EducationLocal

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY EDUCATION BRIEFS: Reopening PGCPS Safely, Responsibly

PGCPS is committed to reopening safely with the health and well-being of its students, teachers and staff as the highest priority.

As a result, school officials, under the guidance of schools CEO Monica Goldson, are working with local and state health experts, as well as county, state government partners and the Maryland State Department of Education while closely adhering to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Whenever school buildings are open, strict preventative measures — including social distancing in the classroom and throughout buildings, face masks, hand-washing and more — will be in place.

Parents, educators, administrators and community members were recently asked about their preferences for the upcoming school year, given the ongoing pandemic. More than 80 percent of family and community members preferred to continue the distance learning model or shift to a hybrid with elements of learning at home and in-school instruction:

– 46% prefer to continue full time learning at home.
– 42% want a hybrid form to combine distance learning with in-school instruction.
– 12% prefer returning to school full-time.

Survey Results

Between June 1-14, PGCPS parents and students were asked their opinions about experiences with distance learning and what they would like to see happen at the start of the 2020-21 school year.

Overall, nearly 18,000 responses were received from approximately 10,800 parents; 2,200 elementary students and nearly 2,500 secondary students.

Nearly 62 percent of parents believed PGCPS’ response to the health emergency had generally gone well from the beginning.

An estimated 57 percent rated the quality of distance learning services as good or excellent and 60 percent indicated the school system’s communication with families was either very or extremely effective.

When the school year begins, parents indicated that it is extremely important to them that teachers are responsive to questions about schoolwork (76 percent), social distancing is maintained at school (75 percent) and masks or face coverings are required for all students and staff (71 percent).

Parents, educators and administrators also indicated their learning preferences and types of instruction models.

Summer Meals Program

PGCPS will operate the annual Summer Food Service Program through Thursday, Aug. 13.

“Grab and go” breakfast and lunch meals will be available Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon at 87 school sites and 12 apartment complexes.

Updates to services and sites will be provided as information becomes available. For more information, go to www.pgcps.org/foodandnutrition.

Science Fair History

This year’s Prince George’s Area Science Fair made history in more ways than one having conducted the first-ever virtual fair, including a virtual award ceremony for grand award winners.

The fair’s top winners were also historic.

“This was the first time in the event’s history that all four of our grand award winners were students of color — three females and one male,” said Dr. Godfrey Rangasammy, PGCPS Science Department supervisor. “We are forever grateful to all the virtual PGASF judges, committee members, science fair coordinators, science teachers and mentors, parents and guardians for their support, guidance and patience.”

Hosted annually by the PGCPS Science Department and now in its 72nd season, the fair brings together students from across PGCPS who were winners of their school’s science fair to compete against their peers, including students from private schools and public schools in neighboring Calvert and St. Mary’s counties.

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Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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