by Genevieve Demos Kelley
1. Dedicated Staff
We have benefited from some truly remarkable, inspiring teachers and visionary, hard-working principals who really are making a difference. One parent writes, “If I go to our school at 7 am, there is staff there (school starts at 9:15). When I go there at 7 pm, there is staff there. Lots of staff are leading many extracurricular activities, there is always something going on at the school.”
2. Strong Instrumental Music Programs
Beginning in grade four, elementary school students may learn to play a string, woodwind, or brass instrument in twice-weekly classes. Instrumental music is also offered to middle and high schoolers. Here is a lovely YouTube video of the PGCPS Honor Band and Middle School Honor Chorus.
3. Career Academies and Specialty Programs
The list of career academies offered in PGCPS high schools was recently expanded in the 2014-2015 school year. It’s an impressive list! PGCPS also offers Creative and Performing Arts and STEM magnet programs.
4. Dual Enrollment
Students may enroll at any public college or university in Maryland while still enrolled in high school and have their tuition paid for by PGCPS. Read more here.
5. Language Immersion Programs
The Dora Kennedy French Immersion school (formerly named Robert Goddard French Immersion) is the second oldest language immersion school in the nation. PGCPS has several other language immersion and dual language programs, including three new Spanish language programs.
6. The Judy Centers
Judy Centers provide support services and education for children from birth to kindergarten, and their families, who reside in specific Title 1 districts. Pioneered by Judith P. Hoyer, the Judy Center model originated here in Prince George’s County and is now found in 25 locations throughout Maryland. We have three Judy Centers in Prince George’s County, the Judy Hoyer Family Learning Center (the original Judy Center) and two others at Cool Spring Elementary and Carmody Hills Elementary.
7. Men Make a Difference Day
This is a wonderful yearly event that brings fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, and other male role models into the schools for guest speakers, refreshments, and other activities. Read the Washington Post article.
8. Going Green
Nineteen schools earned certified Maryland Green School status this year, bringing the total number of Green Schools in the system to 37. Read more here.
9. The Howard B. Owens Science Center
The Owens Science Center hosts field trips and promotes hands-on science education. It is home to the largest dome planetarium in the state of Maryland.
10. Our Famous Alumni
- Boxing Champion Sugar Ray Leonard attended Parkdale High School.
- Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, attended Eleanor Roosevelt High School.
- Muppeteer Jim Henson attended Northwestern High School.
- Television personality Kathie Lee Gifford attended Bowie High School.
What else should we add to the list? Tell us in the comments section.