The redistricting process begins in earnest this month when the GIS mapping work to redraw boundaries will take place. The proposed new boundaries are expected to be reviewed and approved by the School Board in late January 2017. The new boundaries will go into effect for the 2017-18 school year.
ACPS staff will be the most important people to carry our message to the public about the redistricting process over the next few months. We are the face of ACPS and what we say to our friends as well as to the parents we meet every day matters. It is critical, therefore, that you know where we are in the process.
In late spring and early summer the School Board approved a number of changes to policies that affect redistricting. These policies went into effect immediately.
- Under the newly approved policies, families may request to have their child enroll in a school other than their zoned school if they wish to enroll them in a specific educational program, and if there is space in that program. Transfers into these programs will be known as programmatic transfers. The School Board voted to designate specific school programs eligible for programmatic transfers: Dual Language Program, the K-8 Program and the Modified Calendar Program.
- Students will be allowed to opt in and out of the Dual Language Program and the Modified Calendar program. Elementary students attending a K-8 school may opt out at the beginning of grade 6, but not before. They can opt in at any grade.
- The newly approved policies allow siblings of students who have received programmatic transfers to attend the siblings’ school even if class size caps are exceeded.
- Under the new policies, the Superintendent may authorize reductions in class sizes at individual schools based on school enrollment, programming needs and physical classroom capacity.
The School Board did not vote on grandfathering or phasing-in – the process by which certain grade levels may be allowed to stay at their current school for a certain period. This vote will take place prior to the approval of new boundaries.
ACPS has identified a possible site for a new West End School at 1701 N. Beauregard Street and is in the process of reviewing the building to assess its suitability.
The inside of the building would see substantial change to convert it into space suitable for elementary students. ACPS is also reviewing options to purchase the parking garage adjacent to the building. A decision on the potential property will be made by the School Board in September.
Any new school would help ease ACPS capacity issues. Programming of the school is still under review, however ACPS anticipates the site could add around 650 seats for elementary school students. This school year marks the first year that the ACPS student population has exceeded the seats available according to the Long Range Plan specifications for optimal learning environments. Read more about the new school.
The School Board has approved criteria, which will act as a roadmap for the Redistricting Review Committee: www.acps.k12.va.us/redistricting/criteria.php
STAY INFORMED/GET INVOLVED
To stay up-to-date with the redistricting process contact your school’s Redistricting Review Committee representative listed at www.acps.k12.va.us/redistricting/review.php
You can also sign up for meeting notifications and updates at www.acps.k12.va.us/redistricting/ or leave a message on the hotline: 703-619-8408. We attempt to respond to all messages within 48 hours.
You can also follow updates on Twitter @ACPSk12 #BetterBoundaries.
Thank you for working with us to ensure every student succeeds.