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News Stories
PWCS Budget--Class Size Reductions, Compensation Adjustment, and $17.5 Million Shortfall
Presupuesto para PWCS – Reducciones en el número de alumnos por clase, ajuste salarial y déficit de $17.5 millones

Budget Reflects Needs as Revenue Lags Behind Growth and Inflation
 
February 23, 2015

View videos.

The Prince William County School Board will need to identify a combination of $17.5 million in spending cuts and revenue enhancements to pay for the initial 2015-16 school budget presented to the public Monday night (February 23).

The proposed spending plan would cover the cost of current programs and services, adjusted for inflation and increased student enrollment. “These are in the proposal because – after years of refining – they reflect what our schools and students actually need,” said Superintendent Steven Walts, introducing the proposal. “And they deliver the level of service our community expects.”

Walts also outlined two additional items included in the budget at Board direction and reflecting his own shared priorities: Reducing class sizes and improving employee compensation. 

The proposal would fund reducing ninth-grade algebra I and II and geometry classes by an average of one student at all eleven high schools, giving teachers and students increased one-on-one time to enhance subject understanding. “It provides for the next step in our slow and strategic effort to cut class sizes,” said Walts.

“This budget will invest in improving compensation to better attract and retain the best teachers and staff to equip our children for a brighter future. It will provide for a one-step pay increase for all employees, at a cost of 18 million dollars,” Walts added.

Twice delayed by weather-related meeting cancellations, the proposal breaks with previous budgets by including both specific School Board spending directives and a deficit. The School Board authorized the unusual approach in response to a Board of County Supervisors’ budget guidance that would eliminate $11 million from 2015-16 PWCS funding previously included in the BOCS five-year plan. The measure would slash school funding by $113 million over four years. Members of the BOCS recently questioned whether the full cuts would be implemented, but PWCS must prepare for the worst.

At the February 4 School Board meeting, several members expressed opposition to suggestions to cut Full-Day Kindergarten and Specialty Program Transportation to help close the gap. Instead the Board directed the Superintendent to prepare the unbalanced budget along with a list of all programs that could be considered for cuts because they are not required by state or federal law. Items on the list are considered strategic options because they originally became part of the budget in support of the PWCS strategic plan for student success.

A Budget Proposal and Challenges Fact Sheet distributed at Monday night’s meeting details both budget elements and the funding shortfall that puts PWCS spending ability below neighboring school divisions.     

Upcoming School Board meetings will feature work sessions to evaluate and modify staff spending proposals. Board members have been invited to meet with the Board of County Supervisors to discuss the school budget at noon Saturday, February 28, at the Buckhall Volunteer Fire Department, 7190 Yates Ford Road, Manassas. The BOCS is scheduled to set the county’s advertised tax rate at its March 3 meeting. Once established, the rate that generates the county’s contribution to school funding can be lowered, but not increased.

Walts said the School Board faces an “unenviable task” to reconcile the proposed budget with available funding. 

“It will be especially difficult because what some see as luxuries, are true necessities for others,” he added. “This discussion and the process seem focused strictly on dollars, but in the end, they are really about what we can provide for our students, and how we can support the people and facilities that will help them to succeed.”

View more details and materials.
 
Important budget-related meetings:  
Funding for PWCS (Location, Prince William County McCoart Administration Building)
February 24 BOCS Meeting
February 28 BOCS Meeting with School Board on school budget (Location, Buckhall Volunteer Fire Department)
March 3, BOCS Meeting to determine “advertised tax rate”
April 7, BOCS Budget Presentation from School Board
 
PWCS Spending  (Location, Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center)
March 4 School Board Meeting and Budget Work Session
March 11 School Board Budget Work Session
March 18 School Board Meeting and Budget Public Hearing

View videos (Best viewed on Google Chrome browser):

Video clip from speech by Superintendent Steven Walts



Video of complete speech by Dr. Walts



Dave Cline, Associate Superintendent for Finance and Support Services

Board Wants Class Size Reduction/Higher Staff Pay Amid Growing Funding Deficit
Full-Day K and Specialty Transportation Safe for Now, But Everything “On the Table”
 
February 5, 2015

View Video now.

Several members of the Prince William County School Board Wednesday night voiced little support for cutbacks in full-day kindergarten or specialty program transportation to help close a growing budget gap caused by years of state and county funding that has not kept pace with growth and inflation.

The problem escalated to crisis level in December, when the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) issued tax bill guidance that would cut PWCS revenue for FY 2016 by $11 million from what was in the Supervisor’s previously approved five-year plan. The BOCS move would cost schools approximately $113 million in expected revenue over four years.

Board Members directed the Superintendent to “Provide the School Board a list of the costs/benefits to all the discretionary educational programs and critical unmet needs so that the Board may address the impending budget shortfalls and determine what is critical to our mission. The Board will set priorities and make recommendations for any cuts.” Several also expressed disapproval to the County Supervisors for not keeping commitments to schools by repeatedly cutting back on five-year plans after a single year.
 
At School Board direction, Superintendent Steve Walts will return to the Board on February 18 with a budget proposal that funds our current programs and services, allows continued action to reduce class size, and funds a “step increase” for teachers and other employees to keep PWCS competitive in recruiting and retaining top talent. These measures will push the budget deficit to $20 million.

PWCS staff will be working overtime to compile lists of programs, their costs and benefits, so that Board members can use this data to direct cuts to the needs-based Budget Dr. Walts is required to submit by Virginia law. 
 
