Community Meeting Feedback
Proposed Boundary Adjustment for Elementary Schools in Justice Pyramid
Information about a proposed boundary adjustment was shared with the following schools: Bailey's Elementary, Bailey's Upper, Beech Tree, Belvedere, Glen Forest, Mason Crest, Parklawn, and Sleepy Hollow. The feedback below was collected at four virtual community meetings on March 9 and March 10.
What nearby schools should be considered for the boundary adjustment?
Schools that are closest to Glenn Forest Elementary - Bailey's Elementary, Bailey's Upper and Sleepy Hollow.
Looking at the numbers, it may be necessary to include all the schools to redistribute the population to schools that are under capacity.
Schools directly around Glen Forest.
Parent access to the school.
Looking at the numbers and maps perhaps Bailey's upper, Sleepy Hollow, and Beech Tree because they have the lowest capacity. But it depends on how much shift is needed.
The ones closest to Glen Forest should take on the extra students, and then adjust accordingly at those schools to their neighboring schools and so on across the district, with an eye toward still keeping all schools under their program capacity numbers.
Parents proximity to the school, especially for the parents that do not have access to an automobile.
It may be necessary to look at all schools so that a redistribution that is even and does not cause this same impact at another school further down the road.
I would redraw all boundaries to balance the student populations per school.
Since Glen Forest is on the county border, is there any possibility for Alexandria or Arlington County to assist? Perhaps they are at capacity too, or difficulties transferring funding between counties?
What effect will this have on Mason Crest students tracking into Falls Church HS?
Impact on middle and high school placements. Many families also pick their home location based on where their child will go to high school.
Can Leis Center be used for students?
Can Graham Road Community Building be used as well?
Not Mason Crest-it’s already a split school for the neighborhood and the kids currently
Bailey's and Parklawn
Belvedere, Glen Forest
Sleepy Hollow and Parklawn
I think Bailey’s is at capacity as are a lot of the other schools in the area.
Are there plans to expand the school buildings to accommodate more students or split into lower/upper?
The excess on Glen Forest should be prorated amongst the rest of the schools and have at least a 96-97% of capacity at all schools.
Glen Forest, Bailey's, Parklawn
Belvedere has modulars, but the chart doesn’t reflect that. What is Belvedere’s capacity without the modular?
Glen Forest -> Bailey's Upper and Parklawn.
Why aren’t schools outside of our boundary being considered? Kids at Belvedere already get bused from pretty far, and some kids in the adjacent neighborhoods are at the beginning of bus rides so they rode for a long time before getting to school in the morning... hello
FCPS should also be looking outside the Justice pyramid for help.
Schools that are below threshold.
Schools that are below their capacity.
The schools that are overcrowded need to have their boundaries adjusted. I think that boundary between Sleepy Hollow and Bailey’s could be extended to Patrick Henry Drive.
Schools with nearby boundaries that are also below the threshold.
Any school that was performing at VDOE standards and had stable test performance data or trending positively performance data should be considered. Underperforming schools and/or schools with concerning performance trends should not be included.
Were other buildings considered or only other schools?
Agree with Parklawn
All of the schools in the Mason District pyramid should be considered for boundary adjustment, though obviously the two bordering schools of Parklawn and Sleepy Hollow are obvious contenders.
Schools near those that are already over capacity or projected to be over capacity
Sleepy Hollow and Beech Tree are both at limited capacity. I wonder how many schools would need to adjust boundaries to reduce overcrowding in Glen Forest.
I thought the other schools are also over the capacity. Any school selected that will be selected should provide the same curriculum or more as Glen Forest
What about the Annandale pyramid?
Some schools in the Annandale pyramid (like Columbia) go to Belvedere for the AAP program. Couldn't the Annandale pyramid or other Mason District schools be considered in this as well? While Sleepy Hollow appears to be the current answer, I would like to put an emphasis that moving lines should be done as deliberately and infrequently as possible. If this will create issues at Sleepy Hollow soon, it is not a solution. All areas should be considered with a 10 year projection.
