To address high school crowding, Howard school system approves students voluntarily moving schools

Jess Nocera
Contact ReporterHoward County Times

Students who currently attend Centennial or Howard high schools can request to move to a different school for the upcoming academic year.

On Tuesday, the school system announced a plan to allow voluntary transfers from the county’s two most crowded high schools to either Glenelg or Marriotts Ridge.

Students approved will begin attending their new high school in the 2019-2020 school year. Families will need to provide their own transportation.

In a news release, officials said that system officials decided to permit transfers after reviewing community feedback. There were three community information sessions as well as an online form where families and students could discuss ways to address school crowding.

Between 450 and 500 students from Howard and nearly 300 Centennial students would need to transfer to offset crowding.

In October, the county school board approved expanding JumpStart, allowing a dual-enrollment program and expanding course offerings at the Applications and Research Laboratory in an effort to ease crowding in several high schools.

Based on student interest, the system may expand work-based offerings for Centennial and Howard students, including additional sections of gifted-and-talented internships and mentor programs, officials said.

An estimated 120 students from the two high schools would need to participate in some of the options. Expanding course offerings at the ARL could potentially take 50 students out of the two schools.

On Thursday, the school board said it would discuss the possibility of redistricting for the 2020-2021 academic year at its upcoming meeting on Jan. 24.

The motion was made by school board member Jen Mallo, who said she has heard concerns from the community about overcrowded schools.

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