Board Chairman At-Large Milton C. Johns noted that years of previous cutbacks have left few well-funded discretionary programs and services that can be reduced or eliminated to generate the savings needed. 

Mr. Johns sought to head off critics by explaining that the Divisionwide Aquatics Center now under construction is a long-term asset paid for with a mortgage-like funding that spans decades. The FY 2016 cost will be approximately $358,000.
 
“As compared to our total operating fund of approaching a billion dollars, it’s statistically a very small amount in comparison,” said Johns. “My point is this, we have underpaid teachers and overcrowded classrooms whether we build the pool or not. That’s the economic reality of the situation that we are in.”

The School Board’s path to savings is uncertain. Based on comments at the February 4 Board meeting, it will probably not involve cuts to full day kindergarten or specialty transportation. But nothing is certain. The School Board must approve a balanced budget by March 31. 

View more information on the Budget Update web page.




 
 
School Board to Meet with County Supervisors February 28 to Talk About Budget
February 25, 2015

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors has invited the Prince William County School Board to meet over lunch for a budget discussion on Saturday, February 28 at the Buckhall Volunteer Fire Department, 7190 Yates Ford Road, Manassas. The discussion is expected to begin at noon.
Schools/Central Offices to Close for Spring Break March 30-April 6
February 25, 2015

Schools will be closed for spring break March 30–April 6. School buildings will be accessible during the break with minimal staff. Schools will reopen on Tuesday, April 7. Central Offices will be closed April 2–3 for the spring break and will reopen on April 6.
 
Textbook Adoption Process Begins for World Languages Textbooks; Reviewers Needed
Citizens interested in helping select textbooks must apply by March 19.
 
February 25, 2015
 
The Office of Student Learning is currently seeking World Languages Textbook Adoption Committee members. Materials appropriate for students in Grades 6-12 studying the following languages from Level 1 through Advanced levels such as IV, V, and courses specific to the Advanced Placement, Cambridge, and International Baccalaureate programs will be selected: Arabic, ASL (American Sign Language), German, French, Italian, Korean, Latin, Russian, Spanish, and Spanish for Native Speakers.
Any county resident who is interested in serving on the committee may obtain an application from the World Language Program by contacting Jackie Schaer at 703.791.8706 or sending an email to schaergj@pwcs.edu.  The complete application and tentative schedule of meetings is also available on the World Language Web site at http://pwcs.worldlanguages.schoolfusion.us.

Committee meetings will begin on May 21 and meet approximately twice per month through October 19, 2015.  Committee members must also be willing to evaluate all textbooks using a common rubric or evaluation criteria to be done at home in late June through August. Meetings will be held at various times in the evenings from 4 – 7 p.m. or during the day in the summer.  A limited number of spaces are available. The application deadline is March 19, 2015.
Spring Food Drive Aids Local Friends and Neighbors
February 24, 2015

Food—the most basic need—is in short supply in many homes in Prince William County; more so in these difficult economic times. The next time you shop, please consider helping our local food pantries, where those in need can get food when their resources are depleted.
 
The annual PWCS food drive to benefit ACTS and SERVE (the Manassas campus of Northern Virginia Family Service), is getting under way to support our local community. Schools and administrative offices will have collection boxes on site until March 17.
 
A donation of one item from each student and staff member in PWCS to these two local nonprofits can significantly impact their assistance to county residents in need. Both ACTS and SERVE operate food pantries within Prince William County. According to each organization, requests for their services have greatly increased.
 
Suggestions for food donations include nonperishable items such as cold cereal, canned meats (tuna and chicken), beans (dry and canned), rice, pasta, spaghetti sauce, soups, macaroni and cheese, and canned fruits and vegetables.
 
Donations made after March 17 must be delivered directly to SERVE in Manassas or ACTS in Woodbridge.
 
Young Engineers from Woodbridge High School Blend 3-D Printer, Math, and Science
Tackling hot topic, students engineer their way to stay cool and bend ears at Capitol Hill.

February 24, 2015
 
Woodbridge High School senior Josef Spanbauer and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine.The World-Class caliber of students in PWCS, and Woodbridge High School in particular, was on exhibit early this month at Capitol Hill. Three Woodbridge High School students presented their design to reduce the interior temperature of vehicles to increase comfort on a hot summer day. Josef Spanbauer, Dylan Miller, and Torger Olson showed off their project to a group of U.S. Senators and other high ranking officials at a technology innovation showcase held at the Russell Senate Office Building. The students are enrolled in their school’s engineering program, “Project Lead the Way,” or PLTW.
 
Instructor Carlos Castro, students Josef Spanbauer and Dylan Miller, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, student Torger Olson, Instructor Tim DeFelice.During the event the students used their engineering notebooks with math and science concepts and calculations, a scaled prototype built with a 3-D printer, and an LCD monitor from a graphing calculator to convey their solution to the temperature problem.  Representatives from Woodbridge High School also included PLTW Instructors Carlos Castro and Tim DeFelice.
 
The technology showcase was sponsored by the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus in conjunction with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and PLTW.  PLWT, which is implemented in all 50 states, affords students the opportunity to take university engineering courses while in high school.
 
Leaders from ACTE and PLTW were there to discuss a wide range of engineering projects with the students and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin.
March School Board Meetings and Budget Work Sessions Scheduled
February 23, 2015
 
The March public meetings of the Prince William County School Board will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4 and Wednesday, March 18 in the School Board Meeting Room, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas. The School Board will also meet on Wednesday, March 11 for a budget work session.
 
