School officials announced plans to consolidate three Dundalk schools into two facilites Monday night, but denied a larger county trend.
At a meeting with Dundalk families at Holabird Middle School, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Hobbs said the Eastwood Center Elementary Magnet School property will be turned over to the county for redevelopment at the end of the current school year. School officials are considering options to house the Eastwood, Holabird and Norwood Elementary School programs between the Holabird and Norwood facilities.
The current Eastwood site could possibly be used for a new area police station.
"You're always looking to respect the best use of space," he said following the meeting. "The conversation about Eastwood has been ongoing."
Hobbs, who started his role in August, did not confirm when the county and school system began negotiations about Eastwood. He said the decision to place the three programs in two facilities came about as a result of low school enrollment figures in the area.
County officials were not in attendance at the meeting.
Principals at the three schools—and Dundalk High School's principal—presented parents with two options to enforce the changes. Under one option, there would be a lower school at Norwood with grades Pre-K through third and an upper school at with grades four through eight at Holabird. The other choice is to retain a Pre-K through grade five program at Norwood with a STEM focus, and create a kindergarten through eighth grade STEM magnet program at Holabird.
Affected families were invited to provide feedback on the options before a final decision is made.
Hobbs also denied that Superintendent Dallas Dance is looking to create more kindergarten through eighth grade programs around the county.
"I don't think he has a particular preference for it," he said.
It remains unclear what the magnet, special education and other programs will look like under the new models.
"It's too soon to tell," said Mychael Dickerson, a school system spokesman. "We're still working it out."
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