Delay HCPSS HS redistricting/Let them Stay!
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The school assignment process should promote student welfare to the greatest extent possible. The movement of students should not apply to any currently enrolled HCPSS high school students. We the undersigned, petition HCPSS to abandon any efforts to redistrict Howard County high schools in 2018 and to delay any high school boundary adjustments to allow for more comprehensive study and adequate future preparations.
There is questionable need to enact such a large-scale, countywide boundary adjustment for 2018. Boundary adjustments can greatly impact the lives of students, parents and staff, particularly during crucial high school years. Most research suggests that a high school transition produces negative educational outcomes, in addition to mental and emotional distress. Proposals for high school redistricting changes school communities and threatens the viability of many sports, extracurricular, music and arts programs.
A more targeted approach, with the supplemental use of relocatable classrooms appears much more reasonable for the next few years, followed up with boundary adjustments made in conjunction with the opening of the new high school in Jessup on a TBD date, likely no earlier than 2024. Another potential solution is new capacity or capital projects. Additionally, changes in regional programs (i.e. JROTC) can be considered.
We the undersigned also petition HCPSS to implement a policy that all incoming/rising 11th graders (Juniors) and 10th graders (Sophomores) are allowed to remain at their current school if high school boundary adjustments are approved for the 2018 academic year.
Historically, high school attendance areas in HCPSS were adjusted with the opening of schools and was phased (rising ninth and tenth graders were reassigned first) but the recommendations in the 2017 Feasibility Study do not include phasing-in rising 11th graders, or allowing trailing siblings. The AAC plan does not include any recommendations.
Moving a teen during the latter part of high school can have serious academic, social, and psychological consequences that should be taken into consideration. By the junior and senior years, students’ academic positions are generally formed and relatively rigid. Moreover, the final two years of high school constitute a critical time period during which students construct their college portfolios. They enroll in courses, earn grades, and participate in extracurricular activities that influence the type and selectivity of the post-secondary institution they attend. moving to a new school during the last two years of high school may derail students from their educational trajectories at a time that offers little opportunity for recovery. Research suggests that students who transfer late in high school face harsher academic consequences than students who transfer early in high school.
School boundary adjustments can be considered by the Board of Education based Policy 6010. Considerations include the following
- A new school or addition opening in the district - Negligible (ES opening only in 2018)
- School attendance area populations are outside the target utilization - Occurring presently or projected growth enrollment for select regions or schools.
- An existing facility is significantly damaged, deemed unusable or otherwise scheduled to close - Negligible
- The program capacity of a school building is altered - Negligible
- An unforeseen circumstance necessitates an adjustment to promote efficiency or provide for the welfare of students - Negligible
Per Policy 6010 School Attendance Areas, rising twelfth graders will not be affected by changes in attendance areas. The Board may also choose to allow rising eleventh graders to remain at their schools. Depending on the Board's action, the full changes in attendance areas may not be realized for up to three years as the rising 11th and 12th graders finish at their original schools. If trailing siblings are included (those younger students who will “share” one year with a rising senior), the phasing could take up to six years. Any considerations of student reassignments through attendance area adjustments may be phased, according to Policy 6010.
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