The Linganore-Oakdale-Urbana redistricting study is chugging along. The Facilities Services Division of Frederick County Public Schools as well as the consulting firm Cropper GIS, which is heading up the study, held their third round of community meetings last week to discuss latest updates on the project and plans.

Matthew Cropper, founder and president of Cropper GIS, reviewed the redistricting options and concepts and took questions from the community in the final session Thursday at Oakdale High School.

Two different redistricting options were presented for each school level — elementary, middle and high school.

“No plan is going to be perfect. There are things we can’t control,” Cropper told parents and other community members who were in attendance.

According to the FCPS website, the purpose of the redistricting is to “establish attendance boundaries and feeder patterns for two new schools that address enrollment growth.”

The two new schools are Sugarloaf Elementary on Stone Barn Drive in Urbana and a not-yet-named elementary school in the Lake Linganore Hamptons West neighborhood, which is scheduled to open for the 2020-2021 school year.

Sugarloaf Elementary is serving as a temporary home for Urbana Elementary school students while the school is demolished and rebuilt.

Many of the options presented by Cropper focused on providing capacity relief to schools as many, elementary schools in particular, are over capacity.

In the question-and-answer portion of the meeting, many parents asked how these plans would affect high schoolers who attend Linganore, Oakdale and Urbana — especially upperclassmen who will be enrolled when the changes take effect for the 2020-2021 school year.

Beth Pasierb, facilities planning supervisor for FCPS, said no decision has been made on whether juniors and seniors of those high schools will be allowed to stay in their original school when the plan finally comes into effect.

Pasierb said FCPS has offered a “grandfather” option in the past but that the school district is still evaluating to make sure this wouldn’t lead to further crowding.

Some in attendance were unhappy with the resitricting options.

“My immediate thought is that this is a Band-Aid and that the county as a whole is way behind,” said Lauren Haddaway. “We’re going to be going through this exact same process in five, seven years because the county is not prepared. This is not a forward-thinking approach.”

Her kids attend Deer Crossing Elementary School. Haddaway’s biggest concern is that schools are going to continue to be crowded even with the redistricting because of all the new developments coming up around the county.

Deer Crossing Elementary is over capacity by 202 students, and according to next year’s enrollment projections, the school will welcome 33 more students.

“My concern is you’re going to have 30-plus [students] per teacher and how can a teacher work in that environment,” Haddaway said.

Others were concerned about communities being split up. Marcia Watson lives in Lake Linganore, one of the affected areas.

“What they’ve ended up doing is taking a small portion of the entire Lake Linganore community and possibly moving it off into an area that is not our community,” Watson said.

She is concerned for kids who will now be siphoned off to a new school and the social implications that could have.

“The great thing about living in Lake Linganore is we do have interaction across all of our villages,” Watson said. “We go to the same pools, we go to the lake, we ride our golf carts under the bridge ... and for our children who use those amenities as their social gatherings, you’re segregating a portion of the neighborhood from all the friendship potentials they have or could have.”

However, Cropper assured residents at the meeting that great effort will be made not to split up communities, and if a community has to move, “they move together.”

A survey for the residents to submit feedback on the latest draft plans will be online at the FCPS website until Friday, June 28. Afterward, the Facilities Services Division and Cropper GIS will work over the summer to finalize the options and present them to FCPS Superintendent Terry Alban.

Alban will make her final recommendation to the Board of Education on Sept. 11. The school board will then hold public discussions and hearings in September and October.

Follow Katryna Perera on Twitter: @katrynajill.

(4) comments

Tigerzord

Don't forget this is why the people of Monrovia/Ijamsville in conjunction with RALE fought the last BoCC (2010-2014) for recklessly approving all these developments. As a citizen we all knew the impacts and why we fought so hard. It will take decades to fix.

jerseygrl42

It seems there has been no let-up in additional development and the infra-structure is in worse shape than ever

jhdotson

Lauren Haddaway is correct. This is not forward thinking. Anyone who has bought in LL in the past decade had to know that something had to happen to alleviate the over crowding at not just DCES but at the middle school level. Keeping all of LL at OMS, with continued construction in Oakdale Village does not solve that problem. Whether LL splits and goes to NMMS or TJMS it needs to be done. Socially the kids will be fine. They still interact with friends through LOUYAA, scouts, community pools etc. They will only be expanding their circle. The status quo at DCES and OMS is not sustainsble. It is not possible for admin and staff to know the kids and families, be engaged with the community at that size. Busses are. 2 runs in the morning and 2 in afternoon with 3 to a seat. Lunch shifts are split and start at 1030 am. None of these things in isolation are a big deal but combined it is a stressful environment. The county needs to commit to grandfathering Jr's and Sr's and parents in ALL the feeders need to accept that they bought property in an overcrowded district with approved development plans and public education boundaries can shift . It straight up stinks and is disappointing and infuriating. I have 5 kids in the LL feeder into Oakdale...2 in private high schools but 3 heading into the middle schools. More important than which MS they end up in is that they end up at one that is not overcrowded and stressed. Additionally the county should look at moving ALL the specialized academies in every high school to CTC as to not take seats in these high schools to out of district kids. Right now the Urbana IB program has 20 out of district kids and priority give to Urbana residents for the remainder of the seats. If that was housed at CTC it would level the playing field for admission removing the geographic bias. Same with the academies at Linganore and Oakdale. The only people to blame are the previous elected officisls who rubber stamped development without proper infrastructure. These 2 options kick the can down the road and guarantee another costly and emotional redistricting process in a few short years.

mikec

Agree with the last part of your remarks- blame goes to the Young and Delauter board and those that voted them in. If you voted R across the board during those elections, you can't complain about the out of control growth and loss of both green space and of quality of life.

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