Board to deny out-of-district transfers to 5 schools

April 21, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

The Carroll Board of Education will deny out-of-district transfers this fall to three elementary schools and two high schools that are at or above capacity.

The issue surfaced at the board's meeting yesterday. But after listening to school officials talk of overcrowding at several schools and parents' pleas to at least delay enforcement of a long-standing policy against such transfers, the board did not discuss the issue further.

Superintendent R. Edward Shilling said the policy of no transfers to crowded schools stands for this September.

"Overcrowding is going to continue in our schools," Edwin Davis, director of pupil services, said at the board meeting yesterday. "We are just focusing on one piece of it."

The board has had a policy against students transferring out-of-district for years. But pupil personnel workers process -- and frequently grant -- about 1,500 transfer requests annually to allow students to attend schools out of their home districts.

"The number transferring into a school is often countered by those requesting out," Mr. Davis said. "Several schools will be overcrowded next year."

But he said that, this year, there has been an imbalance at Westminster and South Carroll high schools, and at Freedom, Robert Moton and Friendship Valley elementaries.

Friendship Valley in Westminster may be the most crowded elementary school in the county. This year, it had 113 students transfer in, almost three times the number -- 42 -- who transferred out. In September, the 2-year-old school will be 23 students above its capacity of 700.

Next year, Freedom Elementary in Eldersburg will be 19 students above capacity and Robert Moton Elementary in Westminster will exceed its capacity by 10 students.

Mr. Davis said, however, that families who already have out-of-district students in a school will be allowed to start a younger sibling in the same school.

"We felt the families already there are involved with activities," he said.

High school students frequently transfer for availability of courses. Child care considerations most often lead parents of elementary students to request transfers to schools near their day care providers, school officials said.

Mr. Davis said he will make an exception for kindergarten students, because of difficulties parents encounter locating part-time care.

"The day care situation is not as evenly distributed throughout the county," Mr. Davis said.

Laura Adkins, president of the Carroll County Child Care Association, asked the board to wait a year before enforcing the policy.

"We realize this has always been a regulation, but we are asking for a delay until the fall of 1995," Ms. Adkins said, reading from a letter she delivered to the board yesterday.

"To uproot the child and have the child adjust to a new [day care] provider and a new school will be a traumatic experience," she said.

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