School boundary proposal modified

Teacher recruitment and retention report presented to board

January 28, 2000|By Jamie Smith Hopkins | Jamie Smith Hopkins,SUN STAFF

A Howard County school official recommended last night redistricting changes that would affect fewer students than proposed earlier.

But the plan presented to the Board of Education would mean school changes for several dozen students who were not on the original redistricting list.

Also last night, a task force recommended a three-year, $2.7 million plan to improve teacher recruitment and retention.

In his redistricting proposal for next academic year, Maurice F. Kalin, associate superintendent of planning and support services, outlined a plan that includes ideas he shared with parents in December, with some modifications.

Kalin proposed:

Redistricting the 180 pupils in the Nottingham Village area from Rockburn Elementary School to Waterloo Elementary.

Moving the 144 pupils who live in the Dobbin Road area from Waterloo Elementary to Jeffers Hill Elementary

Moving the 39 open-enrollment pupils in kindergarten through grade four at Jeffers Hill Elementary. They were not affected by the earlier proposal. Open-enrollment pupils live outside the school's boundary lines.

Sending the 27 eighth-graders who live in Thunder Hill to Oakland Mills High School next fall instead of Howard High School. But Thunder Hill high school students already attending Howard High would not be moved, as Kalin had proposed in December.

Assigning the 15 eighth-grade pupils in Glenmont to Oakland Mills High School instead of Howard High School. They were not affected by the earlier plan.

Kalin also would move three kindergarten classes from Ilchester Elementary to Ellicott Mills at Bonnie Branch Middle School for a year to ease crowding.

Unlike the earlier proposal, Kalin decided not to recommend redistricting the 65 pupils in the Dark Hawk and Davis Road area from Waterloo Elementary to Phelps Luck Elementary. He said the new northeast county elementary school could be built in the area.

He also did not recommend moving the 40 pupils in the Fairmead area -- which includes the Orchard Hill neighborhood -- from Jeffers Hill Elementary to Stevens Forest Elementary.

The public will be able to comment on the plan at a hearing at 7: 30 p.m. March 14 in the Department of Education building, 10910 Route 108 in Ellicott City.

Before the meeting, Barry Budish, president of the PTA at Waterloo Elementary School, said he has mixed feelings about the revised proposal. Fewer children at Waterloo would be affected, but he is still unhappy that some would be moved to Jeffers Hill Elementary, crowding that school.

Also last night, the 29-member task force studying teacher recruitment and retention presented its report to the school board.

A severe teacher shortage is projected statewide in the near future, and about 20 percent of Howard teachers hired between 1993 and 1996 resigned before the end of their third year, according to the task force report.

The panel's recommendations to strengthen retention and recruitment included raising salaries, matching all new hires with experienced teachers as mentors and paying a $25 "finder's fee" to staffers who recruit new people.

The task force estimated its plan would cost $534,000 next school year.

Howard County's success in recruiting and keeping good teachers will affect all students, said Mamie Perkins, the school system's director of human resources and co-chair of the task force.

"It's one of the most important issues that we will have to address for the next five years," she said.

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