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Letter to the Editor: Relocate H-B Woodlawn

The following letter to the editor was submitted by Taylor Elementary School parents Danielle and Greg Maurer.

The APS option to create a large, 1,300 seat, 8 story “urban middle school” in Rosslyn is deeply concerning. The School Board should not approve this proposal without appropriate analyses. An enormous new middle school in an area with the fewest middle school aged students makes little sense. Studies have not been done to determine of the cost of this proposal, or how it would compare to the other two options.

Alternatively, the option of returning Stratford [the building that’s currently home to the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program -ed.] to a neighborhood middle school adheres to the county’s “smart growth” principles and serves the needs of the greatest number of students. Stratford was a neighborhood middle school for 25 years. Stratford is geographically appropriate in terms of where students live; maximizing student quality of life while minimizing transportation costs. The majority of students (approx. 75%) attending middle school at Stratford would be within the walking radius of the school. This decreases transportation costs and likely results in less vehicle traffic in the nearby neighborhood.

Arlington County is already congested, especially in Rosslyn. It’s unclear how decreasing green space in Arlington is a preferred option (the Rosslyn facility would require recreational space on the top of the building to provide “green space”). The Stratford Campus can be better utilized. There are approximately 650 students in the formerly 1,200 seat building. Additionally, this proposal can be partially implemented now, immediately relieving the overcrowding at Williamsburg and Swanson.

The most logical option before the Board is to return Stratford to its original purpose and relocate the H-B Woodlawn program to a site more suited to its desired size.

To submit a letter to the editor, please email it to [email protected] Letters to the editor may be edited for content and brevity.

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Join Us on Monday, October 17, 2022, for our General Membership Meeting & Arlington County Candidate Forum led by the NAACP Arlington Branch Political Action CommitteeTime: 7:00-9:00 pmLocation: Virtual on Zoom County Board (3 candidates)Matt de Ferranti (https://mattforarlington.com/)Audrey Clement (https://audreyclement.com/)Adam Theo (https://www.theoforarlington.org/) School Board (2 candidates)James “Vell” Rives (https://www.rivesforsb.com/)Bethany Sutton (https://www.bethany4aps.org/)Open to the PublicRegister: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwvdu- gpzkpE9XJn5vI3Fy-LO6f1r0qli7V After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.”The NAACP is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse candidates for political office at any level. Persons affiliated with the NAACP at the national, state, and local levels are free to make candidate endorsements in a personal capacity, but they do not reflect support by the NAACP as an organization.” Derrick Johnson, President/CEO, NAACP, May 22, 2022

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