School Board won’t consider ‘blended’ redistricting option

UPDATE: When the Henrico County School Board votes to adopt boundaries for the new Kaechele Elementary School Thursday night, it will not consider a "blended" option that was harshly criticized by dozens of speakers at a public hearing last week.

School system officials this afternoon announced that the blended option – designed by planning staff members in an attempt to combine the two other options under consideration – had been removed from consideration. Planners also made a number of adjustments to Option 1 to create a new option.

The blended option was blasted by a majority of the 42 people who addressed the board during its public hearing Dec. 6 at Hermitage High School. The plan came about after School Board Chairwoman Diana Winston asked planners to consider whether it would be possible to use West Broad Street as a north-south dividing line for elementary school boundaries.

But it resulted in a plan that would have put Gayton Elementary School well over capacity and was criticized by speakers as a poorly designed plan that wasn't subjected to the same rigorous review process as the other two options, which were created by a 24-member committee of volunteers.

When compared with the existing Option 1 plan, the revised Option 1 plan would:

• send students who live in a region between Pouncey Tract, Kain and Gayton roads to Colonial Trail Elementary instead of Kaechele Elementary;

• send students who live in a small section of land on the north line of Pouncey Tract Road near Quarry Hill Road to Kaechele Elementary instead of Shady Grove Elementary;

• send students who live in a tract of land along Fort McHenry Parkway back into the Springfield Park Elementary zone instead of to Kaechele Elementary;

• send a group of students who live north of West Broad Street, south of I-64 and east of Gayton Road to Colonial Trail Elementary instead of Nuckols Farm Elementary;

• ensure that all students who live west of Lauderdale Drive and south of West Broad Street in the Wellesley community would attend Nuckols Farm Elementary, while sending students who live north of Three Chopt Road, south of West Broad Street and east of Lauderdale Drive to Short Pump Elementary;

• send students who live in a small area on the north line of Ridgefield Parkway to Pinchbeck Elementary instead of Gatyon Elementary;

• move students who live on land on the west line of Gaskins Road (south of Three Chopt Road) into the Short Pump Elementary zone, instead of the Davis Elementary zone;

• expand the Ridge Elementary school zone to include a number of homes along the east line of Parham Road south of I-64, instead of sending students from that area to Three Chopt Elementary.

School officials are asking for public comments online about the adjusted Option 1 map; to comment, visit http://vovici.com/wsb.dll/s/b581g51fee by Dec. 12.

To view the current maps for Options 1 (existing and adjusted) and 2, visit http://www.henrico.k12.va.us/Boundaries/redistrictingmeetings.html.
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Henrico Democrats nominate Lynch, Rodman

APR. 29, 6:15 P.M. – Henrico Democrats today selected their party's nominees for the Brookland District Supervisor seat and the 73rd District House of Delegates seat during a party caucus.

Courtney Lynch, the founder of a leadership development company, was somewhat of a surprise winner in the Brookland District supervisor's race. She defeated Virginians for High Speed Rail Executive Director Danny Plaugher, who had been the party's nominee two years ago in the general election for the seat.

Debra Rodman, a Randolph-Macon College professor, earned the party's nomination for the 73rd House District seat, defeating Chelsea Savage, a nurse, in a runoff. Attorney Sarah Smith was third and Bill Coleman, a project manager for a health organization, fourth.
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Therapeutic healing


In a room labeled the garden room, a bright space with lavender-colored walls and pebble-gray chairs, art therapist Becky Jacobson might ask her patients to imagine a safe place, but she doesn’t ask them to describe it to her — she wants them to draw it.

The patients are free to draw whatever they envision, expressing themselves through their colored markers, a form of healing through art therapy.

“Some people might not feel safe anywhere because they have had hard things happening to them, and I have the background to help that person reground and feel safe in the group,” Jacobson said. > Read more.

Eight’s enough? Crowded race for 56th District develops


Following the retirement of Delegate Peter Farrell [R-56th District], a number of candidates have thrown their hats into the ring to vie for the open seat in the Virginia General Assembly district, which contains a portion of Henrico’s Far West End.

Democratic challengers include Lizzie Basch and Melissa Dart, while Republican contenders include George Goodwin, Matt Pinsker, Graven Craig, Surya Dhakar, Jay Prendergrast and John McGuire. In addition to a section of Henrico, the district also includes portions of Goochland and Spotsylvania County, as well as all of Louisa County. > Read more.

On the trail to Awareness


Twenty-five teams, composed of some 350 participants, gathered at Dorey Park in Varina April 8 for the Walk Like MADD 5k, to benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving Virginia. The event raised more than $35,000, with more funds expected to come in through May 7. > Read more.

Leadership Metro Richmond honors St. Joseph’s Villa CEO


Leadership Metro Richmond honored St. Joseph's Villa CEO Kathleen Burke Barrett, a 2003 graduate of LMR, with its 2017 Ukrop Community Vision Award during its annual spring luncheon April 6.

The award honors a LMR member who demonstrates a purposeful vision, a sense of what needs to be done, clear articulation with concern and respect for others with demonstrated action and risk-taking. > Read more.

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Battles and Leaders, a military book discussion group, will meet from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Fairfield Library. Enjoy an evening of lively discussion focused on the battles, leaders and wars that have shaped world history. The title for April is “Gates of Fire” by Steven Pressfield. For details, call 501-1930 or visit http://www.henricolibrary.org. Full text

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