Schools

Overview

The schools component of the Subdivision Staging Policy (SSP) defines the Annual School Test for development application review – it provides the thresholds for moratoria and determines whether adequate school facilities exist in a project area. The thresholds and rules for reviewing school adequacy is updated every four years.

School Technical Advisory Team (STAT)

Every four years, the Montgomery County Planning Department updates the Subdivision Staging Policy (SSP) to ensure that the tools used for evaluating the impact of development on essential public facilities reflect the latest growth patterns of the County. As part of the effort regarding public school facilities for the SSP 2020 Update, the Planning Department is seeking interested members of the community to participate in its Schools Technical Advisory Team (STAT). A key intent of the selection process is to recruit members who are able to represent the various needs and perspectives of our diverse communities. Selected candidates will serve alongside representatives from key stakeholder groups to support the staff in drafting recommendations.

Please check back to apply to become a member of the STAT.

School Capacity Evaluation

The Annual School Test is a two-tiered test used to evaluate school capacity. There is a school level test of utilization, and a cluster level test of utilization. The school level testing, when any elementary or middle school has a projected utilization (enrollment to capacity ratio) greater than 120 percent, and the school is over capacity by at least 110 students (elementary) or 180 students (middle), a moratorium – the decision to halt development temporarily – is triggered in that particular area of the county. For high schools, the school level test is equivalent to the cluster level test since there is only one high school per cluster. At the cluster level, all schools in a cluster, which is defined as the geographically defined attendance areas for the elementary and middle schools that feed into a particular high school or consortium school, are considered.

Learn more about the Annual School Test.

School Impact Tax

School impact tax is paid by a developer for each new unit of housing produced, regardless of school utilization.

Student Generation Rate

A student generation rate is the number of students generated by a particular type of housing – single family, townhouse, garden-style apartment or high-rise apartment. This rate is then used to estimate the impact of new development on schools. The SSP requires the student generation rate by housing type to be updated on a biennial basis, accounting for actual changes in enrollment and housing units.

Download presentation — School Planning 101: Intro to School Capacity Planning

Last Updated: August 8, 2019