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SPARK
PWCS E-News
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America's Promise Alliance - 100 Best Communities Award
PWCS Tip Line
 
Divisionwide Announcements
Food Show Moved to New Date - March 15
​The PWCS Annual Food Show will be held at Patriot High School on Tuesday, March 15, with two tastings, one from 6–7 p.m. and a second from 7–8 p.m.

Originally scheduled for March 1 and listed in the "2015-16 Elementary and Middle School Guide and Calendar," this event was rescheduled following the decision to close schools on that date so as not to conflict with the Presidential Primary. See additional details about the Food Show
IMPORTANT-Revised HS Course Selection Info
IMPORTANTE - Información sobre la selección de cursos de la escuela secundaria  
Weather-related schedule changes have pushed back the window for online course requests. It is now midnight, February 5, through midnight, February 10, 2016.  Read more
News Stories
Revised Schedule of Budget-Related Meetings Posted
The School Board has rescheduled two planned Budget Work Sessions to provide more time for important budget considerations. 

February 5, 2016

Keep up with all budget-related information through the Budget Update page on the PWCS Financial Services website. This page includes a link to the presentation on the proposed FY 2017 budget, a schedule of all budget meetings, budget facts, videos, and proposed changes to the Capital Improvements Program.

The rescheduled work sessions will be on Thursday, February 18 at 6 p.m. and Thursday, March 3 at 6 p.m. Both meetings will be in the School Board Meeting Room, Kelly Leadership Center. They were previously scheduled following School Board meetings on February 7 and March 2.
Proposed 2017 Budget and Capital Improvements Program Offered
Citing its benefits to the future of Prince William County and more than 88,000 students, PWCS Superintendent Steve Walts unveiled a proposed $1.08 billion spending plan, up 3.9% from current levels, to fund Virginia’s rapidly growing second-largest school division for the 2016-17 school year.

February 3, 2016

“I am confident that this proposed budget provides our new School Board and our community with a thoughtful plan for funding the educational needs, aspirations, and expectations of our community, Walts said.”  He evoked images of PWCS students before highlighting some of the proposed plan’s benefits that reflect longstanding School Board and administration priorities, including efforts to address unmet needs. Proposed funding includes:
  • Continuing investment in all existing educational programs and supporting services;
  • Adding more than 80 teaching and instructional positions to aid in further class size reductions; 
  • Hiring one or more new counselors, library media specialists, psychologists, sign language interpreters, school nurses, teachers of the visually impaired, social workers, teachers of the hearing impaired, speech teachers, and teaching assistants to address pressing student needs;
  • Increasing staffing to support English language learners;
  • Providing a step pay plan increase averaging 2.8% for all employees;
  • Devoting an additional $1 million to improve services at schools with high proportions of economically disadvantaged students;
  • Restoring a modest amount of resources for gifted education programs;
  • Enabling the anticipated expansion of pre-kindergarten offerings and classrooms;
  • Investing in overdue technology improvements, enhancements, and innovations;
Continuing investments in new schools, school additions, renovations, maintenance, and support services.The facilities investments are included in the proposed update to the ten-year PWCS Capital Improvements Program (CIP), as discussed at a School Board Work Session on January 13.

Financial details of the proposed budget itself were provided in a budget presentation by Associate Superintendent for Finance and Support Services Dave Cline.

Walts noted that the funding picture for PWCS has improved over previous years. Still, the schools face lasting effects of tight budgets, and funding that lagged behind the cost of enrollment growth and inflation for many years. As a result, PWCS spends less per student, and has larger class sizes and generally lower teacher pay, than other neighboring school divisions. Both the budget plan and challenges are summarized in a budget facts flyer provided at the Board meeting.

School Board Members will review the proposal and hear from community members (see meeting schedule), before providing input of their own. The School Board is slated to vote on a final budget and updated CIP on March 16.

County government funding needed to support the proposed budget is dictated by the Prince William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS). Tax rates that underwrite the budget, and related funding issues, will be addressed in a number of scheduled BOCS meetings leading up to the Supervisors’ required approval of the spending package passed by the School Board.

What do you think?  Provide your feedback on the PWCS Budget Comment Facebook Page.
 
School Board Wants Your Suggestions for Name of “Ferlazzo” Elementary School
Share your suggestions at community meeting on Tuesday, February 16, 7 p.m., at Forest Park High School.

February 1, 2016

The Elementary School Naming Committee has rescheduled its second community meeting to receive name suggestions for the “Ferlazzo” Elementary School, currently under construction in Woodbridge.  

The rescheduled meeting will be held:
  • Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 7 p.m., at Forest Park High School in Woodbridge.
The committee will consider geographic or historical identifiers, as well as names of living or deceased person(s) who have made local, state, or national service contributions. Citizens who make a suggestion are encouraged to provide background information to aid in the selection process. Please see School Board Policy 854 and Regulation 854-1 for details.

Suggestions may also be sent to planning@pwcs.edu, or to the Office of Facilities Services - School Naming Committee, P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108-0389, by January 20, 2016.

The Naming Committee is made up of School Board members William J. Deutsch, Justin David Wilk, Diane L. Raulston, and Chairman Ryan Sawyers. All four represent areas impacted by the attendance area of the new “Ferlazzo” school.

The Office of Facilities Services will facilitate the school naming process. Recommendations of the School Naming Committee are scheduled to be presented to the full School Board for information on February 3, 2016, and for action on February 17, 2016.

Currently referred to as “Ferlazzo” Elementary School for planning purposes, the new school is scheduled to open in September 2016. It is being constructed to accommodate existing and ongoing residential development in eastern Prince William County. Attendance boundaries for the new school were approved on January 20, 2016.

Any questions, comments, or naming suggestions may be submitted to the Office of Facilities Services, at 703.791.7312.
 
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme; Global Connections; and the Budget Process
Get the stories from School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers in the latest edition of Board Briefs.

February 5, 2016


 
PWCS School Food and Nutrition Services Revamps Website
February 5, 2016

PWCS School Food and Nutrition Services has changed the look and format of its website to feature new and exciting nutrition education tools, bright colors, Café Corner articles, featured monthly recipes, and more. Parents can still access all links that the prior web page had, including applications for free/reduced meal assistance, monthly breakfast and lunch menus, special diet information, MySchoolBucks pre-payment accounts, etc.

When visiting the School Food and Nutrition Services web page via the department links on PWCS.edu, visitors will automatically be redirected to the new website. Anyone who has bookmarked the School Food and Nutrition Services home page will also be redirected to the new site. Users can also access the webpage by going to www.pwcsnutrition.com.

Please note that this site will not provide inclement weather or other important PWCS notifications. To access this information, you must go to http://www.pwcs.edu.

Questions about the new website? Please call School Food and Nutrition Services at 703.791.7948.
 
Registration Deadline for STEM Careers Conference is March 16
February 5, 2016
 
March 16 is the deadline to register for the annual STEM career conference scheduled for Saturday, April 2 from 8 a.m.–noon at Marsteller Middle School. The event is for students in grades 5–12 and interested parents, community leaders, and educators. Details and registration information are available at all PWCS schools, as well as those in Manassas, and Manassas Park and at www.successconference.net with this  Girls + Math + Science = Success! Conference registration flyer.

For teacher or community leader/guest registration forms, please contact the Conference Committee at successconference@juno.com. Marsteller Middle School is located at 14000 Sudley Manor Drive in Bristow.
 

