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School Board adopts Plan 12 for Ashburn and Dulles North re-zoning

After months of debate and deliberation, the Loudoun County Public School Board voted 7-2 to adopt an amended version of Plan 12 for the new Ashburn and Dulles North secondary school zones.

In an amendment to the original Plan 12, DN-41 is moved from John Champe High School and Mercer Middle School to HS-6 and Stone Hill Middle School. Additionally, DNs 42 and 37, which were sent to Stone Hill for middle school but Briar Woods for high school, were returned to Eagle Ridge. Bill Fox (Leesburg) proposed the amendment.

“Although not everyone got their first choice schools, everyone at least got their first or second choice school, except DN41,” Fox said. “This has corrected that.”

Jeff Morse (Dulles) and Kevin Kuesters (Broad Run) designed Plan 12, which keeps the Broadlands at Briar Woods and a small part of Brambleton at Briar Woods. Under Plan 12, the majority of Brambleton moves to HS-6.

“Brambleton is going to be the largest HOA in Loudoun. It is never going to fit in one high school as long as it grows,” Morse said. “We have built out communities in the east that have moved and moved and moved. They now have the ability to achieve stability.”

Thomas Reed (At large) and Jill Turgeon opposed the plan, with both advocating for Turgeon's proposed Plan 11.

“I'd love for someone to show me another community that is split into three high schools,” Turgeon said. “If Plan 11 doesn't pass, Brambleton will become the most divided community in the county.”

Though there were five plans eligible to be voted on, only Plans 11 and 12 were motioned to vote.

Though Brenda Sheridan co-sponsored Plan 11 and seconded Turgeon's motion to bring it to vote, she ultimately voted for Plan 12.

“I'm going to support Plan 12 as its modified because I think it's partly in the right direction,” Sheridan said. As Sheridan finished speaking, nearly two-thirds of the Brambleton advocates, clad in orange, walked out of the meeting.

Plan 11 advocates, who argued that Briar Woods was on proffered Brambleton land and should be accessible to Brambleton residents, were visibly upset following the vote, with some indicating they plan on fighting the decision.

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

Other families, especially those in the Broadlands, were more pleased.

“I really feel it was the best plan for the most of Ashburn,” Broadlands resident Catherine Larco said. “Ashburn Village, Ashburn Farm and Broadlands are built out. Once we're set somewhere, hopefully everyone can stay.”

The board did not decide whether or not certain students will be grandfathered, allowing them to stay at their original schools, when the two new high schools and one middle school open.

HS-6 is slated to open fall of 2014 in Loudoun Valley Estates, HS-8 is scheduled to open fall 2015 in Lansdowne and Trailside Middle School is scheduled to open fall of 2014 next to Newton-Lee Elementary School in Ashburn.


I have lived in Loudoun for 16 years. We moved to Broadlands when it was just being built in 1997 and I was a fourth grader. I went to two different elementary schools, three different middle schools, and went to Stone Bridge…my old house is now zoned for Briar Woods. I was moved around a lot and I was fine. People threw a hissy fit about being zoned to SBHS: “Butbutbut there will be no seniors so the football team will be terrible!” didn’t take long for SB to have a very strong athletics program, not to mention an award-winning drama department AND not to mention is consistently ranked as one of the best high schools in the country. Same story with Briar Woods…people didn’t want to go there because it was new and for some reason new=bad. BWHS is doing great too, so much so that now, years later, people don’t want to leave. It’s just not worthwhile to get upset about your kids attending a BRAND NEW high school to the point where people are making signs and coming up with their own zoning plans. I don’t think people know how good we have it in Loudoun. I student taught in a school that still had the USSR on their maps and in their textbooks because they were so old. We have it GOOD here. We live in a rapidly growing county and new boundaries are being drawn all the time. Sure it’s not optimal but this is what happens when you live in Ashburn. I got used to it, my friends got used to it, and your kids will get used to it too. Ashburn Village/Farm and Broadlands have expanded all they can expand and Brambleton is still growing. Things are going to get shifted around a lot in Brambleton because it just isn’t as established yet. Eventually your kids will go to the high school they were zoned to, go to the football games, make friends, and have an overall above-average high school experience because they attend top schools in a top-rated county. Sometimes we need to count our blessings and stop getting so hung up on things like boundaries. BWHS doesn’t “belong” to you or to anyone else, it’s a school in a rapidly growing district. Be thankful for what we have in this county because not too far outside its limits people have it a lot worse.

Golly gee, so much fussing about having to send kids to brand spanking new high schools with state of art facilities, highly trained instructors, and a collective body of motivated students. What a world we live in here in Loudoun County where parents perceptions of what constitutes a great education consists of bickering about the “upheaval” of having to accommodate school boundary changes when the lines of developed property is constantly expanding in the communities in which they purchased their super terrific abodes. The logic of complaining about boundary changes for new schools as their developer keeps growing the need for new schools by erecting more and more homes escapes me. Somehow the expectations of parents who have experienced the growing pains of seeing their neighborhood mature to the point where growth is capped because no more homes are being built is secondary to parents who are just beginning to experience the corollary that comes with expanding the housing base, so does the need arise for broadening the expectation that new schools will be built and you will be attending them. How convenient is it to assail school zones based on community when it’s communities like Brambleton or Belmont Country Club who appear to be doing all the whining.

More facts the media, school board(past and Present) and LCPS planning group fail to mention:

Fairfax has 24 HS and 26 MS with 184K students, Loudoun will have 15 HS and 15 MS with only 73K students(projected 2015)

Fairfax HS average 2200-2400 students/school, Loudoun only 1600 students/school.

Westfields has 2800 students.

