School officials are calling on parents and other stakeholders in Prince George’s schools to weigh in on a plan to adjust boundaries for two schools and move some sixth graders from elementary to middle schools.
The proposal, which calls for some 400 students from Oxon Hill High School to be moved to under-attended Potomac High School or divided among Potomac, Crossland and Friendly high schools and the transfer of some students from Accokeek Academy, will be discussed at hearings set for Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, officials said. The hearings are slated for 7 p.m. at the PGCPS Sasscer Administration Building in Upper Marlboro.
The plan, proposed by Dr. Alvin L. Crawley, interim schools chief for Prince George’s County Public Schools, was designed to alleviate overcrowding at Potomac, which is operating at 30 percent over capacity, and Accokeek, which is over capacity, as well, officials said.
The hearings come at a time when the school board continues to search for a superintendent for the 123,000-student school district. Crawley was appointed interim upon the departure last year of Dr. William R. Hite Jr., who left after three years on the job, the fifth time in 10 years that a schools chief has left. Hite is now superintendent in Philadelphia.
Last summer, the Prince George’s County Board of Education named Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), the nation’s largest executive search firm for school districts, to find and screen candidates for the post. HYA also orchestrated searches for school administrators in Montgomery, Howard and Baltimore counties. The firm has completed more than 900 searches since its founding in 1987, according to the PGCPS website.
HYA sought public input recently on the qualifications they want in the new superintendent. Listed at the top was a commitment to Prince George’s County’s students, officials said. Other qualities included the ability to elevate the achievement of under-performing students and making it a priority to resolve equity issues among various student populations.
Almost 1,700 students, parents, community members, teachers and administrators completed a survey asking what they wanted in their next superintendent. That information was submitted to the school board at a recent meeting.
The board is expected to begin interviewing applicants in about a month. The new superintendent is expected to be named before the end of the school year. In November, the school district, whose annual budget tops $1.5 billion, issued a statement on the search on its website.
“Prince George’s County Public Schools is looking for a leader who will enhance our record of achievement, provide every student with a world-class education and strengthen our connection to the community,” the statement said. “We anticipate officially launching our superintendent search in fall 2012 with the intention of completing it in spring 2013. The superintendent search process will be thorough, transparent and in partnership with all of our stakeholders.”