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School Boundary Initiative


Welcome to the Comprehensive School Boundary Initiative project page! Explore this page to learn more about the objectives and timeline, familiarize yourself with key concepts and background, and keep track of important updates and announcements.

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Key Dates

  • Oct 13, 2022 - Board Work Session presentation on recommendations
  • Oct 20, 2022 - Public Hearing (sign up to speak -closed)
  • Oct 25, 2022 - Public Hearing (sign up to speak - closed)
  • Oct 27, 2022 - First Reader at Board Meeting
  • Nov 10, 2022 - Board vote at Board Meeting - SEE APPROVED CHANGES

See list of approved changes by street address range

Search your address to see if there are approved changes

View Board District specific presentations:

What is the Comprehensive School Boundary Initiative?

The Comprehensive School Boundary Initiative will provide an impartial analysis of current school boundaries, feeder patterns and program locations and to develop, with community input, scenarios for adjustments in order to populate new and expanded school facilities and balance facility utilization throughout the County. The Boundary Initiative is being conducted by a consultant team led by WXY Studio, working in close partnership with PGCPS staff and the Boundary Advisory Committee. The Boundary Initiative process commenced in the Fall of 2020.

This initiative will:
  • Conduct a comprehensive analysis of school boundaries, feeder patterns, and program locations
  • Develop three draft boundary scenarios with community and stakeholder input
  • Refine draft boundary scenarios with community and stakeholder input
  • Culminate in the CEO offering recommended boundary changes to the Prince George’s County Board of Education for their approval
  • Create boundaries for new and expanded schools
  • Balance enrollment among existing schools
  • Identify potential elementary school consolidations

Note: Only the 165 PGCPS neighborhood schools will be included in this initiative.  Specialty schools, regional schools, charter schools and special education centers will not be included in the boundary scenarios and options.

Why is this Initiative Important?

Why is this initiative important?
Past and future growth

PGCPS has grown rapidly since 2014 with enrollment increasing from 125,000 to 136,000 students. This growth is expected to continue with total enrollment reaching nearly 143,300 by 2024. For many years, PGCPS has seen challenges with balancing school enrollment across the County, with some schools operating under capacity, and others over-utilized with more students enrolled than available seats. The last time a district-wide study of school boundaries in PGCPS was conducted was in 2008.

New schools

The district has 12 planned capacity projects (including new school construction and additions to existing schools) that will add 9,000 new seats by school year 2026-27 to meet the demands of the growing student population.  New and expanded schools will require the redrawing of school boundaries for both the impacted school and neighboring schools. Six of the projects will be constructed through a ground-breaking public-private partnership that is part of the Blue Print for PGCPS.

School Consolidation

As the district plans new schools, it also has older school facilities that are past their building life span and still in use. The Boundary Initiative may identify older, under-utilized schools that are adjacent to newer, under-utilized schools. This circumstance may present the opportunity to transition students to newer school facilities while balancing enrollment.

Utilization challenges

The Educational Facilities Master Plan establishes an optimal school building utilization range of 80-95%. However, currently, fewer than 27% of elementary and K-8 schools, 33% of middle schools, and 19% of high schools fall within this range. Some schools in PGCPS are over-utilized—meaning enrollment exceeds capacity. Other schools are under-utilized—meaning there are fewer students than available seats. Both of these conditions present challenges to individual schools and students, and to the system as a whole. It is important to balance utilization across schools to ensure there is equity in class sizes, program capacity, and school funding.

What is Utilization?

Use this section of the website to learn about some of the key concepts and ideas at the center of this study.

School Utilization 

The map below shows schools of all levels across the district by utilization rate. Pink dots represent schools that are over-utilized, orange dots represent schools that are under-utilized, and green dots represent schools that fall within the ideal range of 80-95%. What patterns do you see in utilization across PGCPS?

Boundary and Utilization maps by education level


Both over- and under-utilization pose unique challenges for the district.

  • Over-utilization (47 schools)
    • Over-enrolled classrooms
    • Overcrowded core spaces
    • Portable classrooms
    • Lack of parking
    • Overcrowded bus pick-up areas
  • Under-utilization (74 schools)
    • Vacant classrooms
    • Part-time specialty teachers
    • Higher cost per student to operate
    • Lower state capital project funding


Boundary Initiative timeline

The Boundary Initiative process commenced in Fall 2020. Potential boundary changes will be phased in beginning in the 2023-24 school year.

