Parents air their concerns on school boundary plan

March 16, 1994|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Sun Staff Writer

The Howard County school board, at its final work session on redistricting last night, addressed questions raised by parents about proposals to transfer their children to other schools.

The board will vote on new boundary lines March 24.

Last night, the discussion on elementary school redistricting centered on crowding at St. John's Lane, where officials propose to redistrict 112 students in the Town & Country Boulevard and Wilton Acres area to Waverly next fall.

Some board members were concerned that students redistricted next fall could be redistricted again in 1997 when a new elementary school opens.

"The only way you can eliminate double redistricting is to use relocatables," Associate Superintendent Maurice Kalin said.

As the board discussed redistricting proposals for middle schools, board member Linda Johnston asked about staffing at Hammond Middle next year when the school is expected to be over capacity by 220 students. Parents have asked for additional staff to handle the crowding.

Officials appeared reluctant to add an administrator and guidance counselor, saying other schools that are crowded managed without additional staff.

Officials hope to ease Hammond's crowding by transferring some students in a year, after a site is found for a new southern area middle school.

Superintendent Michael E. Hickey said that for the short term, new lunch tables and more lockers -- also requested by parents -- could be added to help Hammond cope with the extra students.

The board also examined a proposal by Alistair Leslie, a Dorsey Hall parent, to counter an Education Department recommendation to redistrict students who live in Dorsey Hall to Wilde Lake High next fall. Mr. Leslie suggested building additions at Centennial and Mount Hebron high schools in 1996 and finishing construction of the new Wilde Lake High in 1998, two years later than planned.

Mr. Kalin opposed the proposal, saying it did not meet the board's objective to redistrict as quickly as possible to balance the number of students at each school.

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