean and in the past had served as the dean of the faculty and assistant dean of students.

The Galloway School has a new head of school. James Calleroz White, who started at Galloway on July 1, had worked the previous five years at Louisville Collegiate School in Kentucky. “I am so excited to be here,” he told about 700 parents, alumni and other school supporters who attended a welcome cookout Aug. 24. “I can’t tell you how long I have been waiting for a school like this. The feeling of warmth and kindness, as well as a clear love for learning, is amazing.”

Springmont School named Jon Aldean its new head of school, effective July 1. Aldean most recently worked as the head of the Nantucket New School. Springmont, located in Sandy Springs, was founded in 1963 and claims to be the oldest Montessori school in the southeastern U.S.

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SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Education | 27

Atlanta Public Schools posted new principals to several Buckhead schools at the start of the school year. Jay Bland is the new interim principal at Morris Brandon Elementary School. He worked for the three years as the assistant principal at Morningside Elementary School. Emily Boatright is the new principal at Sarah Smith Elementary School. She most recently served as dean of academics for grades three through six at Westside Atlanta Charter School. Anita Lawrence is the new principal of Bolton Academy. She most recently served as Primary Years Program principal at Wesley International Academy, an APS charter school where students receive daily lessons in Mandarin. Atlanta Classical Academy, a public charter school in Buckhead, named Chris Knowles its new principal. Knowles had served most recently as Head of the Upper School at the Westminster School at Oak Mountain, an independent K-12 classical school in Birmingham. “The board sees in Mr. Knowles a capable leader who will advance our mission and serve as the intellectual leader of the faculty and the principal teacher of the school,” said the board’s chair Matthew Kirby. “He will support our growing arts, athletics and activities programs, and manage the affairs of the whole with both a firm sense of what is right and a humble demeanor.” Holy Spirit Preparatory School has named Kristina Wilhelm director of its preschool. She will continue to work as director of admissions, the school said.

BEYOND EXPECTATIONS At Galloway, students (age 3-grade 12) are inspired to be fearless learners, to embrace challenges, and to discover more about themselves and the world around them.

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Education Briefs C A R S TA R P HEN WI NS G EO RG IA SU P E R INTENDENT O F THE Y EA R AWA R D

The American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees Local 1644 and the Georgia Federation of Public Service Employees recently presented Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen with a 2018 Georgia Superintendent of the Year Award. “Her leadership is bold and inclusive,” said Demetric Bishop, executive director of GFPSE. “Dr. Carstarphen is the best Superintendent in the state of Georgia and our students and community are blessed to have her.”

D EKA L B S ET S M EET ING S O N R ED ISTR IC TI NG FO R L EWI S EL EM ENTA RY

The DeKalb County School District has set three public meetings to gather input on upcoming redistricting for the Cross Keys cluster in Brookhaven as a new elementary school prepares to open next year. The three meetings will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Cross Keys High School, located at 1626 North Druid Hills Road, on Oct. 2, Oct. 23 and Nov. 27, according to a press release. The redistricting effort will address the additional capacity that will be created by the new John R. Lewis Elementary opening in Brookhaven, as well as the overcrowding of existing elementary schools in the Cross Keys cluster, the release said. The new school is expected to open in Brookhaven in time for the 2019-2020 school year. Lewis Elementary is currently temporarily housed in North Druid Hills at the former location of the International Student Center. Schools affected by the redistricting may include Ashford Park Elementary, Dresden Elementary, John R. Lewis Elementary, Montclair Elementary, Montgomery Elementary, Woodward Elementary, Chamblee Middle, Sequoyah Middle, Chamblee High and Cross Keys High, according to the release.

AJ A SETS ENR O L L M ENT R EC O R D

Atlanta Jewish Academy attracted a record number of students for the 2018-19 school year, the school announced. The 675 students enrolled in the school this year represent 22 synagogues, 13 countries and 35 ZIP codes spanning Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and other areas of metro Atlanta, the school said. AJA was created by the 2014 merger of Yeshiva Atlanta High School and Greenfield Hebrew Academy.

