Two New Redistricting Options Available Following Feedback from the Community Meetings

Thank you to all those who attended last week’s redistricting community meetings last week. ACPS is delighted that so many families took the time to attend the gallery walk and give their feedback on the four options that were on the table at that time.

Redistricting consultant Matthew Cropper has translated and collated the feedback from those two community meetings and has drawn up two more options in addition to options 4,5, and 6 that were available for comment at the community meeting.

The maps for all options currently under consideration; Options 4,5,6,7 and 8 are available to view via the redistricting page of the ACPS website.

View the data for all options.

Both of the new options, Option 7 and Option 8, address the capacity issues that ACPS is facing over the next few years. While in some previous options some schools are almost at 150 percent capacity, both Options 7 and 8 see live-in utilization rates that remain close to the ideal range of between 90 percent and 110 percent for all schools. Achieving the ideal live-in rate for all school zones will limit the need for capacity reassignments, which currently requires ACPS to bus hundreds of students across the City to schools other than their zoned school.

At the same time, both of the new options retain the diversity that is so much a part of the fabric of Alexandria City. Relieving the capacity issues, while maintaining the diversity in our schools are two of the criteria for redistricting that were approved by the School Board before the process began.

Redistricting Criteria

Overarching Goal: Enable students to attend their neighborhood school with equitable access to instructional programs and services, a cost effective manner, unless there is a demonstrated need or desire to attend a designated citywide program.

  • Instructional Capacity: Number of students assigned to a school takes into account the number of classrooms and resource rooms needed for art, music, labs, ELL, special education and Talented and Gifted.
  • Student Safety: Promote safe walk zones-routes to school.
  • Transportation: Minimize need for bus transportation or travel time.
  • Enrollment Capacity: Student enrollment provides room for future growth.
  • Class Size: Adhere to and accommodate ACPS policy on class size requirements at different grade levels.
  • Distribution of special programs: Consider balance and access to districtwide programs (special education; pre-k).
  • Previous Rezoning: Minimize need for more than one boundary change in the elementary life of a student.
  • Program Continuity: Minimize school assignment change for students who have spent the majority of their elementary experience in the school.
  • Sensible and Fair Boundary Lines: Consider the proximity to the school, and to extent possible, look for natural points to define boundaries.
  • Diversity: Consider rich diversity of school division.

Additionally, the School Board is open to considering options that allow for school assignment based on enrollment choice versus boundary as a driver-modified open enrollment (to be explored as a possible model with advisement from external third party consultant).

We would like our community to be actively engaged in the redistricting process. Please join us for two more community meetings in November.

  • Monday, November 14 – 5:30 p.m., G.W. Middle School Media Center
  • Tuesday, November 15 – 7:00 p.m., John Adams Elementary Cafeteria

The options for the new school boundaries will be presented to the School Board in January 2017 for approval. The implementation of the new boundary zones is scheduled for fall 2018.

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