Redistricting Approved For Albemarle County Schools

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

April 14, 2005

They're at again. Parents and school officials coming together to decide what's best for the children. The Albemarle County school board approved phase one of the redistricting plan.

The room at the Albemarle County Office Building may not have been filled to capacity, but when class is in session at the county's schools, it's another story.

Parents and school administrators joined the meeting with the school board to voice their concerns on the county's redistricting efforts. It's a difficult topic which has been addressed many times in the past. The county school board thinks they will soon have too many students for too few desks. The previously gigantic plan has now been broken into phases, with phase one being voted on at the meeting.

"Phase one of redistricting has been approved which moves students from Camelot who currently attend Hollymeade to Baker-Butler; and moves students from the Milton Road and Aburn Hills from Walton to Burley," said Diane Behrens, of Albemarle County Schools.

The four schools involved will affect around 70 students ranging from some students who are rising eighth graders, and some who are rising fifth graders. With the vote just happening, it is not new information for parents. Parents were notified of the change, and now have to decide on options.

"Each of those families will receive letters, and will have to declare which school they want to go to," added Behrens.

By picking which of the four schools their child should attend seems like a generous move on part of the county, but parents are still not happy with the vote.

"I call it the 'Super Walmart of Elementary Schools' because it will be overwhelming to kindergarteners, and I think overwhelming to the infrastructure," said Dan Heuchert, parent of an Albemarle County School Student.

If that's not enough to give you the opinion of the children who will have to change schools, listen to this local high school student.

"You have a lot of kids who've been in school with their friends going on nine or 10 years, and then having to go to another school with all these new kids. It's just not fair," said Ryan Dillor, a student at Monticello High School.

With phase one of the discussion set in stone, parents will again have an opportunity to voice their concerns at more public forums like this one that the school board plans in the months to come.

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