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Letter: Spare Marywood neighborhood near Red Pump Elementary from yet another round of redistricting | READER COMMENTARY

I am writing on behalf of my family and neighbors to kindly ask the Harford County Public Schools’ redistricting committee to please consider keeping all of the Marywood neighborhood districted for Red Pump Elementary School.

Red Pump is our neighborhood’s closest school and located right in our back yard. Our homes border the school. Door to door, we are currently 0.6 miles from Red Pump. Our proposed school, Forest Lakes, is 3.1 miles away. Please help us keep our kids in the school that is closest to our home and in our back yard. Driving past Red Pump to attend a school further away makes no sense and is disheartening to both my kids and neighbors.

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We have three boys who attend/have attended and walk to Red Pump and this will not be possible if they are redistricted to Forest Lakes. The proposed change would severely disrupt our lives and disrupt the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, Marywood has historically been a battle ground for redistricting.

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While growing up in Marywood, we were redistricted three times while I was in school. I had friends who lived on the same street — and in some case same house — who attended multiple schools including Bel Air, Fallston and C. Milton Wright high schools. It was a major strain on friendships and families growing up.

Marywood was then split up and negatively effected by the middle school redistricting plan just a couple years ago. My oldest son was separated from longtime friends and neighbors just a street apart. Friends he had known for six years and live a street away were sent to a different school. My son was moved to a school that is already, again over capacity. It’s been incredibly tough on him.

The current proposal again splits Marywood in two and sends kids to schools further away.

Please don’t do it again. Please spare Marywood and it’s families from this round of redistricting.

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I understand the need to redistrict to alleviate pressures, but Guiding Principle 5 of the redistricting committee states that the committee will “maintain neighborhood schools.” Sending kids who live in Marywood to Forest Lakes does not do that. Our neighborhood has two entrances, both on Red Pump Road. Our neighborhood school is Red Pump Elementary! There are several other standalone neighborhoods, further away from RPES, that do not border along Red Pump Elementary School that could be potentially be moved to a different school to alleviate overcrowding. We ask that you please consider those instead.

Marywood families appreciate the school system’s efforts and consideration, and hope you will allow our kids to stay together with neighbors, and keep attending Red Pump — the school that is in walking distance and located in our back yard.

MARK ABROMAITIS

Bel Air

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