After weeks of fiery debate, the Prince George’s County Board of Education unanimously approved the county’s controversial school boundary Thursday.

The school board passed an amended version of the initial proposal that included recommendations made by Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Monica Goldson.

The plan aims to address the rising student populations countywide by balancing under-enrolled and over-enrolled schools.

PGCPS is expected to add more than 9,000 seats by 2027 through new schools and renovations to existing schools. The plan calls for closing three schools and transitioning their student populations into newly constructed and renovated schools.

Under the initial phasing-out process, Pointer Ridge Elementary School and Concord Elementary School were expected to close in 2023, and Rose Valley Elementary School was scheduled to close in 2024.

Following two intense public hearings in October that included more than 100 testimonies from parents and teachers from the affected schools, Goldson made numerous changes to the initial proposal.

[PGCPS holds fiery public hearings over boundary plan to close three schools]

The modified plan allows for rising fifth and eighth grade students affected by the boundary changes to remain at their current school for their final year, eliminates 29 boundary changes that would’ve affected fewer than 20 students at each school and delays the consolidation of Pointer Ridge Elementary School and Concord Elementary School until fall 2024.

Appointed school board member Judy Mickens-Murray praised Goldson’s effort to incorporate community feedback in the now-approved proposal.

“I want to say to the community that Dr. Goldson listened to you,” she said. “She heard you. It is important for the community to understand that when they come out and talk, you [Dr. Goldson] will hear them.”

With the community input, Goldson is hopeful that the proposal will strengthen school infrastructure and address long-standing issues across the county by removing aging buildings and aligning sixth grade with middle schools.

“The comprehensive plan just approved will address over-utilization across Prince George’s County Public Schools,” Goldson said.