Schools success has students overcrowded

CATONSVILLE, Md - Hillcrest Elementary School.

Main hallway

One P.M.

Wednesday.

You need to get out of the way.

In the span of about five minutes, more than 300 children change classes, go to lunch, go to recess and just kind of wander through.

And that's not even half the kids.

The teachers, staff and parents are great conductors moving 815 children through a school that is built for about 660.

Even under tight conditions, parents say they like the teachers and the instruction.

"Everybody is wonderful many kids int he neighborhood go to Hillcrest it's well it has a lot of parental involvement and a big PTA..and that's something you look for in a school, yes, exactly." Mary Kate Fries says.

And Hillcrest does very well.

They are one of the top scoring elementary schools in Baltimore County on reading and math tests.

So parents are flocking here.

But success has it's down side.

And no space for staff and volunteers to work, so they're out in the hall.

The school therapist works out of a converted closet.

And getting 815 student's through lunch in the small cafeteria/auditorium takes almost three hours.

Growing pains that the system has to figure out how to address.

"You have to look at the whole situation and it's effectiveness how do you move students about lunch transpiration and all the programs that exist in the schools so that's like running a corporation." County Schools Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools Cathy Allie says.

Hillcrest is not alone.

If the trend continues, every elementary school in Catonsville will stay over capacity until the year 2022...Hillcrest especially will be packed.

Building a new school may not be an option as the schools say resources are always tight so they're looking at other ways.

"We're going to have to be creative look at the programs that we have at the school and are there any surrounding areas or buildings that we may be able to use." Allie says.

The alternatives and creative ways range from installing more portables to finding vacant space in the area.

At this point county schools are studying the options.

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