March 26, 2003

Parents ask state to enter fight over middle school plan

A group of Anne Arundel County parents who have been fighting Superintendent Eric J. Smith's new middle school schedule asked the state school board yesterday to enter the fray, arguing that the plan would prevent schools from offering pupils state-mandated instruction in subjects such as arts and health education.

Four parents and a middle school pupil testified that the schedule, to be implemented this fall, would violate state requirements. The group also criticized reduced instructional time in science and social studies. They asked that the board study the matter and hold a hearing on it.

In 2001, some of the same activists prevailed upon the state board to declare that county schools were not enrolling all middle school pupils in required fine arts, health and physical education courses.

Single-car crash on I-97 stalls morning traffic

A single-vehicle accident tied up both directions of Interstate 97 near the Route 32 exit yesterday morning but left no one seriously injured, Maryland State Police said.

The car flipped onto its hood and caught on fire. The two adult occupants were flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore for observation, police said, but neither sustained life-threatening injuries.

The northbound lanes of I-97 were closed for 30 minutes for the emergency helicopter to land, police said. Further details about the accident and the identities of the vehicle's occupants were unavailable.

Old Mill High junior voted to school board

Old Mill High School junior Caitlin Heidemann has been elected by her peers to be next year's student member on the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.

Representatives from each county high school voted last week, selecting Caitlin from among three candidates.

If confirmed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Caitlin would replace student board member Ashley Nathanson, an Arundel High School senior, July 1. The student member of Anne Arundel County's school board has full voting rights.

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