Washington County Board of Education holds hearing for proposed redistricting

The Washington County Board of Education is working on coming up with a new attendance zone, which could potentially reassign nearly 130 elementary school students.
This is all in an effort to help alleviate crowded schools and to fill the new Sharpsburg Elementary School set to open for the 2020-2021 school year.
It’s becoming clear; Boonsboro Elementary School and Pleasant Valley Elementary School are reaching capacity.

“Boonsboro Elementary in 2021 is projected to be over 120 percent of its state rated capacity, Pleasant Valley is projected to be about 110 percent of its state rated capacity in 2021,” said Chad Criswell, senior project manager and planning supervisor for Washington County Public Schools.
The school board is considering moving students from those schools to the new Sharpsburg Elementary School, which will be much larger than the current school.
“We want to fill up the new school since, since we are creating space there. And we also want to relieve the enrollment pressures at Boonsboro Elementary and Pleasant Valley Elementary,” said Criswell. 
The Facilities and Enrollment and Advisory Committee has given the Washington County School Board three recommendations. The first recommendation would reassign approximately 11 students from Boonsboro Elementary School to Sharpsburg Elementary School.
The second option moves about 101 students from Boonsboro Elementary school to Sharpsburg Elementary School. While the third option would move 18 students from Pleasant Valley Elementary School to Sharpsburg Elementary School.

“The three recommendations would move about 130 students out of Boonsboro and Pleasant Valley Elementary to the new Sharpsburg Elementary School,” said Criswell.
Shelley Lebel has a special needs son who is in kindergarten at Boonsboro Elementary School. Under the proposed changes, her son would be reassigned to Sharpsburg Elementary School. She explained to the school board that the transition may be harder for special needs kids.

“He’s got social connections that he has made that he has hard-fought made, I really don’t want to interrupt that and so it should be up to me to make that decision on what school I think is the better one for him,” said Lebel.
Lebel also believes the school board could have went about the reassignment differently.

“They could easily phase the kindergartners in and reduce overcrowding over time, so you don’t really need to take out 100 children from Boonsboro and dump them somewhere else,” said Lebel.
The Washington County School Board has the option of approving any or all of the recommendations. A tentative vote is scheduled for May 7

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