Officials to delay or stagger 3 city high schools' openings

Northern, Southern, Lake Clifton affected

August 30, 2002|By Liz Bowie | Liz Bowie,SUN STAFF

Baltimore school officials announced yesterday that they will delay the opening of Southern and Northern high schools, and stagger the opening of Lake Clifton/Eastern High School.

The delays at Northern are the result of construction during the summer to create two new high schools, called 418 and 419, in the building. The schools will have separate staffs, principals and entrances. Ninth-graders at these schools should arrive Wednesday, and 10th- through 12th- graders should arrive Thursday.

"We want to make sure all of the renovations and cleanup have been completed," said Vanessa C. Pyatt, a spokeswoman for the school system.

More than 200 students who would have been zoned to attend Northern last year will attend another new high school, at the Professional Development Center on Northern Parkway. That school, called 420, will open Tuesday, on time.

School officials wanted to divide Northern, where enrollment had grown to more than 2,000 students, into three schools to reduce behavior problems at the school. Pyatt said letters were mailed last week informing parents of the delayed openings and telling students which schools they had been assigned to.

Southern High School 10th-graders will begin school Wednesday; 11th-graders, Thursday; and 12th-graders, Sept. 6. There will be no ninth-graders at Southern, but the ninth-graders attending Digital Harbor High - housed in the Southern building - will begin school Tuesday.

The opening at Lake Clifton/Eastern High School will be staggered. Ninth-graders will arrive Tuesday, and the rest of the students will start Wednesday. The staggered start will provide time for a ninth-grade orientation.

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