Western Henrico parents worried about redistricting plans

Posted at 12:35 AM, Oct 25, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-25 00:35:24-04

Henrico, VA. (WTVR) - After Wednesday morning’s protest by parents from Henrico County’s Wellesley community against school leaders possibly splitting their neighborhood into two different school districts, the protests continued Wednesday night at Hermitage High School, along with parents from 10 other elementary schools in western Henrico.

Here’s the issue: since western Henrico is growing, the county has to add a new school by 2013. That means shifting students from their old school to the new ones.

Right now, there are five redistricting options on the table.

“So, we`re getting input from those five options,” said Dr. Patrick Kinlaw, Deputy Superintendent of Henrico County schools.

He says they’ve gone through redistricting in the past, and it’s worked out fine for the parents and their kids.

“It’s a lot about change and not knowing,” said Kinlaw.

“This is not what this is about,” said parent Rebecca Barricklow.

She says it’s about logic.Barricklow likes redistricting map option number one for her kids who attend Short Pump Elementary.

“We have sidewalks going from our neighborhood to Short Pump. This is the only plan that has my neighborhood intact,” she said.

“There`s one proposal that puts us at under 70% population,” said parent Bruce Mitchell. His child attends Colonial Trail. He believes if more than half of the kids that leave Colonial Trail and attend the new school, Colonial Trail will lost music teachers.

But, Kinlaw says that won’t happen. He says those kids will get the same amount of music.

Kinlaw said this process is far from over.

“The committee meets again Monday night, and they`ll be looking at the feedback tonight and continue to refine the options that we have on the table,” he said.

He said on November 8, the options will be turned over to the Henrico County school board, followed by more input sessions with parents and hopefully, a plan approved in January 2013.