Approval for 'Special Permission' Requests in Somerset Co. to be - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Approval for 'Special Permission' Requests in Somerset Co. to be Minimal

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WESTOVER, Md.- Somerset County public school officials will limit approval of school transfer requests due to capacity concerns this upcoming academic year.

School may be out for the summer, but school board officials have been busy making a lot of decisions. Officials recently reviewed the criteria for special permission requests following concerns about overcrowding in schools like Princess Anne Elementary and Greenwood Elementary Schools.

A spokesperson for the school system, Leo Lawson, tells WBOC an average of up to 30 requests are submitted to Superintendent Dr. John Gaddis, annually.

Deborah Robinson lives in Princess Anne, but helps take care of her two grandchildren who attend Somerset Intermediate School. Robinson thinks some parents will be disappointed with the decision to minimize approval for requests.

"Some parents are discouraged about the schools they go to, you know some of them want them to go to Princess Anne Elementary, and some want them to go to Greenwood," Robinson said.

Anthony Worthy of Princess Anne has an eight-year-old daughter. He understands why officials have to cut back on approving transfer requests.

"You can say it should be up to the parent, but schools and districts have their reasons for doing whatever," Worthy said. 

There are a few exceptions, listed in a letter that is posted to the school system's website.

Children who are in the 4th grade, who received special permission, will be "grandfathered in" with the appropriate written request. That means they would remain at the school for their 5th grade year. However, siblings of those students would be denied permission, according to the letter.

Current Somerset County Public School employees with children who already have special permission would be "grandfathered in" as well. 

Parents and guardians are reminded that any and all requests for their child to transfer schools must be submitted in writing to the superintendent by July 10, 2015.

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