On Dec. 6, the School Board approved elementary school boundary adjustments to create attendance zones for the new Alice W. Fleet Elementary School and Drew Elementary, and balance enrollment among the schools involved. The new boundaries will become effective for Abingdon, Barcroft, Drew, Fleet, Hoffman-Boston, Long Branch, Oakridge and Randolph in September 2019, when Fleet opens. These adjustments also reflect an earlier decision for the Montessori program to move from Drew to the Henry building, with Drew becoming a full neighborhood school beginning in the 2019-20 school year.
“We greatly appreciate the involvement of all community members who shared their input and questions with staff and Board members throughout this process,” said Arlington School Board Chair Reid Goldstein. “The School Board recognizes that any changes to school communities can be challenging, yet these boundary adjustments are necessary to balance enrollment and position ourselves for growth in a very desirable and rapidly growing school system.”
“We continue to be a growing school division because people know that our school leaders, teachers and support staff are dedicated individuals who care about children and are ready to welcome all students and their families,” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick K. Murphy. “APS families are passionate about their schools and value public education. We know all of our families will continue to bring their energy and enthusiasm to their school communities in the coming school years.”
Planning Unit Adjustments
The approved boundary adjustments move 24 planning units to other elementary schools, which involves approximately 413 students in Grades K-4 (based on September 30, 2018 enrollment); the number of students who move to a new school could be lower, given the grandfathering option.
The following planning units have been reassigned to the elementary schools listed below:
- Drew Model: 38050, 38100, 38110, 46010, 46011, 46130, 46131, 46132, 46133, and 48220
- Fleet (Henry): 37041, 37042, 46900, 46910, and 48990
- Hoffman-Boston: 46111, 48070, 48090, 48110, 48120, 48121, 48180, 48270, 49260
Families of students affected by the new boundaries will receive notification in the mail by early 2019. Families can find their planning units at https://www.apsva.us/facilities-planning/find-your-planning-unit/.
Based on input from families, a “grandfathering” option is available for students currently in the fourth grade who prefer to complete their fifth-grade year at their current elementary school. Younger siblings concurrently enrolled at the same elementary school will also be able to stay at the same elementary school until the older sibling moves to middle school, and then must attend their newly-assigned elementary school for the 2020-21 school year. Families eligible for transportation who select the grandfathering option will receive bus transportation only for the 2019-20 school year at the current elementary school.
Overview of Process
The boundary recommendation made by Superintendent Dr. Murphy was based on projected enrollment data, School Board policy considerations, and community input. The Superintendent and staff worked with the School Board to make adjustments to the initial boundary recommendation presented at the November 8 School Board meeting. The final recommendation (Map #6-1A) adopted by the School Board creates new attendance zones for Drew and Fleet; provides capacity relief for Oakridge and Long Branch; maintains the current attendance zone for Randolph, which is fully walkable; and preserves flexibility for the 2020 elementary school boundary process to address forecasted growth at Abingdon, Barcroft, and Long Branch.
Impact on PreK Classes
This adjustment also will allow APS to move existing PreK classes to elementary schools near where eligible students live, since PreK classes had been relocated in the past to accommodate for K-5 enrollment growth. The goal is to have PreK classes in the same neighborhood schools where these students will complete grades K-5.
For additional information, visit: https://www.apsva.us/elementary-school-boundary-change.