Boundaries set for new high schools Board also shifts three neighborhoods to different districts

Middle schools unaffected

Lines are adjusted for 5 elementaries

750 pupils to transfer

January 26, 1996|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

In an article in Friday's Howard County edition, a portion of next fall's attendance boundary between Howard and Long Reach high schools was described incorrectly.

Some students who live in the Howard High School attendance zone will switch next fall to Long Reach High. This includes students living south of Waterloo Road to High Tor Hill and east of High Tor Hill on streets that exit only onto Davis Road and Hayshed Lane, according to Howard school officials. Also included are students living south of Tamar Drive to Route 175 on streets east of the intersection of Phelps Luck and Tamar drives.

The Sun regrets the error.

For questions about high school boundary lines for next fall, contact the school system's public information office at 313-6682.

The Howard County school board finished drawing boundary lines last night for two high schools scheduled to open next year, setting in place borders it hopes will remain fairly constant for at least seven years.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

A sharply divided board also reassigned students in three neighborhoods among existing high schools, angering some parents, who said there had been too little warning.

Neighborhoods where students will be transferred from one high school attendance area to another in the fall are Columbia Hills, from Centennial High School to Wilde Lake High School; Stonecrest, from Mount Hebron High School to Centennial; and Columbia's Hilltop community, from Atholton High School to Wilde Lake.

The board adjusted high school boundary lines for the fall because of the opening of Long Reach and River Hill high schools. More than 1,400 high school students will change schools with the new attendance districts approved last night.

Boundary lines for four elementary schools in the Elkridge-Ellicott City area -- Elkridge, Rockburn, Waterloo and Worthington -- also were adjusted to accommodate the opening of Ilchester Elementary in the fall. The community generally has praised the new lines -- which call for more than 750 elementary pupils to change schools -- and the board has spent little time discussing the changes.

No changes were made in middle school boundaries.

The broad outlines of the attendance areas for the two new high schools have remained fairly stable throughout the board's recent work sessions, and board members did little to them last night except to express regret about dividing communities such as Elkridge and Glenelg to create the districts.

"Try as we might to keep many neighborhoods together there are just too many students to keep them all together," said Susan Cook, the board's chairwoman. She described the redistricting as "a necessary evil" but added, "It's our job to address the growth that is going on" and to spread the student population among the high schools.

The changes in the high school boundaries affect every county high school except Hammond and Oakland Mills. The new boundaries include:

* Transferring to River Hill High from Atholton High students who live south of the Middle Patuxent River and west of U.S. 29, and students who live on streets that exit only onto Route 216 up to and including Murphy Road. Also transferring to River Hill High will be Centennial High students who live on Gaither Farm Road and Glenelg High students who live south of Triadelphia Road and on streets that exit only onto Triadelphia.

Glenelg High students who live south of the Mount Hebron High boundary and east of the intersection of Triadelphia Road and Route 144 also will attend River Hill.

* Dividing the Howard High and Long Reach High districts in Elkridge along Montgomery Road and South Hanover Road. Elkridge students who live north of Montgomery Road and South Hanover Road -- and students who live on streets that feed only onto those two roads -- will remain at Howard.

Howard students who live south of Montgomery Road to Waterloo Road, east of Waterloo Road to Davis Road and south of Davis Road to Hayshed Lane will transfer to Long Reach. Howard students who live on Goldenstraw Lane, Stillmeadow Lane and Open Meadow Way -- and students who live on streets that feed only onto those three streets -- will attend Long Reach.

* Assigning to Centennial High Mount Hebron High students who live west of New Cut Road in the Stonecrest neighborhood.

* Sending to Wilde Lake High Centennial High students who live in the Columbia Hills neighborhood and Atholton High students who live in Columbia's Hilltop neighborhood.

The new boundaries create an "island" of Howard High students in the area bordered by Route 32, Route 175 and Snowden River Parkway. Those students will be bused through the Long Reach High area to Howard High next school year and are expected to be redistricted to Hammond High in the fall of 1997, after Hammond's addition is completed.

Students who will be seniors in the fall will be permitted to stay at their current high schools and will be provided with bus service. Those who will be juniors in the fall and who are scheduled to attend Long Reach or River Hill high schools will be required to transfer.

The board decided that students who will be juniors in the fall and will be transferred to an existing high school -- such as Centennial or Wilde Lake -- will be allowed to stay at their current schools if they want but will not be provided with bus service for their senior year.

The board set the dividing line for the new technology magnet program at U.S. 29. Students who live east of U.S. 29 will attend Long Reach High if they enroll in the program, and those who live west of U.S. 29 will attend River Hill High for the program.

For answers to specific boundary questions, call the school system's public information office beginning next week at 313-6682.

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