October 10, 2005
After months of consideration, the Albemarle County School Board voted 6-1 in favor of the Superintendent's proposal for redistricting, which affects the smallest amount of students
Out of all of the plans, this one made the least amount of changes, and left the question of future growth for future debate. It affects 479 students who are moved by this round of redistricting in Albemarle County.
"It's going to provide for many of these students shorter distances in which to go to school and make better use of our schools as far as what their capacities are," said Board Chair Gordon Walker.
The plan will affect mostly middle school students, moving 432 of them to new schools. This number is significantly reduced from the nearly 1600 originally considered, making many parents quite happy.
"I think that the best plan is the plan that moves the fewest number of children possible," said Mark Echelberger.
The plan dealt with immediate needs of capacity issues and bussing in the county, while leaving questions of future growth, for the future.
"Nobody has a crystal ball, and so we don't know specifically where or when any of that future growth is going to occur," he said.
However the lone dissenting board member, Brian Wheeler, voted against the plan specifically because he felt it lacked consideration of future growth. To many, the plan was important but the changes in the process will hopefully stabilize the district.
"Parents want most of all out of this process is objective measures about when they are going to be redistricted," said Stokes.
"In some ways, we have also taken the monkey off of the back for some parents and have them realize that things are going to be okay here for a while," said Walker.
The board will next take on revamping the redistricting process during a November meeting. They hope to implement standard triggerssuch as capacity numbers to alert them when some sort of redistricting is necessary.