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School Board won’t consider ‘blended’ redistricting option

Planners also make several adjustments to Option 1
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


Community

MADD walk raises more than $26,000

The Central Virginia chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) hosted its annual Walk Like MADD fundraiser April 12 at Dorey Park in Varina. More than 20 teams of walkers raised money from individual donors by participating in the walk, and in total the event generated more than $26,000 in donations for the organization. > Read more.

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

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