Rezoning Discussion Expanded to Consider City-Wide

November 9, 2017

UPDATE: 
The Suffolk School Board at its Nov. 9, 2017 work session clarified that it has also requested a city-wide rezoning option.  In addition, staff is working on rezoning proposals for the new Florence Bowser Elementary and the new Col. Fred Cherry Middle School to open in September 2018.

 

At the work session, staff presented the following criteria as they begin to develop options.

 

Division-Wide Rezoning Criteria
Elementary, Middle & High
  • Establish contiguous attendance zones using
    established roadways and geographical features to
    the greatest extent possible
  • Respect established neighborhood boundaries where possible
  • Redistribute student population to more efficiently
    take advantage of available seats in all buildings
  • Reduce mobile unit usage across the division
  • Attempt to create more efficient bus routes
  • Attempt to maintain diversity that closely matches the school division overall
Florence Bowser Elementary Rezoning criteria:
  • Open FBES with @850 students in September 2018
  • Include the current Driver Elementary student population of 596 students and expand the current Driver attendance zone to include 250-275 additional students from Creekside Elementary
  • Maintain attendance zone using established roadways
    and geographical features to the greatest extent possible
  • Respect established neighborhood boundaries where possible
  • Reduce mobile unit usage at schools affected by rezoning
  • Attempt to maintain diversity that closely matches the school division overall
Col. Fred Cherry Middle Rezoning Criteria
  • Open CFCMS with @650 students in September 2018
  • Redraw the current JYMS zone to eliminate overcrowding
  • Maintain a contiguous attendance zone using established roadways and geographical features to the greatest extent possible
  • Respect established neighborhood boundaries where possible
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of mobile units at JYMS
  • Attempt to maintain diversity that closely matches the school division overall

 

Suffolk Public Schools will open two new schools in September 2018.  The new Florence Bowser Elementary School, located on Nansemond Parkway, will house 1,000 students.   The new Col. Fred Cherry Middle School, located on Burbage Drive, will house 800 students. Designed to be future-ready, both schools have open areas for flexible, project-based learning activities.

 

School administrators and staff are currently working through data to develop rezoning options.  The current student population of Driver Elementary School will most likely be moved to the new Florence Bowser Elementary School, as well as some students currently attending the overcrowded Creekside Elementary School.  Driver will close as an elementary school and transform into the Excel Academy at Driver, a personalized learning center designed to accelerate learning and achievement of students who have not met success in a traditional classroom.  Col. Fred Cherry Middle School is expected to alleviate overcrowding at John Yeates Middle School.

 


Timeline for rezoning decisions:


  • Thursday, November 9, 2017
    • 4:30 p.m. – Suffolk School Board Work Session: Rezoning Criteria presented to Board
    • 6:30 p.m. – Public Input Session #1
    • Both sessions will be held in City Council Chambers, located on the first floor of City Hall at 442 W. Washington St.

  • December 2017
    • Rezoning proposals made available to the public on the school division’s website

  • Thursday, January 11, 2018
    • 6:30 p.m. — Public Input Session #2
    • City Council Chambers, located on the first floor of City Hall at 442 W. Washington St.

  • Thursday, February 8, 2018
    • 7 p.m. — Formal presentation to School Board
    • City Council Chambers, located on the first floor of City Hall at 442 W. Washington St.

  • Thursday, March 8, 2018
    • 7 p.m. — School Board votes on final rezoning plan
    • City Council Chambers, located on the first floor of City Hall at 442 W. Washington St.

 

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