Albemarle County schools Superintendent Pam Moran’s recommendation for redistricting was met by the School Board on Thursday mostly with agreement and a few suggestions.
Moran took nearly every component of a redistricting committee’s recommendation into her own, only making a small adjustment to a grandfathering clause included in the Albemarle High School options.
Both Albemarle High and Greer Elementary are experiencing overcrowding issues, which led the School Board to create the redistricting committee in April, which gave its recommendation — after months of committee and community meetings — to Moran. The board will make the final decision after public comment has been received in November.
The recommendation Moran presented to the School Board includes two options that would send some Albemarle High students to Monticello High and some Sutherland Middle School students to Burley Middle.
The first option would affect 117 students who live off Route 20 north of Proffit Road. Of those, 47 Sutherland Middle students would move to Burley and 70 Albemarle High students would move to Monticello.
The second option looks at students in the Rio Road area east of the railroad tracks and east of Abbington to Pine Haven, and would redistrict 144 high school students to Monticello. Elementary and middle school students would not be affected.
As far as grandfathering goes, Moran tightened the wording of the committee’s clause a bit.
In her recommendation, Moran wrote that all current Albemarle High and Sutherland Middle students should be allowed to finish their years in their current schools. She added that siblings of Albemarle High students currently enrolled at Sutherland and Burley would be grandfathered in to attend the same high school as their siblings.
However, transportation would not be provided by the school division to families who wish to take advantage of the grandfathering clause.
For Greer, Moran took the same road as the committee by suggesting there is no viable option for redistricting, and instead recommending county staff do its own evaluation of Greer and come up with the best option to alleviate overcrowding.
The School Board did not voice much opposition to the Albemarle High options or offer any changes, but did for Greer. The board suggested bringing back an earlier option that would move some Greer students to Murray Elementary so that it can be discussed at a public hearing in November.
“The important piece there to note is that that community impacted by that will have opportunity to give us public comment on [Nov. 5], because based on the two recommendations they’ve seen thus far, they do not believe they’re being impacted,” Ned Gallaway, chairman of the School Board, said after the meeting.
The School Board also talked about more emphasis for funding a possible addition to Woodbrook Elementary School, which could take in some of the overflow from Greer.
Albemarle High currently is over capacity by 122 students and is expected to be 190 students over capacity in three years and a little more than 200 students over capacity in five years.
Greer currently is 25 students over capacity and is projected to be 95 students over capacity in three years, and then down to 73 students over capacity in five years, according to county projections.
The School Board will hold a public meeting Nov. 5, with the meeting starting at 6 p.m., which is earlier than most board meetings. The board is scheduled to vote on the matter Nov. 12. Both meetings will take place at the Albemarle County Office Building-McIntire.
If the School Board approves a recommendation for redistricting in November, the families affected will be notified in December. The changes would take effect next school year.