School plan upsets Uniontown parents Runnymede pupils to attend Taneytown


Uniontown Elementary School parents urged school official last night to reconsider the plan to house Runnymede Elementary students at Taneytown Elementary for the first half of next year, until the Runnymede building is completed.

Some parents were angry, especially about late starting and ending times for the school -- 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Runnymede will be among five schools in the county with those hours, said Dorothy Mangle, director of elementary education. Some schools must start later because the buses make three runs a day.

Mrs. Mangle and Runnymede Principal Barbara Walker fielded questions from the parents about everything from the philosophy behind the move to whether spelling and phonics books would be available at the new school.

"This plan is thoroughly impractical for children and teachers. The Board of Education has proven that it puts their administrative staff first and the children and education last," said Rachelle Hurwitz of Uniontown.

She said children leaving school at 3:45 p.m. won't get home until 4:30 p.m. in some cases.

"If this is the best they can do, then don't open the school yet," she said.

A few parents, such as Scott Craigie of Uniontown, urged the angry ones to be more positive. Others said they were resigned to the plan.

Mrs. Mangle and Mrs. Walker said they sought to bring all the students and teachers together as a school in September, even if they must change buildings in January.

Heavy snow and rain this year delayed construction on Runnymede by 75 days. The school should be ready by November, but school officials want to use November and December as transition months and move children in January.

Meanwhile, the Runnymede students and teachers will occupy the Taneytown Elementary School and portable classrooms in the same groups they'll be in later at the new building. Taneytown Elementary students will move into the portables and annex at Northwest Middle School.

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