The following letter and presentation were sent to the Harford County Board of Education by the concerned parents and PTA membersof Forest Lakes Elementary School. A copy was provided to The Dagger:
The Community of High Point/Pleasantville (south of MD 23 and north of Winters Run) has approximately 83 elementary students who presently attend Forest Lakes Elementary School. The current Redistricting Plan moves the High Point/Pleasantville students from Forest Lakes to North Bend Elementary School, which raises several concerns among Community residents. After careful detailed review of the Superintendent’s Technical Advisory Committee’s (STAC’s) Proposed Redistricting Plan, we have developed an Alternative High Point/Pleasantville Community Redistricting Plan which we believe is a win?win for many parties impacted by the proposal.
In summary, our proposed alternative plan is to:
1. Accept the Stone Ridge Community Plan to remain at Fountain Green Elementary, freeing up 119 “desks” at Homestead?Wakefield Elementary.
2. Leave 120 students at Homestead?Wakefield Elementary School instead of moving them to Red Pump Elementary School, freeing up 120 “desks” at Red Pump.
3. Move 80 Marywood students to Red Pump Elementary from Hickory Elementary instead of moving them to Forest Lakes Elementary, freeing up 80 “desks” at Forest Lakes.
4. Leave the High Point/Pleasantville Community children at Forest Lakes Elementary, freeing up 83 “desks” at North Bend.
This plan achieves the following key results:
1. Brings two (2) of the five (5) schools (North Bend and Red Pump) currently proposed above 100% capacity to below 100% ;
2. Puts one (1) additional elementary school (North Bend) within the 85% to 90% capacity range, and
3. Keeps 322 students, or approx. 11% of the current impacted population, from being redistricted.
Further details of our concerns and plan impact are discussed in the following sections:
Sure…move the kids from Marywood and other communities so your kids can stay at Forest Lakes. I thought all the schools around this area were great. STOP CRYING!!! People like you make me sick
Clearly YOU come here to complain about everyone and everything. You’re bitter. Stick to the facts and lose the attitude!
Just so you’re informed and not erroneously commenting on a situation you clearly have no knowledge of…… the Marywood community WANTED to go to Red Pump, the school just down the street from them. To be redistricted from to Hickory to Forest Lakes was not what this community wanted, not what they asked for at the Public Hearings. This was NOT a situation of “move them not me”. This was a situation of don’t move people needlessly, keep students where they are, AND help a community stay with their neighbors and be redistricted along “with them.” Get off your high horse and get informed.
I find it interesting that this study speaks unilaterally for communities. After they went door to door polling was it averaged or was it a slam dunk 100% agreement with your self importance OR are there several families in those area not as myopic. It’s about all the kids and all the taxpayers. Why doesn’t this proposal address the underutilization of schools north of 23.
frankly speaking says
honestly, I don’t think the kids would give a rats butt where they go to school. These parents are not entitled to send their kids where they want to. The HCPS has the obligation to manage its school assets to the best and most efficient use of the revenues and schools to the betterment of the county, not Fallston or any other specific subdivison. If you want it your way, you should send your kids to Monterossi school and shell out $10,000 per kid in elementary school.
In talking with a fellow co-worker the issue came up that she didn’t want her kids to go to school with “hicks, farmers and rednecks”, which really goes to show the true feelings regarding their kids preferences or mostly their parents views. I have heard this same kind of reference from Fallston parents who look at Bel Air in the same manner. I sure hope that these folks are not representative of their community because it would be really sad.
I agree – ALL of these arguments represents a parent view. However, THIS specific proposal does not suggest in any way that someone else’s child be moved in place of someone else’s, just to get their way. It says: let’s leave children where they are with the exception of the Marywood community who wanted to be redistricted along with their neighbors to Red Pump, which is just down the street from them. Look at the attachment in the proposal from Marywood for verification, if you must. This has nothing to do with “Fallston” or the Fallston community. This is about what makes sense. Sending children to a school where no more than 6-10 students a year would move on to the same middle school is not in the best interest of the children involved. This would represent less than > to 1% of the population of Fallston Middle School population. This does not represent a situation where “stop your crying” and “you people make me sick” are appropriate comments. This is not about utilizing HCPS resources in the best interest of the children they serve. This is about serving the children in the best way possible. If you feel it necessary to comment, at least do so with knowledge. There are various resources available to you.
Does anyone really believe that ANY school in the county will have a declining population in the next 5 years. Have you been to APG lately??? There’s this thing called BRAC. Huge buildings. Lots of people.
