Brentsville District School Board Member Presents Alternative 13th HS Boundary Plans

| June 7, 2019 | 0 Comments | News

Brentsville District School Board member Gil Trenum has with the help of the Prince William County Schools Planning Department created two alternative 13th High School Boundary maps. The maps add Osbourn Park High School and Brentsville District High School into the mix for redistricting.

The new plans could keep the two older schools from falling below capacity. They do little to improve demographic makeup of the other schools on the western end of the county, except perhaps Brentsville.

The new plans have caught affected communities off-guard, but there is still time for residents to comment.

Background: 

The new high school will open in 2021 in Bristow near Gainesville Middle School on Limestone Road and Jiffy Lube Live concert amphitheater on Wellington Road. It will draw students from Gainesville, Haymarket, Bristow and Manassas.

Three meetings and one school board meeting have been held to discuss boundaries, with new plans being created throughout the process.

A major point of contention has been that the new plans create less diversity at Battlefield and Patriot high schools, while giving Stonewall Jackson High School an even greater number of economically disadvantaged, Limited English Proficiency students.

New School Board Consideration:

Osbourn Park is only at 60% population from its current boundaries. Once the new school is opened, it is likely fewer students will transfer to OP. The same is predicted for the Brentsville District High School.

These plans affect only small portions of those two high schools, but it has been announced after the three community meetings.

The boundary plans were on the school board agenda for discussion on June 7. The public hearing and school board vote has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at the Kelly Leadership Center.

At that meeting, the school board will be able to choose one of the proposed boundary plans, make adjustments to one of those plans, or create their own, based on the information they have. 

To see how this plan would specifically affect your neighborhood, please refer to the 13th High School Boundary Porthole.

Complete Boundary map for Trenum’s Plan 1.

Brentsville District School Board Member Adjustment Plan 1 as Compared to PWCS Plan 1a:

Keep in mind the original Plan 2 is still an official option, but Bristow Beat is only comparing Trenum’s Plan to the original 1a, so not to further complicated things. More information is available on the 13th High School Boundary Porthole.

Osbourn Park would gain some new territory from Stonewall Jackson that is on the west side of the City of Manassas and south of Bull Run Regional Park at the end of Lomond South and Sudley Road.

Brentsville would gain the area around Innovation from Stonewall Jackson. It would also gain the area along Route 28 south of Route Linton Hall Road zoned for the Patriot boundary proposed in the original Plan 1a.

Patriot would lose territory around Devlin Road to the 13th high school as north of Wellington Road would remain at Stonewall Jackson.

Whereas communities along Devlin Road in Bristow and south of Wellington Road (mainly north of University) would go to the 13th High School rather than to Patriot, up until along University Road. Victory Lakes would still be rezoned to Patriot.

PWCS Plan 1a for 13th High School

How does that plan affect demographics?

This plan does not help demographics much. Battlefield and Patriot still become less diverse. Stonewall and Osbourn Park schools, which are already diverse, become more diverse.

Stonewall is negatively affected as in previous plans since its percentage of economically disadvantaged and LEP students increases. It lacks diversity in terms of having many Caucasian students.

Osbourn Park would gain 7% minority students making it at 67%, and more LEP and economically disadvantaged students.

Brentsville gains some diversity, bringing its minority population to 41%.

Brentsville District School Board Member Adjustment Plan 1a:  

Trenum’s Plan 1a is the same as his first plan, but includes one more

Trenum’s Plan 1a for the new high school only makes one change.

neighborhood moving from Osbourn Park to Brentsville.

This area is located on the Manassas side of Route 234/Dumfries Road and located between Lucasville Road and Dumfries Road.

How does this plan affect demographics?

The demographic makeup of Trenum’s Plan 1a is very similar to Plan 1.

What do these plans resolve that was problematic in the original Plan 1a?

These plans address the prediction that O.P. and Brentsville will fall to low capacity as they lose transfer students. If unaddressed, the population decreases could affect staffing, and because balancing school populations is of the utmost importance when redistricting schools.

These plans may be the best when considering all schools and the school division but the plan is unpopular with who would be affected by it.

Image of new 13th High School location by Prince William County Schools Office of Facility Services.

What new problems arise?

First, with this plan being proposed after all the community meetings, there has been little time for the OP and Brentsville community to consider the changes and respond.

Secondly, OP was already redistricted when Colgan High School opened. It might be redistricted again when another eastern high school opens.

Certain neighborhoods also dislike the plan. Communities along Wellington Road say they would rather attend either the 13th High School. There are exceptions as many students have had great experiences at Stonewall.

Small neighborhoods around Bull Run Regional Park and Innovation wonder if it would really make a big impact for them to be shuffled around in this new map, according to one resident who spoke at the June 5 school board meeting. Generally, no one likes being separated from their peers when they progress.

The neighborhoods north of Route 234 are located close to OP, although drivers would experience less traffic traveling to Brentsville, it may not be a convenient commute.

What are the alternatives?

Some alternatives residents suggested would be to bring new exciting programs to OP and Brentsville. However, this would result in more busing.

Others said at the board meeting that PWCS need to change the formula for how many people could transfer in and out of schools, and many said the whole magnet school system does more to promote segregation. It is a way for parents to send their kids to a less diverse school than their base school.

Practically, the school division might be better served to look at the entire county, looking at the entire school division. Of course, this would have been a logistical nightmare, leaving a staggering number of people unhappy.

What People Like About the Plan:

People seem to like mostly what is already in the original Plan 1a. Victory Lakes still gets to attend Patriot.

Parks of Piedmont South residents say they are still excluded from Battlefield, their closest school. Their neighborhood would provide a little more diversity to Battlefield High School. They say there is room, although it would put Battlefield at capacity.

© 2019, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

Facebook Comments
Print Friendly

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

banner ad