FORT MEADE

Anne Arundel County and Howard County

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For those moving to a new location, it’s important to know what educational options are available. This chapter outlines the public schools systems in Anne Arundel and Howard counties, along with information about higher education and local libraries. There are private schools, charter schools and home schooling options available to children in both counties as well.

To be enrolled in a Maryland school, a child must be at least 5 years old by Sept. 1 of the school year. Those wishing to register their child in school should bring the following to the school office: a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s age, proof of residency and custody/guardianship, the child’s previous school records and immunizations records. Check with the school for additional requirements. Required immunizations for a child enrolling in kindergarten are as follows: four doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; three doses of polio; two doses of measles, mumps and rubella; three doses of hepatitis B; and two doses of varicella. For more details on Maryland’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, visit the Maryland Department of Education’s website at www.marylandpublicschools.org.

In 2010, Maryland, along with 41 other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Education Activity, adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students, regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. At present, national Common Core State Standards exist only for English language arts and mathematics, with science and social studies in development, though Maryland has state standards across the full curriculum. For more information, visit www.corestandards.org.

CHARTER SCHOOLS

Charter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, serve all students and have open enrollment. For more information or a listing of charter schools in Maryland, visit the Maryland Alliance of Public Charter Schools’ website at www.marylandcharterschools.org/charter/schools. There are two charter schools in Anne Arundel County; as of spring 2017, Howard County had no charter schools.

HOME SCHOOLING

For an introduction to home schooling in Maryland, visit the Maryland Department of Education’s website at www.marylandpublicschools.org/msde/divisions/studentschoolsvcs/student_services_alt/home_schooling. Here you will find information on home-school rules and regulations, testing information, home-school curriculum providers and more.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

2644 Riva Road
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-222-5457
www.aacpsadvancedstudies.org/aacps/Home%20Schooling 

Anne Arundel County Public Schools supports home schooling in accordance with Code of Maryland Regulations. The Home Schooling Office’s mission is to promote quality education for K-12 home-schooled students, and parents or legal guardians considering home schooling for their children should contact the Home School Program Coordinator.

Howard County Public Schools

10910 Clarksville Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042
410-313-6600
www.hcpss.org/parents/home-school 

Howard County Public Schools supports home schooling as an alternative educational program by providing parents or legal guardians the information and support they need for a successful partnership between the home-schooler and the public school system.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

To search for local private schools in Maryland, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool at www.nces.ed.gov/surveys/pss/privateschoolsearch. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type and other categories. A Maryland Department of Education list of approved private schools is available at http://archives.marylandpublicschools.org/msde/nonpublicschools/npschools/index.html.

Choosing a School

Choosing the right school is very important, so be sure to research each one before deciding. Contact the school by phone or by visiting its website, which is a valuable source for school district statistics and curriculum. Talk to people in the area, especially friends and colleagues who already live there.

If the school shows promise, schedule a visit and bring a list of written questions about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs, gifted programs and grading standards.

Discuss the potential school with your child: what they like and what they didn’t like. Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

2644 Riva Road
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-222-5000
www.aacps.org 

The district includes 79 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 12 high schools, three charter or contract schools, and a dozen other education centers, including two for applied technology, an infants and toddlers program, five evening high schools and an external diploma program for adults, and several options for special education. Seventeen of the region’s schools have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, and 21 have been honored as Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence. The district’s Outdoor Education Program is nationally recognized, as are its award-winning Centers of Applied Technology. The district had approximately 81,000 students enrolled in September 2016.

Howard County Public School System

10910 Clarkesville Pike (Route 108)
Ellicott City, MD 21042
410-313-6600
www.hcpss.org 

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) is a recognized source of local pride and consistently ranks among the state’s top school districts, based on the Maryland School Assessments student performance scores. Howard County students, for example, score above national averages on standardized tests, and more than 93 percent of graduates continue their education beyond high school. There are 76 schools in the district, including 41 elementary schools, 20 middle schools, 12 high schools plus the Applications and Research Lab high school for technology and careers, and two education centers. In September 2016, 55,638 students were enrolled in HCPSS.

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