by Katie Moran
At 6:43pm, the Board of Education meeting was finally beginning. With 29 public speakers lined up to speak, I knew that this meeting would cover many controversial topics and not be short. It began with an amendment to the agenda, moving items 10.1, an emergency item related to the calendar and 9.1, the vote on Turning Point Academy’s future, to immediately follow public speakers. The agenda and the minutes from the last meeting held on 2/22/18 were approved. Following that was a nice video on “Having Seuss For Breakfast.”
The report of the Chair included mention of Prince George’s County offering more Italian language classes than any of its neighboring counties. Recently, Dr. Maxwell was recognized with the Knight of Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. The Kiamsha Youth Empowerment Organization was recognized with a proclamation (http://kiamshayouth.org). It was announced there would be a Board of Education meeting April 12th at 1pm.
The report of the CEO included celebrating the youngest Spelling Bee Winner, a 5th grader from Melwood Elementary. He will be moving on to the next level at the National Harbor. The school walkout (organized by the students and not the county) was considered a success. Student safety remains a top priority and PGCPS will continue to implement recommendations from the student safety task force.
The legislative report was discussed. A new emergency bill just passed the Maryland House and is expected to pass in the Senate. Mr. Burroughs says that the Governor has agreed to sign the bill when it is put in front of him. Ms. Boston then made a motion to reinstate spring break, but was asked to save that for when it was discussed in the agenda, 10.1.
Twelve speakers showed up in support of Turning Point Academy (TPA). There were multiple student speakers who shared stories of opportunities TPA offered that were not otherwise available in their neighborhood schools. Belinda Queen, grandmother of a TPA student, urged PGCPS to “put children first for a change.” The school produced standardized math score averages higher than the state average and had a 99% college acceptance. There were accusations of nepotism by the charter review office, but that was corrected immediately. The passion from these speakers was undeniable.