Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Board begins yearlong redistricting process for high schools

CCPS Press ReleaseJuly 24, 2012

When the Board of Education meets on Monday, Aug. 6, it will be the beginning of a yearlong process to review redistricting policies, develop alternatives for redistricting of high school attendance zones, create an attendance zone for the new St. Charles High School and reduce overcrowding in the six existing high schools.

The Board of Education meets at 6 p.m., Aug. 6, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building in La Plata. The agenda includes discussion on redistricting policies and suggested policy changes developed by a Board committee. Additionally, the Board will begin discussion on which grades are to be included in St. Charles High School when it opens in August 2014. Possible alternatives include opening it as a full high school with grades 9-12; limiting grades to 9-11; limiting grades to 9-10; or opening as a combination middle/high school with grades 7-9. A complete agenda is posted on the school system website at

Redistricting, said Superintendent James E. Richmond, is essential to create an attendance zone for St. Charles High School and to balance enrollments at the six other high schools. St. Charles High School is scheduled to open in August 2014. The school opening was first planned for 2011, but construction has been delayed twice due to economic and funding issues. State and local funding for the $64 million high school has been finalized and construction on the building is set to begin next month.

A Board subcommittee met during the summer to review and develop suggested changes to policy guiding the redistricting process. The Board will review the suggestions as an information item on Aug. 6. When the Board changes policy, it is scrutinized over three meetings: first as an information item, second as a report and third as an action item for a vote. Rule changes are developed by the Superintendent, and provide the process staff follows to implement the Board's policy. Proposed changes to the Board policies include the addition of a third public information session/hearing. The Superintendent has proposed changes to the composition of the redistricting committee. Complete policy change suggestions will be posted with the agenda on BoardDocs July 30.

The tentative high school redistricting timeline is:

August 2012

  • Board reviews committee recommendations on redistricting policy; discusses, makes decisions on grades to be included in new high school.
September 2012
  • Principals submit redistricting committee nominations
  • Board public hearing/information session on high school redistricting
October 2012
  • Superintendent selects redistricting committee
  • Redistricting committee meets and is given the task
November 2012
  • Redistricting committee meeting to develop two alternatives
December 2012
  • Redistricting committee meeting to develop two alternatives
January 2013
  • Redistricting committee meeting to develop two alternatives
February 2013
  • Redistricting committee finalizes two alternatives
March 2013
  • Redistricting committee's report presented to the Superintendent's operations group
  • Redistricting committee's report publicized and available to the public
April 8, 2013
  • Redistricting committee's report presented to the elected Board at the board meeting
April 2013
  • Public hearing on committee's alternatives
May 2013
  • Superintendent presents his recommendation to elected Board
  • Public hearing on Superintendent's recommendation
June 2013
  • Elected Board takes action on Superintendent's recommendation
  • Redistricting decision occurs one year prior to the opening of St. Charles High School in August 2014. Students affected by the redistricting will change schools in August 2014.
The Board meeting is open to the public and is also televised live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12 and streamed live on the school system website at The meeting is rebroadcast throughout the week. Schedules for Channel 96 are available on the Charles County Public Schools website at

Information about the redistricting will be available throughout the process. All information will be posted on the school system's website,, and information flyers will be sent home with elementary students and mailed to middle school parents.

Community input is essential to a successful redistricting. The Superintendent welcomes comments from the public. Comments and suggestions may be shared at public hearings, through e-mail or by letter. E-mails should be sent to Mail letters to Charles County Public Schools, Redistricting, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646.

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