October 08, 2006

THE ISSUE: -- School redistricting is a necessary, but complicated and sometimes emotional process for Howard County residents. As the school system works through another set of attendance proposals for the 2007-2008 school year, what would you like to see done to make the process smoother for students and families?

On the up side of redistricting

Having two teenagers attending two different high schools doesn't seem traditional, but neither is the world today. Both of my children do just that. In this ever-growing county it is a reality. We move here to educate our children in one of the best systems and have to roll with the punches. There is no way to ease the pain for some parents, but having an open mind is key. There are many benefits to redistricting, the major one is that it allows your children to learn flexibility, meet new friends and be exposed out of the box. With parents supporting the positive, the transition can be easy.

Shavaun O'Brien

Ellicott City

Web site has info on redistricting

The Area Adjustment process needs to be easier for the public to understand. Officially, the process is open to the public, but in reality, only the most dedicated citizens have the time and energy to attend all the meetings and understand the details of all the redistricting scenarios that the Area Adjustment Committee considers. It doesn't have to be that way. The school system can and should publicize the details of all the redistricting scenarios the committee considers, in the same format it uses to present its own proposal in its Feasibility Study. I invite readers to view the various redistricting scenarios under consideration at www.howardschoolsy stem.com. I offer this Web site as a public service to the county, and will keep it up to date throughout this year's redistricting process.

Ray Lischner Ellicott City

The writer is a member of the Area Adjustment Committee.

Moving kids around can be damaging

While I understand the need, with more students and newer schools, I believe when a student has attended a school and is suddenly placed in a different school, sometimes even farther away from home, it is detrimental to the student having the same connection to the school, teachers and community. Our children spend more time in school on a daily basis than with their families. They are connected to the school. Move them to another school and they are disconnected. Some are shy and do not make friends as easily as others. Then there are the neighborhood issues with children coming from different areas and groups being formed and others feeling left out. It segregates the schools. And it happens all too frequently.

Joan Smith


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