BTW attended the Garrisonville redistricting meeting last night with Supervisor Laura Sellers. The meeting had a very different feeling from the very large town hall meeting for Rock Hill. This meeting was much more intimate with only about 15-20 people in attendance.
Ms. Sellers presented a wide variety of statistical data that has been collected by both the School Board and the BOS. Most of the School Board data can be found here however we have been unable to track down the BOS info online as of yet. We will attach a link to this post as soon as we find it.
The majority of people in attendance have children that attend North Stafford although there were a couple of parents whose children could be changing schools. The discussion mainly focused on what needs to be improved at North, why it seems to be suffering from an image problem and what the great things are about North that people may not know. There was a small amount of discussion about how the influx of a potential 200+ students into the North community would affect current students, although not nearly as much as one might expect for a "redistricting" meeting.
There was an element of discussion that was touched on a few times, the one that interested BTW the most, that addressed why we continue to face redistricting again and again. Ms. Sellers comes across as a very knowledgable and approachable individual but she did not give the impression that she was interested in discussing this aspect of the county's situation.
When asked why Stafford County seemed to have such a reactive approach to these school issues, Ms. Sellers first response was to say that we didn't have an invested superintendent for a long time which is true, as we have noted at BTW. However, this comes across as a bit of a cop-out, like blaming the dog for having fleas. The BOS is the entity that controls the growth of the county and the money so to imply that it is SCPS' fault for the issues we are currently facing is disingenuous at best.
Considering the wealth of knowledge Ms. Sellers has about the upcoming county growth, interestingly she made it clear that she does not think that moving students from CFHS to North is a great idea. According to the maps she brought that show where the already approved new developments will be going in her district, by moving students to North there is potential that North will so be facing the same overcrowding woes as Forge in the not to distant future. This is not surprising to BTW as this "kick-the-can" mentality has been pervasive for years in Stafford.
When pressed about her ideas for an alternative, she stated that she thought that the kids in the southern part of the county should be moved; England Run neighborhoods to the under capacity Stafford High and the rest of the southern Forge district to MVHS. BTW thinks this is a good idea and one worth discussing but sadly it is NOT going to be considered by the School Board. At this time, for unknown reasons, the School Board only wants to move students to North and MVHS from Forge. For clarification on that reasoning, we urge you to contact your School Board Reps for an explanation and we will try to track down that answer as well.
This illustrates the point that the BOS and the School Board do not work together in the way that they should. Ms. Sellers admitted this in the meeting and expressed a desire for that to change in the future, which is good news to BTW.