Chesapeake parents weigh in on rezoning plans

"You have buses going all over the place, needlessly long bus routes taking kids from one high school they are five minutes away from to another high school they are an hour away from and vice versa."

CHESAPEAKE - CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- Chesapeake Public Schools are getting closer to making a decision when it comes to rezoning. The goal is to help with overcrowding but in the process some students may be forced to change schools.

Monday night there was a community workshop at Hugo Owens Middle School where parents had a chance to look at four different options. However, many parents say none of the options make sense and they can’t get an explanation.

“There’s not really a transparency to this process where are the guiding principles,” said parent Kim Lee.

Lee is the PTA vice president at Hugo Owens Middle School. She says parents need more information when it comes to how the school board came up with these zoning options. She was also confused as to why no school board members were at the meetings. She says many of them won’t even return emails.

“I’ve been copied on a lot of those messages and everyone keeps coming back to me and saying, ‘I haven’t heard anything have you,’ and I haven’t either so I think that’s just a lot of our frustration,” said Lee.

The school board’s four different options affect four middle schools and three high schools. Parent Corey Wofford says they all have major flaws.

“There appears to be negligence in some cases a total lack of analysis,” said Wofford. 

Wofford believes important details like school bus routes have either been overlooked or terribly planned.

“You have buses going all over the place, needlessly long bus routes taking kids from one high school they are five minutes away from to another high school they are an hour away from and vice versa,” said Wofford.

While the students, who may have to change schools, say this whole process has been stressful.

“My son is worried about the different schools, where he may end up and also his friends who he has been building relationships, where they’ll be going,” said parent Joshua Reid.

“It’s important because I’ve been knowing them since 6th grade and if I change schools I won’t have any other friends,” said 7th grader Andrew Reid.

Then there is the Schleeper family who has a new born. They say if rezoning gives their daughter the best possible educational experience they’re all for it.

“The schools, some at 130 percent capacity, some at 60 percent capacity, we need to balance that out,” said Schleeper.

The school board is expected to vote on a final decision on October 30.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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