Topics for student-centered presentations and workshops scheduled for the conference include statistics, space science, physical therapy, and college planning along with more math, science, engineering, and technology related careers. Workshops for adults include college financial planning, gender equity, STEM support and innovations.

The event is cosponsored by the Woodbridge Branch of the American Association of University Women and SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools.

 
Bring a Hearty Appetite to Help Decide What’s for Breakfast & Lunch
What’s on your tray? Here’s your chance to weigh in on new entrées, side dishes, and other food products and recipes your child may be offered for breakfast and lunch next school year. NOTE NEW DATE!

February 4, 2016
 
The PWCS Annual Food Show will be held at Patriot High School on Tuesday, March 15The tastings are open to the first 1,000 county students, parents, and staff to sign up in advance. There will be two tastings, one from 6–7 p.m. and a second from 7–8 p.m.

Originally scheduled for March 1 and listed in the "2015-16 Elementary and Middle School Guide and Calendar," this event has been rescheduled so as not to conflict with the Presidential Primary. 
 
New this year, Food Play Productions will perform two shows that evening in the Patriot High School auditorium, at 6:45 pm and 7:45 pm, for elementary students and their families. Food Play is a live assembly that gets kids excited about healthy eating and active living. Come join us for a fun evening of food tasting and theater!
 
Reservations are required and may be made by calling the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services at 703.791.7314.

Results of taste tests and any suggestions for improving the food service program will be used to help School Food and Nutrition Services decide what to offer in schools next year.
 
Principals Honored for Innovation, Collaboration, Communication
School communities proudly nominate three principals for top awards.

February 2, 2016

Three outstanding educators have been nominated for the Principal of the Year Award sponsored by PWCS and The Washington Post. The nominees are Neil Beech, principal of Osbourn Park High School; Andrew “Andy” Jacks, principal of Ashland Elementary School; and Michael Lint, principal of New Dominion Alternative Center.

These principals will be honored at a School Board reception and ceremony on February 23 at the Kelly Leadership Center.

Neil Beech, Principal of Osbourn Park High SchoolNeil Beech joined Osbourn Park High School as an assistant principal in May 2007 and became principal in July 2010. Among many achievements over the last five years is a 5 percent increase in Osbourn Park’s graduation rate, to 94.3 percent, and a 60 percent decrease in disciplinary infractions during the same period. Beech implemented the first Advanced Placement Capstone Seminar and Research courses in Virginia. He led the charge to bring relevant professional development opportunities directly to his teachers in the areas of assessment for learning, student literacy, and educational technology. A former student describes Mr. Beech as a “compassionate ally willing to look at different viewpoints and to make compromises when deemed beneficial to the whole. He devotes himself to making our school a safe haven for learning, reaching out to students to help them shine.” He eagerly talks with students and members of the community and is well known for his open-door policy and visible presence throughout the school, everywhere, every day. He began his career in PWCS as a biology teacher and coordinator for the Cambridge Program at Brentsville High School in 2001. He received the Milken Educator Award in 2011 for his tireless effort and innovative ideas as an educational leader.

Andrew Andrew “Andy” Jacks became principal of Ashland Elementary School in July 2010 after serving four years as assistant principal of Buckland Mills Elementary School. Under his watch, Ashland has become a leader in academic excellence. Jacks is known in his school community for his “relentless optimism.” Among his staff, he is respected for his collaborative approach to leadership, seeking the input of all stakeholders when making school-wide decisions. Staff members and students alike know they can stop in to talk to him at any time to discuss ideas. “He strongly believes that big ideas have a tendency to grow from little ones,” says a teacher, and numerous school initiatives testify to this philosophy. He embraces technology, adding each year to the school’s technology resources and equipment. As a lifelong learner himself, Mr. Jacks is committed to staying up-to-date in the area of technology, whole-heartedly believing that modern technology must play a role in education. At Ashland Elementary, Jacks has created a state-of-the-art production studio which is home to a student-run morning news show and a regular video parent newsletter. He joined PWCS as a fifth-grade teacher at Kilby Elementary School in August 2001.

Michael Michael “Buddy” Lint is recognized as a dynamic, enthusiastic leader of New Dominion Alternative Center, which has a population of students who are at-risk and have behavioral challenges. He goes to great lengths to create an atmosphere of respect and harmony among the staff and the students. He is known as a compassionate and caring principal with the foresight, knowledge, and vision to help his school and his students on a daily basis. His accomplishments include implementing a school discipline plan that addresses disproportionality and encourages students to reflect on positive citizenship both in school and the community. He brought innovation and technology to the Center to the point that his staff call themselves “savvy technological professionals.” Under his leadership, his staff learned how to collect and analyze data to adjust daily lesson plans. He led a literacy committee to devise a plan to close the achievement gap in reading and writing. Lint encourages his staff to pursue professional development courses that will improve their knowledge about teaching a diverse student population. “We are teachers teaching teachers using a variety of resources to become effective in teaching English language learners and others, all the while sharing our skills and ideas with great gusto and joy,” says one of the teachers at New Dominion. Lint became principal of New Dominion Alternative Center in 2010.
 
IMPORTANT-High School Course Selection Info
Weather-related schedule changes have pushed back the window for online course requests. It is now midnight, February 5, through midnight, February 10, 2016. Read on for details on this and other vital course selection info.  

January, 29, 2016
(En español-Abajo)
During the months of February and March, professional school counselors from across the school division will meet with your student to begin the course selection process for the 2016-2017 school-year.  This is an important time for you and your student to discuss the course options and make course selections that best support your student’s long term career and/or college goals.  We have several resources available to support you and your student as you navigate this course selection process. 
  1. ParentPortal Online Course Request – Parents and students may log in to ParentPortal, using their student’s userID and passcode, to view the recommendations that teachers have made for the 2016-2017 school year.After you review the teacher recommendations, you may enter your own course choices.Click here to view detailed directions about accessing your student’s ParentPortal account.The information entered is not your student’s final schedule.Rather, it is a list of courses that will guide the discussion that your student has with their professional school counselor when they attend their individual academic advising meeting.You will have additional opportunities to give input about your student’s course selections for the 2016-2017 school year throughout the second semester.The window to login and view this important information is February 5, 2016 at midnight through February 10, 2016 at midnight. Please note, this window has been moved from the original dates due to the extension of the 2nd nine week grading period.
     
  2. High School Course Catalog – The PWCS High School Course catalog is an essential tool to use during the course selection process.It contains a wealth of information about graduation requirements, post-secondary planning, and specialty programs.To view the course catalog click here.
     
  3. School Specific Support – All parents can anticipate receiving information about the course selection process from their specific high school. Make sure to check the school counseling web page for your high school for information about scheduling dates, course offerings, and other opportunities to obtain information about the course selection process.Your professional school counselor is a great resource and is available to support you during this process.
     
