First forum on school redistricting set

September 09, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The first public forum on redistricting in Washington County Public Schools will be Thursday evening at Smithsburg High School.

Chad Criswell, director of facilities planning & development for Washington County Public Schools, said redistricting is being considered to alleviate high student populations at several elementary schools in Washington County.

He said 15 of the county's 26 elementary schools are over the local-rated capacity and seven are over the state-rated capacity.

The elementary schools that are being considered for redistricting are Bester, Boonsboro, Cascade, Conococheague, Eastern, Fountain Rock, Fountaindale, Funkstown Early Learning Center, Greenbrier, Lincolnshire, Maugansville, Old Forge, Pangborn, Paramount, Potomac Heights, Rockland Woods, Salem Avenue, Sharpsburg, Williamsport and Winter Street.


Criswell said the Facilities and Enrollment Advisory Committee, which includes parents of students and was given the task earlier this year of with coming up with a redistricting plan, will present its proposals during the first part of the forum.

The second part of the forum will be used to accept recommendations from the public on redistricting, he said.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for people to get out and offer their opinions and suggestions," Criswell said. "This is our shot at trying to hear everyone's concerns."

Criswell said officials from Washington County Public Schools will answer questions from the public after the forum.

The amount of time the forum lasts will be based on speaker participation, he said.

The public's recommendations will be reviewed by the committee in October and submitted to the Washington County Board of Education, Criswell said.

People will be asked to keep their comments to three minutes to maximize the number of speakers. Suggestions also will be accepted via e-mail at or by mail at FEAC, 820 Commonwealth Ave., Hagerstown, MD 21740.

If you go:

What: The first of three public forums to discuss redistricting in Washington County Public Schools

When: Thursday, Sept. 10, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Smithsburg High School

What's next: Forums also will be held Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Rockland Woods Elementary School and Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Pangborn Elementary School.

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