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Attendance plan passes minus year-round school provision

An elementary school attendance zoning plan that would’ve brought Selden’s Landing Elementary School one step closer to a full year, multi-track school calendar passed without the provision after a fevered last-minute debate at Nov. 11’s School Board meeting.

The plan, modified Plan 7, was proposed by School Board Chairman Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) and member Kevin Kuesters (Broad Run).

As originally proposed, it “assumed the implementation” of the school calendar, which would’ve raised Selden’s Landing’s capacity to 1,200 students and allowed the school’s community to stay together thanks to the increased capacity. 

Instead, Plan 7, adopted 8-0 with Vice Chair Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge), abstaining, sends three attendance zones – DN01, DN01.2 and DN01.6 to Steuart Weller Elementary School beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

It reassigns several attendance zones in the Ashburn and Dulles North areas with the opening of Moorefield Station and Discovery elementary schools in the upcoming school year.

The motion to strip Plan 7 of multi-track provision passed 5-3-1. School Board members Turgeon, Jennifer Bergel (Catoctin), Jeff Morse (Dulles), Debbie Rose (Algonkian), and Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) voted to strip out the provision. Kuesters, Hornberger, and Bill Fox (Leesburg) voted against it. Thomas Reed (at large), abstained.

Members opposing the provision said enough they thought consideration of a multi-track year-round school calendar shouldn’t be tied to a particular community.

“I think as board members we have a responsibility to look at major changes such as these and really take our time and not be under the pressure of a community waiting for answer,” Turgeon said.

Morse, who said he’s in favor of school choice such as charter schools and year-round options, said the way the provision was being implemented was not a choice for Selden’s Landing parents.

“I don’t want it become something we’re forcing upon a community in order to keep them from dividing themselves and pit neighbor against neighbor,” Morse said. “We need to find a way to offer it to people who want it.”

Those who voted for the provision said it didn’t automatically enact a multi-track calendar, but rather created a path forward for the School Board to look into the possibility.

“You already decided that it won’t work and there’s no other information that may be provided that will change your mind,” Kuesters said of those who would vote against the provision.

Hornberger said he had reservations about implementing a multi-track calendar, but that it was worth investigating.

Fox, the board’s biggest proponent of the multi-track year-round school calendar, expressed his frustration that the provision would be struck down at the last minute.

There had been little discussion of the provision among the board before last night’s vote.

“I like to remind you of the fact that I’ve been asking for this conversation for nearly a year,” Fox said. “And the first time that anybody has taken it seriously is now that we have a community who has stepped up and said you know we’re interested in this idea.”

He said using the backup plan would only lead to more overcrowding in Selden’s Landing and Steuart Weller.

“We do have the opportunity now to head off that issue and solve it in advance,” Fox said.

Several parents and residents in Lansdowne who had children set to attend Selden’s Landing spoke at Nov. 11’s meeting and a public hearing last week in support of the option. A few residents, however, also spoke against it at both meetings.

Turgeon also proposed an amendment to move DN33 from Moorefield Station to Legacy Elementary School, DN48 from Rosa Lee Elementary School to Moorefield Station and DN47.1a to Legacy to Rosa Lee.

“I cannot support keeping schools over capacity to ensure cluster alignment,” Turgeon said during the meeting. “As an educator, I cannot support that. The negative educational impact of an overcrowded school far outweighs the importance of the social issue of dividing friendships.”

She also said she was concerned that the overcrowded schools would have particularly stressed English Language Learners programs. Her amendment, split into different motions, ultimately failed.

Other School Board members said they were concerned about the possibility of Moorefield Station going well over capacity with additional students and developments in the coming years.


And a tip of the hat to you, orange869.  However, I still cannot get away from understanding fully a comment that ends with “runaway SPENDERS!”  But, finally, the question still remains, do we see in Mr. Fox someone using a current elected position, to in fact, establish a name for himself for future elected positions.  I cannot bring myself to say any more, since I do agree with you, that Ken Reid is hardly the definition of a good public servant.

@ Laugh Ahh my friend you are back and as usual reading between the lines with your usual mistakes. I did fail to metion that the Gov wants 73 million to give a raise to the teachers with 15 million of the 73 going into a slush fund. If you charge students for full time kindergarten it would be about $280 a month and the model does work look at Seattle, Washington. Hatrick says the status quo would cost 53 million but the inflation numbers say it should only cost 24 million dollars. HS-6 would cost at least 3 million dollars to open and run. Meanwhile back at the ranch Kuesters wants 8 million for turf fields at 8 schools.
Even with hair-brained proposals like full day kindergarten at a cost of 65 million Bill Fox as a Supervisor for Leesberg is rather quite appealing when you look at the local yokel who now has that job.

Let’s seeeeeee:  One person seems to say, let’s cut alllll spending for schools, as in oranges869, and another on the School Board, who wants to cripple parents/children’s summer time fun.  Thank goodness oranges869, and Mr. Fox, both did not get what they wanted.  And I hope that Mr. Fox stops trying to make a name for himself, at the expense of school children, and remembers that this position he holds is to ensure the best education for children, and not what it is appearing to be, a stepping stone for another political office (dare I say Board of Supervisors?).

Mr Wonderful Bill Fox himself seems to be taking on quite a job here. He wants full time kindergarten at 65 million plus we have Hatricks 53 million dollar increase to maintain the status quo of which 24 million would be for inflation. Next they want to open HS-6 early which will add the operating costs to ther budget.  I think I dectect a pattern here called runaway SPENDERS!

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