Richmond schools rezoning for first time in 40 years

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond schools are doing something they haven't done in more than thirty years. It's rezoning the entire school district. That means your child could soon be going to a different school.

Government mandates aren't very popular right now so Richmond schools want parents and other city residents to redraw the map.

Einya Jones has a daughter in the fifth grade. She says she wouldn't mind having her daughter change schools.

"I have no problem changing schools," Jones said. "As long as it's a better school."

Now parents like Jones can help redraw the map.

School officials are forming a committee made up of parents and other city residents. Their task will be to figure out where everyone's child should go to school.

The goal is to place roughly an equal number of students in each school.

One of the areas that has seen the most growth and could change the most during this rezoning is on the Southside.

"That's the one (area) we know without even looking at the data from the students coming in and the schools that the needs are great down there," said Richmond School Board Chair Kim Bridges.

Four new schools will open in the next four years and will need to be included in the rezoned map. Two elementary schools and a high school will open on the Southside and a new middle school will open in the East End.

School officials say they'll consider closing some other schools as well.

Jones is looking at moving so her daughter can go to a better middle school. But now she doesn't know which school her daughter might attend if she moves, or if she stays.

"It makes it difficult," Jones said. "I don't want to overstep the boundaries and move too fast or too quickly where I could have stayed where I'm at and realized this was going to be a better school."

You'll have to fill out an application if you want to be on that committee to redraw the school boundaries. Those applications will be available Thursday.

School officials are looking for about thirty people that can come up with a plan by this spring.

The first public meeting for this rezoning will be this Thursday evening at 6:30 at Holton Elementary School on the Northside.

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