Greetings Neighbors-

This past Wednesday and Thursday evening, Baltimore County Public Schools held public information sessions to offer the opportunity for community members to interact with the Boundary Study Committee and BCPS leadership and view the maps and statistics in person.
This week also begins the Public Survey, where community members may choose their favorite, and share their opinions of the four draft options presented. The link to the survey is here:
I’ve updated my Impact brief to include the maps drawn by CropperGIS, the study consultant, as well as the utilization and demographic statistics for each option. I encourage you to review the options as I’m presenting them here, then review the overall impact to other school districts from the study materials and take the survey. It will ask you to give you feedback on the four options, and the ones you choose a strong positive or negative response for, ask for additional details.
Here is what to expect next from the central area boundary study:
  • The committee is recessed until 4 January. This period (in addition to accommodating holidays) gives the public the opportunity to take the survey.
  • The results of the survey, and the public comments, will be made available to the committee in January. They will have the opportunity to revise the four options.
  • After the committee finalizes their recommendations in January, the BCPS Board of Education will hold a public hearing. This hearing is scheduled for 6 March.
  • The Board of Ed will make their final decision on 19 March.
At the Tuesday public information session, I briefly spoke with Mr. Paul Taylor, Director of Strategic Planning for BCPS. I asked the question: What if the committee has not recommended enough changes? You may have noted that Timonium Elementary, one of the four schools that is targeted for capacity relief, was not modified by any of the draft options presented. Mr. Taylor reminded me that the Board of Ed is not obligated to take the recommendation of the committee and may choose a different option altogether. He also observed that this boundary study is behaving predictably, and “it always seems to work out.” I shared that this doesn’t align with my own personal values (to ‘fail quickly’ while there’s time to recover, and not to rely on hope as a strategy).
To that end … It is still very important to make our community’s voice heard. Even though our students are not directly implicated, it’s critically important to the process that we share our thoughts about the four draft options being considered. Please review the options, and take the survey, so that our opinions are counted when the committee reconvenes in January.
Eli Sowash