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Students could be moved back to Paramount

June 23, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- About 120 students who were among 200 who moved from Paramount Elementary School to Maugansville Elementary School in 2008 could go back to Paramount as soon as 2011, according to one proposal being considered by a redistricting committee.

The committee, which is considering redistricting changes countywide, met Tuesday to discuss changes affecting schools in northern and central Washington County. Washington County Public Schools staff makes recommendations to the committee, which votes on which proposals to take to the Washington County Board of Education for a final decision.

Officials said Tuesday that public hearings could begin as soon as August, and any redistricting changes that have an effect on Eastern Elementary School or a new Eastern Primary School likely would take place in the fall of 2011 when the 625-seat primary school is to open.

Redistricting changes at 17 schools took effect in 2008, including at the new Maugansville Elementary School. When the 735-seat elementary school opened, it enrolled 642 students. School system data shows the school reaching 104 percent capacity by 2012.

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"Maugansville Elementary is projected to be significantly over capacity in 2012," Facilities Planning Manager Robert Spong said. "We didn't foresee the rapid growth."

Spong said growth in the Paramount area slowed after the last redistricting effort, while homes continued to be built near Maugansville. He said officials anticipated additional growth in the Paramount area, and that school is now underenrolled by about 100 students.

Another staff proposal discussed Tuesday would move Winter Street Elementary School's fifth-graders back to the school. Spong said about 45 fifth-graders who should be attending Winter Street are attending Salem Avenue Elementary School.

Spong said Winter Street Principal Matthew Semler has requested the school's fifth grade return to the building. The committee also discussed moving another 71 students from Salem Avenue to Fountaindale Elementary School.

The committee made no decisions about the proposals discussed Tuesday, and co-chairman Adam Lewis said the committee would continue to discuss the proposals at future meetings along with other staff recommendations.

If you go



What: Committee meeting to discuss redistricting of Washington County Public Schools

When: July 7, 6 p.m.

Where: Washington County Public Schools central office, 820 Commonwealth Ave., Hagerstown

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