Jan 12, 2024, News7, Baltimore, MD: Prince George's Co. elementary school saved from closure, to become regional autism center https://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/pointer-ridge-elementary-school-prince-georges-county-saved-from-closure-to-become-regional-autism-center-parents-students-community-superintendent-millard-house
BOWIE, Md. (7News) — Families fighting to save a Prince George’s County school experienced a win after the superintendent and board of education voted to keep the school open with some changes.
Faced with the closure of their beloved neighborhood school due to low enrollment, parents at Pointer Ridge Elementary School and members of the PTA decided to fight.
“It got my anxiety up and got my wife’s anxiety up, so we just for a lack of a better word, we were just moving in survival mode,” Parent Alan King told 7News.
“We went to the school board building with our signs, we were out there picketing with our daughter,” King said.
At the same time, King said he pulled his daughter out of the school, fearing the lack of options.
But all the while, King said he was sad about what he called magic that would be leaving the community.
“What that magic is, again, the approachability of the teachers, the care that they put into their lessons,” King said. “So, knowing that was going to go away was definitely panic, definitely we were sad.”
But after the constant pressure of news coverage, outreach to school board members, and some creative thinking by school leaders, there was a change of heart.
That was because Superintendent Millard House decided that the school community would now be home to a regional autism center to serve children who need special attention.
The change would increase enrollment while also allowing current students to stay….
“Because of that creative thinking, our school is going to be serving a bigger purpose than it previously did,” King said.