  4. PWCS Academic Advising Webpage – We have created a new page on the PWCS website to provide additional resources to all parents and students.On this page, you will find direct links to information that will help you and your student work through the course selection and in turn the post-secondary planning process.Click here to access the page.
The involvement of families in the course selection process is an essential part of ensuring student success.  We thank you for your partnership in this important process and appreciate you taking full advantage of the opportunities provided to become aware and involved in your student’s educational journey in Prince William County Schools.
_____________

Durante los meses de febrero y marzo, los consejeros escolares profesionales de toda la división escolar se reunirán con cada estudiante para comenzar el proceso de selección de cursos del año escolar 2016-2017. Este es un momento importante para discutir sobre las opciones de cursos disponibles y hacer la selección que contribuya más a la carrera de su hijo/a a largo plazo y/o a sus metas universitarias. Tenemos varios recursos disponibles para ayudarles a medida que exploran este proceso de selección de cursos.
  1. Solicitud de cursos en línea en el ParentPortal (Portal para Padres) – Los padres y los estudiantes pueden acceder al ParentPortal utilizando el nombre de usuario (userID) y la contraseña del estudiante, para ver las recomendaciones que los maestros han hecho para el año escolar 2016-2017. Después de revisar las recomendaciones de los maestros, pueden introducir sus propias opciones de cursos. Haga clic aquí para ver las  instrucciones detalladas acerca de cómo acceder a la cuenta ParentPortal de su hijo/a. La información ingresada no es el programa final del estudiante. Más bien, se trata de una lista de cursos que guiarán la conversación de su hijo/a con el consejero escolar en la reunión de asesoría académica individual. Tendrán oportunidades adicionales durante todo el segundo semestre para opinar acerca de la selección de cursos de su hijo/a para el año escolar 2016-2017. El plazo para ingresar a la cuenta y ver esta información importante es desde el 5 de febrero de 2016 a medianoche hasta el 10 de febrero de 2016 a medianoche. Tengan en cuenta que este plazo se ha movido de sus fechas originales debido a la extensión del segundo período de calificaciones de nueve semanas.
  2. Catálogo de Cursos de la Escuela Secundaria – El Catálogo de Cursos de la Escuela Secundaria de PWCS es una herramienta esencial para consultar durante el proceso de selección de cursos. Contiene una gran cantidad de información acerca de los requisitos de graduación, la planificación post-secundaria y los programas de especialización.  Haga clic aquí para ver el catálogo de cursos.
  3. Apoyo escolar específico – Los padres pueden recibir información sobre el proceso de selección de cursos de su escuela secundaria específica. Asegúrense de revisar la página web del consejero escolar de su escuela secundaria para obtener información sobre las fechas programadas, los cursos que se ofrecen y otras oportunidades para obtener información sobre el proceso de selección de cursos. Su consejero escolar profesional es un recurso valioso y está disponible para apoyarlos durante este proceso.
  4. Página web de Asesoramiento Académico de PWCS – Hemos creado una nueva página en el sitio web de PWCS para proporcionar recursos adicionales a todos los padres y estudiantes. En esta página, ustedes encontrarán enlaces directos a información que ayudará durante el trabajo de selección de cursos y, a su vez, en el proceso de planificación post-secundaria. Haga clic aquí para acceder a la página.
La participación de las familias en el proceso de selección de cursos es una parte esencial para garantizar el éxito estudiantil. Les damos las gracias por su colaboración en este importante proceso y esperamos que puedan aprovechar al máximo las oportunidades que se ofrecen para estar enterados y más involucrados en la travesía educativa de su hijo/a en las Escuela Públicas del Condado de Prince William.
 
High School Students: Dual Enrollment for HVAC Training, Be Career-Ready in Less Time
NOVA HVAC Program Open House on February 13, Application Deadline for Specialty “Transport” Program is March 15.
 
February 3, 2016

See video below.

Students interested in the HVAC field are invited to attend an open house on Saturday, February 13 at the Woodbridge campus of NOVA from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. General information sessions will be held at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., while tours of the HVAC labs and classrooms will be held at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1 p.m.  Contact Linda Posey at poseyl@pwcs.edu by February 11 to let the PWCS Office of Career and Technical Education know you plan to attend. Learn more about the PWCS HVAC program dual enrollment program and course offerings.
 
“This is an unequaled opportunity for students to get a head start in a challenging and financially rewarding career,” says Doug Wright, supervisor of PWCS Career and Technical Education. “Once enrolled in the HVAC program through PWCS course offerings, juniors and seniors will be dual enrolled as PWCS students and NOVA college students. The HVAC students will receive free tuition for college credit-bearing courses plus free textbooks, a combined savings of about $1,800.”
 
HVAC is one of several specialty program offerings in PWCS. The program this year is a “hybrid,” says Wright, which means that rising ninth graders and sophomores may apply to transfer to Freedom High School and juniors and seniors may apply if they provide their own transportation. The NOVA HVAC program is located on the Woodbridge NOVA campus, across the street from Freedom High School.
 
Choosing a career in HVAC can be rewarding, and it is a field that can lead to employment locally, including within PWCS which opens new schools each year. “We currently employ many technicians from the NOVA HVAC program. Being able to track these kids from high school through the program, and hopefully offering an internship and eventually employment is a huge deal for all of us,” says Danny Murrin, administrative coordinator for HVAC in PWCS.
 
Wright says his office will accept applications to the HVAC program through March 15, although the online application site closed February 1. Contact his office directly if interested in applying, at poseyl@pwcs.edu.

 
School Board Members Attending Upcoming Events
February 2, 2016

One or more members of the School Board are expected to attend the following events. For specific information on attendance, please contact the School Board Office at pwcsclerk@pwcs.edu.
Members of the public and news media are asked to review this message frequently to check for updates.
  • Haymaker STEM Expo and College Fair at Battlefield HS RESCHEDULED for February 6 (three Board members attending)
  • Public Meeting on Proposed Schools Budget, February 8, 7 p.m., Kelly Leadership Center (Board meeting room);
  • Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) Capital Conference in Richmond, February 9-11.  (Six members attending);
  • Community Meeting on “Ferlazzo” Elementary School Naming, February 16, 7 p.m., Forest Park High School;
  • Budget Work Session, Thursday, February 18, 6 p.m., School Board meeting room, Kelly Leadership Center (previously scheduled for February 17 following the School Board meeting);
  • VSBA Superintendent Evaluation Workshop in Charlottesville, February 22 (three members attending);
  • Recognition Ceremony for Outstanding Educators, February 23, Kelly Leadership Center. 
  • Budget Work Session, Thursday, March 3 (previously scheduled for March 2 following the School Board meeting).
Recognition Ceremony to Honor Outstanding Educators Rescheduled for February 23
February 3, 2016

The annual School Board reception and ceremony honoring educational leaders will be held on Tuesday, February 23 at 6 p.m. at the Kelly Leadership Center. The event was originally scheduled for January 28.

Those to be honored are National Board Certified Teachers who attained certification or re-certification this year; and teachers and principals nominated for the Prince William County and Washington Post Teacher and Principal of the Year Award.


 
SACC Closed March 1
February 3, 2016

The PWCS School Age Child Care, or SACC, program will be closed on March 1, as will all schools. 
March 1, Schools Closed, but a Work Day for Some
February 2, 2016

The recent School Board decision to close schools for the March 1 primary election means a day off for students, teachers, and many other employees, with no make-up required. Also SACC and Next Generation extended day programs will be closed. Only 12-month (250 day) employees should report. Those required to work but preferring the day off may follow normal procedures to make use of appropriate, available leave time. SACC will be closed. 
 
Division’s Advisory Committee Meetings for February
February 2, 2016

The following Advisory Committees or Councils will hold regularly scheduled meetings in February.
Meetings are open to the appointed members and the agendas, presentations, and minutes are available to inform the general public. Space limitations may make it difficult to open meetings beyond the membership. If you have questions, please contact the appropriate office. 
 
• CTE (Career and Technical Education) Advisory Council, on February 10, 4:30–7 p.m., (KLC 2011). See the CTE Advisory Council web page. Contact the CTE program at 703.791.7297 for assistance.

