Rockingham County School Board approves redistricting plan

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Changes are on the way for students of Rockingham County Public Schools.

In a unanimous vote, the school board approved a redistricting proposal that school officials say will address the issue of overcrowding at two county schools.

Under Monday night's vote, students from South River Elementary School will be redistricted to Elkton Middle School, instead of Montevideo Middle School. Students at Montevideo Middle School will be redistricted to East Rockingham High School instead of Spotswood.

Superintendent Oskar Scheikl said this move will help the school district manage the growth in the "urban development area" just east of Harrisonburg.

But some parents at Monday night's meeting said they're concerned about the traffic this change will bring to route 340.

"I don't think it's very safe route to be traveling," said Brian Michelson, a parent of two RCPS students. "Then they're talking about a larger travel window as they as they look at possible staggering start times. It's a concern to me."

During the meeting, the school board also approved a grandfathering rule to allow students already at those schools to stay until it's naturally time to switch schools.

For example, a student at Montevideo Middle School would not have to switch to Elkton Middle School during their 6th through 8th grade years. They would just be redistricted to East Rockingham High School when it’s naturally time for them to go to high school.

The board also approved an exception for siblings under the grandfather rules. If a student has an older sibling at Spotswood High School or Montevideo Middle School, they do not have to be redistricted. Instead, they can go to the current school with their older sibling.

The changes go into effect this summer.

The school board will vote later this spring on the closure of Linville Edom Elementary School.