CRIST O REY S T U DENT S CO M P L ET E INT E RNS H IP S AT L ENBRO O K Six seniors from downtown Atlanta’s Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School recently graduated after successfully completing their internship at Lenbrook senior living community on Peachtree Road in Buckhead. Between 2015 and 2018, student teams of four worked closely with Lenbrook’s associates in the marketing, human resources, concierge and enrichment departments and with associates in the health center. In addition to providing business experiences, Lenbrook added “Mentoring Mondays” to the interns’ schedules: each student was paired with a resident to talk about career choices and life experiences.

ST . P IU S X VO L L EY BAL L T EAM W INS HO NO R FO R ACADEM ICS For the fifth year in a row, the American Volleyball Coaches Association has honored the St. Pius X Catholic High School volleyball team for academic excellence, the school announced. The team, honored for academics during the 2017-18 school year, has won the award eight times overall, the school said in a press release. The award honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.3 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.1 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.


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CHOA zoning paves way for Buford Highway highrises Continued from page 1

last year’s text amendment allowing up to 20-story buildings to be built by right so CHOA can build its $1.3 billion 446-bed hospital with two 19-story towers. The hospital is part of the massive medical complex development under construction at the I-85 and North Druid Hills Road interchange that was approved by the city in December. But CHOA, which is not on Buford Highway and located south of I-85, is only a small part of the proposed overlay that extends west on Buford Highway to the Buckhead border at Rivers Edge Drive and to the east to Skyland and Clairmont roads. The proposed overlay also includes some 60 acres of Executive Park owned by Emory University. CHOA attorney Woody Galloway said during public comment at the Sept. 5 Planning Commission the latest draft of the zoning rewrite eliminated the previously approved text amendment as part of the Buford Highway Overlay to allow buildings up to 20 stories be constructed by right in areas zoned M (light industrial) and C-1 (local commercial). CHOA’s campus includes these zonings. “That was the crux of the whole approval of the CHOA master plan,” Galloway told commissioners. “We can’t move forward without it.” A city spokesperson said the newest edit was an oversight and the provision allowing for up to 20-stories be built by right in the overlay will be added back into the zoning rewrite to meet CHOA’s needs. But there are numerous other properties in the proposed Buford Highway Overlay zoned M and C-1 where up to 20-story highrise could now be potentially built. They include Northeast Plaza (C-1), a 41.5-acre site city officials wanted last year to pitch to the state as the site for Amazon’s second headquarters. The Brighten Park shopping center at North Druid Hills and Briarcliff roads is zoned C-1, Corporate Square is zoned C-1 and M, and many parcels along the corridor moving toward Buckhead are also zoned C-1 and M. Planning Commission member Conor Sen said at the Sept. 5 meeting he believed

that CHOA should have its own character area study. He made that comment during discussion of a proposed annexation of property below I-85. “In looking at the map of that portion of DeKalb County, it seemed to me that it might make sense to think about the area as connected more to CHOA than to Buford Highway,” he said in a follow up interview. “But from a planning standpoint it’s ambiguous about how to handle it, since CHOA is in the city of Brookhaven, but much of the land adjacent to it is not.” The Planning Commission is holding a retreat Oct. 24 and Sen said he may raise the idea of the city looking at creating a separate CHOA character area. Community Development Director Patrice Ruffin said during the Sept. 5 meeting that the up to 20-story by right included in the June draft was deleted in the Aug. 31 zoning rewrite draft and replaced with the SLUP process for such heights to better fit in with the Buford Highway character area of the city’s comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan calls for creating a more walkable urban corridor through pedestrian-friendly development, including large shopping centers and mixed-use developments. But the city will add back the original language, said spokesperson Burke Brennan. “We rezoned the district around CHOA to allow the construction of up to 20 stories in C-1 and M districts for hospitals and related buildings,” he said. “There was a text amendment approved in 2017 that allowed for the missing language that Woody brought up at the Planning Commission. The edit was an oversight and the language will be restored.” CHOA spokesperson Brian Brodrick said CHOA is not planning future development along Buford Highway as it seeks to “transform the southern gateway to Brookhaven.” CHOA only wanted the up to 20-story by right for it North Druid Hills campus, he said. “Since portions of our property are included in the Buford Highway Overlay, that may have caused some confusion, but we have no plans to go west of I-85 at this time.”

