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PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY EDUCATION BRIEFS: Schools Closed until April 24

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Education Karen Salmon have announced that all public schools will remain closed for an additional four weeks.

PGCPS is also working to address other areas that impact its community, including the needs of graduating high school seniors.

As for prom and graduation, officials hope to hold graduation ceremonies later this summer and are working with venues on rescheduling senior proms.

Meal Sites

Ten new elementary school sites opened for breakfast, lunch and snacks this week, bringing the total number of student meal sites to 43.

The new meal sites are Bradbury Heights, Brandywine, Carrollton, Glassmanor, Hollywood, James McHenry, Ridgecrest, Riverdale, Robert Frost and Woodridge.

Three sites have been closed due to low participation: J. Frank Dent and Longfields elementary schools and Benjamin Stoddert Middle School.

Under relaxed federal guidelines, parents may now pick up the “grab and go” meals. Parents must bring a student ID or report card with them if the student is unable to come to the site.

Meals are available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. School system staff will be on hand to distribute meals in the cafeteria or parking lot depending on the weather.

Students may pick up the meals and snack in one visit. Parents and guardians are not required to accompany students nor are students required to show ID.

The full list of sites is available at pgcps.org/coronavirus.

Internet Services

Schools CEO Monica Goldson, during a recent appearance on “The Joe Clair Morning Show,” provided some clarity through use of a survey regarding students’ access to internet and other technological services.

“With the results of that survey, the school system plans to prepare students and families for online learning,” Goldson said. “We asked everyone to complete that survey [and for] those who do not complete it, we will begin to make personal calls to their homes so that we can then talk about how we can distribute a Chromebook to them in the coming days. And I will be paying for internet service for those who do not have it.”

PGCPS on Monday announced how students can begin accessing online lessons from their teachers and also provide tech training for those who may be unfamiliar.

“I want to be able to close that gap [for students without access to computers and internet service] so that they can learn just like everyone else,” Goldson said.

Coronavirus Safety Measures

Two employees at Charles H. Flowers High School and High Point High School have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, according to schools CEO Monica Goldson.

PGCPS remains in daily contact with the local Health Department for the most accurate information and will continue to follow guidance provided by the county and state health departments, including preventative measures, reporting protocols and communication.

All PGCPS stakeholders are encouraged to also take preventive steps regarding social distancing and other measures:

• Stay at home as much as possible. If you must go out, maintain a six-foot distance from others.

• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds on both sides and between your fingers.

• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

• Avoid people who are ill.

• Disinfect high-contact surfaces, such as doorknobs and tables.

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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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