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Blueprint for PGCPS: Prekindergarten Expansion

Background

Expanding access to full-day prekindergarten at nine schools, offering more families the opportunity to give their young learners a strong foundation. This continues our push for universal pre-k countywide within the next few years. To help with this effort, we are launching an expanded universal pre-k pilot program in 17 schools.

Update for School Year 2020-2021

As of March 2020, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) provided 4,196 full-day four-year old slots. Eighty-seven percent (3,645 slots) were funded through the Supplemental Pre-K grant. Since the onset of the pandemic, a subsequent decrease in enrollment levels occurred and are attributed to the challenges imposed by the pandemic in the last quarter of the 2019-2020 school year.

However, in the 2020-2021 school year, PGCPS has been able to provide 2,841 full-day prekindergarten slots to four-year olds. Although the total number of slots provided in this current school year decreased due to a decline in enrollment, 99% (2,813 slots) are funded by the Supplemental Pre-K grant. And, the Supplemental Pre-K grant funds empowered PGCPS to convert 240 half-day slots to full-day slots. Additionally, in partnership with a community provider other than Head Start, PGCPS has the ability to offer 36 additional slots during fiscal 2021. December Survey 2020

Pre-Kindergarten Expansion Update as of April 1, 2021

The Early Childhood office submitted an application to the Maryland State Department of Education for the PreK Enhancement Grant. The proposed amount of funding is $2,678,600.00 and will support a summer school program and fall 2021 tutoring program. This initiative is set to take place March 1, 2021 - December 30, 2021. 

Additionally, PreK teachers, students, and families continue to be supported in virtual instruction by our Early Childhood staff. For the 2020-21 school year, PGCPS is servicing approximately 2,841 students within 17 Half-Day Schools, 90 Full-Day Schools and 2 Community Partners. To support kindergarten readiness, each student continues to have access to Hatch Ignite or Waterford UpStart instructional software.

Further, student supply kits and books were distributed this winter to enhance the virtual learning experience by providing students with hands-on materials to support student engagement and the learning of kindergarten readiness standards.  Every student mentioned above received a winter kit to replace their fall kit that included: 

  • Crayons, pencils, and chalk
  • Glue, dot art painters, and watercolors
  • construction paper and tissue paper
  • pom poms, modeling dough, and craft sticks
  • a ruler, a journal, and prehistoric animal counters
  • a shatter-proof mirror and a planting kit for science experiments 

Also, students received copies of "Growing Vegetable Soup, "Yo! Yes?", "Wonderful Worms," "The Way I Feel," and "My Friend is Sad" for their home libraries.

Prekindergarten Expansion Update as of July 1, 2021

PGCPS was awarded the FY21 PreK Enhancement Grant for the Rising Stars summer program in the amount of $2,678,600. This program will provide learning recovery through targeted instructional strategies, resources, and support for students who are at risk of school success, rising Kindergarten students who are at or below the 300% Federal Poverty Guidelines, or students who have an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) and were not enrolled in PGCPS during the 2020-2021 school year. Currently, 900 students will benefit. However, The Early Childhood Office will offer a summer readiness program through SeeSaw for students not enrolled in the summer program and/or students who will enter PGCPS for Kindergarten in fall 2021. 

Additionally, PGCPS received a PreK expansion award for $1.4 million dollars. This funding will support identified schools (listed below) with providing high quality prekindergarten experiences that prepare children to demonstrate school readiness when entering Kindergarten. As a result, PGCPS will:

  • hire “highly qualified” staff for each prekindergarten classroom;
  • conduct targeted classroom observations and provide instructions support/training for teaching staff;
  • provide training and resources for families to support academic and social development at home; and
  • collaborate with Greenbelt Children’s Center to provide high-quality free prekindergarten programming within the community.

The following schools met the Level 4/Level 5 within *Maryland EXCELS and their Accreditation status with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE):

 

Allenwood Elementary

Apple Grove Elementary

Barnaby Manor Elementary

Beacon Heights Elementary

Capitol Heights Elementary

Chapel Forge Early Childhood Center

Concord Elementary

District Heights Elementary

Doswell E. Brooks Elementary

Flintstone Elementary

Fort Washington Forest Elementary

Greenbelt Children’s Center

Highland Park Elementary

H. Winship Wheatley Early Childhood Center

Indian Queen Elementary

James Harrison Elementary

J. Frank Dent Elementary

Kenmoor Early Childhood Center

Lake Arbor Elementary

North Forestville Elementary

Overlook Spanish Immersion

Potomac Landing Elementary

Robert Gray Elementary

Rose Valley Elementary

*Maryland EXCELS is a quality rating and improvement system that awards ratings from 1 to 5 to child care and early education programs based on nationally recognized standards and best practices.

Other initiatives include new sites for Judy Centers

  • Hillcrest Heights Elementary School will be a new site for the 2021-2022 school year.
    • There will be a minimum of 2 dedicated classrooms.
    • 2 full time equivalents (FTE) to manage the center.