BOE votes yes to a new Woodward and to searching for a site for a new elementary school

As a former Woodward Wildcat, it gives FOWF executive director Amy Ginsburg great pleasure to announce that the Board of Education last week approved a $1.83 billion school construction plan that includes reopening Woodward High School.

The board also approved a resolution to begin the site selection process for a new elementary school in the Walter Johnson Cluster in the spring of 2018.

School Capacity Needs Take Center Stage in White Flint, Rock Spring Plan Review

From Bethesda Beat

The drafted Rock Spring growth plan could bring as many as 423 new students to the crowded schools of the Walter Johnson cluster. Previously approved projects in the area could yield another 135.

The drafted White Flint 2 Sector Plan could add 690 more students, and another 149 could arrive courtesy of the drafted Grosvenor-Strathmore plan, according to county estimates.

Concerned parents in Bethesda and Rockville are wondering where the new students will go.

“[T]here’s no place to put them,” PTA representative Wendy Calhoun told County Council members last month.

County Council members, who are considering all three long-range growth plans at once, often stress that many new homes will take years or even decades to appear, and some projects might never get off the ground. However, they agree with parent advocates and Montgomery County Public Schools officials that the plans should say something about the need for new schools.

Now, consensus has formed around an approach that proponents say will give planning officials more flexibility to negotiate with landowners. The language that council members are expected to insert in all three plans states that every property undergoing development review should be evaluated for a potential school site.

Read the entire article here.

School Board Signs Off on Preliminary Plans for Luxmanor Elementary Expansion

From Bethesda Beat Project to increase school capacity by 350 students slated for completion in 2020

Preliminary designs for the expansion at Luxmanor Elementary School in Potomac

Preliminary designs for the expansion at Luxmanor Elementary School in Potomac VIA MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL

Architects on Thursday showed off preliminary plans for a three-story expansion at Luxmanor Elementary School in Potomac.

The project will increase the school’s size by about 20,000 square feet and raise its capacity from 411 to 758 students, according to officials. The Montgomery County Board of Education on Thursday signed off on the early plans for the addition and expansion.

The project, which will add 10 classrooms, is currently scheduled for completion in early 2020, according to the school system’s facilities master plan.

The school sits on about 6.5 acres, which is less land than schools usually have. Designers opted to make the most of the space by adding a third level to the structure. The planners also wanted to save as many trees as possible to preserve the heavily forested feel of the site.

Read more at Bethesda Beat

Woodward High School Reopening Study Group Presentation

Curious about the re-opening of Woodward High School? Want to learn more about what MCPS is considering for Woodward?  Then scroll through their presentation from a May 31, 2017 meeting of the Woodward High School Reopening and Nontraditional Facilities Study Group.

Below are a few highlights from the presentation.


The earliest Woodward HS reopening would be September 2022. Tilden MS will move to new location in September 2020, and construction takes at least two years for a new high school. No boundary changes would occur prior to this time, although there would be a boundary study 18 months prior to opening. Current Grade 5 students could possibly be impacted.

Options for Populating the School 

1. Conduct boundary study to reassign students to Woodward High School

2. Eliminate existing Downcounty Consortium and create boundary-based assignments with Woodward High School

3. Conduct countywide boundary study with all high schools including Woodward High School

4. Create a centralized magnet school that would attract students from across the county. (A special program would be developed to attract students)

5. Application process or audition process (such as performing arts)

6. Include Woodward HS in the existing Downcounty Consortium

7. Create a new consortium that includes Woodward HS . Geographic assignment plan study would occur approximately 18 months prior to opening of Woodward HS. High schools that would be included in the study would be identified when the study is initiated

8. Use a general lottery

9. Use a weighted lottery

Info from the Joint Rock Spring/White Flint 2 Planning Board Work Session on Schools

On February 16, the Planning Board held a joint Rock Spring and White Flint 2 Work Session to discuss schools. You can see the slides from the staff presentation here.

Some quick, interesting tidbits from this work session:

1) The projected enrollment of students from the Rock Spring, White Flint 2, and Grosvenor-Strathmore plans:  655 additional elementary students, 277 additional middle school students, and 377 additional high school students.

2) Including current homes and full build out of White Flint 1, Rock Spring, White Flint 2, and Grosvenor-Strathmore, there is a projected space deficit for 1,500 elementary school students, 900 middle school students, and 1,600 high school students.

3) Potential School Sites include:

White Flint 1 Sector Plan: White Flint Mall Site an Luttrell Site

White Flint 2 Sector Plan: Wilgus/Willco and Rocking Horse Road Center

Rock Spring Master Plan: Rock Spring Centre and Marriott

4) MCPS wants to reserve Rocking Horse Road Center for a either a middle or high school since it is an 18 acre site.


MCPS To Hold Informational Meetings on Woodward HS Reopening

From Bethesda Beat — Superintendent forming study group on best use of additional school space

School officials are planning a series of information-sharing meetings on the reopening of Woodward High School in Rockville.

Superintendent Jack Smith has called for a study group to discuss using the high school to alleviate overcrowding at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda and other area high schools. The group will also look at addressing capacity issues by moving alternative and vocational programs to nontraditional spaces, like commercial buildings, according to a Montgomery County Public Schools explanation.

Parents can learn more about the study group, which will meet over the spring, at meetings scheduled for Feb. 23 and March 2 at Tilden Middle School in Rockville. The sessions will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

The study group will be comprised of cluster coordinators, high school representatives, students, MCPS central office staff and advocates. The group will offer guidance as the superintendent crafts recommendations for the Board of Education.