• Gifted Education Advisory Council, on February 16, 7–9 p.m., (KLC 2011). See the Gifted Education Advisory Council web page. Contact the Gifted program at 703.791.7400 for assistance.

• Safe Schools Advisory Council, on February 9 (snow date February 11), 6:30 p.m., (KLC 3011)
See the Safe Schools Advisory Council web page (click on “Meetings”). Contact Risk Management and Security Services at 703.791.7206 for assistance.

• Special Education Advisory Committee, on February 16, 7–9 p.m., at the Kelly Leadership Center (2002-04). Citizens interested in attending a meeting or seeing the meeting schedule are asked to visit the Special Education Advisory Program web page or call 703.791.7287 for additional information.

• Superintendent’s Advisory Council on Instruction, on February 11, 7–9 p.m., (KLC 1101). See the Superintendent’s Advisory Council on Instruction web page.

All meetings are held at the Kelly Leadership Center (KLC), located at 14715 Bristow Road in Manassas.

Check the specific web pages to confirm dates and details. Check with building staff on site for questions about meeting room location. 
School Board Schedule for February; CIP and Budget Work Session on February 17
Updated February 5, 2016
February 1, 2016
 
The regular public meetings of the Prince William County School Board in February will be held at 7 p.m. on February 3 and February 17 in the School Board Meeting Room, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas. A meeting to hear public views on the Proposed Schools Budget and Proposed Capital Improvements Program (CIP) is scheduled for February 8. A work session on the CIP and Budget will take place on February 18 meeting.
 
Agendas for School Board meetings may be viewed online. Agenda items and materials are subject to change up to the time of the meetings.
 
A disciplinary hearing is tentatively scheduled for February 24. If needed, School Board members William Deutsch (Coles), Alyson Satterwhite (Gainesville), and Loree Williams (Woodbridge) will convene to review up to four cases.

February 3
5 p.m.              Dinner
6 p.m.              Closed Session Meeting
7 p.m.              Public Meeting
 
February 8
5 p.m.              Dinner
7 p.m.              Public Meeting on Budget  
 
February 17
5 p.m.              Dinner
6 p.m.              Closed Session Meeting
7 p.m.              Public Meeting
9 p.m.              Budget Work Session

February 18
6 p.m.             
Budget Work Session
 
February 24 (Tentative)
5 p.m.              Dinner
6 p.m.              Disciplinary Hearing
 
Anyone may attend public meetings, which are also streamed live on www.pwcstv.com and broadcast live on PWCS-TV, available on Comcast Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 36. Past meetings are also available for viewing via video on demand at www.pwcstv.com.
 
Individuals who wish to address the School Board under Citizens’ Time may notify the Board Clerk in advance in writing at P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108; by phone at 703.791.8709; or by email at pwcsclerk@pwcs.edu. Please include your address, phone number, and topic of discussion. Your contact information will not be shared with the public. Individuals may also sign up in the School Board Meeting Room prior to 6:55 on the evening of the meeting.
Marsteller Middle School’s 8th Grade Men’s Select Choir Heads to Boston
February 2, 2016

Top vocalists at Marsteller Middle School can soon add a coveted performance to their resumes. The 8th Grade Select Men’s Choir will perform before an audience of hundreds of choral directors from around the country in Boston on Friday, February 12.  Under the direction of Philip C. Keirstead, the students will demonstrate their talent and discuss how to get young men interested in singing during the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Eastern Division Conference. Keirstead is well known nationally as an outstanding middle school choral director. This is the second time his students have been invited to an ACDA conference. 

“The students are also excited to take in the sights and history of one of our nation's oldest and greatest cities, including private tours of Fenway Park, the USS Constitution, and walking the Freedom Trail,” said Keirstead.

 
World Language Textbooks Adopted
February 1, 2016
 
World Language textbooks for levels 1 through 3 of French, German, Latin, Spanish, and Spanish for Native Speakers were adopted at the January 20, 2016 School Board meeting.  
 
A complete listing of textbook materials for these main languages, plus Arabic, ASL, Korean, Italian, and Russian and upper level materials for programs such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Cambridge can be found online

During the textbook adoption process, the World Language Department convened teachers, administrators, School Board appointees, and parents who were tasked with evaluating textbooks. Feedback was solicited from all county schools and from the public.

For more information or comments, contact Carol Bass, PWCS World Language supervisor, at bassc@pwcs.edu or at 703.791.8706

 
Mark Your Calendars: No School for Students on March 1, Presidential Primary Election Day
February 1, 2015

On Tuesday, March 1, schools will be closed to students for the presidential primary. See amended 2015-16 Annual School Year Calendar.
Meeting Rescheduled on “Ferlazzo” Elementary School Naming
February 1, 2016

The Elementary School Naming Committee has rescheduled its second community meeting to receive name suggestions for the “Ferlazzo” Elementary School, currently under construction in Woodbridge.  
The rescheduled meeting will be held:
  • Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 7 p.m., at Forest Park High School in Woodbridge.
The committee will consider geographic or historical identifiers, as well as names of living or deceased person(s) who have made local, state, or national service contributions. Citizens who make a suggestion are encouraged to provide background information to aid in the selection process. Please see School Board Policy 854 and Regulation 854-1 for details.

Suggestions may also be sent to planning@pwcs.edu, or to the Office of Facilities Services - School Naming Committee, P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108-0389, by January 20, 2016.

The Naming Committee is made up of School Board members William J. Deutsch, Justin David Wilk, Diane L. Raulston, and Chairman Ryan Sawyers. All four represent areas impacted by the attendance area of the new “Ferlazzo” school.
The Office of Facilities Services will facilitate the school naming process. Recommendations of the School Naming Committee are scheduled to be presented to the full School Board for information on February 3, 2016, and for action on February 17, 2016.

Currently referred to as “Ferlazzo” Elementary School for planning purposes, the new school is scheduled to open in August 2016. It is being constructed to accommodate existing and ongoing residential development in eastern Prince William County. Attendance boundaries for the new school were approved on January 20, 2016.

Any questions, comments, or naming suggestions may be submitted to the Office of Facilities Services, at 703.791.7312.
 
Fred M. Lynn Middle School Secures Partial Accreditation Status
Designation Confirms Progress toward Improvement

February 1, 2016

Fred M. Lynn Middle School is now partially accredited by the Virginia Board of Education, following recent school changes aimed at improving lagging student performance, and latest test results that suggest the desired improvement is underway.

Fred Lynn is one of many schools across the Commonwealth to be reviewed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) after having been "Accredited with Warning” for multiple years. Standards of Learning test results for the school, released in October, showed that student scores again fell short of accreditation benchmarks in science and English, yet results were headed in the right direction. Spring 2015 SOL scores for Fred Lynn demonstrated student improvement since 2014 in all four content areas, including a 17-point gain in science and 16-point gain in math.

Improving test scores were supplemented by strategic school actions to enhance teaching and learning to earn Fred Lynn the designation of “Partially Accredited: Reconstituted School." These strategies include the addition of an administrative intern to provide instructional leadership support; a focus on professional development to strengthen the alignment of instruction to the curriculum standards; empowering staff with the knowledge and skills to better differentiate instruction for all learners; providing staff with strategies to enhance the active engagement of all students in their learning; and implementing with fidelity a system of identifying and supporting students in need of academic intervention.

