UPPER MARLBORO, MD — The Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) District’s school naming committee is tasked with naming a brand-new elementary school in south Prince George’s county, and has narrowed the field to 4 possibilities — including a politician and army general as well as names based on local geography. The PGCPS system is therefore inviting the public to help name the new southern elementary school.
The first of public surveys had been scheduled online this week until today Friday, March 4th but Voting has been extended to Monday, March 7th, 2022, 12 noon.
The proposed (PGCPS) Preparatory K-8 public school which has faced major push back from southern community remains on course. “The new school is essentially a leech on the resources of the community, it exist totally out of any public control,” Samuel Dodges said.
Several civic associations led by Tantallon Square Area Civic Association (TSACA) continues to oppose an environmental degradation involving a forest being cleared for new school construction at Swan Creek Road and Fort Washington Road. In this area, flooding is a major concern for many residents. Standing flood waters can also spread infectious diseases, contain chemical hazards, and cause injuries. Each year, flooding causes more problems than any other hazard related to thunderstorms. The most common flood issue occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood waters which causes death in many cases.
For the first survey despite pushback, PGCPS has invited the public to submit the preferred names for the new school, which is currently under construction at the intersection of Swan Creek Road and Fort Washington Road. PGCPS is seeking the public’s input on the finalists, now through March 7 at noon. — vote for your favorite here. Vote totals will be presented to the Current CEO Dr. Monica Goldson. Nominations are open to all citizens, including PGCPS staff, students, parents, and community members, and nominators may not submit more than one name. According to PGCPS website, a committee comprised of community liaisons, students, parents, and district representatives has developed a short-list of naming options for community members to select from. Final voting data will be utilized to inform the committee’s recommendation to PGCPS CEO, Dr. Monica Goldson who will then make an official recommendation to the Prince George’s County Board of Education.
Some citizens in the southern region close to the proposed new school which was launched in the midst of covid-19 lockdown and protests displayed dismay on the omission of the proposed names of the original owner of the land who gave it to PGCPS as gift for $10.
Full criteria are contained in PGCPS Policy and Rules regarding the naming of a new school. Want to know more about who’s who before you vote? Here’s a brief description of the 4 choices.
PGCPS naming options:
Colin Powell K-8 Academy
Colin L. Powell (Apr 1937 – Oct 18, 2021) was a United States general and statesman and the first African American to hold the positions of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State. Powell was born in Harlem, New York in 1937 to Jamaican immigrant parents who stressed the importance of education and personal achievement. Powell received his bachelor’s degree in geology from the City College of New York. Powell authored two books, “My American Journey” and “It Worked for Me, Lessons in Life and Leadership” and was the recipient of numerous awards including a Purple Heart, Soldier’s Medal, and Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Fort Washington K-8 Academy
Fort Washington was constructed to defend the Potomac River approach to Washington, DC during the American Civil War and has stood as silent sentry for over 200 years. Fort Washington was the only defense for the Nation’s Capital until the Civil War when a circle of temporary forts was built around the city. Fort Washington still stands as a historic landmark in the community with its namesake.
Tantallon K-8 Academy
Tantallon is a community within Fort Washington, Maryland in which the new K-8 academy will exist. The name Tantallon was taken from Scotland’s fabled “Castle Tantallon” a once mighty fortress that towered over the forbidding waters of the Firth of Forth.
Swan Creek K-8 Academy
Swan Creek, is a stem of the Potomac River that traverses Fort Washington, Maryland and runs along the Tantallon Community nearby Swan Harbor and Swan Creek roads as well as Tantallon and Arrow Park drives. The new K-8 academy will be located at the intersection of E. Swan Creek and Fort Washington roads.
The new, 234,000-square-foot kindergarten through eighth grade school on wetland is scheduled to open to students for the 2023 -2024 school year.
The new K-8 school will replace the current elementary and middle school in Fort Washington. A spokesperson with the school system said the Board of Education has not determined what will happen to those school buildings once students are relocated. But there are concerns the current CEO and others connected to her and the county leadership are in link with developers to advance corruption in the county as seen elsewhere in recent past according to a resident who did not want to be identified. Call your elected officials now and the law enforcement community.