School officials have recommended the use of more portable classrooms and transferring 145 elementary pupils to new schools as part of a redistricting plan to relieve crowding next fall.
The proposals were made at the school board meeting last week by Maurice Kalin, superintendent of planning and support services, as part of his recommendations for boundary changes.
The staff recommendations are designed to address the continuing growth in the public school enrollment, which school officials estimate will climb from the current 27,000 to 31,000 students by 1993.
A public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 23 on the proposed redistricting. Also, the board will hold work sessions on Feb. 16 and March 3 before voting on final boundary line changes at its March 10 meeting.
Sandra French, president of the Howard County PTA Council, said the council will not take a position on the recommendations. But she added that it has asked the school board to delay the public hearing to give parents more time to review the proposals.
"Some parents thought this was too much too soon," she said.
Parents had expected many of the changes, she said. When the PTA council met on Monday, she said, the only concerns raised dealt with changes expected in 1989 for middle school districting and whether classrooms at a school slated to accept special-education students would be ready in time.
Kalin's recommendations incorporate some of the written comments the Department of Education received from about 193 parents. Many parents had suggested that the county school system use more portable classrooms in lieu of shifting students from neighborhood schools.
In his 35-page proposal, Kalin has recommended that the school board double the number of portable classrooms next year, from six to 12. Kalin proposed placing a new portable classroom at Centennial Lane Elementary School, two at Clarksville Elementary School and three at Worthington Elementary School. One of the Worthington portables would come from Swansfield Elementary School.
Kalin has recommended building a portable classroom at Ellicott Middle School, which officials expect will have 62 more students than its official capacity.
The proposal to reassign 145 elementary pupils from six schools this fall would modify a redistricting plan approved last year by the board to carve out a student service area for the new Bollman Bridge Elementary School, slated to open in Savage in September. Last year's plan called for the transfer of about 900 elementary pupils, primarily in the southeastern region of the county.
The Clock Tower and Eden Brook neighborhoods would be the ones most significantly affected by Kalin's proposal, as well as the Columbia Hills area.
Two special-education classes would be reassigned from Bryant Woods Elementary School to Stevens Forest under Kalin's recommendation.
No middle school students are proposed to be shifted this fall.
On the high school level, Kalin has recommended 10 homes along Columbia Road between Forest Hill Swim Club and Dorsey Hall for reassignment from Mount Hebron High School to Centennial. No figures were available this week on the number of students who would be affected by the proposal.