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School Officials to Discuss West Towson Overcrowding

County school officials will meet with parents at West Towson Elementary and Ridge Ruxton schools next week.

Faced with skyrocketing enrollment at , school officials want to work with parents on solutions.

County school officials will host meetings next week West Towson and the adjacent to discuss potential solutions and their impact.

The meetings are scheduled at Ridge Ruxton at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30 and at West Towson at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1.

"We're really just at the exploratory stage at this point and this is just an opportunity to talk about what may be coming up and some of the concerns," said Charles Herndon, a school system spokesman.

The state-rated capacity for West Towson, which opened in 2010, is 451. It operated just under capacity in its first year, but claimed 519 students in 2011. According to statistics presented to the Board of Education earlier this week, the school is projected to reach nearly 600 students by next fall, and 700 students by 2018.

"You're talking about a school that opened for 451 students a year and a half ago," said West Towson PTA president Cathy Berger. "That doesn't tell me that they did enough forward thinking prior to building the schools."

West Towson's boundaries, as currently drawn, include much of Towson's core and much of the Riderwood and Lake Roland area to the southwest.

The school system's hands are tied to an extent by West Towson's space—there isn't enough room for trailers—and the sensitive needs and requirements of the population at Ridge Ruxton, a former elementary school, which serves special-needs students from preschool to age 21. Recently, school officials floated an

However, Ridge Ruxton parents may be amenable to a solution that could involve annexing a grade of West Towson to their school, said Mary Munoz, a Stoneleigh resident and vice president of Ridge Ruxton's PTA.

Ridge Ruxton parents are taking a "wait-and-see" approach, Munoz said, and want to know what steps county officials are willing to take to minimize the impact of elementary students on their children's routines, including physical therapy and bicycles in the hallways.

"Our students come with a lot of equipment," Munoz said. "It's a completely different school so that's the concern for the parents."

Annexing was used most recently at Rodgers Forge Elementary School, which sent its fourth graders to nearby Dumbarton Middle School while waiting for construction to finish at West Towson.

"My feeling right now is I came from Rodgers Forge and my daughter was annexed to Dumbarton and it was all good," Berger said. "It'll be interesting to see what is said at the meeting."

The practice could buy the school system time as construction begins or continues elsewhere in the York Road corridor, including at , and a planned school slated for either Dulaney Springs or Mays Chapel.

This article has been edited to clarify the location of a planned York Road corridor elementary school.

