Henrico parents question school redistricting plans: ‘I don’t think it’s very well thought out’

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Residents in Henrico learned Monday the first details surrounding the county’s redistricting plans for local schools.

The county plans to redraw elementary, middle and high school attendance zones for the 2021 school year to help address overcrowding in classrooms and expected population growth.

Monday’s meeting was strictly informational. Parents who 8News spoke with remained cautiously optimistic after they say few details were actually revealed.

“I just don’t think it’s very well thought out,” said second-grade parent Tracy Kidd, who is one of thousands of parents who are waiting to learn whether or not their child will be affected by the new redistricting plans.

“They’re really scared that they could just finish school in June and then by September go to a brand new school, brand new experience,” Kidd added. “They’re gonna leave all their friends behind, that’s a big deal for a 7-year-old.”

Kidd said she was disappointed with what she heard — or lack thereof — after attending Monday’s meeting.

“We wasted our time driving over here,” she said. “I don’t think it was an information meeting, I think they told us what they wanted us to hear, they provided very little information as to who will be impacted.”

Kidd’s husband, James Kidd, added that their family moved from Chesterfield County after it redistricted schools, and they are prepared to relocate again.

“We lost a third of the value of our home and we also moved to the area we’re in specifically so the children could go to Tuckahoe Elementary School,” J. Kidd said. “We don’t want to see them moved.”

The county still doesn’t know which schools and students will be affected by the plans. A redistricting flier states that ‘while all HCPS schools could be subject to boundary adjustments, efforts will be made to minimize changes to current boundaries.

“The whole purpose of this is to make everybody feel good, so why don’t they go ahead and tell us? Because if our kids are being moved we can go ahead and sell our home.” — James Kidd

The new J.R. Tucker and Highland Springs high schools, plus the expansion of Holladay Elementary, are forcing the changes.

An initial plan is set to be released in November. The school board will vote on the final plan in the spring.

“We understand that redistricting will touch all of our families in Henrico and we want to make sure that we ease some of that apprehension by keeping them very involved in the process,” HCPS Superintendent Amy Cashwell said. “Our school board absolutely values and counts on hearing from our community during an initiative like this.”

CLICK HERE for more information on the plans and for a schedule of upcoming meetings that are open to the public.

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