Albemarle County parents that have been impacted by redistricting have a chance to have their voices heard when it comes to where their children might go to school.
Albemarle County hopes to create a redistricting advisory committee with parents and community members to figure out which 300 Agnor-hurt and Greer students should attend Woodbrook Elementary School starting in 2018.
Agnor hurt and Greer are both over-crowded, which led to the Woodbrook expansion project.
But with 300 new spots opening up at Woodbrook, the county has to redistrict elementary schools to figure out who goes where.
Assistant Superintendent Matt Haas says the county is doing the more technical data analysis on issues like demographics and bus ride lengths, but also wants to have some perspective from parents.
“There are also a lot of nuanced decisions that only key stakeholders like parents, other important community members, can lend their voices to. So you try to think of everything and leave no stone unturned, but it's really important to include parents in that process,” said Haas.
The committee will have 12 members, including two from each of those elementary schools and one each from Burley and Jack Jouett Middle Schools, as the students will end up in one of those two schools.
Albemarle County Public Schools Press Release:
Albemarle County Public Schools is seeking community representatives to serve on a redistricting advisory committee to address overcrowding at Agnor-Hurt and Greer elementary schools. Students would relocate to an expanded Woodbrook Elementary School, beginning with the 2018-19 school year.
Over the past five years, enrollment for these schools has increased by 250 students, and projections indicate that enrollment increases will continue. To address the need for more classroom space, the School Board proposed the equivalent of a 16-classroom addition to be built at Woodbrook in time for the 2018-19 school year. Albemarle County voters approved the use of general obligation bonds to finance the project in a referendum last November.
The Woodbrook addition would increase the capacity of the school by about 300 seats, moving the entire school’s capacity to nearly 600 students. This expansion is projected to serve the capacity needs of the urban ring elementary schools for at least the next 10 years.
Specifically, the redistricting advisory committee is asked to develop recommendations that address current and projected overcrowding at the three schools and to consider middle school student assignments that might be impacted by a change in elementary school attendance boundaries. Several guiding principles were set forth by the School Board:
- Attendance areas should largely be contiguous.
- When possible, elementary and middle school boundaries should align.
- Transportation routes should reflect the minimum ride times possible.
- Neighborhoods should be assigned to the same schools whenever possible.
Also, the School Board said that the committee should seek to achieve student demographic balance among all three schools, and it directed that the committee refrain from proposing the grandfathering of any students. The Board will retain that option.
The redistricting committee will consist of 12 community members: two apiece from the Agnor-Hurt, Greer, and Woodbrook school communities; one representative each from the Burley and Jouett middle school communities; and two at-large representatives. The final two members will be appointed from the school division’s Long-Range Planning Advisory Committee and its Equity and Diversity Committee.
Appointments to the committee will be made by Superintendent Dr. Pamela R. Moran by August, and the committee will hold two meetings per month in September, October and November. The committee’s final recommendations to the Superintendent will inform her redistricting recommendations to the School Board in December.
The Board will hold a public hearing on the redistricting proposal in January and will make a decision that month. A transition plan for the families who will be involved in the process will begin in February, and students will attend their new school beginning in August of 2018, when the Woodbrook addition is scheduled to be completed.
For information on the 2017 Redistricting Advisory Committee and to download an application, visit:
Applications must be received by the School Board Clerk via email, fax, or postal mail no later than noon on Friday, July 14, 2017. Additional submission details are provided on the application.