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 reviews 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 2020 SSP Update, Montgomery Planning has established a Schools Technical Advisory Team (STAT). STAT members serve as a link between their communities and planning staff. They assist staff in the SSP update process by applying their community knowledge and technical expertise to share diverse perspectives and relevant information.

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: October 23, 2019