The Loudoun County School Board finalized the new attendance boundaries for the South Riding area Dec. 10 by an 8-0-vote, ending to a relatively quiet rezoning process.
The School Board adopted Plan 2, the only plan under final consideration. Jennifer Bergel (Catoctin) absent for the vote.
“With the least amount of turmoil to the children in the Dulles South district and the parents and if the projections for population growth are as predicted we could maintain these same schools for five years, I think it is a very solid plan,” Jeff Morse (Dulles) said.
Morse, along with School Board Chairman Eric Hornberger, developed the plan together.
“There really only were a couple controversial points as we developed this plan including DS13.5, which had changed from an earlier plan that Mr. Morse and I had presented,” Hornberger said. “The other area of this that has been controversial for some is the decision of dividing up DS06, which is a large planning zone in the western portion of the map. To separate out two sections of that large planning zone into DS06.0d and DS06.0c.”
According to Hornberger, the 13.5 area also included DS03 on the other side of the street for transportation flow and [continued] into the Buffalo Trail Elementary zone area.
The move was made to take into consideration the members of that particular planning zone's concerns and to address them.
The large planning zones DS06.0c and DS06.0d, currently have no children attending Aldie Elementary.
One child from DS06.0d has opted by special permission to attend Buffalo Trail Elementary, which is evident of the desire of folks in that area to be more affiliated with Buffalo Trail than Aldie.
The ultimate goal of the School Board during the process was to accomplish maximum utilization of all Dulles South elementary schools over a six-year period.
“I think that we have come upon a good plan with a strategic vision on how we can sustain the schools at a reasonable operating capacity, really maximizing their utility,” “We had two schools that were incredibly overcrowded, those school children who were not adjacent to their former schools will attend primarily Cardinal Ridge.”
According to a justification document for School Board Plan 2 on the LCPS Planning and Legislative Services website, this plan accomplishes the goal.
“Schools range in enrollment from 87 to 103 percent with the following exceptions: Buffalo Trail starts at 59 percent but increases to 85 percent within two years, and Aldie peaks at 109 percent or 12 students above capacity before declining back to 103 percent,” the document states.
By fully utilizing the schools over the six-year period, the School Board can postpone the construction of ES-28 from 2019 to 2020.
Additionally, the plan increases the number of kids walking to school by more than 200 children.
These attendance boundaries will go into effect at the start of the 2014-15 school year.
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