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Interim Superintendent Presents Proposed Recommendations to Address School Overcrowding

Posted: October 3rd, 2017

Howard County Public School System Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano presented his recommendations to relieve overcrowding in elementary and high schools, open new Elementary School #42 and align feeder patterns in middle schools at a meeting with the Board of Education on Tuesday, October 3, 2017.

The proposal takes into consideration the 2017 Feasibility Study, two plans submitted by the Attendance Area Committee and input received from the community, and offers innovative solutions that combine programmatic expansion with redistricting to reduce overcapacity and address feeder pattern inconsistencies.

There will be no high school redistricting for 2018–19 under Martirano’s proposal. The next high school redistricting process will begin during the 2020–21 school year to prepare for opening High School #13 in fall 2022. The recommendations include JumpStart HCPSS, an initiative to expand dual enrollment options for students at Centennial, Howard and Long Reach high schools. This expansion will more than double the number of HCPSS students taking advantage of dual enrollment opportunities, which enable high school students to earn college credits while attending high school through a partnership with Howard Community College.

The Interim Superintendent’s proposal includes redistricting 1,922 elementary students to fill Elementary School #42 and bring 37 schools at or below target utilization, providing relief to schools in Columbia and in the eastern and northern parts of the county. Redistricting at the middle school level is proposed to move approximately 300 students to align feeder patterns with the realigned elementary attendance areas.

More information, including the report given to the Board of Education and a one-page document that details the recommendations, is available on the HCPSS website at http://www.hcpss.org/school-planning.

The Board will hold public hearings on attendance area adjustment on October 26 and November 7, and is scheduled to take action on November 16.