At the April 9 School Board meeting, the Board released four new plans for the proposed re-zoning in the Ashburn and Dulles North area. It was also announced at the meeting that those four plans, in addition to Plan 5
, are currently the only plans under consideration, effectively scrapping six proposals.
Bill Fox (Leesburg), Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge) and Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) all introduced plans at the meeting for a zoning debate that has been ongoing for the past month. Two new high schools and one new middle school have forced Board members to redraw secondary school boundaries in the Ashburn and Dulles North areas.
Fox introduced Plan 7, which is essentially a modified version of his previous proposal, Plan 4.
“For those of you who didn't like Plan 4, you're probably not going to like Plan 7 much better,” Fox said. “Most of the changes were so that the numbers worked. Some of the changes were from community input.”
Plan 7 varies from Plan 4 only slightly, moving DN41 to John Champe, DNs 42 and 37 to Briar Woods, DN45 to HS-6 (opening in fall 2014 in Loudoun Valley Estates), DN38 to Stone Bridge an DNs 44.2, 24.1 and 24 to Broad Run. The northern portion of Plan 7 stays the same as Plan 3.
Turgeon's Plan 8 largely follows Plan 4, but leaves Briar Woods approaching capacity almost immediately, with 1,551 students projected in 2014-2015. Briar Woods has been one of the most debated schools during the process, with both Broadlands and Brambleton parents vying to maintain their spots in the school. The adjustments from Plan 4 are moving DNs 42 and 37 to Briar Woods and splitting 36.1 and 36.2 at Legacy drive. Additionally, DNs 36.1a and 36.2a will attend Stone Hill, but rather than feed into HS-6 will attend Briar Woods.
Hornberger introduced both Plans 9 and 10. Plan 9 was a variation of a plan submitted from parents in the Belmont Country Club and as such, focuses primarily on the northern portion of the map, specifically HS-8 (opening in fall 2015), Stone Bridge and Broad Run. Under Plan 9, all of Belmont Country Club attends Stone Bridge and DNs 4 through 7 attend HS-8. DNs 15 to 19.4a will attend Broad Run.
Hornberger's Plan 10 seeks to stabilize fully developed areas and keep homeowner's associations together, with the exception of Brambleton, which Hornberger says is too large and growing too much to keep together.
However, it also eliminates clustering, or sending all kids from the same middle school to the same high school.
“It's introducing a different idea to try and balance capacity at our schools and overcrowding,” Hornberger said.
Under Plan 10, DNS 42 and 37 would go to Stone Hill Middle School, but attend John Champe High School. DNs 20, 20.1, 21, 22, 23, 23a, 24, 24.1 and 44.2 would attend Farmwell Station Middle School, but attend HS-6. DN18 would also attend Farmwell Station, but would attend Stone Bridge for high school.
In order for a plan to be considered, it must have a rationale attached to it. Only plans 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are currently being considered. Five School Board plans and the base plan proposed by the Loudoun County Public School staff have been eliminated.
Members of the public will have the chance to voice their opinions on the plans at the next and final public hearing, to be held April 13 at the LCPS administration building. Thus far, more than 100 people are already signed up to speak; speakers will be limited to one minute.
The Board will vote on the final boundaries at the School Board meeting April 23.