WOW Parent! Get a clue. Many schools have the same exact situation. If everyone had the attitude that you do we would simply be populating Red Pump and leaving some schools way under capacity. I think Frankly speaking hit the nail on the head. VERY SAD.
btw: My understanding is that Forest Hill ES has a LESS than flattering view of your Forest Lake. Because of THIS PLAN they are now moving. Also, not EVERYONE in Marywood was unhappy with version one. So your post is false. You do indeed want others moved instead of you. Good luck with that whole “moral high ground thing” and with the VERY unhappy parents conning to you next year from Forest Hill. The authors of this and the PTA may find they don’t like the bed they’ve made for themselves next year as well as the reputation for hypocrisy. Way to go.
What’s happening @ Forest Lakes? Is there someone that knows? Marywood wants to pull out their kids that have been going to FLES for 4 or more years or in some cases the last sibling in a family, and Spenceola is gathering signatures because it doesn’t want to go there?!?
Highpoint parent says
This is really starting to get ridiculous. I am a parent of one of the children redistricted to North Bend. I have nothing against the school. The school has better statistics than the school my child attends. The fact is that NO one would want their child sent to any school that is over 11 miles away from their home – period. This has nothing to do with farmers or anything else. Our community has several closer schools – we did the work that STAC should of done in the beginning. If you are upset, you are free to submit your ideas without name calling.
North Bend has better statistics? Is that why FHES says that FL is not a good school? Have you read their petition?
Why do the Marywood parents want out so badly as to disrupt their families that have gone there for years? Red Pump will have a lot of new teachers that are taking jobs that are well… for way less money than they can get elsewhere in the state. Other new schools started without library books or completed classrooms. FL is not that much further or older. So … Again, What’s going on at FL???
My kids are in HS but this got my interest because in version 2 our ES is now over 100% and we live in a pretty populated area. Meanwhile schools in the like Norrisville are at 70%. Do you really think this is a good move for the whole county or just you?
Highpoint parent says
The school is fine – all the schools are fine. Everyone wants to stay at the school they now attend. The school their kid has been in since K. That is it in a nutshell. Would you want your child bussed 11 miles away?
Highpoint, you say:
“Everyone wants to stay at the school they now attend. The school their kid has been in since K.”
What about Marywood? What about all Spenceola?
In the land of 5 and 10 acre lots I would expect that some kids would have a longer bus ride. How far will they travel to middle school? My guess is that the bus will have to turn onto 23 or 152 if you go to Fallston. You knew this when you moved there. I don’t believe that underserved areas of the county should have to pay for your seclusion.
Highpoint parent says
I don’t live in seclusion I live in Forest Hill and if I chose to live in seclusion I might understand that my kid was going to a school 11 miles away when 8 others are within 5 miles. P.S. I don’t have 10 acres either try 1/2 of a acre.
Marywood and Spenceola are free to submit a proposal no one is stopping them.
I believe that I said “in the land of”. While your house may not have much space, I’ve looked at the original map and most that were moving do have very large lots. The fact remains the you your kids will have to go much further and turn onto 23 or 152 when they go to Fallston middle.
I’m sure that other areas WILL submit proposals. I also know that this is still a draft and have confidence that the BOE will do what’s best for the entire county. Unless your plan comes up with something to fill schools outside of the development envelope, I wouldn’t unpack just yet.
Until then I’m sure that you’re making friend on STAC by suggesting that you did the work that they should have in the first place. Pretty smug.
I find comical people complain here about busing. I grew up in another county. This county had court ordered forced bussing at the time. I was placed on a bus in middle school and bused 55 minutes away because I was caucasian and interested in Math and Science. It was that or my home school which was about 10 miles away. If you ask someone to get on a bus here for 10 miles you might as well be asking to kill someone!
If rural schools continue to be underutilized will this effect how much funding we get from the state in future years?
It absolutely will. The state will not entertain any county request for state funding (usually 30%) to build new or renovate old schools when they see that the county does not have a capacity problem but rather a distribution problem. The days of forward funding by the county with hopes of later receiveing funding from the state are over. Harford county is faced with making the best use of their existing facilities. If overcrowding occurs after reasonable redistricting of existing populations has taken place the state MAY consider new requests by the county for support in building new schools. In light of the existing fiscal difficulties in Annapolis and the reality that teacher pension funding will eventually be pushed back to the county along with the Governor’s intent to cut state education aide by 5% to all counties do not look for this to happen any time soon. It is time that people face the realities of the situation at hand. No state money until the county gets it’s schoolhouse in order. Redistricting is just the first step in that process.