The Stafford County School Board has selected two plans for redistricting the county’s 17 elementary schools to bring to the community for public hearings next week.
In a special called meeting following a two-and-a-half hour work session Thursday, the board voted unanimously—with the exception of George Washington District representative Dewayne McOsker, who was absent—to bring forward two versions of plan E that are based on changes requested by School Board members after last week’s work session.
Plan E-2-1 affects 2,869 of the county’s 12,476 public elementary school students and splits nine neighborhoods.
Plan E-2-2, which reflects changes requested by Griffis–Widewater District representative Jaime Decatur, affects 2,252 students and also splits nine neighborhoods.
The board also considered a new version of plan C and two hybrids of plans C and E Thursday, but chose to take these out of consideration because they would put some schools over capacity by the second year, among other reasons.
Falmouth District representative Sarah Chase said she liked the hybrid plans because they would have kept students from Olde Forge and Rappahannock Landing at Rocky Run Elementary School. Both versions of plan E have these neighborhoods moving to Conway Elementary School.
However, the hybrid plans would put Rocky Run at 104 percent capacity by the 2022–23 school year and Chase said she couldn’t support that.
“I want to say on the record that there are 225 kids in [Olde Forge and Rappahannock Landing] that we haven’t heard from,” she said. “When we went and talked to them, they said they would like to stay at their school.”
Chase said she wants to work with Superintendent Scott Kizner to ensure that some familiar teachers move with these students to Conway.
“I want to try to do right by these kids,” she said.
Both versions of plan E keep neighborhoods off Brooke Road at Stafford Elementary School instead of moving them to Grafton Village. Parents of children in that area mounted a strong campaign to stay at Stafford Elementary based on driving distances and feeder patterns to the middle and high schools.
In both plans, Amyclae, Berkshire and Augustine neighborhoods stay at Winding Creek Elementary and Embrey Mill moves to Park Ridge Elementary. Hampton Oaks neighborhood also stays together at Hampton Oaks Elementary in both plans.
Aquia Harbour drives the main difference between the two plans. In plan E-2-1, the neighborhood goes to Hampton Oaks Elementary and in plan E-2-2, it stays at Moncure Elementary. Neighborhoods in the northern part of the county reshuffle in the two plans based on where Aquia Harbor goes.
The School Board requested that staff make minor tweaks to the two plans and provide a summary of the differences between the two before the public hearings, which are scheduled for Wednesday at North Stafford High School and Thursday at Stafford High School.
Updated maps of the two plans under consideration will be posted on the school’s redistricting website. The two maps the board considered at the work session are posted with the work session agenda on the School Board’s website.
Parents who are not able to attend next week’s public hearings are welcome to email comments to the School Board, Chairwoman Patricia Healy said Wednesday.