New Schools Mean Big Changes

New Schools Mean Big Changes

Parents express concern over boundary changes for new Creighton's Corner and Rosa Lee Carter elementary schools

Parents from the Estates of Forest Ridge and Forest Manor came outfitted in green. Parents from Loudoun Valley Estates wore red. Each group came to Legacy Elementary School Tuesday, Oct. 17, to make sure their concerns were heard.

"We only have about 78 homes each," Margie Mamrol, a mother of two Legacy students from the Estates of Forest Ridge, said. "We wanted to make sure we didn't get lost in the shuffle of larger subdivisions like Loudoun Valley Estates."

"We're here representing the part of Loudoun Valley Estates off of Loudoun County Parkway that bumps up against Brambleton," Rachel Chou, who has a first- and third-grader at Legacy, said.

CHOU AND MAMROL were only two of the parents who attended the first public input session for the potential boundaries of Creighton's Corner and Rosa Lee Carter elementary schools.

Parents at the meeting with Sam Adamo, the director of Planning and Legislative Services for Loudoun County Public Schools, expressed concerns about how many times their children would be forced to switch schools as the county continued to grow and the process behind choosing new school boundaries. Just as parents said at last week's boundary meeting for the new Arcola Elementary School, these parents wished the school system could say the next switch would be their children's last.

"If we fight this switch, there is no guarantee that we won't switch again," Chou said. "I have a daughter at home and I would like a continuous [school] for all of my children. If they could guarantee it would be the last, I would be willing to do one more swap.

For Mamrol and fellow Forest Ridge parent Julie Bissett, their biggest concern is that their voices get heard by members of the school system and they are waiting to see what other proposals come to the table during the process.

"Given that we are so small we don't know if that is a plus or a minus," Bissett, who has a first- and third-grader at Legacy, said. "It could be easy to move us or easy to leave us."

ADAMO SAID THERE were a lot of criteria that go into creating new school boundaries, including population growth and the needs of existing schools.

"We look at how we can channel kids into the schools without jeopardizing their environment," he said. Adamo added that since a majority of the county's population growth is located in Brambleton and along the Route 50 corridor, that the data the school system uses changes each year.

"The future becomes a moving target," he said. "We're going to be challenged in this area because of the sheer size of the area."

Adamo told parents that the school system does look at the number of times children have been moved, but that there is no way to determine if a child will be spared from future moves.

"There is no way I can tell you that once we place your [child] at Rosa Lee Carter that [they're] never going to move again," he said. "I would be a liar."

Four possible boundary maps were presented to parents, only, Adamo said, to get something on the table for discussion. He encouraged parents to visit the school system's Web site and to submit their own boundary proposal if they wish.

"We know there is a strong need for the few schools we are going to be talking about," Adamo said. "We encourage you to get involved in the process."