Chesapeake Public Schools discuss possible rezoning

"It's frustrating and confusing I don't understand why the lines aren't clearer."

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- On Monday evening, Chesapeake Public Schools held a meeting on the overcrowding issue at the schools.

"People live here for a reason, for the schools," explained parent Chris Schwaner.

Schwaner is upset at the possibly his daughter may have to move schools when she's already settled.

"It's friends," Schwaner said. "In my daughters case it's being familiar with everything which is huge for her."

Four options are on the table for rezoning, involving four middle schools and three high schools.  At the end of the last school year, Hickory Middle was overcrowded by 336 students. Great Bridge Middle was 120 students over capacity.

The three high schools involved in the rezoning debate aren't overcrowded now, but school leaders worry about what happens when the middle school students move up.

"There's areas of great schools, there's not great schools. Hickory is one of the best," explained Schwaner.

The re-zoning proposals would help ease overcrowding at certain schools, while helping other classrooms that are below capacity. Some of the options on the table put some Hickory Middle School students at Hugo Owens, while moving some Hugo Owens students to Deep Creek Middle. Another proposal would shift part of Grassfield High to Great Bridge High and some students from Hickory would move to the Great Bridge schools.

"Nothing against Great Bridge," Schwaner said. "I know a lot of kids go there and it's happy place but it's not what we came here for."

The earliest changes could take affect is next school year. 

More than 100 parents and students were at Great Bridge Middle School Monday to look at the four different options and ask questions from members of the school district.

“It’s frustrating and confusing I don’t understand why the lines aren’t clearer,” said Zoe Bocachica.

Bocachica, like many parents, squinted to find their house on the map and then try to determine what school their children will attend if and when rezoning takes place in Chesapeake.

‘I’m looking to buy a house right now in a certain area and now I’m on the fence if I should buy or not because it’s up in the air what school my kids will go to,” said Bochachica.

Joy Naik is worried her son’s education won’t be the same if he changes schools.

“Because it looks like the school we could be rezoned to is not at the same level as this one it’s a problem for me,” said Naik.

While her son Sahar, wants to know what’s going to happen to all his sixth-grade friends.

“I have so many friends here that if I go to another school I’m popular here and I’ll be unpopular there,” said Sahar Naik.

Grassfield High School junior, Jillian Grant, says she can’t imagine graduating anywhere else.

“It’s very important to me because I do want to finish at Grassfield where I started, where I have my friends, where I know my teachers, where I have things going for me,” said Grant.

Grant says one option would send her to rival Great Bridge High for her senior year.

“I love school spirit, I love Grassfield High School, and going to the opposite school would be like sac religious almost,” said Grant.

Many of these parents bought homes based on the local schools. They say switching things up now isn’t fair.

“We bought our house on the premise that our kid will be going to a very good school and that’s what we expected and now $200,000 into a house we are being told something else,” said Joe Henderson.

The Chesapeake School Board will be holding a meeting on October 30 where they could choose a final option or they could table all of these options and decide to go in a completely different direction.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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