Grayson County Public Schools successful in VHSL alignment appeal

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 5:42 PM EDT
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GRAYSON COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia High School League’s first look at the next school alignment plan had Grayson County in Class 2.

“Our last appeal was to the [VHSL] executive committee and we were very pleased with the executive committee, by an overwhelming vote, was able to place us back in 1C where we belong,” Grayson County Schools’ Superintendent Kelly Wilmore said.

The final draft has been released and Grayson County remains in Class 1. Wilmore says there are many reasons they belong in Class 1.

“We did a cost analysis of what it currently costs us in region 1C to play in the Mountain Empire District,” Wilmore said. “It’s about $6,000 per year, and going into 2C would have been about $13,000 and that’s without counting the bus drivers.”

On top of costs, staying in Class 1 limits travel time.

“We would have gone to the Three Rivers District, which has four schools up the 81 corridor including Alleghany,” Wilmore said. “That’s a three-and-a-half-hour trip and then from there, you’re looking at James River, two and a half hours, Radford two hours, Glenvar two and a half hours, so it would have been a lot more than what we’re going now.”

The Virginia High School League says Grayson County won its appeal due to hardship.

“They made the case to the executive committee that geographically where they were, that it was gonna be difficult for them,” Executive Director of the VHSL Billy Haun said. ”It would be a hardship for them to play in Class 2 versus Class 1.”

This new alignment will last for the next four school years.

Despite the time and effort it took for the appeal process, Wilmore says the executive committee made the right call.

“I think in the future VHSL needs to look at all of the schools, any of those who have hardships like us moving forward, how they can help those schools?” Wilmore said. “We’re their clients, the VHSL works for us.”