Taneytown school proposals spark little reaction Pupils to be moved to ease crowding

January 22, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

Expecting a much stormier reception, school officials last night seemed relieved at the relatively few complaints and questions they had to field about where Taneytown children will go to school.

The meeting at Northwest Middle School was the second of two public forums on redistricting.

To fill Runnymede Elementary School when it is completed in September, staff are recommending shifting about 140 children who now walk to Taneytown Elementary.

Two years later, those children will probably be sent back to Taneytown Elementary after that school is renovated and expanded, said Vernon Smith, director of school support services.

Parent were concerned about continuity for the children, class sizes and a traffic signal at Mayberry Road and Route 140.

"We're going to be uprooting a lot of kids twice," said Gayle Sands of York Street in Taneytown.

"Will there be any continuity offered them, or will you just say, 'Well, you're back?' "

Schools will have orientation sessions and visits for children before they move, Mr. Smith said.

Taneytown Elementary is designed for 300 students but has 826. Half of them attend classes in an annex to Northwest Middle School.

When renovation of the elementary school begins in July 1994, all students will move into the annex.

Runnymede, under construction off Route 140 and Mayberry Road, will have a capacity for 600 pupils, plus 40 in special education. It can also be expanded, Mr. Smith said.

It will allow the system to close Uniontown Elementary and relieve crowding at Taneytown. Uniontown has 173 children in kindergarten through fourth grade in a building designed for 100.

Mr. Smith said that the staff considered not shifting any students who live within the Taneytown city limits. But that would have meant long bus rides to Runnymede for children from west of the city.

By next month, the staff will recommend to the school board one of three proposals:

* Moving the entire Uniontown attendance area and about one-third of the Taneytown area, including portions within the city limits. Route 194, Route 140 and Trevanion Road would be the boundaries.

* Moving children from the preceding areas, plus those from homes surrounding Otterdale Mill Road.

* Moving children from both the preceding groups plus those from an additional part of the city, from Harney Road east to Route 194.

The board is expected to make a decision at a hearing March 24.

"We do not have a favored option at this point in time," Mr. Smith said.

He said that the staff does make changes based on parent

comments. "Sometimes you think of something we haven't thought of," he said.

Linda Holmes of Rockland Road suggested redistricting her street to Westminster and the northwest tip of the Westminster Elementary School boundaries to Runnymede.

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