If our HS were built larger to accomadate 600 more students, We’d have 3 HS in this same area instead of 5. Those two extra HS will cost significantly more because of the extra parking, athletic fields and all the extra support staff needed. You’re talking in excess of $50 million dollars just to run and $100+ million to build.

In a ten minute drive, I can drive past 4 HS, in Fairfax, I’d be lucky to get to a second HS.
At some point loudoun will run out of land for any type of School.

I hear Loudoun county employees, police, teachers asking for raises and be told over and over, we don’t have the money.

How come this hasn’t been brought up or addressed?

Another solution our school board failed to mention, why not build a bigger HS so Brambleton could fit into one school? I now above their thinking grade. Scary to think they(School board) could sit in on a jury trial. Incompetence at its best. 75% of Loudoun is unhappy with your decison.

As a high loudoun property tax payer over the past 12 years(average $12K). I’d like to know how much time and effort the Planning commitee put in for this boundary change plan? Looking at the initial plan, it was pathetic, looked like a 2nd grader worked on it. How many employees work in the LCPS planning division? Now that this is somewhate done, what do they do they work on to justify all the positions? How come an outside agency isn’t tasked to do the school boundary lines? The current process gives off the appearance that some/most or all were bribed/paid(like that never happens in politics) some money to get their vote/backing.

Those school board meetings would best be summed as a Circus. 90% of the speakers were Kids/parents parading up to state pick plan 11 or plan 12 because I live there, giving no logical or rationale. Then I finally hear a great question posed to the good Dr, when will Loudoun One & Kincora be built out with students(DN04)? Great question, stupid timing. That should have been taken into consideration prior to putting out plans. So, in 3 years, DN04 could be moved due to overcrowding at BR, why not move them to HS8 now? The majority members of our school board are unprofessional, think only of themselves, doesn’t think of Loudoun taxpayers(only a few communties in Loudoun), are not qualified and down out tell lies. By the way, nobody asked me what my choices were so how can several scool board members state everyone got their first or second choice. And when was that ever a rationale for school boundaries. Please don’t let the door hit you on the way our of office.

Could someone please tell Stevens Miller…nobody cares , nobody is listening to you, just go away you self promoting petty carpetbagger. You would think by now any association with Stevens Miller is the kiss of death….ask his BFF Cliff Keirce how many votes he lost because of Stevens’ endorsement. And this yahoo thinks he is fit for our Governor to appoint him to the Circuit Court as an interim Judge. Literally laughing out loud at Stevens Miller.

With all due respect Mr. Miller I see this from a much different perspective.  The School Board’s decision was short sighted.  They claim Plan 12 was based on stability, community and other various School Board defined “logic”.  Stability and Community has now been defined by the School Board as busing 84% of the community’s students out of their own community, regardless of the costs to all taxpayers in Loudoun County.  The way I see it, the School Board has put Brambleton on a path to be divided between 3 schools come 2020.  The community will have a sliver of students in Briar Woods who live north of Ryan Road, approximately 1,000 homes.  The bulk of the Brambleton community (approx. 6,000 homes) should attend the next Brambleton proffered high school, HS-11, if the School Board doesn’t redistrict Brambleton out of its second proffered HS.  But wait a minute, even then that leaves another 2,000 homes worth of students who need to find a HS.  Where will they go?  Pretty short sighted, from my perspective; and not my definition of stability and community.  I look forward to going through this “wonderful” process in 4-5 years and meeting up once again with the folks in Broadlands to go through this all over again.  Maybe then will Brambleton have served its sentence and paid their dues as the School Board apparently requires as a way to gain their attention and respect.  Nice process!!!

What a day in Loudoun School Board history ! The whole process was mockery of public inputs !
    Common sense lost, politics won !

Fine work by the school board! Mr. Morse made a statesman’s speech about the importance of compromise and the greater good that should set the standard for district representatives in all deliberative bodies. Mr. Kuesters and Mr. Hornberger were diligent, thorough, and responsive to their constituents, all while embracing the same rational willingness to balance district needs with county needs, short-term needs with long-term needs. A 7-2 vote on something this contentious is a sign of a functional board (and, yes, I envy them for that).

Many thanks to my neighbors, Traci Tyo and Cliff Keirce. They were fine representatives of Broadlands to the larger coalition of many HOAs that backed the final plan. They also found a path to compromise and quality, without ever taking the parochial “my way or the highway” approach that is the curse of so many local issues. That’s what “community leadership” really means!

A few more issues the school board never rationalized, as a 20+ year Loudoun resident and 12+ at current resident, our group is being moved vs several new communties going to their closest schools, why?. Why would anyone donate time or money? In this economy, why wasn’t walking/transportation a bigger factor?
I for one will never donate money or time to any schools since my kids/neighbors won’t benefit. I’ve probably paid an extra $10K in school supplies, athletic equimpment, swing set/jungle gym sets over the 13 years my kids have been in Loudoun schools. And that doesn’t even include all the extra fees(parking, athletic, uniforms, ADP test..), probably another $5K.

The School Board made up their mind 3 months ago as to what plan would take place. They allowed people to talk but as usual most were asleep or not listening. They continue to tell lies stating less students are moved with this plan when in reality more are moved. Really thought Bill was going to break down and cry…..Grow a pair Bill.
So, now we have about 500 kids that go to Broad Run, going to SB, we have about 500 kids that go to SB going to HS8, We have 500+ kids going to BW going to HS6. We have a community within walking distance of a MS being bused. Hopefully the board of Supervisors realize the school board is more about themselves then saving the county money in transportation. This plan will cost us millions more. And in 3 years when some of the other areas are built out(which they left out for this boundary issue), the school boundaries for these sames communities could be changed. Only difference, it will be a different school board.

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