"This is a school that's really been struggling and moving in the negative for a long period of time," Edwards said during a presentation.

The school's enrollment has also declined in the last four years, which Edwards said demonstrated that students "were not seeing this as a viable high school option."

Steuart Hill Academy has also struggled academically, experiencing drops ranging from 19 percent to 28 percent among its elementary and middle school students over the last four years on the Maryland School Assessments.

Closing Steuart Hill was not an option, Edwards said, because the community has limited school choices. "We have to strengthen programs and grow seats," she said of the school, which expects a large enrollment jump in the next five years.

At Federal Hill Prep, Edwards said, "there was a community concern that it's a building that doesn't support middle school programming."

That school has also experienced drops on the MSAs across all grade levels in the last four years. The largest drop at that school was in middle school math, which plummeted from 86.5 proficiency rates in 2008 to 46 percent in 2011.

A booming international and refugee population has placed Moravia Park in a position to expand its elementary program and bolster enrollment at Northeast Middle School, which created an International Student Education Center to target the population's needs.

"This is a school that's actually busting at the seams," Edwards said of Moravia Park, which has nearly 1,000 students this year. "This is an effort to be more responsive to the international needs there."

Several meetings of school communities and the public will take place at the affected schools throughout the end of the month and early March. Public meetings on the recommendations will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 6 at city school headquarters, 200 E. North Ave.; and from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. March 10.

The board is scheduled to vote on the recommendations March 27.

erica.green@baltsun.com