WJCC to decide redistricting criteria

Contact Reporterwwright@vagazette.com

At their Oct. 17 meeting, members of the Williamsburg-James City County school board will decide the most important criteria they'll pass on to the people drawing new district maps.

In July, board members unanimously voted to hire California-based firm Cooperative Strategies to redraw boundaries pertaining to the area’s middle and high schools.

The district's middle school will be redistricted to include the new James Blair Middle School, which is slated to open before the start of the 2018-19 school year.

Board members have not decided yet whether to redistrict the high schools. Buildings are intended to be 88 percent full, and in 2016-17 Lafayette was at that threshold. At 90 percent and 110 percent, both Warhill and Jamestown were over capacity.

Board members James Beers and board chairwoman Kyra Cook have said they are considering socioeconomic diversity as one of the foremost factors as the firm makes its new maps.

Jim Kelly and Lisa Ownby said they are more concerned with the concept of creating neighborhood schools and minimizing students who will attend new schools next year.

Scott Leopold, a partner at Cooperative Strategies, warned the members that no community is completely happy with new maps. Choosing a map that fulfills most of what they want is the best they can do, he said.

Superintendent Olwen Herron said the district would like to be finished with the redistricting process by February.

Want to go?

When: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17

Where: 412 N. Boundary St., Williamsburg

Wright can be reached by phone at 757-345-2343.

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