Boundaries Set

Boundaries Set

After Long Debate, Board Sets Boundaries

After several hours of debate, the Loudoun County School Board set Stone Hill Middle School's attendance boundaries, at its May 9 meeting.

The School Board adopted John Andrews' (Potomac) attendance boundaries, 6-3, with chairman Robert DuPree (Dulles), Mark Nuzzaco (Catoctin) and Bob Ohneiser (Broad Run) opposing.

During board comments, Andrews said his No. 1 goal was to try and create long-term stability with his school boundaries plan.

"I don’t want to come back to this room in three or four years and argue with the same people over boundaries," he said. "I am making the decision that I think is the best decision in the long run."

THE SCHOOL BOARD'S adopted boundaries have Ashburn Farm, Ryan’s Ridge and Farmwell neighborhoods moving from Farmwell Station to Eagle Ridge Middle School. Brambleton, Loudoun Valley Estates and Village of Waxpool neighborhoods will move from Eagle Ridge to Stone Hill Middle School. Students living in the Regency neighborhood will move from Farmwell Station to Stone Hill Middle School.

Under the plan Belmont Ridge Middle School will be home to 996 students in the 2007-2008 school year. The middle school will be over its 1,121 student capacity by the 2010-2011 school year. Farmwell Station will begin the 2007-2008 school year with 1,274 students, 115 students over capacity.

Eagle Ridge and Mercer middle schools will remain within capacity levels until 2010-2011.

Before the vote, DuPree argued for his plan, saying it created stability amongst older communities.

Under DuPree’s plan, students living in Belmont County Country Club area would have been shipped to Farmwell Station, despite the high numbers.

"I’m trying to hold out one middle school move to a community moved repeatedly," he said.

DuPree’s plan would have increased Belmont Ridge's enrollment to more than 1,200 students in 2007-2008. Farmwell Station and Mercer middle schools would be overcrowded, as well.

In regards to DuPree’s recommendations, School Board member Sarah Smith (Leesburg) said she could not support a plan that would overcrowd that many classrooms.

Andrews agreed with Smith.

"Overcrowding isn’t fair to the students or the teachers," he said.

STONE HILL Middle School is located in Loudoun Valley II Estates on Evergreen Drive in Ashburn.

The school will open with 508 students next fall.

School Board vice chairman Thomas Reed (At Large) said this attendance boundary process has been a grueling one.

"I still have 275 e-mails in my inbox that I haven’t gotten to," he said. "The most important this is, at the end of the day, wherever your children end up, they will get the best quality education."