The designation allows improving schools like Fred Lynn to avoid denial of accreditation while they work to improve student performance. According to VDOE, a "Partially Accredited: Reconstituted School" designation can be granted for up to three years if a school is making progress toward full accreditation. A total of 31 schools statewide earned the designation.

“All of these schools are on a trajectory toward achieving full accreditation within three years,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “And they have made significant internal changes that represent a clear commitment to improved performance and substantive reform of practice.”

PWCS Deputy Superintendent Rae Darlington agrees with the state's appraisal that Fred M. Lynn Middle School is moving in the right direction to better serve students. "The school is on a steady course to improvement, and we're pleased that Virginia officials are giving that journey more time to work," said Darlington."The Fred Lynn community can count on our commitment to the success of every student. This designation eliminates any doubt that we're on the right track."
 
How Many Snow Days Are Left?
That's a good question after the last week. So here are the facts:

January 28, 2016

PWCS has closed on seven occasions (January 21-22, 25-29) and had one two hour delay (January 19). We started the year with just over 12 days worth of hours. Now we have 5.3 days worth of hours remaining before we fall below Virginia-mandated instructional minimums.

This includes the use of Monday, February 1 as a teacher work day, and March 1 as a day off for primary voting.

The good news: we've got some room left to deal with more rough weather.

There's a lot of winter to go, but the calendar also includes potential makeup days designated (February 15, April 18, June 20) in case any of them are needed.
What’s up with the Weather?
Bristow Run Elementary School students get the low-down from Channel 4’s Meteorologist Chuck Bell.
 
January 20, 2016
 
Students in teacher Cindy Clayborn’s class at Bristow Run Elementary School didn’t get any inside information on when it was going to snow from meteorologist Chuck Bell, but the fourth-graders picked up a bundle of new words that may help them on an upcoming science test.
 
Bell, from NBC Channel 4, covered the instruments used in meteorology, including Doppler radar; vocabulary words such as humidity, fronts, high pressure, and low pressure; and types of storms such as tornados, hurricanes, and thunderstorms. He also explained how weather phenomena occur.
 
Students held on every word when Bell gave a first-hand account of his experience flying through the eye of a hurricane and chasing tornados. He used the moment to reiterate the importance of tornado drills in schools and the drop-and-tuck position. After describing how he became interested in meteorology, he told students why doing homework and getting good grades improved chances of success in any job.
 
“Chuck Bell was excellent answering student questions. His level of explanation was right on for fourth graders,” said teacher Cindy Clayborn.
 
Student Elizabeth Smith agreed, saying, “The assembly was interesting because he answered the student’s questions in detail and he gave good, interesting answers.”
 
"It was really neat because of all the information he gave us. It was also really cool to meet a real-life meteorologist," said student Zaren Giulajan.

 
Students Speak of Hope and Imagine a World that Would Carry Forward Dr. King’s Work
Students shine in Youth Oratorical Contest at Martin Luther King Day Celebration

January 19, 2016

Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the Youth Oratorical Competition on their performance at the annual celebration on January 18. The six speakers were selected from among 29 school-level winners at a regional competition on January 7. Each invoked the legacy of Dr. King and responded to the theme, “Imagine What If…?” with eloquence and dignity. Their flawless delivery was interrupted multiple times by applause from the audience of nearly 2,000. Speakers were judged on content and originality; delivery and body actions; and language, voice and diction.

Best Before the Judges (based on their performance at the regional judging night on January 7)
High School - Norman Jones III, Stonewall Jackson HS
Middle School - Zoree Jones, Ronald Reagan MS
 
Best Before the Audience (Monday, January 18)
High School - Norman Jones III, Stonewall Jackson HS
Middle School - Zoree Jones, Ronald Reagan MS
 
Judges Choice/Honorable Mention 
High School - Sara Howell, Hylton HS
Middle School - Reanna Towns, Saunders MS
 
In his speech, Norman Jones asked the audience to finish Dr. King's speech with what their dream for humanity is. He cited Confucius who advised us that when we consider change we must reflect, imitate, and experience it for ourselves. We must use reflection to learn from the past; through imitation we use the past methods of success as a template for what we do today; and we use experience where we fight with our hope to create change. 
 
Writing Contest Winners
Congratulations to the winners of the writing contest for fourth and fifth graders: Pershia Woodcock (1st place), from Henderson Elementary School; and Ashley Boateng (2nd Place) and Lexi Boateng (3rd Place), both from River Oaks Elementary.

The annual King Day Celebration is sponsored by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Prince William County Alumnae Chapter, and the Cecil & Irene Hylton Foundation.

Superintendent of Schools Steven Walts and School Board members attended, including Chairman Ryan Sawyers, Vice Chairman Lillie Jessie (Occoquan), Diane Raulston (Neabsco), Justin Wilk (Potomac), and Loree Williams (Woodbridge). Vice Chairman Jessie was the founder and first chairperson of the Youth Oratorical Contest 26 years ago.

Super Saturday RESCHEDULED-College Financial Aid Workshop Now Feb. 6
January 20, 2015 - 
 
Don't miss the opportunity with experts who can take the mystery and confusion out of the financial aid process. Stonewall Jackson High School and the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA) will host Super Saturday, originally set for January 23, NOW RESCHEDULED TO FEBRUARY 6,  from 9 a.m.–noon at Stonewall Jackson High School, located at 8820 Rixlew Lane, Manassas, VA.
 
Super Saturday is an annual service project which provides free one-on-one assistance in completing the federal financial aid form for postsecondary education, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the form used by colleges, universities, and career-technical schools across the country to determine eligibility for student federal financial aid.
 
A financial aid workshop at 9:15 a.m. presented by NOVA's director of Financial Aid will explain the federal and state financial aid process. Students/Parents should bring the following documents to the event: FAFSA ID number, social security number, driver's license, 2015 W-2 forms, 2015 federal income tax return (or most recent estimate), list of untaxed income, current bank and investment records, and alien registration or permanent resident card if applicable.
 
Students and their parents are advised to request an FAFSA ID electronically at https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm. Parents should get their own FSA ID in addition to the student’s.
 
Super Saturday is open to the public and assistance with the FASFA will be given to new as well as returning college students. For more information about Super Saturday, please visit www.vasfaa.org. Contact Nancy Pomaranski, school counselor, at pomransk@pwcs.edu or 703.598.3003 with questions.
 
 
 
 
 
RESCHEDULED: Musicians Perform at All-County Orchestra on February 20
January 27,2016

Outstanding orchestra students from Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) at the middle and high school levels will combine their talents for an afternoon of music at the upcoming All County Orchestra program, re-scheduled for Saturday, February  20 at Stonewall Jackson High School. The annual event gives young musicians a chance to perform challenging scores under the direction of a guest conductor.

Zach Saunders, orchestra director at Battlefield High School, will direct the All County Junior Honors Orchestra. The All County Senior Honors Orchestra will be directed by Greg Rupert, orchestra director at Westfield High School in Fairfax County.

Students participate in rehearsals that culminate in the 4 p.m. performance. Guests are encouraged to attend and support arts education in PWCS schools.
 
