A revised redistricting plan from Harford County Public Schools puts enrollment at all county elementary schools under 101% of capacity, and incorporates a number of alternative redistricting proposals submitted by parents in the affected areas.
Issued on January 14 by the Superintendent’s Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), the revised plan is subject to additional modifications and school board approval, which is expected in late February.
Changes from November Draft
STAC’s original redistricting plan issued in November left a total of five elementary schools over 100% of capacity. Enrollment at four of those schools, Bakerfield, Darlington, Norrisville and North Bend, is substantially reduced under the January 14 revisions. The new Red Pump Elementary in Bel Air will also get a bit of breathing room under the revised plan, with enrollment set at 96.7% of capacity versus 100.4% in the November draft.
In all, the January 14 revisions leave just two of the county’s 33 elementary schools over capacity – Edgewood’s Deerfield Elementary (100.7%) and Joppatowne (100.5%). Enrollment at George D. Lisby Elementary in Aberdeen is set at exactly 100%. The lowest utilization rate under the revised plan is 68.4%, at Roye-Williams Elementary in Havre de Grace.
A summary of the January 14 revisions appears below. Included in the summary is a map of the new school attendance boundaries and a revised enrollment and capacity chart. The updated chart uses September 30, 2010 enrollment data and incorporates the impact of special programs housed at some schools. Individual school maps are being adjusted and will be posted as soon as they are available.
The Public Offers Alternatives
To date, nineteen of the alternative proposals received from the public have been identified by STAC as viable for further analysis and recommendation. Seven of the nineteen have garnered responses; six were incorporated into the latest plan in some form and one, using zip codes to determine school attendance areas, was rejected outright. STAC Chairman Joe Licata told The Dagger, that the remainder of the nineteen proposals would be addressed, along with any other viable proposals received. He said that some of the public input received by HCPS has not yet been processed by STAC.
Alternatives Approved by STAC
Among the alternatives proposed by the public and incorporated into the January 14 plan, the Stone Ridge neighborhood will remain at Fountain Green ES instead of being moved to Homestead Wakefield. Stone Ridge parents had argued that the student yield from their neighborhood was low enough to allow them to remain at Fountain Green without overcrowding that school. Fountain Green ES will be at 95.3% of capacity under the revised plan.
The Glenwood development, located across the street from Ring Factory ES, will remain at that school under STAC’s latest plan, rather than move to Homestead Wakefield as originally proposed. Ring Factory will be at 98.9% of capacity under the revised plan.
Yielding only a handful of preschoolers, the Vine Hill development on Patterson Mill Road will be zoned for Ring Factory rather than Homestead Wakefield.
A parent request to keep 33 students at Forest Hill ES, rather than move them to North Bend, got partial approval from STAC. Under the new plan, students living on the west side of Rt. 24 to Bailey Road and north, will stay at Forest Hill. Students in the northwest area from Trestle Road to the current boundary remain slated to move to North Bend Elementary. Forest Hill will be at 89.4% of capacity and North Bend will be at 90.7% under the new plan.
Parents in the Madonna Manor/Salem Church and Cooptown/Sharon Acres communities sought to “stop the swap” between Jarrettsville and Forest Hill elementary schools, pointing out that the move involved 72 students but produced a net change of only six students between the two schools. STAC incorporated the “stop the swap” proposal into the January 14 revisions, which put Jarrettsville at 99.5% of capacity.
Notable for its absence, STAC has yet to issue a response to proposals regarding Youth’s Benefit Elementary in Fallston, and has thus far recommended no change to their original plan to move students in the northern portion of the district to Jarrettsville Elementary. Youth’s Benefit parents have been actively campaigning to stop redistricting in Fallston, with some suggesting that Youth’s Benefit, which is currently at 107% of capacity, remain overcrowded.
Below is a summary of nineteen alternative proposals currently under review by STAC, along with analysis and recommendations to-date: