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School Board to form redistricting committee

February 21, 2001

School Board to form redistricting committee



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


The Washington County School Board voted Tuesday night to form a committee that will study the redistricting of school boundaries.

The Facilities Enrollment and Advisory Committee had been pushing for a redistricting committee for more than a year, according Jenny Belliotti, chairwoman of the enrollment committee.

The enrollment committee, made up of parents and school staff, is charged with studying various aspects related to school capacity and then making recommendations.

The committee has recommended that a redistricting committee look at all schools in the county, in particular the high schools. It also recommended taking students out of Boonsboro, North Hagerstown and Williamsport high schools and sending them to South Hagerstown High School.

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Belliotti said that the formation of a redistricting committee doesn't mean redistricting will happen.

"We are not saying that we need to redistrict, we are saying that a committee needs to be formed," she said.

Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett said at a Tuesday morning work session that the School Board should have an idea of the duties of the redistricting committee before it's formed.

"We don't have a plan of action as to how we're going to proceed," Bartlett said.

He said appointments to the committee must be made with his advisement, according to board policy. He later agreed to forming the committee after listening to suggestions from School Board members.

"I would like a committee to start immediately," said board member Roxanne Ober. She said some schools, including Eastern Elementary School, are having problems with overcrowding, and that a redistricting committee could offer suggestions to alleviate capacity enrollments.

The board will decide who sits on the committee, which must contain a minimum of two people from the affected school attendance areas. Committee members will serve on a two-year basis.

"This is going to be a huge commitment of time," said board member Doris Nipps.

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