Baltimore County elementary schools enrollment exceeds capacity, report finds

Posted at 8:52 PM, Feb 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 07:06:33-05

Enrollment at elementary schools throughout Baltimore County exceeds the system's capacity according to Baltimore County's annual report of student enrollments, school utilization and enrollment projects. 

The report found that the school system's 106 elementary schools have a capacity of 51,178 students. However, 2016 headcount enrollment was reported at 55,553, which is 105.35 percent over capacity. 

For planning purposes, Baltimore County Public Schools divided the county into five geographic areas: southwest, northwest, central, northeast, and southeast. 

Though enrollment exceeded capacity systemwide, 20 of the northeast area's 21 elementary schools were over capacity. 

See also: Balt. Co. schools filling up fast, discussion to reverse overcrowding heats up

The official enrollments for all schools are calculated on Sept. 30 in accordance with Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) policies. At the elementary school level, state-rated capacity is defined as the following,

  • Regular classroom (Grades 1-5): 23 seats
  • Self-contained special education classroom: 10 seats
  • Kindergarten classroom: 22 seats
  • Pre-kindergarten classroom: 20 seats

According to the report, systemwide totals are projected to increase through 2026. If the projections are correct, elementary school enrollment will exceed the state-rated capacity through 2026. 

See the enrollment numbers for your child's school:

Middle schools are projected to stay within capacity through 2026. If the projections are met, high schools could hit or exceed capacity by 2021. 

This year, county middle schools are at 86.79 percent capacity and high schools are at 89.66 percent capacity. 

For middle and high schools, state-rated capacity is defined as, 

  • Regular classroom/computer classroom: 25 seats x 85% utilization
  • Career and technology education classroom: 20 seats x 85% utilization
  • Self-contained special education classroom: 10 seats x 100% utilization
  • Gymnasium (2 classrooms): 50 seats x 85% utilization
  • Teaching stations used for activity rooms, dance studios, weight rooms, science labs, art, music, technology education, family studies and business classrooms all count as teaching stations: 25 seats x 85% utilization