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New School Boundaries Are Proposed

After three, school-boundary work sessions, proposed boundaries for the new West Fairfax Elementary School have finally taken shape.

FAIRFAX COUNTY Public Schools representatives made their recommendations last Thursday, Jan. 12, to the School Board.

The changes will especially relieve Colin Powell and Greenbriar East elementaries. In addition, a significant number of Greenbriar West Elementary students would be shifted to Greenbriar East.

Colin Powell's preschool program would be split between the new elementary school and Greenbriar East. And the Emotionally Disabled Center at Brookfield Elementary would move to the new school to make room for more general-education students at Brookfield.

For the past several years, explosive growth has marked the Centreville, Chantilly, Fair Oaks and Fair Lakes areas. The result was that — as Colin Powell opened its doors to its first students ever, a couple years ago — plans were already underway for yet another new elementary school to relieve it.

NOW, THAT new school, dubbed "West Fairfax Elementary," will open in September on Dixie Hill Road, near the Fairfax County Government Center and Route 29. In the Fair Chase subdivision, the $16 million facility will have 36 classrooms and the same floor plan as Powell.

Since October, parents and school-system personnel have worked diligently to establish the new school's boundaries. Included in the study-area were: Colin Powell, Greenbriar East and West elementaries, Poplar Tree, Brookfield, Willow Springs and Fairfax Villa.

Ultimately, the new school will serve students in both the Sully and Springfield districts. The School Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed boundaries on Jan. 30 (and Jan. 31, if needed) and is expected to make a final decision on Feb. 23.

Below are details of the proposed boundary areas for the new school, as presented to the School Board last week by Gary Chevalier, director of Fairfax County Public Schools’ Facilities Planning Services.

The following areas would be assigned to West Fairfax Elementary:

* Brookfield Emotionally Disabled Center:

The Emotionally Disabled Center will be moved to the new school. West Fairfax and Brookfield capacities have been adjusted to reflect the relocation of this center.

The new center will have a capacity of approximately 60 students. Re-use of this space at Brookfield for general-education purposes will increase its capacity to 785 students.

* From Colin Powell Elementary:

The area south of I-66, north of Route 29 and east of Fairfax County Parkway, including: Fairchase, Cambryal, Government Center, Windsor Mews, Centennial Hills and Carriage Park.

From Colin Powell's preschool program:

A portion of the preschool special-education program.

* From Greenbriar East Elementary:

The area south of Route 50, east of West Ox Road and north of Route 29, including: the Fair Oaks area, Regan Oaks, The Hermitage, Post Forest, Lincoln Park, Fair Oaks Gables, The Reserve, Fairfax Corner, Random Hills, Westcott Ridge, Ridge Top Road and Terrace, Jefferson at Fair Oaks, and the East Market development north of I-66 and west of West Ox Road.

* From Willow Springs Elementary:

The area north of Route 29 and west of Fairfax County Parkway, including: Buckley's Reserve, Willow Meade and Estates at Fairfax.

* From Fairfax Villa Elementary:

The area north of Route 29 and west of Forum Drive, including Glen Alden.

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The following areas and entities would be assigned to Greenbriar East Elementary:

* From Greenbriar West Elementary:

The area north of I-66, east of Stringfellow Road and south of Melville Lane and Morning Spring Lane (excluding the homes that front on these two streets), including The Greens at Fair Lakes.

* Colin Powell FECEP and preschool program:

One FECEP class and a portion of the preschool special-education program.

The school system's rationale is that these changes would reduce overcrowding and improve transportation times at the study-area schools by making use of space available at the new West Fairfax Elementary School, opening September 2006.

* Attendance-area adjustment, phased in by grade:

Grades K-5 (2006-07), Sixth grade has the option to move;

Grades K-6 (2007-08).

<sh>Projected enrollment

<bt>With the above attendance-area changes, enrollment at the new West Fairfax Elementary School will be 497 in 2006-07, increasing to 720 in 2010-11, with a capacity of 691.

* Colin Powell Elementary enrollment will be 803 in 2006-07, increasing to 943 in 2010-11, with a capacity of 873.

* Greenbriar East Elementary enrollment will be 647 in 2006-07, increasing to 615 in 2010-11, with a capacity of 726.

* Greenbriar West Elementary enrollment will be 727 in 2006-07, increasing to 796 in 2010-11 with a capacity of 767.

* Willow Springs Elementary enrollment will be 674 in 2006-07, decreasing to 658 in 2010-11, with a capacity of 850.

* Fairfax Villa Elementary enrollment will be 352 in 2006-07, decreasing to 316 in 2010-11, with a capacity of 408.