South Lake Elementary School in Gaithersburg, MD is a warm, welcoming, transformative school that serves 897 students in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States.

At South Lake, over 88% of students qualify for free or reduced meals. Over 90% of the students are Black or Latinx. Over 57% of the students are English language learners.

The South Lake school building is woefully inadequate

This fall, dozens of South Lake students will attend classes in one of 14 portables placed on the property against the recommendation of the fire marshal.

The building is not ADA compliant.

The cramped health facilities in the building puts South Lake in violation of Maryland state guidelines.

An unreliable HVAC system in the building means that students sit in 100-degree classrooms during the summer, and take tests in their coats and gloves during the winter.


Since 2014, Montgomery County has promised school renovations that have never happened.

December 20, 2018—Over 200 South Lake parents organize an action and invite County Council. Councilmembers do not show up.

February 26, 2019—A few members of County Council attend another parent action at South Lake. Councilman Riemer says, “As long as you can get South Lake on the Board of Ed list, we will make sure it gets funded.” 

October-November 2019—Over 100 South Lake parents, students, staff, and supporters attend and testify at multiple Board of Education hearings. The Board of Education releases their Capital Improvement Projects recommendations, and a new building for South Lake is deemed a TOP PRIORITY.

May 14, 2020—Montgomery County Council votes to de-prioritize South Lake and delay South Lake construction, against the recommendation of the Board of Education. Instead, the council decides to move forward with construction for Magruder and Poolesville High Schools.

Magruder & Poolesville Comparisons

Will you #StandUpForSouthLake?

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