School Board Wades Through Boundary Changes; Aims for Long-Term Stability

The Loudoun County School Board held its first work session for attendance boundary changes for elementary schools in the southern end of the county this week.

School assignments need to be adjusted in that area to make room Goshen Post Elementary School, set to open next to John Champe High School along Northstar Boulevard next fall, and to provide relief to some of the county’s most crowded schools.

The changes could impact students at five Dulles South elementary schools: Buffalo Trail, Hutchison Farm, Liberty, Little River, and Pinebrook.

At a work session Monday, board members asked for more details on the two proposals school system staff members have drafted, Plan 1 and Plan 2. Most board members agreed that Plan 1 seemed to be the best option, in part because it would likely provide the most stability for families in Dulles South neighborhoods moving forward.

As they drafted both of the plans, staff members said they took into consideration that a new elementary school (ES-29) is scheduled to open just south of Braddock Road in 2023, and they wanted to avoid changing school assignments for neighborhoods that will again be reassigned in five years.

Board Chairman Jeff Morse (Dulles) said that he was also working on a proposal of his own. His plan, which will likely be called Plan 3, would move even fewer students in the neighborhoods surrounding the future site of ES-29.

“Knowing ES-29 is in the Buffalo Trail [Elementary] footprint, anyone who moves out of Buffalo Trail is going to move to the new elementary school (ES-29). So what made sense to me was to try to keep people who live around there put so they don’t have to move twice,” Morse said.

No plan can keep every student at Buffalo Trail, he added. That school is the most crowded in the Dulles South planning zone, serving 1,599 students—656 over its building capacity.

The board will hold another public hearing on the proposed boundary changes at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, at the school administration building in Ashburn. See details for the plans under consideration and sign up to speak here.

dnadler@loudounnow.com
twitter.com/danielle_nadler

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