Elkridge School Construction Spurs Redistricting

New elementary, middle school construction in Elkridge part of impetus to redistrict nearly 3,000 students.

Nearly 3,000 students in Howard County may have to shift schools in 2013, in part because of developments in the Elkridge area, according to a plan proposed at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

Each June, school planners present the Feasability Study, a document containing enrollment projections and recommendations for the next year.

For the second year in a row, school officials are recommending redistricting students. Last year's recommendation was to redistrict 1,157 students. This year's recommendation is to move 2,866 students.

"The primary goal of the proposed 2013 redistricting plan is to relieve the Northeastern Region with the new capacity at ES #41," according to the study.

ES #41 refers to the  on Ducketts Lane, which can hold 600 students.

The new elementary school is needed to accommodate current school overcrowding, which is perhaps most pronounced at , which was designed for 762 students and has 952 enrolled.

With the fall 2013 opening of the school on Ducketts Lane, shifting students is necessary to ensure seats are filled, according to school planners.

Other areas where capacities need adjustment are in Columbia, according to the study.

The plan recommends that the following schools, which are at or above 110 percent capacity, be realigned:

Elementary: , , , Talbott Springs, Veterans, Waterloo
Middle: Bonnie Branch, Ellicott Mills, Murray Hill

One board member was not pleased with the numbers.

“...I know firsthand what the proposed 3,000 students and their friends and families will experience with this proposed redistricting,” wrote Board of Education member Brian Meshkin on his blog. Meshkin said he witnessed "tears and sadness" as a result of the process, which he has gone through with three of his children.

Another board member also expressed concern. The Howard County Times reported that Frank Aquino, the school board's vice chair, said the number of students who would be impacted "made me cringe."

The redistricting committee will hold its first meeting on June 19 and will convene on Tuesdays throughout the summer. There will be hearings and presentations on the issue before the Board of Education approves a redistricting plan on Nov. 15. See the schedule of redistricting meetings.

For the 2012–2013 school year, the Board of Education voted last November to approve the redistricting of 1,289 students, mainly in the southeastern portion of the county, reported the Howard County Times.

Jack June 18, 2012 at 10:01 PM
If we add the 1200 plus they voted to move last year plus those they need to address next year when they redistrict again plus add all the new children who are expected to move here which is about 10,000 equals what? Ignored begins to look more like dereliction.
Frank in Elkridge June 19, 2012 at 05:31 PM
There is no way my kids will be able to move from an overcrowded school to a brand new school without the redistricting. Most people have no idea what a difficult and challenging job it is to create a "fair" redistricting plan. No matter what plan you come with, in the end, someone will end up hating your guts for apparently "shafting" their kids or their neighborhood. Yet it has to be done - how else are two brand new empty schools going to be filled?
Jack June 20, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Somewhere the people who screwed this up for years need to be held accountable. We have many schools under capacity in the west and no affordable housing. In the east you need 10 schools, not 2 if you are going to handle all the children you have on the way with all the new building. The redistricting of 1200 and now 2800 does not include the middle school or high school redistricting which is next. The place to begin is fire the people who got you here and many of them like Aquino were here when the west was overcrowded so they have no excuse for allowing this to happen to your children. The people with this plan are the same people who had no plan. Demand they be fired and then start over or it will go on forever.
Frank in Elkridge June 20, 2012 at 04:13 PM
The BOE are elected so they cannot be fired. That what the next elections are for. You can't fire someone just because you don't agree with the all other voters who elected them.
Jack June 20, 2012 at 04:59 PM
The elections are so you can hire and fire. There are a lot of people who do not agree on how our schools are run and if you happen to be one of them then speak out. You do not have to accept schools at well over 100 % capacity with new homes being built while on the other side of the county we have schools like Dayton which are half empty. Do not accept appeasement when you know other children are paying for your child's privelidge.


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