Chesterfield school leaders discuss overcrowding

By Laura Geller - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – We learned Tuesday night the possibility of Chesterfield students being forced into different schools might not be as close to reality as some people fear.  County school leaders discussed several proposals to deal with overcrowding at Cosby High School at their work session to determine what is feasible.

Cosby High School is in the western part of Chesterfield where the population continues to grow and change.  According to numbers we were able to get from the county, right now Cosby has almost 500 more kids than it should.

It was standing room only in the work session. Parents worried about the notion their kids might be forced to upend everything they know.  This was terrible news to Cosby freshman Anna Doutt.

"I wouldn't really like it," she said.  "I like Cosby how it is and it's really close to my neighborhood so I wouldn't want to leave."

But school board members said the learning environment at Cosby isn't ideal and Tuesday night officials proposed seven different options including rethinking the specialty center at the school and redistricting the student population among Monacan, Midlothian and Manchester high schools.  All three are nearby and all three are below capacity.

Omarh Rajah, who represents the area on the school board, explained the county needs to look again at its numbers because the school is using its space well.

"When the school was originally built it had open spaces like common areas, recreational areas," he said.  "What they've done, they've converted to classrooms."

Anna's mom was surprised this was even an issue.

"I didn't know it was overcrowded and she's never mentioned anything about it," Jan Mitchell told us.

But the administration said even if the numbers are a little better, Cosby is still more crowded than those other schools.

For now, this is just a conversation.

The administration is going to go back to the drawing board with the requests from school board members.  They'll discuss the issue again April 26th.

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