Arlington County School Board approves elementary redistricting plan 5-0

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The Arlington County School Board has approved Map #6-1A, or the Superintendent’s Recommendation, on Elementary School Boundaries.

The approved redistricting plan will reassign 559 students, from kindergarten to 5th grade. 

The board reported it has responded to 800 emails and received over 1,000 responses to two online surveys. The process took about four months.

At Thursday’s school board meeting, Project Planner Gladis Bourdouane explained the rezoning is ahead of the completion of the future Alice Fleet and Drew Elementary Schools. “Arlington is the place to be and don’t we know it,” said Bourdouane.

Arlington resident Perrine Punwani isn’t so sure. She moved her daughter to Arlington from Washington, D.C. for its award winning schools. Now, she fears for her daughter’s academic and social success at Drew, which is expected to house an 83 percent minority student body.

“The results in Arlington’s own schools prove the high poverty schools have larger opportunity gaps than mid to low poverty schools,” said Punwani in her presentation to the board. 

The board is confident that the new rezoning will allow the same opportunities for all students. 

Parents looked to national statistics reflecting the effects of free and reduced lunches on resources for students. Some worry high numbers of students in need of free and reduced lunches will put a strain on other resources. 

“Because of the tremendous resources we have in Arlington we don’t fit neatly in those national studies,” said member Van Doren. “We compensate where students have needs and we provide those resources to those students. And that shows with an over 96 percent graduation rate.” 

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