The Arlington County school board last week approved a new utilization plan for Fairlington Elementary School that calls for a day care center to be established there and the transfer of the school's upper grades to neighboring Abingdon Elementary School.
The board also approved new school district boundaries that determine where pupils at Page Elementary School will attend school in September when Page is closed.
The Plans for Fairlington, at 3308 South Stafford Street, are contingent on approval from the Arlington County Board, since the county would operate the proposed day care program.
The plan, recommended by Schools Supt. Larry Cuban and adopted by the board at its regular meeting Thursday, would assure that Fairlington remain open as an elementary school through the 1978-79 school year. The school board had considered closing Fairlington in September because of declining enrollment. It decided to keep it open since enrollment trends are unclear, Cuban said, and the Fairlington Village complex under conversion to condominiums may attract young families that would send their children to Fairlington.
Fairlington has 168 pupils in grades one through six, 66 under the school board quota of 234 pupils for those grade levels.
Grades four through six would attend Abingdon Elementary School at 3035 South Abingdon Rd. in September if the plan is approved by the County Board. The move would affect approximately 75 pupils.
Cuban said the plan, besides preventing clossre of the school, allows younger Fairlington students to remain in their local school while providing "more flexible educational arrangements" for fourth through sixth grade pupils at Abingdon school. Additional equipment, staff and educational programs may be offered with more students attending Abingdon. Total enrollment in Abingdon would be nearly 500 after Fairlington pupils are transferred.
The new plan brought little opposition Thursday from Abingdon and Fairlington parents, some of whom had opposed an earlier proposal to locate kindergarten through third grade in both schools at Fairlington, and fourth through sixth grade at Abingdon.
Fairlington PTA president Rita Calvan said she "is not entirely satisfied with the plan, but it's better than having the school closed altogether.
"I appreciate the school board's reasoning that it will keep the younger Fairlington children close to home," she said.
The proposed day care program would be housed in the remaining space at Fairlington following the transfer. Cuban recommended that the County Board pay half the salaries of the Fairlington principal and the school custodian and half the operating costs of the Fairlington building, which total about $60,000. The county's $30,000 share of operating Fairlington Elementary as both a school and a day care center should be appropriated to the community activities fund, which is administered by Arlington schools, and the school's operating budget should be reduced by the same amount, Cuban said.
The school board has no guarantees from the county to establish a day care center at Fairlington, but a school spokesman said the county "has indicated interest and said they have possibilities of use for space at Fairlington." The board plans to begin preliminary talks on the proposed day care center when it meets with the County Board March 16.
Page Elementary pupils in September will be redistricted to four surrounding elementary schools: Jackson at 850 North George Mason Dr., Glebe at 1770 North Glebe Rd., Woodmont at 2422 North Fillmore St. and Long Branch at 33 North Fillmore St.
Eight pupils now attending the shcool' hearing center would be transferred to Taylor Elementary School at 2600 North Stuart Street.
Page pupils living in the Ballston area, bordered by Washington Boulevard, North Stafford Street and North Glebe Road, will be transferred to Jackson. Pupils living in the central area of the Page school district will attend Glebe. This area is bounded by the I-66 right-of-way to the north, Wilson Boulevard and Fairfax Drive to the south and North Hartford Street and 17th Street to the east. The western boundary of this district stretches to North Glebe road but excludes the Ballston area redistricted to Jackson.
Pupils living in the eastern section of the Page District will go to Woodmont. The northern boundaries of this district are formed by North Quincy Street and just beyond 18th Street; the western boundary begins at the I-66 righ-of-way and extends down 17th street and North Hartford Street until it reaches the southern boundary of Wilson Boulevard. The eastern boundary runs a jagged line along North Fillmore Street, North Franklin Street, Hancock Street and 19th Street.
A small section south of Wilson Boulevard will be considered within the Long Branch school district. No page pupils now live in this area.
The school board decided to close Page school Feb. 3 because of low enrollment. Page has 209 pupils in grades one through six. The 23-year-old school is the second elementary school to be closed in the county. Madison Elementary School was closed in 1975.