Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is gearing up to begin the 2020-21 academic year on Monday, Aug. 31 with distance learning for all grades. Distance learning will continue through the first and second quarters with a goal to return to school buildings in February to begin the third quarter.

Although this back-to-school season undoubtedly looks and feels different amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, one thing remains the same: the PGCPS commitment to maintaining a strong connection between home and school. Here are key ways the school system will support families throughout distance learning.

New Parent Support Centers
Starting Tuesday, Sept. 1, parents who need assistance navigating aspects of distance learning, such as technology support, accessing instructional packets or other needs, can visit Parent Support Centers on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at nine schools across the county:

Benjamin Tasker Middle School – 4901 Collington Road, Bowie
Charles Carroll Middle School – 6130 Lamont Drive, New Carrollton
Drew-Freeman Middle School – 2600 Brooks Drive, Suitland
G. James Gholson Middle School – 900 Nalley Road, Landover
Gwynn Park High School – 13800 Brandywine Road, Brandywine
High Point High School – 3601 Powder Mill Road, Beltsville
Mount Rainier Elementary School – 4011 32nd St., Mount Rainier
Port Towns Elementary School – 4351 58th Avenue, Bladensburg
Thurgood Marshall Middle School – 4909 Brinkley Road, Temple Hills

Student Meal Service
All schools will offer multi-day, pre-packaged breakfast and lunch on Mondays and Thursdays. Students who are not eligible for free and reduced-priced meals will have to pay for breakfast and lunch, preferably through their student account. Families can apply online for free and reduced-price meals at

Technology and Access
All students will be equipped with their own digital devices for learning at home. Students who received devices in the spring should continue to use them. Chromebooks, iPads and wifi hotspots will be distributed during the week of Aug. 24 to those in need. The Connect PGCPS initiative through the Excellence in Education Foundation will continue to cover the cost of Internet access to families.

Support for English Language Learners (ELLs) and Special Education Students
Teachers and certified specialists will support English Language Learners (ELLs) and students with disabilities on a regular schedule. Additionally, small group instruction for enrichment or intervention will be provided as needed or outlined in student learning and support plans. All Individualized Education Plan and 504 meetings will be held virtually with parents.

Parents, guardians and caregivers of special education students can also take advantage of an interactive virtual workshop series designed to equip families with ideas, tips and strategies in preparation for online learning. Workshops will cover strategies for creating an effective learning environment at home; planning, organization, and self-advocacy; distance learning information for non-public school students and more. For more information, visit

Key Dates
Aug. 31– First Day of School
Distance learning will begin for all grade levels through the end of second quarter
in January.

Dec. 1-18
If conditions are safe, PGCPS will offer families the option to continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year or to begin hybrid instruction in the spring.

February to June 2021 – Second Semester
Depending on conditions, PGCPS will implement a hybrid staggered schedule with two
days of in-person learning and three days of distance learning. Full-time distance learning will continue students who opt in.

Please visit the PGCPS website for the full Reopen PGCPS plan, more information and distance learning updates.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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