The following alternative elementary redistricting proposal was sent to the Harford County Board of Education on December 30, 2010, on behalf of parents in both Jarrettsville Elementary and North Bend Elementary School. A copy was provided to The Dagger for publication:
The Community of Madonna Manor / Salem Church (Jarrettsville) and the community of Cooptown / Sharon Acres (Forest Hill) represent approximately 72 students that are scheduled to be unnecessarily swapped under the Proposed Redistricting Plan. The redistricting plan proposed by STAC swaps 39 students and 33 students respectively from Jarrettsville Elementary School and North Bend Elementary School for a net change of six students.
Although we recognize the need for district reorganization and a more balanced enrollment throughout the county we find this disruption of 72 students for a net change of six to be of no benefit. In addition, STAC’s current proposal pushes the enrollment of North Bend Elementary above 100% capacity while leaving Jarrettsville at 95% capacity. Adopting our alternate plan will enable the Board of Education to meet the two most critical objectives of STAC’s Proposed Redistricting Plan.
1. It will eliminate the unnecessary disruption of the 72 students affected by the current proposal for a net change of six students to the overall enrollment of the two schools.
2. It will allow North Bend Elementary School currently proposed to exceed 100% capacity to remain below 100% capacity.
Our Community recognizes the need to accomplish a redistricting plan and supports many of the benefits of redistricting. We believe however, that the negative impact on communities and families must be weighed and considered against any possible redistricting benefits. In our particular case it is clear that redistricting these two communities and essentially swapping 39 students from one school for 33 students from another for a net change of six students, will have no measurable improvement in the redistricting objectives. In addition, removing 72 students from schools in which they are already fully assimilated into new schools with which they are not familiar will take time and energy away from learning and their ability to focus on education. It is natural for students to put their energy into acclimating to their new environment such as developing relationships and becoming comfortable with new students, teachers or school administrators rather than focusing on subject matter in the class room. We have developed an Alternative Plan that builds off of several previously submitted Community requests to create a solution to our concerns and design a broader based plan that creates a winwin solution with many communities impacted by the redistricting.
After careful review of the STAC’s Proposed Redistricting Plan, it is our recommendation that these two communities be omitted from the current proposal for the benefit of the 72 students affected as well as the overall objective of a more balanced enrollment throughout the county.
The 72 students affected represent two basic communities; Madonna Manor / Salem Church community of Jarrettsville (see attached Map 1 Section A) and the Cooptown / Sharon Acres community of Forest Hill (see attached Map 1 Section B).
We respectfully request that the STAC and the Board of Education Stop the Swap.
Leave the boundaries lines for the Madonna Manor / Salem Church community of Jarrettsville and for the Cooptown / Sharon Acres community of Forrest Hill as they currently exist.
This plan, which is endorsed by both communities as outlined below, achieves the following important results:
1. Keeps 72 students, or approx. 7% of the current impacted population of these two schools, from being redistricted.
2. Brings one (1) additional school (North Bend) currently proposed above 100% capacity to below 100%.
3. Keeps one (1) additional elementary school (Jarrettsville) within the 95% to 100% capacity range.
This plan has the support of the Madonna Manor / Salem Church Community of Jarrettsville and the Cooptown / Sharon Acres Community of Forest Hill as heard at the various public BOE meetings and redistricting hearings. In addition, we have captured numerous signatures from families in these communities as evidenced at the bottom of this Proposal. It is a win-win solution for all the communities, for STAC and the Harford County Board of Education.
We respectfully request your due consideration and adoption of this alternate proposal.
Read the full letter and presentation below: