Community Advisory Committee to Begin Work Next Week on Recommendations for Moving Brownsville Students to Crozet

When an expanded Crozet Elementary School opens next August, it will welcome more than 600 students, alleviating overcrowding this year at the school and at nearby Brownsville Elementary School.

Brownsville has almost 750 students, close to its capacity, and without redistricting, enrollment projections show steady increases will continue for the next several years, eventually exceeding 900 students. The school currently is using six classroom trailers to help accommodate its student body. Crozet, with a capacity of 328 students, has nearly 340 students. Enrollment projections for the next five years indicate that Crozet could reach 375 students.

At its work session on August 26, the Albemarle County School Board approved the establishment of a community redistricting advisory committee that will make recommendations to Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Matthew Haas, on how to relocate Brownsville students to the new Crozet Elementary School. The committee will hold four work sessions and two public meetings to complete research and gather community input on which neighborhoods in the Brownsville attendance zone should be moved into the Crozet attendance zone.

The committee will host two online public meetings from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 4, and Tuesday, November 9, at http://streaming.k12albemarle.org/ACPS/publicmeeting.htm. Prior to those meetings, the advisory committee will share information on various redistricting options with both school communities. Community members can offer comments and suggestions and ask questions.

The committee’s final work session will be on November 16, with their recommendation to Dr. Haas shortly thereafter. The superintendent’s recommendation to the school board will be subject to a public hearing and a vote by board members, with an approved plan to take effect next August.

Online committee work sessions, which also can be accessed live through our public meeting streaming link, are scheduled on the following Tuesdays from 6 until 8 in the evening: September 28, October 12,  October 26, and November 16. As work sessions, these meetings will not include public comment.

As has been true in prior redistricting projects, once the plan is approved, the school division will begin working with families as early as March on the transition of their children to their new school.

To assist the advisory committee with its research, members of both school communities are encouraged, at any time, to send their comments to the advisory committee for the committee’s deliberations at RAC@k12albemarle.org.

The advisory committee’s liaison, Dr. Patrick McLaughlin, the school division’s Chief of Strategic Planning, said applications to serve on the advisory committee far exceeded available seats.

“This was very impressive on two fronts,” he said. “It demonstrated both the strong interest from these two school communities in their children’s educational future and their strong desire for public service. The more participation we have going forward, especially for the two public meetings next month, the more informed our advisory committee will be on the concerns and goals most important to our families and staff,” McLaughlin said.

As called for in school division policy, the advisory committee includes four members of the Brownsville Elementary community, including Andrew Joyner, Christine Koenig, Jennifer Roper, and Jojo O’Loughlin. Also, four members of the Crozet Elementary community are on the committee, including Rich Anderson, Lauren Carter, Cathryn Davis, and Rupesh Silwal.

Jerrod Smith, a member of the school division’s volunteer Long-Range Planning Advisory Committee, will also serve on the redistricting committee, as will Scott Guggenheimer as its Equity and Diversity representative. In addition to McLaughlin, the school division will provide support from its departments of finance, transportation, communications, and instruction.

Among the redistricting advisory committee’s requirements is to offer a recommendation for new school attendance boundary lines that will remain in place for at least three to five years; are contiguous; consider reasonable walk-to-school areas; keep student bus ride times as low as possible; and provide student demographic balance.

In its decision, the school board may also consider grandfathering Brownsville students, that is allowing them to continue to attend Brownsville in special circumstances, even if their neighborhood is moved into the Crozet attendance zone.


CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049