Prince George’s Co. prepares families for a bumpy start to the school year

The school year in Prince George’s County, Maryland, starts Monday amid teacher shortages, bus delays and mask policies.

In a letter to parents, Prince George’s County schools CEO Monica Goldson warned families there could be some bumps in the beginning.

“To date, we have filled just over half of our anticipated teacher vacancies,” the letter states, “leaving 900 open positions among our 10,000 staff. That comes out to 4.5 openings on average across our more than 200 schools.”

The system has started reviewing class sizes and plans to combine classes where it can.

Officials are also working to recruit new teachers, sending office staff who used to be teachers back into the classroom and offering higher pay than in the past for substitute teachers.

When it comes to students who ride the bus, staffing shortages could cause issues, too.

The school system said its Transportation Call Center (301-952-6570) will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. over the weekend for parents who have questions or concerns about bus assignments. You can also use the Transportation Resolution Center.

Prince George’s County schools will also require masks as they kick off the year. However, in her letter to families, Goldson said she hopes the mandate will be short-lived.

“With local COVID-19 positivity rates on the decline, I anticipate easing our mandatory mask policy in the coming weeks,” the letter stated.

Parents were asked to let their school know if their child tests positive for COVID-19. Kids who test positive are expected to stay home for five days and can return to school on the sixth day if they don’t have any symptoms.

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Michelle Murillo

Michelle Murillo has been a part of the WTOP family since 2014. She started her career in Central Florida before working in radio in New York City and Philadelphia.

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