COVID-19 Impact in PGCPS

This is a letter sent to students by CEO Dr. Monica Goldson.

Dear Prince George’s County Public Schools Community,

Like other Maryland school districts, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) has sought to manage COVID-19 positivity rates among students and staff through a range of health and safety protocols and emphasis on vaccinations. These strategies were largely working despite the toll that COVID-19 has continued to take on our local community. However, the recent surge of cases locally, nationally and statewide is beginning to impact our ability to deliver instruction at various schools, leading to entire grades in quarantine and some school buildings to close. Today, we announced the closure of Benjamin Tasker Middle School, EXCEL Public Charter School and Kettering Middle School. Students will remain in virtual learning until Monday, January 3.

I am alarmed by the rising numbers across our schools: A two-day total last week consisted of fewer than 100 cases. This week, we saw a high of 155 cases reported in a single day.

We urgently need your help outside the school day to help keep everyone protected. I urge you to take every precaution to stay safe from COVID-19. In addition to getting the recommended vaccinations for COVID-19, please take these preventive steps:

Wear a face covering at all times while indoors in businesses and public buildings.
Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds on both sides and between the fingers.
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Avoid people who are ill.
Disinfect high-contact surfaces, such as door knobs and tables.
Maintain an appropriate distance from others.
Remain home if you are feeling ill and keep students who are feeling ill home from school.
We continue to follow guidance from the Prince George’s County Health Department in evaluating when schools must close and when to quarantine large numbers of students and staff. I am proud of the work that staff members are doing to stop the spread of COVID-19 in schools. PGCPS continues to use Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for cleaning protocols and symptom monitoring. We will also continue weekly, random COVID-19 student testing and screening. Families are encouraged to register with the COVID-19 Testing and Screening vendor assigned to your school. Please con tact your school for more information.

Getting vaccinated is the best protection against this dangerous virus. Working in collaboration with the Health Department, we will continue to hold COVID-19 vaccination clinics in schools over Winter Break. The full list of clinics and operating hours is available on the PGCPS website.

While we know that nothing replaces the special dynamic of students interacting with educators and classmates inside of our buildings, I am committed to keeping everyone as safe as possible.

Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership as we continue adapting to the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.



Dr. Monica Goldson
Chief Executive Officer