The Baltimore County school board approved a plan that gives more space to kids in crowded schools and moves preschoolers into elementary school buildings.

The school system is replacing four elementary schools — Bedford, Summit Park, Deer Park and Scotts Branch — with new, larger buildings to make room for 1,200 more students. The construction calls for two separate boundary studies where parents, teachers and principals in that community strategize how to redistribute students among the schools in the Owings Mills and Pikesville areas.

The first study, the one the board approved Tuesday night, involved redrawing the boundaries for seven schools: Bedford, Fort Garrison, Milbrook, Scotts Branch and Summit Park elementary schools as well as Wellwood International School and Campfield Early Learning Center. The center will close in 2026, and the 3- and 4-year-olds in its early childhood program will attend the schools they are zoned for. Three of the six schools involved are considered overcrowded.

In Baltimore County, that’s when students take up at least 115% of the space the school was designed for. Scotts Branch is at 120%, Milbrook is at 149% and Wellwood is at 160%.

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In the new map, Milbrook drops to 85% and Wellwood goes to 87%. Scotts Branch, however, stays at 120%. But the school, along with Deer Park, will be in the northwest area’s second boundary study that’s scheduled for the fall. It’ll be Baltimore County’s sixth school boundary study in two years.

The new map sends more than 430 students to a different school. Data from the school system show Wellwood Elementary will see the biggest changes, with 113 students to moving to Bedford and another 164 to Summit Park.

LaShaune Stitt, chair of the school system’s Northwest Area Education Advisory Council, said the new map is a step in the right direction.

“It’s not perfect, but it does bring balance,” she said.

The boundaries that exist now, she said, “mimics segregation” and cuts students off from schools with more resources. She used Milbrook as an example. The Title I school is almost entirely made up of students of color, and a quarter of them are English learners. About 71% qualify for free and reduced-price meals and 42% are considered economically disadvantaged. Under the new map, only the number of economically disadvantaged students sees a drop at Milbrook. However, high-needs kids have been more evenly spread among other schools in the study.

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In a different part of the county, yet another boundary study is about to conclude.

A central area study — a region that extends from Towson to Jacksonville and includes 19 elementary schools — will have a public hearing 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Loch Raven High School. The board votes on the map March 19.

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