Letter to the Editor: Public urged to attend community meeting

In August, the Shenandoah County School Board and school division staff began the public and transparent process of taking steps to identify short term solutions aimed at alleviating the overcrowded conditions that exist at W.W. Robinson and Sandy Hook Elementary schools. Options were reviewed by community stakeholders. Residents, students, and school division employees shared their thoughts on the options that were developed before the School Board received a recommendation and then ultimately made a decision on the best course of action. 

Recognizing the need to provide equity across our school division, the decision to adjust boundaries as voted on by the School Board last November also means gaining the ability to utilize school facilities to their fullest potential both in capacity and instructional programming. These benefits are in addition to achieving the established goal of immediately reducing capacity at the central and northern campuses until long term facilities solutions can be assessed and implemented.

Because the School Board continues to recognize the importance of making public and transparent decisions regarding boundary adjustment proposals, I encourage residents to attend the community meeting regarding boundary adjustment options at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Central High School.

During this meeting, the public will hear from the board’s consultant, Dejong-Ritcher, and will have the opportunity to learn more about the boundary development process from the steering committee, a group of 24 community members who have dedicated their time and efforts to ensuring the boundary adjustment process is thorough, comprehensive and open. Steering committee members will lead small group discussion and facilitate dialogue in order to record and receive feedback regarding specific boundary adjustment options as presented in map format. Similar to the community meeting held in September to discuss options to alleviate overcrowding, the structure of this meeting will provide the community with a hands-on opportunity to participate and work through the process.A survey will be presented to those in attendance on Wednesday and will also be shared on the schools website www.shenandoah.k12.va.us. Information will also be emailed.I hope the public will join us as we continue this important community conversation.

Katie Freakley, District 4 School Board member