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Parents support Broadneck feeder system for Belvedere school


Parents and community representatives gave overwhelming approval last night to a proposal to place Belvedere Elementary School students in the feeder system for Broadneck High School.

The public hearing last night at Broadneck High in Arnold, attended by about 60 people, was the second to last in a series scheduled by the school board to discuss redistricting. The board will decide on final redistricting plans next month.

The redistricting plan for the feeder systems of Severna Park and Broadneck high schools calls for renovations and additions to two schools and has very little effect on students.

"Your proposal . . . was unanimously accepted by our residents," said Cliff Roop, president of the Manhattan Beach community association. That statement was echoed by several other people.

The plan would send Belvedere Elementary students, except those from five Manhattan Beach neighborhoods, to the Broadneck feeder system.

Belvedere students currently are fed into Severna Park middle and high schools. The redistricting plan would send them to Magothy River Middle, Severn River Junior High and to Broadneck High School. If approved, the plan will take effect in September.

Under the plan, students living in Manhattan Beach would continue being fed from Belvedere into Severna Park middle and high schools until the renovation and expansion of Jones Elementary school, scheduled to begin near the end of the century, is complete. Elementary school students from Manhattan Beach would then be sent to Jones, which is part of the Severna Park feeder system.

Marcia Verploegen, who represented the Jones PTA at last night's meeting, said the PTA voted to support the proposed redistricting plan and "welcome our neighbors from Manhattan Beach." But she asked that the board consider placing the school's renovation higher on its list of priorities because its student population is more than double the county rated capacity.

Mrs. Verploegen said crowding requires that another portable classroom be assigned to Jones next school year. Jones has one portable classroom.

"Our guidance counselor and reading resource teacher meet with students in a portion of the storage closet, and our art teacher conducts art lessons in the classroom on the students' desks, using a rolling supply cart," she said.

The new classroom would be used as an art room, Mrs. Verploegen said.

Other parts of the redistricting plan call for a multimillion-dollar expansion and renovation at Broadneck High School. Ninth-graders will be added to the school, and Severn River and Magothy River Middle schools will become sixth-through-eighth grade schools.

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