Implement LJMS boundary change for Oakton ES
Dear FCPS School Board,
I am a parent of a rising 7th grader at Oakton Elementary School. I along with other parents who have signed this petition respectfully request that you consider the following when you vote on this matter. Many of us attended the meetings at our school and along with other parents, have provided specific feedback in small groups at these meetings. Many of us have also written letters to the School Board on this matter.
I, along with the majority of the Oakton ES families who attended these meetings as well as many who did not attend but have communicated their support of this matter and have signed this petition and/or communicated with the Board directly, respectfully request your prompt vote with IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATION effective for the 2018-2019 school year, to approve one of the three proposed boundary adjustment plans (all of which include Oakton Elementary School students) reassigning our Oakton ES elementary students currently slated to attend Luther Jackson MS to instead attend Thoreau MS commencing the upcoming school year, 2018-2019 without delay.
The proposed boundary adjustment (under any of the proposed plans) will contribute to the efficiency of the school division and increase instructional effectiveness by balancing enrollment and utilization of school facilities. Only an immediate implementation of the proposed redistricting will adequately address both the current and future capacity issues at both Luther Jackson MS and Thoreau MS, the most significant of which is the critical overcrowding at Luther Jackson MS. Currently the students can barely navigate the hallways to get to their classes due to the overcrowding which is a safety concern for many families not to mention the overcrowding in the classrooms. As you know, Luther Jackson MS already has more than 1,400 students in a building with design capacity of 1,287 students. Also, it is projected that this growth at Luther Jackson MS is going to continue steadily over the foreseeable years ahead. Thoreau on the other hand has been recently renovated and expanded to enable all elementary school-aged children of Oakton Elementary School families to attend Thoreau MS starting in the Fall of 2018 and going forward. Current enrollment at Thoreau is 902 and with the recent renovation, it has a design capacity of 1,395 students and the growth at Thoreau is expected remain flat in the foreseeable future.
Any cost associated with the logistics for adding furniture and preparing for the addition of our students (the space already exists at Thoreau)is far outweighed by the concern for our children's safety, classroom size, and quality of education that will only get worse by adding more students to an already critically overcrowded middle school.
Finally, for families that already have older students attending Luther Jackson MS and also have children who are rising 7th graders, it would be desirable to have a grandfather provision of 1- 2 years allowing these families to select either Luther Jackson MS or Thoreau MS for their children notwithstanding the immediate implementation of the boundary adjustment. Also, we ask that the boundary change not impact the current option for family with students who participate in the Advanced Academic Placement Program to decide for their children whether to attend Luther Jackson MS or Thoreau MS.
We urge that this boundary adjustment be implemented WITHOUT DELAY to be effective for the upcoming school year (2018-2019).
Thank you for your time and consideration of this important matter.
The undersigned parents of Oakton ES