Plan to address overcrowding at 16 Prince William Co. elementary schools

WASHINGTON — Attendance zones for 16 existing elementary schools, or more than 10,000 students, could be impacted by changes as the Prince William County school district tries to reduce overcrowding.

The Prince William County school division staff has released a preliminary proposal that includes three different recommendations to redraw attendance zones and add classrooms to existing schools in the Virginia county.

That includes 13 additional classrooms at Antietam, Lake Ridge and Springwood Elementary Schools, with another 10 classrooms at Minnieville Elementary. The school district has also outlined plans to open a new elementary school, Prince William Parkway, which would welcome an additional 749 students.

Matthew Cartlidge, supervisor of planning for the district said, “This is adding over 4,000 elementary seats to Eastern Prince William County.”

This is all part of a three-step planning initiative to reduce overcrowding, which began in 2016 with the opening of Wilson Elementary School.

If approved, schools in Lake Ridge, Woodbridge and Occoquan would see smaller class sizes within a three-year span.

But these changes also mean addressing parents’ concerns about children being moved from their current schools.

“The committee has heard their concerns and they’re able to point to visible change in the proposals that certainty were influences by the suggestions,” Cartlidge said.

The proposal outlines an effort to avoid splitting small neighborhoods.

The plans to draw new attendance boundaries will be presented to the school board Jan. 2 with a vote on Jan. 16. Community members will have an opportunity to weigh in on the boundaries proposals during both meetings.

An interactive map of the proposed boundaries can be viewed by way of Prince William County.

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