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School board plans redistricting vote

January 14, 2002

School board plans redistricting vote



By TARA REILLY
tarar@herald-mail.com

What: The Washington County Board of Education will hold a work session to discuss several redistricting options followed by a business meeting to decide which of the recommendations will be brought to a final vote later this month.

When: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for the work session

11:30 a.m. for the business meeting

Where: Washington County Board of Education central office at 820 Commonwealth Ave., Hagerstown



The Washington County Board of Education will decide Tuesday which of the 10 redistricting recommendations to take a final vote on later this month, School Board President Edward Forrest said.

continued

The board will hold a work session at 9 a.m. Tuesday to discuss four options the board brought back to the table regarding the redrawing of the Williamsport, Boonsboro, Clear Spring and Smithsburg school boundaries, Forrest said.

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The Blue Ribbon Redistricting Committee rejected those four options. The committee was created by the School Board to decrease enrollment at some schools and increase it at others.

Following the work session, the board will hold a business meeting at 11:30 a.m. to decide which options will be sent to a final vote, which includes time set aside for public comment.

Forrest said if the School Board decides to bring any of the proposals rejected by the committee or any new proposals to a final vote, it is required by state law to give the public 10 days to send written comments to the board. That would mean a final vote could not be taken before Jan. 25.

If the board decides not to include any new proposals or those rejected by the board, Forrest said the board may make a final vote on Jan. 22, the date of the board's next regularly scheduled business meeting.

He said the 10-day period for written comment would not be necessary because the board already held a public hearing on the rest of the recommendations.

The board must make a decision on the redistricting recommendations by Jan. 31 for the options to go into effect by the next school year, board policy states.

Forrest also said the fate of Conococheague and Maugansville elementary schools will probably be discussed Tuesday. Forrest said the board will discuss whether the schools will be considered a redistricting matter or be made a separate issue.

"I'm not sure it will be part of that redistricting vote," Forrest said.

On. Dec. 5, the committee recommended that the board renovate both schools. Board administrators proposed closing both schools, building a new $11.1 million Maugansville school and splitting the Conococheague students among the new school and a few others.

The committee said it didn't have enough time or information to take a vote on whether the school should be closed and didn't think it was a redistricting issue.

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