Prince George’s County superintendent touts early action, next steps in 90-day report

When he took the job in July, Prince George’s County Superintendent Millard House promised to issue a 90-day report to highlight changes he’s enacted since starting his new gig, as well as to discuss next steps going forward.

This morning the report came out.

Student safety has been a main focus so far. House touted the creation of a Task Force on Student Health at High Point High School in response to concerns that students, parents and staff there voiced about rampant drug use. He also highlighted that the county will continue to add more security screening systems to its high schools, with a vow to have one in every high school by the end of the school year.

But the report also noted that only 43% of the county’s middle and high school students feel safe at school, according to a climate and culture survey taken by 28,000 of the county’s students. The report said it’s actually a small increase from last year. Meanwhile, nearly half of all middle and high school students said bullying continues to be a problem in their schools with only 57% of students feeling welcome at school.

In a budget proposal released earlier this week, House outlined more than $7 million to go toward safety and security enhancements.

Prior to this, an ongoing audit of the county’s transportation system should be completed by the end of next month. House said the audit will lead to a report focusing on new ways to make the Prince George’s County’s school system better and more efficient.

Much of this new report outlined ways House intends to collaborate better with parents and local politicians, including an expansion of the Parent Engagement Assistants, which are currently found in about 80 of the county’s schools.

But he’s also vowed to enhance special education programs in the county. The improvements could mean changes to how the programs are staffed and the facilities they use, as well as a review of how resources are currently distributed in the county. Those changes will be in place when the next school year begins in the fall of 2024, according to House.

Among the new policy changes announced for the future is a commitment to establish guidelines to help evaluate and oversee proposed charter schools. Prince George’s County has 12 charter schools in operation so far, with a 13th having just been approved earlier this month.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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