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High School at Center of Redistricting Debate

By Potomac Local April 6, 2011 9:00 am

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040611 Freedom High School Map 2-a

Prince William County, Va. –– Wooodbridge may soon lose its only high school, and may not be the one you’re thinking of.

A plan put forth by the Prince William Board of Supervisors, called the seven district alternative map, moves Freedom High School on Neabsco Mills Road from the Woodbridge district into the Neabsco District (Dale City).

The issue was discussed last night as residents spoke at a public hearing about the county’s magisterial redistricting process ––mandated every 10 years after the census –– to determine voting precincts and who will represent neighborhoods on the Board of Supervisors.

“Removing Freedom would make Woodbridge the only district without a high school, and this is unacceptable,” said Bonnie Klakowicz, president of the Prince William Education Association.

Klakowicz reminded the Board the Neabsco district is represented by an entirely different member of the School Board member that represents Freedom High School now, and that parents used to dealing with Woodbridge district School Board member would have to begin working with one from the Neabsco district.

What’s more confusing under the new plan, she said, is some parents would work with the Woodbridge School Board member during their child’s elementary and middle school years and then be forced to work with Neabsco’s during their high school years.

Woodbridge Senior High School is in Lake Ridge, in the Occoquan District, and there are no plans to change the district in which that school sits in.

Tuesday was the final public hearing on the county’s redistricting process. A final plan must be approved and submitted to Virginia’s State Board of Elections on April 18 and then submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice for review.

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