Several points about the 11th High School

The School Board will be voting tonight on which boundary plan the county will implement for the 11th High School. As followers of this blog know, the issue has been controversial and emotions are running high.

There are currently four “active” boundary plans on the PWCS web site – A1, B1, C, and C1. At the May 6th board meeting, Dave Beavers recommended plan B1 to the school board. Unless Mr Beavers has changed his mind, that plan is still the PWCS recommended plan.

Plan B1 has engendered controversy from the parents in the Victory Lakes Community because those parents were lead to believe that their children would attend the 11th High School. VL children currently attend SJHS and Marsteller Middle School. Parents from VL believe that their children should be sent to the 11th HS because their children will be the only children from Marsteller who will attend SJHS, and their children need to be allowed to stay with their Middle School friends.

Plan C moves VL to the 11th high school.   In order to keep the 11th High school from being overcrowded, assigning VL to the 11th High school requires moving Ashely’s Ridge and New Bristow Village to Brentsville and sending approximately half of the Mayfield Trade / Great Oaks children to SJHS and the other half to Brentsville.

Plan C also breaks VL from Sheffield Manor, a community which attends Victory Elementary along with VL children, and sends the SM children to SJHS without their elementary classmates. Because of concern about breaking this community apart, SM parents have proposed plan C1, which send both SM and VL to the 11th High School.

Both plans C & C1 result in overcrowding at the 11th high school and below capacity enrollment at SJHS and Brentsville.

Parents from Ashely’s Ridge, New Bristow Village, Great Oaks, and Mayfield Trace, as you can expect, are less than enthusiastic about Plans C and C1.

Ashely’s Ridge parents are concerned because they go to Cedar Point Elementary and Marsteller and their children, under plans C & C1, will be broken apart from the friends they’ve known since kindergarten and live 1.5 miles from the 11th High School.  They have also expressed two other,  very valid points about the new Kettle Run Elementary School and the new Middle School at Silver Lake, which is set to open shortly after the 11th High School.

The new elementary school on Kettle Run will be built beside the 11th High School. Students from Nokesville, Cedar Point, Bristow Run, and Glenkirk will be assigned to this elementary school to relieve severe overcrowding at those schools. Both Ashely’s Ridge and New Bristow Village are likely to be reassigned from Cedar Point and Ellis to the new elementary school, which is right next door to the 11th high school, a school which, under plans C & C1, they won’t attend. Under plans C & C1, they’ll be bussed past the 11th high school to get their elementary school, but won’t go to that High School.That. to them, defies logic.

The New Middle School at Sliver Lake is set to open shortly after the 11th High School. This Middle School will require redrawing the boundaries for Marsteller and Gainesville Middle Schools because it will likely pull many of the Gainesville area children into it’s boundary. That means that the existing boundary for Gainesville Middle school will be pulled further south and will likely pick up Victory Lakes.   Sheffield Manor, which is right beside Victory Lakes, currently attends Gainesville Middle School and Gainesville Middle School children currently attend Battlefield and SJHS.

According to the Ashley’s Ridge parents, that means that the argument the Victory Lakes parents have been making about their children being the only Marsteller children sent to SJHS falls apart, because the Victory Lakes children are likely to end up at Gainesville Middle School instead of Marsteller.

Parents from Mayfield Trace and Great Oaks have asked that their communities be kept together. The communities currently attend either SJHS or OP. Under plan B1 the students who attend SJHS will be reassigned to Brentsville. Under plans C & C1, the students who attend SJHS will remain at SJHS or will be reassigned to Brentsville, with 234 serving as the dividing line. These parents are less than enthusiastic with Plans C & C1 because they break their community into three different High Schools.

The school board has a difficult decision ahead of them, and no matter which way they vote, someone is going to be angry. As more parties chime in, it seems like the decision will come to either Plan B1 or C1.  Plan B1 will leave Victory Lakes residents angry and disappointed and Plan C1 will leave Ashley’s Ridge, Mayfield Trace, and Great Oaks residents angry and disappointed.

Looking at the numbers, none of the plans address the demographic in-balance at SJHS relative to other west end High Schools and none of the plans provides a long term solution to overcrowding at west end High Schools.  Plan B1 provides the most balanced enrollement, with enrollment remaining above 90% at all PWC high schools.  Plan C1 keeps Bristow area children in Bristow area schools, but sacrifices enrollment at Brentsville and SJHS to achieve that.

It will be a very interesting and long night.

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6 Responses to “Several points about the 11th High School”

  1. Mark Pancerella Says:

    There has been a great turnout tonight. During the public hearing portion of tonight’s meeting, still in progress as I write this e-mail, over 50 Prince William County residents will voice there preference for one of the four boundary proposals under consideration by the board.

    Plans C and C1 have received overwhelming support tonight. It will be interesting to see how the board votes, as it seems that their minds may already be made up and a vote for plan B1 is inevitable.

  2. Mark Pancerella Says:

    Wow! A modified C1 plan that includes Ashely Ridge has been proposed by the board tonight.

  3. Mark Pancerella Says:

    This meeting was a joke. The board’s decision was made months ago. It’s going to be Plan B1.

    The irony is that taxpayers are footing the bill for a Planning Office that can plan worth a darn.

    It’s unfathomable to me that the PWC Planning Office can come up with a wothwhile solution.

    The concern is about overcrowding in the 11th HS, however Plan B1 will already be overcapacity by 2014. Nice job. We elected these people?

  4. Monster_Mom Says:

    Mark – you are so right!!!! The school system has blown it in the western end of the county from a planning standpoint for more than 10 years!! And the guy in charge gets promoted????

    And don’t get me started on the travesty behind the math program. MI in K -5 is bad enough but CMP is coming for middle school (heck – it’s already here) and some other equally dumbed down program will be in the high schools. Forget AP – our kids will be too stupid to qualify.

    Gifted programs are next on the chopping block and Special ed is a joke.

    It’s time for a new school board………

  5. 7yr SM Resident Says:

    Even though I was disappointed with the vote I knew it was all about the numbers. I have worked in politics long enough to know that Mr. Trenum was not going to place 2 communities at war with one another. That is why he supported C1 with his modifications. With that I knew the other board members would not support a plan that opened the 11th H.S. over capacity. If I have learned anything in this process it is that I live in a wonderful community that was able to come together for the good of their children and the children living near us. When we faced our disappointment last night we continued as a community to show respect. I truly believe that the passion from both the SM and VL communities need to be funneled into improving the academic standards at SJHS. SJHS is a great school with a wonderful IB program. And I am thrilled that the board is considering placing the Governors School base at SJHS. Just think what we can all do if we put our minds together.

    • 2018 Concern Says:

      I agree w/ 7yr SM Resident – we need to stick with a constructive approach. I’ve been critical of the process and am not happy with the results, but I don’t have a negative opinion of Stonewall. Putting the Governor’s school at SJHS is a good idea.


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