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.

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


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