School Board Rejects Parents' Redistricting Plea

March 29, 1992|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff writer

Watching the school board adopt boundary lines for 1992-1993 was "a unanimous kiss of your sister," said Kenneth J. Kitchelt.

The board rejected the request Thursday night from Kitchelt and other parentsfrom Carved Stone and surrounding streets in Columbia's Owen Brown village to redistrict their children from Talbott Springs to Atholton Elementary School.

Board members then praised the parents for the thoroughness and absence of malice in their redistricting campaign.

The board made no changes in the boundary lines drawn by Associate Superintendent Maurice F. Kalin for the new Forest Ridge Elementary School and BurleighManor Middle School, both opening in September. The new Elkridge Elementary School, also opening in September, will keep the existing school's district lines.

"They all said we did a wonderful job and had wonderful community support," Kitchelt said.

He said it was frustrating for parents to have followed all the guidelines and then to watch the board adopt Kalin's recommended boundaries unchanged.

"That makes a mockery of the public hearing," said Chris Thorne, a father of preschoolers who lobbied for the Carved Stone change. "I supposeit is a public hearing. You get heard, but not listened to."

Board Vice Chairman Dana F. Hanna countered that the parents' defeat on the issue didn't mean the board wasn't listening.

"We heard loud and clear," he said. "We said very clearly and very loudly that (their neighborhood) would be no less an island than they are now."

The Carved Stone parents contended that their neighborhood is an out-of-district "island" whose children are bused across Dasher Green and Stevens Forest school attendance areas to get to Talbott Springs.

Dasher Green, the nearest school, is overcrowded, so residents sought to have the children shifted to Atholton Elementary on Seneca Drive, which has space available.

In adopting Kalin's recommendations, the board also rejected arguments put forth by parents from the Scaggsville Road area who sought to have their children remain at Hammond Elementary School rather than enter the new Forest Ridge Elementary next fall.

The Scaggsville Road area parents proposed that the board relieve overcrowding at Hammond by transferring children living north ofGorman Road to Forest Ridge. That proposal was opposed by residents from subdivisions north of Gorman Road.

Board members opted to move 146 children from the Scaggsville Road area to Forest Ridge. The alternative would have moved 75 students.

The final district lines:

* Forest Ridge Elementary -- 146 students from Hammond Elementary from east of the intersections of Harding and Old Bond Mill, Leishearand Scaggsville, Gorman and Murray Hill roads; 237 students from Laurel Woods Elementary from the Whiskey Bottom Road area between Route 216 and Stephens Road and north of Whiskey Bottom Road between Stephens Road and U.S. 1.

* Atholton Elementary -- 43 students from Bollman Bridge from the Clock Tower Lane area; 50 students from Jeffers Hill Elementary from the Early April and Rain Flower Way area.

* Burleigh Manor Middle -- 477 students from Dunloggin Middle from west of the Little Patuxent River, including Old Annapolis Road between theriver and Route 108.

* Dunloggin Middle -- 80 students from Patapsco Middle who live south of U.S. 40 and Rogers Avenue to the Baltimore County line. The move is to relieve overcrowding at Patapsco.

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