City votes to send letter regarding school boundaries
At their May 16 meeting, the Hyattsville City Council voted to send a letter to Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) CEO Monica Goldson, as well as to the PGCPS Board of Education, regarding a potential school boundary change that would affect some students living in Hyattsville.
Currently, Hyattsville students attend one of five elementary schools: Edward M. Felegy Elementary, Rosa L. Parks Elementary, Hyattsville Elementary, University Park Elementary, or Rogers Heights Elementary.
Councilmember Rommel Sandino (Ward 5) explained that the county has developed three possible scenarios for school boundaries, but each scenario would result in some students who live in the city not attending Hyattsville schools.
Sandino explained that the letter he drafted to send to the county asks that students living in the city attend Hyattsville schools and outlines four main points.
First, the letter asks that students living south of Hamilton Street continue to attend Hyattsville Elementary, rather than switching to Thomas Stone Elementary because of new zoning.
Second, it recommends letting a group of Hyattsville students who attend University Park Elementary remain there, rather than moving them to Cherokee Lane Elementary School. (These students would then go on from University Park Elementary to Hyattsville Middle School and then to Northwestern High School.)
Third, the letter expresses support for reincorporating students from a Hyattsville neighborhood located across Route 1 back to Hyattsville Elementary from Rogers Heights Elementary. According to Sandino, these students used to attend Hyattsville Elementary until their school boundaries were changed during a prior boundary initiative.
Fourth, the letter disagrees with a proposed scenario in which some Hyattsville students would be required to attend Bladensburg High School instead of Northwestern.
Councilmembers were largely supportive of the letter. Councilmember Sam Denes (Ward 1) was concerned, however, that the first three points, taken together, would lead to even more overcrowding at Hyattsville Elementary.
Although the letter was originally brought up for discussion only, the council decided to vote on it May 16, due to time constraints. The motion to send the letter passed with no one voting against it. Denes abstained.