The following were among actions taken at the Aug. 23 meeting of the Prince George's County Board of Education. For more information, call 952-4350.
BLACK MALE ACHIEVEMENT -- A committee formed to seek ways to bolster black male achievement told the School Board that the school system should recruit more black role models and find alternatives to suspending black males. Those were two of the recommendations among a package of proposals presented by the 14-member committee, which was set up in December by School Superintendent John Murphy.
The committee found that while black males make up 33 percent of the schools' 106,000 students, they represent almost 60 percent of the dropouts. Black male students as a group were found to have a 1.89 grade point average, compared with a grade point average of 2.35 for white males. In addition, the committee found that black males tend to be disproportionately assigned to classes for students with learning disabilities and underrepresented in advanced classes.
School officials have estimated that implementing all of the committee's recommendations would cost the school system up to $125 million.
LUNCH PRICES -- The board voted to increase school meal prices, effective this fall. The price of breakfast for all students will be a nickel higher, or 90 cents. Lunch for elementary school students will now cost 10 cents more, or $1.35, and the lunch price for middle and high school students also was raised 10 cents, to $1.40. The cost of milk will remain 35 cents.
School officials said the meal price increases are necessary because of a 4 percent increase in food contract prices, a reduction in federal surplus food donations and projected salary increases and fringe benefits for food service personnel.
Among area school systems, meal prices are higher only in Alexandria and Fall Church, which charge students up to $1.75. Most other counties are able to keep school lunch prices lower by subsidizing the food program, according to C. Anthony DiMuzio, food service director for Prince George's schools.
HEAD START EXPANSION -- The board adopted a plan to expand the Head Start program, beginning this fall, to serve at least 140 of the estimated 3,500 eligible children now on a waiting list. The county's Head Start program, which is designed to better prepare four-year-olds for kindergarten, currently serves 395 children.
Seven classrooms will be added, at school sites to be determined, to accommodate the additional preschoolers, with an early-childhood teacher and an assistant assigned to each classroom. The program expansion is being funded by a $356,034 federal grant.
ENERGY SAVINGS -- The School Board received a check for $1.5 million from members of the Team Energy Rebate Program, a committee set up by Superintendent Murphy to seek ways of reducing school utility costs. The check represents savings by the county school system since the energy-conservation plan was launched at the beginning of the 1989-90 school year.
According to Frank Tracy, committee chairman, custodians and other school employees were encouraged to cut down on electricity, gas and oil consumption. The energy savings at each school will be determined and the money will be rebated to the individual schools, with the top energy-saving schools receiving as much as $9,000 each.
TEACHER MEMORIAL -- Board members agreed to name the multi-purpose room at John Eager Howard Elementary School in honor of Marian Crenshaw, a former teacher who taught music at the school for more than two decades before retiring to North Carolina, where she died recently.