Redistricting Plan Would Relocate About 900 Students

February 17, 1991|By Angela Gambill | Angela Gambill,Staff writer

In last weeks' edition of The Harford County Sun, an article about aschool redistricting plan incorrectly reported that 140 students will shift from Southampton Middle School to Bel Air Middle.

The plan calls for 75 Bel Air Middle School students to shift to SouthamptonMiddle. No students would shift from Southampton to Bel Air.

About 900 students would move from the schools they attend now to the new Fallston Middle School under school redistricting plans recommended to the school board last week.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

Some of the students to be moved would come from Bel Air-area schools.

Under the redistricting plan drafted by the Fallston Middle School Redistricting Committee, students would be shifted over the next several years. The new middle school is slated to open in the fall of 1993.

Fallston High would accept 467 C. Milton Wright High and 100 Bel Air High students by 1994-1995.

Also, 140 students from Southampton would transfer toBel Air Middle; 107 students from Bel Air Middle would transfer to Fallston Middle.

About 200 of the students would be transferred next fall.

Pupils for the new middle school would be drawn from the Bel Air, Southampton and Fallston middle school districts. In addition, children from Youth's Benefit Elementary School would feed into thenew school.

"We're trying to achieve a region-wide balance withinthe area," said committee chairman John Gaughan III.

"Currently Bel Air High is near capacity, C. Milton Wright is almost 20 percent over capacity and

Fallston is almost a third under capacity. The goal is to provide the most efficient capacity use in each of the three high schools."

"This committee doesn't solve the problems at one time, because the problems didn't come into being at once," he told the school board.

The committee also recommended:

* Conducting a countywide study of the use of all secondary schools by September 1991.

* Speeding up building plans for the addition to Bel Air Middle School. The addition is expected to be finished by the 1995 school year. The committee suggests the project be completed by 1993. By then, the middle school is projected to have 200 to 240 students over capacity.

* Appointing a special redistricting appeals committee for areas affected by redistricting.

* Making sure the separate middle school at Fallston, scheduled to open in 1992, has an environment comparable to other county middle schools.

The committee's plan would set up middle school classes and pupils within Fallston High School during construction of the new middle school.

Seventh- and eighth-graders already attend a middle school in Fallston High. The recommendation suggests keeping the middle school in the high school operating, but expanding it to include sixth-grade.

That arrangement would last a year until the new school opened.

The 29-member redistricting committee includes four representatives from each middle and high school involved, along with several advisers from the central school system, such as the executive director of secondary education, John Bator. The county Parent-Teacher Association and John Archer School also are represented.

The committee has worked since October to comeup with a redistricting plan.

At the committee's suggestion, the school board agreed to public hearings on the plan, to be conducted Feb. 20 at Southampton Middle School; Feb. 21 at Bel Air Middle School; and Feb. 25 at Fallston High School.

A special school board meeting will be conducted March 18 for final action on the Fallston Middle redistricting plan.

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