A public hearing on the proposed FY2016 budget is scheduled for March 18 at 7 p.m. prior to the regular meeting. Individuals who wish to address the School Board during the public hearing 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 by noon on the day of the hearing. Individuals may also sign up in the School Board Meeting Room prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the hearing.
 
Agendas for School Board meetings may be viewed online from the School Board Web page accessible from pwcs.edu. Agenda items and materials are subject to change up to the time of the meetings.
 
March 4
5 p.m.              Dinner
6 p.m.              Closed Session Meeting
7 p.m.              Public Meeting
9 p.m.              Budget Work Session

March 11
5 p.m.              Dinner
6 p.m.              Work Session on Budget and CIP

March 18
5 p.m.              Dinner
6 p.m.              Closed Session Meeting
7 p.m.              Public Hearing on Budget, followed by Public Meeting
 
Anyone may attend public meetings, which are streamed live on pwcstv.com and broadcast live on PWCS-TV, available on Comcast Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 36. Past meetings are also available for viewing on-demand at pwcstv.com.
 
Individuals who wish to address the School Board during Public Comment 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 by noon on the day of the meeting. Individuals may also sign up in the School Board Meeting Room prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting.
Congratulations to the Finalists for Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award!
Leadership, commitment to excellence, and devotion to student achievement mark the qualities of the elementary, middle, and high school Teachers of the Year.

February 23, 2015

Congratulations to these outstanding teachers! From 21 nominees, three teachers—one at each grade level—were selected as Prince William County Public Schools Teachers of the Year. They also are finalists for The Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award. In April, one of these finalists will be named as the School Division's representative in the Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award program.

Kathleen Rivers, Special Education teacher at Bel Air Elementary School, is the Teacher of the Year at the elementary school level. With all 20 years of her teaching career devoted to the children of PWCS, Katie Rivers has built a sense of community and support for students, parents, and teachers that goes beyond the classroom to have a positive impact on her community.

The Middle School Teacher of the Year is Gela Russell, a Language Arts teacher at Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle School. She thrives on seeing her young scholars succeed and learn, and continually teaches and encourages them to reflect on their own learning process so they can reach their full potential.

Dr. Arvinder Johri, a Creative Writing and AP Literature teacher at New Directions Alternative Education Center, is the High School Teacher of the Year. With her motto of “respect, rigor, and relevance,” Dr. Johri engages her students in a fun environment to push them beyond their comfort zones and towards understanding AP Literature with assurance and confidence. 

Kathleen RiversGela Russell
 
School Board's Internal Audit Committee to Meet on March 4, 2015
February 23, 2015

The School Board’s Internal Audit Committee will meet at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, in room 1132 of the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas. Gil Trenum, School Board member for the Brentsville District, is the committee chairman; Betty D. Covington, School Board member for the Potomac District, also serves on the Internal Audit Committee. Lisa E. Bell, School Board member for the Neabsco District, is the alternate School Board member. Dave Cline, associate superintendent for Finance and Support Services, represents the School Division and Rae Darlington, deputy superintendent, is the alternate School Division member. Gary Maness is the chief internal auditor.
 
The School Division’s Office of Internal Audit reports to the School Board’s Internal Audit Committee. The Office of Internal Audit is guided by a philosophy of adding value to improve the operations of PWCS through a cooperative approach of Internal Audit working with management and other employees to identify risks and offer solutions that continuously improve the School Division’s internal control environment and governance processes.
 
View meeting agenda.
All-County Elementary Chorus Concert Rescheduled for February 28
February 20, 2015 
 
The annual Prince William All-County Elementary Chorus concert will take the stage on Saturday, February 28 (previously scheduled for February 21) at Patriot High School, 10504 Kettle Run Road, Nokesville.


This year the chorus will be under the direction of Bonny Tynch, general music teacher at Cunningham Park Elementary in Fairfax County. Ms. Tynch is also a conductor with the Fairfax Choral Society Youth Choruses. A performance for the public will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Students from participating elementary schools auditioned to join the All-County Elementary Chorus. The annual choral event will bring together approximately 240 students from across the county to participate in the music program. Participants will benefit by working with singers and music instructors from across the county. Selections scheduled for the performance will include a diverse choral program. A student Orff percussion ensemble will accompany the chorus on one of the selections. 
 
Students participate in rehearsals that culminate in a 3:30 p.m. performance. (Snow date is February 28.) Guests are encouraged to attend and support arts education in PWCS schools
2015 Graduation Dates Announced
Date: February 19, 2015
 
The following graduation dates, times, and locations have been announced for Prince William County Public Schools high school, summer school, practical nursing program, and adult education students. Events scheduled at Jiffy Lube Live Pavilion and the Patriot Center are subject to change.
 
