Spring Mills High to open without senior class

May 21, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. — When Berkeley County’s fourth public high school opens for the 2013-14 year, only students in the ninth, 10th and 11th grades will attend classes there.

There will be no graduating Class of 2014 at Spring Mills High School, Superintendent Manny P. Arvon told the Berkeley County Board of Education Monday night.

“We hope for this to be a smooth transition — that’s the reason why we’re giving it 14 months,” Arvon said about the school’s scheduled opening.

Even with the absence of a senior class for the school’s first year, Arvon expects nearly 900 students to be enrolled there based on current enrollment figures.

And a chunk of those new high school students will come from Martinsburg North Middle School, which Arvon described as the “hub” of the realignment plan in place. Spring Mills Middle School will be the primary feeder to the new high school.

Among other impacts, the addition of a fourth high school will result in the shift of students to Hedgesville High School, according to Arvon. Parents will be allowed to speed up the transfer to this fall, instead of waiting until next year, according to Arvon.

Parents of students who will be affected by the realignment are due to receive a letter with accompanying maps, frequently asked questions and contact information for the school district, Arvon said.

Arvon is scheduled to hold a public presentation at Hedgesville High School on May 30 at 6 p.m. about the realignment plan, which also is expected to be posted on the school district’s website Tuesday.

After the school opens, Martinsburg High School’s enrollment still is expected to be a little more than 1,400 in 2013 and Hedgesville High School is projected to top 1,300 based on current enrollment figures, Arvon indicated.

This fall, both high schools are projected to have more than 1,700 students enrolled. The desired size is about 1,200, Arvon said.

By the 2014-15 school year, Spring Mills is expected to have nearly 1,200 students enrolled there, while Hedgesville would dip below 1,300 and Martinsburg also would slightly decrease, according to the projections. 

“At 4,800 (high school) students, we should have opened our fourth high school,” Arvon said. “Today we’re at 5,000.”

Arvon said he expects athlete eligibility will be a frequently asked question of parents and indicated steps are being taken to address those concerns.

Even with the additional high school, all four schools will remain among the largest AAA schools in West Virginia, school board member Rick Pill noted.

North Middle school students who will attend the new high school include those living along at least significant portions, if not all, of Shepherdstown Road (W.Va. 45 east of Martinsburg), Greensburg Road, Files Crossroad, Swan Pond Road, Cedar Lane, Hollida Lane, Winebrenner Road and Eagle School Road, according to the plan.

Those students living in the northern areas of Martinsburg, including areas east of Interstate 81 between exits 14 and 16, and in the vicinity of Edwin Miller Boulevard, Warm Springs Avenue and Woodbury Avenue, will attend Hedgesville High School.

Musselman High School in southern Berkeley County is not part of the realignment plan.

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