Parents oppose moving children School board told to reject proposed redistricting plan


Parents of Charles Carroll Elementary School students came out in large numbers last night to urge the Carroll County Board of Education to reject a proposed school redistricting plan and to leave their school population intact.

The redistricting recommendation would send 66 Charles Carroll students to William Winchester Elementary School in Westminter's downtown district.

Charles Carroll, the county's oldest and smallest school, is in Silver Run.

The move is part of the comprehensive boundary adjustment process stemming from the planned opening of Cranberry Station Elementary in August 1999, which will put Charles Carroll below its capacity of 325.

About 70 parents, armed with charts, posters and pictures, argued that removing 66 students would mean a loss of teachers and overcrowded classrooms.

Charles Carroll parent Lars Hviding said that the school's population of 376 will decrease through attrition to 362 in 1999 and below capacity to 319 in 2001.

"Due to being in a stable growth area, we're destined to go down in numbers," Hviding said.

"We urge you to please leave Charles Carroll completely out of the redistricting process in the best interest of our children," he .. said.

Virginia Bussiere, a Charles Carroll parent, showed board members pictures of Charles Carroll's speech and language room to demonstrate how the county's smallest school has creatively used limited space.

"This room has been labeled by [county] school facilities staff as unacceptable," Bussiere said. "But this is how we prudently utilized every inch of our building."

Linda Yingling, a Charles Carroll third-grade teacher, said that the loss of students could lead to fewer teachers and combined classes.

"I utilize every second of the day now to implement the third-grade curriculum," Yingling said. "I can't imagine having to combine it with another class."

Four options

County school officials reviewed four redistricting options related the opening of Cranberry Station.

The school board will vote at a meeting April 16. Redistricting could mean a change of schools for more than 1,300 students in the next two years.

The boundary adjustments also would involve shifting some county middle and high school students.

Some parents last night objected to a boundary adjustment that would send 48 students from New Windsor Middle School to Northwest Middle School in Taneytown, which is under capacity.

"The county made a mistake with Northwest Middle and is still trying to justify its existence," said New Windsor parent Debbie Doxzon. "Don't use our kids to fill the seats in this white elephant."

About a dozen parents from the Flanders/Amberly neighborhood South Carroll also protested a proposed boundary change that would shift their children from Carrolltowne Elementary to Eldersburg Elementary.

Linton Springs

The change is part of another redistricting process associated with the opening of Linton Springs Elementary in August.

"Splintering our neighborhood simply because it looks good on paper defeats the purpose of keeping a community together," said Carrolltowne parent Cheryl O'Bannon.

In other business last night, the school board named Nancy Chapin to be the first principal at Linton Springs Elementary. She is principal at Carrolltowne Elementary.

The board also named Robin Farinholt assistant supervisor of special education. She is the principal at Carroll Springs, the county's special education school.

Pub Date: 3/12/98

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