Boundaries at schools may change

January 17, 1995|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

Boundary line changes could affect 15 students who attend Elmer Wolfe Elementary and Northwest Middle schools and up to 140 students at Runnymede and Taneytown elementary schools.

Neither change would surprise most parents; school officials said two years ago, during Runnymede boundary meetings, that they were headed in these directions.

The public hearings are:

* For the Taneytown and Runnymede changes, 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Northwest Middle School.

* For the Elmer Wolfe and New Windsor changes, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at Northwest Middle.

School officials will present the plans and give parents and other residents a chance to comment. The school board likely will vote on the changes by mid-March.

In the simpler of the two changes, the Elmer Wolfe revision would mean that all students from that school would go on to New Windsor Middle School. In the past, about 10 percent of the Elmer Wolfe students went to Northwest Middle School, probably because New Windsor has been crowded for several years, said Vernon Smith, director of school support services.

But in September, New Windsor Middle School should move to a larger building, now being built near the original school. That's when the change would take effect.

The shift affects 30 children who live in the northern strip of Elmer Wolfe's district, but half of them already attend New Windsor Middle by their own requests.

Mr. Smith said he has received no comments from parents yet, but expects them to accept the plan.

"It just is logical. It keeps all the students who attended Elmer Wolfe, kindergarten through grade five, together," he said. "Plus, it's a brand new middle school."

In recent years, school officials have gradually moved toward a streamlined "feeder system," so that all students from an elementary school move to one middle school, and all students in a middle school go to the same high school.

Sixteen percent of Runnymede students attend New Windsor Middle School, with the rest going to Northwest Middle. School officials anticipate that all Runnymede Elementary students will attend Northwest Middle School, but will not recommend it until New Windsor Middle enrollment exceeds the new building's capacity of 500 students.

More imminent is the shifting of up to 140 Runnymede students back to Taneytown Elementary School. They all live within walking distance of the school, but had been moved to Runnymede in 1993 when that school opened, to alleviate crowding at Taneytown and give officials time to expand it.

Mr. Smith had warned families two years ago, during public hearings for the Runnymede boundaries, that up to 140 students might be shifted back to Taneytown after the school is expanded and renovated.

Work continues on the school, which is scheduled to reopen in September. In the meantime, Taneytown Elementary students are using space at Northwest Middle School.

Taneytown's previous capacity was 275 students. The new building will hold 620 children in preschool through fifth grade.

Mr. Smith and his staff are proposing three options for neighborhoods to switch back to Taneytown.

* Option A would affect 116 students living in the northernmost tip of Runnymede's district, extending from the unpaved portions of Diehl, Koontz and Stone roads to the Pennsylvania line, plus an additional area within the city limits, from Route 194 north of Blueridge Avenue to just west of Baumgardner Avenue near Route 140.

* Option B would affect 106 students in the city limits north of 140, from Route 194 north of Blueridge to just east of Baumgardner Avenue near 140.

* Option C would affect about 140 students, and includes all the students in Option B, extending further east along Roberts Mill Road to Roth Avenue.

If the school board chooses Option C, Taneytown city officials would consider putting in a sidewalk on one side of Roth Avenue, Mr. Smith said.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.