OCTOBER 4th, 2017
Last evening (10/3/2017) the interim Superintendent, Dr. Michael Martirano made the recommendation to the Board of Education to postpone high school redistricting for the 2018- 2019 school year. To read the official press release and review Dr. Martirano’s recommendation please click here. The next recommended round of redistricting would be in preparation for the new high school (#13) to be built (2020 - 2021). The Superintendent suggests the redistricting of 1,922 elementary students in order to fill the new elementary school (#42) and bring other schools below capacity. The proposal is calling for the movement of 300 middle school students to align feeder patterns with the elementary schools. Students to Northfield, Dunloggin and Centennial will not be impacted at this time. However, this initial recommendation is just the beginning of the redistricting process. The Board of Education will now review Dr. Martirano's plan and either accept, change or deny his recommendation. It is important to note that the BOE can consider the Feasibility Study and any and all AAC proposed redistricting plans as well.
The SJCA and the Redistricting Organization Committee (ROC) will be holding a meeting this Saturday, October 7, 10:00 am at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church on Chatham Road. The committee would like to discuss what was done prior to the Superintendent's recommendation and what we can do going forward to insure that Dunloggin stays together at Centennial High School. We understand that Saturday’s are difficult for everyone, but we promise to make the meeting as short as possible. Please make time on Saturday morning to stop by.
The Board of Education will be hosting open testimony with Howard County communities at large on October 27 and November 7. These meetings are designed to allow individual speakers to be heard. If you are interested in providing testimony, SJCA and the ROC would like to hear from you! Please send us an email at DunlogginNeighbor@gmail.com to share your ideas. Each speaker will be allowed 3 minutes present their case to the BOE.
We know that this has been a difficult time for our community and we appreciate your support. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.
Your Friends and Neighbors,
SEPTEMBER 7th, 2017
In case you missed it, Howard County Public Schools (HCPSS) is in the midst of a massive school redistricting effort. What was intended to be a redistricting effort for only elementary schools, The Office of School Planning (OSP) along with the HCPSS are vetting draft plans that will affect all three levels of education (elementary, middle and high schools.) “The majority of students affected would come from the elementary school level at 4,016 students; followed by 3,691 students from high schools and 1,076 students from middle schools.” [See HoCo Times article https://goo.gl/9537BK]
SJCA Formed a Dedicated Redistricting Committee
In response to the pending redistricting discord, the SJCA formed the Redistricting Organizing Committee, or better known as The ROC. The ROC is committed to:
- Providing accurate information regarding HCPSS redistricting.
- Advocate for those living in Dunloggin as it relates to the redistricting process.
- Challenge leadership to ensure a fair, transparent and equitable redistricting process.
- Work to present alternative Redistricting Plans and outside-of-the box thinking as they relate to managing school capacity.
What has Happened So Far...
The OSP released the 2017 Annual Feasibility Study in June 2017. It recommended adjustment of attendance area plans (comprehensive redistricting) to alleviate severe overcrowding in certain parts of the County. Whenever a redistricting is recommended, an Attendance Area Committee (AAC) is formed to evaluate the attendance area plans presented in the feasibility study and receive public input. It’s important to note that the AAC is comprised of 12-15 citizen volunteers, with two each representing a specific geographic area in Howard County. The Committee used Policy 6010 [See policy here https://goo.gl/mjgVpf] to vet their own scenarios and those supplied by citizens. The ROC tried multiple times to reach out to our AAC Reps and we were told by the OSP that it was not possible and Dunloggin residents should fill out the AAC Survey to provide community feedback. The ROC submitted two alternative plans to the AAC and it is not clear from correspondence if either plan was properly vetted by the OSP or AAC. The AAC met several times over the summer, the final meeting was held on August 22nd. The AAC Final Plan and maps have not yet been released (see below), but all draft plans, scenarios and meeting information can be found on the Attendance Area Committee Process Page.
What Does This Mean for Dunloggin?
The most recent AAC Draft Plan submitted just prior their final meeting (8/22) recommends splitting Dunloggin between Centennial High School and Wilde Lake High School, using Waycross Road as the dividing line. The ROC feels strongly that splitting our neighborhood between two high schools would greatly harm our community and such, we are actively campaigning to keep the Dunloggin community together. Dunloggin United!
What Can You Do To Help?
1) Send Letters or emails to the BOE addressing your concerns about redistricting and the division of our neighborhood. (Please retain copies of your emails for resubmittal after Oct. 3rd meeting. They will then be counted as BOE testimony)
Dr. Michael Martirano - www.hcpss.org/superintendent (Interim Superintendent)
You are also welcome to write the BOE Members and Superintendent at:
10910 Clarksville Pike (Route 108) Ellicott City, MD 21042
2) Attend ALL Meetings (Click for Important Dates)
3) Speak with your neighbors! Let them know they can receive REDISTRICTING UPDATES updates by emailing DunlogginNeighbor@gmail.com and provide their name, street address and best contact email to get on the email list.
4) Share a Tip! Do you know something the ROC doesn't? Email DunlogginNeighbor@gmail.com and share!