HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Henrico County School Board on Thursday heard public comment regarding school redistricting that could affect thousands of families.
Parents lined up to make the case for several different options — each of them hoping that their child would be helped the most and disrupted the least.
Thursday’s meeting was polite, but passions boiled beneath. Redistricting upsets the status quo.
“I’m trying to save Glen Allen High School,” Pete Kinsella said.
The board’s immediate goal is relieving congestion at Hungary Creek Middle School, but over the next two years, they’ll chart a course for a rapidly expanding and diverse Henrico population.
In the proposed Option D Adjusted, Hungry Creek MS will get necessary capacity relief, L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be able to accommodate the new gifted program and Shady Grove Elementary School will feed entirely into Short Pump Middle School. Additionally, Springfield Park Elementary School will feed entirely into Holman Middle School, Echo Lake Elementary School will split between Holman Middle Schol and Hungary Creek will be more balanced.
Additionally, Springfield Park ES will feed entirely into Holman MS, Echo Lake ES will split between Holman MS and Hungary Creek will be more balanced. The entire pro and con list can be found here.
“Three of the middle schools in this redistricting are near 70 percent poverty rate, think about that,” Stephanie Chow said. “A thousand student capacity school with 700 kids that their families are struggling to provide them food.”
Kinsella added, “Glen Allen High School right now is in the top 25. I’m convinced that if you don’t take a different path, you’re going to wreck that. By the time my kids get there, you’ll be lucky if it’s in the top 150.
Parents also complained about longer trips on the bus, preserving programs for the gifted and preserving social networks.
“The students will likely lose the majority of their friends; probably lose their friends from Glen Allen as they enter middle school and will be forced by this board to start over to make new friends,” Amy Smith argued. “Middle school is difficult enough without the added undue stress of knowing basically no one in your class.”
The overwhelming sentiment is that redistricting will create winners and losers.
“Why don’t you tweak option C?” Chow asked. “It disrupts the least number of kids, allows them to attend closer middle schools and had an 81 percent support rate.”
Click here to view all of the proposed options.
If the school board ultimately decides that Option D Adjusted should move forward for consideration with the other options, the online survey and interactive map will be updated on Friday to reflect the adjusted option.
- Proposed Option D Adjusted map can be found here.
- Original Option D map can be found here.
- The students who will be affected can be found here.
- Is your neighborhood included? You can find out here.
The public meeting will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at the New Bridge Learning Center’s auditorium on Nine Mile Road.