My girls started Chesnut in K and 1st grade. My oldest daughter who started in 1st went all the way through 5th grade and unfortunately my youngest had to leave and go to Dunwoody this school year because we moved. I had absolutely nothing but the best experience at Chesnut. The teacher, staff, administration, and even custodial staff are amazing. This is a true family orientated environment. I am working to get my youngest back in Chesnut for her last year of elementary school. trying the school choice and hopefully we get picked. So anyone skeptical about this school please lose the skepticism and enjoy this wonderful school
My child is a challenged, low IQ, VERY social student that transferred from Sophia Academy. The support and knowledge of the staff at Chesnut has been a miracle. He is in a self contained IEP classroom but the teachers are already trying to incorporate him into a general education classroom two days a week for science and social studies!!! He loves it and it accelerates his will to be the most he can be. MY HUSBAND, MYSELF, AND MOSTLY, MY CHILD LOVES CHESNUT!!!!!
Chesnut is a wonderful school. As the smallest elementary school in Dunwoody, there is a real sense of community spirit, the kids are genuinely happy to be there and the staff are not only experienced but appear to love what they do. Parents are really encouraged to be involved in the school and to collaborate with the staff all the time, which is a wonderful feature of being a charter school. There is a lot of parental support for fundraising, which has helped the school apply for grants and fund many fantastic new projects and renovations. There are numerous extra-curricular offerings at this school such as an annual musical, robotics, ecology club and after school foreign languages, tennis and other sports. If your main reason for choosing a school is how it looks on paper via test scores, then take the time to visit this school and see for yourself. If you want your child to be challenged academically, have opportunities to develop their interests, be loved by their teachers and to experience the diversity that is the real world in a supportive small school , you won't be disappointed here.
There is so much outdated information here about Chesnut... I don't know how things get updated, but here is more recent info. The Principal is Veronica Williams, who took over when Dr. Reid passed away. She was his Asst. Principal, so she was in a great position and knew the school when she stepped up. The 2013-14 tests scores climbed in some areas by double digits and the school was recognized as top 10 in the county for reading. The outdoor learning area (gardens, planting beds, Wellness and Ecology focus) are 3 years old now and each year are used by more and more classes - it's being built into the lesson plants, slowly but surely. There is no longer a language program - this was cut in the budget years ago for all ES schools. Chesnut is only a few steps away from full STEM certification - many schools says they are teaching STEM classes, but this is not the same as the level of commitment for certification, which is very high. There is a science and technology club, and a robotics team, which has won awards in the county competition since it's very first year. There is something awesome for everyone at Chesnut. Great teachers, few exceptions, high parent involvement.
What I have seen of my grandson's work and homework is just wonderful. He always has things to say about his day. His parents are excited about the school. They do a lot with his class. I have been to the school and feel that it is a safe and warm environment. They all are happy, which makes me happy!
Chesnut is a class act charter school! One of the best Dekalb Co has to offer. The teachers and other professionals there know my son by name and make me feel so at ease when we are on campus. My 10 year old is a 4th grader who loves his school. He is bummed that he will only be able to attend one more year there before going to middle school.
Here are the things to know about Chesnut. It's diverse and, yes, that's the real world. That's scary for many families in Dunwoody and some seek to send their kids to Austin in Vanderlyn where there is very little diversity. As is sometimes the case, academic performance can correlate with socio-economic demographics and because Chesnut has a disproportionate number of apartment families with sometimes lower incomes-- overall test scores are sometimes below the other schools in the zone. If you are an involved parent, your child will learn as much and score as high as any other school in the zone. If you are not, your child will not...as they would not anywhere. Aside from that datapoint, Chesnut is a real family, a very small community (only 475 seats compared to nearly double at DES, and NO TRAILERS!) with a loving and committed staff. You could do FAR worse in Dunwoody, even if you end up at the platinum-labeled Austin or Vanderlyn. Schools are more than testing, they're more than reputations. At Chesnut, the administration focuses on that and that helps many kids flourish.
We are new to Dunwoody and we love Chesnut! The parent and community involvement is great and we love the environmental stewardship of the ecology club and the Wellness Committee. We hope that the school garden and outdoor classroom will be utilized by more teachers because it is such a great idea. The educational offerings are good and the Discovery program is great. Chesnut is a secret gem in Dunwoody. Do not pay attention to the test scores--this is a great school!
Based on Dekalb county s school ratings and School Digger s rating, I am very apprehensive about sending my son to Chestnut for Kindergarten. In fact, we are looking to relocate so that we can be in Dunwoody s #1 rated elementary school. School started this past week and I had expectation of having to deal with unhappy staff and misbehaved children. Well, it s been a week since school started and I am overwhelmed with the great impressions I got from everyone from his teacher (Mr.C), the principal, all the way down to the lunch lady. The PTA members and Charter Council members seem to be very knowledgeable with a sincere interest in their child s and the school s life. Due to the school being a charter, parent involvement is required and it is apparent that the parents actually want to participate and not doing it because it s mandatory. In my opinion, parent involvement is what makes a school a great one. Chestnut Charter is a secret gem in Dunwoody! Don t be discouraged by the school s ratings.