How Prince George’s Co. schools will get kids to class faster this year

Whenever Prince George’s County Public Schools open their doors and let students back in classrooms, hundreds of school buses will hit Maryland roads to pick up tens of thousands of kids waiting for a ride.

But there will be fewer stops moving forward. The county said it is consolidating bus stops into more centralized locations to help improve efficiency and get students to school faster.

That is something the county has struggled with in the past; due to a shortage of bus drivers, and the drivers that have been behind the wheel would sometimes get lost driving unfamiliar routes.

The county has been studying the issue and trying to come up with solutions for the last year, and found that centralized bus stops are one of the answers.

Students may have to walk farther than they did to their previous bus stops, but the county said it will still fall within the 1.5 mile limit for elementary school students, and 2 miles for middle and high school students.

Bus drivers will also have GPS-enabled tablets on the dashboard, providing turn-by-turn directions to help them along the route. Parents will also be able to download a mobile app that allows them view their child’s school bus schedule and track the vehicle as it drives through its route.

Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Monica Goldson plans to hold a virtual town hall at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19 to provide parents more details on the changes.

The county said it would decide sometime in December whether classrooms will open to students again in the second semester of the school year.

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