Dulles South Students - Your New High School is in Leesburg
Controversy and decision-making continue to swirl regarding the approval of the Lenah sites for future schools, dealing with the rapidly-arriving overflow of student population to hit the area.
Be sure to attend tomorrow night's community meeting about this with Loudoun County BOS/Dulles District Supervisor Stevens Miller:
A COMMUNITY MEETING CONCERNING DULLES SOUTH SCHOOL SITES
THURSDAY OCTOBER 16, 2008
7:00 P.M. – 9:30 P.M.
MERCER MIDDLE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM
42149 Greenstone Drive
Aldie, VA 20105
The options are particularly bleak, if the Lenah sites remain unapproved, and no comparable options come to fruition in the very near term. Here's a response from Loudoun County School Board Dulles Representative Robert Dupree, to a Dulles South constituent and concerned parent - note the option of Dulles South students attending High School in Leesburg:
We are planning to do boundaries this spring regardless of the Board of Supervisors' decision on Lenah.
If they approve Lenah, then the boundary process will be to determine which children/neighborhoods will go to the Lenah schools and which will stay at Mercer/Freedom.
If they do not approve it, then we will consider options regarding which neighborhoods will be sent to Stone Hill Middle School on a more long-term basis. We had purposefully avoided using Stone Hill to relieve Dulles South when the school was opened and have only reluctantly been using it on a temporary "bandaid" overflow basis this year. If Lenah is approved, we will continue the bandaid/overflow for one more year, but if not then we will consider new boundaries on a more long-term basis that would take likely take effect next fall and remain so until a site can be secured and approved, which could take several years.
For high school, if Lenah is rejected we really won't have any seats to spare in any of the three Ashburn schools. Briar Woods will hit capacity in two years, right after Freedom does, so there won't be any relief coming there. And Stone Bridge is already over capacity and Broad Run doesn't have much room. So when we do boundaries, looking ahead to 2010, at that point, the only available seats to relieve Freedom would be in Leesburg, where we expect to free up some room at Heritage and Loudoun County with the opening in 2010 of Tuscarora High School on the north side of Leesburg.
These are not good options. We don't want to have to send neighborhoods from south of Route 50 up to Ashburn for middle school or to Leesburg for high school. If we have to do this, I hope you will weigh in before the School Board as far as your preferences. But I hope we can secure approval of our Lenah application, which fully conforms with the county's smart growth policies, and don't have to resort to such alternatives.
As far as the Planning Commission decision, the findings given for denial were not, in our view, valid. In fact, one of the grounds for denial would also preclude other possible sites that opponents are putting forth as alternatives. Our staff presented a 15-point response to the Board of Supervisors last night rebutting the Planning Commission's stated rationale. I will see if I can get an electronic copy to forward to you.
I hope this answered your questions.
Chairman & Dulles District Representative
Loudoun County School Board"