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CFHS School Board Option Analysis

Here is where we breakdown the various options the school board came up with to see what the best scenario might be. This is a grey area if ever there was one and polite discourse is the phrase of the day.

If you would like to read the salient topics of discussion from the meeting, outside of specific options, click the link here. If you would like a condensed list of just the options without the analysis, click the link here. The documents BTW are using to crunch the numbers are the "SCPS Out-of-Capacity Table" and the "Colonial Forge 2020-21 Student Numbers wth APUs/Subdivisions" documents handed out at the various meetings. They have not been found online but BTW will scan and upload them shortly.

Please keep in mind, NONE of these options are final. The board referred to them as talking points and it is possible none will be chosen in their present form. Also, these numbers are taken from 2020-21 school year projections of student attendance, NOT current enrollment numbers. There are arguments to be made that SCPS projection numbers are not great but there needs to be a starting point and this is what the board chose.

We are using a comparable map, the 2016 APU map. This is NOT the 2020-21 map, that item has not been found online. UPDATE: That map is now online, find it here. This map has current enrollment numbers and is being utilized for visualization purposes only. For projected enrollment numbers, please refer to the numbers at the end of the APU lists. Resolution is grainy so the county link to the pdf is here.

One more quick note, APU 117, 124 and 166 (Embrey Mill North) are in all options and further, APU 124 will only go to Stafford High School. These APU's are 99% certain to move according to the meeting. If you happen to live in a neighborhood in one of these APU's and you have a compelling reason not to move at all, please contact your BOS and SB reps. Here is a link to contact info

If you are uncertain which APU you neighborhood belongs to, check the key at the bottom of the page.

Now, down to the nitty-gritty.

Option 1:

To MV: APU 117, APU 142, APU 143, APU 164 Augustine North, APU 187 (265 students)

To NS: APU 163 (all but Liberty Knolls), APU 166 Autumn Ridge (222 students)

Option 1 is highly unlikely to be chosen for 3 main reasons: 1) the board came to an informal conclusion during latter portions of the work session that APU 166 Embrey Mill North should be included in all options 2) moving a huge neighborhood like Augustine just isn't likely to happen 3) by leaving out APU 166 EMN's "future students" the board would be moving current students out of Forge to make room for students who don't yet live in Stafford. Another thing to consider is that this moves almost 500 students and that is more than the SB has established that they would like to move. Here are the capacity numbers: CFHS at almost 89%, MVHS at 95% and NSHS at almost 90%

Option 2: To MV: APU 117,APU 142, APU 143, APU 187 (124 students) To NS: APU 166 Embrey Mill North (215 students)

This option only differs from option 1 in that it does not move APU 163. MVHS capacity stays at 89%, NSHS goes down to 91% and CFHS goes up to 95% capacity.

Option 3: To MV: APU 117, APU 142, APU 163 (all but Liberty Knolls), APU 187 (214 students) To NS: APU 166 Embrey Mill North, APU 166 Autumn Ridge (300 students)

This option moves APU 166 Autumn Ridge to NSHS, along with our future EMN students, moves moves APU 163 to MVHS but leaves APU 143 at CFHS. As for capacity, CFHS goes to 86%, MVHS to 93% and NSHS to 95%. There was resistance from School Board Rep. Connelly to the idea of moving an established community like Autumn Ridge, which likely has to do with the fact that this neighborhood is in his district.

Option 4: To MV: APU 117, APU 142, APU 163,(all but Liberty Knolls) APU 187 (214 students) To NS: APU 166 Embrey Mill North (215 students)

This option removes APU 166 Autumn Ridge from the previous equation. MVHS capacity stays the same at 93%, CFHS 90% and NSHS at 91%.

Option 5: To MV: APU 117 , APU 142 , APU 143, APU 187 (138 students) To NS: APU 166 Embrey Mill North (215 students)

This option reverts back to leaving APU 163 in place and sending APU 143 to MVHS. Capacity numbers are CFHS 94%, MVHS 89% and NSHS 89%

Option 6: To MV: APU117, APU142, APU143, APU187, APU 164 Augustine North (265 students) To NS: APU 166 Embrey Mill North (215 students)

This option leaves APU 163 in place but sends APU 164 neighborhood Augustine North to MVHS. The likelihood of this option happening is slim; moving a large, established neighborhood like Augustine is a big ask. BUT here is the capacity breakdown: MVHS 95%, NSHS 89% and CFHS 88%.