School Day Date Time Location
Adult Ed & Summer School Thursday August 6 7:30 p.m. Stonewall Jackson HS Gym
Battlefield HS Wednesday June 10 2:30 p.m. Jiffy Lube Live
Brentsville District HS Saturday June 6 10 a.m. Brentsville District HS
Forest Park HS Saturday June 6 2:30 p.m. Patriot Center
Freedom HS Saturday June 6 7:30 p.m. Patriot Center
Gar-Field HS Saturday June 13 2:30 p.m. Patriot Center
Governor’s School Awards Ceremony and Banquet Saturday May 30 9:59 a.m. Manassas Park MS
Hylton HS Saturday June 6 9:30 a.m. Patriot Center
Independent Hill School Friday May 29 1 p.m. IHS Gymnasium
New Directions Alternative Ed Center Senior Awards Thursday June 4 6 p.m. Hylton Performing Arts Center
Osbourn Park HS Saturday June 13 9:30 a.m. Patriot Center
PACE East Senior Awards Friday May 29 9:15 a.m. IHS Gymnasium
PACE West Senior Awards Luncheon Thursday June 4 12:30 p.m. PACE West Gymnasium
Patriot HS Wednesday June 10 7:30 p.m. Jiffy Lube Live
Potomac HS Monday June 8 2:30 p.m. Jiffy Lube Live
Practical Nursing Program Friday June 5 6:30 p.m. Osbourn Park HS Auditorium
Stonewall Jackson HS Tuesday June 9 7 p.m. Jiffy Lube Live
Thomas Jefferson HS for Science & Technology Saturday June 20 7 p.m. Patriot Center
Woodbridge HS Saturday June 13 9 a.m. Woodbridge HS


 
Student Art on Exhibit at Hylton Performing Arts Center
February 13, 2015

PWCS art students in grades 1-12 are exhibiting their work at the Hylton Performing Arts Center through March 7.

Congratulations to the participating student artists:

Emma Koehler, “Cultural Mask,” Ashland ES
Tarik Holmes, “The Escape Route,” Battlefield HS
Hannah Pope, “Starfish,” Battlefield HS
Kayleigh Patton, “Milky Way Galaxy,” Battlefield HS
Caitlin O’Connor, “The Sunset Raven,” Bel Air ES
Kendall Meunier, “Colorful Baskets,” Bennett ES
Sydney Riley, “Lost in Motion,” Benton MS
Elizabeth Such, “Ocean Waves,” Benton MS
Hannah Thompson, “Blue Tail,” Benton MS
Annie Chotikul, “Morning on the Mountain,” Beville MS
Mary Milner, “Transfer Me,” Brentsville HS
Martin Michael, “Koi Fish,” Buckland Mills ES
Kallie Scott, “Spring Flower Basket,” Bull Run MS
Alyssa Durastranti, “Zenified,” Cedar Point ES
Andrew Fadlin, “Up Down Blue Sky,” Dumfries ES
Brianna Escobar-Bolanos, “Swimmy,” Enterprise ES
Rachel Dennis, “Still-Life Vegetables,” Forest Park HS
Kelli Curington, “Fox at Sunset,” Gainesville MS
Jenna Chaney, “Pieces of Me,” Gainesville MS
Shereese Vaughn, “Sad Face,” Gar-Field HS
Regina M. Young-Tueros, “Unspoken Beauty,” Gar-Field HS
Gianni Gaitan, “Tomorrow,” Hylton HS
Gina Gaitan, “Gianni,” Hylton HS
Gisel Diaz, “Corn Husk Dress,” Hylton HS
Amy Orrellana-Aparicio, “Design Animal,” Neabsco ES
Elena Echenique, “Shame,” Osbourn Park HS
Daniel Larios, “Still Life Study,” Osbourn Park HS
Emely Ramos, “Namjoon,” Osbourn Park HS
Dominic Conforti, “Fire Vase,” Parkside MS
Megan Surprise, “Foreign Bird’s Eye View,” Patriot HS
Camille Rodriguez, “Dog in Spots,” Patriot HS
Lindsey Dean, “Nighttime Cityscape,” Porter Traditional
Aidan Kallal, “Walmart Coming Soon,” Reagan MS
Mariela Osorio, “Colorful Pieces of Me,” West Gate ES
Cassandra Norman, “Shadowed Landscape,” Mary Williams ES
Margaret Anderson, “In Like a Lion,” Woodbridge HS
Dana Marie Cantor, “Size,” Woodbridge HS
 
Bring a Hearty Appetite to Help Decide What's for Lunch
Students and parents will turn food critics at annual food show March 3
 
February 10, 2015

Be among the first 1,000 county students, parents, and staff to sign up for the School Division’s annual food show scheduled this year at Patriot High School on Tuesday, March 3. There will be two shows, the first from 6-7 p.m. and the second from 7-8 p.m.
 
Here's your chance to weigh in on new entrées, side dishes, and other food products your children may be offered for breakfast and lunch next school year. 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.
 
Reservations are required and may be made by calling the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services at 703.791.7314.
Making the Most of Student Potential: Conference March 9 Will Draw 1,200 PWCS Students
February 13, 2015
 
High school and eighth-grade students looking for opportunities to build leadership skills will attend an upcoming conference designed to help them do just that. The all-day conference is scheduled for Monday, March 9, from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Prince William Campus of George Mason University. 

Up to 1,200 students who have been invited to attend exhibit leadership potential, achieve average to above average grades, are open to growth and learning, and are looking for opportunities to gain or enhance their leadership skills. Session topics will address attitude development, communication skills, positive role modeling, personal responsibility, self-motivation, peer collaboration, self-accountability, action planning, and goal setting. 

The presentations for the conference, "Igniting the Spark, Focusing the Flame," include:
  • Greetings from the Honorable Gerald E. Connolly (11th District);
  • High school winner of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Oratorical Contest, Norman Jones, from Stonewall Jackson High School;
  • Interpretive presentation focusing on the theme of the conference and effective leadership traits by the Woodbridge High School Center for the Fine & Performing Arts;
  • Middle school winner of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Oratorical Contest,  Zoree Jones, from Ronald Reagan Middle School.
Organizers for the 2016 Student Leadership Conference are seeking a student keynote speaker who can set the conference tone. Tryouts will be announced early fall 2015.
 
