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Tell MCPS What You Think About the Options for Alleviating Overcrowded WJ Cluster Schools

Posted on by Amy Ginsburg

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This past spring, Montgomery County Public Schools conducted a roundtable community process for the Walter Johnson cluster. The process included PTA representatives from the cluster who explored approaches to address overcrowded elementary, middle, and high schools. MCPS wants community members to share input on the suggestions made by the Roundtable. According to MCPS projections, Walter Johnson,will be overcrowded by more than 500 students in 5 years.

You are asked to share your thoughts with MCPS by clicking here. It’s important that you do share your opinion with MCPS because we want to get the best solution to the complex issue of overcrowding in the WJ cluster. Everyone who lives, works, and pays taxes in our community has a right to have their voice heard, whether or not you have or had children enrolled in MCPS. Deadline is the end of this week.

This input will be summarized in a report for the superintendent of schools as he develops his recommendation in the fall of 2016.

There are ten secondary school options. You can get more detailed information on all of these options here.

Approach #1, Construct Additions at all Secondary Schools:
APPROACH #1 proposes classroom additions at Walter Johnson High School as well as eventually at North Bethesda and Tilden Middle Schools, keeping the current service areas. The high school would be built for a capacity of 3,000 students, with an addition complete for the 2020-2021 school year. The school would have a master plan for another addition in order to accommodate up to 3,600 students if needed in the future. North Bethesda Middle School would eventually be built for a capacity of 1,350 students. Tilden Middle School would eventually be built for a capacity of 1,500 students.
Approach #2, Reopen Woodward High School:
APPROACH #2 proposes reopening the Woodward holding school facility as an additional Grades 9-12 high school. The new high school would have a capacity for 1,750 students and open by the 2022-2023 school year, leaving Walter Johnson High School with approximately 835 vacant seats. Boundary changes would be required when the new school opens. North Bethesda Middle School would eventually be built for a capacity of 1,350 students. Tilden Middle School would eventually be built for a capacity of 1,500 students.
Approach #3, Reopen Woodward High School for Grades 9-10:
APPROACH #3 proposes reopening the Woodward holding school facility for all cluster students in Grades 9-10. The 2022-2023 school year would be the earliest completion date for the new high school. Walter Johnson High School would serve students in Grades 11-12. North Bethesda Middle School would eventually be built for a capacity of 1,350 students. Tilden Middle School would eventually be built for a capacity of 1,500 students.
Approach #4, Reopen Woodward for Grades 8-9:
APPROACH #4 proposes reopening the Woodward holding school facility for all cluster students in Grades 8-9. The 2022-2023 school year would be the earliest completion date for the new school. Walter Johnson High School would serve students in Grades 10-12 and would have a master plan for an addition in order to accommodate up to 2,700 students if needed in the future. North Bethesda and Tilden middle schools would serve students in Grades 6-7. The addition to North Bethesda Middle School would be removed from the current construction program and the planned revitalization of Tilden Middle School would be modified, for a capacity of 1,000 students.
Approach #5, Utilize Commercial Space for a Grade 9 or 9/10 Annex:
APPROACH #5 proposes leasing or purchasing commercial space near Walter Johnson High school for students in Grade 9 and/or 10. Walter Johnson High School would serve students in Grades 9/10-12 and and would have a master plan for an addition in order to accommodate up to 2,700 students if needed in the future. North Bethesda Middle School would eventually be built for a capacity of 1,350 students. Tilden Middle School would eventually be built for a capacity of 1,500 students.
Approach #6, Implement an Alternative School Schedule:
APPROACH #6 proposes extending the operating hours of Walter Johnson High School in order to provide two school sessions in one building. Walter Johnson High School would serve Grades 9-12 and offer a morning and an afternoon session. North Bethesda Middle School would eventually be built for a capacity of 1,350 students. Tilden Middle School would eventually be built for a capacity of 1,500 students.
Approach #7, Offer Online Education:
APPROACH #7 proposes offering online education and encouraging all Grade 12 students to take half their course load online and attend school for half the day. Implementation of online education would begin in the 2018-2019 school year. Walter Johnson High School would be expanded for a capacity of 3,200 students in time for the 2020-2021 school year. North Bethesda Middle School would eventually be built for a capacity of 1,350 students. Tilden Middle School would eventually be built for a capacity of 1,500 students.
Approach #8, Build a New High School and a New Middle School:
APPROACH #8 proposes purchasing a site in order to construct a new middle and high school. The new high school would have a capacity for 1,750 students and open by the 2021-2022 school year, leaving Walter Johnson High School with 900 vacant seats in that year. The new middle school would have a capacity for 1,000 and open by 2025. Boundary changes would be required when the new schools open. The addition to North Bethesda Middle School would be removed from the current construction program and the planned revitalization of Tilden Middle School would be designed for its current capacity of 939 students.
Approach #9, Co-locate a New High School and New Middle School on the Woodward Site:
APPROACH #9 proposes co-locating a Grades 9-12 high school and a Grades 6-8 middle school on the Woodward holding facility site. The new high school would have a capacity for 1,750 students and open by the 2022-2023 school year, leaving Walter Johnson High School with approximately 835 vacant seats. The new middle school would have a capacity for 1,000 and also open by 2022. Boundary changes would be required when the new schools open. The addition to North Bethesda Middle School would be removed from the current construction program and the planned revitalization of Tilden Middle School would be designed for its current capacity of 939 students.
Approach #10, Reassign Grade 9 Students to Middle Schools and Reopen Woodward for Grades 6-9:
APPROACH #10 proposes reopening the Woodward holding school facility for students in Grades 6-9, and reassigning Grade 9 students to the other two middle schools, creating three Grades 6-9 schools. The 2022-2023 school year would be the earliest completion date for the new Woodward Middle School. Walter Johnson High School would serve students in grades 10-12 and maintain its capacity for 2,335 students. North Bethesda and Tilden middle schools would begin serving students in Grades 6-9 in 2022, once the new Woodward Middle School for Grades 6-9 opens with a capacity of 1,200 students. Boundary changes would be required when the new middle school school opens.

