Parents want their children sent to Edgewater school They plan to lobby board tomorrow

April 06, 1997|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Residents from four communities just south of Annapolis are vowing to turn out in force tomorrow to try to persuade the county school board to send their children to mostly white Edgewater Elementary instead of overwhelmingly black Mills-Parole in Annapolis.

Families who live in Gingerville, Ginger Hill, Poplar Point and Wilelinor have said for more than a decade that they do not want to send their children to Mills-Parole. Most of them don't: from the 310 homes in those communities, 29 children attend public schools, and nearly all of the 29 have gotten transfers out of Mills-Parole to other elementary schools.

Nobody is sure how many children from those communities attend private schools, but the number is substantial, said Cheryl Martin, a community activist.

"Most of them go to private school," she said recently. "We feel forced."

Activists say they will survey their neighborhoods to try to determine how many parents might return their children from private to public schools or from the public school where they transferred if they were permitted to attend Edgewater.

The communities stretch along Route 2 south of Annapolis and north of the South River. With an Edgewater ZIP code, residents say, they are part of Edgewater, its churches and its activities, and have little to do with Annapolis.

Some have said it is difficult to sell their homes because potential buyers are concerned about the school attendance area. Their neighborhoods are predominantly white, as is Edgewater Elementary; Mills-Parole is nearly 90 percent black. In addition, Edgewater's Maryland School Performance Assessment Program scores are higher than Mills-Parole's.

The proposal for Mills-Parole would remove the Admiral Farragut apartments, Hunt Meadow, Harness Creek, Severn Grove, South Haven and the communities south of Annapolis from the attendance area and add Bywater. The board also is considering moving Dorsey Heights out of the Mills-Parole area.

The public hearing starts at 7 p.m. in the Board of Education building on Riva Road in Annapolis.

The board also will hear testimony on other changes in the redistricting proposals for the Annapolis area.

The changes from the plan released in January would:

Send Woodside Garden children to Eastport Elementary.

Add Admiral Farragut apartments and remove Admiral Oaks from the Germantown Elementary attendance area.

Add children from Harness Creek and Hunt Meadow to Tyler Heights Elementary.

A change from the original redistricting proposal for Pasadena -- would allow current sixth- and seventh-graders at George Fox Middle School to finish middle school there even if the redistricting proposal would send them to Chesapeake Bay Middle School. The proposal, aimed at relieving crowding at George Fox, would send 270 children -- all from the Riviera Beach Elementary attendance area and some from Sunset Elementary -- to Chesapeake Bay Middle School. They would return to the Northeast High School feeder system for high school.

The board must have a redistricting plan in effect by the end of the month.

Pub Date: 4/06/97

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