 
Short on Funds for College? Seek Student Scholarships through SPARK
January 15, 2016

Looking to offer your students scholarship opportunities?  SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools, will award at least 10 scholarships to graduating seniors this year. Applications are now available on the SPARK website for the following scholarships:
  • The Derek Crowe Scholarship allots $2,500 to two graduating student athletes.
  • The Dr. Kelly Scholarship offers $1,000 to three graduating high school seniors who intend to pursue studies to become a teacher.
  • The CTE scholarship, sponsored by Micron and Lockheed Martin, offers $1,000 to one graduating high school senior who plans to pursue a professional certification in Career and Technology.
  • The STEM scholarship, sponsored by Micron and Lockheed Martin, offers $1,500 to at least four graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue a career in the STEM field.
  • An additional $6,000 four-year scholarship ($1,500/year) will be offered to a student who plans to pursue a degree in a STEM field at George Mason University.
SPARK also manages the following five Scholarship Funds designated for students from individual high schools:

Austin Trenum Memorial Scholarship- Brentsville District High School
$1,000 to graduating high school senior at Brentsville District High School.

Kristen Marie Harkness Memorial Scholarship - Osbourn Park High School
$1,500 to graduating high school senior at Osbourn Park High School.

Sara Lott Memorial Scholarship - Forest Park High School
$1,500 to graduating high school senior at Forest Park High School.

Victor A. Cahoon Scholarship - Osbourn Park High School
$2,000 to graduating high school senior at Osbourn Park High School.

"YES" (Yorkshire Elementary School) Scholarship - Osbourn Park High School
This scholarship is offered to a graduating high school senior at Osbourn Park High School who also attended Yorkshire Elementary School. 
 
To download these applications or for more information visit www.poweredbyspark.org or contact SPARK for further information at 703.791.8003. 
Programming for Zero Gravity? Forest Park High School Students Can Do It!
Robotics team is headed to MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory for final round of competition against the best high school students in the world.

January 14, 2016

PWCS students are known for excellence in robotics competitions on land, in the water, and in space. Carrying the standard forward in 2015 is the Forest Park High School Zero Robotics Team, a small group of students passionate about technology and computer science. Nearly all members have several years of programming experience, and two have published apps to the Google Play Store, the largest app market in the world.

The students on the “Waterbears” Zero Robotics team are Syed Saquib, Brandon Walker, Brady Bolton, Jack Chen, and Hamza Mir. They are coached by math teacher Rachelle Carlson.

The students have spent months writing programming code similar to that written for spacecraft, and competing via online simulations. They have used critical engineering and problem solving skills and learned about the design thought process, operations training, and team work. Zero Robotics was an appealing prospect for the students because it provided such an enticing platform to run their code.

During the competition at MIT on January 24-26, students will watch an astronaut aboard the International Space Station use their code to operate SPHERES satellites. Watch for information on live, direct transmission from space.

The Forest Park students will have a special cheering section at MIT—several PWCS alumni who are students at MIT. They are not only veterans of the robotics program in PWCS, but two competed in the Zero Robotics High School Tournament in 2014. These students are Wei Low, a Gar-Field graduate; Sabrina Mazer, from Forest Park; and Piper Sigrest, an Osbourn Park graduate. Mazer and Sigrest competed in Zero Robotics.
MyPWCS Mobile App Upgrade Now Available
The changes are the first of many that will improve PWCS e-communication tools throughout 2016.

January 13, 2016

The MyPWCS mobile app received a host of improvements over winter break. The upgrade provides a new look, with more images, sports schedules, and combined information from PWCS web and social media sites, offering a richer user experience. Notifications and emergency alerts are improved. Links to contact directories, lunch menus, and other important resources remain available.

If your device is set for manual updates be sure to install the upgrade and set your app preferences to keep following PWCS and specific schools.

Don’t have the MyPWCS mobile app? The free download is available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play store. It’s a great way to stay connected to your schools and to urgent information when rough weather hits.
On the Android  Google Play Store or iPhone and iPad Apply Store, search for "MyPWCS"

 
Hylton's Paul Rischard Earns Excellence in Teaching Award
January 13, 2016

Paul Rischard of Hylton High School was presented the 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award for U.S. secondary schools by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages.

The award cites Paul as "a passionate teacher whose efforts promote that most important of initiatives: the teaching of Russian at the pre-college level.  An effective organizer and selfless person who gives much to his students beyond the curriculum, Paul richly deserves this year’s award."
Two PWCS Music Teachers Lauded by James Madison University
January 13, 2016

Each year James Madison University School of Music honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to the music education profession. This year, Greg Oaks, director of Bands at Battlefield High School, is the recipient of the Outstanding Cooperating Teacher Award for his record of excellence in mentoring JMU music student teachers. Thomas Tutwiler, choral director at Hylton High School, is the recipient of the Outstanding Music Educator Award for his sustained leadership in the profession of music education and excellence in music teaching.
Haymaker STEM Expo and College Fair at Battlefield High School RESCHEDULED for February 6
UPDATED January 20, 2016
RESCHEDULED


Battlefield High School invites the community to attend the Haymaker STEM Expo on Saturday, February 6. The event will offer a multitude of family-friendly activities for students and adults of all ages. Admission is free, and the event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. February 6 is the rescheduled date following the blizzard.

Demonstrations will include all levels of robotics, 3D printing, and drones. Student projects include cyber defense and rocketry challenge; sustainable hands-on demonstrations will cover dispersion of pollution, noise pollution, paper making, and pH tests and much more. 
  



 

 
Get Your News—the Way You Want It
January 12, 2015
 
With winter now in full swing, the Prince William County community is encouraged to keep up with school announcements through official School Division sites, including pwcs.edu; PWCS E-News; Facebook; Twitter; and the MyPWCS Mobile App. The Office of Communications Services uses these sites to get information to the community quickly during inclement weather.
 
E-NEWS
PWCS E-News is an email and/or text message subscription service that offers a choice of topics including daily news digests, emergency and inclement weather announcements, and in-memoriam announcements.
 
Get weather and emergency news by email, text message, or both pertaining to your school by signing up online for PWCS E-News. To subscribe, go to pwcs.edu and click on the PWCS E-News logo, located on the left of the home page
 
MOBILE APP
The MyPWCS mobile app is a free download available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play store. It’s a great way to stay connected to your schools and to urgent information when rough weather hits. A major update was made in December. Be sure you have the latest version so you don't miss out on any news or announcements.

On the Android  Google Play Storeor iPhoneApply Store, search for "MyPWCS."

 
Schools Closed on King Holiday and Other Schedule Reminders
January 12, 2016
 
The 2015–16 School Calendar for PWCS includes the following dates for January and February 2016:
 
On Monday, January 18 all PWCS schools and central offices will be closed in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The School Age Child Care program will also be closed.

Friday, January 29, will be a half-day for elementary schools for scheduled parent/teacher conferences. Elementary school schedules will include a regular lunch period prior to dismissal. Head Start and Preschool Special Education classes will not be held. The School Age Child Care program will be open from the half-day dismissal time until regular closing (6:30 p.m.) for students who are registered for after-school care only and for before- and after-school care. (Before-care only students may not attend the afternoon program.)

A teacher workday for all schools is scheduled on Monday, February 1. SACC will offer a full day program from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for all SACC students. Some of the SACC programs will be combined. The Next Generation middle school program does not operate on teacher workdays.

On Monday, February 15 all PWCS schools and central offices will be closed in observance of Presidents Day. The School Age Child Care program will also be closed.
 
 
DEA Exhibit on the Consequences of Drugs Debuts in Northern Virginia on January 12 in Leesburg
January 12, 2016

The national touring exhibit developed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the DEA Educational Foundation, “Drugs: Costs and Consequences,” about the cost and consequences of drugs in our community opens on January 12 in Northern Virginia. In this interactive exploration of the effects of drugs on both individuals and society, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the history and the current science behind drug law enforcement, drug prevention, as well as drug treatment specific to Loudoun County and surrounding Northern Virginia communities.

