Ten Prince George's County elementary schools are being recommended for closing in a series or reports being presented today to County Schools Superintendent Edward J. Feeney.
The reports were drawn up by community task forces formed by the school board last fall to study clusters of schools and recommend which, if any, should be closed.
The board's request was prompted by the continuing decline of enrollment in the county elementary and junior high schools, where there are now more than 19,000 empty classroom seats. According to school board figures, each school closed will mean an annual savings of $100,000 for the school system.
Nine community task forces on elementary schools -- composed of parents, PTA leaders, teachers and principals from schools under study -- spent two months studying the enrollment, facilities, pupil transportation and operating costs of 50 elementary schools before making their final recommendations.
The recommendations will be forwarded to the school board Jan. 25 along with Feeney's comments, which may include additional proposed closings. The board will then hold public hearings before making final decisions on school closings in March.
Already PTA members and parents in Cheverly are organizing to prevent the closing of Cheverly-Tuxedo elementary school. This school and West Lanham Hills elementary were recommended for closing by a task force studying seven schools in the area. However, the task froce report asked that a study on the impact of Metrorail service to the area be done before any schools are closed.
The Cheverly group contends that their school was recommended for closing despite the fact that it is enrolled at 89 percent of capacity -- with 283 students in a school built for 315 -- is racially balanced, and has the highest level of community usage among the seven schools studied by the task force.
"We felt there was no way this could happen to us," said Jean M. Mills, the president of the Cheverly-Tuxedo PTA.
Dr. Amel Anderson, the co-chair-man of the area task force, said Cheverly was chosen because it has the oldest facilities among the seven schools studied. The original Cheverly-Tuxedo building was constructed in 1922, Anderson said, though several additions, including a gym, have been built more recently.
Other schools recommended for closing were O. W. Phair in Laurel, Powder Mill in Beltsville, Edmonston in Hyattsville, Wildercroft in River-dale, Douglass in Upper Marlboro, Silver Hill in Silver Hill, Panorama in Hillcrest Heights and Orme in Brandywine.
In addition to the Cheverly group, task force members from Panorama, Powder Mill, and Silver Hill elementary schools are preparing minority reports for Feeney disputing the recommendations to close or to redistribute students at their schools. students at their schools.