It feels like this is a problem with significant secondary/tertiary impacts - all schools appear to be at or near capacity
Agree with the point re Annandale pyramid impact.
Schools like Beech Tree and Parklawn could be adjusted with all the schools in between to spread out the student population a little more equitably.
Underperforming schools should be included in case overcrowding is a cause of underperformance.
Glen Forest needs to be adjusted. Traffic/commuting/parking/congestion on Glen Forest Drive is very challenging.
What are the strengths of changing the boundary?
Glen Forest need capacity relief
All schools will be at a manageable capacity for staffing, resources, and classrooms to make sure that all children are supported successfully.
Good time to move students as everyone has been virtual until the last few weeks. Spread the wealth so all our students will be taken care of, no matter what school they are at.
This would allow improve teacher/student ratios per school.
Lower-capacity schools might gain new programs if enrollment expands.
Agreed that improved student teacher ratio is a very strong argument.
Would be nice to have more students in the actual school building and not in mods
Would be nice to clean up split feeders.
Keeping schools at a manageable size for our teachers to effectively teach.
It will reduce student counts in overcrowded schools like Glen Forrest, and move more students to under capacity schools like Belvedere.
It will help make learning more achievable for Glen Forest students.
More diversity, and smaller class sizes in certain schools and possibly more parent support.
Smaller classes so students can receive more attention from teachers.
Will alleviate overcrowding, will help with pick-up and drop off congestion
Parklawn is not at full capacity and if this helps obtain more for our kids we need it.
Meeting ended early and I didn’t get a chance to comment.
Decreasing the capacity at Glen Forest: smaller class sizes, equitable resources, etc.
Providing capacity relief to Glen Forest
Easing overcrowding in Glen Forest.
Improve issues presented with parking, arrival/dismissal
Decrease the capacity, at least temporarily.
Decreases the need for trailers and modular units at Glen Forest ES
More even distribution
Boundaries can be changed to more evenly distribute the student population throughout the area. This will lead to smaller class sizes and less student to teacher ratios.
Bringing student enrollments in line with building capacities
Better opportunities for students to access programming
Overall room for students at the buildings that are now overcrowded-better use of instructional spaces
Strengths: Opportunity to relieve some overcrowding and balance school census. It's also a chance to increase equity and school performance.
Capacity management will ensure students have equitable access to resources
Potentially cost effectiveness.
Not having classrooms in trailers
I have neighbors moving away because of overcrowding
What are the challenges of changing the boundary?
Kids who attend a split feeder elementary school and go to the AAP level IV center at Glasgow don’t automatically attend Justice and need to apply for an administrative transfer. Will this boundary adjustment take this into account?
People don't like change - programming may be different
Families and neighborhoods are connected to their current school.
Feeder schools how will siblings be affected.
People who just moved to the area to be in a particular school
How will this affect student transportation?
How will this affect current staff members?
Sibling and fellow students will be affected
How this change will affect accessibility to Advance Academic Program?
How current programs and where they are located might impact the adjustments.
Connection to school.
Families may have specific reasons why certain school may have been chosen prior to moving to the area. Often families pick school before picking their home.
School bus ride length.
Keeping neighborhoods together when boundaries are adjusted
Impact into feeder middle schools and high schools down the road.
Family relationships with schools are very important, and in some cases, have been built over many years. Would children currently in those schools have the choice to remain and close out elementary years with the adjustments for incoming students and those who choose to make a change?
Although families chose their home to attend a certain school, if boundaries are adjusted, they will move as a community to the new school and create the caring culture they want to see at the new school
How will this affect current staff?
Lake Barcroft is a significant geographical obstacle, how would the distance impact student and staff commutes?
Not making the best decision for the kids due to other factors
My kids now have friendships in the neighborhood and we could be separated.
