SCPS pulled a fast one and dumped all this new information at the end of the workday on a Friday (raspberries to that.) Find all of the information SCPS dropped by clicking HERE. But at least they have gotten the options and all the accompanying information out there for the public to digest before the public hearing on March 1st, which is a good thing.
A lot of the information that was released yesterday is not new to anyone who has been following this redistricting initiative on BTW. All of the options, including maps for visualization, were created and distributed on the BTW site on February 16th. (To check out our cool maps and option breakdown, click HERE.) However, SCPS did release some new information yesterday that may help us determine which option could be selected when the SB votes on March 14th.
This particular redistricting initiative is slightly different than ones in the past because it will not be moving students out of Forge in one fell swoop. Instead, all current students (all rising 10th-12th graders) will have the option to stay at Forge and only incoming freshmen will be affected by the changes. Not only will next year's freshman class be affected though, every incoming freshman class will mark an adjustment in students until finally, in 20-21, the transition will be complete.
To illustrate how this will work, SCPS has come out with a spreadsheet for each option called a "Projection Forecast." This spreadsheet shows very clearly how the students will slowly shift from attendance at Forge to one of the other three targeted high schools over the course of the next 4 years through the school year 2020-21. We have explained how to read the spreadsheet in a previous post, for clarification please click the link HERE.
The SB will utilize this data to help them determine which option they should choose.
We can use it for these purposes, too. In this post, we will only analyze how these options affect Forge, we will not look at how capacity is affected at the receiving schools. To help make sense of the data, BTW has used another document produced by SCPS to find capacity percentages for each school year between now and school year 20-21. This document, the "Out of CapacityTable" can be found at SCPS' website by clicking HERE. So, let's dig in with Option 1....
Option 1 is a mammoth option, it moves a whopping 500 students over 4 years, as indicated in the box on the bottom right above. Since this option does NOT move APU 166 Embrey Mill North, all of the students moved are "real students" who currently attend SPCS (as opposed to "future students" who will move to the new subdivision over the next few years.) Not only does this option move 100 more kids than the SB has indicated they would like to move, they are moving them from 3 established neighborhoods, all who either have been or will be very vocal about this option dying a quick death. As for Forge's capacity numbers, next year Forge will be at 96%, year 18-19 will be 93%, year 19-20 will be 89% and finally 88% in 20-21.
If you were at the work session, or watched it on TV (you can watch it right now, if you are so inclined, by clicking HERE), you know that the Option 1 discussion was all over the place. It was actually very hard to determine, while sitting in the viewing room, exactly where the board landed when all was said and done. It was like everyone wanted to get in there and start throwing darts at the target. In the end, this option got pretty inflated and BTW thinks there is practically no chance that it will be chosen. With 500 current, SCPS students giving up their desks at Forge for kids whose parents may not move to the county for 2 or 3 more years, this option will cause an uproar from too many different directions.
Option 2 is like the antithesis of the previous option. This is a very conservative approach, moving only relatively small neighborhoods to MVHS, most of which are geographically close to MV and moving Embrey Mill North to NSHS. The SB won't get many complaints from the Embrey Mill residents who don't live here yet, which is likely why EMN is slated to move to NSHS in all remaining options. You also don't have any big, established neighborhoods moving in this option, which the SB will no doubt appreciate at the public hearing.
It should be noted, there is an error at the bottom of the 17-18yr. 9th grade number. The total is 62, not 112. The number of students moving out of Forge next year, 62, will relieve some of the over-crowding Forge is experiencing but not much. Looking at the capacity numbers, next year Forge will be at 98.5%, 97.6% in 18-19, 94% in 19-20 and finally 94.7% in 20-21. There is a worrying uptick in that last number, which could point to yet another need for redistricting in the future. By adopting this option, Forge won't likely feel marked relief until school year 19-20.
Option 3 moves 2 established neighborhoods, APU 163 to MVHS and APU 166 Autumn Ridge to NSHS. It should be noted, there is an error at the bottom of the 17-18yr. 9th grade number. The total is 90, not 112. Let's start by looking at the capacity percentages: 17-18 97%, 18-19 94%, 19-20 88.9% and finally 87% in year 20-21.
This option does a nice job of both meeting the immediate need to reduce the Forge population and also slowly lowers the population over time. While it does move the established neighborhoods of APU 163 and 166, it also moves EMNorth's "future students." Although this option objectively may look good, SB Garrisonville Rep Connelly made it pretty clear he does not want to move Autumn Ridge and it's residents agree with him. The chances of this option being selected really hinge on how vocal Mr. Connelly and the Autumn Ridge community are. If Autumn Ridge shows up at the public hearing in force and Mr. Connelly goes to bat for them like he did at the work session, this option will likely be brushed aside.
That's it for the first 3 options, please click the link HERE for Part 2 which analyzes the last four options.