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Board Policy 2569 - Geographic Boundaries – of Attendance Areas and the Consolidation or Closure of Schools

I. Policy Statement

  1. The Board of Education of Prince George’s County (Board) is committed to making the most economical and practical use of its physical resources in the implementation of its educational programs and recognizes the importance of defining the geographic boundaries of attendance areas that promote student achievement, positive school climate, and efficient use of district resources. As such, geographic boundaries of attendance areas will be developed as to best utilize available school facilities in support of educational objectives by full consideration of school capabilities, capacities, transportation, and student assignment stability.
  2. The Board recognizes that Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) enrollment patterns, program changes, school openings and consolidations/closures, facilities funding, building additions, construction, and alterations are dynamic and may require adjustments to balance the capacity and utilization of existing or planned schools.
  3. The Board also recognizes the value of diverse and inclusive school populations and is committed to equitable boundaries of attendance area and school consolidation/closure decisions informed by in-depth analysis of data and public commentary.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish an equitable process for the determination of geographic boundaries of attendance areas and the consolidation/closure of schools.

III. Definitions

  1. Capacity utilization rate – The percentage of a school building being utilized that is calculated by comparing building capacity to current or projected enrollment.
  2. Consolidation – The permanent closure of a school building that is no longer needed for educational purposes.
  3. Emergency circumstances – Unforeseen circumstances where the decision to consolidate/close a school or to change the geographic boundaries of attendance areas cannot be announced at least 90 days before the date a school is scheduled to close or before the boundaries are changed, or before April 30 of any school year.
  4. School building capacity – The number of students that a school facility has the physical capacity to enroll based upon a calculation using standardized class sizes.

IV. Standards

  1. The Superintendent/designee will periodically determine, by systemic study, the status of the current and projected use of all educational facilities, the efficient utilization of space, effective delivery of instruction, and the reassignment of students accordingly, when necessary. The study shall address the potential need to change the geographic boundaries of school attendance areas and/or the consolidation/closure of schools. The following factors must be considered, at a minimum, in order to determine whether or not to recommend a modification to a geographic boundary school attendance area or a school’s consolidation/closure:
    1. Student enrollment trends;
    2. Age or condition of school buildings;
    3. School building capacities;
    4. Scheduled capital improvements;
    5. Capacity utilization rates;
    6. Education programs;
    7. Racial composition of student bodies;
    8. Student relocation;
    9. Transportation;
    10. Financial considerations;
    11. Impact on the community in the attendance area for the school(s) proposed to be closed, or school(s) to which students will be relocating;
    12. Community input; and
    13. Unique student populations.
  2. A committee appointed by the Superintendent, consisting of, but not limited to, members of the Executive Cabinet shall convene, at a minimum, annually. Upon consideration of the factors listed above through a systemic study, the committee shall provide recommendations to the Superintendent for boundary changes of attendance areas and/or the consolidation/closure of schools, when appropriate.
    1. The Superintendent shall review the recommendation and, if approved, will submit the proposal to the Board for approval to proceed with community informational meetings and at least one (1) public hearing to receive community input.
    2. Notice must be provided to the parents/guardians of students in the current attendance areas of all schools that are being considered for consolidation/closure by the Board so that parents are informed in advance of the final deliberation and decision. In addition to utilizing the PGCPS website and each impacted schools’ website, written notification shall be advertised in at least two (2) newspapers having general circulation in the geographic attendance area for the school or schools proposed to be consolidated/closed, and the school or schools to which students will be relocated.
    3. At the public hearing(s), oral and written testimony will be accepted by the Board.
  3. Following the completion of the community input process, the Board shall decide at a public meeting whether to approve the Superintendent’s proposal for geographic boundary changes of attendance areas or the closure of a school(s). The decision shall be issued in writing subsequent to the public meeting.
    1. The final written decision for the closure of a school shall include the rationale to close the school and the impact on the factors listed in IV. A. above.
  4. In the absence of emergency circumstances, the final decision to change the geographic boundary of the attendance area(s) or the closure of school(s) shall be made no later than April 30.
  5. Notification of the decision of the Board to change the geographic boundary of the attendance area(s) of school(s) or the closure/consolidation of school(s) shall be provided to the communities impacted by the decision. The notification shall also include the right to appeal the Board’s decision to the State Board of Education.
  6. A coordinated release of the notification of the Board’s decision will be provided to school administrative and teaching staff so that they can provide community members with the correct information when they receive inquiries.
  7. At the Board’s informational meetings, the Superintendent/designee shall provide the information requested by the Board, including, but not limited to, enrollment projections, and demographic and facility utilization data.
  8. If the Board determines that any land, school site, or building is no longer needed for school purposes, it shall comply with the procedural steps set forth in § 4-115 of the Education Article of the Annotated Code Maryland.

V. Implementation Responsibilities

The Superintendent is authorized to develop administrative procedures to implement this policy.

VI. References

  1. Legal
    1. 4-109, Md. Code Ann., Educ.
    2. 4-115, Md. Code. Ann., Educ.
    3. 4-120, Md. Code Ann., Educ. COMAR 13A.02.09
  2. Other Policies and Administrative Procedures

VII. History 

Policy Adopted 11/09/2023

Rescission and consolidation of Board Policies:

  • 0113 – School Boundaries – Attendance Areas
  • 2570 – Closing of School Buildings
  • 5110.2 – Attendance
  • 8391 – Boundary Changes