At their final meeting on Wednesday evening, the committee recommended Option 9a as their suggestion for the proposed boundary changes that will be implemented in fall 2018. Option 9a was recommended by 23 out of the 28 members present. As with all advisory groups though, the final decision rests with the School Board, who are scheduled to vote on the boundary changes on January 26.
Option 9a was the option deemed to fit the redistricting criteria best. The overarching goals of the criteria are to enable students to attend their neighborhood school with equitable access to instructional programs and services, in a cost effective manner, unless there is a demonstrated need or desire to attend a designated citywide program.
Option 9a increases the number of elementary school walkers from 4,718 to 4,992 students, thereby reducing transportation costs. It retains diversity among students as far as possible at all elementary schools.
This option most significantly affects students currently at six elementary schools: William Ramsay Elementary School, George Mason Elementary School, John Adams Elementary School, Samuel Tucker Elementary School, James K. Polk Elementary School and Patrick Henry Elementary School. This option would mean movement for 474 students.
Under Option 9a, all schools except Mount Vernon Community School and George Mason Elementary School would fall within the optimal 90 percent to 110 percent live-in utilization rate. Mount Vernon would be at 114 percent live-in utilization, while George mason would be at 116 percent. Currently, six schools are over the optimal live-in utilization rate, with Samuel Tucker Elementary School at 170 percent, William Ramsay at 136 percent, George Mason at 154 percent, Douglas MacArthur at 122 percent and John Adams at 120 percent utilization. Increasing enrollment would see these numbers rise still further over the course of the next five years.
The Redistricting Review Committee was also conscious of trying to balance the rate of students receiving free and reduced school meals (FARM) across the division, as far as possible. All schools will stay within 8 to 10 percent change in either direction.
Boundary zones for Jefferson-Houston will remain the same under Option 9a as representatives for the school argued that redistricting would not affect the outcome of the school to any degree.
Key changes include:
Both sides of Valley Drive will all be zoned for George Mason Elementary School, to save splitting a street down the middle.
Planning block 72, previously zoned for George Mason Elementary School will now be zoned for Charles Barrett Elementary School.
Part of planning block 14 near Old Dominion Road, currently zoned for George Mason Elementary School will now be zoned for Charles Barrett Elementary School (planning block 120).
Cora Kelly will include any future new development from Glebe Road toward Alexandria (planning block 98).
Douglas MacArthur Elementary School will incorporate four planning blocks (6, 60, 62 and 63), previously zoned for John Adams Elementary School. These additional numbers will be absorbed by the new school building planned for the MacArthur site.
The West End sees a large shake-up as a new school zone has been drawn for the proposed West End school at 1701 N. Beauregard. It absorbs planning blocks 3, 46, 47, 48 and 54 from William Ramsay Elementary School.
Students in planning blocks 2 and 117, currently zoned for James K. Polk Elementary School, will now attend William Ramsay Elementary School.
Planning blocks 24 and 1, currently zoned for Samuel Tucker, will now be zoned for James K. Polk Elementary School.
Patrick Henry Elementary School will now include two planning blocks (22 and 23) that had previously been zoned for Samuel Tucker Elementary School.
Planning blocks 27 and 119 previously zoned for Patrick Henry Elementary School will now be zoned for James K. Polk Elementary School.