Friday, January 23, 2009

Update from HS Meeting Held Jan. 22

Several OHR residents attended the High School Subcommittee meeeting last night at Hermitage High School. Although some feedback from the Community Forums was presented to and discussed by committee members, the primary agenda item was to narrow the draft maps from three to two primary choices with very little attention to feeder patterns, comments, etc. at this point. With 19 of the 24 members present, High School Maps A and C were voted on to move forward:

Map A has the entire Pemberton corridor at Freeman HS.

Map C has a portion of the corridor at Tucker (including OHR).

Click here to view the HS maps.

NOTE: Although Map C is not a favorable scenario for us right now, further consideration and adjustments to this map by the subcommittee could help us in the long run. Map C has the most room for improvement, and because the southern portion of the Pemberton corridor is at Godwin in this scenario, and combined we as a corridor only have around 100 high school age children, there are fewer #'s that would need to be adjusted to draw us back into Godwin district.

The next High School Subcommittee meeting is Wednesday, February 11 at Hermitage High School Library where we expect to see more movements in the maps with feeder patterns studied and taken into consideration, along with continued public feedback.

Also, from subcommittee meetings held earlier in the week regarding ES and MS maps:

Elementary School: Maps C and D (OHR at Davis in C, and Pemberton in D)

Middle School: Maps A and D (OHR at Byrd MS in both scenarios)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Quail Run Letter

Below is a letter from a resident of Quail Run that very clearly advocates our shared position to remain at Godwin, while also offering thoughtful observations and feedback regarding the draft maps...

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We are residents of Quail Run, a subdivision along the Pemberton Corridor between Three Chopt and Quioccasin (census tract 06207). Quail Run, as well as the other subdivisions along this corridor, have been in the Godwin high school district for over 25 years – since the day it opened its doors. We are saddened and disappointed that the proposed redistricting options have moved us out of the Godwin district into Freeman (Options A and D) or Tucker (Option C).

Option A only marginally changes the student populations at Freeman and Godwin. To make such a devastating change for a marginal result just doesn’t make sense. Also, Option A still leaves an overcrowding problem in the Highland Springs and Henrico HS areas. In looking at the map, it appears that some of this could be alleviated by moving Tucker’s Northeast boundary up (tracts 11107 and 11114) and letting Freeman keep its Monument Avenue students (Tracts 44006, 44007, 04003, 04002, 04001, 45301, 45302). This would also make it unnecessary to redraw my boundary simply to beef up Freeman’s population. This option seems to ignore current overcrowding problems in other districts while creating new problems for those of us being cut from a school district that we know and love and have been a part of for more than 25 years.

We do not support Option C which splits the Pemberton Corridor in half, allowing some of the subdivisions to stay in the Godwin area, while others, including our own, are redistricted to Tucker. First, this is an unnatural boundary which splits a tight community in half. Second, it makes a difficult transition for our children who will most likely attend Byrd Middle School. Most of Byrd’s population will go off to Godwin or Freeman except for the scant few of our Pemberton Corridor children who will be forced to go off to Tucker. Lastly, Tucker High School is in the Three Chopt District, and our voting district is Tuckahoe. This leaves us with no representation and no voice. That is truly UNFAIR!!

We also do not support Option D. Again, the marginal difference in student population does not justify uprooting our longstanding membership in the Godwin community. It also again seems to ignore true overcrowding issues at Deep Run which could be alleviated by leaving some of Tucker’s existing North Boundaries (tracts 40602, 40610). Also, it makes no sense in moving a big Freeman area to Tucker (Tracts 44006, 44007, 04003, 04002, 04001, 45301, 45302) and then force us to move to Freeman. This Option D does not respect current boundaries and creates more disturbance and problems than it solves.

None of these options shows the dire need to redistrict our small group of subdivisions, but ALL of these options uproot a longstanding Godwin community, potentially split close knit relations, and rob us of a nationally recognized school and education that many of us consciously chose when we purchased our homes. We have been a part of Godwin since its doors opened over 25 years ago. Godwin is not just a school to us, it is a tradition and we want to remain a part of it. Please rethink your decision to redistrict the Pemberton Corridor and redraw your maps to put us back in the Godwin School District.

Thank you for your consideration.


Erika and John Almstead
Quail Run residents (Census tract 06207)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

RTD: Western Henrico groups protest school-zone options

Click here to read the Times-Dispatch story about the Community Forum held January 7 at Godwin.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Last Community Forum TONIGHT!

Tonight is the third and final Redistricting Community Forum for the public to offer written comment on the proposed ES, MS and HS boundary maps.

The event runs from 6:00-7:30pm at Godwin High School. The public will be able to view the maps and provide feedback in writing. If you are not able to make the forum tonight but wish to view the maps (Elementary, Middle and High) and make comment, contact Laura Hennig or Kim Kerr for a blank "questionnaire".

Laura's number is 869-9269.

Completed questionnaire's need to be returned to Laura or Kim no later than 5:00pm this evening.

Please make plans to attend, or at the very least provide written comment.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Redistricting News Coverage

News coverage of last night's redistricting community forum at Hermitage.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Henrico unveils school-zone plans

NBC 12: Second meeting on Henrico school redistrict tonight

Monday, January 5, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

Redistricting Community Forums Coming Up Next Week!

The County will host three Community Forums this coming week seeking citizen comment on proposed school boundaries.

Draft maps have Oldhouse Run and much of the Pemberton corridor being moved out of Godwin district into either Tucker or Freeman.

Right now, Godwin is not even an option for OHR! We need full neighborhood participation at these forums if we have a chance to stay at Godwin!

Community Forums will take place from 6-7:30pm on January 5, 6 & 7 at the following locations:

January 5 – Hermitage High School

January 6 – Elko Middle School

January 7 – Godwin High School

All school maps will be available for review and comment. Here are quick links to the draft Elementary, Middle and High School maps.

Public comment will be accepted in writing. Suggested terms to use for this purpose are as follows:

1. Remain at Godwin
2. Strength of COMMUNITY along Pemberton corridor at Godwin High
3. Unique curriculum offerings at Godwin and CONTINUITY of programs such as Athletics, Band, String, Chorus, etc. between Byrd and Godwin
4. Need to minimize effects of redistricting on our community

Please plan to attend at least one of these Community Forums!

NBC12 Story on HCPS Redistricting

Channel 12 ran a story on the HCPS redistricting earlier this week. Tara Adams, Co-Chair of the High School Committee was interviewed. Click here for more.