Montgomery County School Superintendent Edward Andrews yesterday recommended closing Edwin W. Broome Middle School and Argyle and Leland junior high schools this June, to carry out the Board of Education's budget decision to close three schools to save an estimated $1 million.
If the school board approves the selection after public hearings May 5 and 7, the buildings will be turned over to the county, the students transferred to nearby schools and jobs found for staff and teachers elsewhere in the school system. The board voted in February to eliminate operating funds for three unnamed junior highs from the proposed operating budget.
School enrollment in Montgomery, now at 97,000, is expected to drop by 20,000 students in the next decade.
Because the 31 school closings in the last decade left many communities at odds with school officials, the school system has been working for over a year on a selection procedure. The Long-Range Educational Facilities Plan will name schools to be closed in the next five years and spell out the criteria for choosing others.
Andrews said he regretted having to make the closing decisions before the facilities plan is completed a month from now.
Argyle in Silver Spring and Broome in Rockville would be under-enrolled in the next five years and Leland in Chevy Chase would require extensive renovation.
Argyle students will attend E. Brooke Lee Junior School this September.
Sixth-through-eighth-graders at Broome who live in the Richard Montgomery High School area will go to Julius West Middle School; seventh- and eighth-graders in the Rockville High School area will go to Earle B. Wood Junior High and the sixth-graders will be retained at Lone Oak, Maryvale, and Meadow Hall elementary schools.
All Leland students will attend Western Junior High while the seventh- and eighth-graders at Western who are from the Brookmont and Wood Acres areas will be reassigned to Thomas W. Pyle Junior High.