Parents ask board for shift into Wilde Lake district

March 10, 1994|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Sun Staff Writer

Parents of students who live in Longfellow, Beaverbrook and Hobbit's Glen urged the Howard County school board last night to shift their neighborhoods into the Wilde Lake High School district.

Their statements at last night's public hearing echoed those made by Wilde Lake parents the previous night.

Longfellow parent Jim Harkness called the redistricting proposal "the most fiscally responsible decision. And it directly addresses the core problem of overcrowding at Centennial [High School] and the under-enrollment at Wilde Lake."

Two parents from Dorsey Hall, the fourth neighborhood proposed for redistricting from Centennial to Wilde Lake next school year, opposed redistricting, and one of them asked for a delay to give the community more time to adjust if students from the neighborhood be assigned to Wilde Lake.

"You have not given us time to prepare, and you have not given us time to [find alternatives] for our students," said Marilyn Johnson, adding that testing deadlines for private and parochial schools had long passed.

"We have been asked to register our students for classes for Centennial High School," she said. "They're due this week, and [our children] don't even know where they're going."

Many Dorsey Hall parents oppose the redistricting plan because they fear losing a sense of community and shattering tradition. They say their children and their children's friends won't be able to attend the same high school their older brothers and sisters and their friends do.

A handful of parents said at the hearing that crowding at Hammond Middle School causes tension among students.

To ease some of the effects of the crowding, they recommended additional lockers, longer cafeteria tables, a second assistant principal and a third guidance counselor.

"We are going to be patient for one more year. But our patience is running thin," said parent Mary McGillicuddy.

The school board will hold a work session Tuesday to discuss redistricting proposals and will vote March 24 on new boundary lines.

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