About a hundred parents of students at Groveton High School, where classrooms are also serving the students displaced by a fire that destroyed Fort Hunt High, expressed apprehension yesterday about the future of the arrangement.
While most of the partents acknowledged they are willing to help out temporarily, they told Fairfax County school officials that other schools should be used to share the burden of accommodating the 1,712 Fort Hunt students.
"I'm afraid that Groveton is going to be the sacrificial lamb," said Wayne Holsmith, one of many parents who complained that the double sessions at Groveton are having a severe impact on the school's academic and extra-curricular programs.
The two schools, located about three miles apart. are traditional rivals, a fact referred to in an interview yesterday by one parent who spoke of the "heterogenous" nature of Groveton as compared to a "homogenous attitude" at Fort Hunt. The students who attended Fort Hunt are from mostly affluent homes, while many at Groveton are from blue collar families.
Now, Groveton's 1,608 students attend classes in the morning, while those from Fort Hunt attend at Groveton in the afternoon.
School officials have not yet decided what to do with the Fort Hunt students for the rest of the school year, and County School Superintendent S. John Davis told the Groveton parents yesterday that May 1 is the earliest date that classes could resume at Fort Hunt. An arson fire caused $4.5 million damage to the facility last month, and two Fort Hunt seniors and a former student at the school have been charged in the incident.
Davis also said the County School Board has not decided whether to close Fort Hunt, which has experienced declining enrollment. That decision is scheduled to be made by Feb. 1.
Fort Hunt parents told school officials in a stormy meeting earlier this week they want the school reopened and said the Fort Hunt students should be housed together in one school in the meantime.
Yesterday, one Groveton parent declared: "We resent the arrogance of the Fort Hunt community."
Barbara Rosenfeld, president-elect of the Groveton PTA, remarked that "the Fort Hunt community has been very strong and articulate in making their views known" and said yesterdays meeting was held so Groveton parents could express their concerns.
The school board heard six different proposals last night for accommodating the Fort Hunt students during the second semester, which starts Feb. 1. One plan, which calls for moving the students to Mount Vernon High, was applauded by the Groveton parents carlier yesterday.