New faces, programs & rules for Prince George's Co. schools

(WUSA9) -- It's back to school time for students in Prince George's County and the new school year brings new faces, new programs and new rules.

Bus driver Nancy Lobaugh has her morning routine down, checking the mirrors, lights, tires and more. She's been doing it for 26 years. But this year, she now has a few extra steps: Checking the new cameras on her bus.

The cameras will catch cars coming and going if they don't stop for the bus. It will also help with bullying with two lenses in the back of the bus. "That's one of the hardest jobs on our bus, sometimes it's so subtle. This way we can tell what's going on," says Lobaugh. "Being safe is the main thing. Our goal is to get each kid safely to school."

Another change students will notice as they arrive at school on Tuesday: a lot of new faces. There are 800 new teachers and 30 new principals in the Prince George's County school district.

"We had a voluntary boot camp for teachers who could come get some extra readiness skills," says Dr. Kevin Maxwell, the CEO of Prince George's County Schools. There are three new Spanish immersion programs this year and 16 more pre-kindergarten classes, plus an expanded breakfast program. A brand new specialized school opened it's doors, too. "We have a brand new elementary school in Hyattsville themed around the arts education, and we have a new aeronautics program at Duvall High School," says Dr. Maxwell.


All of this is music to the ears of parents like Rhonda Pugh. "This is Macy, Stacy and Tracy, they are triplets, going to first grade," says Pugh with her daughters. She dropped them off for their first day Mattaponi Elementary school. Tracy says she's excited about school. "I get to see my new friends and I get to see my new teacher," says Tracy.

"I'm ready, I'm ready," says Pugh. "Mom needs a break, mom gets a break, but I'm ready for them," she says.

Montgomery County Schools and DC Public Schools started back on Monday.


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