Baltimore County’s school board approved the closure of Golden Ring Middle School at Tuesday night’s board meeting.
The school was the center of a redistricting process that shifted middle school students and incoming students to different schools in preparation for a new school being built in Rosedale. It’s slated to open in the 2024-2025 school year.
The system said during the redistricting process that the Golden Ring building, also in Rosedale, would be repurposed. The system offered little to explain what repurposing the building meant.
To close or replace a school, the district must follow a procedure that includes public hearings; that process had not yet begun when a committee selected a new school boundary map that showed Golden Ring would have no students attending.
Parents said they were not aware that Golden Ring’s fate had already been determined and said they were frustrated with a lack of communication. District officials said it was announced in September 2020 that a new school would replace Golden Ring. Most current Golden Ring students were still in elementary school at that time.
Pete Dixit, the system’s Department of Facilities Management and Strategic Planning executive director, said Tuesday that the system correctly followed board policy but said there is room for improvement in communication.
Board member Tiara Booker-Dwyer said she was all for closing the school but was concerned about the timeline. She thought it should happen after the board approves the proposed redistricting map. The board isn’t scheduled to vote on the map until June 13.
“I would hate to close a school and not be able to tell students ‘this is where you’re going to school,’” Booker-Dwyer said.
In the proposed map, all current Golden Ring students will go to the new school. However, that isn’t the case with the elementary schools that feed into Golden Ring. Booker-Dwyer suggested delaying the vote, but board members didn’t agree.