Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Rockville mayor: City needs another elementary school

Rockville needs another elementary school in addition to the one currently in the works for the Richard Montgomery cluster, Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton said Monday night. The Mayor and Council were discussing talking points for a letter to Montgomery County Public Schools regarding the relocation of a Chinese immersion program from College Gardens ES to another nearby school. 

Councilmember Mark Pierzchala said the proposed options of moving the program, which requires six classrooms to accommodate, to Twinbrook Elementary or Beall Elementary would be unfair to the neighborhood children who would be forced out of their school. An MCPS report recommended those two schools, and the future "RM5" ES as the three options. Pierzchala argued that the City should not only back RM5 as the Chinese immersion site, but also insist MCPS increase the new school's capacity to 740 seats.

The increase would just barely provide sufficient capacity for students redistricted into RM5, additional students generated by new development, and the Chinese immersion program's six classroom requirement. With student growth expected to continue citywide, and the new school's location in the Hungerford neighborhood, Newton called the situation "a tsunami waiting to happen."

Newton and the Council backed talking points Pierzchala sought to add to the letter regarding the Chinese immersion program. Linda Moran, Assistant to the City Manager, said she had already added Pierzchala's comments to the draft of the letter, and that she and the Mayor could make minor edits this morning.
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Also at last night's meeting, Rockville Sister City Corporation President Drew Powell and Vice-President Brigitta Mullican introduced two of the many Pinneberg, Germany residents expected to visit Rockville this year. This is the 60th anniversary of the relationship between Rockville and Pinneberg, and a delegation from Pinneberg is scheduled to arrive in the City in October. They will participate in the Rocktobierfest on Saturday, October 7, among other activities.

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