Data: Prince George’s grows school meals program amid pandemic

Over the first two weeks of its coronavirus-induced grab-and-go school meals program, Prince George’s County has delivered more than 34,192 meal packages to its public school students. Between March 19, when the program expanded to 36 sites, and March 27, 2020, the grab-and-go meal program distributed an average of 4,004 meals packages per day. The program, which was launched with just nine sites on March 16, 2020, under guidance from state school officials, has been widely praised by parents in the school system, and coveted by communities that lack sites. Last week, Riverdale Park sent a letter to school officials requesting a site. This week, a site was established at Riverdale Park Elementary School, as the grab-and-go meals program expanded to 43 sites.

UMD Idea Factory gets Planning Board OK

The Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved plans to build a new, futuristic-looking engineering facility on College Park’s University of Maryland campus. The E.A. Fernandez Idea Factory plans include a new five-story 61,240 square foot building connected to the Kim Engineering Building by a pedestrian bridge. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it will include workspaces for students, areas for student competition teams and a new home for UMD’s student-run incubator, Startup Shell. In all, the building is expected to cost $50 million to build. Another rendering shows the Idea Factory from Stadium Drive

It will also be home to the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center, the Robotics Realization Laboratory, the Quantum Technology Center and other laboratory spaces.

Opinion: Thomas Stone Elementary students deserve better

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.

Required Reading: Meet Maryland’s Robert Moses; How PGCPS skewed national absentee data

Required Reading is a simple, daily roundup of news coverage relevant to Prince George’s County and its Route 1 communities. In our Jan. 9, 2019, edition: Meet the man who made your neighborhood; How Prince George’s County skewed national absenteeism data, and more below:

Meet suburban Washington’s Robert Moses: Harland Bartholomew – Greater Greater Washington

How bad data from one district skewed national rankings on chronic absenteeism – Edweek

Man murdered in Lanham backyard – WJLA

Maryland County execs back drug affordability board – Black Press USA