May 3, 2020
Information is Power
Inside this Newsette:

  • Teacher Appreciation Week
  • PGCEA President Update
  • Letter Writing Campaign
  • SPED Meeting Recap
  • Upcoming Workshops
  • Tell Us Your Story
  • Distance Learning F.A.Q's
  • Scholarship Application Deadline May 3rd
Never have our nation's teachers been more appreciated and seen--even as they work with students from a distance. For Teacher Appreciation Week, we're asking our followers a question a day to help showcase all that teachers do for our students. Please use these graphics to share on your own social channels, and remember to use the hashtag #ThankATeacher!

See the message from NEA President

Coronavirus (COVID 19) Updates
*PGCEA Offices will be closed March 16-May 15th. Should you need help staff is available by phone 301-736-2700 and email at  

May 3, 2020


STAY HOME After six weeks of being home, and three weeks of Distance Learning under our belts, the good and the challenging issues are arising. It is great news I am hearing about lessons being taught and students interacting and completing work. The are still some issues that we must continue to address but the two most important things are first our negotiated agreement is still in place and two please refer to the Distance Learning Plan (DLP) to verify your responsibilities as it is a living and breathing document an is evolving almost daily.

As this is an emergency, we are regularly meeting with Administration to suggest improvements and to share successes. Our negotiated agreement is still in place. This is an emergency and there are gray areas that are evolving. If you have a question please check our Fact Sheet on our COVID-19 page first and ask your administrator for clarification. If you still are unsure, please feel free to email or call 301-736-2700 for clarification.

PRESIDENT DUDLEY FAC ZOOM VISITS I want to visit with your staff! If you would like to schedule a Zoom meeting with your FAC please contact your UNISERV or email .

KARAOKE ZOOM HAPPY HOUR FRIDAY MAY 8  We are all missing the comradery of Friday Happy Hours. After a successful Karaoke Happy Hour last Friday we are going to do another virtual Happy Hour! If you are interested in singing pick a song and get ready. You can have others on with you. We will stream the karaoke live on our private Facebook and our YouTube. It is best if you prepare ahead of time and pull up your song in advance so you can share on screen. 

Maryland State Department of Education INFO  Each week on MSEA’s Learn More at 4 , featuring MSEA President Cheryl Bost and General Counsel Kristy Anderson share MSDE updates. Wednesday will be full of updates on evaluations, renewals, and calendar updates. Learn More at 4 events on Facebook Live on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. , and past episodes our latest episode at this link . If you have topics you would like us to consider for one of our segments, please email Adam Mendelson .

In solidarity,

Theresa Mitchell Dudley
PGCEA President

Call to Action: Writing Letters to County Council
Due to your hard work this 2020 Maryland Legislative Session we successfully pushed for the passing of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. This legislation is designed to make a significant investment in our classrooms and assisted us in securing funding for our negotiated agreement. However, now that the state has done its part, the County must incorporate those additional resources into our local budget. The PGCPS Budget has gone from the Board of Education to the County Executive and now sits before the County Council for approval before June 1.

We must now demand that the Prince George’s County Council puts forth a budget that fully funds our schools. Join us in sending emails to each County Council Member. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Click the start writing button
  2. Personalize the letter we have drafted to reflect your experience
  3. Press send!
Special Education Call Recap
Special shout out to our special educators who have been working tirelessly to met the demands of the implementation of the DLP. PGCEA held an emergency townhall Thursday afternoon April 30 with Portia Deal PGCEA Special Education Chair, MSEA Presdient Cheryl Bost, and MSEA Legal Council Kristy Anderson. The lines were full before we began the Zoom but we recorded the call and the chat and it is available for you to listen and read the questions and responses in chat. Here are the big findings:

1)       The USDE has not relaxed the timely completing of IEPs. 
2)       The ICLPs were not mandated by the MSDE.
3)       Special Educator Case managers are responsible for determining whether there is enough data to complete an IEP.
4)       Special Educators face an unrealistic expectation to complete IEPs and continue to complete lessons for each student they serve.
5)       We need to address this with our federal elected officials as this is going to be very problematic.

We are holding a second special education call this Thursday at 4:30 PM.
Upcoming Online Workshops

Tell Us Your Story
We have a request from Clinton Smith, Ed.D who Chairs, the NEA Caucus for Educators of Exceptional Children. Please provide your authentic stories.

NEA is trying to collect stories about what is happening on the ground in our school districts as distance/remote learning and IDEA procedural safeguards and timelines remain in place during the COVID19 pandemic. What problems have you had with IDEA flexibility and timelines? Are you able to adequately provide services to your students? What are your barriers? What are your successes? What type of assistance and relief is needed? What resources do you need?
Please go to this link and share your stories! Your stories will be incredibly helpful as NEA lobbies for education policy and funding requests at the federal level.

PGCEA Distance Learning FAQs

The following answers to frequently asked questions from PGCEA members are based on the current Negotiated Agreement, the PGCPS Teacher/School Staff Distance Learning Guide and responses to PGCEA from the CEO and other school system leaders. Due to the existing Covid-19 health emergency and a continually evolving situation this document may be updated as needed.
Pay and Benefits
Will pay and benefits continue to be provided after April 24?
Yes, pay and benefits will continue uninterrupted through the closure. If the state superintendent decides to reopen schools, Unit I members will be back at work per agreement, if schools remain closed after April 24 distance learning will remain in place and Unit I members’ pay and benefits will continue as scheduled. 
Will emoluments be paid for this school year?
Yes, Unit I members who signed contracts for emoluments should document their time and submit information to their supervisors as always. If a member is coaching a spring sport or involved in another activity that occurs largely during the fourth quarter, they must document any work done prior to the closure of school. PGCEA is still in discussion with the administration regarding spring sports and other emoluments that largely occur after the start of the school shutdown.
If the school year is extended into the summer will Unit I members be paid for that time?
The PGCPS calendar was revised on 3/27/20. The end of the school year for students is June 9 th and for teachers June 11 th . 10-month Unit I members are contracted to work 192 days during a school year. The calendar was adjusted at the Emergency Board of Education meeting. At this time we are hoping that with Distance Learning in place we will not have an extention.
Will PGCPS stop student loan garnishments on employee pay as required under the federal CARES Act? When will this begin?
Yes, deductions for student loan garnishments will stop. Any Unit I member who is still having garnishments for college loans taken from their paychecks for time worked after March 13 should contact the PGCPS payroll department about stopping those payments and obtaining reimbursements for wage taken after the order was issued by the Federal Department of Education.