 
Board Vice Chairman Alyson A. Satterwhite Plans Town Hall Meeting March 5
February 13, 2015

School Board Vice Chairman Alyson A. Satterwhite (Gainesville), will join School Board member Gil Trenum at a hall meeting on Thursday, March 5 beginning at 7 p.m. in the library of Haymarket Elementary School, to discuss the FY 2016 budget and CIP.

For additional information, please contact the Prince William County School Board office at 703.791.8069.

 
Betty Covington’s Legacy Recognized for Posterity
Dumfries Elementary School will dedicate school library in honor of Potomac District School Board Member.
 
February 12, 2015
 
School Board Member Betty D. Covington (Potomac)School Board Member Betty D. Covington (Potomac) has dedicated the greater part of her life to the children of Prince William County Public Schools. For her service, she has received numerous awards, and one she cherishes dearly is that closest to home. The Dumfries Elementary School community sought and gained approval to name the library in her honor. The date for the dedication ceremony has not yet been scheduled.
 
“Mrs. Covington is a part of the living history of Dumfries Elementary School. She has served the Dumfries Elementary School community in several capacities since the early 1960s and has spent countless hours looking out for students, families, and school staff,” said Marlene Coleman, principal.
 
Board Member Covington first joined Prince William County Public Schools in 1961 as a teacher at Loch Lomond Elementary. She entered the halls of Dumfries Elementary School as a classroom teacher in 1962, and after nine years she was promoted to assistant principal at Dale City Elementary School. She later returned to Dumfries Elementary School in 1997 and served as the principal until 2003. She continues to be a part of the fabric that is Dumfries with her ongoing support of the school community in her role as a member of the Prince William County School Board.
 
“Mrs. Covington’s unwavering dedication and commitment to children and families remains constant and is evident in her work on the School Board as the representative for the Potomac District. Her advocacy and thoughtful contributions to the community have been especially appreciated by staff, students, and parents of the community,” said Rita Goss, associate superintendent for Eastern Elementary Schools. “Naming the Dumfries Elementary School library in her honor will be a testament to her gracious and continuous support of Dumfries Elementary School.”
 
Mrs. Covington has been honored with numerous awards during her career, including Educator of the Year, Distinguished Woman of the Year, Star Award for Endless Dedication to Youth, and Human Rights Award. She is proud to have hired many present and past administrators in Prince William County Public Schools.
Twice retired from a long career with Prince William County Public Schools as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, and principal, Covington now is serving her third consecutive four-year term on the School Board as the Potomac District representative. She previously served on the Board from 1996 to 1997 and was elected in 2003, 2007, and 2011.
Missing a High School Diploma? Free Practice Test Lets You See if You’re Ready to Get Back on Track
February 11, 2015

Adults who find their career goals limited by the lack of a high school diploma should consider pursuing their GED (General Educational Development) Certificate by taking the Free GED Ready® Test, the high school equivalency exam. Start by taking a free practice test to see if you’re ready.
 
Opportunities to take the Free GED Ready® Test will be held on the below dates at the Prince William County Public Schools Adult Learning Center (Building 4), 14800 Joplin Road, Manassas, VA 20112. 


 
Mondays 6 p.m.
Mar. 2, 2015 Apr. 6, 2015
Mar. 16, 2015 Apr.13, 2015
Mar.23, 2015  
 
 




 

 
Fridays 10 a.m.
Feb. 20, 2015 Mar. 20, 2015
Mar. 6, 2015 Apr. 10, 2015
Mar. 13, 2015 Apr. 17, 2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Registration is required. Individuals must be 18 years of age or older to participate in free GED Ready®testing at the Adult Learning Center. (No children allowed). Space is limited. Call Adult Education at 703.791.7357 to register for one of the following dates.
 
Visit the PWCS Adult Education web page for additional details,
 
 



 
Staffing Update February 9, 2015
Congratulations to the following outstanding individuals on their recent appointments:
  • Tammi Bell, a transportation route manager, was appointed an administrative coordinator in Transportation Services.
  • Chris Scholz, a transportation route manager, was appointed an administrative coordinator in Transportation Services.
  • Stephen Wise, a special education teacher, was appointed an administrative coordinator in Special Education.
  • Valerie Lewis, speech language pathologist in Special Education, was appointed Administrative Coordinator in Special Education.
  • Michael Davis, Administrative Coordinator, Television Production at Hylton High School, was appointed as Administrative Coordinator in Media Production Services.
Forest Park High School’s Literary Magazine Earns Superior Award
February 9, 2015


The National Council of Teachers of English has awarded Forest Park High School a certificate of Superior, the highest recognition, for its 2014 student literary magazine, “Ursa Major-Terra Incognita.” The faculty sponsor is English and Creative Writing Teacher Laura Dowling. The editor of the 2014 literary magazine was Sarah Burner; the art editor was Elise Ketch. Both students have since graduated.

See details on NCTE recognition program.
 
Math Professional Development Day for Teachers Slated for March 7
February 9, 2015
 
The Battlefields of Northern Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (BNVCTM) will host a Mathematics Professional Development Day for teachers on Saturday, March 7 from 8 a.m.–1 p.m. at Benton Middle School (7411 Hoadly Road in Manassas).
 
