Albemarle County Parents, Students say Redistricting is going Well

Posted: Updated:

Redistricting is now a reality in Albemarle County with many students starting class in a new school this year. Now parents, teachers, and students are speaking out about how the transition is gong.

Redistricting has moved nearly 80 students from Agnor-Hurt Elementary to Broadus Wood, Woodbrook, or Greer elementaries. The schools estimate 48 former Agnor-Hurt students are at Broadus Wood, 19 are at Woodbrook, and 10 are at Greer. Agnor-Hurt now has approximately 550 students, but the school's capacity is 464  - so it is still overcrowded.

Parents and students say the move to new schools is going well. Teachers tried to make the transition easier for students by inviting them to events throughout the spring and summer to meet new friends. It seems to have worked - the students say they fit right in already.

"Well, I really liked my old school but I really like this school because I get to meet new friends," said 5th grade student Caroline Smith, who started this school year off at Woodbrook.

Lorrie Smith, Caroline's mother, said the change is good and her kids are enjoying their new school. "They make friends whether it's through after school activities or sports so this is just a new place to make new friends and I think they're just doing great," she said.

Fifth graders and their siblings have the option to remain at Agnor-Hurt, through a "grandfather clause," but they must provide their own transportation or use an existing Agnor-Hurt bus stop.

The students who have switched schools this year still get to see friends from their old schools in outside activities and some will meet again in middle school.

In the meantime, plans are in place to create an addition to Agnor-Hurt Elementary. An architect for the project recently was selected. The addition will bring the school's capacity from 464 students to 600 and the projections have Agnor-Hurt leveling off at 586 students over the next five years. The addition will help but administrations say the school will still likely be close to capacity.

Construction on an addition to the school is expected to begin in June of 2014 and should be open in August of 2015.