School redistricting discussed at meeting

April 12, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM


Conococheague Elementary School would need to remain open for at least a few years, under a proposed school redistricting plan presented Thursday.

The plan had been to close the school when a new Maugansville Elementary School opened in 2008, according to Washington County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for School Operations Boyd Michael.

But a committee discussing redistricting of some county schools heard a recommendation from the school system that the majority of students moved into the new elementary school come from Paramount Elementary School, which is about 130 students over capacity.


Michael said staff members recommended delaying the closing of Conococheague, a decision that ultimately will be up to the Board of Education.

The new Maugansville Elementary School is scheduled to open in 2008, along with a larger replacement school for Pangborn Elementary School and a new elementary school in the Westfields community south of Hagerstown.

Redistricting will be necessary to relieve overcrowding in some schools and to fill the new schools. The committee's work on attendance areas should be completed by mid-July, officials said.

A new Pangborn Elementary School is expected to hold nearly 750 students. The existing school has 620 students -139 more than its state-rated capacity. A new Maugansville Elementary School is expected to hold about 735 students. The school's current enrollment is 337 students - about 20 more than its state-rated capacity. A new elementary school in the Westfields community will hold about 750 students.

A proposal by school system staff Thursday would keep the Pangborn Elementary attendance zone the same. The recommendation was to move about 200 students from Paramount Elementary and eight students from Conococheague into the new Maugansville school. With 337 students coming from the existing Maugansville Elementary and factoring in growth in the area, officials said the school should open with about 616 students in 2008.

Michael said that additional students could be included from the Powers Estates area.

The committee scheduled meetings to inform the public about the proposed redistricting plans and to gather input. Committee members and school system staff said that parents and community members would be informed of the meetings, which are scheduled to be held in April and May at schools in Boonsboro, Williamsport and Hagerstown.

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