Your View: Expand grandfathering to all current students when redistricting

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Your View: Expand grandfathering to all current students when redistricting
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By Chris Hubbard, Alexandria (File photo)

To the editor:
The Alexandria City School Board is planning to implement redistricting to deal with ACPS and city council’s poor management of city schools and their failure to ensure developers contribute fairly to building new schools in exchange for their new housing units.

Soon, the board will vote on whether to limit grandfathering to those in fourth and fifth grades, and their siblings and younger students will be discriminated against.

Many students and families at Alexandria’s highest performing schools, like Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy in Old Town, Matthew Maury Elementary and Cora Kelly Elementary in Del Ray, are greatly invested in their schools, even moving to these districts to walk to or attend these schools, opting into them.

So when many who moved into the districts for the schools are told, “Sorry your children won’t be able to go there,” a hardship is created. How can they find equivalence to the schools they invested in?

Particularly for Lyles-Crouch, whose Core Knowledge program is unique within both ACPS and Virginia and in combination with its great teachers, Character Counts program, uniforms and the excellent leadership of Patricia Zissios, there is no equivalent in the district.

Rather than voting on limiting grandfathering to fourth and fifth grades now, in the interest of fairness, they should be polling parents on who wants to stay at their school and wait until the planned 700 new seats are brought in before creating un- necessary hardships.

To be fair, they should grandfather children already in the schools and their siblings in preschool in that district, as they are likely to be families who are invested in these schools and opted in or moved to the district to be in that particular school. Then limit grandfathering.

But don’t create hardships for parents and students un- necessarily because of the mismanagement of the schools by city council and ACPS.

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