School redistricting to be topic of March 27 hearing Board of Education hopes to install plan by Sept.

March 13, 1996|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Parents will get the opportunity to discuss the redistricting of Annapolis schools at a March 27 school board hearing.

Board members approved the plan in 1993 and again in 1995, but delayed implementing it because of questions surrounding the reopening of an elementary school.

Community activists and parents are pushing the county to renovate and reopen Adams Park Elementary School as part of an effort to revitalize the Clay Street corridor, a low-income neighborhood near the State House. The school board supports the plan.

But it is unlikely the state would help pay for the $5.9 million project because there is no need for the additional student capacity in the Annapolis High School feeder system.

The county budget office does not have Adams Park in its long-range plans, and the County Council wants to see details about student enrollment before it spends any money.

In addition to the financial hurdles is the problem of setting boundaries for Adams Park.

Unless it draws students from outside the immediate, predominantly black neighborhood, Adams Park might be a segregated school for 88 neighborhood students.

Among the suggestions for bringing in students are redistricting the elementary schools in the feeder system, creating a "magnet" program to draw students voluntarily to Adams Park, and housing other school system programs at the school.

Adams Park is home to the Learning Center, a program for disruptive middle school students. The program might have to be relocated, depending on the plans for the building.

Thomas W. Rhoades, director of program planning, is putting together a committee of Annapolis residents to sort through redistricting ideas.

The board must take a vote on all redistricting this spring after a series of hearings.

It would like to implement the plan in September.

The hearing will be at 7 p.m. at the Board of Education headquarters in Annapolis.

Pub Date: 3/13/96

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