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About Howard County Public School System

Howard County, Maryland is a suburban community of over 309,000 situated midway along the Baltimore-Washington corridor. It is a county of contrasts — a blend of old and new, urban and rural, historical and progressive. The county’s borders encompass Ellicott City, one of the country’s oldest towns, and Columbia, a planned community conceived and designed nearly 50 years ago by The Rouse Company.

Read more about us and our graduating students:

5-Year Strategic Plan

Mission And Goals

Our Vision

"Every student is inspired to learn and empowered to excel."

Our Mission

"We cultivate a vibrant learning community that prepares students to thrive in a dynamic world"


Goal 1: Students

Every student achieves academic excellence in an inspiring, engaging, and supportive environment.

Goal 2: Staff

Every staff member is engaged, supported, and successful.

Goal 3: Families and the Community

Families and the community are engaged and supported as partners in education.

Goal 4: Organization

Schools are supported by world-class organizational practices.

Guiding Principles

Concepts, values, and principles that guide the organization’s work.

HCPSS believes in:

  • Achieving excellence in all we do
  • Developing each student’s unique gifts
  • Engaging students in relevant, experiential, and personalized learning
  • Cultivating creative problem solving, critical thinking, and innovation
  • Promoting integrity, civility, and global citizenship
  • Enriching learning by honoring our diversity
  • Fostering a culture of collaboration, trust, and shared responsibility
  • Removing barriers to success

Additional Information

76 Schools

  • 41 elementary schools
  • 20 middle schools
  • 12 high schools
  • 3 education centers

Total Enrollment – 55,638*

  • Elementary (PreK-5) – 25,863
  • Middle (6-8) – 12,874
  • High (9-12) – 16,660
  • Special School – 241

*Official count does not include Pre-K


  • American Indian/Alaskan – 0.2%
  • Asian – 21.2%
  • Black/African American – 22.8%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander – 0.1%
  • Hispanic/Latino – 10.4%
  • White – 39.1%
  • Two or more races – 6.2%

Students Receiving Special Services FY16

  • Free/Reduced Lunch – 21.5%
  • Limited English Proficient – ≤ 5.0%
  • Special Education – 8.8%

Attendance Rate FY16

  • Elementary – ≥ 95%
  • Middle – ≥ 95%
  • High – ≥ 95%

Graduation Rate FY15: 93.5%*

  • *4-year adjusted cohort

Per Pupil Expenditure FY 2015

  • $82.17 per day/$14,790 per year

Operating Budget

  • $808.4 million

Our Staff 2015-16

  • 4,305 classroom teachers, 72% of whom hold a master’s degree or above
  • Average years of experience: 13.3
  • Total staff: 8,230

Ratio of computers to students: 1:2

Classrooms with Internet access: 100%

Additional information can be found in the 2016-17 Profile of the HCPSS (PDF)

Equal Opportunity

The Howard County Public School System does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy/Girl Scouts and other designated youth groups.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Equity Assurance Manager
Howard County Public School System
10910 Clarksville Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042
410-313-6654 (phone)
410-313-1645 (fax)

For further information on notice of non-discrimination, visit for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or call 1–800–421–3481.