Middle school-boundary proposals are offered


School administrators narrowed their proposal for who will attend which middle school in South Carroll in a report yesterday to the Board of Education.

The plan would allow all Carrolltowne Elementary School students to move on to Oklahoma Road Middle School by January 1997.

The Oklahoma Road boundaries also would affect Eldersburg Elementary students who currently go on to Mount Airy Middle and children who live in Presidential Park. After Oklahoma Road Middle is built, those students would go to Sykesville Middle. Sykesville Middle is crowded now, but would have room when Oklahoma Road Middle opens.

The board will vote on the staff proposal at a special meeting at 7 p.m. March 13 at Liberty High School.

At public hearings last month, Carrolltowne parents asked that their school feed into one middle school, instead of being split between Oklahoma Road and Sykesville.

"In all honesty, that wasn't a major concern to the staff, because when the new southeast elementary school [in the Eldersburg area] opens, the boundaries will change [again]," said Vernon Smith, director of school support services.

In other business, the board:

* Hung a portrait of R. Edward Shilling in the board room. The portrait of Mr. Shilling, who retired as superintendent in 1994, was donated by the Carroll County Education Association. The teachers union has traditionally provided portraits of retired superintendents.

"He worked very hard to make this the best system in Maryland, and he never wavered from that," CCEA President Ralph Blevins said as he presented the portrait.

* Named the next two elementary schools that will be built in Carroll County. For the southeast Carroll school, the board approved Superintendent Brian Lockard's recommendation -- Linton Springs Elementary. After Dr. Lockard asked for suggestions from the public last December, Linton Springs was submitted by three people -- Philip Graves, Stephen Wieber and Ryan Shifflett. There is a spring near the property, which is off Linton Road.

For the northern Carroll school, Dr. Lockard recommended Ebb Valley Elementary, submitted by Francis and Marian Dell. Ebb Valley is about two miles from where the school will be built. In the 1800s, iron ore was mined there, and the village had a store, blacksmith, inn and mill.

* Approved a school calendar for 1996-1997 that includes four snow days instead of three. Any unused snow days would be turned into more days off at spring break.

The school year would begin Aug. 26 and end June 6. Students would be off Jan. 17 for an end-of-semester break, and teachers would use that day for recording grades and other work.

Thanksgiving break and the subsequent parent-teacher conferences will be -- as always -- the last two days of one week and the first two days of the next. Spring break will surround the Easter weekend, March 28 and 31, 1997. If the four snow days aren't used, they would be added to this break. If more than four snow days are used, the schools would extend hours in the spring.

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