Boundary Study for Easing Overcrowding at Fairfax High

Fairfax County High School has its fill of students.

The building is already 300 students over capacity and is projected to have 600 more than it can hold by 2017. Ten portable classrooms have been added, but there's not really room for more. That's why the Fairfax County School Board just voted to launch a boundary study, which means they will begin the long and sometimes contentious process of figuring out who should stay and who should go.

Complicating the matter is the fact that Fairfax High is owned by Fairfax City. Fairfax County students attend in a unique partnership arrangement and make up 65 percent of the student population.

"Fairfax City students absolutely have priority," Fairfax County School Board member Megan McLaughlin explained. "Clearly, it's time we draw down the student numbers, and it’s looking like at a minimum, 300 students coming out of Fairfax High School and attending a Fairfax County neighboring high school."

But there's another problem -- most of the nearby schools are also overcrowded. That's why the Board will take some time to examine new boundaries and school assignments to find a long-term solution.

"I want to focus on neighborhood schools," McLaughlin said. "I want to see that we find the best reassignments that students are attending schools that are closest to their neighborhoods, friends and communities. Under the timetable just approved, most reassignments wouldn't come until fall of 2014, but a few, smaller changes could be made in time for next school year.”

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