The five-member Board of Education denied yesterday an appeal to reinstate school bus service to roughly 25 students at Bollman Bridge Elementary School but said it would monitor a construction site that parents said was dangerous to students who walk to school.
Also yesterday, the board heard reports that class sizes were increasing and that fund-raising efforts last year brought in about $1 million for the county's elementary, middle and high schools. The board also got a timetable for the completion of an evaluation of the middle school program.
Concerning Bollman Bridge, board members said they denied the parents' appeal because the construction of a church in the 9000 block of Vollmerhausen Road apparently poses no safety problems.
Parents were concerned that students walking to and from school could be injured by dump trucks traveling to and from the construction site.
No work is being done at the site currently, board members said.
"We don't think they can start construction any time soon because the church has financial difficulties," said Susan Cook, board chairwoman.
Bus service for the students was eliminated last year after school officials had a guardrail installed along the sidewalk to protect them from traffic.
Parents who attended yesterday's hearing said they weren't surprised by the decision. "I think it was something we expected, but we were hoping for another way," said Vicki Gunther, head of the Bollman Bridge safety committee.
Parents were happy, however, that board members agreed to have the school system's transportation department monitor the again, off-again Bethel Assembly of God construction project.
A hearing on an appeal of a similar case involving about 70 students at Waterloo Elementary School was postponed until Nov. 22. Parents in that case also want school officials to reinstate bus service, which was ended at the beginning of the current school year when the Columbia Association built a path to connect several homes to the school.
In other matters:
* The report found that class sizes for the most part have increased throughout the school system. The most dramatic hTC increase was at high schools, where the average class size increased to 26.6 students this year, up from 24 students two years ago. Officials said the increase resulted from the move to four-period days at half of the county's eight high schools.
In middle schools, the average class size increased to 24 students this year, up from 23 two years ago.
In elementary schools, the average class size remained about 25.
* The schools used the $1 million brought in by fund-raisers for such things as playground equipment, teacher supplies, encyclopedias, trophies, class activities, staff development and media centers.
Elementary schools took in about $431,000. Among elementary schools, Phelps Luck had the most fund-raisers, 13, earning $42 per student. Thunder Hill Elementary's eight fund-raisers brought in $17,100, also $42 per student.
Middle schools took in about $171,000. Among middle schools, Patuxent Valley had the biggest total, $29,000, and the most per student, $44.
High schools took in $363,000. Glenelg High brought in the most per student, $69.
Mount Hebron High, which took in $78,000, had the second-highest per-student total, $61.
The board asked a committee of parents and staff members to study fund-raising events three years ago. This year's report is the third and final one from the committee, which has disbanded. Its functions will be taken over by the school system.
* School officials told the board to expect a final report on the evaluation of middle schools in June 1996.
The middle school program came under fire last year when parents complained that it did not meet students' needs.
School officials will look at such areas as scheduling, curricula, student grouping and the advisory system.