A general community meeting was held on June 9th to kick off the working group tasked with finding a site for a new South Arlington elementary school. Big thanks to Sherry Boedges for attending and sharing these notes!
•The school that they want built is a neighborhood school. And even with the 725 seats that it will add and Abingdon’s addition, South Arlington will still be deficient of 240 seats (it looks like Claremont, Barcroft, Henry and Oakridge will have the greatest deficit in seats by 2019). I think the working group will need to keep this in mind when deciding where the neighborhood school will go and maybe help decide where the next school will go (most likely a program choice school but this is just my speculation).
• The TJ site will be revisited, as well as looking at property owned by APS (Wakefield’s field across from Claremont was suggested as a site.) then County properties. Commercial/private properties may be looked at after. Everything is pretty much on the table but I gathered the focus will be APS and County owned property.
• It seems that another high school will have to be built in the future (They had discussed that the Career Center may be converted to a high school with a more tech/vocational focus), but junior high schools are good
•The last year we had 5.2 percent growth which is pretty high (2 percent is a more normal rate). They had discussed year round schools, smart facility use (teachers using an office instead of an entire classroom to grade etc). as ways to alleviate the crowding.
•There is an online suggestion form that anyone can submit. http://www.apsva.us/moreseats
• power point from the meeting: http://www.apsva.us/
cms/lib2/VA01000586/ Centricity/Domain/110/ 05092015%20SARL%20Site% 20Selection%20Presentation_ Final%20PPT.pdf
They might have the video of the meeting up on the website as well.
•It was suggested that electronic communications do not work as well as personal one on one engagement for the Hispanic community.
June 25th 7pm at Wakefield (I think Cafeteria) is the first working group meeting. It is open to the public. (all of them are). Starting July 1, the working group will meet every two weeks.