HCPSS reviews school attendance areas each year to balance school capacities with enrollments but actual attendance area adjustments are less frequent. Rapid growth in Howard County requires the school system to consider adjustment of school attendance areas to balance capacity utilization across regions. Additionally, boundaries are reviewed when new capacity is added through building additions and when a new school is opening. The county has opened 22 new schools in the last 30 years.
HCPSS is responsible for ensuring that all school buildings in the county are run efficiently and effectively. This means keeping all schools at or near capacity. Ensuring that all available seats in all schools are used before new schools are built saves tax dollars in the school system’s operating and capital budgets. When a school’s enrollment exceeds its capacity, relocatable classrooms may be used as a temporary solution. If enrollment growth is expected to continue, a permanent addition or a new school may be considered. If space is available in other schools in the county then students may be reassigned through the attendance area adjustment process to a school with available space. When the county opens a new school, the adjustment of attendance areas is inevitable.