“It is an exhilarating time to be at Pleasantdale Elementary, and our students truly love our new building.”
DeKalb County School District (DCSD) officials, staff, students, and families celebrated the new Pleasantdale Elementary School building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 14. Students greeted attendees, read poems, and staged outstanding musical performances.
Pleasantdale Elementary is one of the district’s newest modern facilities. Its state-of-the-art, 118,911 square foot facility design utilizes many of the most current trends in school construction. The result impressively provides a visually appealing learning and teaching environment for students and teachers.
“It is an exhilarating time to be at Pleasantdale Elementary, and our students truly love our new building,” said Principal Amy Heutel.
Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris said that while the district is celebrating the opening of the new Pleasantdale Elementary School, DCSD is also celebrating a school community that recognizes the vision of the DCSD graduate and “inspires our community of learners to achieve educational excellence.”
“This new facility, this staff, this learning community, and most importantly, Pleasantdale scholars are the very essence of who we are and what we do to ensure student success, leading to higher education, work, and lifelong learning,” said Watson-Harris.
The school officially opened at the beginning of the 2021–2022 academic year, and the ceremonial ribbon cutting was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions. District 4 Board Member Allyson Gevertz said it was important to commemorate the new building in person with students, teachers, staff, and community members.
“This building is a metaphor for what has evolved with Pleasantdale. In their old building, it was not in good shape, and it needed a new building,” Gevertz said. “Similar to the needs of the Spanish-speaking community, this community really wasn’t getting its needs met, and over the years, they’ve advocated, and now there is a dual-language immersion program that has expanded. It’s really exciting.”
In the dual-language immersion program, students begin learning in two languages—often receiving instructions in several course areas in the respective language of study—beginning in kindergarten until the transition into middle school. Students continue the program for six years, often sticking together at each grade level.
“To have that teacher who is teaching them math and science in their target language, it enhances everything,” said Trikera Taylor, Coordinator of World Language Programs for DCSD. “They have an opportunity to be immersed in a bilingual environment daily—in English and in Spanish. There are beautiful opportunities [at Pleasantdale].”
This $28.5-million facility is another successful construction project funded through E-SPLOST IV. It replaces its former namesake, which opened in 1968 and was located at 3695 Northlake Drive in the Northcrest Community of Doraville.