Superintendent’s Recommended Attendance Area Adjustment Plan Could Impact Thousands

On August 22, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano presented his Attendance Area Adjustment Plan recommendation. The proposal is significantly different from the recommendations presented in the Feasibility Study. According to Dr. Martirano, “the driving priorities through this process have been to relieve crowding, advance equity by addressing the dis-tribution of students participating in the Free and Reduced-price Meals (FARM) program across schools, and plan ahead for the impact of new High School #13, which is scheduled to open in Jes-sup in fall 2023.”

As stated by Martirano, “The recommendation reflects the priorities expressed by the AAC and community members and considers transportation times and costs, the effective use of existing school resources and other Policy 6010 standards. It also considers the desire to keep school boundaries contiguous and maintain neighborhood schools and walkable distances for as many students as possible.”

The proposal would result in approximately 7,396 student re-assignments, including approximately 3,194 elementary, 1,351 middle and 2,851 high school students. As a result, 53 schools would be within the 90–110% target utilization defined in Policy 6010, compared with 42 without adjustment. Students currently attending schools that serve the Village of River Hill (Clarksville ES, Pointers Run ES, Clarksville MS, Atholton HS and River Hill HS) could potentially experience significant shifts in the attendance area polygons that feed into them.

The proposal presented by Dr. Martirano is a recommendation only. The Board’s deliberation is the next step in the process, which begins with the Board’s public hearings followed by seven Board work sessions. The Board of Education is scheduled to hold three public hearings to gather feedback from the community. Members of the public may only attend the session associated with the region in which they live based on the School Locator found at www.hcpss.org. Members of the public who wish to testify but cannot attend a public hearing may submit testimony via email or USPS mail.

Pre-registration will be available only by phone or in person. There will be no online pre-registration, nor will there be registration on site at a hearing. All public hearings will be held at the Department of Education, 10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, with satellite rooms available for overflow.

• Tuesday, September 17, 7 p.m. (Families currently zoned for Centennial HS, Howard HS, Mt. Hebron HS, Oakland Mills HS)

• Tuesday, September 24, 7 p.m. (Families currently zoned for Atholton HS, Hammond HS, Long Reach HS, Wilde Lake HS)

• Thursday, September 26, 7 p.m. (Families currently zoned for Glenelg HS, Marriotts Ridge HS, Reservoir HS, River Hill HS)

The Board of Education is currently scheduled to have seven public work sessions to discuss the suggested boundary review. The public may attend a work session but may not participate.

• Thursday, October 10, 6:30 p.m.

• Thursday, October 24, 6:30 p.m.

• Wednesday, October 30, 6:30 p.m.

• Thursday, November 5, 6:30 p.m.

• Tuesday, November 12, 6:30 p.m.

• Thursday, November 14, 6:30 p.m.

• Monday, November 18 Preliminary decision

The Board is expected to make a preliminary decision at their final work session on November 18, and their final decision on any boundary line adjustments is expected on November 21.The Superintendent’s recommendation and presentation are posted on the HCPSS website www.hcpss.org

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