To register in advance, complete the registration form available on the PWCS Office of Mathematics Web page. The $10 fee includes conference registration, light breakfast, and membership in BNVCTM for the school year. Onsite registration will also be available.
 
Teachers who attend the entire conference earn five Virginia recertification points. School Division employees should also register for MAT 702 using the online Professional Learnings Catalog.
 
Those interested in presenting at this conference should complete a presenter application right away. Presenters receive free registration and 15 recertification hours per topic in addition to the five hours for attending the conference. Details and presenter applications are available on PWCS Office of Mathematics Web page.
 
Enterprising Business Students at Gar-Field Achieve Highest Chapter Certification
February 9, 2015
 
Lydia Kingo, Juan Vazquez, Regine Bumper in Gar-Field's school store.Marketing students at Gar-Field High School have turned practical business skills into a business enterprise that has brought the school’s DECA chapter the highest certification possible. The chapter is chartered as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and operates the school’s store.
 
The store is a learning lab for Marketing students who are enrolled in Advanced  Marketing.  There are currently four students who staff the store every other day during lunch periods. The school-based enterprise is just one aspect of Gar-Field’s DECA activities.  
 
“We have over 50 student members who have entered competitions at the district level and 27 students who will compete at the State level,” said Marilyn Clark, marketing teacher and DECA Advisor and District Advisor. “The students who work in the store will be recognized at the state and national levels for their accomplishment,” said Clark.
 
The students who work in the store are Regine Bumper, who is also the District President for DECA District 11; Juan Vazquez, Gar-Field's DECA President; Lydia Kingo; and Trace Graves.  Gar-Field is one of 21 high schools in the state with a Gold Certified school store, and the only one in PWCS.
 
Up to three Gar-Field High School students and an advisor are invited to attend the SBE Academy to be held at the International Career Development Conference in Orlando, Florida this April. This exclusive Academy is open to only Gold Certified and Gold Re-certified DECA SBEs. Participants will attend professional development sessions and be recognized for their achievement during the SBE Academy Awards session on April 26. Students who attend the SBE Academy also will qualify to compete in the SBE competition focused on Human Resources Management.

Learn more about DECA high school programs.
Three Battlefield High School Educators Chosen as AP Readers
February 9, 2015

Three Battlefield High School teachers have been chosen by the College Board to be readers for the 2015 Advanced Placement (AP) Reading exam, which takes place in June. AP readers evaluate and score the free-response sections of the AP exams. Congratulations to:
  • Jason A. Miller, social studies teacher, AP World History, Utah exams;
  • Jessica LoPresti, language arts teacher, AP Literature, Kentucky exams; and
  • Brian Meermans,  mathematics teacher, AP Computer Science, Missouri exams.   
Division’s Advisory Committee Meetings for March
February 9, 2015

The following Advisory Committees or Councils will hold regularly scheduled meetings in March. 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.   
  • Gifted Education Advisory Council, on March 17, 7 p.m., (KLC room 1101). See the Gifted Education Advisory Council Web page. Contact the Gifted program at 703.791.7400 for assistance.
  • Safe Schools Advisory Council, on March 9, 6:30 p.m., (KLC room 3011)
See the Safe Schools Advisory Council Web page (click on “Meetings”). Contact Risk Management and Security Services at 703.791.7206 for assistance. All meetings are held at the Kelly Leadership Center (KLC), located at 14715 Bristow Road in Manassas. Meeting dates are subject to schedule changes. Please check the specific Web pages to confirm dates and details. Check with building staff on site for questions about meeting room location. 
Thank You to the Prince William County School Board!
February is School Board Appreciation Month, an opportunity to say thanks for the commitment of time and energy our School Board makes to this community.

February 9, 2015

Superintendent Steven L. Walts kicked off recognition of School Board Appreciation Month at the Board meeting on February 5. The theme of this year’s celebration, “Local Schools, Local Decisions,” reflects the importance of ensuring that the future of public education remains in the hands of the community it serves. Local school boards keep the public in charge of public schools, since they represent their community’s beliefs and values.
“Our School Board members deserve credit for the high quality of education that is provided to the students attending Prince William County Public Schools,” said Walts. “We could not do our jobs without the help, leadership, and the commitment of our dedicated School Board.”

As citizens who serve children and represent their communities, individual School Board members face complex and demanding challenges. Yet, few people fully understand the scope and far-reaching implications of board members’ responsibilities. All should recognize the vital contributions of these men and women and focus attention on the crucial role these elected public officials play in the education of our children. They make a difference for students.

The job of School Board members is to establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, assure schools are accountable to the community, and strongly advocate continuous improvement in student learning. That job entails attending an endless string of meetings and school functions; reading and studying reams of reports, agendas, proposals, and other information; and making a host of difficult decisions.

While they wear many hats in the workday world, School Board members put on a collective education hat when they get down to the business of leading their school districts. Board members must pull together as a team toward a common goal—helping students achieve. While they may individually disagree on certain issues, their role as a board is to consistently strive toward that goal.

Board members contribute hundreds and hundreds of hours each year leading their districts. While crafting policies, hiring top-notch administrators, listening to staff and student concerns, or recognizing outstanding programs, board members always keep their eyes on the prize of student achievement.

The hours spent in board meetings represents just a small fraction of the time School Board members devote to leading their districts. They also work hard at seminars and training sessions to keep abreast of the latest trends in educational leadership, are deeply involved in community activities, and spend many hours in the schools and at extracurricular events. Their love of learning, and concern and caring for students, staff, and the community, drive Board members’ desire to lead so students can achieve.

