Western Albemarle Redistricting Public Hearing – 11 December 2012

Just an option

Note: The above is an option. As far as I know, it’s not a decision (nothing is as of yet). But … this is the type of thing that is decided if you’re not involved in the conversation.

The worst thing about the Western Albemarle Feeder pattern redistricting conversations is seeing families pitted against each other. We all love our schools, we love our kids, we like our property values. Let’s focus on what’s best for all of the kids.

Are you going to the redistricting public hearing tomorrow night?

You are invited to preview the Public Meeting Presentation in advance of the meeting on December 11. At the meeting, staff will review the redistricting proposals and community members will have the opportunity to offer input to the Redistricting Advisory Committee. We encourage you to attend the meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Meriwether Lewis Elementary School. Following the public meeting on Tuesday, December 11, please return to this web page for an opportunity to participate in an online redistricting survey.

Spend some time reading the presentation slides to be shown tomorrow night (12/11/12) at the redistricting committee public hearing.

This is the presentation from the meeting on 27 November, 2012

Current class enrollments in Western feeder pattern elementaries and Red Hill (12/9/12)
– The Western Albemarle Redistricting facebook page has been quite active. As much as I hate Facebook, this has been an interesting and useful page for connecting and learning (and listening).

I put some thoughts on RealCentralVA (specifically a real estate blog) about this topic –

Adequate Public Facilities legislation. Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, so the localities can’t do anything without the General Assembly’s blessing. Learn who your legislators are. Find out who funds them. Get organized. Understand that getting such legislation is likely going to take longer to enact than your kids are going to be in elementary (and probably middle, maybe high) school.

Proffers . Each new family costs money. Each student (new or old) costs money. I’m somewhat making this number up, but if a student costs $10k to educate at a public school (really, why no vouchers to allow choice?), and the home brings in between $1500 per year for a $200k home to $4500 for a $600k home … these homes are not paying for themselves. The bulk of school funding comes from property taxes.

Special Tax District. I know other areas of the country have school taxes (and fire taxes, etc) – would you consider paying a school tax if you could be assured that the money would be spent wisely and only for schools (not increased bureaucracy or unnecessary administrators)?

Limit population : Now that you’re here, would you want a cap on how many people are permitted to live in Albemarle County? (see: ASAP)

Press release after the break.

Albemarle County Public Schools families will have the opportunity to review and comment upon options for the possible redistricting and reconfigurations of some elementary schools in the northern and western portions of the county at two public meetings next month. The meetings will be held on Monday, December 10, at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School and Tuesday, December 11, at Meriwether Lewis Elementary School. Both meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The division’s redistricting advisory committee includes two subcommittees totaling 22 parents and community advisors. One subcommittee is considering changes to attendance zones in the northern feeder pattern, where Agnor-Hurt is more than 100 students overcapacity. Students may be relocated to Broadus Wood, Greer and/or Woodbrook elementary schools beginning next August. At the December 10 public meeting, school division staff and the subcommittee will present several options for how Agnor-Hurt’s overcapacity should be resolved, and the subcommittee will receive public feedback.

At the December 11 public meeting, the western feeder pattern subcommittee will discuss short-term options for Meriwether Lewis, which include taking no action or recommending that a limited number of students be relocated to either Crozet or Murray elementary schools. The subcommittee also will present its analysis of planning options for the next several years to address projected enrollment growth among several elementary schools in the region. This will include the impact on feeder patterns for middle and high schools. The public will be able to review and comment on these options and on the longer-range planning analysis.

None of the schools in the western feeder pattern are at the overcapacity level that exists at Agnor-Hurt. Given the county’s projected growth patterns in that area, however, the subcommittee’s recommendations are an opportunity for the school division to anticipate and prepare for the impact of growth over the long term.

To ensure that all families who could be impacted by redistricting next year have the opportunity to review all options and offer comment, an online survey will be sent to them during the week of the public meetings.

Following the public meetings, the subcommittees will analyze, vote upon, and forward their recommendations to the Superintendent, who in turn will recommend solutions to the School Board in January. The Board will decide upon the proposals that will be presented at a public hearing later in the winter.

“The parents and community members of our two subcommittees are highly connected to the families at the schools they represent. They are making extraordinary contributions to the decision-making process,” said Josh Davis, the division’s Chief Operating Officer and the primary facilitator for the two subcommittees. “Members began with a clean sheet of paper, meaning all ideas and options were on the table. They continue to be exhaustive in their research and are asking insightful questions,” he added.

“Subcommittee members are open-minded in their deliberations with their focus on solutions that serve the best interests of our students and families. That is first on the priority list for all of our volunteers,” Davis said.

Concurrent with the December 10 and 11 public meetings and in addition to the surveys that will be sent to individual families, any member of the public will be able to review and comment on subcommittee recommendations. These will be posted on the school division’s website beginning December 10. This survey and information about subcommittee members, meeting dates, and minutes can be accessed at www.k12albemarle.org/redistricting by clicking on the “Current Projects” link in the left-navigation of the page.

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