School Redistricting Proposal Would Reduce Overcrowded Classrooms In Anne Arundel County
July 12, 2023
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mark Bedell today presented a recommendation for the first phase of the school system’s comprehensive redistricting process that would redraw school boundaries at 48 schools, establish boundaries at two new schools, and move all schools in the county’s six northernmost clusters under 100 percent capacity.
The recommendation centers on creating boundaries for Old Mill West High School and West County Elementary School while balancing enrollments across schools in the Chesapeake, Glen Burnie, Meade, North County, Northeast, and Old Mill clusters. It comes after work by consultant WXY and Anne Arundel County Public Schools to examine enrollment patterns across the 58 schools in the clusters that has been undertaken since early this year.
Dr. Bedell utilized that work along with more than 2,700 comments left by more than 33,000 unique visitors to the school system’s redistricting website, www.aacps.org/redistricting, as he finalized the recommendation presented to the Board today. If adopted, that recommendation would leave 15 schools in the northern part of the county at or above 90 percent capacity. Without any redistricting, 26 schools would reach that mark, with seven operating between 100 percent and 110 percent of capacity and six others operating at more than 110 percent of capacity.
“This has been an enormous amount of work on the part of a lot of people and I am grateful for their efforts to get us to this point,” Dr. Bedell said. “We have promised that this would be a transparent process with many avenues for public input, and the input we have received so far has played a significant part in the crafting of this recommendation. Throughout this part of the process, we put students first in all decisions we have made.”
Dr. Bedell’s recommendation makes a number of changes from the second of two potential scenarios developed by WXY and posted online in February 2023. His recommendation to the Board and other related documents are posted online at www.aacps.org/redistricting. A portal on that page will allow for public comment to be submitted through August 16, 2023.
Key parts of Dr. Bedell’s recommendation include:
“There are few things in education more emotional for families than changing the schools their students attend,” Dr. Bedell said. “I understand that, but I also understand the crucial need to optimize the use of our school buildings. It is something we must do for the greater good of every student in our school system. This recommendation is the next step in this process. It is not the final decision, and I urge our families, students, staff, and all county residents to remain involved.”
Remaining steps in the process include:
This press release was produced by Anne Arundel County Public Schools. The views expressed here are the author’s own.
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