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School board petitioned to move Westfield students to Boonsboro Middle School

March 22, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

A parent from the Westfields housing development south of Hagerstown petitioned the county school board Tuesday to move the community’s students from the feeder system for E. Russell Hicks Middle School to Boonsboro Middle School.

Corwin M. Parker presented copies of the petition letter to school board members during the citizen-participation portion of a Tuesday night meeting of the Washington County Board of Education. Parker gave the list of 87 signatures to Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox.

The request is driven by concerns that Hicks Middle, in Hagerstown’s South End, is on the verge of being over capacity, while South Hagerstown High School is already over capacity, based on state rates, according to Parker and the petition letter.

Included in the requested redistricting was the expectation that students switched to Boonsboro Middle would then attend Boonsboro High, although current South Hagerstown High students could opt to stay there, according to the petition.

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Parker said there are approximately 250 homes in Westfields.

School board President Wayne Ridenour said the board would take the petition under advisement and have school system officials do the same, and get back to Parker.

Hicks had 766 students and a state-rated capacity of 797 students. South High had 1,269 students and a state-rated capacity of 1,209 students, according to the school system’s Educational Facilities Master Plan and an enrollment report from the fall of 2011.

Parker said that plans for an East City high school would not resolve overcrowding issues for several years.

Last June, the seven-member board approved a list of major school construction priorities under which an East City high school wouldn’t open until August 2020, although that list is subject to change.

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