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In a letter to parents, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) CEO Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell today described improvements underway to practices and policies around record-keeping, credit recovery programs and grade changes. Since last month’s release of a state audit of grading and graduation rates, Dr. Maxwell and school system administrators have met with all high school principals, provided information to staff and parents, and received critical feedback for improvements.
“We are taking the audit findings very seriously,” Dr. Maxwell said. “Academic integrity must be at the foundation of our work. I am committed to ensuring that students and their families can have confidence that their diplomas represent the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in life after high school.”
Over the last several weeks, PGCPS administrators, principals, professional school counselors, registrars and grade managers have reviewed the recommendations and data across schools and departments. The system is working towards greater accountability, oversight and transparency in the following areas:
- Grades and Transcripts – Prior to the start of the current school year, PGCPS implemented stricter controls regarding access to student records. The number of grade and transcript managers for each school has been reduced to two. The system began running quarterly grade change reports to identify irregularities and where there may be an excessive number of changes.
- Credit Recovery Programs – Quarterly Learning Modules (QLMs) were eliminated as an option for credit recovery and future Multiple Pathways to Success program offerings are under review.
- Staff Training and Support – Grade and transcript managers attended mandatory training. Professional School Counselors received additional time to update all student records for graduation certification.
- Technology Upgrades – PGCPS is in the final stages of creating an online grade change process to improve accuracy and upgrading technology (i.e., SchoolMAX) to improve graduation certification.
- Communications – The audit identified the need to increase communication. Details on the audit findings are available on various platforms, including e-messages, information sheets, parent newsletter articles, social media and the PGCPS website (www.pgcps.org/graduation-audit).
An update on this work and next steps will be provided to the Board of Education on December 19. The school system also is preparing an action plan for improvement, which will be delivered to the Maryland State Board of Education by the end of December in response to the audit findings. The school system will continue to update parents on overall progress.