School leaders in Prince George’s County, Maryland, anticipate that the return to full-time, in-class learning in the fall will reverse its drop in enrollment.
Only about 30% of students in Prince George’s County Public Schools opted to return under its current 2-day in-class, 3-day virtual hybrid option for the rest of this school year that began on April 8 for students in 12th grade, pre-K through sixth grade and special education students at all levels.
Phase 2 starts for all remaining seventh- through 11th-graders in the school system on April 15.
That timeline may have convinced some parents to explore options outside of the public schools, with overall enrollment dropping by about 2,000 this school year.
“Many of those were our younger students, where their parents could actually do that home teaching experience,” said Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Monica Goldson.
“We’re expecting that those families will come back and we’ll still see about a 1% increase in student body as well.”
She said at this point, the school system is expecting to hang “Help Wanted” signs this summer.
“Every increase of students that we have will cause an increase in the number of staff that we hire,” Goldson said. “We’re hoping to be able to bring on new professional family members as our enrollment increases.”
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She said the county has had to readjust projected enrollment for the next school year that begins in the fall, and right now it’s not clear which grade will see the biggest spike in new students, and thus new hires.
“By July 15th we should have a good indication of what to expect for our staff and students in the fall,” said Goldson.