Now that the FY 2020 budget for the Howard County Public School System is nearly complete…we can start to focus on school redistricting. Here is a little information and some important upcoming dates for you to know:

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. This review is critical due to population growth that has resulted in crowding at many schools while schools in other areas are underutilized.

The 2019 Feasibility Study includes data that is carefully analyzed by independent consultant Cooperative Strategies, LLC. Pending available funding in the FY2020 budget, Cooperative Strategies, LLC, will also 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.

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.

Upcoming timeline:

June 13, 2019: Feasibility Study

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.

June 14 through beginning August: Online Input Form

The online input form will provide the opportunity to submit feedback to the Superintendent.

June – July, 2019: Attendance Area Committee (AAC) Meetings

The advisory 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.

Members will represent community diversity and every planning region in the county, and include individuals who have served HCPSS in advisory roles or as partners.

The AAC reviews Policy 6010 – School Attendance Areas and the contents of the Feasibility Study, and reports its recommendations to the Superintendent in July.

Tuesday, June 18, 6 p.m. – Atholton HS
Tuesday, June 25, 6 p.m. – Atholton HS
Tuesday, July 2, 6 p.m. – Atholton HS
Tuesday, July 9, 6 p.m. – Atholton HS
AAC meetings are public, but the AAC is not responsible for gathering public input or developing attendance area scenarios.

Additional activities run from July – November 2019 (including Community Input Sessions)…I will have additional posts in the future for those activities and meetings.

Here is one post from a current HoCoBOE member on the Community Input Sessions:

I will have lots more on this topic in the future. Stay tuned.

Scott E

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