April 6, 2021
For Immediate Release
Spring return to the classroom focuses on safety, equity and excellence.
UPPER MARLBORO, MD – After more than a year of virtual learning, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) students will transition back into classrooms this week with a hybrid schedule that splits learning between school and home.
Phase 1 instruction begins Thursday, April 8, as special education students, high school seniors and students in prekindergarten through sixth grade return for a two-day hybrid learning schedule. On Thursday, April 15, Phase 2 instruction will begin for seventh- through 11th-graders. Students also had the option to continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year.
“The benefits of in-person learning are irreplaceable, so we are grateful to be prepared for this critical first step toward a return to normalcy,” said Chief Executive Officer Dr. Monica Goldson. “Whether students return to our school buildings on a hybrid schedule or continue learning at home, we will make every effort to meet the needs of our learners and the families that we serve.”
In recent weeks, the school system has held virtual town halls about hybrid and virtual instruction, transportation, safety and operations. Dr. Goldson will hold a town hall for students on Tuesday, April 6, moderated by Prince George’s County Board of Education Student Member Ninah Jackson, a senior at Oxon Hill High School.
Student meals will continue to be offered to families at no cost. When students are in school for hybrid learning, they will receive breakfast, lunch and a take-home dinner meal. Students who are continuing with distance learning can pick up meal packages at any school on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting Wednesday, April 7.
CEO school visit: Tulip Grove Elementary
On Thursday, the first day of hybrid learning, Dr. Goldson will visit kindergarten and physical education classes at Tulip Grove Elementary, 2909 Trainor Lane in Bowie, at 7:30 a.m. Administrators, educators and staff have prepared safe, creative and engaging learning spaces for in-person and at-home learners.
Health and safety
Since the statewide closure of schools last March, PGCPS has made record investments in safety, technology and professional development to support a successful hybrid learning environment. Schools and offices have implemented new COVID-19 protocols including: cleaning and sanitizing aligned with CDC guidelines, upgraded air filtration systems, signage throughout buildings and personal protective equipment for students and staff. Additionally, each school has a COVID Compliance Committee to assess health and safety needs weekly.
There are also transportation improvements. Bus drivers are trained on COVID-19 procedures to ensure safety, sanitization and physical distancing. The entire bus fleet has been upgraded with new technology to improve student safety. Inside the bus, new cloud-connected cameras will monitor activity, assisting with contact tracing procedures and adherence to sanitization protocols. Outside, new stop-arm cameras will capture video of drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus. Citations will be issued by the Prince George’s County Police Department.