Time to Address PGCPS Administrative Leave; Join Us!

Reviewing and revamping student safety policies and procedures

Eight months ago the county was rocked with the Headstart child abuse scandal which resulted in the school district losing over $6.5 million dollars in federal funds, resignations and terminations of high level school system executives, and the significant loss of trust between the community and the school system leadership. In response to this crisis the board of education and Dr. Maxwell created board policies and administrative procedures aimed at preventing and deterring child abuse. Unfortunately, these policies and administrative procedures have done more harm than good.


Impact on students

Over the 2016-2017 school year thus far, the school system has had 636 cases of staff sitting at home on administrative leave, largely because of baseless unsubstantiated claims. As a result, we have thousands of students without teachers for months at a time. We have some schools without an entire grade of teachers resulting in irrevocable harm for those students. We cannot expect students to achieve at high levels without a teacher. The research is clear; replacing highly qualified teachers with substitute teachers over a long period of time will have a significant and detrimental impact on student achievement. In one study, students who had a substitute for only four weeks had reading scores drop by double digits. (Associated Press 2004, quoted in Glatfelter 2006, p.10). In the case of transportation, the school system already has a significant shortage of drivers. By placing so many drivers on administrative leave, we have buses arriving late or not at all in many cases. Students are left at bus stops in cold and sometimes dangerous conditions for significant periods of time.


Impact on Staff

Employees of the school district operate in fear each and every day. One baseless accusation can put an employee’s livelihood and life’s mission at risk. In some cases, the administrative procedures were applied retroactively to discipline staff for breaking rules that did not exist at the time of their incident. With so many innocent employees on leave and others in fear of falling victim to false claims- many of our best employees are considering transferring to other districts. Employee morale is at an all-time low which has an impact on their ability to show up to work every day and put their best foot forward for our students.

Where do we go from here?

It’s clear that what we are doing is not working. It’s also clear that we as a board/executive team do not have all the answers/solutions to this very complex problem. As we go throughout the system we hear so many fantastic solutions from staff and community leaders. Based on these conversations and the data we are hoping to:

1. Host listening sessions with our labor partners, parents, students, and community stakeholders to share their experiences and solution ideas

2. Take the feedback gathered from our employees, parents, students and community stakeholders to create recommendations for improvements to the current policies and procedures, to be presented to the full board and implemented as soon as possible.


If you agree, please sign and share this petition.


Please email Edward Burroughs at edward2.burroughs@pgcps.org or epb3iii@gmail.com with questions or suggestions on board policies or administrative procedures. For your reference, the board policies that were created as a result of increased student safety measures are 0106, 0126, 0127 and 4400. The related administrative procedures are 0500, 4126, 4215, 4218, 5145, 4216, and 5180.


Sincerely,


Edward Burroughs, District 8

David Murray, District 1

Raaheela Ahmed, District 5

Juwan Blocker, Student Member


To: Reviewing and revamping student safety policies and procedures
From: [Your Name]

We must:

1. Host listening sessions with our labor partners, parents, students, and community stakeholders to share their experiences and solution ideas
2. Take the feedback gathered from our employees, parents, students and community stakeholders to create recommendations for improvements to the current policies and procedures, to be presented to the full board and implemented as soon as possible.