Faced with rapid development in the southern and western part of the county, the Fairfax County school system plans to open six new schools next fall: Braddock Park high school in Centreville, and five elementary schools.

This weekend, officials will begin meetings with parents to air proposals for the new schools' attendance boundaries, starting a process that will end in March with final School Board decisions.

The board also may adjust the boundaries of some other schools, including crowded Herndon High School, and some McLean-area elementary schools where general education classes have become small as special programs for gifted or handicapped children have expanded. Boundary changes, which could mean students now attending one school will go to another, and the opening of the new schools will affect thousands of students.

School officials and parent-teacher association leaders hope to avoid the controversy that has surrounded boundary changes in the past.

"These {adjustments} should go much better than the last," said Roger Webb, director of the schools' Office of Facilities Planning Services and a key figure in redrawing school lines. Rounds of secondary school boundary adjustments and school closings in 1984 and 1985 led to parent protests and lawsuits. "The majority of these studies {this year} deal with opening new schools and adjusting boundaries to relieve overcrowding . . . . The carrot in this case is the opening of a new school facility."

"Any time someone says boundary changes, people get very upset," said Sharon Sneed, PTA coordinator of schools in the West Springfield High School area, where the Sangster Branch elementary school site is located. "We sort of laugh and call it the B-word . . . . It will not be as big a boundary change {here} so much as a boundary adjustment. I don't think it will affect quite as many people."

Between Saturday and Nov. 14, school officials will hold meetings with parents to outline first proposals for school boundaries. After the meetings, they will draw up a formal recommendation, which Superintendent Robert R. Spillane will issue at the board's Dec. 17 meeting.

In January and February, more meetings with parents are scheduled, and the superintendent will present his revised recommendations to the board Feb. 11. After formal public hearings Feb. 22 through 24, the board will make final decisions on March 10.

The biggest boundary adjustments will involve what is now called Braddock Park high school, a $23 million, 2,000-student capacity building at 6101 Union Mill Rd., just south of Braddock Road.

It is intended to relieve overcrowding at Chantilly High School, where more than 2,600 students now crowd into a school designed for 2,300, with even more development in the area expected. It is also to serve the Clifton area, where students now go to distant Fairfax High School.

"We're basically interested in deleting the drive," said Anne Kuper, president of the Clifton Elementary School PTA. "We have kids spending over an hour sometimes on the bus . . . . As soon as possible, people here would like to get to a closer facility."

The new school is to include only grades nine and 10 when it opens, adding higher grades as these classes mature. School officials this week recommended adding one class of seventh grade students to the school in the fall of 1989 to relieve projected overcrowding at Chantilly's Rocky Run intermediate school.

This staff recommendation is a compromise between opening the school as a regular high school, urged by some Chantilly parents who want to relieve as much crowding at their high school as possible, or opening it as a secondary school for middle and high school students. The Fairfax High School PTSA executive board has pushed for a secondary school, fearing a high school might deplete their student body excessively.

The board will hold a public hearing on the grade structure Nov. 17 and will vote Nov. 19. New schools in the county receive working names from administrators but get permanent names from the School Board based on parents' recommendations.

The new elementary schools are:

Silverbrook, an 832-student capacity school at 8317 Crosspointe Dr., Springfield. The school is intended to replace the aging Lorton Elementary School, scheduled to close next year, and will probably draw most of its students from Lorton, with some from Gunston Elementary School.

Sangster Branch, a 963-student capacity school at 7500 Reservation Dr., Springfield, intended to relieve crowding at Orange Hunt, Cherry Run, White Oaks, Hunt Valley and Newington Forest elementary schools. Students from the Cherry Run area now bused to Cardinal Forest are also likely to go to Sangster Branch.

Bonnie Brae, a 934-student capacity school at 5404 Sideburn Rd., Annandale. Students there are likely to come from the highly overcrowded Oak View Elementary School, and the Fairview, Terra-Centre, Fairfax Villa, Laurel Ridge and Cardinal Forest elementary schools.

Moneys Corner, a 963-student capacity school at 2791 Fox Mill Rd., Centreville, intended to help relieve overcrowding at the Navy, Lees Corner, Oak Hill, Floris, Fox Mill, Dogwood and Hunters Woods elementary schools.

Hiddenbrook, an 887-student capacity school at 1515 Powells Tavern Place, Dranesville, designed to relieve overcrowding at Forestville, Clearview, Herndon and Hutchison elementary schools, and to provide the community with a school of its own.

In addition, the board is also likely to decide next spring on boundaries for Saratoga Elementary School at 8111 Northumberland Rd., Springfield, a 651-student capacity school that is one of three elementary schools to be opened in the fall of 1989. Saratoga is to become a community school for the South Mason area, and will include students from nearby areas who now must travel by bus to Crestwood, Forestdale and Lynbrook.

Some elementary schools not adjacent to the new schools may be affected by the boundary changes, he said.