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Class notes: What's going on in county education

PGCPS logoSEABROOK – School is officially back in swing and teachers, students and parents alike are keeping busy and making waves. Here are some education-related stories that did not get full coverage in the past month.

Too Legit to Quit

Buck Lodge Middle School celebrated the official ribbon cutting of its brand new, state-of-the-art fitness center courtesy of the National Foundation for Governor’s Fitness Councils’ “Don’t Quit Fitness” campaign. Buck Lodge was one of only three schools in the state and 12 in the country to receive the $100,000 grant for the new facility.

Applications for the grants were accepted from Feb. 1 through May 31 and schools were selected based on their demonstration of “outstanding leadership in getting and keeping their students fit,” according to Gov. Larry Hogan’s office.

State and local leaders participated in the celebration Monday, Oct. 9.

A Big Ka-ching

The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation donated an unprecedented $219 million to the University of Maryland earlier this month.

The donation, one of the largest in recent history to a public research institution, will help the James Clark School of Engineering “by establishing and funding an array of need-based scholarships, graduate fellowships, distinguished faculty chairs and operational and capital projects,” according to the university.

A. James Clark was a Terrapin alum and his daughter, Courtney Clark Pastrick, who is the board of the foundation, said College Park was “instrumental in educating and equipping him as an engineer and successful business man.”

University President Wallace Loh, the university system Chancellor Rober Care, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and other state and local leaders celebrated the donation on Oct. 4.

The Real MVP

Charles H. Flowers Head Football Coach Dameon Powell may only be in his second year at the Springdale high school, but he is known for growing programs and making an impact.

The Washington Redskins and Inova Sports Medicine saw that impact and awarded Powell with their Coach of the Week award on Oct. 6.

Powell was lauded for his support of his players on and off the field, his dedication to player safety and, of course, and Flowers’ 5-0 record so far this season.

By being named the Redskins’ Coach of the Week, Powell will received $2,000 from the Redskins Charitable Foundation for the Flowers football team, additional prizes and giveaways and a framed certificate signed by NFL Commissioner Rodger Goddell and the leaders of the Redskins.

TB at Wise

While flu season is upon us, families of Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School may be worrying about a different sickness.

Prince George’s County Public Schools sent out a press release this week notifying the community that the county health department has confirmed two cases of active tuberculosis at the Upper Marlboro high school. The department and the school system said the two individuals are undergoing treatment and there is “no risk of additional exposure.” However, both entities will meet with school staff and families to provide additional information and answer questions.

“It normally takes at least eight hours of close contact in a small room for TB transmission to occur and the air space is only contagious when an untreated patient is present. A healthy person cannot contract TB from casual exposure such as passing in a hallway or sitting in a cafeteria for an hour,” PGCPS said in a press release.

Tell Me What You Want

The Prince George’s County Board of Education is holding a public hearing on proposed or possible boundary changes on Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Sasscer Administration Building in Upper Marlboro.

The hearing will be one of the public’s only chances for in-person testimony on possible changes in the school system in regards to school boundaries, school populations and possible temporary classrooms.

The system has worked on boundaries and population numbers across the county in recent years to address over and under utilization of schools.

Possible changes include adding temporary classrooms to Parkdale and Bladensburg high schools, as well as shifting students in the Chillum area from High Point High School to Northwestern High.

Your Shot at the Future

Prince George’s County Public Schools is pushing for college and career readiness and is in the process of hosting a number of college fairs for students in the system.

The latest installment is courtesy of the school system’s Office of Interscholastic Athletics, who will host workshops for student athletes to learn about their college prospects.

The office will meet with students at Crossland High School on Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. and High Point High School on Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. to go over NCAA, NAIA and Division I, II and II edibility and how to pay for college.

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