BOE discussion on Options to Relieve High School Overcrowding

The original document is here$file/08%2023%202018%20%20Options%20to%20Relieve%20HS%20Overcrowding%20BR.pdf

Here is my quick summary for your reference:


Several Howard County Public Schools are outside of the target utilization range (90 percent – 110 percent) as defined by Policy 6010 School Attendance Areas. Specifically, Howard HS, Centennial HS, Long Reach HS, Mt Hebron HS and Hammond HS are projected to be above 110 percent capacity utilization, excluding relocatables, within the next five years of the projection. Long Reach HS is expected to receive relief from the JumpStart program to lower the capacity utilization below 110 percent in SY 2018-19. The Board of Education voted on June 7, 2018 to direct the Superintendent to provide comprehensive options in order to relieve crowding, specifically at the high school level and attendance areas for HS #13.

Existing opportunities:

  1. Jumpstart program
    • As of this date, approximately 500 students, including 260 out-of-district students from Centennial HS, Long Reach HS and Howard HS, have enrolled in JumpStart at River Hill HS or Oakland Mills HS. It is anticipated that trailing siblings will take advantage of JumpStart as well. Based on historic trends, 12 to 14 percent of the student population at Centennial HS, Long Reach HS and Howard HS are out of their home school during some portion of the day to attend Applications Research Laboratory (ARL) or Howard Community College (HCC), or to participate in work-study, internships or other off-campus obligations. In SY 2019-20, we estimate 13 to 24 percent of students at Centennial HS, Long Reach HS and Howard HS will take advantage of either JumpStart or other the existing off-campus programmatic offerings.
  2. relocatable classrooms
    • As of this writing, HCPSS employs 229 relocatable classroom spaces, in one, five or nine classroom units. This count includes relocatables used for Howard County Recreation and Parks. Including relocatable classrooms, all elementary, middle and high schools are projected to be under 110 percent capacity utilization.

Additional Opportunities:

Boundary Adjustments

As demonstrated in the summer 2017 boundary review process, to access available capacity, changing boundaries in the central part of the county is likely.

Open Enrollment:
  1. This option is not associated with enrollment in JumpStart or any other regional program.
  2. The proposed sending schools are Centennial HS, Howard HS, Long Reach HS, and Mt. Hebron HS.
  3. The proposed receiving schools are Glenelg HS, Marriotts Ridge HS and Oakland Mills HS.
  4. Because of the JumpStart out of district students and anticipated trailing siblings, River Hill HS is not a viable option to receive more students in this open enrollment scenario.
Rising Ninth Grade Class(es)
  1. The following two ideas focus on providing relief to Howard HS, but can apply to Centennial HS as well. They vary slightly, but both options offer the school relief of approximately 25 percent of the student population. This option would end with the opening of New HS #13 in SY 202324.
  2. Either of these options could start in SY 2019-2020 with the rising ninth grade class (those students completing eighth grade in SY 2018-2019). Reassignment of the rising ninth grade class provides immediate relief, is not voluntary, uses existing capacity and incurs no capital costs.
  3. There is a temporary reassignment of rising ninth graders and permanent reassignment of rising ninth graders.
Ninth Grader Academy
  1. The model’s key features include clustering of instructional staff into a 9th grade team, provision of additional mental health supports, and, physically separating the 9th grade student cohort to facilitate feelings of a supportive 9th grade community.
  2. In order to facilitate a ninth grade academy, a new capital project is required. The capital project involves use of the Faulkner Ridge building.   The estimated project capital cost is $34 million, with annual operating costs estimates for transportation and maintenance about $600,000 and $235,000.


There is another post on HCPSS website: