Board approves high school redistricting plan

Board approves high school redistricting plan

The Board of Education today approved the plan for the high school redistricting, which creates an attendance zone for St. Charles High School and relieves overcrowding at the six existing high schools. The Board approved Superintendent of Schools James E. Richmond's recommendation of Proposal B with a modification with a vote of 6 to 1 at its monthly meeting.

During discussion on the vote, Board Chairman Roberta S. Wise emphasized that the high school redistricting process is necessary. “All of us know that this is not an easy decision to make. If we could have opened St. Charles High School in 2011, we would not be in this situation today. But we are, and we have a decision to make,” she said. In addressing concerns about exemptions for specific students to remain at their current schools, Board member Jennifer Abell made the point that the decision needed to be equitable for all students.

The approved plan takes effect in August 2014 and moves incoming 9th, 10th and 11th graders, which are students in grades 7, 8 and 9 this school year. St. Charles is opening with grades 9, 10 and 11 and seniors in the Class of 2015 will finish at and graduate from their current school.

The modification allows for current eighth- and ninth-grade students who live in Block 3750 and were required to change from Theodore G. Davis Middle School to Matthew Henson Middle School as a result of redistricting to remain at North Point High School with transportation until they graduate. There are 76 students eligible for the modification. Current seventh graders living in Block 3750 will be required to attend Maurice J. McDonough High School in school year 2014-15.

The approved plan opens St. Charles High School with 956 students, with 649 transferring in from Maurice J. McDonough, La Plata and Thomas Stone high schools. Attendance zone changes in the plan also alleviate overcrowding at the six existing high schools.

The changes include the following:

  • The St. Charles High School zone consists of former areas included in McDonough, La Plata and Stone attendance areas.
  • Areas of the Henry E. Lackey High School attendance zone move to the Maurice J. McDonough High School zone. McDonough also gains students from North Point and Westlake high schools as part of the plan.
  • North Point is currently the most overcrowded high school in Charles County. The redistricting plan moves attendance areas from North Point to Westlake and McDonough, and provides immediate relief to the school, which is almost at 141 percent of its 1,600 state-rated capacity. Students accepted in the Science, Technology and Industry (STI) programs are not included in the redistricting.
  • The plan also moves students from Westlake to Thomas Stone and adds areas from North Point into the Westlake attendance zone.

The high school redistricting takes effect in August 2014, when St. Charles opens for the 2014-15 school year. Maps and complete descriptions of the areas affected by redistricting are posted on the school system website at Click on the High School Redistricting link under resources.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

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