MCPS Announces Meetings for Districtwide Boundary Analysis

MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith

During his monthly press conference, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith announced upcoming meetings for families to weigh in on the MCPS’s Districtwide Boundary Analysis study.

The first hearing takes place Monday evening in the Board of Education’s hearing room, located at 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.

There are more meetings about the boundary analysis study coming up in December and January:

  • Dec. 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Gaithersburg High School
  • Dec. 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Julius West Middle School in Rockville
  • Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at White Oak Middle School in Silver Spring
  • Jan. 7, 2020 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda (canceled due to weather).
  • Jan. 11, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Blair High School in Silver Spring
  • Jan. 14, 2020 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Northwest High School in Germantown

Smith: Districtwide Boundary Analysis is Necessary as MCPS Enrollment Grows

The districtwide boundary analysis is intended to examine MCPS’s current school boundaries, as well as understand how the boundaries can be refined to prevent overcrowding and ensure that students are provided quality learning facilities.

Smith said that this academic year, MCPS gained between 2,500 and 2,600 students.

“If we gain the same number of students next year and the following year, we’ll be up over 170,000 students in just two more years. We have to think about the best, most efficient and effective way, to provide the best learning environments for all students,” Smith said.

The project was announced last January and received mixed reactions from students, families, and activists.

Smith emphasized to reporters on Monday that the project is simply intended to serve as an analysis, and when a final report is released in June, the Board of Education will use the findings to make recommendations.

“What [the report] will not do is make recommendations about changing the attendance areas, the boundaries of schools, or decide who’s enrolled in what schools,” Smith said.

When asked by reporters whether families should be concerned about having to switch school districts after buying a house, Smith said there’s no indication that student enrollment will slow down.

Smith said, “How can you not expect the possibility of going to a different school?”

The project is currently in its first phase, with the goal of helping the public understand the boundary challenges, while also giving them a platform to offer feedback.

The second phase of the project will take place in the winter and spring. It involves presenting the findings and data collected from the first phase. A report about the analysis will be provided in June, Smith said.

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About Deirdre Byrne

Deirdre Byrne is a social media coordinator for Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at dbyrne@mymcmedia.org or on twitter at @DeirdreByrneMCM.

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