MCPS Seeks Feedback on the Clarksburg, Northwest, and Seneca Valley Cluster Boundary Study

Dear Lake Seneca ES Community,

MCPS requests your feedback on the Clarksburg, Northwest and Seneca Valley Cluster Boundary Study. Please take five minutes and complete the survey to help inform the process. It closes on June 16 at 11:45 PM:

Below is a note from Melissa Regan, Seneca Valley Cluster Coordinator, with details about the second survey phase for the UpCounty High Schools Boundary Survey. 

Seneca Valley community,

You have an opportunity to give feedback about which areas of students are sent to the new Seneca Valley high school.

For the first survey, over 3000 Clarksburg residents responded; over 2000 Northwest residents voiced their opinion; and only 509 Seneca Valley residents completed it.

The MCPS Board of Education could presume that the Seneca Valley cluster families don’t care. We’re in an amazing position with the new high school opening September 2020.  What could be even better?  Adding community resources so that the students and staff can maximize their success!

Field trips, musical instruments, career day, camps, spiritwear, attendance at events, supporting teams/musicals/clubs, all come from the community.

 Please complete the survey so that MCPS can take balancing demographics as well as capacity into consideration.

The table below summarizes advancing the factors of Capacity (C) and balancing Demographics (D) in a simplistic, subjective way.  It is by no means scientific and is intended to help sort through the many options.

For additional information, there are many resources on the MCPS webpage for the UpCounty Boundary Study at

Please review this information and select the options that make sense to you when taking the survey.

Melissa Regan
SVHS PTSA Cluster Coordinator

Screen Shot 2019-05-17 at 11.00.47 AM

Note: The green check in the “Demographics” category signifies more balancing of the Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS) rate.  For Seneca Valley HS, while the changes are small in the 3 options that get a “green check,” it is in a trending down direction.  The below information focuses mostly on #11 and #11a since Option #4, while lowering the FARMS rate for Seneca Valley HS, does not adequately address capacity at both Clarksburg HS and Northwest HS.

Current SVHS FARMS is        39%

Option #4 lowers to                 34.7%

Options #11 and #11a lowers to      35.5%

(There is virtually no change in FARMS for Clarksburg HS and Northwest HS in these options.)

For FARMS comparison (current % at high school and middle school levels):

SV:                  39%,       MLKMS      44.9%,    RCMS*        36.4%

Clarksburg:   27.5%,    Rocky Hill     22.5%,    Neelsville*   66.7%,    Hallie Wells  17%

NW:               22.5%,    Kingsview     21.3%,   Lakelands*  23%,

*schools split to two high schools

For some (rounded) FARMS comparison across the county:

Churchill, Wootton, Whitman have <5%,   WJ: 8%,    BCC: 11%,    Damascus: 14%

Northwood: 53%,   Springbrook, JFK, Wheaton, Watkins Mill: 46-49%

Similar to SV – Einstein, Gaithersburg, Blake: 35-40%

Similar to CHS/NW – RM, QO:  21-31%

A note on middle schools:

While Options #11 and #11a have a 53.9% FARMS rate for Neelsville MS, this is a significant decrease from its current 67%, which warranted a “green check.”  Contrarily, Rocky Hill’s FARMS raises from 22% to 40.1% in these options.

RCMS in the first round of options had a “red x” for FARMS at 35.5% and now has a “green check” for a percentage of this rate.  What percentage is considered “reasonable” is completely subjective.  MVMS: 63%,  Forest Oak: 56%,   Ridgeview: 28%

In Options #11 and #11a, Middle School FARMS:

RCMS:           35.5%    (current 36.4%)

MLKMS:         45.2%    (current 44.9%)

Kingsview:      23.5%    (current 21.3%)

Lakelands:      na          (current 23%)

Rocky Hill:      40.1%    (current 22.5%)

Hallie Wells:   na          (current  17%)

Neelsville:      53.9%     (current 66.7%)

A note on NorthWest HS Capacity:

Option #11   takes capacity from 130% to 125%, moving 127 students

Option #11a takes capacity from 130% to 117%, moving 332 students

This is the main difference between the two options.

#11a moves Germantown ES from Northwest to Seneca Valley.

Thank you for taking the survey! Five minutes spent is very meaningful to all the students and the staff.

Want to communicate something more than the survey?

For example, these are the current options to choose from.  Would you like different options or have ideas?  MCPS is welcoming input to develop feasible options to advance the factors of capacity, demographics and proximity.

Feel free to email the Board of Education (who makes the final decision in the Fall) at

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