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80,000 students return to Loudoun schools

An estimated 80,700 Loudoun County students across 15 high schools, 16 middle schools, 57 elementary schools and two instructional centers head back to the classroom Thursday for the 2017-2018 school year.

LCPS' student enrollment continues to increase each year. The fourth grade has the largest number of students with 6,558.

Loudoun will celebrate the opening of its 90th school this year -- the newly constructed Brambleton Middle School in Ashburn.

Six new principals are at the helm across the district: Renee Dawson at Brambleton Middle School; Monica Kissel at Kenneth W. Culbert; Mark Wertheimer at Hillsboro Charter Academy; Rochelle Proctor at Middleburg Community Charter School; Nick Cottone at Seneca Ridge Middle School; and Lenny Compton at J.L. Simpson Middle School.

Dawson comes to Brambleton from Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, where she was an assistant principal for five years. Prior to that, she worked at Harper Park and Smart's Mill middle schools in Leesburg.

“It was tough to leave Woodgrove, because I was so attached to the community there. But to be a part of this is so exciting and challenging,” Dawson said.

She has worked hard at making thoughtful decisions on every aspect of the school. “I want it to be great for the kids, and I think about it all the time,” she said.

A total of 11,102 licensed employees will work for Loudoun County Public Schools this year.

Also new to the district, three schools that were selected through an application process will serve as computer science immersion schools. Meadowland Elementary, Moorefield Station Elementary and Round Hill Elementary will each teach 30 minutes of coding activities to students each day.

The schools received new equipment and staff training to introduce this program. The training, support and curriculum for the program are being provided by Code to the Future. Throughout the year, the schools will conduct “Epic Builds” to showcase the students’ coding skills.

The Code to the Future schools are being supported through a grant from the Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF). This grant is made possible by a $5,000 gift from Unanet and a $20,000 gift from the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia/Chin Family Charitable Fund.

The hot-button item of full-day kindergarten continues to expand in the county. Full-day kindergarten is now available to 82 percent of Loudoun County students, an increase from the 11 percent served in 2014-15.

"The School Board has made universal full-day kindergarten a budgetary priority and recently reviewed a report that explored options for further expansion. Strategies referenced in the report included modular classrooms, classroom additions, accelerated construction of new elementary schools, repurposing existing spaces, holding lotteries and adjusting attendance zone boundaries," said Wayde Byard, spokesman for Loudoun County Public Schools.


Lost in all the noise about Labor Day and bus routes…two new principals at the charter schools.  How many is that total now?  There is a clear failure in governance at these schools—again—these are not true charter schools…they are thinly vieled excuses to avoid local school closures.  When is the Board going to step in?

Glad to see the law enforcement camped out in front of schools to make sure all slowed down. Meanwhile route 7 is full of people texting and driving and kids not in car seats. I saw 5 cars pass a stopped school bus with red blinkers and stop sign out? 3 of the license plates were out of state. Unsure how some of these drivers pass their drivers test? Hopefully school buses are equipped with cameras to catch their license plate.

Ashburn Mom 9, that is flat out false. I sat in the LCSB communication committee meeting where Jill Turgeon said it was a mistake to give the public a vote on the calendar because their vote did not matter. (I have the audio) Even though the public voted for the 2 calendars with later start times, the school board (4 of whom have teacher spouses) voted to start earlier and spread the PD days through the year. In fact, teachers have a workday on the Monday after spring break because how dare a teacher be asked to work more than 185 days/yr and do some tasks during the week-long break that no other profession has!

LCPS is run by the admins/teachers and FOR the admins/teachers. Don’t ever forget that. At least it is until 2019.

If you don’t like the school year start/end dates or transportation schedules, has anyone considered homeschooling their kids? It’s relatively inexpensive for a Loudoun income, and there are distance learning programs so that even busy parents can still give their child an education without putting them in the public school system. Not to mention all the benefits of teaching children good morals while they’re still young… just some food for thought.

firefly:  Then move east and quit complaining that you don’t have the luxuries of a more urban life because you chose to live in the sticks.

The company LCPS brought in to analyze and improve the bus routes should give the money they were paid back! My neighbor is a veteran bus driver (he is retired and keeps busy driving the bus) and he said the drivers looked at the proposals from that company and told them it was a disaster in the making, asking buses to cross 4 lane roads after 4pm. They suggested alternate routes but LCPS listened to a company without the experience and kids didn’t get home until 6 pm yesterday. Ridiculous.
Regarding the start date of school: I don’t know a single person who voted for the current schedule and I believe the whole survey/vote process was a complete sham. Starting school before Labor Day, 3 WEEKS (!!!) off over the holidays and STILL in school after the second week of June. What a joke of a schedule. Who was this schedule implemented for? Who is satisfied by this? It is terrible. 4 more years in this school system and my kids are done- can’t wait.

I thought the bus situation was supposed to get better….It sure has not for us. My middle school kids didn’t get home till after 5 pm. An hour and a half ride to travel less than 4 miles from their school. What exactly are my taxes paying for? Boy am I glad we have those really great football fields. It’s not like kids in western Loudoun need time to do their homework or should even think about any after school activities. Being the forgotten step child of the county gets really old.

Before or after Labor Day is governed by the state.  Beyond that the LCPS calendar is voted on by the public.  There were two other calendars declined by the public that had 2 professional development days before the start of school.

6609 - I am from Michigan where it is mandated for all schools to start after Labor Day and I can assure you this is a detriment to the children.  Our children in Michigan are participating in Band camps and Sporting events without attending classes. This law has been in effect since 2012 and as of the 17/18 school year over 60% of the schools have requested waivers to start earlier.  The main reason; our kids are active in duel enrollment and the HS need to have the similar schedules to the CCs in the area.  I assure you, ending school in the latter part of June would not be beneficial for the schedules of NoVA parents.

I hope they teach them good coding practices/standards. Too many poor coders that don’t know how to test their own code and put out in production.

6609, but then the teachers would have prof dev training before before school started. That’s not convenient for them, especially the 4 who have spouses on the school board. Didn’t you know the board couldn’t care less about students and parents from all their actions over the last two years?

The LCPS Transportation Department needs to fire the Scheduler.  Hour late for pick up and an hour and 15 late for drop off.

Montgomery County is day after labor day. That is the way it should be and I would support such a move.

6609—perhaps you should move there? You can spend twice as much for your house there compared to Loudon, AND pay 3.20% more income taxes.

Please tell me i am not the only parent who is absolutely dumbfounded that we cannot start school after Labor Day.  It take 2 weeks out of the end of the summer.  The Little League World Series is still going on for God’sake!! LCPS…...get a clue and follow in MD’s footsteps!! It’s still summer until after Labor Day!!

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