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Poll: How Will School Redistricting Affect Communities?

As many as 1,220 students could be attending different schools.

Howard County school board members will hear from the community at a public hearing on a plan members are considering for school redistricting, which is designed to ease overcrowding in southeast area elementary schools.

The proposal as it stands is already generating controversy.

"This plan tears a community apart, isolates a group of 20 children, creates an island, increases transportation costs," wrote Kings Contrivance resident Laurie Buonaccorsi in a letter to Explore Howard.

Joel Gallihue, manager of school planning, that "people don't like change" and he understands many are upset or angry over the proposed plan.

"We're listening for suggestions that are better than the staff suggestions," he said. "It's not a perfect plan, and if someone comes up with a perfect plan, I'll take it."

Do you support the redistricting proposal?  Vote in our poll or explain more in comments.

Can't go to the public hearing tonight, but want to follow it? Patch editors will be live blogging the meeting. Follow live blog updates at Columbia.Patch.com or on Twitter. Follow: @SavGuilfrdPatch, @ColumbiaPatch and @lisaarossi or search the hashtag #hocoschools.

Mike M November 08, 2011 at 07:09 PM
This is not just an issue of "people don't like change" as Mr. Gallihue flippantly suggests. It is about parents not wanting their kids to be isolated from their neighborhood. 20 kids one way or the other isn't going to make a hill of beans difference to the overcrowding issue.
Lilah November 08, 2011 at 09:27 PM
Changing schools can be tough on kids. I remember it being hard to change schools when I was in grade school.
Leigh Roberts November 08, 2011 at 11:02 PM
As a resident of Polygon 10 and 1016, under the plan as it is today, YES, our 20 kids would be torn apart from the rest Dickinson to attend Guilford ES. The rest of Dickinson would be going to Altholton or Hammond ES. We would be a western island with the nearest residence at 1.4 miles away through commercial areas of Broken Land Parkway and Guilford Road.
P90Noir November 09, 2011 at 02:38 PM
I agree that it would be ideal to send all of Dickinson to one elementary school. If that’s not possible, it’s still ridiculous to send kids from Dickinson all the way to Guilford. It’s not remotely connected to our neighborhood, it will force kids to be on buses for far too long and to travel through a highly congested area during rush hour. Not to mention, there are three schools (Atholton, Hammond, and Gorman Crossing) that are closer and more geographically connected to the area. I can understand making Eden Brook a dividing line for splitting students between Hammond and Atholton. It’s not ideal, but it at least leaves all of the kids with a school that is more closely connected to their neighborhood. Sending kids from Dickinson to Guilford borders on ridiculous. No matter what, the plan should do away with this. I didn’t move back to HoCo to have my kids commute by bus for 30-60 minutes of their day. And let’s not even get into the fuel/transportation implications for “green” HoCo.
momofboys November 09, 2011 at 08:45 PM
P90Noir - Most of Dickinson is currently at Guilford ES and if you didn't like that you shouldn't have bought a house in they neighborhood. The distance between Guilford and Amherst House, which is in the heart of Dickinson, is 2.9 miles. Atholton ES is 2.7 miles...a difference of .2 miles...not that huge. Hammond ES is 3.6 miles from there and Gorman Crossing is 3.7 miles...so how are those schools more geographically connected to Dickinson? If you had a problem with Dickinson going to Guilford ES, you shouldn't have bought in Dickinson.
Dmitriy Pinelis November 10, 2011 at 03:47 AM
Donp0101 I absolutely agree with previous comment. Dickinson community wants to get out of Gilford because it is poorly performing school. For some reason they do not want to accept it and so they are trying to present different reasons. There is no difference to ride to Gilford or to ride to Atholton and it definitely not 30-60 min mentioned by p90noir.
P90Noir November 14, 2011 at 07:51 PM
Yes, most of Dickinson is currently at Guilford. It doesn't mean that makes sense. My calculations show Guilford as 3.4 - 3.9 miles, depending on route. And yes, it is divided from our community by a large commercial/industrial area. Going to Atholton (where my kids would go under the Staff Plan and Plan 1) wouldn't require leaving low-trafficed "neigborhood" roads. They would just head straight down Eden Brook. Something similar can be said for the folks who would be sent to Hammond. I've stated clearly that we bought our home knowing that there would be redistricting before we had school-aged children. It's why we bought where we did rather than in a "premier school district." Everyone knows that HoCo school districts move around wildly.
resident November 15, 2011 at 02:10 PM
I am sorry but you are wrong to attack 16/1016. They went about the process the right way. They did not want to be left out, the plan by a few 1015 residents to "keep Dickson together" caused this. They did not consult with the residents of polygon 15 to see what you would like to do. I live in Polygon 1015 and i was just fine with being split, I got brought in because i thought polygon 15 was on board with staying together and i was mislead. I am not having to defend my polugon and the majority who feel like I do because the people who started this have left the building. I support the BOE1 plan and i know that a lot of the residents of Dickson and Huntington do to. We all should because it is what is best for Kings Contrivance. I ask that you come out tonight and show your support too for BOE1.
resident November 15, 2011 at 02:23 PM
My son has gone to Guilford for four years and he has done well. He is performing great but I think more so than the school it is also the Involvement of the parents. The teachers at guilford are great and they work hard. It is crowded and it has it's issues but all schools do. The resaon redistricting makes since is because there are schools closer to us and the shift is westward. We need to come together to support the community. Let us no longer lay blame but support each other in our ultimate goal and that is what is best for our children. Come out tonight at the hearing, you do not have to speak but stand up to support BOE1 period. It is the right thing to do.
Hammond Supporter November 15, 2011 at 05:33 PM
The problem with BOE1 is that it splits the Hammond Community. We are soundly against this and I urge all HES families to email the board to show that we do not support the staff plan or the BOE1 plan. BOE2 is better for us but moves roughly the same number of children. Why not move the Huntington community directly to Fulton? 200 less children would be disrupted under this scenario. There should also be a way to keep 15 and 1015 together.
resident November 15, 2011 at 05:53 PM
I understand what your are saying because they are splitting our community into potentially three different schools. We are over croweded and need immediate relief.

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