The committee that advises the Harford County school board on enrollment issues told board members this week that redistricting would not be among its suggestions for dealing with classroom crowding in the 2003-2004 school year - even though one school is at nearly 130 percent capacity.
The committee, which includes administrators and teachers, identified three schools that are at more than 100 percent capacity this year: Prospect Mill Elementary, Fallston Middle and Bel Air High. Fallston Middle, the most crowded, is at 128.9 percent of capacity.
Projections show Fallston Middle's enrollment declining over the next few years, said committee member Joseph Licata, the school system's assistant superintendent for operations. He added that the school's 10 portable classrooms are sufficient this year.
Septic limitations would prevent adding more portables at the school, so enrollment figures must be watched closely, Licata said. He also said that a panel would be put together to look at more efficient ways to accommodate students so hallways and spaces such as the cafeteria are less congested.
The panel suggested spending $90,000 for another portable classroom at Prospect Mill Elementary and two more at Bel Air High. Boundary exceptions, where students who live in one district are permitted to attend school in another, would be denied, Licata said.
Darlington Elementary, which is at 59.9 percent capacity, has been flagged for review because the state requires counties to evaluate schools where enrollment drops below 60 percent capacity. Pat Skebeck, director of elementary education, said the school system may add a program for children with emotional and behavioral problems at the school to alleviate crowding in a similar program at Joppatowne Elementary School.