The DEA “Drugs: Costs and Consequences” exhibit will be held:
  • At: 750 Miller Drive, SE, Suite F-1 in Leesburg (this is in the vicinity of Leesburg Airport off Sycolin Road and behind the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office)
  • On: Tuesdays through Saturdays
  • Time: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.,
This exhibit is free of charge. View the flyer

Further details and educational resources are available at Drugexhibit.org or call 571.258.3888.
 

 
Staffing Update January 8, 2016
The following appointments have been announced. Congratulations to these outstanding administrators.
 
Lynne Bisek, assistant principal at Mary Walter Elementary School in Fauquier County Public Schools, has been appointed assistant principal of Sinclair Elementary School.
 
Nartaya Mastrippolito, administrative coordinator in payroll, has been appointed supervisor of payroll in the Office of Financial Services.
 
School Board Names 2016 Delegates to Professional Organizations and Committees
January 7, 2016

In accordance with Board Policy 180, the Prince William County School Board takes action annually regarding membership in professional organizations and selection of Board representatives to each organization.

 At its January 6 meeting, the Board approved the following actions and appointments for organizations/committees as follows: 
  • Continue membership in the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) and renew membership for National School Boards Association (NSBA) for 2016.
  • Loree Williams (Woodbridge) as delegate to the Virginia School Boards Association Annual Convention in Williamsburg, Virginia on November 16—18, 2016.
  • Willie Deutsch (Coles) as alternate to the Virginia School Boards Association Annual Convention in Williamsburg, Virginia on November 16—18, 2016.
  • Diane Raulston (Neabsco) as delegate to the National School Boards Association Annual Convention in Boston, on April 8—11, 2016.
  • Loree Williams (Woodbridge) as alternate to the National School Boards Association Convention in Boston on April 8—11, 2016.
  • Justin Wilk (Potomac) as representative to the Northern Virginia Special Education Regional Board for 2016.
  • Loree Williams (Woodbridge) as alternate to the Northern Virginia Special Education Regional Board for 2016.
  • Lillie Jessie (Occoquan) as representative to the National Alliance of Black School Educators for 2016.
  • Diane Raulston (Neabsco) as alternate to the National Alliance of Black School Educators for 2016.
  • Willie Deutsch (Coles) as representative to the Prince William County and Schools Joint Audit Committee for 2016.
  • Gil Trenum (Brentsville) as alternate to the Prince William County and Schools Joint Audit Committee for 2016.
  • Gil Trenum (Brentsville) to serve as representative to the Washington Area Boards of Education for 2016.
  • Justin Wilk (Potomac) to serve as alternate to the Washington Area Boards of Education for 2016.
  • Lillie Jessie (Occoquan) to serve as representative to the Head Start Advisory Board for 2016.
  • Alyson Satterwhite (Gainesville) to serve as representative to the School Health Advisory Board for 2016.
  • Alyson Satterwhite (Gainesville) and Justin Wilk (Potomac) to serve on the Safe Schools Advisory Council for 2016.
  • Chairman At-Large Ryan Sawyers and Gil Trenum (Brentsville) to serve as representatives to the PWCS Internal Audit Committee for 2016.
  • Justin Wilk (Potomac) to serve as alternate to the PWCS Internal Audit Committee for 2016.
Judges Needed for Regional Science Fairs: Prepare to be Amazed
January 5, 2016
Volunteer to step into today’s classroom of technology and science by being a science fair judge. The experiments go beyond expectations; their titles alone tell you quickly that this is not the science fair you knew when you were in school. We’re talking about the Prince William–Manassas Regional Middle/Senior and Elementary Science Fairs on March 12 and April 9, respectively. Both fairs will be held in the atrium of the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center. Anyone who is interested in being a judge for either science fair is asked to call Darla Edwards at 703.791.7240 or send an email to edwarddj@pwcs.edu.

Detailed information related to the fair can be found on the Science and Family Life Education Web page. The categories in the middle/senior division (grades 7–12) are animal sciences, behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, earth and space sciences, electrical and mechanical engineering, environmental sciences, bioengineering, mathematics, medicine and health, microbiology, physics and astronomy, and plant sciences. Team projects are also eligible for competition. Students who win first and second place in their school science fairs are eligible to compete in the regional fair.

The categories in the junior division (grades 5–6) are animal sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering and mathematics, earth and space sciences, environmental sciences, medicine and health, physics, and plant sciences. Students who win first place in their school fair are eligible to compete.
NBCT Teachers Announced, Recognition of Outstanding Educators February 23
January 4, 2016
Updated February 1, 2016
 
Thirteen PWCS teachers who have received National Board Certification will be honored at a School Board reception on February 23, rescheduled from January 28. Five of the 13 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT) achieved recertification.
 
Also being honored at the reception are the nominees for the Principal and Teacher of the Year Awards.
 
The NBCT for 2015 are:

Ali M. Allen, Minnieville Elementary School
Cassandra Cornwell, Tyler Elementary School
Carolyn Doyle, Montclair Elementary School
Kimberly Lervold, Vaughan Elementary School
Martha Lipscomb, Antietam Elementary School (Renewal)
Jessica Mason, Triangle Elementary School
Tanya Parrott, Chris Yung Elementary School (Renewal)
Laura Provencio, Montclair Elementary School
Sheryl Quinlan, Marsteller Middle School (Renewal)
Kelly Serrano, West Gate Elementary School
Sarah Tracy, Minnieville Elementary School
Gerald Vile, Marsteller Middle School (Renewal)
Tamara Zimmerman, Saunders Middle School (Renewal)
PWCS Announces Student Summer Job Fairs March 8 and 10
December 10, 2015
 
High school students interested in employment with the Prince William County Public Schools summer program may participate in one of two upcoming job fairs:
 
  • Tuesday, March 8 at Potomac High School, 3401 Panther Pride Drive in Dumfries; and,
  • Thursday, March 10 at Stonewall Jackson High School, 8820 Rixlew Lane in Manassas. The time for both job fairs is 6–7:30 p.m.
 
Students must be at least 16 years old and must attend one of the job fairs to be eligible for summer employment. Beginning in February, students may complete the online application on the PWCS website and must bring a copy of the completed application with them, along with two references, when they interview at the job fair.

Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation Hosts Student Poster Contest
November 23, 2015
 
Poster submissions based on the theme "# STOP ON RED!" are due by April 30, 2016 for the Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation 2016 Poster Contest. View contest rules and details, including pictures of the School Division’s own 2015 winning posters created by students from Bristow Run Elementary School, all on the Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation website, www.vapt.org. (Click on Resources/Poster Contest and scroll down to view links to winning posters from previous years and the contest entry rules.)
 
School Division’s IT Director Named to Top 30 in Digital Education
November 18, 2015
 
Congratulations to Amy Jo Phillips, director of Information Technology Services, who is a Top 30 Award Winner in the 2015 Center for Digital Education awards program. This is a unique annual awards program that highlights 30 of America’s K-12 and higher education technologists, transformers, and trailblazers.


 
Could a Regional Governor's School be in Your Future? Learn How to Make it Happen
October 22, 2015
 
Considering a regional Governor’s School for high school? PWCS students have a great option to explore close to home—The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park. Be sure to mark your calendars with these upcoming events as you begin to chart your path.

