HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Henrico County public schools unveiled five new school redistricting map drafts ahead of Wednesday night’s community meeting. The draft maps were drawn with input from a community-based redistricting committee made up of 24 parents from schools involved in the redistricting Committee members met with parents earlier this month to get feedback on the two original redistricting maps.
Henrico County Schools Assistant Superintendent Pat Kinlaw said the committee is offering more redistricting map draft options this time because as the process continues, more parents are becoming aware of the impact rezoning could have in their child’s school and those parents are getting involved. The county is redistricting West End elementary schools to ease overcrowding and to fill a new school under construction off Pouncey Tract Road in far northwest Henrico.
“People get tied to their schools emotionally, they get used to being in a certain school,” Dr. Kinlaw said. “We recognize redistricting is difficult for families. But we have overcrowded schools and we have the luxury of having a new school opening to ease overcrowding. While the process may be uncomfortable now, when the schools open everything will be fine.”
Wednesday’s public information meeting at Hermitage High School from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. will be the final community meeting on the subject, Kinlaw said. During the meeting, parents can meet redistricting committee members and discuss the options and their concerns. Parents who cannot attend the meeting, can submit comments online. Online feedback will be accepted October 24 through October 28.
On Monday, the redistricting committee will present the finalized map options to the Henrico County School Board.
Wednesday morning a group of parents and students upset with Henrico County’s original school redistricting maps marched in a “show of solidarity.” The march from the Wellsley community to Short Pump Elementary school was designed to show school leaders that it is a bad idea to split Wellsley into different schools.
According to a website set-up by the county, the following schools could be affected by the opening of the new school:
- Colonial Trail Elementary
- Gayton Elementary
- Jackson Davis Elementary
- Longan Elementary
- Nuckols Farm Elementary
- Springfield Park Elementary
- Pinchbeck Elementary
- Ridge Elementary
- Rivers Edge Elementary
- Shady Grove Elementary
- Short Pump Elementary
“We’ve opened many new schools,” Dr. Kinlaw said. “When the kids actually get to school, the kids are fine, they do well.” Kinlaw added he did not anticipate “wholesale changes” to Henrico middle and high school districts calling that situation “more stable.”
For more information on the county’s redistricting plan click here.
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