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City ponders the big picture of more annexation Continued from page 1 At its Sept. 5 meeting, the commission rejected the rezoning and special land use permit requests by local developer Jay Gibson to build a 24-hour RaceTrac gas station and convenience store, an Express Oil change shop and a Wendy’s fast-food drive-through restaurant on approximately 4 acres in the northwest quadrant of the Clairmont and Briarcliff roads intersection. “This is part of a bigger issue … of what do we want there,” Planning Commission Chair Stan Segal said. “I just don’t see those uses in the future,” Segal added, noting the proposed development felt like “looking in the rear-view mirror.” Gibson is asking Brookhaven to annex the site after he failed to get approval from DeKalb County for the same proposed development. Only the City Council can approve annexations. And while the site is currently in unincorporated DeKalb, Brookhaven requires property considered for annexation go first through the Planning Commission to ensure the city zoning is applied. In this case, the DeKalb and city zoning allow for the same kind of developments. The council will take up the entire annexation proposal at Clairmont and Briarcliff roads at its Sept. 26 meeting. Joining Gibson in the annexation request are the Florida-based owners of Camden St. Clair apartments at 3000 Briarcliff Road. The property includes 336 units on approximately 13 acres, including a small cemetery. Attorney Carl Westmoreland represents Gibson and Camden St. Clair apartments. He said Camden St. Clair is seeking annexation because the owners believe being in the city would increase their property value. But Gibson also needs Camden St. Clair to be considered for annexation because its property borders Brookhaven and the land he wants to build on, Westmoreland said. City ordinance requires property seeking annexation be contiguous. The highly visible intersection at Briarcliff and Clairmont already includes a QuikTrip and Chevron as well as a Popeye’s fast-food chain restaurant. With the CHOA campus expected to be a catalyst for redevelopment south of I-85 and along Buford Highway, the commercial areas near Briarcliff and Clairmont are being eyed closely by developers as homeowners battle high-density developments. More than 20 DeKalb County residents living near the intersection visited Brookhaven City Hall Sept. 5 and urged the commission to deny recommending Gibson’s proposed development. They brought the same arguments they made to DeKalb officials, including that such a development would increase traffic in the already BK

congested area. “This whole area needs to be treated holistically,” Barbara Vargas told the commission. “You need to look at the whole area and not just a quadrant here and there.” Vargas suggested the spot is better suited for a hotel that would serve families and patients using CHOA. DeKalb Commissioners Jeff Rader and Kathie Gannon also suggest a hotel for the site in a letter to Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst and the City Council asking they deny the Gibson annexation request. Andrew Flake, a founding member of the Vista Grove cityhood initiative that includes the land in question, said if Brookhaven annexes this property it would harm the Vista Grove movement. A bill was filed during the last legislative season to incorporate the area that mirrors much of the 2015 failed LaVista Hills cityhood effort. Flake called Gibson’s request to Brookhaven after not getting approval from DeKalb a “cynical attempt” to conduct an end-run around the county’s process to create “jurisdictional friction.” The hopes for this area do not include the kinds of businesses Gibson is proposing, Flake added. A map for the proposed city of Vista

Grove includes land from Briarcliff Road east to past Pleasantdale Road and south to Embry Hills, with I-85 as its northern border. The proposed Vista Grove would be about 16 square miles with roughly 58,000 residents and, if approved, would become DeKalb County’s largest city. DYANA BAGBY Brookhaven has Developer Jay Gibson spoke to the Brookhaven Planning about 52,000 resiCommission on Sept. 5 about his proposed project to build a Wendy’s, 24-hour RaceTrac and Express Oil dents. change center at Briarcliff and Clairmont roads. Martha Gross of the North Druid Hills Resident Association said any rezonis unknown but will likely include highing of the area along Clairmont and Briardensity projects to complement CHOA’s cliff roads needs to include a vision stateplans. ment from Executive Park and CHOA. Executive Park is also included in the Executive Park was annexed into proposed Buford Highway Overlay District. Brookhaven four years ago along with City Manager Christian Sigman said in CHOA. Emory University owns Executive an interview that Emory has not informed Park and Brookhaven approved a new Atthe city what plans it has for Executive lanta Hawks practice facility on that site. Park. What else is planned for the Executive Park

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