The Carroll County Board of Education will receive preliminary redistricting proposals today for Piney Ridge Elementary, slated to open in Eldersburg in September.

The opening of the school, off Freedom Road south of Route 26, will relieve overcrowding at Carrolltowne, Eldersburg and Freedom in southeast Carroll.

To do so, however, Carroll officials will have to redraw attendance boundaries for those schools. The staff has developed three preliminary redistricting options.

* Option A uses the Route 32 corridor, the Freedom Avenue connector, the township limits of Sykesville andthe Gaither Road area to create an attendance area for Piney Ridge. The plan removes students from Freedom, Carrolltowne and Eldersburg to attend the new school.

* Option B extends the new attendance area under Option A toinclude Obrecht Road east of Route 97 and White Rock Road south of Martz Road. The Freedom and Carrolltowne Elementary boundaries are the same as in Option A.

* Option C builds on the first two options by increasing the Piney Ridge boundary to include all of White Rock and Streaker roads, east of Patrick Drive. The Freedom and Carrolltowne boundaries are the same as Option A.

School officials began developing redistricting plans in January, about the same time the board was winding up consideration of a similar plan for the northeast Carroll elementary attendance area, where Spring Garden Elementary in Hampstead will open in the fall.

In developing redistricting options, school officials took into consideration proximity of students in relation to the four schools, school capacities, pupiltransportation routes, and subdivision locations and building activity in the area.

The initial target was to open Piney Ridge with 500 students while keeping the other schools in the area at slightly over-capacity.In Option A, the school -- with a capacity of 600 -- would open with 490 students.

In Options B and C, however, Piney Ridgewould open with more than 500 pupils.

In redrawing boundaries, officials also wanted to avoid transferring students to schools other than Piney Ridge. That approach is not always possible with redistricting, officials said.

Parents will have a chance to review the options and ask the staff questions during public meetings next week. Themeetings will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Carrolltowne Elementary and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Eldersburg Elementary.

After reviewing publiccomments, the staff will make a recommendation to the board at its April 10 meeting. The board will hear final comments on the options ata special meeting at 7:30 p.m. May 1 at Liberty High School.

A formal written notice has been mailed to all Carrolltowne, Eldersburg and Freedom parents, and principals have included information regarding the meetings in their March newsletters.

Among other matters at today's 9 a.m. meeting in their Court Street offices in Westminster, the board is expected to:

* Revise its bylaws to seat new board members at the regular meeting on the second week of December, following the November general election. Currently, newly elected board members are seated during the January meeting.

* Receive an update on water testing at Manchester, Hampstead and Mount Airy Elementary schools. Water test results were significantly improved and officials havediscontinued the use of bottled water.

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