By MEGAN WILLIAMS
Daily News-Record 11/8/19
During a series of meetings, the Rockingham County School Board will share information on a number of potential changes, including redistricting.
For the past two and a half years, members of the school community have been involved in a process and conversation about creating an educational system in Rockingham County Public Schools that is designed to prepare children for the future.
On Monday at 7 p.m. at the Elkton Area Community Center, Superintendent Oskar Sheikl will share the results of that process and conversations. The information includes potential changes to the school division and possibly the school day.
The urban development area east of Harrisonburg — the Spotswood area of the county — is growing rapidly, which could necessitate redistricting, Scheikl said.
Montevideo Middle School is the only school in the county that is overcrowded, and Spotswood High School is getting close to capacity. Scheikl has been working with county development to extrapolate population for the next five years. It is estimated that Montevideo Middle will have 150 more students by 2025 and Spotswood High School will have 200 more.
“This is something we have to address now,” Scheikl said.
There will be five community meetings between Monday and February. Scheikl said a decision about redistricting will come in January, which is when scheduling begins for the next school year.
No decisions have been made at this time, Scheikl stressed. He acknowledged that redistricting can be a scary thing for families and it is natural that people should feel emotional over the idea.
“Parents get comfortable with where their kids go to school,” Scheikl said.
In addition to possible redistricting, the School Board will hear information about changing the hours of the school day. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that middle school and high school- aged students need more sleep in the morning.
The school board will consider whether the school day should start later for older students.
The community meeting dates are: Monday — Elkton Area Community Center Nov. 25 — Grottoes Community Room Dec. 9 — Broadway Community Center Jan. 27 — Keezletown Ruritan Hall Feb. 10 — Bridgewater Town Hall