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Policy 6010 Implementation Procedures - School Attendance Areas

Implementation Procedures

I. Definitions

Within the context of these implementation procedures, the following definition applies:

Projection – Anticipated student enrollment counts developed using data that includes, but is not limited to historical cohort survival ratios, birth rates, new housing units, housing resales, apartment turnover and net migration.

II. Development and Consideration of School Attendance Area Adjustment Plans

The long-range school facilities planning process is conducted on an annual basis according to the county’s and state’s capital budget process. The timing, sequence, and/or steps may be adjusted based on budgetary and operational needs, to account for holidays and other considerations. The development and consideration of proposed school attendance area adjustment plans will take place in the following manner:

Determine Proposed Scope:

  1. Calendar Year 1 - June-November

    After the presentation of the staff report or after any approval of changes in the attendance areas, the Superintendent and the Board of Education will consult with each other to define the proposed scope (i.e. open a new school only or comprehensive plan for all three levels) of the upcoming year’s attendance area adjustments and develop a communication plan. The proposed scope may be adjusted during the review and approval process.

    Review and Approval Process:

  2. Calendar Year 2 - January/February

    The Office of School Planning will provide the Superintendent with enrollment projections by school annually and develop attendance area considerations per Policy 6010. The considerations will address capacity projects in the capital budget and will be the basis for short- and long-range attendance area plans.

  3. Calendar Year 2 - April

    The Office of School Planning may solicit and interview candidates for the potential Attendance Area Committee (AAC) and nominate candidates for appointment by the Superintendent.

  4. Calendar Year 2 - June

    The Superintendent/Designee presents projections, attendance area considerations and planning issues to the Board and interested residents.

    If the Board approves proceeding with attendance area adjustments, the Superintendent will charter such a committee to review attendance area adjustment considerations. The Board will notify the public of its decision for the Superintendent to proceed or not to proceed with the formation of the AAC and attendance area adjustment recommendations.

  5. Calendar Year 2 - June

    If an AAC is created, the Office of School Planning staff will provide training to the AAC. Training will include, but is not limited the following:

    1. Review of Policy 6010 and its standards used to establish an attendance area adjustment plan.

    2. Review the AAC’s responsibilities in the attendance area adjustment plan process, including training on the Maryland Open Meetings Act.

  6. Calendar Year 2 - June/July

    With assistance from the Office of School Planning, the AAC will review any attendance area adjustment considerations in the staff report, and make a committee recommendation to the Superintendent to assist the Superintendent in developing a recommendation to the Board.

  7. Calendar Year 2 - July

    The Office of School Planning will facilitate regional meetings to obtain public comment regarding attendance area adjustments. The Office of School Planning will solicit public input through various mechanisms.

  8. Calendar Year 2 - July/August

    The Office of School Planning will advise the Superintendent on capacity needs for the upcoming budget process during capital budget preparations.

  9. Calendar Year 2 - August

    After receipt of input from the AAC and the public, the Superintendent will propose attendance area adjustments to the Board.

  10. Calendar Year 2 - August-November

    Board public hearing(s), work session(s) and adoption of attendance area adjustments.

  11. Calendar Year 2 - December

    The Superintendent/Designee and Board will assess the attendance area adjustment process. Modifications to this process will be made, as needed, prior to the beginning of the next attendance area adjustment.

  12. Calendar Year 2 - December – Year 3 - January

    After the Board has made any final decision(s) regarding attendance area adjustments, the approved attendance area maps are developed, the school locator is updated, and transportation routes are updated. The Superintendent will communicate the Board’s action to the principals, PTA presidents and SGA presidents of each affected school, the president of the PTA Council of Howard County and the chairman of the Community Advisory Council to the Board. The Superintendent/Designee will assist school-based administrators and staff with articulating students affected by attendance area adjustments. Principals will communicate attendance area adjustments to the parents of students in areas affected by the Board’s action.

  13. Calendar Year 3 - January

    Capital Budget review by the Board.

  14. Calendar Year 3 - May

    Capital Budget review and approval by County Council.

  15. Calendar Year 3 –September

    Attendance Area Adjustment effective.

III. Attendance Area Committee Make-up and Responsibilities

  1. The AAC shall consist of 10 to 15 members. Consideration will be given to providing representation from each of the Howard County Public School System’s (HCPSS) planning regions. Representation may include, but is not limited to the following:

    1. At least one member from the Howard County Association of Student Councils.

    2. At least one member from each of the HCPSS six planning regions.

    3. At least three, but no more than eight at-large community members, with consideration toward identifying members of the community based on the attendance area/planning region(s) that may be affected by attendance area adjustments.

    4. Of those AAC members selected, no more than six members will have been members of a previous AAC.

    5. Members may not serve on more than two consecutive AACs.

  2. The AAC, after receiving training, will work in collaboration with the Office of School Planning staff and the Superintendent/Designee to provide feedback on attendance area considerations. The basis for the review will be enrollment projections and the Policy 6010 Standards set forth in Section IV.B.

IV. History

ADOPTED: April 28, 2005

REVIEWED: July 1, 2011


  • November 29, 2018

  • February 28, 2019

REVISED: January 26, 2017

EFFECTIVE: February 28, 2019