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.
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