Worthington Elementary School will be crowded with celebrities, reporters, photographers and film crews Thursday afternoon as first lady Barbara Bush and Gov. William Donald Schaefer visit the Ellitocc Cityschool.
Mrs. Bush and the governor are scheduled to kick off "Maryland 2000," an integration of a nationwide program to involve communities in school improvement with the Maryland "Schools for Success" program started by former Superintendent Joseph L. Shilling.
The goal is "a community by community crusade for school improvement," said Maryland Department of Education spokesman Ronald A. Peiffer.
Worthington's approximately 515 students will gather in the school parking lot to meet Mrs. Bush, who is scheduled to arrive at noon. A kickoff rally for Maryland 2000 is planned at 1 p.m.
The cafeteria is too small to accommodate all the students plus the media andsecurity people, reported assistant principla David Morrocco. So thekickoff rallyh in the cafeteria will be attended by selected fourth-and fifth-graders.
School officials hope Mrs. Bush will greet all the other students in classrooms. One second-grade class will meet her in the media center, where she is scheduled to read the children a story.
Peiffer said he did not know how Worthington Elementary wasselected for the Maryland 2000 launch. Schaefer's press aides were unavailable for comment Friday.
The visitors will include Louis Sullivan, secretary of health and human services; James Watkins, secretary of energy; William Reilly, Enviromental Protection Agency administrator; David Kearns, deputy secretary of education; and Bonnie S. Copeland, acting state superintendent.
Peiffer said the community involvement part of the federal initiativae will really get started in Maryland after the Maryland School Performance Program "report cards" are issued in November.
The school evaluations should spark community residents to get involved in setting up school improvement programs, the spokesman said. A Maryland 2000 office in the state educationdepartment will help local residents organize.