Parents urge board to provide middle-school funding

September 18, 1997|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

Two dozen parents of students in north county schools urged the Anne Arundel County school board last night to renovate an unused high school so that sixth-graders won't have to attend classes in elementary schools.

Middle school students in north county attend Lindale- Brooklyn Park Middle School in Linthicum but not until seventh grade because no space is available for sixth-graders.

Instead, sixth-graders attend elementary schools that offer them fewer advanced programs such as foreign language, science, math and computer courses.

"We want the same educational opportunities for our children," said Debra Klinczyk, whose son is a first-grader at Linthicum Elementary School.

"We're the only feeder system in the entire county" where sixth-graders are in elementary schools, not changing classes, learning foreign languages or having science labs, she said.

Children don't have extracurricular activities and stay with the same teacher all day, Klinczyk said.

She said that sixth-graders' test scores and preparation for the seventh grade suffer because of the arrangement.

Ted Sophocleus, grandfather of a student at Hilltop Elementary in Ferndale, said, "The whole concept of middle school is different than trying to squeeze it into the elementary school."

He said his grandson is missing social and educational opportunities by being in an elementary school.

In the $46.6 million capital budget request of school Superintendent Carol S. Parham for the 1998-1999 school year, a major renovation of the old Brooklyn Park High School is No. 7 on a list of 32 projects.

The old high school would become the second middle school in the north county area and would open in 2003.

Pub Date: 9/18/97

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