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School Boundary Review Process

On January 24, the Board of Education directed that HCPSS initiate a systemwide school boundary review, which could potentially impact any or all of the 74 comprehensive schools in our system beginning in the 2020-2021 school year. This review is critical due to population growth that has resulted in crowding at many schools while schools in other areas are underutilized.

Watch Superintendent Martirano introduce the Boundary Review Process →

Get your Polygon Number using the School Locator

2020-2021 Boundary Review Overview – Enhanced transcript →

Supporting Students

Transitions can be difficult for children and some struggle more than others. HCPSS welcomes nearly 1,000 new students to our schools annually, and school administrators and staff in every school are prepared to support students in adjusting to a new school. They will make every effort to ensure this transition is as easy as possible for you and your child. Learn more.

Public Input

Community members have multiple opportunities and ways to provide input and recommendations. The first half of our process includes two primary ways to provide the Superintendent with your input over the Summer: an online survey and four community input sessions. After the Superintendent makes his recommendation to the Board on August 20, the BOE will provide opportunities for input online and via three public hearings scheduled for early Fall.

Process Timeline

Download the one-page, printable overview of the process ( Spanish | Korean | Chinese )


Feasibility Study

June 13, 2019

The boundary review process begins with the release of the Feasibility Study, which is:

  • Possible options based on data and available capacity for boundary adjustments.
  • A comprehensive look at the 10-year student enrollment projections for county schools.
  • Based on the most currently available data, including population growth based on students yielded from sales of existing housing and from projected new housing units, and FARMs program participation.

Data Integrity: The 2019 Feasibility Study includes data that is carefully analyzed by independent consultant Cooperative Strategies, LLC, which also will serve as a neutral facilitator for the process. The consultant will oversee the AAC’s work, test alternative scenarios, collect and compile public input, respond to questions and information needs, and advise the Superintendent on a solution.

2019 Feasibility Study (Updated: June 19 / 173 pages / 18 MB)

2019 HCPSS Projection Analysis Report
(36 pages)

Data Downloads:

The student data provided in these Excel files was used to inform the boundary options included in the 2019 Feasibility Study. HCPSS follows the Maryland State Dept. of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics’ guidelines for protecting student privacy in public reporting. Please refer to Data FAQ for more information about redacted data.

  • SY 2018–19 Enrollment Projections(Updated: 7/24/2019) This table shows the official school year 2018–19 enrollment, and enrollment projections for each polygon.
  • FARMs Representation(Updated: 7/19/2019) This table shows the percentage of the student population participating in the Free and Reduced-Priced Meals (FARMs) Program and reading and math proficiency percentages at each school level.
  • Race/Ethnicity and ELL Data – This table shows student counts at each school level for each polygon by reported race/ethnicity category and English Language Learners category.

(Updated: 7/24/2019): Walk area indicators have been added to shapefiles.
Download polygon data as shapefiles for use within specialized GIS software. Polygon data may be viewed on the School Locator map.

Presentation of the Feasibility Study

Data Projection Presentation


Online Input Forms

June 14-August 1

Surveys on the Feasibility Study and to provide alternate options were open June 14-August 1 and are now closed.

Survey Results (Excel)

Members of the public may submit written testimony to the Board of Education beginning August 21. The Board also will hold three public hearings in September, followed by work sessions and a final decision in November.

Community Feedback/Engagement Frequently Asked Questions


Attendance Area Committee (AAC) Meetings

June — July 2019

The Attendance Area Committee reviews options presented in the Feasibility Study and makes recommendations to the Superintendent to help inform his proposal to the Board, scheduled to be presented on August 20. The AAC will not gather public input, nor will it develop its own boundary review scenarios. This group will review the Feasibility Study and provide feedback directly to the Superintendent to inform his recommendations.

Per Board of Education Policy 6010, the Superintendent appointed to the AAC individuals who represent every planning region in the county, and have previously served HCPSS in advisory roles, as a member of an advisory committee, or partner community organization. Group members include a former HCPSS administrator and a current student. Two individuals were tapped from one of the last three AACs to provide historical perspective.

AAC meetings will not be streamed online but are open to any member of the public who wishes to attend.

