Plans to give students in certain areas priority to attend a proposed county charter school have been dropped.
The Community Montessori Public Charter School in Kensington will be the first charter school in the county if the Montgomery County Board of Education approves the proposed pre-kindergarten through third grade school in a Monday evening vote.
Montgomery County Public Schools officials postponed a vote earlier this month on the school run by the Crossway Community nonprofit, saying they first wanted to craft a “catchment area” that would give students in a certain geographic area the first shot at applying to the school. The school is proposing to accept 122 students in its first operating year of 2012-2013.
If more than that number of students applies, a lottery would be held within the catchment area. If spots remain after all interested students apply, the application process would open to all students in the county, with a county-wide lottery following if necessary.
In discussions with the school system, Crossway officials said they wanted to continue serving low-income students, as the nonprofit has done for its 20 years.
A catchment area, to be defined later, was on the table when the board was scheduled to vote July 7, but board members decided the area should be agreed on before the proposal received a final vote.
However Lori-Christina Webb, a school system official who works with charter school applicants, said Friday that no catchment area is in the final proposal submitted to board members by Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr.
In the resolution that recommends approving Community Montessori, Starr does not mention a catchment area.
Reached on Friday, the CEO of Crossway Community, Kathleen Guinan, referred questions about the catchment area to the school system.
A catchment area would require a waiver from charter school law by the Maryland State Board of Education.