Parents gather around School Board attendance zone plan
School Board members may finally have a solution for elementary school attendance zone changes with broad community support.
Plan 7, developed by School Board Chairman Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) and member Kevin Kuesters (Broad Run), was well received by many of the more than 100 residents who spoke at the night’s public hearing.
The plan, one of two being considered by the School Board in the rezoning process that comes with the opening of Discovery and Moorefield Station elementary schools.
The other, Plan 8, was proposed by Vice Chair Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge).
Both plans reflect complaints of the earlier plans’ most vocal opponents. They keep attendance zones DN32 and DN32a at Mill Run Elementary School where earlier plans proposed that DN32 attend Hillside Elementary School.
They also keep DN09a attending Newton Lee Elementary, previous plans had the zoning area attending Belmont Station Elementary.
Cliff Keirce, a former Board of Supervisors candidate and former president of the Broadlands HOA in Ashburn, who has appeared before several different School Boards to prevent DN32 from being split or moved from Mill Run, praised Plan 7.
“This is the most support I’ve ever seen for a single plan,” Keirce said. “Board members, I think we’ve made your job pretty easy, just support Plan 7 and vote for that one.”
Several residents dressed in red and brought signs in support for a portion of Plan 7, which proposes a multi-track year-round school year at Selden’s Landing Elementary School.
The proposed school calendar would divide the student body into different tracks or groups, who would attend school on different schedules.
Support for Plan 7 was not universal however – some speakers asked that another solution besides multi-track year round school, including one speaker who presented a survey of teachers at Selden’s Landing who said they opposed it.
Still others opposed some of the rezoning done in the plan.
Scott Mineo, a parent living DN11, objected to his district’s rezoning from Belmont Station Elementary School to Sanders Corner Elementary School.
He objected to the removal of 30 students from the school in anticipation of continued growth in Belmont Station’s zoning areas.
“When you want to take them out and replace them with new students it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” Mineo said. “It’s like taking Ringo Starr and removing him from the Beatles, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”
He said he mostly supported Plan 7 and wondered if the Board could modify the plan to include his suggestion.
Many parents from DN50 also turned out protest Plan 7’s rezoning the zone from Hillside Elementary School to Moorefield Station Elementary School.
Joe Kilty, a resident of the zone with children in Hillside Elementary School, said the neighborhood has been rezoned three times in the past decade.
“We’re now being asked once again to a new school, and start over again for the fourth time,” Kilty said. “It makes us wonder when it is gonna stop.”
The School Board will vote to adopt Plan 7 or Plan 8 at its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 11.