At a School Board meeting on Monday, Rockingham County Public Schools Superintendent Oskar Scheikl presented options for which grade levels could stay at their home schools if proposed redistricting is approved.
Scheikl’s options would allow more students to stay where they are than earlier redistricting proposals.
The proposed guidelines include allowing all current sixth- and seventh-grade students at Montevideo Middle School to remain there until they finish middle school, and would not require any current Spotswood High School students to move to East Rockingham High School. These guidelines were listed as optional during Scheikl’s presentation.
The students who would move schools, according to the proposed grandfathering guidelines, are students who would have moved schools anyway — rising sixth-graders and rising ninth-graders. Current fifth-grade students at South River Elementary School would attend Elkton Middle School next year instead of Montevideo Middle School under these guidelines, and rising freshmen would attend East Rockingham High School instead of Spotswood High School.
By moving just current South River Elementary School students it would alleviate projected growth at Montevideo Middle School.
According to the Department of Education website, there are currently 56 fifth-graders at South River Elementary School and 256 eighth-graders at Montevideo Middle School who would be affected by these changes.
The advantage of these proposed guidelines is not moving students who wouldn’t have had to move anyway. The disadvantage is it created a more complex transportation situation.
Scheikl also proposed a timeline for decision-making on redistricting, staggered start times and the proposal to close Linville-Edom Elementary School.
He is proposing a vote on redistricting at the Jan. 27 meeting and a decision on grandfathering in early February. For staggered start times, Scheikl is suggesting a vote on Feb. 10 and a vote on Linville-Edom by the end of the current school year.
The proposed redistricting was announced in November as a way to alleviate crowding and projected enrollment increases in the Spotswood area of the county.
Additional changes could also be made in 2021 regarding redistricting.