The following letter was sent from Cyrus Etemad-Moghadam of Upper Crossroads to Harford County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Tomback and the members of the Board of Education. A copy was provided to The Dagger:
Members of the board, Dr. Tomback:
My name is Cyrus Etemad-Moghadam of Uppercrossroads neighborhood, in Fallston. After leaving the last board meeting, I felt that the only true goal of the STAC was to fill all the schools evenly – a goal not met in itself based on the data from the STAC. The parameters set for the STAC as stated on the board of education web site were not met in many cases.
I have gone through the list with respect to Fallston and pointed out to the non?compliances – even when the requirements are qualitative. There are too many to cover so I would like to focus on the more importance requirements as they apply to our children:
Under the “Continuity of Neighborhoods” section, the main goals were not looked at per Mr. Licata. In his own words, “distance is not an issue, some kids have over 45 minute rides north of the county”. Uppercrossroads has been split in the middle despite being one of the oldest neighborhoods in Fallston itself one of the oldest communities as a whole. The 1 mile maximum requirement is not met as can be seen in the attached chart. Some streets are also spit as shown.
In the case of “Multiple siblings opportunity to attend same school”, this will not happen since the proposed plan is to possibly grandfather only the fifth graders. In addition, one issue not considered is the splitting of kids between Fallston MS and HS and Jarrettsville adding 7 miles one way compared to YBES for parents.
Under the “Timing” section as well as “Transportation”, bus rides are a priority. Right now my kids have a 2.5 miles from YBES which takes 30 minutes. Mr. Licata stated that the Uppercrossroards corner is only 5.2 miles from Jarrettsville Elementary during the last meeting.
However, we cannot take a left turn from Franklins Chance so we have to go the other route, which is 7 miles. How can 7 miles (taking 152 to 146 ? only way to go with right turns) work for Uppercrossroads? This is only for our neighborhood, what about the others. Mr. Licata stated that there would be no routes drawn until the redistricting is approved.
Under the Capacity/Enrollment/Utilization section, the plan of being in the 85?95% capacity is not met. Before redistricting, 16 schools are over the 95% capacity, 17 after. Why is the old capacity of 890 being used for YBES before and 958 after the redistricting when there have been no structural changes to the school? Why is Darlington being increased >100% when Dublin is at 76%? Why is Edgewood, in the middle of populated areas at 50% (being reduced) – these being examples the requirements not being met.
In summary, I hope you, our school board, will serve your first customers, your children, our children and reverse or at least slow down the process such that the STAC parameters are thoroughly reviewed and the Fallston area, as all other areas, are fairly treated. Thank you
Etemad-Moghadam’s full presentation is included below: