Dear Community,

Both Hyattsville Middle and Hyattsville Elementary have been identified in the latest amendment to the PGCPS Educational Facilities Master Plan for replacement in cycle 1. Hyattsville Middle will be part of a package of schools to be built using the new alternative construction financing model, with a request for proposals advertised this summer. Unfortunately, Hyattsville Elementary will be replaced later in cycle 1, with planning slated for 2023.

Nevertheless, this is a HUGE win for our school communities. Now we just need the Board of Education to approve the plan. The vote will take place at the June 6th board meeting, and we need them to hear from you on the importance of #followingtheplan!

Please customize and send the letter below to the ENTIRE board and Dr. Monica Goldson, interim CEO.

Dr. Alvin Thornton, Chair,
Edward Burroughs, Vice Chair,
David Murray, District 1,
Joshua Thomas, District 2,
Pamela Boozer-Strother, District 3,
Patricia Eubanks, District 4,
Raaheela Ahmed, District 5,
Belinda Queen, District 6,
K. Alexander Wallace, District 7,
Sonya Williams, District 9,
Paul Monteiro, appointed,
Sandra Shephard, appointed,
Curtis Valentine, appointed,
Amanya Paige, student member,

Dr. Monica Goldson, interim CEO,

Thank you for your support!

Hyattsville Elementary School PTA and Hyattsville Middle School PTSO

Subject line: Keep Hyattsville Middle and Elementary in the FY20 EFMP Amendment!

Dear Board of Education Member,

I am a [insert personal information here: concerned community member, parent of a student at, etc.]. I am writing to request that Hyattsville Elementary School and Hyattsville Middle School remain in Phase 1 of the FY20 amendments to the 2017 Educational Facilities Master Plan, and that Phase 1 remain as proposed—although we do ask that planning for Hyattsville Elementary School begin sooner than 2023. These neighborhood public schools serve a diverse community and are both Title 1 with large populations of English-language learners.

The Educational Facilities Master Plan is the result of a comprehensive, objective look at the school system’s facilities and projected growth data. Those studies have objectively determined that the greatest need for modernization and new construction is in the northern part of the county.

Consider Hyattsville Elementary, built in 1935 and updated in 1979 for 406 students on two acres of land. There are now 521 students, which has required the placement of five temporaries on the already too-small playground (if you count a blacktop open area and one play structure as a ‘playground’).
Consider Hyattsville Middle, built in 1938 and expanded in 1973, with a state-rated capacity of 829 but currently housing 940 students—and that is with a partial realignment of the 6th grades from the feeder elementary schools. This incomplete realignment has led to educational inequities for students in the community as the Creative and Performing Arts program at Hyattsville Middle is only available to 7th and 8th graders and capped at 200 students.

In both buildings, the overcrowding has stressed already failing spaces. The bathrooms and public spaces are not adequate for the number of students. The necessary use of ‘temporaries’ (not so temporary as they have been in place for many years now) requires students to go in and out of the main building in all types of weather and poses a safety issue during lockdowns.

The outdoor spaces and recreational fields are limited. Deferred maintenance and system failures render classrooms unsafe with mold, mildew, burst pipes during cold weather, and serious HVAC issues that include classrooms that are stifling hot all year long or simply have no working air or heat. Nevertheless, with no extra space available, students and staff are forced to remain in those classrooms. Not only do these persistent issues detract from learning, but they also pose health threats.

Thanks to the innovative new approaches to tackling this backlog developed by the PGCPS capital programs office and our elected officials, we FINALLY have the opportunity to get the educational facilities our children deserve.

The Educational Facilities Master Plan and its FY 20 amendment are not based on politics. They are based on the data. Your decision to approve the FY 20 amendment should also be based on that data.

The Hyattsville Middle and Elementary School communities have been anxiously waiting for years to have safe, functional facilities. We look forward to finally getting them. Thank you for your service and your commitment to our children and staff.