School board briefs

April 19, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

Conococheague should stay open, local woman says

Conococheague Elementary School, which once was slated for closure, should stay open, said a member of a committee that advises the Washington Board of Education.

"It seems unwise to continue to plan to close Conococheague until a new school is built or another solution is found," Leslie LeBlanc told the board at its meeting Tuesday night.

LeBlanc, chairperson of the Facilities and Enrollment Advisory Committee, recommended that the board shift some Paramount Elementary School students to the new Maugansville Elementary School, which is scheduled to open in 2007, to accommodate growing enrollment numbers. With Paramount beyond capacity, LeBlanc said she believed the board should not go ahead with an earlier decision to close nearby Conococheague.

The board, which voted in 2003 to close Conococheague, agreed in November to include in its Capital Improvement Program a feasibility study to examine the prospects of renovating and expanding the building to accommodate growth. Board members and staff said at the time the decision did not necessarily signal a reprieve for the school.


G. William Blum, chief operating officer for the school system, who sat beside LeBlanc as she made her presentation Tuesday, said after the meeting that he agrees with the recommendations of the facilities committee.

"I thought they were excellent recommendations, and I think it's pretty obvious, given the enrollment pressures we're under, closing Conococheague might be premature," Blum said.

Last day of school set for a Monday

The last day of school for Washington County Public Schools students this year will be a Monday.

The school system, which schedules as many as eight extra days at the beginning of the year to accommodate for possible emergency closures, canceled just two days of classes this year, Deputy Superintendent for Instruction Patricia Abernethy told the Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday.

That means the last day for students is Monday, June 5. The last day for teachers is June 6.

The last day of school still could be changed, if classes are canceled systemwide again this school year, Abernethy said.

Assistant principals chosen for Western

The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday appointed two assistant principals to Western Heights Middle School, which is restructuring as part of efforts to improve test scores.

Rodney L. Gayman, an assistant principal at Boonsboro High School, and Adrienne C. Mayonado will begin work July 1 at Western Heights Middle School, according to material supplied by the school system's human resources department.

$1.4 million more OK'd for stadium

Fencing, gates and bleachers are coming to North Hagerstown High School where Mike Callas Stadium is being built.

The Washington County Board of Education voted at its meeting Tuesday to approve almost $1.4 million worth of masonry, paving and contracts for the new stadium.

So far, the Board of Education has awarded about $2.9 million in contracts, including the contracts awarded Tuesday, for the project, which is expected to cost $3.5 million, said G. William Blum, chief operating officer for the school system.

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