If you have been following the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) redistricting process you probably know by now that the plan was approved last night by the Howard County Board of Education (HoCoBOE). A total of 5,402 students will be moved for the 2020-21 academic year, including 2,827 elementary students, 586 middle students, and 2007 high school students per a news release from the school system.

All but one proposed polygon move was approved last night. The one move that failed and will not be moved was polygon 189 (from Clarksville Middle School to Lime Kiln Middle School). The final vote on that was voting Yea: Kirsten A Coombs, Mavis Ellis, Sabina Taj and voting Nay: Vicky Cutroneo, Christina Delmont-Small, Jennifer Mallo, Chao Wu.

There was some drama around one motion…moving Polygons 132, 1132, 2132 (Clemens Crossing Elementary School send to Bryant Woods Elementary School) failed the first time around…then a very quick recess was called…and then it passed. Here is a video of what happened:

It was reported by many that HoCoBOE member Coombs was visibly upset as she changed her vote after the recess. It was also reported that some parents tearfully walked out of the room and threw up their arms after the vote was changed.

Other notable motions include:

Rising 8th graders will be allowed to stay in their current school (voting Yea: Kirsten A Coombs, Vicky Cutroneo, Christina Delmont-Small, Mavis Ellis, Jennifer Mallo, Sabina Taj, Chao Wu).

Rising 5th graders will be allowed to stay in their school (voting Yea: Kirsten A Coombs, Vicky Cutroneo, Christina Delmont-Small, Jennifer Mallo, Sabina Taj, Chao Wu and voting Nay: Mavis Ellis)

There were two attempts to allow rising sophomores to stay in their schools (one motion with transportation and one motion without transportation) and they both failed (voting Yea: Vicky Cutroneo, Christina Delmont-Small, Chao Wu and voting Nay: Kirsten A Coombs, Mavis Ellis, Jennifer Mallo, Sabina Taj)

As of this morning I still have not seen the data I was hoping to see in advance of the votes last night:

  • New maps for high, middle and elementary schools based on what was decided in all of the work sessions.
  • A full listing of polygon moves between schools with number of students in each of those moves.
  • An updated listing of estimated capacity for each school.
  • An updated listing of estimated students on FARMs at each school.
  • An updated listing of feeds for each school.

If / when the information and data noted above becomes available to the public I will be sure to write up a post with that information.

Scott E

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