Candace Leach, president of the Largo High School PTSA, made the following statement during the public comments portion of the December 19 Prince George’s County Board of Education meeting. She has given us permission to print it here. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Prince George’s County Advocates for Better Schools.
Good evening Board.
My name is Candace Leach, and I am the Largo High School PTSA President. I have had two children to graduate from Largo, in 2016 and 2017. I currently have one scholar attending Largo, slated to graduate in 2020. I want to take a moment to re-introduce Largo High School to you. Where we are a school that strives for academic and athletic excellence, the atmosphere throughout our building can simply be described as “Family,” and with every family, the support system for our scholars continues to amaze me day by day, week by week, and month by month.
I stand before you today, to urge you to approve the online credit recovery program. As you ponder your decision, consider what happens to our Prince George’s County Public School scholars that can’t afford the $480.00 for evening high school. Consider how having an after school online credit recovery program can aid in keeping the dropout rates down, while encouraging our scholars to “catch up” and graduate on time. With no safety net for our scholars, how do you explain in good conscience that you voted with the best interest of these scholars in mind?
When we look across the state, other jurisdictions have some type of credit recovery program. Also keep in mind, failure is also a part of the learning process. It’s not about getting it right the first time, but about having the will to keep trying until you succeed. With an affordable option, such as the current $150.00 for the credit recovery program, it gives each and every scholar an option to work on learning the content or standards of the course, so that they can continue to fulfill the requirements of the Maryland State diploma.
Please make a special note that it is important for school systems to provide a variety of options that allow for rigorous learning and relearning of course content. As this decision is upon you all, keep in mind that not every student learns in the same way or within the same time frame. While we continue to strive, to provide additional support, for our struggling scholars, it is still important to provide these same scholars the opportunity to recover the credit, if not successful the first go around. It is of the utmost importance to keep in mind that families have been waiting all semester for an option, and going into second semester we still do not have an option for our scholars. There are numerous scholars in the class of 2018 at Largo HS who are on track for graduation as long as they are provided with an option for credit recovery for a course they might have failed in their 9th, 10th, or 11th grade years. Just like our neighboring school districts who offer their students a second chance, we in Prince George’s County Public Schools must give our scholars an opportunity for re-teaching and re-assessment.