August 29, 2021
Information is Power
Inside this Newsette:

  • President Welcome
  • Labor Day Parade
  • School Re-Opening Updates
  • Blueprint for Maryland's Future Implementation
  • New Staff Assignments
  • PEIP Report
  • Upcoming Events
  • Summer Social Justice Canvas Report
  • Join a Committee

Welcome Back School

August 29, 2021

Dear Educators,
Welcome back to another unusual school year! I am excited to take over as your President and take the helm of our union as we navigate the challenges and opportunities we are presented. Since taking office on August 1, I have been hard at work to build relationships with our management partners and elected officials. Strong lines of communication are essential in these ever-changing times.

As you get settled into your classrooms and offices, I hope that you are taking time to meet and greet our newest members. We have had a great time meeting all of the new hires and introducing them to our union during the new employee induction program last week. I am certain they will have numerous questions and I know that you will support them in every way possible.

As for this year’s in-person re-opening, with the pandemic raging on, the situation is very fluid with information changing frequently. It is more vital than ever that we stay connected and maintain open communications. If you know of colleagues that are not receiving this Newsette, please have them contact PGCEA to verify their personal email address, by emailing Also, please monitor our private PGCEA Facebook group for updates. If you are not already a member of that group, please join.

As we all recently learned about the expansion of the elementary virtual program we are working closely with the school system to get all of your questions answered.
We continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic without a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PGCPS. Dr. Goldson asserts that our negotiated agreement is adequate and it will continue to be followed. Therefore, it is imperative that you all keep your contract handy and refer to it often. It can be found on our website or it can be downloaded at Please report any potential contract violations to your Uni-Serv Director or

This week, we will be having our first Representative Council meeting of the year on Monday. During this meeting, we will hold the election to fill the vacant Treasurer position. We will also be joined by MSEA Legal Counsel, Kristi Anderson, to answer some of your school reopening questions from a legal perspective. Building elections for your 2022 Faculty Advisory Councils and Building Representatives should occur this week, and no later than September 15. If you have questions about holding your building’s election, please contact
Finally, I hope you will come out and march in the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade alongside ACE-AFSCME 2250 and the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS). This will be the first test of our strength and of our ability to coordinate with our labor alliance partners. Let’s send a strong message that PGCEA is united and ready to stand together as we enter negotiations of our full contract!

I am honored to have been elected and serve as your president. I wish you all the best for a rewarding year. If you have questions, please give me a call at (301) 736-2700, email, or check out our website I hope to see you at the parade.

In Solidarity,

Donna L. Christy, Ph.D., ABSNP
President, PGCEA

Labor Day Parade
Join us at the Annual Greenbelt Labor Day Parade. We will join our partners AFSCME 2250 and the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools to celebrate the labor movement.

