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Dance To Investigate Magnet School Rule Change

Parents of students at Cromwell Valley Elementary School protested a rule change that would get rid of priority placement for kindergartners who have siblings at a magnet school.

Protests against a recent controversial magnet school rule change have paid off.

At a Tuesday evening Board of Education meeting, parents of students appealed to the school board and Superintendent S. Dallas Dance to reconsider a rule change that, starting in the 2015-2016 school year, does away with priority placement for kindergartners who have siblings at Baltimore County's seven elementary magnet schools.

"The superintendent has directed staff to study the issue," said Charles Herndon, a school system spokesperson.

Herndon said Dance hasn't yet taken a stance on the matter, but the input from parents at the meeting and through other communications have encouraged him to look seriously at the rule change.

Patch that Cromwell Valley parents were concerned that the rule change would disrupt the school's active community by putting additional burden on parents who would have to send children to different schools.

County Council David Marks criticized former Superintendent Joe Hairston for instituting the rule change without much community input. However, Marks acknowledged that it promoted countywide fairness for the placements.

Bryan Stoll, supervisor of the Baltimore County Public Schools Office of Magnet Programs, told Patch that 1,975 students had applied for the 220 elementary level placements available for the 2012-2013 school year. Stoll said 190 of those placements were for the kindergarten program.

Magnet students are typically selected through random lottery.

K Blue July 12, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Excellent.
JD1 July 13, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Magnet schools are a joke anyway - why should one school,offer rich and engaging programs for a finite number of kids while the rest of the kids are bored out of their minds. Now parents want to guarantee that all of their kids are automatically enrolled - are you kidding me? I hope that DD gets rid of the whole magnet program since it was only a way to get smart kids into crappy schools in the first place. All schools should have rich and engaging programs. Think about it, Eastern Tech gets to hand pick their students while Kenwood, Perry Hall, and Chesapeake have to educate ALL kids. Then, they have the balls to flaunt the fact that they are a "Blue Ribbon" school - lets hope so!
another resident July 14, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Obviously you don't have kids or they could not get into a magnet program. I can honestly say my son was never a good student worked hard on the requirements to interview for a spot at carver center for arts & technology & was offered a spot. The dedicated staff @ carver work hard to engage and support kids with different learning needs. I am sure my son would not have graduated from high school without the talent & support of those teachers who welcome kids from ALL of Baltimore County.
JD1 July 14, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Another resident - so what you are saying is that all of those THOUSANDS of kids out there in non- magnet schools with "different learning meeds" shouldn't get the same chance that you kid had? And yes I have two kids - they didn't apply to magnet programs because I think they are hurting the system as a whole.
another resident July 14, 2012 at 11:14 PM
To be honest I struggled to keep my son in the public school system instead of moving him to private (as so many do) so that I could fight for change for all students to have a chánce and not just the ones who could afford private school. Trust me...I am a single parent and spent a large portion of my time at bcps...there are good and bad and being a hue ribbon school does not make it good.
Karen July 15, 2012 at 12:07 AM
My youngest goes to a magnet school and while it is a good school, I don't see much evidence of the "magnet" aspect. I do not think younger siblings should have priority. That seems unfair to other children.
Shell9 July 15, 2012 at 12:32 AM
I tried with 2 of my daughters to get them in the magnet program at Sollers Point. They had good grades. They say it is a lottery to get in but I don't believe it. I did notice that a lot of parents who are active in the PTA or employees or just more favorite parents...Their kids get in..I guess I have to learn to kiss up..
JD1 July 15, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Most magnet programs only offer one additional elective course each year than kids would get in then"regular" school. I have worked in several of the schools and can honestly say that there isn't a big diffence. There should be strong vocational and pre-professional programs in all schools.
One Big Day August 04, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I do not believe there is such a "lottery" system that takes place with these magnet programs. If so, how can every child (that I know) who has a parent that is a teacher or working for the school system is placed into the magnet program of their choice and not wait listed. Yes, I have a child that applied for magnet, took the test, scored exceptionally well and was placed on the wait list. This is not a problem if in fact ALL students are put through the same process however there is a huge doubt when it comes to that. The feeling on these magnet programs to me is that this is just one more "competition" for children to deal with in our schools. As far as parents getting upset because the siblings of their "magnet" child may not get guaranteed a spot in the magnet as well is absolutely ridiculous. We wouldn't want to have those parents be inconvenienced by transporting to different schools instead we should guarantee their other children placement as well and to heck with other families because their children undoubtedly don't deserve the same opportunity or are unworthy of having placement into the magnet program due to their own selfishness that we don't want to disrupt. Please give me a break. Next these same families will want all their children guaranteed a spot into the middle and high magnet programs as well. That sounds about right in todays society. Wishing that one day people could stop being so greedy and just be thankful for what they have received already.
Lily November 21, 2013 at 05:02 PM
http://www.facebook.com/groups/siblingrule

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