Rosedale student information given to Cockeysville parents

Behavior problems, including assault, listed

September 07, 2000|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

CLARIFICATION

An article in some editions of yesterday's Sun should have made clear that Cockeysville Middle School parent Barbara Franke opposes her school's temporary shared-building arrangement with the Rosedale Center, an alternative school in Baltimore County. Her statement, "I'm glad they did this," refers to the middle school's release of more specific information about the behavioral problems that led to student placements in Rosedale.

Cockeysville Middle School officials sent a fact sheet about the Rosedale Center program home to the parents of each of the school's 800-plus students yesterday, providing for the first time details about the behavioral problems that landed middle and high schoolers in Rosedale's alternative program.

The information, slipped into the agenda books given to each pupil, answers some of the questions that school administrators were unable to answer during a tense meeting with parents last week, soon after the announcement that about 100 Rosedale students would move into temporary quarters at Cockeysville. Pupils from the fire-damaged Elmwood Elementary will be housed in the Rosedale Center. The switch is expected to last until the new year.

The fact sheet gives few specifics, instead presenting percentages to describe the offenses committed by Rosedale students and noting that some of them - 53 percent of middle schoolers and 32 percent of high schoolers - were there because their parents wanted them in the program.

Fourteen percent of the nearly 30 middle school-age pupils were sent to Rosedale after they were suspended or expelled for assault. Twelve percent of the approximately 75 high school students are at Rosedale because of "aggressive/physical behaviors," including weapon possession - both real and imitation - assault and "violent behavior which creates a danger."

"I'm glad they did this. I think the parents needed to see this kind of thing," said Barbara Franke, who has a son in sixth grade. "But I think the parents are still going to be on their toes."

School officials said yesterday that they chose to answer questions through a fact sheet instead of during a forum scheduled for tonight. That meeting has been cancelled, but a regularly scheduled parent-teacher association meeting will be held at 7 p.m.

Cockeysville PTA President Bob Fiedler said his eighth-grade son's biggest complaint is that he has to take "the long way" to science class because of hallway barriers erected to isolate the Rosedale students.

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