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Stafford School Board hears from public about redistricting options | Education

The Stafford County School Board is thinking of specific redistricting to choose result next 12 months as a “short-term” system for taking care of development in the faculty division, and mothers and fathers are not content about it.

The board held a general public hearing Tuesday on proposed redistricting designs that would have an affect on seven elementary faculties and two middle educational facilities.

“[Capacity issues] are heading to be ever existing right up until new colleges are created,” claimed Tiffany Marshall, the mom of two kindergartners at Park Ridge Elementary. “But moving children from a university that is in going for walks length to a college that is six miles away round journey would seem like the quite worst circumstance scenario and ought to not be entertained as the only choice readily available.”

There are about 30,000 learners enrolled in Stafford general public educational institutions, in accordance to the official 2021 fall membership rely. That implies enrollment each recovered from a pandemic-connected dip and enhanced by 3 p.c compared to the 2019–2020 college yr.

Enrollment projections show the college student populace is anticipated to expand by 8 percent—or 2,200 students—in the up coming five many years, and by 19 percent—or 5,900 students—by 2032.

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This 12 months, five elementary schools—Park Ridge, Conway, Rocky Operate, Hartwood and Hampton Oaks—are at or around potential.

In 5 many years, Falmouth, Stafford, Kate Waller Barrett and Moncure will also be overcrowded.

None of the five county center educational institutions are at potential this college year, but projections exhibit that Drew Middle will be around capacity upcoming year and both of those Drew and H.H. Poole Center will be in excess of ability in 5 decades.

Stafford’s authorised 10-calendar year funds enhancement approach does not have a new elementary or center school opening until eventually August 2030.

In January, division personnel proposed boundary improvements to equilibrium enrollment among Park Ridge, Garrisonville, Hartwood and Margaret Brent elementary colleges.

The initial of two Park Ridge designs underneath consideration—known as situation B—would go 175 pupils from the Park Ridge and Oaks at Park Ridge subdivisions to Garrisonville Elementary.

That transform would imply 27 youngsters who can wander to college this 12 months would ride buses to Garrisonville upcoming yr.

The other Park Ridge plan—scenario D—shifts 179 learners to Garrisonville and creates an island in the Park Ridge attendance zone.

The very first of two Hartwood designs moves 81 pupils to Margaret Brent Elementary. That system would impact 23 neighborhoods all around U.S. 17, Hartwood Road and Curtis Park.

The second Hartwood prepare would go 84 learners from 16 neighborhoods around Truslow Highway to Brent Elementary and would create an island disconnected from the rest of the Brent attendance zone.

To decrease overcrowding at Conway Elementary, employees recommend installing six trailers, or “relocatable lecture rooms.” The Faculty Board is also thinking about a boundary improve that would reassign 37 students to Ferry Farm Elementary and 39 students to Grafton Village Elementary.

Park Ridge dad and mom who spoke Tuesday are upset at the plan of their kids remaining moved out of the community school.

“For virtually 30 decades, the kids of Park Ridge have attended the college,” explained Rosmary Goudyrev. “We all know why this [redistricting] is occurring. It is taking place to accommodate the new enhancement at Embrey Mill. It’s not the fault of the residents of Embrey Mill that the school they had been promised was not constructed. But it is certainly not the fault of Park Ridge people, and what precedent does it established to redistrict pupils out of neighborhood faculties simply because of development?”

Nicole Gramenopoulos, an Embrey Mill resident, explained mothers and fathers in her neighborhood have been “enraged” when their learners were being moved from Winding Creek Elementary to Park Ridge in the very last redistricting, which happened in 2019. She reported all those dad and mom would be content to have their children return to Winding Creek.

Gremenopoulos claimed Embrey Mill will have 1,800 homes when advancement is complete, and if there are young children in only fifty percent of these homes, there will still be enough to fill an entire faculty.

“You are continuing to overlook the challenge that is Embrey Mill,” she said. “The answer is a single that the School Board refuses to admit—a redistricting of the total county.”

Following the community hearing, the board read a new proposal for adding eight trailers to Park Ridge, but board members didn’t like the simple fact that learners would need to have to go back and forth among the school rooms and the principal developing in order to use the lavatory.

Garrisonville District representative Maureen Siegmund acknowledged that there is no effortless alternative to the challenge of overcrowding at Park Ridge Elementary.

“Are we heading to go learners who are virtually in their [neighborhood’s] namesake faculty, or are we heading to go back as a result of the listing and redistrict other learners 2 times?” Siegmund mentioned. “Those are the two balls we have in the air.”

The board is anticipated to vote on all or some blend of the growth-management alternatives on March 22.

Adele Uphaus–Conner:

540/735-1973

[email protected]

@flsadele

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