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Washington County schoolredistricting changes approved

October 17, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

Seventeen redistricting changes were approved Tuesday by the Washington County Board of Education.

Among those changes was a decision to move 201 Paramount Elementary School students to Maugansville Elementary to relieve overcrowding at Paramount. The board also voted to delay the closing of Conococheague Elementary and to enroll only prekindergarten and kindergarten students at Funkstown School for Early Childhood Education.

Students now attend the school through second grade before moving to Emma K. Doub for third through fifth grade.

Emma K. Doub will remain Funkstown's partner school.

Each vote was unanimous.

A committee began working on redistricting for many county schools earlier this year, and proposals were presented to the board in July.

Officials have said redistricting is necessary to relieve overcrowding at many of the county's elementary schools and to fill a new Rockland Woods Elementary and replacement schools for Maugansville and Pangborn elementary schools.

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All three are scheduled to open in 2008.

Board members did not vote Tuesday on three of the more controversial redistricting proposals. Board members have postponed making a decision on those changes, which would move 23 students from Boonsboro and 123 students from Greenbrier to Rockland Woods.

The board said Tuesday that it would vote on those proposals Nov. 20.

Former Board Member Jacqueline Fischer said she was concerned about delays in the redistricting process. She asked that the board adopt all 20 proposals immediately.

"I have grave concerns that the redistricting process is becoming mired in political agendas rather than moving forward with the best interest of the school system and its 21,000 students," she said.

Fischer said that a delay in redistricting would mean that Greenbrier Elementary would remain severely overcrowded.

Board Vice President Wayne D. Ridenour said that Greenbrier Elementary is at 142 percent of state-rated capacity.

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