 

There are six (ish) secondary school options. You can get more detailed information on all of these options here.

Approach #1, Open a New Elementary School:
APPROACH #1 proposes opening a new elementary school in the cluster by 2035, with a capacity for 740 students. The planned addition project at Ashburton Elementary School would move forward, bringing the school’s capacity to 881 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The planned expansion of Luxmanor Elementary School would move forward, bringing that school’s capacity to 745 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The addition project at Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School would continue, bringing its capacity to 746 students in the 2018-2019 school year. Farmland, Garrett Park, and Wyngate elementary schools would maintain their current capacities. This approach increases enrollment at Ashburton Elementary school beyond the preferred MCPS enrollment range.
Approach #1a, Open a New Elementary School:
APPROACH #1a proposes opening a new elementary school in the cluster and removing the addition at Ashburton Elementary School from the current capital projects program. The new elementary school would open by 2022 with a capacity for 550 students, but would be master planned for a capacity of 740 students. Relocatable classrooms would relieve Ashburton Elementary School until the new school opens. The planned expansion of Luxmanor Elementary School would move forward, bringing its capacity to 745 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The addition project at Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School would continue, bringing its capacity to 746 students in the 2018-2019 school year. This approach brings all elementary schools into the preferred MCPS enrollment range.
Approach #1b, Open a New Elementary School:
APPROACH #1b proposes opening a new elementary school in the cluster and removing the classroom portion of the planned addition at Ashburton Elementary School from the current capital projects program – this would mean expanding the school’s core space (enlarging the cafeteria and adding office and support space) but not adding additional classrooms. The new school would open by 2022 with a capacity for 550 students, but would be master planned for a capacity of 740 students. Relocatable classrooms would relieve Ashburton Elementary School until the new school opens. The planned expansion of Luxmanor Elementary School would move forward, bringing its capacity to 745 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The addition project at Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School would continue, bringing its capacity to 746 students in the 2018-2019 school year. Farmland, Garrett Park, and Wyngate elementary schools would maintain their current capacities. This approach brings all elementary schools into the preferred MCPS enrollment range.
Approach #2, Reorganize Grades to Create K-4 Schools and 5-7 Schools (in conjunction with Secondary Approach #4):
APPROACH #2 proposes moving Grade 5 students to cluster middle schools, reopening the Woodward holding school facility for all cluster students in Grades 8-9, and serving Grade 10-12 students at Walter Johnson High School. The grade reorganization and opening of the Woodward school would begin in the 2021-2022 school year. The planned addition project at Ashburton Elementary School would move forward, bringing the school’s capacity to 881 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The planned expansion of Luxmanor Elementary School would move forward, bringing its capacity to 745 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The addition project at Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School would continue, bringing its capacity to 746 students in the 2018-2019 school year. Farmland, Garrett Park, and Wyngate elementary schools would maintain their current capacities. This approach impacts the current instructional model because of grade reorganization, and enlarges Ashburton Elementary School beyond the preferred MCPS enrollment range.
Approach #3, Expand Elementary Schools for Capacities of 850-890 students:
