A new school for English language learners will likely be placed within Largo High School, even though community members say it might heighten tension between students.
Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell said that although the location has not been finalized, Largo High is currently the top school under consideration for the site of one of two high schools being designed as an option for students whose native language isn’t English.
“Right now, it’s our first choice, and we’d like to find a way to make it work at Largo,” Maxwell said, citing the school’s proximity to public transit and Prince George’s Community College, as well as its current 62 percent enrollment.
Opponents to the school being located at Largo spoke out during the Nov. 13 school board meeting, which included a presentation on the new schools.
School board member Zabrina Epps (Dist. 1) said the schools should be a starting point for conversations around equity in the school system.
“How do you think the students at Largo will feel knowing and seeing their colleagues getting all of this, and they get nothing?” Epps said.
According to data provided by the school system, the vast majority of the system’s 19,240 ELL students are native Spanish speakers, 86.8 percent, followed by French speakers, 2.1 percent, and speakers of Tagalog, 0.6 percent, a language spoken in the Philippines.
Valerie White, Largo High PTSA president, said she would like to see Largo High’s current students receive the same amount of resources and support as students at the ELL school.
“We’re asking for our students to get the same quality education, and not be left behind,” White said.
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