I have been a physical education and health teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools for nine years. For the last five years, I have had the honor of being a physical education teacher. Our kids can’t wait for more funding. As a teacher, I want my students to have a healthy learning environment. I want to teach my students the importance of creating healthy habits while they are young.
Earlier this month, Thomas S. Stone Elementary School’s principal, Ashanti Foster, was placed on administrative leave after parents and community leaders objected to a planned White House field trip that would have required students to provide citizenship information. The Washington Post reported the principal was suspended over the wording of the permission slip. School district officials have since come under fire for taking such a significant step over such a seemingly minor mistake. But the reality is more complicated. The field trip and permission slip were simply the latest in a long series of management failures.
The Washington Redskins have called FedEx Field home since 1997. With the Redskins in Landover, Maryland, Prince George’s County hasn’t truly reaped the benefits other jurisdictions would see with a major league football team. As the 30-year lease slowly approaches in 2027, the Redskins are looking for a new place to call home. One potential new homesite in Prince George’s County, is Oxon Cove Park and Farm in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The 300-acre park sits just inside the Capital Beltway, across from the MGM National Harbor.
As November fades into December, thanks again for your continued support of Route 1 Reporter. There will be some changes as we head into the new month. For one, Prince George’s County will have a new County Executive in Angela Alsobrooks and a new, larger County Council, this time with two at-large members. They will all be sworn in today in Upper Marlboro, and Route 1 Reporter will be in attendance to cover the ceremonies and gather comment from our new county leadership. It’s the first excursion of a new and expanded focus on policymaking at the county-wide level.
I’m done caring about the woes of the middle-class and able-bodied who commute alone by car along Route 1. I’m done hearing complaints about car congestion on Route 1 as if it should be the primary driver of public policy and planning decisions in the Route 1 corridor. So here are a few hard truths: The Route 1 corridor, as it is laid out, is congested during rush hour. Horribly so. As it has been, and as it ever shall be.
Amazon’s “National Landing” development will bolster the regional economy. However, I wonder if Prince George’s County elected officials will place a greater emphasis on “smart growth.” In order to capture potential residents the county should consider extending the purple line to National Harbor and Alexandria, while also intensifying density along Blue and Silver-line corridor and improving the school system. Although, I’m relatively new to Prince George’s County, I see the potential for growth and gaining desirability akin to other inner-Beltway suburban communities such as Arlington, Montgomery County, and Fairfax County. However, it is up to political willpower to invest in neighborhoods that have been disinvested for years, (such as Marlow Heights, Capitol Heights, Suitland, Oxon Hill) – instead of pursuing sprawl-y projects such as the Konterra Town Center.
Editor’s note: This letter is in response to an opinion article by Thomas Stone Elementary parent Sarah Christopherson alleging mismanagement and confusion of the school’s first-day of class activities.
Prince George’s County Public Schools is aware of the experiences that Ms. Christopherson and other Thomas S. Stone Elementary parents had on the first day of school. The principal apologized to parents in a robocall Tuesday evening for not allowing them to enter the building with their child. Our Administrative Procedure requires school visitors to present government-issued identification with their name, date of birth and photo. However, there is an exception for large groups, such as visitors attending assemblies, performances or parents who wish to accompany their child to class on the first day of school. We are working closely with the school’s leadership team to maintain a welcoming and positive environment for all families in the Thomas Stone school community.
Editor’s note: Prince George’s County Public Schools has issued a response to the concerns raised in this article.
For the students and parents of Thomas Stone Elementary in Mount Rainier, the first day of school turned into a hot, lengthy, and sometimes scary ordeal thanks to the same administrative dysfunction that has regularly plagued the school in recent years.
This week I was part of a long line of angry parents forced to wait outside for more than 90 minutes in hot, humid weather just to drop off school supplies or meet our children’s teachers. Meanwhile, nervous children as young as four years old, many of whom do not speak English at home, were sent into the school to find their teachers without help from their parents. The results were predictably disastrous. While I was standing outside, school staff walked out several times with scared, unhappy children and called out to the crowd, hoping to find their parents. In some cases, I later learned, the children didn’t know their last names (or couldn’t communicate them well enough for staff to understand) and so couldn’t be sent to the right classroom.