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Johnnycake Elementary School boundary committee to make recommendation to the Board of Education

A plan to reduce crowding at Johnnycake Elementary School by redistricting some students to Edmondson Heights Elementary School was agreed upon by stakeholders from both schools, and will be presented to the Baltimore County school board on May 7.

The plan — one crafted by the boundary committee based on initial options presented from an outside firm — would move about 75 students from Johnnycake to Edmondson Heights for the start of the 2020-21 school year.

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The boundary committee is made up of parents, teachers and principals from each school, plus a neutral representative from the Southwest Area Advisory Council, though principals are not voting members. The committee vote for the proposal was unanimous.

If the proposal is accepted by the Board of Education, Johnnycake will have a capacity for 588 students with an estimated enrollment of 576; Edmondson Heights will have a capacity of 589 students with a projected enrollment of 583 students.

The drafted plan moves Edmondson Heights from 86% capacity to 99% and Johnnycake from 111% capacity to 98%.

Without any changes to the boundaries, Edmondson Heights would continue to have about 508 enrolled students and Johnnycake would have over 650 students.

The boundary changes move the line for students enrolled in Edmondson Heights Elementary from Newfield Road, west to Talbott Street south of Ingleside Avenue; north of Ingleside, it moves the boundary about one block west to Prince George Street.

Crowding at Johnnycake Elementary School has long been a concern of parents and other stakeholders; the boundary change plan was kicked off in early November.

The boundary change process with Edmondson Heights was seen by some as unexpected, as County Councilman Tom Quirk had told parents and teachers at Johnnycake in late April 2018 that a plan to fix crowding at the school would involve sending students to the under-construction Chadwick Elementary School when it opened in 2020.

School officials said in November that the new Chadwick building was expected to hit capacity sooner than originally projected, so it “did not make sense” to use it as a relief valve for crowding at surrounding schools, like Johnnycake.

The boundary committee will present its proposed boundary changes to the Board of Education at the May 7 board meeting in Towson. A public hearing on the boundary is scheduled for May 15 in Woodlawn, and the Board is scheduled to vote on June 11.

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