- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A school redistricting committee has come up with two proposals for upcoming high school redistricting to create an attendance zone for St. Charles High School and balance enrollment for the county’s six other high schools.
St. Charles High is set to open on Piney Church Road in Waldorf in 2014 with grades 9, 10 and 11.
The school will hold 1,600 students.
The redistricting committee is made up of parents, school system central office staff and county government representatives, and was formed in October.
The redistricting process is done one year in advance, and it does not take effect until August 2014.
“While I am not looking forward to redistricting any of our students in Charles County, unfortunately it is a necessity, and I am hoping that the improved process that has been implemented will allow for more public input,” said Charles County Board of Education member Jennifer S. Abell.
Prior to forming the committee, the school board approved minor tweaks to the redistricting policy, which included adding an additional opportunity for public comment, including an informational meeting where parents could ask questions and voice concerns before any lines were drawn for redistricting. That meeting was held in November.
The committee plans to present its proposals to the school board at 3 p.m. Tuesday during the school board’s regularly scheduled meeting.
There will be two public hearings, which are scheduled for April 22 and April 23.
According to a news release from the school system, Superintendent James E. Richmond asked the 16-member committee to consider anticipated growth while reducing student enrollment at each high school to at or below state-rated capacity. Currently, North Point, La Plata and Westlake high schools are over capacity, with North Point at more than 600 too many students.
According to the release, proposal A transfers more students than Proposal B, moving 1,398 ninth- and 10th-graders versus 1,233 in B. Proposal A offers the most relief to North Point.
The first public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 22 at North Point. The second hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 23 at La Plata.
In order to maximize public comment, those who speak at the first hearing will not be permitted to speak again at the second hearing. Speakers will have three minutes to comment.
After the hearings, Richmond will develop recommendations for each high school based on review of the plans and public comments. Richmond can recommend one of the proposals or modified versions.
A separate public hearing on the superintendent’s recommendations will be May 20 at Westlake High School. The board will take a final vote on the high school redistricting June 11, at its regular monthly meeting.
Board member Michael K. Lukas said he looks forward to seeing the presentation Tuesday and thanked those on the committee for their efforts.