• News Release: PGCPS Receives Three-Year, $25M Grant to Improve Teacher Recruitment, Placement, Support and Retention at High-Needs Schools

    October 16, 2017
    For Immediate Release
    Office of Communications


    ‘Great Teachers, Great Leaders, Great Schools’ project will support 40 schools

    UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) will receive a three-year, $25 million U.S. Department of Education grant to improve teacher hiring, placement, support and retention, focusing on 40 high-needs schools.

    U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen announced the “Great Teachers, Great Leaders, Great Schools” grant Monday during a news conference at Greenbelt Middle School. Funds for the Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program grant – one of the largest-ever awarded to Prince George’s County schools – will also be used to develop better evaluation tools and data management systems.

    “Great teachers and great leaders will create great schools,” said Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer. “This grant award speaks to a longstanding need in our system that we have lacked the funds to address. I am excited about the work ahead and grateful to our government partners for their support in securing this grant.”

    The school system hopes to achieve specific outcomes at 40 high-needs schools – those with high levels of teacher turnover, less experienced teachers and students from families with low-income. Project goals across the focus areas include the following:

    • diverse candidate pool of high-performing teachers for every student;

    • “best-fit” placements for schools and new teachers, whether novice or veteran educators

    • incentives for high-quality teachers to improve staff retention

    • more reliable employee performance system

    • data management system with easily accessible information for teachers, school leaders and human capital managers

    Strategies will include increasing the system’s “grow our own” teacher preparation programs, expanding partnerships with higher education and developing incentives for bilingual teachers, new teachers who sign early and choose to go to high-needs schools and teacher-leaders who choose to mentor colleagues or who participate in the National Board Certified Teacher cohort model in high-needs schools.

    The project framework ultimately supports the school system’s overarching goal – the Promise of PGCPS – to provide outstanding academic achievement for all students.

    “This work has the potential to transform how we identify and recruit talent, support and retain them,” said Dr. Maxwell. “Great teaching is foundational. If we have great teachers, then they will turn into great leaders.”

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    Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation's 25 largest school districts, has 208 schools and centers, more than 130,000 students and nearly 19,000 employees. The school system serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in the Washington, DC suburbs. PGCPS is nationally recognized for innovative programs and initiatives that provide students with unique learning opportunities, including arts integration, environmental and financial literacy, and language immersion.