Howard Magazine - Page 22 - Education and Schools

Howard Magazine
- Page 22
Education and Schools

The Howard County Public School System includes 42 elementary schools, 20 middle schools, 12 high schools, one school for students with severe disabilities, one school for students with behavioral and emotional issues, and one school for students enrolled in technical and vocational programs. Total enrollment, excluding pre-K classes, is nearly 58,000 students.


A reflection of a diverse community, the school system enrolls students from 100 countries who speak 82 languages, and schools offer special programs for students who are learning English.


Student performance


The county’s public school system is a leader in the state and consistently posts some of the highest scores on statewide assessments in reading and mathematics.


In spring 2018, Howard County students took the state’s Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Assessment in its last year and performed better than the state average.


Howard County students also have high rates of participation in Advanced Placement courses and college entrance exams. In 2018, more than 11,331 Howard County students took at least one AP exam. Of those, 82 percent earned a score of 3 or higher, which often qualifies for college credit. Howard County seniors in the class of 2018 who took the SAT exam – which includes sections in reading, writing and math – averaged 1,206 points out of a possible 1,600, once again besting state and national averages.


More than 80 percent of the 3,937 Howard County high school graduates in the class of 2018 reported plans to continue their education at a four-year or two-year college. The class boasted a four-year graduation rate of more than 92 percent, compared to the state average of 88 percent.


In 2018, nearly half of the county’s schools received top 5-star ratings in a new, comprehensive ranking program required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. About 90 percent of county schools rated received four or five stars.


SAT scores and performance data for specific schools can be viewed on the school system’s website at  or at


Early childhood education


Parents of young children have many resources available to them. Programs vary in size and type and include parent-operated co-op preschools, private preschools, pro-