Skip Navigation

News Release: Students and Families Provide Input on Distance Learning, Reopening for Spring Semester

October 27, 2020
For Immediate Release

Office of Communications

Today, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Chief Executive Officer Dr. Monica Goldson announced the summary results of a recent parent and student survey on distance learning and resuming in-person instruction in the spring.

Students and families were surveyed from Oct. 5 through Oct. 18 about their distance learning experiences, returning to in-person instruction, technology usage, and communication preferences amid the ongoing pandemic. Sixty-eight percent of parents expressed discomfort with allowing their child to return in the spring at this time. A previous survey issued in July indicated 46 percent of families expressed a preference to continue distance learning. 

“We cannot ignore the complexities around safely and responsibly reopening our school buildings for in-person instruction,” said Dr. Goldson. “COVID-19 has without a doubt disproportionately impacted our students, families, employees, and community. I am grateful for the input from our families and students. While I recognize that no scenario is perfect,  working together, we can focus on safely supporting our students in developing the college and career readiness skills they need to be successful.”

Dr. Goldson will host a Distance Learning Tele Town Hall tonight from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. as another step toward providing families with information to help make the best decisions for their children. 

Survey highlights:

  • Nearly 70 percent of parents surveyed believe the distance learning services are at least “good” with more than one-quarter rating them as “excellent.”
  • A total of 100,483 students (grades 3-12) and 89,043 parents were surveyed. The number of respondents included 10,972 parents (12 percent) and 4,672 students (6 percent).
  • Parents are generally satisfied with communication from PGCPS and expressed a lower level of satisfaction with communication about extra academic support.
  • Most families are using PGCPS-issued digital devices for distance learning and nearly all have an internet connection in their homes.
  • Parent concerns include keeping medically vulnerable children or family members safe; cleaning and sanitizing surfaces; poor air ventilation; and the ability of students to adhere to mask-wearing and other safety protocols.
  • Many parents expressed a desire to have a distance learning option when schools begin to reopen.

Prince George’s County continues to be the epicenter of the COVID-19 public health crisis in Maryland. The school system is working with state and local health experts and government partners, adhering to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Protocols include mandatory social distancing and hand washing, mask-wearing in all buildings, and thorough cleaning and sanitizing procedures.