Superintendent Presents Redistricting Plan

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

July 14, 2005

Tonight was another step on the road to redistricting for Albemarle County Schools. Superintendent Kevin Castner gave a presentation to the board tonight, and his recommendation for the future alignment of Albemarle County.

For months the Albemarle County School System has been examining a potential realignment. A compilation of ideas came forward in the Superintendent's recommended plan.

"By hearing all those discussions, there is only one hat that I can wear. And that's the hat of trying to make judgement calls for the entire system," said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Castner.

Castner's plan includes getting rid of capacity issues at several schools, while keeping the neighborhood model. If adopted, only 479 students will be affected by the change, down from nearly 1900 originally discussed. The plan drew favorable reaction from several committee members.

"This is a very thoughtful plan. This is obviously a lot of consideration [that] was given to the objections presented," said Linda McRaven.

"I think that he is pointing the school division in the right direction and I think they will poised to deal with growth as it comes up," said Paul Matherne.

Two reports from the redistricting committee were presented and reviewed by Castner. One dubbed, "The Minority Report," was presented by four of the sixteen members who had a different focus.

"We were concerned with the way the children in the western end were being split," said McRaven.

All involved say they are confident in the process, but realize they will never make everyone happy.

"It's uncomfortable for people to make change from what they know. And Albemarle County is fortunate in that people like going to the schools they are currently attending," said Diane Behrens from Albemarle County Schools.

The School Board will next discuss the matter during it's August 25th meeting. They will then hold a special work session after labor day, with a final decision coming sometime in the fall.

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