- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The first of two public hearings on proposed redistricting plans for Charles County public high schools is scheduled for 6:30 to 9 p.m. April 22 at North Point High School in Waldorf.
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.
Both proposals created by the redistricting committee 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 having 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.
According to information provided by the school system in a press release, those who wish to speak at the hearing must sign up in advance. A sign-in sheet will be available outside the auditorium 45 minutes before the beginning of the hearing. Those arriving after 6:30 p.m. will not be permitted to speak.
Speakers will be issued a number and will be called to the podium in numerical order.
Speakers will be limited to three minutes and must only speak on the redistricting proposals. There will be a screen indicating when a speaker has one minute and then 30 seconds left to speak. At the three-minute mark, board Chairwoman Roberta S. Wise will ask the speaker to stop in order to allow equal time for other speakers.
Board members will not answer questions or respond to comments from speakers during the hearings and are there only to gather input. Active debates with the school board or the audience will not be permitted, according to the release.
Speakers are asked to keep comments respectful and courteous. Swear words will not be tolerated, according to the release.
Note cards will be available for speakers who have questions for staff. A list of the questions and answers will be available at the school system’s website.
The second hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 23 at La Plata High School.
In order to maximize public comment, those who speak at the first hearing will not be permitted to speak again at the second hearing.
After the hearings, Superintendent James E. 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.