Say "No" to Chesapeake Public Schools rezoning of Hickory's Middle and High School.

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The Chesapeake Public Schools School Board is weighing options for the establishment of new attendance zones.  One of the options (written as “Option 2”), Reassign portions of Hickory Middle School and Hickory High School to Great Bridge Middle School and Great Bridge High School.

The data used in this discussion was taken directly from the March 23, 2017 School Board Planning Meeting.  At the middle school level, Option 2 would increase enrollment at Great Bridge Middle School from 1395 to 1537 students (120.5% of capacity) and decrease enrollment at Hickory Middle School from 1636 to 1494 students (114.9% of capacity).  Note:  A small building addition at Hickory Middle School is currently under design and is scheduled to be opened for the 2019-20 school year, increasing capacity to approximately 1500 students (thus capacity just under 100% with no re-zoning).

At the high school level, Option 2 would increase enrollment at Great Bridge High School from 1352 students (78.4% of capacity) to 1490 students and decrease enrollment at Hickory High School from 1688 students (91.2% of capacity) to 1550 students.

The current over-capacity situation at Hickory middle school is accepted by those in attendance with current school programs, academics and affiliation with Hickory High school.  This in addition to the identification of a future solution; additional small building opening 2019 school year.  There is no current plan to remedy the over population that would be incurred with the addition of the students into Great Bridge Middle School (increased to 120.5% with Option 2).

The study depicts several “Pros” of the move as homes being closer geographical wise to Great Bridge High School and increasing enrollment at Great Bridge High.  However, this does not address the lack of roadway infrastructure that should have been part of the new development planning with the traffic congestion in that direction and uses words like “should” reduce transportation time.  Limited parking, school grounds exiting options, or parental pick up congestion would likely cause issues for traffic on Hanbury Road.

The “Cons” listed in the study highlight the increased overcrowding at Great Bridge Middle School as well as “creates somewhat less efficient use of school bus transportation and will likely require additional buses and drivers.”

These merits alone should lend evidence to Option 2 being “not selectable”, but there are also other things to consider from those families currently enrolled in Hickory Middle/High School.  Not only were homes purchased due to being part of this particular school district, but sweat, equity and valuable personal time have been put forth in developing Music programs (Marching Band, Chorus, Orchestra, Drumline, Color Guard), Baseball/Softball (dugouts, field work), Performance and Art programs and many others.

Most families, like the families of Hickory School District, wish to avoid any disruption of our children’s middle/high school careers.  The lack of planning on the Chesapeake Public Schools School Board is now on the burden of families to bear by switching schools, not in line with Chesapeake Planning and Development in the building of a vast number of new neighborhoods, etc.  Of the schools impacted by Option 2, only Hickory Middle School is even part of the 2017-2018 modernizations, additions:

MODERNIZATIONS/ADDITIONS/NEW SCHOOLS

-Replacement/Design & Construct: Great Bridge Primary In Design/Under Construction

-Modernization & Addition/Design: Indian River Middle School  $4,167,400

-Modernization/Design: Crestwood Middle  $3,230,800

-Modernization/Design: Crestwood Intermediate  $2,568,800

-Modernization & Addition/Design: Chittum Elementary  $2,126,800

-Building Addition/Construct: Oscar Smith High  $6,068,500

-Building Addition/Construct: BM Williams  $4,816,700

-Building Addition/Design: Hickory Middle School  $588,300

 YEAR 1 TOTAL $76,777,300

This rezoning option does not relieve the overcrowding in Great Bridge or Hickory Middle School, but essentially exacerbates the situation in Great Bridge who does not have a near term solution for overcrowding. There are other options to assist Great Bridge to gain additional student bodies with less challenging logistics. 

To view the details of the rezoning, please follow the link below 

http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/cpsva/Board.nsf/files/ARJQY26B83EF/$file/HMS%20Attendance%20Zone%20Study%20School%20Board%20Requests%209-25-17FINAL.pdf

To email a Chesapeake School Board representative, follow this link and email the representative of your choice 

http://cpschools.com/school-board/members/

 



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