A couple hundred parents of elementary school children packed the Loudoun County Public Schools boardroom Monday night for the third of five public hearings on the looming attendance boundary changes.
The Loudoun County School Board must adopt a new attendance map for Brambleton-area elementary schools to prepare for Madison’s Trust Elementary, set to open in fall 2016 near the intersection of Northstar Boulevard and Creighton Road.
Madison’s Trust will provide relief to some of the county’s most-overcrowded schools. But board members have warned that getting to that point will likely be a painful process, as several hundred students are expected to be reassigned schools.
There are five different proposed boundary maps under consideration, and more will likely come. Plan 1 and Plan 2 were drawn up by the school system’s Planning Department. Plan 3 is a proposal by Vice Chairman Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge). Plan 4 and Plan 5 were drafted by Chairman Eric Hornberger (Ashburn).
Plans 1, 3 and 4 would reassign students from Brambleton elementary schools to schools closer to Leesburg. Sycolin Creek and Evergreen Mills elementary schools have room to take more students, Hornberger said, explaining the rationale behind his Plan 4.
“The goal is to maximize the use of available capacity within central Loudoun to relieve short and long-term overcrowding in the Dulles North elementary school,” he said ahead of Monday’s public hearing.
Parents took turns telling board members which plan they preferred for their children. Residents from several neighborhoods showed their unified support for a particular plan by wearing similar-colored T-shirts. A few dozen waved signs that urged the board to keep their neighborhood together.
One of the common complaints of the nearly 50 speakers was that they have already faced several school reassignments.
Julie Jennings, who lives in the Vantage Point neighborhood, said her family has been involved in six attendance boundary changes in the past 11 years and her children have been reassigned schools five times.
“In 2013, I was told Moorefied Station [Elementary] would be our final home,” she said. “Well, here we are again.”
She noted that two of the five plans would reassign her youngest child 2 miles north to Mill Run Elementary School.
No less than a dozen residents who live off of Watson Road south of Leesburg voiced concerns about plans that would assign their children to Sycolin Creek Elementary instead of the future Madison’s Trust Elementary.
Most of the parents from that neighborhood said they feel more connected to the Brambleton community because their children have attended Creighton’s Corner Elementary. Plus, a move to the Leesburg-area Sycolin Creek Elementary would require school buses to take a left turn from Watson Road on to Evergreen Mills Road, a maneuver they said was dangerous.
“High speeds and a blind curve have resulted in several accidents at this intersection, including a number of fatalities in recent years,” Little River Estates resident Robert Kerr said.
Students from as many as 14 elementary schools could be impacted by the boundary changes. Those include: 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.
The School Board will hold a work session on the boundaries Monday, Nov. 23, and two more public hearings—on Monday, Nov. 30, and Monday, Dec. 7—ahead of adopting a final map Tuesday, Dec. 8. Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and take place at the school administration building, 21000 Education Court in Ashburn.
Get more details on the process here.
Contact Danielle Nadler at firstname.lastname@example.org.