Prince William schools will redraw the boundaries for nearly every western elementary school this winter to prepare for two new schools opening next September.
The county plans to open schools in two subdivisions, Glenkirk and Victory Lakes. The simultaneous openings will cause a ripple effect that will have an impact on schools miles away.
"This is the largest change we've ever done in elementary schools," said David Beavers, the school system's planning analyst. "We're going to fine-tune in some areas and overhaul in others."
J.W. Alvey, Cedar Point and Tyler elementary schools should expect major boundary changes, because their boundaries border the new schools, Beavers said. Those schools are all experiencing serious crowding this year. J.W. Alvey, only two years old, has close to 1,000 students in a school built for 852.
Other schools that will be affected by the boundary changes include Bristow Run, Ellis, Loch Lomond, Mountain View, Mullen, Nokesville, Sinclair, West Gate and Yorkshire.
The School Board members who represent the western districts say this boundary redrawing effort will give them an opportunity to fix some long-standing problems.
"Normally, what we see is that when you open one school, a problem pops up on the other end," said Milton C. Johns (Brentsville). "Now, we'll be able to take a fundamental look at all of these boundaries."
Don Richardson (Gainesville) said that transportation issues also will play a large part in the boundary discussion. Several elementary schools dismiss after 3:30 p.m. because buses battling traffic can't get there any sooner. Richardson hopes this problem will be alleviated. "Every time we open a new school, we shorten the distance some kids have to go," he said.
Sixty-three people have already volunteered to serve on the 15-member boundary committee that will propose changes to the School Board for final adoption, Beavers said. However, interested parents can still submit their names to email@example.com or call 703-791-7312 by tomorrow. The committee members will be chosen at random.
The public hearing dates for the boundary changes have already been set: 7 p.m. Nov. 23 at Stonewall Jackson High School, 8820 Rixlew Lane, Manassas; and 7 p.m. Dec. 14 at Battlefield High School, 15000 Graduation Dr., Haymarket. The board will vote on the final changes in January.
More information about the boundary changes can be found at www.pwcs.edu/planning/es2005.