Option 7: To MV: APU 117, APU 142, APU 143 (124 students)

To NS: APU 166 Embrey Mill North and South (300 students)

Finally, we come to the last option, which places Augustine back at Forge. Both Embrey Mill North and South head to NSHS. Capacity percentages are MVHS 88%, NSHS 92% and CFHS at 92%.

The School Board will not make their determinations based strictly on the capacity percentages. They are gathering other types of data that correspond to Policy 1403 guidelines, capacity numbers are just one metric of many.

Based strictly on this data, BTW can make some educated guesses as to which options will really be in contention. Starting with the easiest calls first:

Option 6: This is a no go, the board will not move a large, established neighborhood like Augustine unless it is absolutely necessary. Based on current data, we aren't there.

Option 1: Looks unlikely. It doesn't really meet the parity capacity numbers emphasized by Chairwoman Hazard. If the goal is to spread out resources to various schools by spreading out students, this option doesn't do that very well.

Option 3: Unlikely. Rep. Connelly was pretty vocal about Autumn Ridge not moving. Since the projected numbers show this neighborhood only moving 85 students and knowing that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, it's a good bet that this option will not be selected.

Things get trickier here. It is important to keep in mind that APU 166 Embrey Mill North does NOT move any current students out of Forge. Forge is projected to be over capacity next year and with grandfathering of current Forge students plus the possibility that the board will reconsider the sibling policy, Forge may not feel much relief over the next few years regardless of which option is chosen. The board has made it clear that they want to move the fewest students possible, which is understandable, but has the potential of not addressing the problem. Which begs the question, why redistrict right now at all? Rep Decatur pointed this out multiple times during the meeting. Maybe the best course would be to wait one more year which would allow the School Board more time to analyze the data. But that is a subject for another post.

Remaining options, for our purposes, are 2,4,5 and 7.

Option 2: This option doesn't seem to go far enough. It leaves MVHS at 89% capacity, which is very low considering that the areas that feed MVHS are the slowest growing areas of the county, according to Supervisor Sellers. While "by-right" development does continue in these areas and such development does not need approval from the BOS, it's unlikely that these areas would see anywhere near the growth that the Forge district will definitely see in the next 5-10 years.

This option also leaves Forge at 95% capacity, which means we have to hope that these projections SCPS are using are in the right ballpark. You never know who is going to move into a new community and what ages their kids might be. If the projection numbers are off, Forge could be looking at another redistricting scenario in the not to distant future. It's hard to imagine how ugly that would be. We are betting here that this option will not be approved without changes.

Option 5: This option is similar to 2, it doesn't go far enough. Both MVHS and NSHS have 89% capacities in this scenario.

That leaves Option 4 and Option 7.

Option 4: This option may be appealing to the board because it moves a relatively low number of students, at least current CFHS students. APU 163 has to move in this scenario and they have been pretty vocal about not wanting to move at all so that may factor into the equation if they continue to be outspoken.

Option 7: This option moves a large chunk of the "future students" to NSHS, 300 according to SCPS projections. This number doesn't make the NSHS capacity numbers intolerably high, it gives CFHS some breathing room until HS6 is built and it moves the fewest number of students currently in attendance. If the SB is looking to cause the least amount of disruption possible to current Stafford tax-payers, this is a good bet. BTW would question if it really goes far enough in terms of alleviating Forge's more immediate overcrowding problems. The SB also could easily tack APU's 143 and 187 onto this option to give Forge more room to breathe.

If your neighborhood is listed above and you don't want to change schools, please contact your School Board Rep. Find contact info here. There is also a public hearing scheduled where the community will be able to express it's opinions about the options. The meeting is on March 1, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. @ Colonial Forge High School. BTW will be there to cover the action.

Thoughts? Are we missing something? We would love your input!

APU Neighborhood Key

APU 117: Peppermint Forrest, Locklear's Landing APU 124: Lake Estates, Cain SD APU 142: Waters Edge, Lakeland Forrest, Manor Wood, Saratoga Wood APU 143: Summerset, Oaks at Rocky Run, Rivers Edge, Frank Martin Farm, Sale Heights, Hampshire,Cypress, Silvergate, Scotts Ridge, Old Banks, Maple Grove, Berea Estates, Rappahannock, Wellington, Berry Hill, Berry Hill, Holly Corners APU 163: (Does NOT include Liberty Knolls) Georgetown East, Tall Oaks, Arbor Glen, Marshall Estates, Stowe of Amyclae, Berkshire APU 164: Augustine North ONLY APU 166: Embrey Mill North, Embrey Mill South APU 187: Abel Lake, Lake Ridge