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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
ArlingtonAPS leaders promising limited boundary tweaks

APS leaders promising limited boundary tweaks

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Arlington school leaders say they remain committed to restraining school-boundary changes over the coming year to the minimum necessary, and have promised to keep affected families in the communication loop throughout the process.

Arlington Public Schools officials on Oct. 11 sent messages to families that could be affected by the proposed changes, outlining the possibilities and ways they could weigh in.

“It is limited in scope and is really focusing on providing capacity relief to a few of our schools,” Superintendent Franciso Durán said of the pending redistricting process.

School Board members will be asked to ratify these recommendations:

• Some portions of the Abingdon Elementary School attendance area could be shifted to Charles Drew Elementary.

• Some parts of the Gunston Middle School attendance zone could move to Thomas Jefferson Middle.

• A sliver of the Wakefield High School attendance zone could move to Washington-Liberty High.

• There could be shifts in the geographical boundaries of the attendance zones for Arlington’s two English-Spanish immersion elementary schools, Claremont and Key, which have been unaltered since 2003.

School Board members are likely to act in early December. Durán’s formal recommendation will go to them Nov. 16, with a planned Nov. 30 public hearing.

School Board member Reid Goldstein said that timetable, much of it front-loaded with community meetings in coming days, could leave parents in the dark as the effort rolls forward.

“I’m concerned,” Goldstein said.

Never fear, came the staff response.

“We have a plan for outreach,” said Lisa Stengle, one of those on the staff who is coordinating the effort.

On the other side of the coin are parents who are well aware of the proposals – and don’t like them. A number turned up at the Oct. 14 School Board meeting to criticize various aspects of the staff proposal.

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