Henrico Schools one step closer to redistricting map - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Henrico Schools one step closer to redistricting map

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

A major decision was made about where thousands of kids in Henrico's west end may go to school next year.

A new elementary school in the far west end is forcing 11 other schools districts to shift.

For nearly three hours, a 22-member committee, made up of mostly Henrico parents, went back and forth - sharing ideas, sharing objections, and voting.

In this meeting, the committee had to decide on what to present to the county school board.

Of the five maps with the different redistricting options - in the end, the committee decided to present the board with three maps: a revised map of option 1, option 3, and options 2 and 5 combined.

Parents weren't allowed to weigh in this time but they were allowed to sit and watch.

Elizabeth Hicks has a child at Colonial Trail Elementary - a school that is currently overcrowded and is expected to be cut drastically according to the maps - and Hicks is not on board with any of the decisions the committee made Thursday night.

"No absolutely not, I think we've had enough...so what we're left with is removing 40 percent of our population or let's put us over capacity and I think it defeats the purpose of what this whole redistricting is trying to solve," said Hicks.

Parents say the move is too disruptive for kids.

But the school board is trying to solve the issue of growth in the far west end.

"That's one of the hotspots so the balancing act there is do you take their current enrollment down low so they don't over grow in a short number of years but then that leave them with a school starting half full or do you leave them with a critical mass of students who already attend there – four years they're going to be over 100 percent," said committee member, William Panak.

The committee says they can't please everyone but have done their best.

Those three maps will then be ranked and presented to the school board.

Parents can weigh in when the school board holds a public hearing on Thursday, December 6 at Hermitage High School from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The school board's final vote is expected by the end of December.

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