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HENRICO REZONING & REDISTRICING

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As you’re aware, Henrico County is going through a county wide school redistricting process. Highland Springs and Tucker high schools are being rebuilt and Holladay Elementary is in the midst of a major renovation that will increase their student capacity. Accounting for these changes and others based on growth patterns in the county, could possibly effect every school district in Henrico.

There are citizen committees for Elementary and for Secondary schools who are currently looking at options and discussing ways to make changes that benefit every Henrico student. Currently, there are four options. Three of these options move the Westwood neighborhoods feeder pattern from Freeman HS to Tucker HS. One option moves half the neighborhood to Johnson Elementary from Crestview Elementary.
You can read all about the process and the individual options at https://henricoschools.us/redistricting2021/ . There is a place for citizen feedback on this site and IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT OUR THOUGHTS ARE HEARD ON THESE CHANGES. Please use the feedback form and list your neighborhood and school affiliations (Westwood, Crestview, Freeman). 
This process will not be complete until May, when the School Board votes. Options and maps will change many times between now and then; and even between now and the first public hearings in November. It is also important that citizens participate in these meetings. All meetings are listed on the website.

 

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE LETTER THAT YOU CAN SUBMIT – THE MORE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WE HAVE FOR WESTWOOD, THE MORE OUR VOICES AS A COMMUNITY WILL BE HEARD BY THE DECISION MAKERS ON THIS TOPIC 

 

Here is the letter our concerns: Even if you don’t have children yet in elementary school, just delete the 2nd sentence. FYI, this does not include concern on how our home values will drop, because county does not factor that into their decisions!

 

I have reviewed the draft map options for the Henrico County Public Schools 2021 Redistricting Plan. I am a parent of a child in _____ grade, currently attending _____ School. Our current school feeder pattern is Crestview, Tuckahoe, Freeman. We have lived here for ____ years and we have a number of thoughts we would like to share with you.

 

I strongly oppose High School Option 1 that rezones Crestview from Freeman to Tucker for the following reasons:

 

Procedural Guidelines and Highway Split: The county promised to look closely at whether or not a highway splits through a school zone. This clearly did not occur with the Tucker rezoning draft option 1. A neighborhood directly north of Tucker High School was removed from the Tucker zone (Longan Elementary zone, which is only 1.3 miles away from Tucker High) and rezoned to a high school close to 5 miles away from them (Glen Allen) simply to allow the Tucker zone to have space for the Crestview Elementary zone. It’s very hard to understand how this helps any parents and students feel that they are part of this process as a human being instead of just a number. According to the procedural guidelines as listed on the Henrico County Public Schools website, “Major roads and natural boundaries will be used whenever feasible to define attendance zones”. I64 and Broad street are major roads which we would have to use or cross in order to get to Tucker (or else drive right by Freeman). The guidelines also state, “Efforts will be made to establish walking schools and reasonable walking zones where feasible”- no one will be able to safely walk or bike to Tucker from our neighborhoods. Meanwhile, there are already a number of students who bike to Freeman from our neighborhood now.

 

Diversity: Our corridor and neighborhood is a diversity feeder to both Tuckahoe Middle and Freeman High, which strongly and positively benefits both schools and our community. Our neighborhood and immediate surrounding area is very socioeconomically diverse. Crestview families live in houses, apartments ranging in rental prices from under $800 to well over $2000, and a number of families live in homes with extended family members. Crestview serves a large amount of free/reduced lunches (over 50%). Each year, Crestview Elementary holds and International Dinner, and guests attend from all over the county to be a part of this very special event/occasion. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, close to 50% of Crestview students identify as non-white students. If Crestview stopped feeding into Freeman and started feeding into Tucker it would have a major effect on the diversity breakdown at those schools. Freeman High is a great opportunity for our Crestview students who may not have an option to attend a specialty center or another high performing school with a longstanding positive reputation like Freeman High. Removing this option and opportunity does the opposite of leveling the playing field for our students who may not have the same benefits the affluent students of Henrico County Public Schools already have.

 

Safety: The route to Tucker versus Freeman from the Crestview zone is not at all ideal. To get to Tucker, one must either cross or use major and very busy roads/interstates (Broad Street or I64), or drive down Three Chopt, which means students would drive past Freeman to get to Tucker. Traffic patterns down these roads that are already busy with commuters will be negatively affected, and the county will bear the responsibility of forcing inexperienced drivers (juniors and seniors who drive themselves to school) to commute to school on an interstate or major, busy commuter roads.

 

Community: Our community is bordered on the North by Broad Street- a major commuter road. Crestview family community and social interactions take place south of Broad- shopping, Tuckahoe YMCA, sports teams and activities, churches, swim clubs, etc. –all of this occurs in the Three Chopt to River Road corridor. Crestview Students are already making lifelong friendships with Tuckahoe Middle School and Freeman High School students. Rezoning our elementary school to Tucker would have a negative impact on our community and its cohesiveness. This option does not take into consideration students staying together from elementary through high school. Due to the proposed size/boundaries of Tucker, a significant % of middle school students will not continue to high school together. Further, this stands to have an even more negative impact on the large amount of ESL students Crestview has had the privilege of serving. Crestview prides itself on its diversity and attention paid to both students with learning disabilities and students who are learning English as a secondary language – expecting these students to attend a high school without the friends they have had through elementary and middle school seems out of touch and certainly not at all kind-hearted.