Increased class sizes in my elementary school may be detrimental to a child's educational situation.
Unpredictable growth projections, considering possible influx of families related to Amazon HQ, new administration, etc.
Agreed with keeping the neighborhood children together. Our kids have grown up together and we would like the younger kids coming up to elementary to have the same opportunity.
Keeping kids together that live on the border lines already.
Needing to rebuild our school community after losing students or gaining students.
Larger class sizes in some schools, the AAP program, Belvedere is a small school until 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade.
Existing programs in schools and the effect on them.
Potentially long bus rides for students sent to schools far away
The challenge is that this process will not be equitable. Lower income parents may not attend these meetings and their voice may not be heard.
People do not like change.
Special Education Needs do not move w/o gtd proper staff support/training to serve our Special needs kids.
Transportation will be more difficult given the limited paths across Holmes Run and the lake.
Developers sometimes/often get more say than parents or FCPS staff.
Changing geographic boundaries has less effect when you have a magnet school in the area pulling kids out of their home school areas.
I am millennial but it still took me 1/2 hour on my Phone trying to figure out how to speak on this meeting.
Families often move to an area based on schools.
Schools become less like “neighborhood” hubs as actual neighborhoods are served by multiple schools
Volume of students with high needs for ESOL services
Change is always hard, and families will be concerned about their new school.
New families moving in that are attending different schools than more established neighbors.
Many schools in this region are already near capacity or will be in coming years.
Currently, many new housing developments are underway or in the planning phases. Will this need to be done again in a few years?
People don't like change in general. School bias, home values, etc are dependent on school ratings.
Change in community
Change for Students
Some students may lose friends and a school community that they have become accustomed to.
Long-term solution needed
One challenge is that any boundary adjustments will likely be only interim fixes . . . it doesn't look like the overcrowding can be resolved by boundary changes due to the high numbers needing to find a space.
Shift in demographics=shifts in need
There could be a potential shift in the need for the students, such as needing more resource teachers like ESOL to meet the needs of the kids.
Not considering special programs at our schools
Some schools may be "under capacity" from just looking at numbers, but you are not considering special programs that schools have like the autism program which has a small class size. If students get shifted to a school that has an autism program, then you will need to consider where they would go.
Continued growth in all areas of Mason District, not just those currently over capacity
Fixing this small part of the boundary problem could lead to other problems elsewhere.
I wonder if building capacity numbers take into account the need for special programs to have lower student/teacher ratios that are below General Education ratios.
Adjusting boundaries now doesn't necessarily solve the problem. We will just have to readjust in a few years again. Maybe we should consider expanding the buildings and faculty.
Some families may be unhappy if they have to switch schools.
Will need to make sure that programming is equitable in all schools involved in this adjustment.
Seems like a temporary solution- this problem will arise in a few more years unless a new site or school is built (like Bailey’s Upper or Willston).
What happens if we decide to bring 6th grade back to Elementary School?
If the changes occur in the coming year, then our kids will have a hard time to adjust new school, especially those kids that are in 4th grade (like my daughter)
The challenge is to increase the performance of FCPS schools through the boundary change. FCPS is one of the premier school systems in the nation and the Mason District schools do not always reflect that in their performance (measured by test scores).
Mason District has many different cultures with many communities receiving influxes of new immigrants with limited English proficiency.
There are schools that appear to be under capacity because of special programs, Sleepy Hollow, an obvious choice being one of them. Adding a lot more students might not work well with these programs.
Adding to the schools that are currently under capacity doesn't fix the problem.
Diversity is an opportunity, but I could see this process leading to a lack of diversity in some ways--that well-resourced schools will only become better resourced
It is interesting to consider the boundary change during a pandemic
Especially when numbers are fluid right now with enrollment! Any changes now could lead to under capacity at one school or overcapacity at another school years from now as a consequence
Short term solution for a long term problem that requires actually building new schools
What else would you like FCPS to know?
