Proposed School Boundary Changes Unveiled This Week

Two New Elementaries, One Middle School To Open

January 05, 1992|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff writer

Parents will get a look this week at county school officials' ideas for changes in boundaries to accompany the planned opening of two elementary schools and one middle school next fall.

Redistricting hasbecome a difficult annual process for the school board, which must create attendance areas for new schools while trying to accommodate worried parents who don't want their children separated from friends and classmates.

New schools scheduled to open in September are:

* Elkridge Elementary on Montgomery Road, a larger replacement for the existing school on Old Washington Road, built in 1936.

* Forest Ridge Elementary School on Gorman Road, planned to relieve overcrowding at Laurel Woods and Hammond elementary schools.

* Burleigh Manor Middle School on Centennial Lane, constructed to relieve overcrowding at Dunloggin and Patapsco middle schools.

Public meetings on enrollment projections and redistricting alternatives are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hammond High School for the northeastern and southeastern county and Columbia, and at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Centennial High Schoolfor the northern and western county.

School officials won't give specific information on possible boundary line changes until the meetings. But a general idea is found in the redistricting and capacity plan that accompanied Superintendent Michael E. Hickey's 1992-1993 capital budget proposal, released last October.

Recommendations in the plan were added "to give people as complete a picture of possible" of the relationship between school construction and boundary lines, Hickey said. "It doesn't give people specific information, which is what (Associate Superintendent Maurice F. Kalin) will provide when he starts holding these meetings."

Kalin said the recommendations represent only "tentative thinking on what the changes may be" and do notform the agenda for this week's meetings. He refused to answer any questions about which schools may lose students to the new schools.

A study of the effects of redistricting on county families was begunin April 1991 by the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Board of Education. The study subcommittee disbanded without finishing, but new advisory committee chairwoman Jan Smyers has a redistricting subcommittee trying to pick up the study.

"We want to look at what we can do (in redistricting) that will impact the community the least," Smyers said.

Possible changes for 1992-1993 outlined in the capital budget proposal are:

* For Elkridge Elementary, no redistricting is suggested until 1993, when the new northeastern elementary school is to open. The existing school has 560 students; the new school can accommodate 700.

* For Forest Ridge, redistricting will be necessary. Laurel Woods has 790 students, 290 over capacity; Hammond has 585, 160 over capacity. The new school will have capacity for 564 students.

* And for Burleigh Manor, redistricting will also be necessary. Dunloggin has 890 students, nearly 400 over capacity; Patapsco has 660,about 150 over capacity. Burleigh Manor is designed for 662.

No changes are expected in county high schools.

Overcrowding at Glenwood Middle, which has 715 students in a school designed for 584, is tobe relieved with portable classrooms until the new western middle school opens in 1993. Bryant Woods Elementary, where enrollment is projected to peak in 1993 at 290 students, would lose its two portable units.

Kalin will give parents a chance to comment on the proposed changes he outlines this week, and is then scheduled to give the school board his recommendations at the Jan. 23 board meeting.

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