AAC meetings will be held at Atholton High School at 6 p.m. on:

AAC Frequently Asked Questions


Community Input Sessions

July 2019

Four community input sessions are scheduled to provide feedback for the Superintendent. Families are encouraged to attend the session associated with the region in which they live based on the School Locator.

Those who cannot attend their region’s session should attend the county-wide session at Long Reach HS on Saturday, July 13 or may attend one of the other regional sessions. While RSVP is not required, it is highly encouraged. The online RSVP form is now closed.

Families should only attend one session.

  • Wednesday, July 10, 7–9 p.m. at Oakland Mills High School
    • Families currently zoned for Centennial HS, Howard HS, Mt. Hebron HS, Oakland Mills HS
  • Saturday, July 13, 9–11 a.m. at Long Reach High School
    • Available to any family that is unable to attend their regional meeting.
  • Tuesday, July 16, 7–9 p.m. at Atholton High School
    • Families currently zoned for Atholton HS, Hammond HS, Long Reach HS, Wilde Lake HS
  • Thursday, July 18, 7–9 p.m. at River Hill High School
    • Families currently zoned for Glenelg HS, Marriotts Ridge HS, Reservoir HS, River Hill HS

Community Input Sessions PowerPoint Presentation (Updated – The original version listed an incorrect map on page 15 and an incorrect location for the July 16 session.)

Community Feedback/Engagement Frequently Asked Questions

Stakeholders who lack access to technology and are unable attend an input session may mail feedback to the School Planning Office, 9020 Mendenhall Ct., Columbia MD 21045. Print copies of the online feedback form will be provided in limited quantities to school offices.


Superintendent Recommendation to the Board

August 22, 2019

The Superintendent presented his Attendance Area Adjustment Proposal to the Board of Education on August 22, 2019.

Download the Superintendent’s Proposed Recommendation and Presentation →

Superintendent Presents Boundary Review Recommendations →

Read the Superintendent’s Message to the Community →

Watch Superintendent Martirano present his Attendance Area Adjustment Plan →

Superintendent’s Proposed Attendance Area Adjustment Plan Presentation Transcript →

Superintendent’s Proposed Attendance Area Adjustment Plan for SY 2020-21 (One-pager) →



HCPSS follows the Maryland State Dept. of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics’ guidelines for protecting student privacy in public reporting. Please refer to Data FAQ for more information about redacted data.

  • Proposed Enrollment Projections by Polygon – This table shows the official school year 2018-19 enrollment and projected enrollments by school level for each polygon. Current school assignments for 2019-20 are listed next to the proposed options.


The Superintendent incorporated into his recommendation a presentation from HCPSS General Counsel Mark Blom on Promoting Student Diversity Through Student Assignment Initiatives.

Due to a power outage and the loss of our video feed, the presentation of the Superintendent’s Attendance Area Adjustment Plan originally scheduled for August 20 was rescheduled for August 22


Feedback to the Board

August 21-November 19, 2019

Beginning August 21 and through 4:30 p.m. on November 19, the Board of Education will receive written testimony via USPS mail and email.

View information required for submitting written testimony via mail and email →

Any testimony received prior to this date will not be accepted. Additionally, testimony sent to individual Board members or to the general BOE email address will not be accepted.


Board Public Hearings

September-October 2019

Full details on the Board of Education boundary review public hearings may be found online, including testifying at a hearing, providing written testimony, and protocols for attending a hearing.

The Board of Education is scheduled to hold three public hearings to gather feedback from the community. Members of the public may only attend the session associated with the region in which they live based on the School Locator. Members of the public who wish to testify but cannot attend a public hearing may submit testimony via email or USPS mail.

Registration is required only for those who wish to testify. All other members of the public may attend without registering. Pre-registration will be available only by phone or in person. There will be no online pre-registration, nor will there be registration on site at a hearing.

All public hearings will be held at the Department of Education, 10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, with satellite rooms available for overflow.


Board Public Work Sessions

October — November 2019

The Board of Education will hold public work sessions to discuss the suggested boundary review. The public may attend a work session but may not participate. The BOE is expected to make a preliminary decision during their final work session on November 18.


Board Decision

November 21, 2019

The Board of Education made their final decision on attendance area adjustments for the 2020-2021 school year.