Fall 2021 Boundary Process: Gunston-Jefferson

Rationale | Proposal | Summary of Student Data | Process Timeline | Community Engagement

Status Update


      • If unable to complete the intent form online through the email link that was sent, other ways to complete include:
        • Download or obtain a paper copy of the form from the Bilingual Family Liaison or main office of your student’s school and then return completed form back to the main office OR
        • Send completed form OR photo of the completed form via email to apsboundaries@apsva.us 
        • If you need assistance completing this form, please email apsboundaries@apsva.us or contact the main office of your student’s school and ask to speak with the bilingual family liaison.

Rationale for Boundary Change

  • Gunston is the only middle school where enrollment currently exceeds the permanent building capacity ​
  • The proposed middle boundary adjustment aims to bring enrollment at Gunston to more manageable levels for 2022-23 by utilizing the available capacity at Jefferson​
  • The proposed adjustments focus on planning units that were moved from Jefferson to Gunston in the 2017 middle school boundary process​
  • The planning units proposed for reassignment does not turn any walkers into bus riders as they are outside of the walk zone for all the schools involved​

Sept. 30, 2021 – Enrollment vs. Permanent Capacity- Middle School

Sept. 30, 2021 - Enrollment vs. Permanent Capacity- Middle School

Gunston-Jefferson 9.30.21

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Gunston to Jefferson Boundary Adjustment Proposal


  • Move some planning units from Gunston to Jefferson to bring enrollment at Gunston to more manageable levels in 2022-23 by utilizing the available capacity at Jefferson​
  • Return planning units that were moved from Jefferson to Gunston in the 2017 middle school boundary process
  • Correct 2017 error – not accounting for option school seats at Gunston

Boundary Proposal Map- Gunston to Jefferson- Oct. 14, 2021Proposal:  ​

  • Reassign 5 Planning Units  (46140, 48150, 48280, 48281, 48290) from Gunston to Jefferson​
  • Communities Impacted: Arlington View and Columbia Heights​
  • Applies as students enter middle school (grade 6 or new to APS)​ beginning in 2022-23​
  • Current Gr. 6-7 Gunston students in affected planning units can remain at Gunston through completion of Gr. 8 but may attend Jefferson (newly assigned neighborhood school) beginning at the start of 2022-23​
  • Planning units are not in the walk zone for either Gunston or Jefferson. Does not turn any walkers into bus riders and transportation is available to both schools ​
  • Current Gr. 6-7 Gunston students who remain at Gunston will be provided APS transportation via Hub Stops​
  • Students attending Jefferson will be eligible for a bus

Impact of boundary proposal on future processes

  • Proposal does not fill Jefferson’s capacity and provides opportunities to add additional planning units if needed in the future​
  • Reassigning planning units on the eastern edge of the county helps preserve flexibility and options in the next boundary process​
  • If Gunston needs additional enrollment relief in the future, adjustments would be considered on the southwestern quadrant of Gunston’s current boundary, which is also outside Gunston’s walk zone​
Policy Considerations in Boundary Proposal​ ​Proposal 
Alignment – Reassigned planning units or clusters of planning units that had:​

  • 24 or more students, or​
  • if less than 24 students, when they were in closer proximity or aligned with middle/high school cohorts​
✓​ reassigns 140 Grade 3-5 students over 3 years
Stability ​

  • Not moving Planning Units that were reassigned while current students were enrolled in that school level​
✓​​ tudents not impacted by 2017 boundary process
Demographics ​

  • Moving F/RL rate for schools towards the countywide average ​
Proximity & Efficiency​

  • Utilizing available capacity at neighboring schools​
  • Providing enrollment relief to schools that are overcapacity​
✓​​ provides relief to Gunston using available capacity at Jefferson

  • Maintaining attendance zones that are contiguous ​
  • The school is located within its boundary​
✓​​ attendance zone contiguous and school located in its boundary

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Summary of Student Data

  • Data tables show summary of currently enrolled students in Gr. 3-5 who reside in a planning unit (46140, 48150, 48280, 48281, 48290) proposed for reassignment to Jefferson Middle School
    • Data Tables exclude students currently attending option schools
  • The boundary proposal  applies to all incoming Grade 6 students (currently in Grade 5 in 2021-22) and all new and future incoming middle school students. ​

Gunston to Jefferson - Table 1 - Race

Gunston to Jefferson- Table 2- Race - Gr. 3-5 combined

Gunston To Jefferson- Table 3 - EL - Gr. 5 only

Gunston to Jefferson - Table 4 - EL


Data Sheet will be posted on Wednesday, October 20

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Boundary Process Timeline

Sept. 30​ Schedule for boundary process shared publicly through multiple communication channels​
Oct. 14​ School Board Meeting –  Announcement on boundary proposal being posted on Engage​
Oct. 15-31 ​ Community Engagement – series of opportunities for the community to learn more about the proposed boundary adjustments and engage in a Q&A with APS Central Office staff.    ​
Nov. 3​ School Board Work Session – Boundary Adjustments for the 2022-23 School Year​
Nov. 16 ​ School Board receives the Superintendent’s Proposed Boundary Adjustments for the 2022-23 School Year ​
Nov. 30 ​ School Board holds a Public Hearing on the Proposed Boundary Adjustments for the 2022-23 School Year ​
Dec. 2 ​ School Board votes on Boundary Adjustments for the 2022-23 School Year ​

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Community Engagement

Public Participation Goal – Consult*

  • Obtain feedback on analysis, alternatives and/or decision​

Support Transitions​

  • Staff will connect with families whose students will be reassigned to a different school in the proposals to ensure they understand the proposed changes and respond to have questions and concerns they have.
  • Work with affected families to support them in transitions

*Source: sustainingcommunity.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/spectrum-of-public-participation

Virtual Community Meeting – Short presentation of proposal followed by Q&A

  • The same information will be presented at each session​
  • Simultaneous interpretation available in Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, and Mongolian​
  • English not available at the Spanish Only sessions​
  • Meetings will be recorded and posted on the Fall 2021 Boundary Process Engage page
Date Time
Sat., Oct 16 11:00-11:45 am
Tue., Oct 19 12:00 – 12:45 pm
Wed., Oct 20 7:00 – 7:45 pm (Spanish Only)
Thu., Oct 21 7:00-7:45 pm

Virtual Open Office Hours – Q&A session only

  • Simultaneous interpretation will be available in Spanish​
  • Meetings will be recorded and posted on the Fall 2021 Boundary Process Engage page
Date ​ Time ​
Tue., Oct 26​ 7:00-7:30 pm ​
Thu., Oct 28 ​ 12:00 -12:30 pm ​


  • The community engagement schedule and links to the virtual community meetings and open office hours was communicated to families through multiple channels beginning on Sept. 30.​
  • Families will be notified of the proposal on Oct. 15  and those in affected planning units who would be impacted in school year 2022-23 will receive additional communication​
  • In addition, P&E will be working collaboratively with Bilingual Family Liaisons to conduct targeted outreach to the families in affected planning units