APPROACH #3 proposes expanding both Kensington-Parkwood and Luxmanor elementary schools for capacities of 850-890 students. Boundary changes would need to be considered in the future. The planned addition project at Ashburton Elementary School would move forward, bringing the school’s capacity to 881 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The expansion of Luxmanor Elementary School would bring its capacity to 877 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The addition project at Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School would continue, bringing its capacity to 746 students in the 2018-2019 school year, and another addition opening in the 2021-2022 school year would bring its capacity to 878 students. Farmland, Garrett Park, and Wyngate elementary schools would maintain their current capacities. This approach expands Ashburton, Kensington-Parkwood, and Luxmanor elementary schools beyond the preferred MCPS enrollment range
Approach #4, Open an Early Childhood Center:
APPROACH #4 proposes opening an early childhood center for pre-K and Kindergarten students in the cluster, including special education PEP students, with a capacity for 350 children. The center would open in the 2021-2022 school year and Kindergarten students would be reassigned there from Ashburton, Garrett Park, and Luxmanor elementary schools. The planned addition project at Ashburton Elementary School would move forward, bringing the school’s capacity to 881 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The planned project at Luxmanor Elementary School would move forward, bringing its capacity to 745 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The addition project at Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School would continue, bringing its capacity to 746 students in the 2018-2019 school year. Farmland, Garrett Park, and Wyngate elementary schools would maintain their current capacities. This approach impacts the current Kindergarten model and expands Ashburton Elementary School beyond the preferred MCPS enrollment range
Approach #5, Open a New PreK-2 Elementary School that is Paired with Ashburton Elementary School:
APPROACH #5 proposes opening a new school serving Grades pre-K through 2, which would be paired with Ashburton Elementary School and have a capacity for 736 students. Ashburton Elementary School would then serve Grades 3-5 and have a capacity for 713 students. Students from Garrett Park Elementary School would be reassigned to the paired schools. The planned addition project at Ashburton Elementary School would be removed from the capital projects program. The planned project at Luxmanor Elementary School would move forward, bringing its capacity to 745 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The addition project at Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School would continue, bringing its capacity to 746 students in the 2018-2019 school year. Farmland, Garrett Park, and Wyngate elementary schools would maintain their current capacities.
Approach #6, Reorganize Schools to Create K-4 Elementary Schools and 5-8 Middle Schools:
APPROACH #6 proposes reorganizing cluster elementary schools for grades K-4, moving Grade 5 students into cluster middle schools. The Woodward holding school facility would be reopened as a new middle school for Grade 5-8 students beginning in the 2021-2022 school year. An addition would be constructed at North Bethesda Middle School, to accommodate up to 1,229 students in the 2018-2019 school year. The planned revitalization project at Tilden Middle School would expand the school’s capacity to 1,200 students in the 2020-2021 school year. The planned addition project at Ashburton Elementary School would be built to accommodate 740 rather than 881 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The planned project at Luxmanor Elementary School would move forward, bringing its capacity to 745 students in the 2019-2020 school year. The addition project at Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School would continue, bringing its capacity to 746 students in the 2018-2019 school year. Farmland, Garrett Park, and Wyngate elementary schools would maintain their current capacities. This approach brings all elementary and middle schools into the preferred MCPS enrollment range, but impacts the current instructional model due to the grade reorganization.

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