Henrico schools redistricting plan shifts 1,300 students

Posted at 12:33 AM, Dec 14, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-14 00:33:32-05

Henrico, Va. (WTVR) - The waiting was over Thursday, after months of protests, options and countless meetings on redistricting, with parents wondering which Henrico County elementary school their child would be attending next year.

The Henrico County School board unanimously voted for the elementary rezoning plan known as “option 3”  put together Thursday afternoon based on feedback from the community.

The decision will impact 11 elementary schools and a total of 1,300 students will be changing schools.

The process began in the fall when the county realized it was getting so big, it had to add a new school by 2013.

The redistricting options were drawn with the help of 24 parents, including Dennis Burman. Though he says he’s pleased with the process , he was not pleased with the outcome.

“We thought Shady Grove Elementary school was going to be the knight in shining armor and would allow a couple of people to come in. We were 100 students low and we ended up losing a bunch of our students,” he said.

Parent Robert Shippee says he’s disappointed in the new plan, claiming it will disrupt many families including his own.

“It'd doesn’t' feel good when the school board selects an option where 1,300 students are affected, when they could have picked one [option] where 1,00 students were moved,” he said.

“The school board would prefer to adopt a plan that would impact the smallest number of students, but if you look at the feedback we received from the community and the public hearing, then this plan is going to appeal to many more families, though it affects more students,” said Assistant Superintendent of Henrico County Public Schools, Patrick Kinlaw.

The plan, he says has one caveat. Ridge Elementary will be just over capacity, but the school board vowed to address the problem before school begins in the fall.