In-Person School Re-Opening Updates and FAQ's

As Unit I members prepare to start the 2021-22 school year PGCEA has been meeting with PGCPS administration to discuss issues impacting our members. In these meetings we seek clarity regarding system decisions and advocate for our members. Recent meeting items included the following items:
  • Virtual Learning Programs
  • The secondary Online Campus has about 600 7-12th grade students signed up. The program is fully staffed and will remain unchanged from the plans shared at the end of the year and through the summer.
  • Secondary students attending the Online Campus are still connected to their home schools for sports and other extracurricular opportunities.
  • The elementary Virtua Learning Program
  • Initially 800-900 students were signed up, with the surge in COVID cases related to the Delta variant and the fact children under 12 can’t be vaccinated, over 8,000 families have requested this option for their elementary-aged children.
  • Due to this greatly increased demand major changes were made to the elementary online option as the original plan was determined to be no longer feasible. Hybrid instruction is not being considered, students and teachers at the elementary level will be either all in-person or all virtual.
  • Instead of one centrally organized online program, each individual schools will assign staff members to teach in the virtual format. The number of teachers assigned to virtual instruction will depend on the number of students at their school enrolled in this option. For smaller schools, or those with fewer students enrolled in the on-line option, geographically close schools will cluster students to provide online instruction.
  • Principals will determine which members of their staff will teach virtually. Online teachers will teach from their classrooms and will return to in-person instruction when the online option is ended. Online teachers at “clustered” schools will remain a part of and teach from their school.
  • PGCEA is working to ensure that teachers who applied for, and were accepted to teach at the Elementary Online Campus, be provided the opportunity to teach an online class at their school or cluster. We hope to get confirmation of this next week.
  • If either in-person or virtual classes if teachers have to cover students assigned to other classes, those Unit I members will be paid the sub rate required in the contract. PGCEA and PGCPS are still talking about additional pay and support if teachers are responsible for the grading and data recording for these students due to shortages in staffing and/or substitute availability.
  • Extra Technology Position
  • Every school will have an opportunity to add an Engagement and Technology Lead (ETL) this coming school year.
  • This is a new position that includes a stipend.
  • See attached document for position description and additional information.
  • The Elementary Technology Coordinator emolument will continue during 2021-22.
  • Required COVID Testing
  • PGCPS is not requiring employees to get vaccinated for COVID.
  • The COVID testing requirement for unvaccinated staff will begin on Monday, September 13, and then each Monday moving forward.
  • COVID testing will be available in each building at the start of the school year. Students and staff can get a COVID test anytime they are symptomatic. If a student’s parent refuses to allow the test they will be sent home until they get their own test.
  • Staff can also opt for a test away from school, but they will have to use their own leave if this causes them to miss work. Testing results would need to be provided Monday morning starting September 13.
  • See the attached FAQ document
  • PGCEA is pushing the system to provide COVID leave for Unit I members forced to quarantine because of exposure to COVID while at work. This matter has not been resolved at this time.
  • Fully vaccinated staff without symptoms will not have to quarantine due to exposure unless they develop symptoms.

For pre-K and K, positive tests in a class could result in the whole class being moved to virtual instruction as the students are moving within the classroom all the time and it is impossible to do reliable contact tracing
Updates: The Blueprint For Maryland's Future

The Blueprint Implementation Workgroup will be convening next month with a briefing on the Blueprint with member information sessions to follow on the various components. Those that have signed up for the Implementation Workgroup should look for an email next month for the Blueprint briefing.  
New Uni-Serve Director School Assignment

Our uni-serve directors (UD's) are here to assist you with any of your school-based issues or contract compliance needs. To find out what UD is assigned to your school click button to see their school assignments.
Professional Employee Induction Program (PEIP) Report

This year our efforts to sign-up new members during the PGCPS Professional Employee Induction Program was a success. For 3 days (Thursday 8/19, Friday 8/20, and Monday 8/23), PGCEA staff and a committed, energetic group of member volunteers greeted new hires as they came to DuVal HS and Gwynn Park HS to pick up their laptops. In addition to having some great conversations, we signed up 304 new PGCEA members (an impressive 86% of everyone who showed up) and dozens of new Political Action contributors. We were able to sign-up an additional 52 members during our virtual presentation on Thursday 8/26 for a total of 356 new PGCEA members! We are stronger because of the dedication and leadership of our member volunteers and the new PGCEA members who are excited to get involved with the Association. Great work to all who were involved in our efforts this year and welcome to all of our new members.

Join us at the Annual Greenbelt Labor Day Parade.

Free classroom supplies for new educators to PGCPS. Stop by the PGCEA Center (8008 Marlboro Pike, Forestville, MD 20747) to pick up supplies for your classrooms. They will be available Monday through Friday 9 am - 5 pm

The PGCEA Social Justice Deep Canvassing Program began this summer to engage in authentic conversations with community members. The team of PGCEA Members went from neighborhood to neighborhood meeting community members to talk about the challenges our schools are facing and to identify community-driven responses and solutions. PGCEA Deep Canvassers knocked a total of 2,778 doors this summer. That’s 80% of their goal to reach 3,500 community members in Prince George's County. The team did amazing work speaking to 1,334 community members about their concerns and ideas. We’ll use this time to review the program data and feedback from the Deep Canvassers from the door knocks to find ways to develop community power.
Get involved! Join a committee.