Required Reading is a simple, daily roundup of news coverage relevant to Prince George’s County and its Route 1 communities. Dec. 5, 2018’s edition features County Council leadership changes, PGCPS’ mixed-bag of reports, and a new football coach. Prince George’s County Council elects new leadership
60 percent of PGCPS graduates ‘excessively absent’
PGCPS pleased with report card
Maryland schools report card site crashes after launch
UMD hires new football coach: Reaction
Black hole mergers make waves with atronomers at UMD conference
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.