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    Court rules in favor of School Board in boundary suit

    A judge has sided with the School Board, ruling that the 2013 redistricting that moved 84 percent of Brambleton high school students to a new school will stand.

    Nine Brambleton parents filed suit against the School Board's April 23, 2013, redistricting, which moved students from Briar Woods High School to the new Rock Ridge High School, which will open in September in Loudoun Valley estates, about three miles southeast of Brambleton.

    Lead petitioner and attorney for the group Richard Kelsey argued because Briar Woods lays on land proffered by Brambleton developers, Brambleton students were entitled to remain at the school. Additionally, the lawsuit also alleges Kevin Kuesters (Broad Run), Jeff Morse (Dulles) and Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) engaged in an "improper voting alliance.”

    “My initial reaction is they took nine communities and sacrificed one so that they could fulfill the needs of every other community,” Kelsey said following the April 23 meeting. “In doing so, they violated the law, they violated the proffers and I think we're going to get it undone.”

    Julia B. Judkins, who represented the School Board, said that the law granted the School Board a lot of flexibility in its decision making. She also noted that of the 12 plans proposed by the School Board, fewer students were moved under the adopted Plan 12.

    Judge Burke McCahill ultimately sided with Judkins and the board, noting that the board went beyond legal minimums in the boundary process, hosting public hearings, public work sessions and writing rationals for each of the final boundary plans considered.

    This is the second boundary case in three years that has been settled in court. Residents from Beacon Hill and Potomac Station filed suit after a December 2011 elementary school boundary decision that moved students to Frederick Douglass Elementary. Judge Thomas Horne sided with the School Board in the case as well, stating that the plaintiffs failed to prove the School Board made its decision in bad faith.


    Comments

    The boundaries are perfectly logical if you look at the numbers of students in each school and where they are coming from. The schools were build to small and to avoid overcrowding students are sent southwards to the next nearest school as there is not space to build to the north of the school. Its perfectly logical when you factor everything together; its dealing in reality not parents personal feelings about who should go to what school.


    faith - It was the only way it would work, there is no where to build another school to take the Broadland students.


    Everyone knows the HS school Boundary issue was decided prior to the public inputs by the school board. It’s a shame they lack common sense and logic when determining the boundaries. Gives the appearance of corrupt school board. Loudoun county should bring in an independent person to draw up school boundaries. Time to drop school planning group(the good Dr has failed Loudoun). Their initial plan was a disgrace.


    Wrong, fedupdude.  Currently, many students living in Brambleton must walk because of expanded walk zones created in 2012. These are students who were redistricted out of Briar and now will have to be bused to Rock Ridge.  I encourage anyone interested to verify this with his school board rep (including you fedupdude.)  Briar Wooods was proffered by the Brambleton developer and built with in the Brambleton land bay.  Yes, Briar woods students could walk to a school that is physically located within its land bay.  Moving them out was a stupid decision.


    I am going to address some of the hyperbole in the debate over the schools. No walking student at Briar Woods is being forced on a bus and sent to Rock Ridge; the only people that walk are staying at Briar Woods.

    Yes there are kids who live a bit closer to Briar Woods that now are going to Rock Ridge do to the over crowding at Briar Woods. This is because the Broadlands and Brambleton have grown and Rock Ridge is on the boarder of Brambleton with Lee Vally so it makes sense they move there; sending Broadlands students there is silly.


    Faith that is easy, the neighborhoods that are going to Briar Woods are not in reasonable distance of Rock Ridge at all


    Hopefully Brambleton voters will remember its school board rep’s role and weak efforts throughout this whole process.  I wonder how the school board will justify busing numerous students to Rock Ridge that lived in Briar Woods walk zones. No students living outside Brambleton are able to walk to Briar.


    Waste of time and money, called it when the news broke that they filed this suit.

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