Frequently Asked Questions
Why are we redrawing school attendance boundaries?
GCPS is scheduled to open a new Goochland Elementary School in August 2024. The new school will be built with expanded capacity to alleviate overcrowding at the division’s other elementary schools. Modifying attendance boundaries will move students to balance school enrollments.
What’s the process for redrawing the school attendance boundaries?
A Boundary Adjustment Steering Committee made up of parents, community representatives, and staff was selected and is currently reviewing options with the support of Cooperative Strategies, a firm hired by the school division to facilitate this work. The Committee will make a recommendation to the Superintendent, who will then make a recommendation to the School Board.
What is the timeline for the redistricting process?
The Steering Committee started their work in mid-February and will make a recommendation to the Superintendent in April. The School Board will be presented with the Superintendent’s recommendation for attendance boundaries in May and is scheduled to vote on new maps in June 2022. The new boundaries will take effect with the opening of the new school in 2024.
What criteria will be used to make decisions about the new school boundaries?
Cooperative Strategies is working with GCPS on this process and has extensive boundary adjustment experience. They have recommended that the Steering Committee keeps in mind the following best practices for modifying attendance boundaries:
· Keep neighborhoods intact
· Balance demographics, specifically the percentage of students who receive free and reduced price meals
· Balance facility utilization relative to projected enrollment
· Consider proximity to schools
· Work to draw lasting boundaries to avoid repeat redistricting
· Consider transportation distances and road conditions
How many students will be affected by redistricting?
Most students will not be moved to the new school during the boundary adjustment process. However, at present, the exact numbers of affected students are not known.
Will my family be affected?
It is too early in the process to make this determination; however, please be assured that GCPS will communicate extensively with affected families and will work to make this process as smooth as possible for each child.
Will my children be grandfathered so they can stay at their current school?
School Board Policy JC outlines how changes in school attendance areas will impact currently enrolled students.
Will the new school boundaries class sizes?
The process of modifying attendance boundaries is not intended to affect class sizes.
Will my child be moved to a new school if they have a disability?
IEP teams will determine placement for students with disabilities. School Board Policy JC also addresses the impact a boundary adjustment may impact our students with disabilities
Will parents and community members have an opportunity to review the proposed maps and share our opinions?
Yes. A survey will be released in March to gather public opinion on the proposed boundary adjustments. The survey results will be shared with the Steering Committee, Superintendent, and School Board and will be considered before adopting a final elementary boundary map.
How often will we need to redraw school attendance boundaries?
Given current enrollment projections, we do not anticipate requiring another boundary modification for quite some time. While other projects are included in the division’s Capital Improvements Plan, none would require a boundary modification.
When will I know where my child is assigned?
After final approval of the boundary adjustment in June, GCPS will communicate with families and post the new elementary boundary map on the division’s website. Families will also be provided a web-based search tool that will provide this information.
Where can I get regular news and updates?
A dedicated project web site will be regularly updated to include maps, proposed adjustments, presentations, and recommendations.
Where can I find out the times of meetings, agendas for meetings, and access to the documents given to the Steering Committee to inform their decisions?
The project web site will include links to agendas and videos of School Board meetings, as well as documents that are provided to the Board and the Steering Committee.