Prince William County’s elected School Board members are Chairman At-Large Milton C. Johns; Vice Chairman Alyson A. Satterwhite (Gainesville); Lisa E. Bell (Neabsco); Betty D. Covington (Potomac); Lillie G. Jessie (Occoquan); Michael I. Otaigbe (Coles); Gil Trenum (Brentsville); and Lorree Y. Williams (Woodbridge).

Visit the PWCS School Board Web page.

Travel to Discover New Ideas, Food, and Influence—Or Attend March 7 Conference at Hylton High School
February 9, 2015
 
Have you ever heard of the remarkable archipelago, Svalbard? Are you curious about what life is like in Mongolia, Martinique, or Bermuda? Do you wonder how we can resolve conflicts in our world, especially in locations such as the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria?
 
The public is invited to explore these and other topics in sessions at Hylton High School’s annual conference, “Connecting with the World: People, Places, Language, and Culture,” on Saturday, March 7. Hylton's Center for International Studies and Languages (CISL) will host the event from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
 
Preregistration and payment includes a light breakfast and full lunch, with choices from an international food court. Contact CISL Coordinator Meg Holt at holtmh@pwcs.edu or call 703.580.4000 for more information.  
 
Check the Hylton High School CISL page for additional details as it becomes available. Hylton High School is located at 14051 Spriggs Road in Woodbridge.
 
The CISL program focuses on global issues relating to cultures and languages, information and communication, and political, economic, and environmental systems.
Gil Trenum to Hold Town Hall Meetings February 26 and March 5; Gil Trenum convoca a reuniones públicas el 26 de febrero y 5 de marzo
February 6, 2015
 
Gil Trenum, Brentsville Magisterial District member on the Prince William County School Board, will host a town hall meeting on Thursday, February 26, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Marsteller Middle School, located at 14000 Sudley Manor Drive, Bristow. The topic of the meeting will be the FY 2016 school budget and Capital Improvements Program (CIP). County Supervisor Jeanine Lawson (Brentsville), will join Trenum at the town hall meeting.
 
School Board Vice Chairman Alyson A. Satterwhite (Gainesville), will join Trenum at a second town hall meeting on Thursday, March 5 beginning at 7 p.m. in the library of Haymarket Elementary School, to discuss the budget and CIP.

For additional information, please contact the Prince William County School Board office at 703.791.8069.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Gil Trenum convoca a reuniones públicas el 26 de febrero y 5 de marzo

 
Gil Trenum, miembro de la Junta Escolar del Condado de Prince William en representación del Distrito de Brentsville, llevará a cabo una reunión el jueves 26 de febrero a las 7:30 p.m. en la escuela intermedia Marsteller, ubicada en 14000 Sudley Manor Drive, Bristow. El tema de la reunión será el presupuesto para las escuelas para el año fiscal 2016 y el Programa de Mejoras de Capital (CIP, por sus siglas en inglés). La Supervisora del Condado Jeanine Lawson (Brentsville) estará presente junto a Trenum en la primera reunión.
 

Alyson A. Satterwhite (Gainesville), miembro de la Junta Escolar, se unirá a Trenum en la segunda reunión pública que tendrá lugar el 5 de marzo a las 7:00 p.m. en la biblioteca de la escuela primaria Haymarket, para tratar el presupuesto y el CIP.


Para mayor información, sírvase contactar a la oficina de la Junta Escolar del Condado de Prince William llamando al 703.791.8069.
 
 
Best Practices Showcase – Integrating STEM at Henderson Elementary
Engineering design, brainstorming, and collaborative problem solving are second nature to students at Henderson Elementary School.

February 5, 2015

Principal Suzanne Bevans and a team of teacher leaders shared Henderson Elementary School’s journey to become a flagship school for children’s engineering at the School Board meeting on February 4. View presentation below.

 
Public Meeting on School Board Budget Rescheduled; Work Sessions Scheduled
February 6, 2015

The public is reminded that Superintendent of Schools Steven L. Walts and school finance officials will give a presentation on the Proposed FY 2016 Budget and Capital Improvements Program to the public on Monday, February 23 beginning at 7 p.m. in Room 1101 of the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center. This meeting was originally scheduled for February 9. The Superintendent will present the Proposed FY 2016 Budget and Capital Improvements Program to the School Board on February 18.

Citizens wishing to speak at the February 23 public meeting will be limited to two minutes each and 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. Individuals may also sign up at the door prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting.

School Board members will be present to hear public comment. Chairman At-Large Milton C. Johns will preside over the public comment portion of the meeting which will follow the Superintendent’s presentation. Other members of the School Board are expected to attend.

An official public hearing will be held at the School Board’s regular public meeting on Wednesday, March 18. Citizens wishing to provide early input on the budget are encouraged to attend the public meeting on February 23.

Budget Work Sessions

The Prince William County School Board will hold budget work sessions on the FY 2016 Budget and CIP on Wednesday, February 18, and Wednesday, March 4, following the regular board meetings on those dates. The work sessions are scheduled for 9 p.m. An additional work session is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11 at 6 p.m. All meetings will be in the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas, VA 20112. View Budget Update website for the schedule of meetings and workshops.
 