johnny towson January 28, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Move the school board into vacant office space in downtown Towson and use its campus for school expansion. There are 4 or 5 buildings on the school board campus, it connects to our neighborhoods and has access to Charles.
Cheri Bond Pegues January 28, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Excellent idea! Perfect location and I'm sure the buildings can be easily converted into useable classroom space.
Bart January 28, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Anita: Exaggerate much?
Scott January 28, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Anita, besides your obvious irrational fear and tone, what makes you think that "our children" aren't being competently taught, coached, preached to, or otherwise lead by GLBT citizens everyday? Get out of your house occasionally.
Josephine Hlatki January 28, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Bart and Scott, your irresponsible comments tell me you either have your heads in the sand or really don't care. i hope you're not parents.
Scott January 28, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Actually, I am a parent, and would rather have my sons taught by a great GLBT teacher than an irrational, close-minded b#*ch. You need to crawl back under your rock.
Josephine Hlatki January 28, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I feel sorry for your children....end of conversation.
James January 28, 2012 at 08:21 PM
You see, people like Anita are simpletons with one track minds. Never mind the big problems facing Baltimore / Maryland. I am going to focus on an issue dealing with a handful of people across the state. ughh.
Bart January 28, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Actually, Anita, I am a parent and a grandparent. My kids had a teacher who was gay, and was one of the best teachers I have ever met. Totally dedicated to his profession, loved what he did, and brought out the best in his students. You will find that the younger generation of people is far less worried about gays in their midst than you. It's no big deal. They understand the differences in people, respect it and are not threatened by it. Scott's right, you need to get out of the house occasionally and see the big wide world out there. It's not that scary, and the gays won't hurt you. You might be surprised what they do, and how they are so very much like you.
native January 29, 2012 at 01:05 PM
I am curious why the author states in the last sentence of the article "the planned Dulaney Springs Elementary School". It is my understanding that a location for the new school has not yet been determined. Previous editions of the Patch say as much http://timonium.patch.com/articles/timonium-residents-oppose-mays-chapel-option-for-new-elementary-school
David Taylor January 29, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I wish Patch had a "Like" button :)
David Taylor January 29, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Hijacking a discussion is impolite. Hijacking a thread to post this hateful nonsense tells me everything I need to know about you, I know what you are. And yeah, I'll be contacting the councilmembers alright, to warn them of the dangers of people like you Anita. Someone indoctrinated you into hate and ignorance, and it's time that we put and end to it. You are a bully and a troll... go away. p.s. The ALL CAPS is the online equivalent of YELLING.
David Taylor January 29, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I know it's probably overly optimistic, but I know that it'll come up - I want to see the plan for addressing overcrowding in the area, not just WTES. Maybe for next year, they can annex a few classrooms, but what about 2014 or 2015 ... and what about the same ongoing overcrowding at the other area schools? It's only getting worse, and at least right now, I'm not confident in the ability of the planners to meet the challenges. They have already dropped the ball on so many other projects. I want to see a solid plan, one that doesn't involve stacking more trailers on playgrounds, overloading classrooms, or annexing multiple schools... and I want to see what the projections and plans are for the next 10 years of so - as the increased population hits the middle/high schools, will we be ready or will we rent trailers?
Josephine Hlatki January 29, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Bart, you are the first person to answer in a way that isn't reactionary. Thanks. I am a parent & grandparent, too. That's why I'm concerned about this. I've been to the meeting on the bill and met 40+ LGBTs there. Some were nasty, some nice. I had some gay teachers in HS and they were very nice people. They did not try to indoctrinate students & kept their sex lives private. Our concern is the cross dressing in schools and having the LGBT agenda in the curriculum. This bill is so open ended that it won't take much to add more to the bill. Another issue with this bill is the right to privacy being taken from females. The LGBTs want complete access to every area now for Women and Girls only. Men just DO NOT belong in bathrooms, dressing rooms, showers, dorms, locker rooms, etc. with women or girls, dressing and undressing in front of each other....it's asking for trouble. The Transgenders are known to change their gender feelings many times, so we will never know if the man or woman is with us. Not only that, but most Transgenders have not had the change surgery, so they have male parts. This also opens the door for predators to take advantage of the bill and gain entrance to these areas and do harm to females. The exemption of schools or religious organizations has been deleted from the bill. That in itself is an issue. I do get out and know a lot more about this than most. That's why I'm speaking out against it. btw, I use caps as bolding not yelling.
Josephine Hlatki January 29, 2012 at 02:55 PM
James, if you would look carefully, you will know this handful of people will affect the majority of us in MD and the children the most. Name calling is never nice. One day, if this bill passes as is, you will understand just what i and other concerned parents and grandparents were trying to do for everyone in MD. It will be too late then.
Josephine Hlatki January 29, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Sorry if you felt I hijacked this discussion...not my intention. I'm just trying to get the word out on this very serious situation to parents that I thought would be as concerned for the children as we are. I never thought I could be so wrong. I hope the overcrowding situation is solved for the children's sakes. I said my piece and deleted what you really don't want to hear.
David Taylor January 29, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Anita, spreading fear and lies isn't "getting the word out" - I think you are a typical uninformed bigot who's nasty ranting has no place in polite society, in this thread or anywhere. My biggest concern for *my* children is that they'll come into contact with people like you, who seek only to infect others with your hate and fear and ignorant tales designed obscure the truth. I teach my children to treat other people with respect, even people like you, and I feel sorry for you and your parents that they must have never taught you right. But remember, it's never too late to reform and redeem yourself Anita - let us know when you are ready to discard your evil ways and join the human race again, it's never too late to get right and help yourself up, there's still hope, even for you!
Tom Rose January 29, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Without having the Board's planning analyses available, I wonder if either the Mays Chapel of Dulaney Springs sites really address the overcrowding issues occurring inside the Beltway in the Towson "centric" areas; that is, east of the JFX, west of the Beltway in the Parkville area, and north of the city line. I would think that a new elementary school in Towson, located so that a fair number of students could walk to school, would better solve the overcrowding problems than new sites a significant distance away from the increasingly dense areas currently served by West Towson, Riderwood, Rodgers Forge and Stoneleigh. My understanding is that not only do projections show that not only is West Towson overcrowded now, but that Riderwood and Rodgers Forge are now, and that even with the proposed addition, so will be Stoneleigh in the future.
native January 30, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Tom... I do not think that the new school is designed to address crowding specifically in the Towson area. The new school will likely reduce crowding at schools such as Lutherville Lab, Padonia, Pot Spring, Timonium, Warren, Sparks, all of which are currently above the state rated capacity and are in the Central district.

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