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Parents presented with wrong redistricting information

April 25, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

Proposed redistricting information that was mailed to 1,800 parents by Washington County Public Schools and distributed to 75 people at a public hearing Tuesday night was incorrrect.

The four-page mailer included an outdated description of the attendance zone for a new elementary school in the Westfields housing development along Sharpsburg Pike.

Rob Rollins, acting director of facilites planning and development, said that although the description changed during an April 12 redistricting committee meeting, the new information was not used in the document.

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The change included no longer using the Norfolk Southern Railroad in the southern and western boundary, instead using a number of different roads as the cutoff point. Officials said the change affects only a "small number" of students.

The incorrect attendance zone information was mailed to all parents of students at Boonsboro, Emma K. Doub, Funkstown, Fountain Rock and Greenbrier elementary schools. Those are the students affected by a potential redistricting plan presented at a public meeting Tuesday at Boonsboro High School.

The same document with wrong information was available at that meeting, attended by about 75 parents. The data came from officials in the planning and development office of the school system and was prepared with help from the public information office.

"We have information coming from all directions," Rollins said. "Our job is to put it all together, and I think we're doing a pretty good job of it in general, and we want to do it even better."

Schools spokeswoman Carol Mowen said officials became aware of the inaccurate information Wednesday after seeing it reported in The Morning Herald.

"We didn't know that information was incorrect until after the meeting last night," Rollins said.

The correct attendance zone information was given during a presentation at the Tuesday meeting, he said. The document will be updated before a May 7 meeting for those interested in the same redistricting plan.

Parents specifically affected by the misinformation will be contacted, Mowen said.

Officials were not planning to mail the corrected document to the same 1,800 parents, but Mowen said it will be included on the school system's Web site at www.wcboe.k12.md.us.

Rollins said he believed a map included with the attendance zone description was accurate.

Mowen said a list of reassigned roads on the last page of the document omitted a portion of Whitehall Road.

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