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Administrative Procedure 5119.3 - Educational Programs- Services for Pregnant and Parenting Students

I. Purpose

To provide information and guidelines for educational programs/services for pregnant and parenting students enrolled in Prince George’s County Public Schools.

II. Policy

The Board of Education (Board) is committed to providing equity and access for all students in a supportive school environment. Pregnant and parenting students must be allowed to participate in all aspects of the educational program, including all academic, physical, and social components. Pregnant and parenting students must have access to a range of specific activities, supports and resources both in and outside of the classroom. (Board Policy 5119.3) 

III. Background

PGCPS is required to provide appropriate school programs/services for all students, including pregnant and parenting students whether married or unmarried. These programs/services shall include provisions for counseling, pupil personnel work, social work, and psychological services, as needed. 

IV. Definitions

  1. Compulsory school age – Each child who resides in Maryland and is five (5) years old or older, and under 18 shall attend a public school during the entire school year unless the child is otherwise receiving regular, through instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in public schools to children of the same age, or is exempted by law. If the child is homeschooled, the PGCPS Home School Office must be notified and provided the required documentation for the exemption.
  2. Home and Hospital Teaching – Home and Hospital Teaching services provide continuity of instruction to students who are unable to participate in their school of enrollment due to a medical, physical or emotional condition.
  3. Lactation – The production and secretion of breast milk by a student who is pregnant or has recently given birth.
  4. Parenting student – A student who is the mother, father, or legal guardian of a child. 

V. Procedures

  1. PGCPS will not discriminate against a pregnant and parenting student in academic or non-academic activities because of pregnancy, birth of a child, miscarriage, or termination of pregnancy.
  2. Pregnant or Parenting Student Over the Compulsory School Age
    1. A pregnant or parenting student over the compulsory school age who has not completed high school may elect to remain in the regular school program and may not be involuntarily excluded from any part of the program or withdrawn from school.
    2. Any decision to modify the program or provide the pregnant or parenting student an appropriate alternative educational program as described in section V.C. below, will be reached in joint consultation with the student, appropriate educational and medical personnel, and the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s), if the student elects to include the parent(s)/guardian(s).
  3. Appropriate Alternative Educational Programs and Services
    1. Appropriate alternative educational programs may include the following:
      1. Modified school day based on individual needs;
      2. Enrollment in the Evening Virtual Program (must meet Administrative Procedure 6150 – Educational Requirements and Options in Secondary Schools requirements);
      3. Home and Hospital Teaching (refer to Administrative Procedure 5011); or
      4. A combination of the above programs.
    2. PGCPS shall cooperate with other State, county, and local agencies and with private medical services so that the pregnant or parenting student receives appropriate medical, psychological, and social services during and after pregnancy.
  4. Attendance – Lawful Absences
    Parenting students must be lawfully excused for any pregnancy or parenting related conditions. (See Administrative Procedure 5113- Student Attendance, Absence and Truancy).
  5. Make-up Work
    Pregnant and parenting students in addition to Home and Hospital Teaching, may make up work in ways other than home and hospital teaching by retaking a semester, participating in an online course credit recovery program, and continuing at the same pace with six (6) extra weeks to complete the semester. School counselors will meet with pregnant and parenting students to discuss available options for making up work and what is appropriate for each student.
  6. Services and Support
    Pregnant and parenting students of any age shall be informed of available services, inclusive of but not limited to health, psychological, counseling, pupil personnel, and educational services.
    1. Lactation Space
      1. Each middle and high school must provide a private lactation space if the school has a lactating student attending the school. In consultation with the school nurse the space must include:
        1. ) At least one seating option with a flat surface;
        2. ) An electrical outlet nearby to accommodate placement of a breast pump device; and
        3. ) Access to a refrigerator located close to the private lactation space.
      2. The lactation space shall not be a bathroom or a closet.
    2. Designated Staff
      1. Schools must have at least one designated staff member (see V.B.1) to connect a parenting student with services and resources, which include but are not limited to:
        1. ) Childcare;
        2. ) Early education services;
        3. ) Transportation to and from school; and
        4. ) Referral to the PGCPS Teen Parenting Program.
      2. The designated staff member shall also consult with school social workers and pupil personnel workers to assist the parenting student with accessing community resources such as Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Federal Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHC), Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA), Women and infant programs, McKinney Vento program, job readiness and placement, post-secondary opportunities, and Healthy Teens.
  7. Consultation with Student
    An Educational Plan for Pregnant Students form (DDS -9) shall be completed by the principal/designee or counselor.
    1. Confidentiality and Disclosure
      1. A student under the age of 18 has the same capacity as an adult to consent to treatment for, or advice about pregnancy. This treatment or advice is confidential and may not be disclosed without the student’s consent.
      2. If a student is pregnant, any employee who suspects that the student was sexually abused by the parent, adoptive parent, or other person with permanent or temporary custody shall report the suspected abuse to Child Protective Services as soon as possible in accordance with Administrative Procedure 5145 – Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect.
      3. When a student seeks counseling regarding pregnancy or parenting concerns, the first goal is to encourage the student to involve the family and, if pregnant, seek medical care. Staff members working with the pregnant or parenting student will provide information regarding community resources available to the student.
  8. Responsibilities of the Principal
    1. The principal of each school will take the necessary steps to ensure that parents, guardians, students, and staff members are aware of the procedures contained herein.
    2. The principal of each school will inform parents at PTA meetings and staff at faculty meetings of the requirements contained within this administrative procedure.
    3. Such measures may utilize school-level student handbooks, PTA discussions, faculty meetings, etc.

