Parents share renewed push to keep Prince George's County elementary school open

BOWIE, Md. (7News) — Pointer Ridge Elementary School in Bowie, Maryland is scheduled to close in 2024, but parents say the school system’s decision may be based on an inaccurate analysis.

Now, they are pushing to keep the school open.

“We feel that the school is not taking our requests into consideration and taking it seriously,” said Darius Hyman, Pointer Ridge Elementary School PTA President.

Hyman wants the school’s plan for closure to be put on hold. He and other parents say the decision to shutter the school is based on inaccurate information.

“When the decision was made, the information as far as our utilization, the schools that we would go to, the enrollment, all of that has since changed,” said Vennia Cox, whose daughter attends Pointer Ridge.

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“We have statistics to show the growth in the community is so much more than what they have considered,” Hyman said.

According to Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) officials, the closure is part of the School Boundary Initiative that identifies older, under-utilized schools and may transition students to newer school facilities while balancing enrollment.

7News found the most recent enrollment numbers showing 318 students attended the school which has the capacity to hold nearly 600. That puts the facility at 53% utilization.

Even though new developments are bringing new families to the area, the school system told 7News in a statement that the decision to close the school is final and “Students will be reassigned from a building that is 52 years old to Perrywood Elementary School (built in 2001) and Northview Elementary School (built in 2007).”

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Cox lives on the same street at Pointer Ridge and is concerned about reduced home values and a longer commute to the new school when her daughter’s current school closes.

She said what is most distressing is the possible impact on her child and other students.

“The overcrowding that the closure will present to the other schools, the emotional impact it will have on our students currently,” Cox said.

The parents are asking for a meeting with PGCPS Superintendent Millard House, saying he promised transparency and open dialogue regarding the closure of Pointer Ridge but hasn’t delivered.