Parents say they would prefer a school just for 6th-graders Students to come from George Fox, Chesapeake

March 29, 1996|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

A school only for sixth-graders in the Mountain Road corridor would be the best solution to crowding problems at George Fox Middle School, parents told the Anne Arundel County school board at a hearing last night.

Parents said they recognized that having all sixth-graders from Fox and Chesapeake Bay Middle School grouped together at the Chesapeake building is probably the most expensive of the four suggested solutions. But they said it would be be the least painful for their children because the students would be disrupted for only one year and not three years.

The school system lacks complete cost estimates on what the four plans would cost in terms of busing, staff and supplies, but early estimates were that one sixth grade might be the most expensive. Parents said they wanted assurances of an equitable distribution of new and existing instructional materials and computers and repairs to the building.

About 70 parents attended the hearing at Chesapeake Bay Middle. They said they had 100 signatures on a petition backing the sixth-grade school.

The proposal would put all sixth-grade students from George Fox and Chesapeake Bay in an all-sixth-grade school within the Chesapeake Bay building. George Fox school and the rest of the Chesapeake Bay building -- which was designed to house two schools -- would operate as middle schools for grades seven and eight.

Chesapeake Bay was built for two separate middle schools. One side has a middle school, the other the Phoenix special education program.

George Fox school is overcrowded. A November 1994 advisory panel recommended sending Sunset and Riviera Beach LTC elementary pupils, who would otherwise go to George Fox, to Chesapeake Bay Middle instead. The school board, confronted by angry parents, voted against the change last year.

The sixth-grade-only school would be in place for the 1997-1998 school year, said Thomas Rhoades, chief of program planning.

The board will vote Wednesday on the four proposals, then hold another hearing on the proposal they select before voting on it in mid-April.

The other three proposals are to:

Send Riviera Beach Elementary students to Chesapeake Bay instead of to George Fox and create two middle schools at Chesapeake Bay.

Send Riviera Beach Elementary students to Chesapeake Bay but leave Chesapeake Bay as one middle school.

Send Sunset Elementary students to one of two middle schools at Chesapeake Bay instead of George Fox.

Pub Date: 3/29/96

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