  • Phase 1 (October 2020 - February 2021)
    • Data collection and analysis
    • Pre-scenario Stakeholder Engagement
    • Draft scenario development
  • Phase 2 (May 2021 - April 2022)
    • Post-scenario stakeholder engagement
    • Final scenario development
    • Boundary change approval process
  • Boundary Approval Process (Fall 2022)
    • First Reader
    • Public Hearings
    • Second Reader
    • Final notifications

Did you know?

PGCPS is one of the 20 largest school districts in the United States and the second-largest school system in Maryland.

The system includes 198 schools, 131,000 students and 20,000 staff members. The Boundary Initiative is limited to the 165 neighborhood schools within the district.

Utilization challenges vary across the district.

Prince George’s County is a diverse area, which includes both densely populated communities within the Beltway and rural areas. More over-utilized schools are located in the northern part of the district, while under-utilized schools are more likely to be located in the central and southern regions. This is due to demographic trends in recent years. As enrollment has grown, the geographic distribution of the student body has shifted toward the north.

School boundaries are guided by Board of Education policies and procedures.

Board Policy 0113 authorizes the CEO PGCPS superintendent to develop and implement school boundaries. It requires that school boundaries be developed to best utilize available school facilities.

Administrative Procedure (AP) 8391 governs the process for creating school boundaries, including key factors to be considered and a timeline for the annual review process. These factors include:

  • Student Enrollment Trends
  • School Building Capacities and scheduled Capital Improvement Program
  • Capacity Utilization Rates
  • Transportation
  • Educational Programs
  • Financial Considerations
  • Community Input

AP 8391 was revised in 2020 to establish a Boundary Advisory Committee (BAC), a group of leaders from across PGCPS who are appointed by the CEO to advise the planning team about school boundaries each year.

Specialized programs are an important factor for facility utilization.

PGCPS offers a wide range of specialized programs, including Talented and Gifted (TAG), Creative and Performing Arts , and Career Technical education (CTE). The school system has an English Language Learners (ELL) program, in which 21% of students participate, and special education programs in which 11% of students participate. Specialized programs present different needs for capacity and facility utilization. They may require additional space for students or special facilities and staff. As PGCPS adjusts and creates school boundaries, it is important to take these programs into account.

This initiative will only result in boundary changes for neighborhood schools. Specialty schools, regional schools, charter schools and special education centers will not be included in boundary scenarios and options.

Boundary studies and changes are a regular part of school planning in PGCPS and districts across the region.

PGCPS regularly reviews school boundaries and makes changes to boundaries as needed in select schools or parts of the district. The last time PGCPS did a comprehensive study of school boundaries was in 2008.

Other school districts in the region (and beyond) also review school boundaries regularly, and several have recently undertaken comprehensive boundary studies, redistricting, or changes to boundary policy. This includes:

  • Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is currently undertaking a comprehensive analysis of school boundaries. to better understand current conditions of utilization, diversity, and proximity in the school system.
  • Howard County Public Schools (HCPSS) conducted a School Boundary Review Process in 2019 to address issues of over- and under-utilization across the district, which resulted in changes to school boundaries for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has been reviewing its school boundary policy (School Board- Policy 8130.6) since 2018 with the goal of addressing overcrowding and meeting the demands of projected population growth.
  • Richmond Public Schools (RPS) undertook a rezoning last year, resulting in new school boundaries for the 2020-2021 school year. The objectives of this rezoning included alleviating overcrowding and the use of trailers, and placing students in more modern facilities through new school construction and/or consolidations and closures.


School Boundary - a geographic area that comprises residences that are assigned to a public school. If a student’s home address is inside a school’s boundary, they are assigned to attend that school. The area that makes up a school boundary is also referred to as an assignment area.

Boundary Advisory Committee - steering committee comprised of leaders from across the PGCPS organization. In addition to advising on the Boundary Initiative, the committee will convene annually to review enrollment projections and facility utilization, advise planning staff about boundary studies, and review and finalize boundary proposals which will be presented to the CEO.

