School redistricting plan to be unveiled tonight

January 28, 1993|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Staff Writer

Scores of parents are expected at tonight's school boar meeting, when officials will unveil their proposal to change school boundaries.

Parents in Dorsey Hall, which may be redistricted to Wilde Lake High from Centennial High, say as many as 100 of them will attend the 7:30 p.m. meeting at the Board of Education building.

The proposal for new boundaries will be released just before the meeting, school officials said.

Associate Superintendent Maurice L. Kalin has held two public meetings this month to tell parents that school lines will have to shift to accommodate crowding and the expected 1,500 incoming students each year.

More than 500 parents attended both meetings.

In other matters, the five-member board may vote tonight to decrease physical education requirements to a half-credit.

Despite increasing concerns about youth physical fitness, the board has to make way for a new state-mandated, half-credit health class, according to a report by Associate Superintendent Joan Palmer.

Under Ms. Palmer's recommendation, the health requirement will phased in. Current middle-schoolers will still take a full credit of gym but have an expanded health section when they attend high school.

Current elementary pupils, however, will take a half-credit of gym and a half-credit of health in 10th or 11th grades.

The plan buys time for the school system to explore other options and allows teachers three years to become certified health instructors. It also meets the state's 21-credit graduation requirement and allows students to still have six elective courses over their high school career, the report said.

But the plan comes at a time when health specialists and educators are reinforcing the importance of physical education in today's youth, the report said.

In other matters:

* Ms. Palmer will give a presentation on the new student service graduation requirement.

She proposes that middle schools have a structured program to allow eighth-graders to complete the requirement, and for high schools, she suggests either a student leadership course/community service course or a structured high school experience program that allows students to meet the requirement's goal without the 75-hour community service.

Under either option, local school employees will be responsible for recordkeeping.

* The board is also expected to vote on the starting date for next school year.

Although the board earlier decided to delay any action, clamor from parents, students and teachers compelled it to render its decision tonight, said Robert S. Lazarewicz, director of operations.

Yet to be decided are days for vacations and parent conferences. The board has decided to wait for results of efforts to waive the 180-day mandatory school attendance for kindergartners.

Teachers and school officials had complained that they would not have time to do paperwork and meet with parents if kindergartners were required to attend schools on parent-conference days.

* The board will also vote on whether to place an eastern high school in Long Reach. The site is a 45-acre parcel near Snowden River Parkway, Tamar Drive and Dobbin Road.

The land was developed as a ball field and basketball court by the county Department of Recreation and Parks in 1982, when an agreement was signed to allow the board to build a school.

The high school is expected to accommodate new students in the Long Reach, Elkridge and Montgomery Road areas.

SCHOOL BOARD SESSION

What: Board of Education meeting

When: 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Where: Board of Education building, 10910 Route 108, Ellicott City

Information: 313-7197

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