Superintendent recommends redistricting Alternative A
Plan will relocate approximately 2,221 students, affect all but six county elementary schools
Charles County Superintendent Kimberly Hill is recommending an elementary school redistricting plan that will relocate an estimated 2,221 students and impact all but six of the county’s 36 current elementary schools.
At the school board’s May 9 meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Supporting Services Michael Heim said Hill was recommending Alternative A, one of two plans put forth by a redistricting committee established last year.
The redistricting committee was tasked with creating new elementary school attendance zones to account for the new Billingsley Elementary School in White Plains, which is scheduled to open at the start of the 2018-19 school year. Its construction is meant to address overcrowding in neighboring schools.
Currently, all but seven elementary schools have student populations above their State Rated Capacity, Heim said. Under Alternative A, all but seven will be under their SRC.
Committee member Kathy Perriello, principal at Henry E. Lackey High School, said earlier that the team that developed Alternative A went beyond the maps and traveled the neighborhoods to be affected in their plan.
The school system held two public meetings last month for community members to share their thoughts on the plans. More than 50 people spoke, many asking the school system to minimize the impact on students.
“We really did listen to the comments that were provided to us by the public during the two public hearings that have already been held, and we tried to make our decisions based on what’s in the best interest of children, and also on the best interests of the parents who came before us,” Hill said.
A public hearing on the superintendent’s proposed plan will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 22 at Westlake High School. The board is expected to
vote on the plan at its June 13 meeting.
Comments can also be emailed to redistrict@ ccboe.com or mailed to Charles County Public Schools, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646. The deadline for comments is June 1.
Alternative A will relocate approximately 400 fewer students than Alternative B, Heim said.
Alternative A would have the new Billingsley Elementary School draw primarily from neighborhoods currently assigned to Berry Elementary east of Middletown Road and Dr. James Craik east of Middletown Road and south of Billingsley Road but also drawing from neighborhoods currently assigned to Arthur Middleton and William B. Wade elementary schools.
Heim said Alternative A creates a smaller geographic zone for Billingsley, with lower transportation costs.
Gale-Bailey, Dr. Thomas Higdon, Indian Head, Malcolm, T.C. Martin and Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy elementary schools’ attendance zones would not be affected under Alternative A, but all other elementary schools will be.
Under Alternative B, all but three of the county’s elementary schools would be impacted, Heim said.
“There were some glaring differences and concerns we saw looking at Plan A and B, and Dr. Hill felt that A was the better plan,” Heim said.
More information on the superintendent’s proposed elementary school redistricting plan can be found on the school system’s website at www. ccboe.com/redistricting.