VI. Monitoring and Compliance

Schools will maintain a copy of the Educational Plan for each pregnant student in the health and cumulative folders. The Office of Health Services tracks and maintains the number of known pregnant students each school year for state reporting.

  1. Local policy, training, and publication
    1. The principal will inform staff about Board Policy 5119.3 and this administrative procedure during opening of school meetings and then periodically throughout the school year.
    2. An additional yearly Staff Development Training will be held for the principal and/or the designated liaison. The designated liaison may be the nurse, Pupil Personnel Worker, Social Worker, Professional Counselor, or other designated school staff. Training topics will consist of:
      1. The data on school completion and future opportunities for pregnant and parenting students and their need for support;
      2. Information on Title IX protections for pregnant and parenting students;
      3. Strategies to increase staff awareness and the ability to identify and appropriately respond to the needs of pregnant and parenting students; and
      4. Strategies that serve to increase staff awareness in identifying and supporting pregnant and parenting students who may be vulnerable to bullying, harassment, or intimidation.
  2. Communication - Considerations
    1. The principal will identify designated staff who can reach out to pregnant and parenting students to offer support. Staff include administration, school nurses, school counselors, school social workers, equity officers, teachers, and pupil personnel workers.
    2. Student Services will publish summaries of Policy 5119.3 and this administrative procedure in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook and note the information during orientation sessions in classes and outreach.
    3. All data being collected regarding pregnant and parenting students must be safeguarded to protect student identity and safety (FERPA and HIPAA).
  3. Violations of Bullying or Harassment

Follow bullying procedures outlined in the Administrative Procedure 5143 on Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation.

VII. Related Procedures

Administrative Procedure 5011, Home and Hospital Teaching
Administrative Procedure 5113, Student Attendance, Absence, and Truancy
Administrative Procedure 5113.5, Home Schooling
Administrative Procedure 5121.2, Grading and Reporting for Middle Schools, Grade Six Through Grade Eight
Administrative Procedure 5121.3, Grading and Reporting for High Schools Grade 9 through Grade 12
Administrative Procedure 5143 – Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation
Administrative Procedure 6150, Student Enrollment in Courses and Educational Requirements and Options in Secondary Schools
Administrative Procedure 10101 – Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook

VIII. Legal Reference

20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688
34 C.F.R. §§ 106.21(c), 106.31, 106.40
Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article § 4-139, § 7-301.1 Annotated Code of Maryland, Health General Article § 20-102
COMAR 13A.04.18.01 and 13A.05.05.01-04

IX. Maintenance and Update of These Procedures

This administrative procedure originates with the Department of Student Services, Office of Professional School Counseling in collaboration with the Department of Career Education and Technical Education. A review of this administrative procedure is recommended every three (3) years or as deemed necessary.

X. Cancellations and Supersedures

This administrative procedure cancels and supersedes Administrative Procedure 5119.3, dated September 2, 2008.

XI. Effective Date

January 4, 2023

Attachment: Educational Programs for Pregnant and Parenting Students (DDS-9)

About This Procedure

Last Revised: January 4, 2023