Members of the senior class at Northwestern High School in Prince George’s County were recently summoned to the auditorium to discuss what they needed to do before getting their diplomas in the spring.
They received information about what scores they needed to pass the Maryland High School Assessments exam, what they could expect to pay in senior dues and how to prepare for college. Then, before they left the auditorium, they were handed a letter demanding verification of their residency.
According to the letter, students whose families did not provide a current lease or mortgage statement and a utility bill, pay stub or other proof of legal residence within the Hyattsville school’s boundary would be forced to withdraw. They had two weeks to respond.>>>Read More Washington Post >>>Read More The Wild Cat Press
There is nothing wrong with requiring proof of residency, but telling seniors, halfway through the year, that they have two weeks and a parent must personally bring the documents to the registrars office is a little too much. It is clearly another case of incompetent PGCPS taking a perfectly reasonable premise or idea and blowing it way out of proportion. Usually in many jurisdictions around the country, at the beginning of every school year, students always bring home a bunch of papers for parents to fill out. That is the correct time to request proof of residency. Springing this on everyone at this time, well into the school year, would tell me that the administration of this school is not knowledgeable, or at least inefficient. The way most audits work is to examine a random sampling. If there is a significant number of students who are shown not to be correctly enrolled, then broaden the audit. Why, on a whim, should over 500 families be inconvenienced out of the blue? Most kids at Northwestern are majority Hispanic / African immigrants if there is a problem with accountability, expand the exercise to the whole district. Otherwise, it will be unfair to target only this one school because of high levels of immigrant population.