News Article on School Site Selection

News Article on School Site Selection

Today’s Gazette newspaper has an article on the Montgomery County Planning Board’s recent 3-2 decision to recommend a new school be sited at the former Rocking Horse Elementary site. The story includes comments by Friends of White Flint member Dan Hoffman of the Randolph Hills Civic Association (which is also a FoWF member).

The article is available at:

Barnaby Zall




What would this mean for areas currently zoned for WJ Cluster? What does “The recommendation, if followed by the County Council and Montgomery County Public Schools, would require redistricting the Walter Johnson Cluster, one of the downsides cited by Hanson and Robinson in their dissenting votes” mean?

Barnaby Zall

One of the issues in the school site debate was whether to put the new school within the boundaries of the White Flint Sector, which ends at the railroad tracks. That area is currently within the Walter Johnson cluster. If the school site is within the WJ cluster, there will be no need to review the cluster boundaries. The Rocking Horse site is east of the railroad tracks, and thus not within either the White Flint Sector or the WJ cluster. So using the Rocking Horse site will raise the question of whether to change the cluster boundaries. This is considered a “downside” by some, because cluster boundary changes are always controversial.

Ken Hurdle

Nothing yet. This decision is 50% through the process towards final approval that must be given by the County Council late this year or early next. That process is also very public with ample opportunity for comments pro and con.

In thinking about redistricting you have to consider two options; either the Rocking Horse facility stays in its cluster, the Down County Consortium or get folded into the WJ cluster. People all over the country live on a line that divides them into one area or another and the lines are sometimes arbitrary. Commissioner Alfandre made the comment that the school site picked by the planning staff and the Rocking Horse facility are almost the exact same distance from the center of the White Flint Sector. When considering this, the travel distances would be comparable for the vast majority of students and he said that had an impact on his decision. Nothing is final yet so stay tune and get involved.

Two things are definite in life; change and death. This isn’t death.

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