By Kevin Barry
News & Managing Editor
We’re about a year and a half away from the grand opening of Howard County’s 13th high school, so let’s go over everything we know about it so far.
The new school is set to open off of Mission Road in Jessup, Maryland by the start of the 2023-2024 school year. Construction began in April of 2020.
The school will be designed to have the largest capacity in the county at 1,658. Since HCPSS purchased the property back in September of 2019, the county has set aside a budget of 135.4 million dollars for the construction of High School number 13. The property was initially acquired to allow “…for the new placement of a new high school as well as a future Elementary School.”
According to hcpss.org, there has been no further mention of the Elementary School at this date.
A 13th high school is much needed in the county as several high schools, including Hammond, are overcrowded. The worst offender of this is Howard High at almost 2000 students. In times like these where you’re not only worried about not having enough lockers, but also staying healthy, overcrowding is a major problem.
As stated before, the high school is being built in Jessup, off Mission Road. The redistricting for now is unclear but we do know that Hammond pulls from the area in which the school is being built. The county is bringing many new rules into play the year of the 13th high school’s opening.
It looks as if this could be a new beginning for HCPSS as it’s been announced that new start times will be introduced into the school system as well.
Redistricting is a topic that comes up every couple years due to overcrowding in schools. The addition of this new school would attempt to decrease the frequency of redistricting in the county, so the redistricting before the 2023-2024 school year is hopefully the last for quite a while.
Even if you don’t live in a nearby school to high school number 13, you could be affected by redistricting. The most logical move would be a shift west to east to balance out the numbers. After the last redistricting in 2019 the County implemented a new law saying they can redistrict every year if they want to. When people buy houses in nice areas they expect their kids to go to nice schools.
The redistricting has been increasing in frequency and severity over the period of time that Howard County schools have been open. However, schools like Marriotts Ridge and Glenelg will never truly be affected by redistricting due to the way in which wealth is distributed in the county.
The so-called quadrants of boundaries for high schools have been tampered with severely in recent Howard County history, so it will be interesting to see which direction we will go in finishing the construction of high school number 13.