I came across this post from Howard County Council Member Rigby on Facebook and thought it would make a good post for this morning:

The Howard County Public School System recently announced their School Boundary Review process for the 2020-2021 school year, outlined in HCPSS’s flyer below. It is my hope that the Board of Education takes this opportunity to truly look at achievement gaps in our schools as they consider redistricting to balance capacity in Howard County.

Please consider attending some of the upcoming public input opportunities taking place next week, as well as the Board of Education’s public hearings and work sessions occurring this Fall.

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We are still a decent way away from the Howard County Board of Education (HoCoBOE) from dealing with this topic…the Superintendent wont present his recommendation to the board until August 20th. Then the board will have their public hearings in September…work sessions in October and November…and then late November we will get the new layout of which polygons go to which schools.

While I agree we should not ignore the achievement gap issues when looking at schools…I seriously hope the school boundaries do not look like Maryland congressional districts based on that fact alone. Keeping kids in our school system with their neighbors is important…and I hope the HoCoBOE takes into consideration as well (I am sure they will).

I also am hoping that the school boundary for HS13 is looked at seriously during this process. It is included in the documentation and is a bad plan (in my opinion) right now. Here is the map as provided in the documentation:

Here is a close up of that map showing that kids that live on Guilford Rd and some that live on Mission Rd are not districted to go to that school…How in the world is that a good plan?

Maybe for the first time I understand the statement that kids are not polygons…because this seems silly to me. Kids could literally walk to that school…but not currently planned to attend that school.

Wonder why we need someone on the board from District 3…here ya go!!! This should be an issue that someone on the board speaks out about…but I have not heard it yet. If I am wrong…let me know.

I am going to give them all a pass because we are still kind of early in the process…but my hope is that someone on the board takes this up before it is to late. If this becomes the plan for HS13…then I will be disappointed.

Scott E

5 COMMENTS

  1. Don’t bother going the feedback sessions are useless… they put you at tables and ask you to share your feelings with the other people at the table… Nobody from the school district pays attention its just people letting off steam… Like why am i complaining to other citizens in a hot cafeteria while the school district people who should be listening to us are home with their families?

  2. Jerry Glau. Lol. Exactly. Seems the goal of the new & improved aac process is to only give the appearance of considering citizen feedback while not actually incorporating any of the suggestions made.

    Scott E; good point on the attendance area for HS #13. A bigger issue is that the proposal has the elkridge area also attending HS #13. That area of elkridge currently attends howard. The drive to HS #13 is even farther which doesn’t seem fair. Especially in light of the areas you mention not being districted to HS #13. Problem is that the location of HS #13 is far from the area with the most crowding. Inexplicably the school board choose the jessup site vs. the much more centrally located troy hill location.

  3. Apparently, the planners believe that the only excess enrollment is in the northeast. It might help to know if everyone went to the closest school with current 12 schools Long Reach would be at >200% of capacity, Hammond and Reservoir would be seriously over enrolled. Howard would be a little over enrolled. Currently, a lot of students who are closer to Long Reach are sent to Howard. But there would be a lot of capacity in Oakland Mills, Marriotts Ridge, etc. So, because we are already sending a lot of students north to over crowded schools, the planners think the north region is more overcrowded than it really is (because of how full those schools are). How full a school is with the current districts is not a good indicator of how crowded the regions are because people are being bussed into some overcrowded schools and out of less crowded schools. The actual crowdedness is to the south of where they are putting this district. What would happen is they will be overcrowding the southeastern schools (e.g. Hammond, Reservoir), and then they are sending more of those students north. If they were to optimize to balance capacity while minimizing travel time to school, the #13 district would be much to the south. I ran an optimized 13-school district and it sent Elkridge to Long Reach.

  4. Redistributing is a painful process. In the 90’s the BOE was advised by staff to plan areas that went East/West rather than North/South to allow for greater equity and diversity. But the speed of adding schools, the cost of bus transportation and parental outcry over frequent moves for their communities made that policy very difficult to achieve. My sincerest best wishes to you all and the new BOE for equity and peace in this difficult process. This work was the most difficult for me in my 24 years on the BOE.

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