Community Meetings Begin Oct. 12
Last night, the School Board approved a framework for engaging the community to develop refinements to the high school attendance zone boundaries. The framework outlines the process and timeline to develop refinements to the high school boundaries that will balance enrollment among the three comprehensive high schools, and will achieve better utilization of the available instructional space at the three schools.
The framework includes a broad range of communications and outreach that will be used to inform stakeholders about the process. An Online Boundary Tool will be one resource to allow community members to provide suggestions for recommended refinements to the boundaries. Feedback from the community will be used to shape the Superintendent’s recommendations to the School Board.
Implementation: The refinements will take effect in September 2017 and apply to the current eighth grade students who will be entering high school next fall and then for each freshman class in the following years. The refinements will not affect any current high school students and the recommendations will include provisions for students who have older siblings that will be enrolled concurrently, along with transportation provisions for the siblings if needed.
Scope: The planning units that are under consideration are those currently within Washington-Lee boundaries that are adjacent or in close proximity to Wakefield and Yorktown boundaries. A total of 51 planning units, which include 1,800 high school students over four years, will be considered, but not all of those planning units will need to be moved. Approximately 400 students (or approximately 100 students each year over four years) need to be moved from Washington-Lee to either Wakefield or Yorktown to achieve the goal by the 2020-21 school year. The Online Boundary Tool will allow families and community members to submit their ideas that will inform the recommendations presented to the Board in November.
Process & Dates: The Online Boundary Refinement Tool will be available for stakeholders to share proposals from October 12-24. In addition, APS will host a series of “Getting Started” community meetings to help inform families and community members about the process and to explain how to use the tool. The same information will be presented and at each “Getting Started” meeting. The four sessions will be held:
- Wed, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Washington-Lee High School Cafeteria. Optional tour of the building will begin at 6:30 p.m. Live Stream link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNLz46EnK5Y
- Sat, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. in the Jefferson Middle School Library (Spanish presentation)
- Mon, Oct 17 at 7 p.m. in the Yorktown High School Cafeteria. Optional tour of the building will begin at 6:30 p.m.
- Wed, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Wakefield High School Cafeteria. Optional tour of the building will begin at 6:30 p.m.
After the Boundary Tool closes, APS will host a “What We Heard” Community Meeting on Thu, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Washington-Lee cafeteria to discuss the responses received and hear final recommendations from the community before the recommendations are developed.The meetings on Oct. 12 and 27 will be live streamed and videotaped. Re-broadcasts will air on YouTube and on AETV (Comcast Cable Channel 70 and Verizon FiOs Channel 41). Simultaneous translation services will be available at all community meetings.
Additional Feedback Options: A paper Boundary Tool option will also be available for those who do not want to use the online tool. Comments or questions also can be sent by email at email@example.com or by telephone (in English and Spanish) at 703-228- 6310. Volunteer community ambassadors will also assist as liaisons with schools and community throughout the process. All of the feedback will help to inform the final recommendations.
School Board Deliberations: Recommendations will be presented to the School Board at the meeting on Nov. 3. The Board will review the recommendations in greater detail during a Work Session on November 9, and there will be a public hearing during the Nov. 15 School Board meeting. The final high school boundary refinements will be approved on Thu, Dec. 1 before High School Information Night on Mon, Dec. 12.
For More Information
A boundary webpage, which includes a variety of maps and data, along with a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions, is available at www.apsva.us/APSboundaries.