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Some Residents Oppose College Park Charter School

Residents are worried about congestion.

Traffic congestion, taxes and crime are a concern for some College Park residents with a possible 700-student charter school slated to move into the neighborhood, according to a Gazette story.

The school is set to open in 2013 and would use the former College Park Elementary School building on Clavert Road. The school would service grades six through 12.

There are still decisions to be made that could help with those opposed to the school, according to the Gazette story.

He said there are still a number of decisions to be made that could cater to those who oppose the current proposal, such as deciding on the number of students and how traffic congestion could be mitigated.

 

A version of the petition can be found online.

pam December 03, 2012 at 12:57 PM
The opposition to this school MUST look at the facts: the school will not offer bus service and will not offer any kind of sports program or other extra curricular activities. This will be a school that mostly caters to local kids in College Park and University Park. We are absolutely desparate for a high school in this area. Please look at the school's proposal before signing any kind of petition. The Univeristy of Maryland is partnering with College Park. Much of the curriculum will be online -- which means kids will be going to and from the school less than one might think. I can't seem to locate the full proposal just now, but here is a part of a message from University President Loh: "This summer, our partnership with city and county officials received approval to create the College Park Academy Public Charter School, a college preparatory charter school for sixth to 12th grade using blended learning technology. This is a key initiative in our shared vision for community development to make this a top 20 college town for a top 20 public university. "
HyattsvilleCouldBeBetter December 03, 2012 at 08:15 PM
This is desperately needed in this area and will be an amazing opportunity for kids who get in.
Richard Williamson December 03, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Pam, Readers - I want to emphasize that our group circulating the petition is in no way "opposed" to a new school at the old Calvert Road School location. Our petition specifically calls on CP City Council to create a Middle School, of no more than 300 students, beginning with the 2014 school year. We feel this number is supported by the size of the property footprint and allows the school building to maintain is appropriate character within our residential community while focusing on a core competency - Middle School. Issues to resolve include: traffic, student accountability, financing, and educational model. Regarding points made in your comments: 1. Sports program. The school will use the soccer field adjacent to the school for P.E. 2. Transportation: The proposed school is located on a massive network of public buses and very close (1/4 mile) from a metro station. 3. All students in Prince George's County (approximately 100,000 between grades 6-12) are eligible to apply to attend the school. This means that children in College Park have no greater chance of attending so there is a risk that the school will not be effective in offering College Park families a real alternative for Middle and High School. Thanks and please feel free to contact me: williamsonrichc at gmail dot com. Richard
pam December 04, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Thank you for clarification, Mr. Williamson. Some points to consider: lack of bus service and sports programs and the fact that courses are online and described as "rigorous" with "significant parent input expected" will deter many folks from applying, especially those who live far away. This is not a school for everyone -- there won't even be a prom. Prior to Mr. Williamson's petition, in fact, "news" of the school was low on everyone's radar. Many of us in the community were purposefully "keeping it quiet." (I have been involved in focus groups for the project and as a professor at Maryland have been watching the project progress.) Unfortunately, since the petition and the news coverage, I am sure everyone from Oxen Hill to Bowie has now heard about it. Other points: In terms of recess, these would be 12-yr-olds through 18-yr-olds. They stand around and talk. A few kids might toss a football. Finally, Hyattsville Middle school has made significant improvements in the past 6 years. It is now a viable option for kids. Northwestern has NOT improved. Everyone knows we need a high school. Not a middle school.

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