 

WILDLIFE IN WESTWOOD

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PER COMMUNITY OFFICER, RICHARD MALLORY: Wild animals are indigenous to the area and an Animal Protection Officer will not pick it up because it is in the area.  If the animal is showing signs of distress from an injury or acting abnormally then it might be picked up. If a wild animal of any kind is observed in the area the best advice is to leave it alone and let it move on.  Animals will look for one of four things on a regular basis.

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Shelter
  4. Mating (seasonal)

This time of year many animals are looking for food or shelter.  Do not leave food out for them.  This would include pet food and trash.  In my neighborhood we have many wild animals as well and they don’t cause problems unless encouraged to stay because easy food sources are available.

From WCA: Please do not approach, touch or feed these animals (FOXES AND COYOTES HAVE BEEN SPOTTED NEAR THE PLAYGROUND REGULARLY IN RECENT WEEKS) and keep your distance at least three meters away from them.

These animals, however, are susceptible to contracting rabies. If you see an animal growling at you, foaming at the mouth, or with open sores on their skins, vacate the area
immediately and call 911 (reporting the animal as potentially rabid to get prompt action).

Here are some pictures from Thursday (10th October) afternoon.

 

 

Shed Break In

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BREAK IN ALERT: On the morning of September 9, a resident at 1900 West Club Lane (just bordering the Westwood neighborhood, at the intersection of Engel/Pollard and West Club Lane) reported that his locked shed was broken into last night and the following items were stolen: generator, gas trimmer, power saw, miscellaneous hand tools. The thieves broke into a shed window and unlocked the metal doors from the inside.

Police have been notified and were at his residence this morning around 9am. Please keep your sheds and shed windows locked. This particular resident does not have a fence surrounding his property. If you have a fence and are able to lock it, please do that as well! If you see anything unusual, please reach out to the WCA via a Facebook post OR email wca23226@gmail.com. Emily Reagan LeVasseur and Maria Terrell are your Neighborhood Watch Co-Chairs. Thank you!

Lost Dog: Small & White (Found at 6307 Morningside Dr.)

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Good evening,

Have you lost a small, white dog today? One was found by a local resident. Animal Control was called and the dog is now located at their Woodman Road location. Their number is 804-727-8800 and the address is 10421 Woodman Rd. Glen Allen, VA, 23060. Please reach out to them if this is your dog.

If you are a Facebook user, but have not yet joined our Facebook page, please do at Westwood Civic Association RVA, for more timely updates with these kinds of issues. Photos are attached to this post for your reference.

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend and we sure do hope this little pup finds it’s owners.

Sincerely,

Westwood Civic Association

Resident Survey 2019

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Dear Westwood Resident,

If you haven’t already, please complete your resident survey and return to Emily at your earliest convenience to wca23226@gmail.com OR to the mailbox at 6011 S. Crestwood Ave. OR text a picture to 804-937-7928. The survey is attached via the link below. Thank you for taking the time to complete this for us. Your feedback is important!

Sincerely,
Emily Dunstan
WCA President

Westwood Civic Association – 2019 Survey

Fall 2019 Newsletter, Survey, Calendar of Events & Contact Information

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We hope this update finds you well and having an enjoyable summer! Lots to unpack in our latest Newsletter. Hard copies to follow in your mailbox, with an updated Neighborhood Survey, Calendar of Events & Contact Information Sheet. We hope you’ll join us for our next meeting, Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 6:30pm at the Westwood Club (Hall of Fame Room) and for our Fall Festival on Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 4pm-6pm in Westwood Park. Please visit the attached for all that’s new in Westwood. Thank you for all that you do to make Westwood a wonderful place to live!

Westwood Civic Association Fall Newsletter 8.19.19

National Night Out Was a Huge Success

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Thank you so very much for making the 2019 National Night Out at Westwood Park a huge success! It was an amazing evening with over 80 Westwood neighbors and local law enforcement representatives enjoying ice cream and mingling. Among our VIP guests were Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas, Police Chief Humberto Cardounel, Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor, Deputy County Manager McDowell, HCPD Captains Cook and Engels, members of Firehouse No. 10, and many other members of the police and safety community.

In addition to being one of the most well-attended NNO events in Westwood’s recent history, we are very happy to have received hundreds of personal care items that will be donated to the homeless people in our Henrico County community. This project supports the HCPD Crisis Intervention Team and every donation makes a difference!

We would also like to thank Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield/Healthkeepers, Hannah and Jonathan Rhudy of Baby In Baby Out, and the Henrico County Police Division for the donations of safety-related giveaway items and information.

Thanks again for making our Westwood neighborhood a safe, caring, wonderful place to live!

Emily LeVasseur & Maria Terrell
Neighborhood Watch Co-Coordinators

 

Left to right: Deputy County Manager Anthony McDowell, County Manager John Vithoulkas, Mr. Flynn, President of the WCA Emily Dunstan, Chief of Police Humberto Cardounel, Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor, and Westwood Neighborhood Watch Co-Coordinator Emily LeVasseur.