The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park offers juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn high school and college credit through dual enrollment. Mornings are spent on the Prince William campus of George Mason University where students explore STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Students return to their base schools in the afternoon for additional classes, and continue in their social and extracurricular activities.
 
Students in grades 6–10 and their parents are invited to attend an information session to learn more about the Governor’s School @ Innovation Park on November 7 or December 5.
 
November 7 — Information Session at 9 a.m.
George Mason University, Science & Tech Campus
Occoquan Building - Verizon Auditorium
There will be free parking on campus for this event.

December 5 — Information Session at 9 a.m.
George Mason University, Science & Tech Campus
Occoquan Building - Verizon Auditorium
There will be free parking on campus for this event.


 
Is Your Child Struggling? Try Live Tutoring through Homework Help Feature of Public Library System
October 14, 2015

Students, parents, and teachers check out “Homework Help,” a feature of the “Literati” database provided through the Prince William County Public Library System website. “Homework Help” is live, after-school online tutoring with actual teachers.

The State Library provides this service to all Virginia public libraries. You can access “Literati” and “Homework Help” with a library card number from the PWC Public Library System website by choosing the “Explore” tab and "Premium Services" on the left side of the library home page.

See these additional links for more online resources on Literati:

http://corp.credoreference.com/images/PDFs/HomeworkHelp_OneSheet.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhVpKOLtq3k
http://corp.credoreference.com/images/PDFs/HomeworkHelpTips.pdf
 
Workshop Series Answers Your Questions about Special Education
October 13, 2015
 
A series of evening workshops for parents, educators, and community members will provide information on the special education process. The three sessions will take place from 7-9 p.m. in room 1101 A/B at the Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas. Staff from the PWCS Office of Special Education will present. Learn more about each workshop by following the link to the flyer, above.
 
  • Thursday, October 15 - "Understanding Special Education: School Intervention, Referral, Evaluation, and Eligibility"
 
  • Thursday, October 22 - "Understanding Special Education: Parents as Partners in the IEP Process"
 
  • Thursday, October 29 - "Understanding Special Education: Parental Rights in Dispute Resolution"
 
Attend one, two, or all three sessions.
 
The free workshops are offered by the PWCS Office of Special Education Parent Resource Center. Advance registration is required. To preregister, or for further information, contact the Parent Resource Center at 703.791.8846 (Voice), 703.791.8847 (TDD) or email howartmj@pwcs.edu or bamaher@pwcs.edu.
 
Individuals requiring accommodations, such as sign or foreign language interpreter services, are asked to preregister by 4:30 p.m. one week prior to the scheduled workshop.
 
Staff can earn six state recertification points by attending all three workshops in the series. PWCS staff members should register online through the electronic register.
 
The Kelly Leadership Center is located at 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas. 
MinuteClinic Brings the Care You Need to Your Neighborhood
September 28, 2015
 
PWCS welcomes CVS MinuteClinic as a health services partner to help keep you and your family on track to good health!
 
You want to make the best choice for you and your family.

You may already know how convenient MinuteClinic is:
  • Open 7 days a week, including evenings and weekends
  • No appointment necessary
  • Located in select CVS/pharmacy® stores, including 3 right within our district and several others close by
  • Plus, MinuteClinic accepts most insurance plans
You might not know that MinuteClinic offers a broad range of services to keep you and your family healthy. In addition to diagnosing and treating illnesses, injuries and skin conditions, they also provide all kinds of wellness services, including vaccinations, physicals, screenings and monitoring for chronic conditions.

MinuteClinic family nurse practitioners and physician assistants provide services for both adults and children, 18 months and older. And they can send a summary of your visit to your primary care provider, with your permission. If you don't have a primary care provider, they can provide a listing of local physicians accepting new patients in your area.
 
Check out MinuteClinic for your families’ health care needs.
 
MyLunchMoney is Now MySchoolBucks, a System for Prepayment of School Meals
August 28, 2015
 
Parents are reminded that their MyLunchMoney accounts for school meals have transitioned to MySchoolBucks.com.  User names and passwords for existing accounts remain the same. MySchoolBucks is a convenient online prepayment option for school meal purchases.

MyLunchMoney.com recently upgraded all of their current customers to MySchoolBucks.com, including all account balances, meal history, profile details, Smart Pay settings, and payment methods. No other changes are anticipated with this transition to the new format.

Transaction fees charged by MySchoolBucks will remain the same at $1.95. The ability to review account balances, receive email reminders for low balance, and set spending limits is free of charge.  Cash and checks will continue to be accepted as prepayments in the cafeteria for meals or a la carte purchases. 
 
Free and reduced-price meals are available to students whose household qualified under federal standards. Parents/guardians must apply for these benefits each year. Applications are available at school offices, online at pwcs.edu, or by calling 703.791.7314.
Applications Available for Families Eligible for Free and Reduced Meals
August 14, 2015

Parents of Prince William County Public School students wishing to apply for free and reduced-price meals can complete and submit their application online. The process can help families avoid delays they may encounter by mailing in an application, and will ensure that applications are complete because applicants will be prompted to submit all of the necessary information required.
 
Apply now for Meal Applications online.

Links to the online application in English and Spanish are also on the left navigation of School Food Services Web site at menus.departments.pwcs.edu. All information transmitted will be kept confidential and made available only to the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services.
 
Parents still have the option of completing the traditional paper application. Families with students who were registered in Prince William County Public Schools by the end of July 2015 will receive an application packet via mail or email. Families with students who registered after that date will need to secure an application from their local school. Applications may also be obtained at the Kelly Leadership Center located at 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas.
 
If you have questions regarding the application process, contact the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services at 703.791.7314.
Have a Question? Answers May be Here
August 11, 2015
 
From cell phones to dress codes, from homework to field trips, check out School Division regulations if you have questions.
 
From electronic devices to dress codes, homework to field trips, honor rolls to course credits, if you’ve got a question on these—or have other questions—consider looking at School Division regulations.
 
All regulations and policies of Prince William County Public Schools are available on the School Division website, pwcs.edu. Both can be searched by topic or number on the home page by choosing “Policies & Regulations” from the left-side navigation menu. Paper copies of PWCS policies and regulations are also kept in the School Board Clerk’s Office located in the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center, at 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas, Virginia.
 
One of the primary functions of the Prince William County School Board is the development of policies for the operation of the School Division. These policies cover instruction, administration, personnel, students, and other areas. 
Optional Student Accident Insurance Available Online
August 11, 2015

Many parents without insurance coverage worry about protecting their children in the event of an illness or injury. Optional student accident insurance is an inexpensive way to provide medical coverage in such events. Student accident insurance is not just for those without health insurance. Optional student accident insurance is a secondary level of coverage for those students who are already covered under a parent or guardian’s primary insurance plan. In such cases, optional student accident insurance may cover expenses not paid for by the primary insurance plan such as co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Student accident insurance is available for purchase at a group rate with two plans offered through the School Division for the 2015–16 school year.

Markel Insurance has a $50,000 maximum coverage limit. For more information or to enroll in the plan offered by Markel Insurance, call 877.444.5014 or visithttp://markel.sevencorners.com.

VML Insurance Programs costs less and has a $25,000 maximum coverage limit. For more information or to enroll in the plan offered by VML Insurance Programs, call 800.727.7642 or visit https://www.k12specialmarkets.com.

PWCS does not provide accident coverage for students but offers the optional insurance for purchase from external companies as a way to help parents recover medical costs.


 

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