Rezoning Implementation FAQs

  • 1. General

    Why did RPS create new zones for the 2020-2021 school year?

    Goals for the rezoning process included;

    • Alleviating overcrowding and minimizing, if not eliminating, the use of trailers
    • Planning for future student population trends and future development 
    • Expediting student placement in modern facilities after rezoning through a variety of measures including new school construction, as well as potential consolidations and closures 
    • Ensuring safe, equitable, and more timely transportation; and leveraging natural boundaries when possible
    • Increasing student diversity of all kinds within schools

    What was the process for rezoning?

    A Rezoning Advisory Committee (RAC) consisting of RPS School Board Representatives, RPS leadership and community members from each district held over 59 meetings and public hearings to discuss and revise rezoning options, listen to feedback from the community, and to help formulate recommendations to propose to the Board. 

    The RAC submitted 4 recommendations to the School Board at the November 18 School Board meeting. The School Board held three public hearings on the recommendations and voted on a final rezoning plan at the December 2 and December 16 School Board meetings.

    What are the new zones and when will I know where my child is assigned for the next school year?

    Click here to view the interactive map of the new zones approved by the Richmond City School Board. 

    Will the zones change for elementary schools on the North Side?

    Based on the School Board’s decision at the December 16 meeting, the current zones will remain in effect for Barack Obama Elementary School, Linwood Holton Elementary School, and Ginter Park Elementary School for the 2020-2021 school year. 

    2. Implementation

    When will the new zones be implemented?

    The new zones will be implemented for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

    What are the parameters for “grandfathering” students at their current school?

    Any student entering 5th, 8th, or 12th grade at the start of the 2020-2021 school year will have the option of remaining at their current school regardless of the new zones. (Note: We will share the formal process for eligible students/families to exercise this option. Please do not use the Open Enrollment/Specialty School application platform, SmartChoice, to make this selection.)

    If one of my children is “grandfathered-in” at their current school can my other child/children remain at that same school?

    No. Siblings must attend their newly-zoned school unless they received placement through Open Enrollment.

    Will transportation be provided for students who are “grandfathered-in” at their current school?

    No. Transportation will not be provided for students who are “grandfathered-in” at their current school. This is a common practice for rezoning implementation for school divisions.

    Can I opt to send my child to a school other than the one to which s/he is assigned under the new zones?

    Students may attend a school other than their zone school through the Open Enrollment or specialty school application process. 

    3. Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

    Will students with IEPs be “grandfathered-in” at their current schools?

    No. Students who have IEPs will not qualify for “grandfathering” unless they are entering 5th, 8th, or 12th grade at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

    Will IEP services for my child change if they are rezoned to a different school?

    No. Students will receive the services outlined in their IEP regardless of the school they attend. 

    How will RPS support the transition for students with IEPs?

    RPS staff will work with families to ensure that students have smooth transitions to their new schools. Transition meetings may be recommended for select students, however, all parents will have an opportunity to engage in conversations with school administrators regarding Exceptional Education Programming at their schools. 

    4. Communication

    How will RPS communicate the new zones to families?

    • Rezoning Next Steps Meetings: Every RPS school will host two meetings to share the next steps about the rezoning implementation at their school. We also plan to host open houses and community-building events during the summer at schools that will be impacted by the new zones.
    • RPS Direct: If you do not currently receive the Superintendent’s weekly newsletter, please subscribe here.
    • Social Media: Please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
    • ParentLink Calls - Please make sure your school has your most up-to-date contact information.
    • Backpack Flyers


    Who can I reach out to if I have more questions about rezoning?

    Send an email to, our dedicated email address for rezoning. All inquiries will be responded to within 48 hours.