Schools, Purple Line Mtg. 12/17

and Other Important Odds & Ends

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The Purple Line Open House will discuss the entire route and should be interesting. Especially since it seems a new southern route for the Purple Line through campus has surfaced. Map here. However, if this proposal is presented Monday, MTA, UMD and our elected officials need to allow further public input prior to moving forward. A week before Christmas is hardly an ideal meeting date and too much is riding on getting this right.

Prince George’s County Public Schools have released information about the changes necessary to accommodate a county-wide move to PreK-8th grade schools. PGCPS has settled on Version 22 of the plan. The Board of Education could take this up Thursday, January 24. The plan would be implemented in three phases. Check for your school here: choose from the drop-down menu. Several iterations may be offered, and some maybe erroneous, look at Changes and Proposed. We’ll wait to see if and when the Board provides an opportunity for community input. But you could nudge by writing the Board.

The Maryland Transportation Plan needs your input. Secretary John Porcari says: “I am very excited that the Maryland Department of Transportation will be revisiting the Maryland Transportation Plan (MTP) over the next year to update the State‚Äôs vision for transportation.” Don’t not let him down, fill out their survey.

The Route 1 Development Forum presentation by Park & Planning has been posted. It is a large file and will take a few minutes to load, but if you missed this meeting, is very much worth viewing. Yup, we really believe you’ll be examining that rather than your gift list. It is valuable though, maybe you can take a look during the post-holiday doldrums.

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2 Comments

Filed under Developers, Environment, Growth, Public Input, Public Transit, Route 1 Corridor, Schools

2 responses to “Schools, Purple Line Mtg. 12/17

  1. SnowMiser

    Thank you for the information about the PGCPS plan. I’m guessing that most parents in the neighborhoods have yet to learn about this plan. I beleive the expansion of existing elementary schools to Pre-K through 8 would allow PGCPS to not acquire new property to support the bulging populations our area.

    The only thing I question is the availablitity of specialized courses for the 7-8 graders to prepare them for high school. I question the rigor designed by a single teacher (ala the elementary school model) to design a challenging course load of geometry or algebra, geography, biology, civics, middle school english, and history. Most middle school teachers come from speciality degrees in math, history, english and the like.

    This program could be pulled off, but would likely require 7-8 teachers with a broader range of skills.

  2. Michelle

    Thanks for the comment. To respond to the issues you raise:

    - Yes, this plan “might” reduce the need to build new schools. However, an unfortunate outcome of previous years of poor planning often has the seats available in schools with less community need. Therefore to fill the seats, the boundaries must be drawn larger or children must be bussed to the school.
    ———

    - The question regarding advanced courses, has been asked at several meetings I have attended.

    At the public forum on the PreK-8 concept (held at Northwestern High earlier in the fall), Dr. Deasy indicated all PreK-8 schools will have the same offerings of a traditional middle school. He mentioned that “the teachers will come to the students”, a phrase which I interpreted as meaning specialty teachers would be assigned to more than one school. However, it could also have meant teachers from the current middle schools will be assigned to the PreK-8 schools (since the middle schools will have less children — the teachers will need to be reassigned to where the students are).

    I asked Board Member Iliff the same question in early December and she reiterated Dr. Deasy’s goal, but also mentioned the details of how this would be accomplished had not been presented to the board.

    I believe there is sufficient public attention regarding advanced math courses in middle school that we will see a plan for offering algebra and geometry. However, even without such a plan it can be accomplished with differentiated instruction. As an example: today at University Park ES, students in 6th grade can take the entire year of 7th grade math.

    I urge you to write to the school board members with this question and ask when details such as this will be released to the public.

    –Michelle

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