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Panel calls for moving some students from Pangborn to Paramount

March 07, 2013|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — A volunteer committee examining measures to temporarily alleviate overcrowding at Pangborn Elementary School in the upcoming school year came to a consensus on a proposed recommendation Thursday night.

The Facilities and Enrollment Advisory Committee’s recommendation would call for the redistricting of 11 multifamily dwellings in the Cortland Manor development, moving approximately 55 students from Pangborn Elementary to Paramount Elementary School next fall.

The proposal would drop Pangborn’s current enrollment of 810 to an estimated 787 in the 2013-14 school year, according to projections provided by Chad Criswell, senior project manager and planning supervisor for county schools.

Criswell has said the projected enrollment for Pangborn next year without redistricting would be 842, nearly 100 more than its state-rated capacity of 745.

If approved and implemented by the school board, Paramount’s current enrollment of 337 would increase to an estimated 410 in 2013-14, putting that school just over its state-rated capacity of 409, according to Criswell’s projections.

FEAC chairman Bert Iseminger said school system staff provided about 15 options to consider when the committee first met in late February.

Iseminger said he feels Thursday’s decision, made at the school system’s Commonwealth Avenue Central Office, would provide the least disruptive solution for the community and fulfills the school board’s charge of providing relief to Pangborn.

“One of our main concerns was to make sure that Paramount had the resources available to handle those students,” he said. “And it was stated tonight that they do have the resources and they would be provided additional resources to make sure that they could take care of those students.”

According to information given to committee members, multifamily units on Little Elliott Drive that would be affected by the proposed change include the following addresses: 12915, 12916, 12920, 12923, 12927, 12931, 12935, 12939, 12940, 12943 and 12944.

The proposed redistricting also would include the development’s 138 townhomes and 48 villas, although those homes only include a few elementary students in Pangborn’s district that have already been enrolled at Paramount, Criswell said.

A draft recommendation letter and supporting documents will be prepared and brought before the committee for final review at its next meeting, set for 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 20, at the school system’s Commonwealth Avenue Central Office.

School system officials said at the meeting that they intend to reach out to the affected families in the coming weeks to provide further details.

A final recommendation is due to the school board by April 2.

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