Sherando appeals VHSL move to Group 5A

STEPHENS CITY – Sherando High School has appealed the Virginia High School League’s realignment plan to move the school from Group 4A to Group 5A in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.

The appeal had to be sent to the VHSL by Monday, but schools have two weeks to send a summary of why they are appealing.

Sherando Coordinator of Student Activities Jason Barbe said that Sherando is still evaluating its situation and appealed to give the school more time to access the situation.

“We’re still evaluating what our options are on this,” Barbe said in a phone interview Tuesday. “We’re just trying to make sure we understand where we belong. … We have filed the appeal paperwork. Now with that said, that gives us time to evaluate more what our stance is. It’s still in an evaluation standpoint from where we’re at, but we had to file in order to be able to continue to do so.”

If Sherando decides not to appeal it can cancel the appeal at any time. If school officials decide to go ahead with the appeal, they need to send a summary of why they are appealing by July 25. On Aug. 4, the VHSL alignment committee will meet to hear all appeals and then finalize the plans for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.

The VHSL announced the latest realignment plan in June. The latest average daily membership numbers released by the VHSL last month had Sherando with 1,533 students, which put it in Group 5A. Sherando would be the sixth smallest Group 5A school.

Sherando would be the lone Frederick County-Winchester school in Group 5A. Millbrook has 1,331 students, James Wood has 1,277 and Handley has 1,227, according to the latest numbers.

The VHSL has not placed Sherando, William Fleming or Harrisonburg into a region, but will have to do so by Aug. 4.

Sherando moved up in classification in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001, moving from Group AA to Group AAA, at the time there were only three VHSL classifications.

In 2001, Sherando was also slated to move up again, but was able to stay in Group AA due to moving some of its students to James Wood.

Sherando was one of 22 schools that appealed the newest alignment proposal. The Northwestern District’s proposal to become a 13-team district is also on the list of appeals, and a decision on that will be made on Aug. 4.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com