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Allegany County students may be bused to Hancock

June 15, 2000|By TARA REILLY

About 75 middle and high school students from Allegany County could be attending classes in Washington County schools if both sides approve the move, Allegany County Schools Superintendent John O'Connell said Thursday.

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O'Connell said students in grades six to 12 from the Little Orleans area east of M.V. Smith Road near Interstate 68 in Allegany County could be moved to Hancock Middle-Senior High School to cut down on busing distance in Allegany County. Those students currently attend Fort Hill middle and high schools.

O'Connell said the Hancock school is closer to those students' homes than the schools they attend.

Sending the students to Hancock would cut their travel time by 15 to 20 minutes, he said.

Allegany County would foot the cost of transportation and pay Washington County about $2,200 to $2,500 per student, he said. He did not have cost estimates on transportation.

About 336 students were enrolled in Hancock Middle-Senior High School during the 1999-2000 school year. The school's capacity is 628 students.

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If the move is approved, there is no word on when it could go into effect.

O'Connell said Allegany County has been in ongoing discussions about school consolidation and plans to poll parents of students who would be affected by a possible move.

About 60 parents from Little Orleans have signed a petition presented to the Allegany County Board of Education backing the move, O'Connell said.

He also said he's had phone conversations about the matter with Washington County Schools Superintendent Herman Bartlett but nothing is official.

"There appears to be some discussion, but formally we have not been approached," Donna Messina, Washington County Community Relations Specialist, said.

Messina said she could not comment on the impact a possible move could have on Washington County because there has not been a final decision.

O'Connell said the Allegany County Board of Education will consider the move at its meeting Tuesday, July 11, at 7 p.m.

"Then we'll communicate with the Washington County Board of Education," he said.

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