Capacity - the total number of students that a school can accommodate. If a school is over-utilized, then student enrollment is greater than the school’s capacity. If a school is under-utilized, the enrollment is less than total capacity. PGCPS uses state-rated capacity (SRC) to determine school’s capacity. The SRC is the number of students that the State of Maryland determines that a school has the physical capacity to enroll and can be reasonably accommodated in a facility.

Charter School - Public charter schools receive government funding, but operate independently from the school system. PGCPS has 9 charter schools. PGCPS charter schools are free to attend but admission is by application to the charter school lottery only.

Consolidation - the practice of combining two or more schools for educational, economic, or facilities related reasons. In PGCPS, where many schools are under-utilized, this may involve sending students from an older under-utilized school to a newer, optimally utilized facility.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) - a program designed to provide appropriate, effective English language instruction to English Language Learners (ELL’s) in Kindergarten through 12th grade and to facilitate cultural awareness. This program is required by both federal and state regulations.

English Language Learners (ELL) - students who are determined by language proficiency testing to be in sufficient need of language support at school. ELL students receive language support from a certified teacher through the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. 21% of PGCPS students are English Language Learners.

Enrollment - in this analysis, this word usually refers to the total number of students who currently attend a school or a special program.

Feeder pattern - the sequence of schools that students are assigned to attend as they progress from elementary, to middle, to high school. In some cases, PGCPS students’ progress to the same secondary school as their peers from elementary or middle school. In other cases, they progress to different schools (also known as “split articulation”).

Neighborhood school/boundary school - the school that a student may attend without any special permission based on their home address. All neighborhood schools have geographic boundaries and are open to all students in the corresponding educational level who reside within that area.

Specialty School - a school with a specialized educational program that has a lottery or exam-based admission policy. Specialty school programs include Montessori, French Immersion, Spanish Immersion etc. 

Public-Private Partnership (P3) - A P3 is a collaborative partnership between public and private entities to complete a public infrastructure project or provide services to people. PGCPS recently launched a P3 program called Blueprint for PGCPS to innovatively finance and contract the delivery of needed school repairs, construction, and related services. The Blueprint for PGCPS Program is a P3 program launched in 2019. This $53 million effort takes an innovative approach to school construction financing through P3 to meet the needs of the district’s students and employees. Some advantages of PPP cited by PGCPS include: reduced risks to taxpayer resources, and a requirement that private partners maximize the life of new facilities and hand assets back to the public agency in excellent condition.

Learn more about the Blueprint for PGCPS program

Special education - specially designed instruction and other services for students with disabilities. PGCPS provides special education services to students with disabilities from birth to age 21, including support and resources for parents, guardians, and families. State and federal regulations require special education services in public school systems.

Utilization - Expressed as a percentage, utilization is determined by dividing student enrollment (number of students attending) by total capacity (number of seats available). If a school is over-utilized, the number of students enrolled exceeds its capacity. If a school is under-utilized, there are more seats available than students enrolled.

Walk zone - a geographic area around a school within which PGCPS has determined students can safely walk from home to school. Students living within a school’s walk zone are not eligible for bus service. PGCPS aims to assign students residing in a school’s walk zone to that school. Student transportation is governed by PGCPS Administrative Procedure 3541 - Student Transportation

Neighborhood school/boundary school - the public school that a student is assigned to based on their home address.

Get Involved

Public input has been an important part of this initiative. View materials from the virtual public meetings and other useful links and resources below.

Sign up for project updates

Other Ways to Get Involved

1. Read the Draft Boundary Scenarios Report

Read the Draft Boundary Scenarios Report to learn about the initiative so far, including insights from data analysis and community engagement. Learn about how the consultant team developed three draft boundary scenarios. Explore the objectives, pros, and cons of each draft boundary scenario, including data and maps.

Report Summary

2. Use the Boundary Scenario Explorer

Use the Boundary Scenario Explorer to see how each proposed boundary scenario would impact your neighborhood school assignments. Enter your address in the search bar and view existing and potential future school boundaries for each school level.

Access the Boundary Scenario Explorer

To view scenarios across the county with the ability to overlay administrative boundaries please explore the scenario web map.

Access the Scenario Web Map

3. Review the Phase 1 Engagement Recap

The first phase of Community Engagement took place in winter 2021. This engagement helped to shape the draft boundary scenarios. Browse materials from Pre-Scenario Community Engagement below: