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Churchill Road Parents Pleased

In April of 2006, Fairfax County Public Schools began to investigate the best way to solve the overcrowding problem at Haycock Elementary School's Gifted and Talented Center. In October and November of 2006, the Fairfax County Public Schools facilities department recommended that overcrowding at Haycock be relieved by sending GT students coming from Franklin Sherman Elementary School, Chesterbrook Elementary School and Kent Gardens Elementary School to Churchill Road Elementary School, beginning in the fall of 2007. Numerous Churchill Road parents expressed opposition to the proposed boundary changes, citing concerns about Churchill Road's already limited cafeteria, gym, technology lab, and art and music program resources.

"I and many other parents believe that this change will result in a material degradation of our community school," said Churchill Road parent Susan Gregory in a letter to Jane Strauss, Fairfax County School Board representative for the Dranesville District.

In addition, many Churchill Road parents were angered by the fact that they were not informed of the boundary change recommendation until a community meeting at Haycock Elementary on Nov. 13, 2006. After being contacted by numerous Churchill Road parents who were unhappy with the recommendation, Strauss arranged to have a second community meeting at Churchill Road on Dec. 6, 2006.

"What I encountered at both meetings was a presentation that outlined only one option, an analysis that I considered flawed, no contingency plan if projections are inaccurate, and presenters that appear to have no intention of changing their recommendation, or of providing concert solutions to serious issues raised by Churchill parents," continued Gregory in her letter to Strauss.

However, in late December of 2006, the Fairfax County Public Schools facilities department changed its recommendation to the School Board. Rather than sending GT students from Franklin Sherman, Chesterbrook and Kent Gardens to Churchill Road, the facilities department instead recommended that only GT students from Kent Gardens be moved to Churchill Road.

On Monday, Jan. 8, at a Fairfax County School Board public hearing on boundary changes, Churchill Road parent Beth Chung expressed her approval of the changed recommendation.

"We welcome this reasonable proposal, and are ready to welcome the GT students from Kent Gardens Elementary," said Chung.