To ease crowding and to balance enrollments at elementary schools in central and northern Carroll County, school officials have proposed redistricting about 300 pupils in the region next year.
The changes - a gradual shift of elementary pupils in the northeastern corner of the county to schools farther west and south - would not affect middle or high school students.
The school board is considering:
Moving 69 pupils from Spring Garden Elementary in Hampstead to Sandymount Elementary in Finksburg.
Shifting 82 pupils from Hampstead Elementary to Westminster's Cranberry Station Elementary.
Redistricting 82 pupils from Manchester Elementary to Charles Carroll Elementary in Silver Run.
Moving 58 pupils from Charles Carroll to William Winchester Elementary in Westminster.
Parents can comment on the proposed boundary changes at a public hearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday at North Carroll High School on Panther Drive in Hampstead. Maps of the proposed changes should be available this afternoon on the school system's Web site at http://ccpl.carr.org/ccps and at each of the affected elementary schools.
Redistricting - or redrawing borders that determine which schools children attend - is an incendiary issue, especially in suburban counties, where growth has forced a boom in school construction.
Carroll County has been no exception.
School board members are considering moving about 350 pupils among schools in the southern portion of the county next year.
Redrawing boundaries to adjust enrollments in the rest of the county was more difficult, said James Doolan, the school system's transportation supervisor and chairman of this year's redistricting committee.
"Because of the physical location [of the northern part of the county] we can't look north because of the Pennsylvania line, and we can't look east because of the Baltimore County line," he told the school board yesterday. "So we're limited in the places where you can move students to."
The board will vote on the plan for southern Carroll County at its meeting March 13 and on the north-central plan at its meeting April 13. Although both meetings begin at 5 p.m. at the Board of Education offices on North Court Street, the board will not begin discussing redistricting proposals until 7 p.m.