74 students from Bester and Winter Street schools to use school choice option

August 09, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE |
  • Winter Street Elementary School is shown in this Herald-Mail file photo.
Herald-Mail file photo

Parents of 74 students in the Bester and Winter Street elementary school districts have applied to take advantage of the school choice option and have their children attend a different school this year, school system spokesman Richard Wright said Tuesday.

As long as the parents fill out the proper paperwork, register their child at the new school and don't change their minds, those students will be attending Rockland Woods or Potomac Heights elementary schools when the school year starts Aug. 24, Wright said.

Schools that didn't meet "adequate yearly progress" for two consecutive years, are beginning their first year in "school improvement" and are Title 1 schools must offer families a choice to send their children to other schools for at least the next two school years.

Bester, in Hagerstown's South End, and Winter Street, in Hagerstown's West End, both missed proficiency standards in 2010 and 2011 on the Maryland School Assessments and are Title 1 schools because they have higher populations of students from low-income families.

Families in the Bester and Winter Street school districts were given the option of having their children attend Rockland Woods, which is south of Hagerstown, or Potomac Heights, which is in Hagerstown's North End.

Of the 64 children in the Bester school district whose families opted to relocate their children, 51 would go to Rockland Woods and 13 to Potomac Heights, Wright said.

Of the 10 children relocating in the Winter Street school district, six would go to Rockland Woods and four to Potomac Heights, Wright said.

The deadline for parents of currently enrolled students to apply for school choice was Aug. 4. For parents of new students enrolling in the school system, the deadline is Dec. 22.

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