I would like to see the boundaries adjusted at a county wide level.
Agreed with the above statement. Does the entire county need to consider a boundary update?
Before changing boundaries, would it be possible to make our elementary schools K-6 and see how numbers would be after that?
How will this affect the next school year regarding COVID as elementary age students will most likely not be vaccinated yet. How will social distancing be maintained?
Adding 6th grade
I too would like to have the option of 6th grade in elementary schools be considered with this boundary change.
6th Grade Option
That's a great idea!
Neighborhoods should stay together so kids attend with their neighbors.
I agree with the county-wide suggestion, many of these schools are on the cusp of over-crowding.
It seems like adding 6th grade to the elementary schools would add to the overcrowding but maybe I'm not understanding that suggestion.
Do we know if the schools are located where they need to be? Maybe look at some of the empty office buildings and possibly create more space that way?
I also do not understand adding 6th grade to help on this. I think 6th grade is appropriate for middle school (personally!)
Interested to know what the difference is between design capacity and program capacity.
Design capacity is how many students the school can accommodate. Program capacity tends to reduce the design capacity as some programs require a lot of space.
Will virtual school be used as a solution to overcapacity across the district?
Special programs have lower class sizes like autism and lower grade levels therefore the program capacity number is smaller (less students allowed in a classroom)
Don't split Mason Crest up if possible when redrawing the map.
Any chance of converting the community center at 7 corners back to a school?
I support moving 6th grade in elementary school.
Will FCPS build more elementary schools since overcrowding is an issue?
If a 5 year time horizon is appropriate for a rebalancing of capacity, a staged approach with incoming/new students within a set distance of the current boundary could be a way to ease the transition.
How long will the process take from beginning to end?
Keeping neighborhood kids (especially in the same street) that are on the border streets together is important
The clarity and confidence of a timeline can help put people's minds at ease when thinking about change (which can be daunting).
This is the first we have heard of this process. How many other parents and families do not know this is a consideration?
I request that if Belvedere's boundaries change, it will result in all socioeconomic groups being equally represented in the student body. I believe I recall when my kids were at BES, a neighbor's child was one of the few in his class where English was the primary language spoken at home.
Not sure if this is a demographic issue but please bring back the Belvedere sibling program so I can drop off my 2 kids at the same place each morning please ! I have a 3rd grader and a kindergartener. Thank you!
What additional resources will overcrowded schools get from the county?
Are there discussions at the county level to redistricting at the pyramid level if there are pyramids with more capacity? Not just within a pyramid but across pyramids?
This should be done looking at the whole FCPS school system at the same time, not necessarily looking at only individual pyramids.
I think this is an opportunity to have a good mix of disadvantaged students and advantaged students in each school, and not have one school where it is heavily disadvantaged students and another school where it is heavily advantaged students.
Our district has been plagued with overcrowding. We need better buildings with less modulars. These kids and FCPS teachers deserve them.
Allow parents to move out of base school by giving options and maybe this wouldn't be an issue or it could help somewhat.
Open Belvedere to in school transfers.
This band-aid keeps getting bigger. I agree that we do need more funds into permanent buildings. They produce better quality instruction and community.
Shifting away from an AAP center like Belvedere would help spread populations more closely with geography, as well as limit cannibalizing higher performing students away from their home schools. Refocus on AAP programs within each home school.
The influx of new students needs to be monitored for equity across the board.
I disagree that AAP should be removed from Belvedere. It’s a really important program, especially for our district. Let’s please keep what is working.
Have you considered online classes for those interested?
Please bring in SEPTA to represent the special needs families - consider how school staff changes will be supporting our needs. Please do not forget us.
I was not able to speak during this meeting. I only have a phone to use. I think it should be easier to access. I have thoughts about equity. I wish my thoughts could have gone on the record instead of 10 minutes of “closing thoughts” by the administrator of this program.
How can magnet be expanded to accept more Glen Forest students and provide transportation?
