Jeremy Raley, Ed.D., GCPS Superintendent, presented his recommendation for revised elementary boundaries to the Goochland School Board at their May 10 meeting. Once approved by the School Board, the boundaries would take effect with the opening of the new Goochland Elementary School.
The recommended boundaries would take advantage of additional capacity at the new school and relieve overcrowding at the division’s other two elementary schools, Byrd Elementary and Randolph Elementary. Over 91 percent of elementary students would attend their closest school in the recommended boundary revision.
A committee comprised of parents, community members, and division staff met beginning in February and worked with Matt Sachs, Senior Associate Director at Cooperative Strategies, to develop proposed maps that were then presented to the community for input via an online survey. The survey was open from March 9 through April 1, and 414 responses were received. Of the two options under consideration, 62 percent of respondents preferred the option that aligns with the superintendent’s recommendation.
The recommended boundaries would decrease the number of students at Randolph Elementary from 437 to 313, resulting in a building utilization reduction from 106.8 percent to 76.5 percent. At Byrd Elementary, enrollment would be reduced by 40 students, resulting in an almost 13 percent decrease in building utilization. At the new Goochland Elementary, 461 students would attend a school planned for 650, providing the division with space for growth as additional residents move into the community.
For families with rising fifth graders the year the boundary adjustment takes effect, division policy provides families with the choice of staying at the student’s current school or moving to the new school. Additionally, already enrolled siblings of those rising fifth graders – rising first through fourth graders – may also stay at their current school with principal approval. A sibling that has not enrolled in school before the boundary adjustment takes effect must attend the newly zoned school.
Transportation for students who choose to stay at their current school is not provided; however, families may take advantage of existing bus stop locations instead of driving their child(ren) all the way to school. The family member would be required to drop their child(ren) at the approved bus stop and must also pick up their child(ren) at the bus stop each afternoon.
A vote on the superintendent’s recommended boundary adjustment is scheduled for the School Board’s regular meeting on June 14 at 6 p.m. More information regarding the boundary adjustment process is available at the dedicated project website at https://coopstratprojects.com/gcps/. An interactive map of the superintendent’s recommendation is available at https://www.myschoollocation.com/GCPS_Rec/