With only a month to go before the Harford County Board of Education makes a final decision on elementary school redistricting, a revised proposal has been issued by Superintendent Robert Tomback’s redistricting advisory committee known as STAC. The new proposal, the second revision to an earlier draft, eliminates overcrowding in all 33 county elementary schools and sets enrollment between 92% and 99.9% of capacity in all but nine schools. Under the revision released January 28, Roye-Williams Elementary in Havre de Grace would have the county’s lowest utilization rate, operating at 67.6% of capacity. (NOTE: Additional revisions were made on February 4)
Among the goals of redistricting are to eliminate overcrowding and to balance enrollment among elementary schools countywide. The redistricting plan will take effect for the 2011-12 school year, in concert with the opening of the new Red Pump Elementary School in Bel Air.
Below is a chart of the proposed enrollment figures for each elementary school under the January 28 revision. Following the chart is a countywide map and a list of the latest changes incorporated by STAC.
Few of the proposals submitted by the public and considered by STAC since the first revision, made their way into the second draft. A request from the High Point/Pleasantville community to remain at Forest Lakes Elementary was adopted after parents proposed a series of alternate moves that would allow their community to remain at FLES without overcrowding the school. The majority of the public proposals considered since the last revision were not recommended by STAC, on the basis that they would leave affected schools over capacity. Below is a matrix of the public proposals and STAC recommendations to date, with updates planned for later this week. Updated information will be posted here on The Dagger as soon as it becomes available:
In addition to redrawing elementary school attendance boundaries, the school board is expected to address parent requests to grandfather fourth and fifth graders to remain at their current schools until they progress to middle school. If approved, the cost of additional bus runs would have to be factored into next year’s budget. The parameters for boundary exceptions, which allow students to attend county schools outside their home district, may also be up for board review.
Prior the school board’s approval of a final elementary redistricting plan on February 28, the public will have several opportunities to address the latest proposal and to hear board deliberations. Public redistricting hearings are scheduled for (tonight) January 31 in the Havre de Grace HS auditorium at 7 p.m. and on February 14 at 7:30 p.m. the A.A. Roberty Building Board Room in Bel Air. A board work session on redistricting is planned for February 7. Public comments will not be accepted at the work session, but will be accepted at the February 28 business meeting where a final redistricting vote is planned. The February 28 meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air. Public comments can also be emailed to STAC and to board members through the school system’s web site at www.hcps.org.