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Kent Gardens Elementary School (via Google Maps)

McLean families are no strangers to overcrowded schools.

The challenges have been concentrated in the McLean High School pyramid, where the home of the Highlanders and feeder school Kent Gardens Elementary have been over capacity for the past decade.

At 121% capacity, Kent Gardens is experiencing one of the biggest space deficits in the county, trailing only Wakefield Forest Elementary School (132%) and Oakton High School (125%), according to Fairfax County Public Schools’ proposed Capital Improvement Program for fiscal years 2023-2027.

Capacity Deficits Projected to Continue

Kent Gardens had 1,023 students to start this school year in a building designed for up to 896 students. The school’s profile indicates that enrollment has dipped to 1,019 students as of November.

There are currently 11 temporary classrooms on site, with the most recent addition of trailers coming during the 2019-2020 school year.

According to the CIP, Kent Gardens has been over capacity since at least 2012, when it had 906 students and was at 111% capacity. While enrollment is expected to decline over the next five years, the school will still be at 118% capacity with 1,003 students by the 2026-2027 school year.

McLean High School has had more students than program capacity since the 2011-2012 school year. The introduction of a 12-classroom modular earlier this year helped cut the capacity deficit from 118% last year to 107% this fall, though enrollment appears to have grown from 2,347 students in September to 2,366 students, as of November.

Enrollment projections for the McLean High School pyramid through school year 2026-2027 (via FCPS)

FCPS says it is monitoring the school’s capacity after implementing a phased boundary adjustment in September that moved an estimated 190 high school students and 78 middle school students to the Langley High School pyramid.

However, the CIP indicates that overcrowding will persist at least through 2026-2027, when 2,317 students are projected to be enrolled and the school will be at 105% or 121% capacity, depending on whether the modular is still in place. Read More

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