The families of Spotsylvania County students will have the opportunity to hear more about two plans for redistricting four of the county’s five high schools at a series of information sessions starting Thursday.
A redistricting committee made up of the principals of the four affected schools—Courtland, Massaponax, Spotsylvania and Chancellor high schools—as well as 12 parents and community members and the school division’s directors of finance, transportation and operations—presented the plans to the School Board on Feb. 25.
According to the committee’s presentation, redistricting is necessary to provide relief from overcrowding at Massaponax High School, where attendance has been higher than the building’s capacity of 1,830 students since 2009.
Massaponax has 2,017 students this school year and is projected to have 2,300 by the 2023–24 school year.
By contrast, Spotsylvania High School has been below capacity by about 500 students since 2009. This year, the school has 1,143 students enrolled and the building capacity is 1,611.
Courtland High School will be about 380 students below capacity next year, when renovations to the school are complete.
Under redistricting Option 1, which would affect 410 students, Massaponax would lose 297 students next school year.
Students from the Lee’s Parke neighborhood would shift from Massaponax to Courtland and those from houses off U.S. 1 and Massaponax Church Road would begin attending Spotsylvania High School.
Students from Treemont Lane, Brenda Way, Courthouse Commons and Plantation Forest would leave Courtland for Spotsylvania High.
Courtland would gain 158 students and Spotsylvania 139 under this plan, which would not affect Chancellor High School at all.
Option 2 would affect a total of 632 students. Under this plan, Massaponax High would lose 458 students next year.
Option 2 is the same as Option 1 except that it also moves students from the Breezewood/Stony Creek neighborhood from Massaponax to Courtland and moves Leavells Road students from Courtland to Chancellor.
Chancellor would gain 61 students next year under that plan. Courtland would gain 258 and Spotsylvania would gain 139.
Juniors will be able to stay at their school next year if their parents can provide transportation.
The redistricting committee recommends that after initial high school redistricting is enacted, “It would be beneficial for the division to engage in a comprehensive K–12 boundary study with a third-party vendor to address intermediate and long-term capacity issues.”
Riverbend and Chancellor high schools will be approaching or surpassing their capacities by the 2023–24 school year, according to projections.
Information sessions on the two plans, which can be seen on the school division’s website, will be held on Thursday at Spotsylvania High School, Monday at Chancellor High School, Tuesday at Massaponax High School and March 20 at Courtland High School.
The School Board will hold a public hearing on the plans April 1.