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Parents Offer Early Pleas Ahead Of School Attendance Changes

© Leesburg Today - 10/29/2015

""Move these children once, but please not again and again."" - Brandy Smith

The six-week process to redraw elementary attendance boundaries to make room for the new Madison's Trust Elementary School was set into motion last night with the first of five public hearings on the matter.

The most common plea from those who addressed the Loudoun County School Board was to please not send their children to a new school-again. Many of the families in the fast-growing Ashburn and Brambleton neighborhoods that will likely be impacted by the changes have been reassigned once, twice, even three times, before.

""I've heard of some kids who have been in four or five schools in their short lives. This should not happen,"" Brandy Smith, a former teacher at Creighton's Corner Elementary School, told board members. ""Move these children once, but please not again and again.""

Madison's Trust Elementary, set to open in fall 2016 near the intersection of Northstar Boulevard and Creighton Road in Brambleton, will relieve some of the county's most-crowded schools.

As a disclaimer of sorts, administrators are including 14 schools-some as far as 10 miles from Brambleton-on a list of schools that could be impacted. Those elementary schools are: Creighton's Corner, Hillside, Legacy, Mill Run, Moorefield Station, Rosa Lee Carter, Ashburn, Cedar Lane, Discovery, Dominion Trail, Sanders Corner, Steuart W. Weller, Evergreen Mill and Sycolin Creek.

Candy Murphy, one of seven who spoke at last night's hearing, is concerned a move to a new school for her third-grade twins could seriously disrupt their education. Murphy said the teachers at Legacy Elementary have worked with her daughter to turn a frustrating learning experience into a rewarding one.

""This is my selfish plea… I want my kids to stay at Legacy, the school they can see from their bus stop,"" she said.

As board members begin to redraw the boundary lines, they will dig into enrollment numbers and projected population growth figures at a work session tonight. It is the first of three work sessions, ahead of the adoption of a final attendance map Dec. 8.

As Chairman Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) put it: ""This is the beginning of a long process.""

The complete meeting schedule for the attendance boundary process is as follows:

• today, board work session;

• Thursday, Nov. 5, public hearing;

• Monday, Nov. 9, board work session;

• Monday, Nov. 16, public hearing;

• Monday, Nov. 23, board work session;

• Monday, Nov. 30, public hearing;

• Monday, Dec. 7, public hearing; and

• Tuesday, Dec. 8, adopt attendance boundaries.

Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and take place at the Loudoun School Administration Building, 21000 Education Court in Ashburn. See more information from Loudoun County Public Schools on the process here.

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