Are there any provisions for Unit I members who have school aged children or babies at home that make completing distance learning requirements unfeasible?
PGCEA negotiated with PGCPS for a 9 am – 1 PM schedule for that purpose. If you find it impossible to complete your work, Unit 1 members can take family medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The act includes expanded Family Medical Leave (FMLA) providing paid FMLA leave to employees who have been employed for at least 30 days and are unable to work or telework because they are needed to care for a child under the age of 18 due to school closures or child care unavailability resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The first 10 days of this FMLA leave may be unpaid ; but thereafter the leave must be paid at a rate of two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay, capped at $200 per day or $10,000 total per employee. This is not in addition to contractual leave or regular FMLA provisions. In other words, if an employee meets the qualifying conditions for expanded family medical leave related to the COVID-19 pandemic then it applies; in all other cases, the normal qualifications must be met in order to qualify for regular FMLA or other contractual leave benefits. Interested employees should contact HR for more information about this option.
Duty Day
What is the required duty day for Unit I members?
The work hours for 10 & 11- month Unit I employees are 9am – 1pm. This aligns with the PGCPS Teacher/School Staff Distance Learning Guide. This time is for teaching virtual lessons, providing student services, instructional planning, and office hours. Additionally, Unit I members should be monitoring and responding to emails 9 am -1 pm.
How often can principals have virtual staff and other required meetings outside of work hours?
The language from Article 8 of the negotiated agreement regarding meetings is still in effect. Principals can schedule two faculty meetings per month outside of the duty day, that shall last no longer than one hour beyond the student day (9:00am -1:00pm). Teachers are to be given at least 48 hours advance notice of meetings unless there is an emergency. We are in an emergency but please monitor.

Distance Learning
Can principals and other supervisors require Unit I members give them access to Google Classrooms and other distance learning platforms used for distance learning?
Yes, principals and supervisors can require access to Google Classroom and other platforms that are being used to teach students. Teachers are reminded the system can see anything done on a system provided computer or related platform. Parameters regarding principal/supervisor access will be discussed by the PGCPS/PGCEA Distance Learning Committee. They are not allowed to change your Google Classroom.

How will student and Unit I member privacy be maintained during live streamed lessons or when providing student services?
Students and Unit I members are not to be recorded without their express permission; for students that includes parent permission. Live streamed classes or other interactions with students should not be recorded. The PGCEA/PGCPS Distance Learning Committee will have further discussions on the issue of employee/student privacy and security. If you object to being videotaped, please provide your administrator with an alternative.

What platforms should/can teachers use to assist students? Can any alternative online instructional resources be used? (i.e. Khan Academy, etc.)
Unit I members should use platforms approved for use by the school system such as Google Classroom and Class Dojo. If a member is unsure if a platform or resource has been approved, they should check with their principal, supervisor or curriculum specialist. Professional Development on the various platforms is ongoing. Check you MYPPS.

What is expected of non-classroom-based employees? (i.e. ILTs, Resource teachers, Reading Specialists, Infant and Toddler Program staff etc.)
See the PGCPS Teacher/School Staff Distance Learning Guide. The PGCPS/PGCEA Distance Learning Committee will be discussing refinements and adjustments to address the many questions related to these job classifications.

Can principals require live recordings if teachers prefer recorded lessons or other methods posted for students to access?
No, Teachers who do not wish to utilize live streamed lessons should contact their principal with the format they plan to use to meet the requirements specified in the PGCPS Teacher/School Staff Distance Learning Guide.

What should teachers provide for instruction for pre-K students who don’t have Chromebooks?
Teachers should follow the information in the PGCPS Teacher School Staff Distance Learning Guide for Pre-K. Additional questions should be directed to program specialists and principals. More information is forthcoming.

Evaluation, Certification and Teacher Tenure
Will current requirements for maintaining a Maryland certificate for 2019-2020 school year be extended? Will this include those on Conditional Certificates?
We are awaiting a decision by the Maryland State Department of Education about extending certifications requirements for teachers including those on conditional certificates. PGCEA will share information with members as any adjustments are made. MSEA requested MSDE grant a one-year extension of certification requirements due to the shutdown of schools.
If possible, members should continue to complete courses to meet certification requirements.
Additionally, members can contact the PGCPS certification office regarding individual questions regarding their status at
What will happen to teachers that are on-cycle for evaluation this school year?
Currently evaluation activities have been suspended due to the shutdown and we are awaiting further guidance from MSDE and PGCPS. Formal observations will not be a part of distance learning. Please complete your 4E if you have not to have your evaluation complete. We are working on the ability to have the completed Evaluations for those tenured on cycle count.

What will be the status of teachers who are on schedule to be tenured at the start of the 2020-21 school year?
We are awaiting guidance from PGCPS and the Maryland State Department of Education regarding tenure status for next year.

All PGCEA Events are Canceled
Until Further Notice

*some committee chairs may have meetings via zoom conference call.
Scholarship Application Deadline Extended
Get involved! Join a committee.