Frederick County Public Schools To See Increased Enrollment On 1st Day Of Classes

It’s expected to be almost 43,000 students.


Frederick, Md (KM) The Frederick County School System opens on September 4th, 2018 with more students than last year. “We’ve seen a growth in our enrollment. And right now, we’re looking at 42,989 students coming our way on September 4th,” says Dr. Theresa Alban, the Superintendent of Schools.

“This is an increase from previous years. I think anyone who has driven around the county has seen some of the new developments going up. We’re are certainly feeling the impact of that,” says Dr. Alban.

She says the School System will have space for students when the schools open their doors on September 4th, but it’s always a challenge finding seats for an increasing student population. “And that’s why our Capital Improvements Plan really looks out for ten years, and we try to manage and stay ahead of it. The challenge is the funding. And this is a statewide issue that the needs far exceed the allocated funding,” Dr. Alban says.

Two new schools will open this year. One is Butterfly Ridge Elementary School, which will help relieve overcrowding at Hillcrest, Waverly and Orchard Grove Elementary Schools. Dr. Alban says it will have a number of new features. “Security cameras; entry-exit markings that help us communicate to law enforcement;  the security vestibule; a lot of energy efficiencies built into our buildings now so that we can take advantage of energy savings. And that school right now is designed for an enrollment of 750 students,” she says. But Butterfly Ridge Elementary is not expected to reach an enrollment of 750 this year, says Dr. Alban.

Also opening this year is Sugarloaf Elementary School. But that school building house Urbana Elementary students for two years. The School System plans to demolish the current Urbana Elementary School, and replace it with a new facility which will be open in 2020.

Dr.Alban says there are plans for the future of Waverly Elementary School which is overcrowded. “We did a feasibility study for Waverly Elementary and basically what we found is that it was more cost-effective to level that building than to try to just renovate it,” she says.

The Board of Education voted in April to tear down Waverly and the nearby Rock Creek School. “We’re getting ready to build a new facility for our students from Rock Creek School. Once that is complete, then we will be looking at building our largest ever capacity elementary school. We’re going to be looking at designing an elementary school that’s going to house 1,000 students,” says Dr. Alban.

During a two-year time period, Rock Creek will be demolished, and replaced. Then Waverly Elementary School will be torn down and a larger building constructed in its place. . The project is expected to be completed by the 2022–2023 school year at a cost of $54-million.

By Kevin McManus