Following months of planning and listening to community feedback, the Board of Education of Anne Arundel County will vote to adopt the first phase of its redistricting plan at its meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
The board will select one of two redistricting proposals that will redraw boundaries at 48 of the 58 schools in the northern part of the county. The only difference between the two plans is that one lets students who will be juniors and seniors during the 2024-25 school year apply to be “legacy” students who stay at their original schools and the other only allows seniors to apply.
Juniors who apply to be legacy students would be expected to stay at their school through graduation. Legacy students will also need to provide their own transportation because there won’t be a bus route for them.
Superintendent Mark Bedell proposed in July that the Board of Education adopt a redistricting plan that will “put students first” and leave no school in the northern part of the county over its state-rated capacity.
The plan will alter geographically assigned schools for about 6,400 students, fewer than predicted by the school system’s consultant, Bedell said.
The Evening Sun
Enrollment in the northern part of the county was 41,000 students in 2022 and is expected to increase to just over 47,000 by 2031, according to Chief Financial Officer Matthew Stanski.
“We still are seeing growth in the southern part of the county but not as rapid growth as we are seeing in [the] northern part of the county,” he said during an interview in July.
Phase one of the redistricting process will establish attendance areas 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.
The second phase will begin in 2025 and target the southern portion of the county, including the Severna Park, Crofton, Annapolis, South River, Southern, Broadneck and Arundel feeder systems.
The board said that because there was already a meeting specifically for public comment regarding redistricting on last month, the Wednesday meeting in Annapolis’ Parham Building will only be open for comment on other agenda items.
Also at the meeting, the board will be presented with the 2024-25 school year calendar as recommended by the AACPS Calendar Committee. After the meeting, the calendar will be posted online, and the board will accept public comment prior to voting on adoption of an official calendar on Dec. 6.