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About Us

Welcome to St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) where our students graduate ready to take on the challenges of college or careers.

With over 17,000 students, our school system is large enough to offer a wide variety of academic programs and services, yet small enough to maintain an atmosphere of friendliness, helpfulness, and personalized service.  

We understand that education must engage students and align to their interests and aspirations. To do this, we provide a tailored educational experience to our learners, offering choice of courses and academic pathways.  We are particularly proud of our signature academic pathways: the STEM Academy, The Academy of Global International Studies, The National Academy of Finance and our newest addition, the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts. Couple this with our James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center and the possibilities for our students reflect the needs of the 21st Century.

Great things are happening in our school system, check out the Annual Report to find out even more.

Our Mission Statement

"Know the learner and the learning, expecting excellence in both. Accept no excuses, educating ALL with rigor, relevance, respect, and positive relationships."

Our Commitments and the SMCPS Slogan.

Our work is driven by theses documents:

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Blueprint for Maryland's Future

The Blueprint for Maryland's Future Act is a piece of legislation intended to enhance and improve the state and local investment in, and school system operation of, Maryland's public schools. Learn more about the Maryland Blueprint with this website or by watching this video.

What's happening?


Student Facts (2023-2024)

Number of Schools

Type of School Number of Schools
Elementary 18
Public Charter 1
Middle 4
High 3
Career & Technology Center 1
Fairlead Academy 1
Virtual Academy 1

Enrollment 17,214

Race/Ethnicity Percentage of Student Base


African American






American Indian/Alaska Native


Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander


Two or More Races


Students Receiving Special Services

Name of Program  
Title I (Elementary Only)


Limited English Proficient


Free/Reduced Meals


Special Education



 Type of School   Percentage of Student Base 
 Elementary  92.1%
 Middle  91.4%
 High  90.2%


Student Mobility (SY19)

 Name of Program   Percentage of Student Base 
 Elementary  14.3%
 Middle  11.9%
 High  10.1%


Our Staff

Teacher's average years of service is 13.35 years.

Type of Staff  Number of Staff 
 Professional Staff   1520
 Classified Staff  887


Average Class Size

Grade  Number of Students 
 Pre-Kindergarten   17.9
 Kindergarten  19.3
 1-2  19.4
 3-5  21.7
 6-8  23.4
 9-12  22.5


Educational Pathways Enrollment 

Name of Pathways Number of Student Base
 Chesapeake Public Charter (K-8)  537
 Fairlead Academy (12)  83
 J.A. Forrest Center (10-12)  1,089 
 Academy of Finance (9-12)  107
 Academy of Visual & Performing Arts (9-11)  58 
 Global & International Studies (9-12)  69
 STEM Academies (6-12)  313
Virtual Academy (9-12) 103


Class of 2022

Students Post Graduation Percentage of Student Base
Graduation Rate
(5-year Cohort, Class of 2021)
Graduation Rate
(4-Year Cohort, Class of 2022)
 Attend a 4-Year College  32%
 Attend a 2-Year College  30%
 Attend a Trade/Technical School  4%
 Enter the Workforce  14%
 Enter the Military  4%
 Scholarships Offered  $31.7M


ELL Program

Approximately 445 students participate in the program for English Language Learners (ELL)

Early Childhood

There are 580 full day Pre-Kindergarten 4 spaces in SMCPS.
Each elementary school houses a program or there is access at a neighboring school for eligible children.
For general questions regarding Early Childhood Education, please contact the Department of Equity, Engagement, and Early Access.
(301) 475-5511, ext. 32136 or email

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