MCPS superintendent makes recommendations to address growing enrollment

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ROCKVILLE, MD — The Superintendent of Schools for Montgomery County Public Schools has released his recommendations to deal with the boundary, capacity, and facility issues at some of the system’s schools.

In a news release, Superintendent Jack R. Smith made three recommendations and stated they are supplements to “proposed amendments to the current six-year Capital Improvements Program”.

The first recommendation covers how to split up the elementary school feeder system for Westland Middle School and the new Bethesda-Chevy Chase (B-CC) Middle School #2, which is under construction and is expected to open in August 2017.

Smith recommended B-CC take students from the paired schools of Chevy Chase, North Chevy Chase, and Rosemary Hills Elementary Schools. It would also accept students from Rock Creek Forest Elementary School, except for those in the Spanish Immersion Program.

Those students in the Spanish Immersion Program would continue to go to Westland Middle School, along with students from Bethesda, Somerset, and Westbrook Elementary Schools.

The second recommendation covers the Walter Johnson Cluster and how to address the current, short- and long-term projected enrollment numbers.

Smith stated that enrollment in this cluster is expected to continue to grow as there are a number of developments planned for the area.

Among the ideas in this recommendation are monitoring enrollment at Farmland Elementary School and look at reassigning students to Luxmanor Elementary School beginning in the 2020-21 school year (a year after an expansion project finishes).

Another includes convening a work group to look at reopening the old Woodward High School, which currently houses Tilden Middle School, to alleviate enrollment numbers at not only Walter Johnson High School, but also at Montgomery Blair, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, and Northwood High Schools.

The third recommendation calls for Blair G. Ewing Center’s Alternative Education Programs be moved to the Rock Terrace School site in January 2022. However, in order for this to work, a feasibility study would need to begin during the 2017-18 school year and the project have allocated funding by Fiscal Year 2019.

The public will be able to give feedback on the recommendations at Montgomery County Board of Education public hearings on November 10 and 14.

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