Anne Arundel County should build five new schools according to a consultant’s study, as reported in the Capital Gazette,
MGT of America’s $1.1 billion construction plan includes a total of five new schools, as well as nine replacement projects and 14 renovation projects.
Part of the study explores the effect of smaller school size on student performance, finding that,
In general, smaller schools tend to show an advantage in regard to academic achievement and student behavior but there is a good deal of discussion regarding the reason. Many studies point to leadership structure, program offerings, extra-curricular offerings, etc. often go hand in hand with school size and contribute to the achievement gains.
County Executive Steve Schuh, who spoke about the advantages of smaller neighborhood schools during his campaign, said he supports the plan, while a representative of the Anne Arundel County school board said the group is undecided on building smaller schools. As described in the article,
Despite the recommendations, school board member Teresa Milio Birge said during the meeting that the group is undecided on building smaller schools.
Representatives from MGT said on Wednesday the county should work on reducing the size of its high schools, citing research that shows smaller schools are better for students.
Birge said the school board needs to study the report and take financial constraints into consideration. She pointed out that the school board deviated from the priority list MGT produced in 2006.
County Executive Steve Schuh said he supports the plan. He allocated $350,000 to study whether a school-owned property in Crofton can support a new high school, and another $500,000 to study splitting the Old Mill complex.