School district redrawn

March 09, 1995|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

An estimated 146 students who attend Runnymede Elementary School will attend Taneytown Elementary in September, after Taneytown's renovation and expansion is complete.

The Carroll County Board of Education approved the redistricting plan last night at its monthly meeting at Piney Ridge Elementary School.

Although the Taneytown project is on schedule, a contingency plan is to delay the redistricting until September 1996 if the building can't open until after the start of the school year.

Current Taneytown students would still move from their temporary quarters in Northwest Middle School into the new building even with a delay.

But if the opening of the renovated Taneytown Elementary is delayed, no Runnymede students would be transferred until the next year.

The change means staff at Runnymede also will be transferred to other schools because the enrollment of that school will drop from about 650 this year to around 550 next year.

Runnymede teachers and parents had appealed to the board last month to consider leaving the Runnymede staff intact, as the school could grow by about 100 students the next year because of development.

They said dividing the staff would be shortsighted.

But Superintendent Brian Lockard visited the school last month and told teachers he couldn't reduce the student-teacher ratio at just one school, said Runnymede Principal Barbara Walker.

Teachers have accepted the answer, but so far, none has volunteered for a transfer, Mrs. Walker said.

"I think we have a great school and everyone wants to stay there, which is a great feeling," Mrs. Walker said.

Although Runnymede could lose its assistant principal if enrollment drops much below the 550-student benchmark for such a position, Mrs. Walker said it's too early to predict that.

Some of the students who will transfer to Taneytown attended school before Runnymede opened in March 1994.

School officials had said all along that approximately that many students would later transfer back to Taneytown when that school was renovated.

Staff recommended moving the students back to Taneytown to make room at Runnymede for certain growth.

Developments under construction in Runnymede's district include Copperfield's third section, with about 100 homes, and Meadowbrook, with 69 homes.

Less residential construction is planned in the area of the Taneytown Elementary district.

Under the new boundaries, Runnymede will have six classrooms available for growth, and Taneytown Elementary, with an enrollment of around 500, would have three classrooms available for growth.

The neighborhoods affected by the change include a section in the Taneytown city limits, and a large rural area northeast of the city.

The change will not affect Chapter I federal grants to either school. The eligibility for such programs depends on the percentage of students who receive free or reduced-price lunches.

Both schools will continue to qualify for the coming year.

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