Henrico School Board selects Option E redistricting plan - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Henrico School Board selects Option E redistricting plan

Source: Henrico County Public Schools Source: Henrico County Public Schools

Henrico school leaders have voted on a plan to ease overcrowding, a decision that will impact nearly 800 students. After reviewing four options and hearing from more than 1,000 responses from the community, the school board decided Thursday night to take the recommendation of the district office.

Students who are in the 4th grade right now will notice the change when they advance to the 6th grade, as the first phase of the re-zoning will begin in 2018.

"I like my school a lot,” said 8-year-old Chandler, who joined her parents at Thursday night's school board meeting to learn how a controversial vote might impact her.

"We're against Option C,” said her dad, Brian Cox, while holding a button to reflect their opinion.

The school board considered four options to ease overcrowding at Hungary Creek Middle. The board decided to take central office staff's recommendation of Option E. It is expected to take Hungary Creek from being at 108 percent capacity to 87 percent.

It means neighborhood schools will change for 776 students.

"We've been redistricted four times since living in our home, one of those times dividing our neighborhood in two. Option E gives us the opportunity to reunite,” one parent told the board.

"While it might foster community in various areas, it still impacts the most," another parent countered.

At one point, two board members suggested moving forward with Option C, but the majority shot it down. That's when the school board came back to the table selecting Option E - resulting in a unanimous decision.

"We’re going to put a plan in place that actually impacts the highest number of students in the total process,” a parent said in opposition.

In the end, little Chandler is happy and so is her father.

"It keeps the Short Pump area schools intact. It keeps the Route 1 corridor schools intact, so we think it's a good idea,” Cox said.

Additionally, the plan adds:

  • The fewest number of elementary to middle school splits (2 splits added; 2 eliminated)
  • A comparable number of middle to high school splits as other options (3 splits added)

Here are some other redistricting details:

  • Shady Grove Elementary School would feed entirely to Short Pump Middle School.

  • Twin Hickory ES would feed entirely to Short Pump MS.

  • A larger portion of Echo Lake ES would go to Holman MS.

  • A larger portion of Longan ES would go to Holman MS.

  • A larger portion of Chamberlayne ES would go to Brookland MS.

  • Part of Laburnum ES would go to Moody MS.

  • A larger portion of Harvie ES would go to Fairfield MS.

  • A new development, “Estates at Grey Oaks South,” would attend Kaechele ES.

  • The area sent to Brookland MS would continue to feed Hermitage HS.

School Board Chair Beverly Cocke says there’s a much larger issue here that will need attention in the long-run. Cocke says by the year 2024, three high schools in Henrico will be overcrowded and a fourth will be near capacity.

Click here for more information on the redistricting plan.

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