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BCPS: Eastwood Facility Closing, Not School

School officials argue that the closing of the Eastwood facility comes with an expansion of the school program.

Deputy Superintendent Kevin Hobbs announced the closure of the Eastwood Center Elementary Magnet School facility at a Dec. 10 community meeting, but school officials are denying that this means the end of the school.

"That'd be a year-long process," Hobbs said last Monday.

The school system is working towards a merger between Eastwood, Holabird Middle School and Norwood Elementary School. Eastwood students would be distributed between the two other schools, and all three schools face name changes and program modifications.

"No options have been selected yet, but we still have to follow state definitions of what it means [to keep a school open]," said Mychael Dickerson, a school system spokesman.

Dickerson said that the system is working to improve the Eastwood program.

"Clearly what we're trying to do is an expansion of the program," Dickerson said. "Even if the program changes, we're still keeping the integrity of it. Name changes and all, that is semantics."

School officials are in the process of collecting feedback from affected families regarding the merger before a decision on the school reorganization is made.

Under one option, there would be a lower school at Norwood with pre-K through third grade, and an upper school at Holabird with fourth through eighth grades. The other proposal is to retain a pre-K through fifth grade program at Norwood with a STEM focus, and create a kindergarten through eighth grade STEM magnet program at Holabird.

The Eastwood closure is part of a larger plan headed by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to sell property to garner funds for new county facilities and school improvement projects.

The current Eastwood site could possibly be used for a new area police station.

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Rich Foot December 17, 2012 at 10:01 PM
I ask Mr. Hobbs to produce a Board of Education document that shows the Board policy and procedure for the closing of a school, which did exist until recently, if the Superintendent has the authority to make the decision to close a school. I ask the Baltimore County Council to submit for public inspection the documents showing state-mandated review process that was conducted prior to their recommendation for the closing of a school. Another game of semantics: Eastwood is a school, not an inhumane, heartless sounding "facility" as Baltimore County officials would like to think it is. #NeverDoubtDundalk
MMF December 20, 2012 at 11:55 PM
I agree with you Rich Foot where is the Board Policy and precedure for the closing of a school? Shocking how it existed before and now it doesn't but never doubt Dundalk we will find it!! Save Eastwood!! :-)

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