Moving to Maryland: Choosing the Right School [2019]

Reading time: 6 minutes

Every major move requires a fair share of decision making, but if you’re a parent, choosing a neighborhood in a good school district should be at the top of the list. Providing the best possible education for your kids is invaluable, and in this information-oriented society, knowledge is power.

The right school creates high flyers and removes obstacles in the path to college and beyond. In order to help you choose the best option for your children, we’ve put together a list of neighborhoods with reputable elementary schools in Maryland.

Montgomery County

Cold Spring Elementary

Number of students: 322

Student/teacher ratio: 18.1

Cold Spring Elementary is usually described as one of the best schools in the country! It has been in the top 10% of Maryland schools for years. Their diligent students are proficient at math (86% of them), but they excel in Reading/Language Arts as well with 87%. Remember that the state average is around 40%, so this is truly impressive. As for diversity, minority enrollment is 58% (40% Asian).

The only downside would be that the number of teachers is lower compared to the state average and the student body.

Bannockburn Elementary

Number of students: 454

Student/teacher ratio: 19.4

Bannockburn Elementary School also makes the top 10% of all Maryland elementary schools and has excellent results in Math (82%) and Reading/Language Arts (80%). It is recommendable that the number of teachers has remained the same, which could imply the staff knows the students and the system pretty well. However, it would be nice if they hired some extra staff as well (the state ratio is 15:1).

The diversity is not one of their strong points, as minority enrollment is just 32%.


Montgomery county elementary school
Montgomery County’s school system is diverse, but its schools are less so

Howard County :

Clarksville Elementary

Number of students: 430

Student/teacher ratio: 14.8

Clarksville students surely love their Math lessons (86% at the tests), but they aren’t that keen on Reading/Language Arts (78%). Still, they do make top 10% of Maryland schools for overall test scores.

As for the diversity, the school prides itself with it. Minority enrollment is 61% (equal to the state average), with Asian students accounting for 52%.

Dayton Oaks

Number of students: 677

Student/teacher ratio: 13.9

Here is one of the biggest schools in our list. The student/teacher ratio is fine, but perhaps that many students are a bit too much to handle, as the percentage of achieving proficiency in Math is 70%, and the Reading/Language Arts is even lower (67%). With such results, the school makes top 20% of Maryland elementary schools.

Overall, the enrollment rates are rising steadily. As for diversity, 38% is lower than the state average (Asian 23.6% and African American 8.1%)

Anne Arundel County:

Shipley’s Choice Elementary

Number of students: 374

Student/teacher ratio: 15.9

A great choice if you look at their overall performance. One of the most renowned schools in the country, Shipley’s Choice Elementary makes top 5% when it comes to reading proficiency. Math is just a tad behind, in the top 10%. 

The ratio of students and teachers is very good, but the only disadvantage is the extremely poor diversity. Namely, minority enrollment is mere 11%, and perhaps this is the reason why the enrollment rate has been declining a bit.

Benfield Elementary

Number of students: 446

Student/teacher ratio: 16.1

The math proficiency is in top 20% of the state with the proficiency of 81%, whereas Reading and Language Arts ranks in top 10% with 82%. So, the difference is slight. It may not seem so impressive among the best schools in this list, but Benfield Elementary certainly stands out on the state level.

The minority enrollment is rather low, with only 14%. The majority of this percentage is of Hispanic origin.

Baltimore County:

Carroll Manor Elementary (in Baldwin)

Number of students: 349

Student/teacher ratio: 15.9

Be careful not to confuse this one with another school of the same name. Carroll Manor Elementary is very high-rated. Students perform exceptionally well at Math (85-89%), but Reading/Language Arts are bit more challenging (75-79%). However, it does make the top 10% in overall test scores and individually, too.

The diversity is definitely not a strong point, as white students make almost 90% of the student body.

Jacksonville Elementary

Number of students: 550

Student/teacher ratio: 17.5

Perhaps the number of students seems a bit high, but maybe it will be lower this school year, as the population of students has declined by 9% in the last 5 years, as well as the teachers (as high as 18%, which is a bit worrying).

Overall, this is a top 20% school. Math and Language tests rank in top 20%, as well as the total success. The rates aren’t that high if you know that Reading/Language Arts proficiency is 67% (it’s 75% for Math). The diversity is 14%, which is pretty low.

Still, Jacksonville Elementary scores very well compared to the average Maryland elementary schools.

Baltimore County elementary schools
Math and Language tests rank in top 20%, as well as the total success

Frederick County:

Centerville Elementary

Number of students: 1,004

Student/teacher ratio: 17.1

The biggest one on our list, Centerville Elementary shows you don’t need a small number of students to achieve great overall success and rank exceptionally well. The school makes the top 10% of Maryland elementary schools in the total score and math and language individually. Their Math proficiency is 82%, but, admittedly, 77% in Reading/Language Arts needs some improvement.

There are plenty of full time teachers, which is surely one of the reasons for great test scores. Also, the minority enrollment is 48% (21% Asian and 12% Hispanic)

Urbana Elementary

Number of students: 712

Student/teacher ratio: 17.6

At first, Urbana Elementary may not seem so appealing. Its Math score is 66% (which still ranks it top 20%), but Reading/Language Arts is only 62% (top 30% of Maryland state). The performance is not as good as in other schools, but the fact that it received Blue Ribbon Award last year may be taken as a sign that there are some changes on the way.

Interestingly, free lunch recipients account for 10% of the student body. The minority enrollment is 39%.

Prince George County:

Glenarden Woods Elementary

Number of students: 463

Student/teacher ratio: 17.3

You may wish to skip this one if your child is brilliant at math, as the Math proficiency score is only 64%, so they probably won’t be challenged enough, or be able to improve their skills in a stimulating environment. Reading/Language proficiency is 75%, so the total score places Glenarden Woods into top 20% Maryland schools.

Regarding diversity, it should be noted this is the school with the absolutely the highest minority enrollment — up to 92%. The majority of the student body is African American. Free or discounted lunch is very popular among students, as 45.7% applied for it.

Heather Hills Elementary

Number of students: 383

Student/teacher ratio: 17.5

The last on our list may not be the last in our hearts, but regarding the state rank, it surely is. Heather Hills ranks in top 30% of Maryland elementary schools with its test scores. Reading/Language Arts proficiency is 62%, but Math proficiency is below 60% — only 55%. It is better than the state average of 44%, though far from really inspiring.

As for diversity, the minorities are the majority here. African American students make 65.8% of the student body, and Asian 8.6%. The free lunch option is used by 21.4%

At the end...

There you have it. Plenty of schools and neighborhoods to choose from, depending on where your preferences lie. We wish you the best of luck with your move, and some great test scores!

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