What is the capacity for all students in Region 2 and to follow up, is there a way to open a new school (Willston?) to relieve crowding now and potentially in the nearer future?
Happy that this is being addressed and that the scoping now includes the entire pyramid.
Consideration to split Glen Forest as a primary and then upper campus and purchase an existing unoccupied office space.
To consider a more long-term plan as other schools are already near capacity. So how many times will we have to do this?
Could Glen Forest concern be solved the same way Bailey’s was by purchase of office building?
How will these changes impact 6th grade and is there a plan to bring them back to ES?
Curious to how potential redistricting to Bailey's will affect magnet opportunities for those throughout the district.
Are the noted future overcapacity in other schools being considered in conjunction with this or is this focused only on Glen Forest current overcapacity?
It seems that certain schools within FCPS are given more resources than others. This allows for families clamoring to get into one school over another. Maybe an initiative to alleviate these anxieties and highlighting the unique qualities of each school.
FCPS should consider re-purposing space and creating an upper school as with Bailey's so overcrowding issue isn't just pushed down the road a few years; a longer term solution is needed.
We're in the Glen Forest district map, and chose to lottery into Bailey's due to the overcrowding concerns and lack of magnet program at Glen Forest. It seems to be a popular sentiment in our neighborhood.
Bailey's is already a very large elementary school community with and Upper and Lower schools.
How would magnet spaces and immersion program spaces for out of boundary students be impacted?
Also wondering what the impact will be on the boundary change in relationship to the middle schools the elementary schools feed into?
How will this impact staffing at the schools?
Decision must be made with potential middle school changes in mind.
I understand there are discussions about 6th grade in Justice pyramid being moved from the middle schools into the elementary schools. An influx of 6th grade students into all the pyramid's elementary schools will cause additional crowding, even at elementary schools that are currently below max capacity.
Does this assume Williston does not transition back to FCPS? That would add capacity quickly.
What is the potential for additional capacity to be added at any of these schools (perhaps through development)?
For over 10 years, the community has requested that the Willston site be once again used for school purposes to alleviate area crowding. The issues at Glen Forest are not new. Willston is identified in the comprehensive plan to be a school. FCPS needs to make it a school again, ESPECIALLY with potential middle school changes as well.
Why is the program capacity taking up so much space?
Is there an opportunity to move some of the programs? What are the programs?
Students receiving special services should be prioritized to remain in their schools for consistency of services.
Building a new school - Is there any consideration on building a new school?
Is there opportunity for renovation to increase program capacity?
Thank you for using SY 2019 data for the projections. 2020-2021 has definitely been an anomaly in terms of enrollment decreases across FCPS.
School performance MUST be considered
Nowhere in this discussion has school performance been discussed. Sleepy Hollow ES, for instance, had cratering test scores prior to the pandemic, and it is doubtful it would be fully accredited without the current accreditation waiver. Many schools also have undergone leadership transition changes (including SHES – 3 principals in 3 years). Please be mindful of adding more variability.
It appears that the schools in this area are all different capacity. Do the students live near the larger schools?
Are there opportunities to create magnet schools with special programs?
It often feels like many of the schools have the same programs - could there be efficiencies in combining?
Commuting from Glen Forest across route 7 to SHES would be difficult.
During what school year does FCPS expect to enact boundary changes? And are they expecting to grandfather students who wish to remain at their current elementary school?
I support bringing the 6th grade back to the elementary school.
Long Term Solutions Needed
Why isn't the whole region being looked at? Moving pockets of students here and there without finding a long term solution seems short sighted.
The empty Williston school should be considered.
Consider the Willston site.
7 corners revitalization will increase density in years to come. We need more schools.
All stakeholders not present.
All voices need to be heard on this issue. We need to hear from all voices in our communities.
Agreed with the stakeholders
We have not heard much from the Willston community or any of the Hispanic families that could be impacted by this.