Loudoun Considers Shorter Process to Redraw School Attendance Boundaries

Most local families know this first hand: the process to redraw attendance zone boundaries in Loudoun is long and often painful.

School Board holds as many as four public hearings and four work sessions before finally settling on a new attendance map. But now, the board wants to have the option to shorten that process.

Board members agree that, for most boundary changes, they will continue the months-long process, giving the public plenty of opportunity to weigh in on the changes under consideration. But they are considering a new policy that would allow the superintendent to recommend an abbreviated process under rare exceptions.

Those include: converting a traditional school to a charter school, addressing a new housing development that would otherwise cause overcrowding at a school, addressing minimal overcrowding that can be resolved with reassigning 10 percent or less of a school’s students, and in any unforeseen emergencies.

See the proposed policy changes here.

“The School Board can still do the longer process, but we can do the shorter one when it makes sense,” Chairman Jeff Morse (Dulles) said.

He gave the example of the boundary process required ahead of the conversation of Hillsboro Elementary School to Hillsboro Charter Academy. “The process to rubber stamp a charter school boundary process should’ve taken two weeks, but we had to do four meetings because to check off all the boxes.”

The board is scheduled to adopt the final policy changes Tuesday.


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