The Howard County Public School System will holding meetings on November 26th, 27th and December 4th outlining options for rising 9-12th graders at Centennial and Howard high schools to deal with overcrowding issues at those schools. Here is information via the HCPSS website:

CHS, HoHS Overcrowding Options Family Nights, November 26, 27, December 4, 2018

Monday, November 26,  7-8:30 p.m., Centennial High School, 4300 Centennial Lane, Ellicott City

Tuesday, November 27,  7-8:30 p.m., Howard High School, 8700 Old Annapolis Road, Ellicott City

Tuesday, December 4,  7-8:30 p.m., Marriotts Ridge High School, 12100 Woodford Drive, Marriottsville

Parents/guardians of rising 9-12th graders at Centennial and Howard high schools are invited to attend an information session on possible options to reduce overcrowding at those schools.

HCPSS staff will share information on the opportunity to participate in Project Lead The Way Biomedical Science, Computer Science, or Aerospace Engineering programs at Marriotts Ridge High School; student reassignment to Marriotts Ridge or Glenelg high schools; shuttles to Howard Community College; and career development options.

Each information night will cover the same content. Parents are encouraged to attend any of the three events.  More information on the options to relieve overcrowding is available online.

*All opportunities to participate in these programmatic options are contingent on interest and capacity.

Let’s take a look at the options available to students from those schools:

Below is a list of opportunities available for students to participate in initiatives designed to reduce enrollment throughout the day at Howard and Centennial High Schools.

Note: It is important to note that all of the options require adequate student interest in order to be fiscally viable. JumpStart at Oakland Mills and River Hill High School is available to zoned students and trailing siblings only. Additional JumpStart transfer spots at OMHS and RHHS for the 2019-2020 school year are not available.

1. Additional Sections of Courses at ARL

HCPSS will provide additional sections of overenrolled courses at its Applications and Research Laboratory.

Rising 11th and 12th graders at Centennial and Howard will work with their school counselor to enroll in these courses.

2. Work-based Options

Additional sections of courses including GT Intern/Mentor, Apprenticeship, Site-Based Work Experience and Work Release will be offered at Centennial and Howard. Students will attend classes at their school part of the day and provide their own transportation to their designated site-based location.

Rising 11th and 12th graders at Centennial and Howard will work with their school counselor to enroll in these courses.

3. Shuttle to Howard Community College (HCC)

Through HCPSS JumpStart, students will attend high school for one period per day and then spend the majority of the school day at Howard Community College.

Rising 11th and 12th graders at Centennial and Howard will work with their school counselor to enroll in these courses.

4. Project Lead The Way (PLTW) at Marriotts Ridge High School

MRHS will host Project Lead The Way Biomedical, Computer Science, and Aerospace Engineering programs focused on pathways in health professions, computer science and engineering.

Rising 9th-12th graders from Centennial, Howard and Marriotts Ridge will complete the online interest form.

*Existing PLTW programs at Howard and Centennial will remain intact. The proposed program, pending board approval, will add additional PLTW opportunities for students who opt to attend Marriotts Ridge.

5. Reassignment with Transportation

Students may seek reassignment from Centennial and Howard to Glenelg or Marriotts Ridge by accepting overcrowding as the reason for reassignment. Students would have access to transportation at hub stops similar to the current JumpStart program.

Rising 9th-12th graders from Centennial and Howard will complete the online interest form to request this program.

Read more here: https://www.hcpss.org/school-planning/howard-centennial-overcrowding-options/

Why are these options being offered in 2019 to those students in those schools? Well…if you remember…back in September the Howard County Board of Education Votes 4 to 3 Against Redistricting in 2019. The upside of this right now…read the comments from the candidates that were elected in 2018 to the HoCoBOE…I am expecting redistricting to happen in 2019 for the 2020 school year…and will be super disappointed if it does not happen…and maybe many, many articles about that as it plays out over the next year.

One additional note…other schools projected to be over 105% capacity in 2018/ 2019 school year (based on the 2018 projected feasibility study) include:

  • Long Reach (106.6%)
  • Mt Hebron (113.6%)
  • Hammond (111.1%)

Things only look worse for 2019 / 2020 school year for some schools…here are the ones projected to be over 110% in 2019:

  • Howard (138.9%)
  • Long Reach (112.4%)
  • Centennial (128.3%)
  • Mt Hebron (114.6%)
  • Hammond (112.8%)

Maybe the options above will help a little at Howard and Centennial…but it appears that there may be significant overcrowding at three other schools next year…meaning possibly more students in portable trailers for classes.

I will continue to follow this issue and I look forward to seeing the results of the options being offered. If those results are made public…I will be sure to write a post on those numbers.

Scott E

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