Space at Ridge Ruxton seen as one option to ease West Towson Elementary overcrowding

Parents of students at Ridge Ruxton and West Towson Elementary schools are invited to a pair of meetings next week with Baltimore County Public School officials to discuss ways to alleviate overcrowding at West Towson, county school spokesman Charles Herndon confirmed Friday.

West Towson Elementary School opened in 2010, but according to the school system's enrollment projections, it is 68 students over its 451-seat capacity this year, and will be 140 seats over capacity for the 2012-2013 school year.

One of the options to alleviate the overcrowding, Herndon said, would be to move some classes from West Towson Elementary to Ridge Ruxton, which is next door on North Charles Street.

"We routinely explore a variety of relief strategies any time we have a school or schools that either are or are projected to be overcrowded," Herndon said. "That's where we are at this point.

"We're really at the exploration stage, and these meetings are an opportunity to share more information with the public and address their questions," he said.

The first meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m., at Ridge Ruxton, with a second meeting at West Towson Elementary School on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m.

Mary Munoz, secretary of the Ridge Ruxton PTA, said the PTA board was told around Christmas by principal Ed Bennett of the possibility that some classrooms from West Towson could be moved to Ridge Ruxton.

"We didn't know what to think," Munoz said. "It really took us a while to absorb it."

The PTA shared the information with the parents in a flier that went out earlier this month announcing the meetings.

Munoz said they haven't received much feedback because nobody really knows what to expect yet, but she said they'll know more after the meeting, and that the PTA will survey parents after that.

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