Local elementary school in danger of closing

By Anu Jain, News Production Editor

Dickerson Monocacy ES, which has been open since 1961, faces a future closing, forcing kindergartners and the rest of its students to attend Poolesville ES. The date of the closure has not yet been assigned due to standard procedures the county must follow.

According to Dana Tofig, Montgomery County’s Public Information director, Monocacy’s low entry levels, especially the low kindergarten enrollment, have caused Superintendent Jerry Weast to propose its closing.

“Enrollment at Monocacy ES has been declining for a number of years,” Weast said in an October 23, 2009 memo sent to the Board of Education (BOE). “In 1999 the school enrolled 298 students, while this year enrollment is only 176 students.”

Before closing the school, county officials must first follow specific procedures. On Nov. 11 and 12, the BOE will hold a public hearing discussing next month’s procedures regarding the closure. This hearing will be followed by another in February to vote on Weast’s proposal.