Albemarle Schools Redistricting Committee Hears from Parents - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle Schools Redistricting Committee Hears from Parents

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The hot-button issue of school redistricting came back up in Albemarle County Tuesday night.

While some schools are bursting at the seams, others aren't as packed but are still facing changes. Tuesday night, parents at Meriwether Lewis Elementary School gave their opinions on the topic.

Parents were very outspoken and wanted to make sure the redistricting subcommittee for the western part of Albemarle County heard them loud and clear.

About 200 parents filled the gym at Meriwether Lewis and over 70 signed up to speak. They also gave the committee a petition with nearly 400 signatures requesting that no changes be made to the boundaries of the school.

"Enrollment at Meriwether Lewis has varied less than 2 percent over the past six years, with a notable decline of 12 students this fall in 2012. Our designation of an overcrowded school is merely the result of a new program capacity formula, not an increase in our student number," said Nancy Paulson, a member of the Meriwether Lewis PTO.

Options on the table Tuesday night included keeping Meriwether Lewis in a holding pattern with no immediate redistricting, and moving up to 55 students from Meriwether Lewis to Murray Elementary School and/or Crozet Elementary School.

Most parents agreed that no change was necessary. Some expressed concerns that students would be taken to schools further away from their homes.

Currently, Meriwether Lewis is 52 students over capacity, but parents say that has had no impact on the school or the students. They believe moving the students now would result in another redistricting issue in a couple of years.

The committee says being proactive is important.

"It's important to engage the public early so we can get feedback on that," said Matt Haas, chair of the redistricting subcommittee for western Albemarle.

The committee will take the feedback from Tuesday night and meet again next week. From there it will come up with a proposal to present to the superintendent sometime in January.

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