CCAC Meeting This Thursday, 15 September 2011

  1. Agenda Review. (Meg Holden – CCAC Chair)
    2. Approval of Minutes from August 18, 2011 meeting. 3. Public Comment
    4. Updates on Claudius Place and Crozet Square developments (Katurah Roells) 5. Follow-up on discussion about children walking and biking to area schools.
    6. Follow-up on Jarman’s Gap/Old Trail Drive detention pond concerns 7. Sub-committees, ombudsman and supporting members of each. (Meet the CCAC handout; Meg Holden).
    8. Project Updates/Information: * Jarman’s Gap Road construction, road closing at Haden Lane Sept 12 to Nov 12.
    * Crozet Square/CSX Parking log update (Ann Mallek) * Library parking lot construction, (Tim Tolson)
    * Others?
    9. Announcements.
  2. Items not listed on the agenda.
  3. Future agenda items (CCAC) a. Outreach to other county advisory councils.
    b. Other items?

Adjourn

I’m not sure whether I’m going to be able to attend this meeting to live-tweet it; anyone else interested?


Turns out kids are allowed to walk to school … in an email to Meg West, the Chair of the CCAC, Josh Davis says: (bolding is mine)

Good Afternoon Meg,

Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) remains committed to ensuring student safety and promoting healthy lifestyles, and we believe that walking to our schools can be accomplished safely in many circumstances.

India Haun (principal, Brownsville Elementary) and I can attend the September 15 CCAC meeting.

Policy is promulgated by the School Board, and no current policy directly addresses students walking to school. School Board Policy EEAB “School Bus Routing and Scheduling” includes:

“VI. School Traffic Control Plans
A written vehicular and pedestrian traffic control plan for each school shall be reviewed annually for safety hazards. All new school site plans shall include provisions that promote vehicular and pedestrian safety.”

The County Attorney’s Office agrees that parents may allow their children to walk to school. Our principals are open to dialogue with families on this subject, and may request permission forms from families. I spoke with Greg Domecq at WAHS, Patrick McLaughlin at Henley Middle, and India Haun at Brownsville Elementary since the August CCAC meeting. WAHS allows walking, as long as the crosswalk at the US 250 stoplight is used to cross the highway. Crozet Elementary has some students who walk or bike. Henley and Brownsville report little or no queries from families regarding walking.

Joe Letteri (Director, Building Services for ACPS) and I met with Rebecca Ragsdale and other members of the Community Development staff on Friday September 2. We reviewed the Old Trail Master Plan and documents such as a sewer easement granted to the Old Trail developer by the School Board in December 2007. We learned that the developer has committed to construction of a Class A (paved) trail connecting the Old Trail “greenway” to the Brownsville/Henley campus. Community Development staff will contact the developer to determine the status of meeting their obligation. Mr. Letteri will be pleased to engage with the developer regarding construction of that trail and it’s interface with school property.

The Old Trail Master Plan also includes plans for housing adjacent to the west of the Henley campus, and a road that would connect Old Trail Drive to the Henley campus near the basketball courts. This development may be years away, but it will eventually provide a direct path for Old Trail residents to walk or bike to Henley and Brownsville.

I look forward to the meeting on Thursday evening.

Regards,
Josh

Josh Davis
Interim Chief Operating Officer
Albemarle County Public Schools
(434) 296-5877

Three thoughts:

1 – Thank you to the Albemarle County school administration for finally addressing this question.

2 – For consistency’s sake, do kids who drive to school sign permission forms?

3 – Are kids at WAHS still going to be bused over to Henley (as they have been in the past) for sports practices?

Now, I’m done.

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7 Replies to “CCAC Meeting This Thursday, 15 September 2011”

  1. Just one “back in my day” comment in reference to your thought #3…

    When I was at Henley (circa 1996) I walked across 250 (before there was even a flashing light at the crosswalk!) to take geometry at Western with a few other 8th graders. No injuries or accidents at all! We made it to math class and back to the middle school all year. 

    The idea that they are busing perfectly capable high schoolers across a road that is very safely marked… ridiculous. We also used to across the road during cross country practice–also unscathed. At that point they had upgraded the crosswalk.

    I’m glad a few administrators can come to tomorrow’s meeting. I hope more show up and this whole issue can be cleared up once and for all.

    1. There is nothing to be cleared up about walking to school. You already know the answer.  And, the Administrators that show up really have nothing to do with it.

      1. The administrators who showed up mostly said they would have to have discussion among the schools.  We understand that our children’s safety is foremost, but nobody wants to take any responsibility to say “this is the policy”.  However, they WILL say, “it’s not up to me”.  We never get a real answer.

  2. I guess that an unelected board was needed to communicate the fact that children can walk to school. WAHS will allow walking with conditions? It is
    none of their business and creates confusion for the uneducated that have school age children. Sadly,I see no comments on whether children are allowed
    to go to school without a hat when it is raining.

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