Potomac Shores middle school rendering

A rendering of the planned Potomac Shores middle school. A name has not been selected for the school.

As Prince William County Public Schools prepares for the opening of the $64.1 million Potomac Shores middle school in the 2021-22 school year, the division is starting the boundary change process that will affect eight existing middle schools in the eastern end of the county. 

The boundaries for the unnamed middle school will affect attendance zones for Beville, Graham Park, Hampton, Fred Lynn, Potomac, Rippon, Saunders and Woodbridge middle schools, which combined had more than 9,000 students enrolled as of September.

The school division is seeking 15 community members and parents or legal guardians of elementary or middle school students who live in the school attendance zones for the eight middle schools to serve on a committee.  The deadline to apply for the committee is Sunday, Feb. 16. 

The division’s office of facilities services will work with the committee to develop new boundary recommendations. Committee members will meet once a week in the evenings from February through April, and members will be asked to evaluate student enrollment, demographics, bus transportation plans and real estate data, according to the school division. 

Committee members will also be asked to attend two community meetings: at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at Forest Park High and 7 p.m. Thursday, April 2, at Freedom High. 

To apply to serve on the committee, complete an application form or call 703-791-7312 with your name, address, telephone number, email and community experience. The division plans to notify applicants who’ve been selected for the committee beginning Feb. 19. 

For more information, contact Matthew Cartlidge, the division’s planning supervisor, at planning@pwcs.edu or by calling 703-791-7312. 

The school division’s most recent boundary planning programs have included some pushback from parents.

Shifting students last June to fill the 13th high school under construction in Bristow affected 11,101 students at Battlefield, Patriot, Stonewall Jackson, Osbourn Park and Brentsville high schools to make room for the new facility near Jiffy Lube Live.

At the same time, the board adopted a resolution of support for more funding for older schools in the division, including more speciality programs at Stonewall Jackson High, where students and faculty had feared an increasing lack of diversity at some high schools due to the boundary changes.

In early 2019, the school board redrew boundaries for elementary schools after school additions and the opening of John Jenkins Elementary School.

Early criticism from some parents included increased travel time and the affect on students reassigned to different school attendance zones.

(1) comment

This boundary committee needs to be prepared for the type of tension the Ferlazzo Boundary Committee had.

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