Youth’s Benefit parents still not happy with the Harford County Public Schools updated redistricting plan

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Parent Meredith Parkinson's redistricting suggestion for Youth's Benefit Elementary

Harford County parents had the weekend to pore over the updated elementary school redistricting plan the Harford County Public Schools released Friday afternoon. The changes pleased some parents who discovered that the Superintendent’s Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) had considered the suggestions they’d submitted and made a number of changes they’d requested, such as returning many of the previous redistricted students back to their North Bend, Dublin and Darlington elementary schools. Other adjustments can be seen at http://www.hcps.org/publicinformation/redistricting/Revised_Map.pdf. (Click here to read The Aegis’ story on the redistricting update.)

But parents whose suggestions weren’t addressed, plan to head back to the public hearings that start again Wednesday, Jan. 19 in both the Bel Air and Fallston High School auditoriums. They will make their case to the committee charged with devising a redistricting plan that must be in place by March 1 in order for it to go into effect in the coming school year.

Meredith Parkinson, who started the STOP Fallston Redistricting Facebook group, would prefer STAC leave the Youth’s Benefit attendance area alone. But, if it must be changed, she drove the bus routes and communicated with other parents on Facebook to come up with a plan she believes is better than STAC’s and has submitted it to the committee. She offers four different options, two of which would send some students to Abingdon Elementary. Click here to see her plan on Facebook.

In her letter to STAC, she writes:

“I am writing to you regarding the YBES school district. I wish to state that I still hold the belief that this district should be undisturbed, and that the definition of “overcrowding” does not apply here – test scores and thriving students speak nothing but a tribute to the schools’ glowing success. If, however, redistricting of YBES will move forward, I wish to submit my alternative plan. I have driven the bus routes in Fallston, and mapped out my alternatives in the document attached. I will present it at the meeting next Wednesday at Fallston High School …  I have suggested four tiers of redistricting, each more intense then the last.”

The school district stresses that the redistricting plan is still a work in progress and STAC will continue to review parent suggestions, which it posts on a matrix that can be found at http://www.hcps.org/publicinformation/redistricting/SUBMITTED_PROPOSAL_REVIEW_MATRIX.pdf.

Parents can submit their suggestions to elementaryredistricting@hcps.org and there are a number of public hearings on the redistricting process scheduled in the coming weeks:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 – Public Hearing — Bel Air High School and Fallston High School auditoriums

Thursday, January 20, 2011 – Public Hearing — Edgewood High School and North Harford High School auditoriums

Monday, January 31, 2011 – Public Hearing — Havre de Grace High School auditorium (rescheduled meeting from January 12th)

Monday, February 7, 2011 – A.A. Roberty Building Board Room – Board Work Session Plan Modifications Presentation – no public comment accepted at this meeting

Monday, February 14, 2011 – A.A. Roberty Building Board Room – Final Public Hearing – 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Monday, February 28, 2011 – A.A. Roberty Building Board Room – Board Decision on Elementary Redistricting Plan – 6:30 p.m.

Here are the changes to the redistricting plan (as of Jan. 14) as summarized in a “map legend” that appears at the bottom of the map at http://www.hcps.org/publicinformation/redistricting/Revised_Map.pdf:

1. BALANCED ENROLLMENT AMONGST NORRISVILLE, NORTH BEND, AND NORTH HARFORD ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. RETURNED MUCH OF THE
NORTHWEST PORTION OF NORTH BEND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TO THE CURRENT ATTENDANCE AREA.
2. “STOP THE SWAP” – SWAP OF NORTH BEND AND JARRETTSVILLE ELEMENTARY STUDENTS.
3. RETURNED A MAJORITY OF THE DUBLIN/DARLINGTON STUDENTS BACK TO THE CURRENT ATTENDANCE AREA.
4. RETURNED A NUMBER OF STUDENTS BACK TO FOREST HILL ELEMENTARY FROM NORTH BEND REPRESENTING SOME NEIGHBORHOODS DIRECTLY
ACROSS AND WEST OF RT. 24.
5. MADE CHANGES WITH RESPECT TO HICKORY, HOMESTEAD/WAKEFIELD, PROSPECT MILL, RED PUMP AND RING FACTORY ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.
6. THE STONE RIDGE DEVELOPMENT WILL REMAIN IN THE FOUNTAIN GREEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AREA.
7. MAJORITY OF THE GLENWOOD SUBDIVISION DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM RING FACTORY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WILL BE RETURNED TO
RING FACTORY WITH THE EXCEPTION OF A SMALL PORTION NAMED COLONIAL ACRES.
8. MADE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE NORTHEASTERN PORTION OF BAKERFIELD AND THE NORTHEASTERN PORTION OF HALL’S CROSS ROADS
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS TO ROYE WILLIAMS ELEMENTARY.
9. RETAINED SUBDIVISION KNOWN AS VINE HILL ESTATES IN RING FACTORY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
10. MOVED SMALL SECTION IN NORTH EAST PORTION OF RIVERSIDE TO ABINGDON.

Click here to read previous BANV articles on the Harford County Public Schools Elementary redistricting plan.