School Board Votes on Redistricting Grandfathering Policies

The School Board voted to approve a series of policies around redistricting on Thursday evening.

The policy permits students in grades four and five and their siblings to stay at the school they currently attend for a maximum of two years to help ease the transition period for older grade levels.

Siblings of fourth- and fifth- grade students have the option of attending their newly zoned school or remaining at the previously zoned school until the older sibling transitions to middle school. Transportation will be provided for both the fourth-and fifth-grade students and their siblings.

Families wishing for their fourth- or fifth-grade student or their siblings to remain at their current school must submit a Notice of Intent to Stay form by January 15, 2018. The new boundaries will come into effect in time for the start of the school year in fall 2018.

All students will attend their elementary school in their newly established attendance zone unless they meet the criteria outlined in Regulation JCE-R.

Programmatic Transfers and Exemptions

Students currently enrolled in a dual-language, K-8 or modified calendar program will be allowed to continue in the program until its completion. Transportation is not provided for students who opted out on a programmatic transfer and whose zone was changed to a traditional school.

Students who have opted out of a dual-language or modified calendar program and are currently attending a traditional school outside of their attendance zone via programmatic transfer will be allowed to remain at their current school. For students whose newly zoned school remains entirely dual-language or modified calendar, transportation will be provided. If their newly zoned school is a traditional school but the student chooses to remain at his/her current school, transportation will not be provided. Siblings of current students who have received programmatic transfers will be allowed to attend the sibling’s school even if class size caps are exceeded.

For the full details of all programmatic options, transfers and exemptions please see JCE-R.

Administrative Transfers

Students with previously approved administrative transfers will be allowed to remain at their current school. However, parents/guardians may choose to place their student(s) in their newly zoned school. Siblings of current students who have received administrative transfers will be allowed to attend the sibling’s school even if class size caps are exceeded. Transportation is not provided for parent/guardian-requested administrative transfers. In rare circumstances, transportation may be provided after extensive review by the Superintendent or designee.

Redistricting Implementation Transfers For the 2017-18 school year

A redistricting implementation transfer application process will be available for the 2017-18 school year. These transfers are offered to families who have been rezoned and would like their child(ren) to begin attending the newly zoned school prior to full redistricting implementation. Transfers will be reviewed and approved based on available capacity at that grade level. For these transfers, transportation will be provided for students who meet the requirements for transportation.

Boundary Changes

The School Board is scheduled to vote on the new boundaries this Thursday, January 26. The recommended option (Option 9a with minor amendments) was deemed the option most in line with the redistricting criteria by the Redistricting Review Committee.

The overarching goals of the criteria are to enable students to attend their neighborhood school with equitable access to instructional programs and services, in a cost effective manner, unless there is a demonstrated need or desire to attend a designated citywide program.

If the recommended option is approved, the number of elementary school walkers will increase from 4,718 to 4,992 students, thereby reducing transportation costs, while maintaining diversity among students as far as possible at all elementary schools.

Under the recommended option, 474 students would be required to move schools.

The recommended option for the new boundaries would ensure that schools except Mount Vernon Community School and George Mason Elementary School would fall within the optimal 90 percent to 110 percent live-in utilization rate. Mount Vernon would be at 114 percent live-in utilization, while George mason would be at 116 percent. Currently, six schools are over the optimal live-in utilization rate, with Samuel Tucker Elementary School at 170 percent, William Ramsay at 136 percent, George Mason at 154 percent, Douglas MacArthur at 122 percent and John Adams at 120 percent utilization. Increasing enrollment would see these numbers rise still further over the course of the next five years.

Read Policy JCE

Read Policy JCE-R

Watch the School Board discussion regarding redistricting policies from Thursday night.

ACPS, ACPS 2020, Redistricting