Wilde Lake High parents request after-school bus

September 09, 1994|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Sun Staff Writer

A group of Wilde Lake High School parents asked the Howard County school board last night for money for an after-school bus to transport their children home to Columbia from the Clarksville school they are attending temporarily.

Bob Kaufman, a parent, told the four board members who attended last night's meeting that it would cost $27,000 a year for one bus to make two trips each day for students who participate in extracurricular activities or need extra tutorial help but can't find a ride home from River Hill High School, roughly three miles from Wilde Lake.

The students have been assigned to River Hill for two years while Wilde Lake on Trumpeter Road is being rebuilt.

"We don't want to make this a first choice," Mr. Kaufman said. "It's not meant for everybody who can get car pool. It's meant for everyone who cannot. We're asking that you set that aside, but we're hoping we don't have to spend it."

Board members were receptive to the idea, saying that Wilde Lake is in a special situation because its students, who once walked to school, now must be bused.

"It's our responsibility to do it," said Susan Cook, vice chair of the five-member board.

Although parents are in the middle of conducting a survey of students' transportation needs, they have tentatively decided on pickup and drop-off points at three area shopping centers.

Last night the board also:

* Discussed the possibility of naming the county's next school Landing Hills Middle School. The proposed name is derived from Elkridge Landing, a site where boats long ago docked to do business with a nearby mill.

Board Chairman Dana Hanna said the proposed name has ruffled the feathers of some Elkridge residents who want their town name as part of the school's name.

But Alice Haskin, director of middle schools, said there is already an Elkridge Elementary School and that the policy of the school ** system is not to use the same name for more than one school to avoid confusion among parents and students.

An October hearing has been set for public comment on the proposed name.

* Heard a report on traits that help students achieve and those that contribute to failure. According to a survey of high school students conducted last spring, students who achieve are those who work at acquiring knowledge, whose teachers engage them and provide them support and whose parents set, communicate and make sure high expectations are met.

"Achievement does not appear to be a function of race or even socio-economics," said Maurice Kalin, associate school superintendent. "There are other determinants."

In contrast, students who fail turned in homework fewer times and generally had parents who did not know how they were doing in school.

* Approved an addition to a disciplinary policy to make it clear that students may be suspended or expelled for misbehavior during regularly scheduled school hours and other times, such as field trips, athletic functions and school-sponsored events where administrators have jurisdiction over students.

Although the addition had been school system policy for years, parents who appealed suspensions or expulsions had questioned it because it was not clearly spelled out whether students could be disciplined for misbehavior occurring after school.

"This is just for some parents who split hairs and try to find exceptions," said Sandra French, board member.

The disciplinary policy covers such violations as theft, vandalism, fighting and distribution of drugs and alcohol.

* Discussed whether to change the enrollment cap for out-of-district, elementary school transfers. Under school system policy, an elementary school is closed to out-of-district transfers once its enrollment reaches 90 percent. Mr. Hanna brought up the possibility of raising it to 95 percent.

"I think we should not encourage movement but we should encourage full utilization" of school buildings, he said.

School officials said they would study the issue and discuss it at a future board meeting.

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