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School Board Considering to Zone Potomac Yard to Jefferson-Houston

Recommendation allows families to opt in to some focus schools.

The Alexandria School Board is considering placing elementary school-aged children living in the Potomac Yard area in the Jefferson-Houston School attendance zone.

The School Board is planning to vote at its Dec. 20 meeting on a recommendation from Alexandria City Public Schools staff to send children to the Old Town school.

The Potomac Yard area, which includes new development along Route 1 and E. Monroe Avenue as well as the Potomac Greens neighborhood (see the attached chart), had not been previously zoned to an elementary school, contrary to belief of many school board members and ACPS staff.

“I think we thought all of Potomac Yard was elementary zoned for Jefferson-Houston,” Superintendent Morton Sherman said at Thursday’s board meeting. “When we looked at the long-range planning, we found that it was not.”

On Dec. 15, City Council will consider a proposal to build a new Jefferson-Houston School that will increase capacity to more than 700 students. The school population for the current year is around 360.

Currently, six kindergarteners living in the Potomac Yard area attend Jefferson-Houston, according to Sherman. 

“This does allow families to opt in to some focus schools,” Sherman said Thursday, specifically mentioning Cora Kelly as a viable option. Capacity concerns at Mount Vernon Community School, Maury, George Mason and Douglas MacArthur prevent those from being options, Sherman said.

The ACPS Facilities Department and Alexandria’s Planning Department predict the Potomac Yard/Potomac Greens area will add a projected 19 elementary school students, three middle school students and three high school students to ACPS for the 2013-14 school year. Projections for the 2015-16 school calendar predict another additional 26 elementary school students, four middle school students and four high school students.

The plot of land that currently houses the Simpson Stadium Park soccer fields next to the Monroe Avenue Bridge is currently reserved for a potential new school.

“Part of the long range planning is what happens with that property in the future,” Sherman said. “Although we’re recommending now to assign this to Jefferson-Houston, it must be now to the next board and with the community’s discussion with an eye to some changes that will have to occur.”

NoBS December 12, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Linda said "my tempest in a teapot comment was not directed at you but rather at the perennial attackers of ACPS who weigh in at every opportunity to find fault in a way that I find to be completely unproductive." Well, Linda, I am one of those "pereniial attackers" and my efforts got a bad principal, a crooked teacher and several coaches removed permanently from TCW. After that, I worked hard on several campaigns to get good people into office, school board most recently, in the hope that the mess that is ACPS will get fixed. So, what have you done lately?
Nate McKenzie December 12, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Linda - understood on the comment and I hadn't viewed your comment as targeted in particular, more a statement on the overall issue. I view this like we just saw a water stain in the ceiling of the house. There are many possible explanations that aren't particularly problematic (a conscious decision to wait might be part of that explanation although why wouldn't that have noted as part of the board discussion) and there are many possible explanations that are problematic. I think we should find the water source, rather than painting over the stain.
Patricia A Hennnig December 12, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Mara - I am a bit confused - what did I agree to investigate? I don't even own a deerstalker hat or a magnifying glass. If you mean that I ran on accountability, compliance and transparency, OK fine - but investigate?
Linda Kelly December 13, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Yes, Gail, you certainly are one of those people. And you spelled perennial wrong, which I find ironic given your comment above about the former TC principal--a perfect illustration of my point about being unproductive.
NoBS December 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Linda, I'm pretty sure if you talked to the people I got rid of in my push to clean up TC, they'd tell you I was productive. It took a lot of effort, but most of the wrongdoers are gone now. Why do you continue to defend such people? They were caught red handed, so to speak. Some outgoing school board members were complicit. It hurts all kids. ACPS is a mess and what I find unproductive is people like you who want to pretend there is nothing wrong and stick with the status quo. What could you possibly gain by sticking your head in the sand?

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