Life after High School Looming? Fair Helps Students with Disabilities Plan for Transition
February 4, 2015

Finishing high school can be an exciting time, but it can also bring anxiety about what’s next and how to plan for the future. To assist students with disabilities and their families in planning for life after school, the Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park Transition Council will host its Annual Transition Fair. This free event will be held on Saturday, March 21, from noon–3:30 p.m. at the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center.

 
The Transition Fair offers students and parents the opportunity to meet with private and public agencies that provide a variety of support services to youth and adults with disabilities who face significant changes as they complete their high school careers. Students and parents may also attend information sessions about:
  • Transition planning,
  • Medicaid,
  • Social security,
  • College disability support services,
  • Financial aid,
  • Estate planning,
  • Guardianship,
  • Career planning,
  • Supported employment, and
  • The Department of Rehabilitative Services and Community Services.

All of the information presented will prove helpful to students in the transition planning process. The Transition Fair focuses on students who receive special education services through Prince William County, Manassas City, or Manassas Park Public Schools.
 
To register for the fair, call 703.791.8354 (voice) or 703.791.8847 (TDD).
 
Accommodations provided upon request. 

 
Congratulations, Joyce Boyd Stockton, PWCS Principal of the Year!
Principal’s dedication and hard work translate into a school that runs smoothly, efficiently, and effectively.

February 3, 2015
Chairman At-Large Milton C. Johns, Joyce Boyd Stockton, Superintendent Steven L. WaltsA standing ovation says it all: the much-beloved principal of Pennington Traditional School, Joyce Boyd Stockton, waved and blew kisses at family, friends, and colleagues; and received congratulatory hugs from Superintendent Steven L. Walts, School Board Chairman At-Large Milton C. Johns, Deputy Superintendent Rae Darlington, School Board members, and Associate Superintendent for Middle Schools William Bixby.

About 350 people attended the annual educator reception January 29 honoring Stockton, National Board Certified Teachers, and nominees for the Teacher of the Year/Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award.

“Joyce Stockton is a remarkable example of someone who builds relationships, and that shows up in test scores, parent surveys, and of course, in the climate of the school,” said Bixby, as he introduced her at the ceremony. “She sets the bar high for her students, her staff, and more importantly, for herself.”

Meet Joyce Stockton in this “School Focus” feature below:


 
Patriot High School Wins VHSL Conference 8 One-Act Play Festival
February 2, 2015
 
Congratulations Patriot Players on securing the Championship title, for the second year in a row, at the VHSL Cedar Run Conference 8 Theatre One-Act Play Festival. Not only did our performing Pioneers take first place, but sophomore Adrian Veleazquez-Mondragon received the district's highest honor for individual performance, being named our district's Best Actor.
  
Other Patriot students who received nominations for individual performance awards were Chris Martin, Ana Fernandez, Christina Byers, and Ben Johnson. 
 
Student director and stage manager, senior Heather Ogden, was commended by the judges for brave decisions, insight, and imaginative use of space. Patiot’s cast was strongly praised for their commitment to their anti-bullying message, their powerful performances within challenging roles, and being "social justice warriors," using art to effect change. 

Patriot advances to the 6A North Regional competition scheduled for February 7, at 10 a.m.  
 
Woodbridge High School was runner-up for the championship title for Conference 4.
 
PWCS to Host Future Educators of America State Competition February 7 at Hylton HS
February 2, 2015

On Saturday, February 7, PWCS will host the Future Educators Association (FEA), State of Virginia Competitive Events at Hylton High School (this is a venue change) from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (snow date February 21 at Forest Park High School). Approximately 250 students from FEA chapters at 17 school divisions and 29 schools across the state will travel to Prince William County to participate in the conference activities and events. Students will have the opportunity to compete in a variety of events and become eligible to represent Virginia FEA and compete at the national conference which will be held in Arlington, Virginia in April.


The event is designed to:
  • Develop and strengthen the leadership abilities of students.
  • Foster personal development for students.
  • Develop a network of students with leadership potential to support collaboration among emerging leaders.
  • Inspire students to seek or accept leadership responsibilities as part of the contribution to society.
  • Increase awareness of current and emerging educational challenges.
  • Promote opportunities for students to gain knowledge and an understanding about the teaching profession.
See additional information about PWCS efforts to support teaching on the Growing Our Own in Prince William County Public Schools web page
Kindergarten Registration Dates on the Horizon
January 30, 2015
 
Parents of children who will enter kindergarten next school year should make note of two important dates. Kindergarten registration will be held countywide on Thursday, April 9 and Thursday, April 23. Parents should contact the school their child will attend for specific registration times.
 
When parents of children who speak or understand a language other than American English register their child, they will be asked to call one of two sites, Stonewall Middle Central Registration, 571.402.3800, or Ann Ludwig Central Registration, 703.491.8432, to make an appointment for an English language evaluation.
 
After April 23, instead of registering at their local school, English language learners will be registered and evaluated at Central Registration. Parents will need to call the Stonewall Middle or Ann Ludwig sites for an appointment. 
Students, Follow the Path to a Summer Job, Applications Now Available
January 30, 2015
 
Submit applications online beginning January 30 for the Student Summer Job Fair.
 
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 17, at Freedom High School, 15201 Neabsco Mills Road, Woodbridge; and
  • Thursday, March 19 at Stonewall Jackson High School, 8820 Rixlew Lane, Manassas. 
The time for both job fairs is 6–7:30 p.m. See the Summer Job Fair flyer for additional details.
 
Students must be at least 16 years old and must attend one of the job fairs to be eligible for summer employment. Students should complete the online application available from the  PWCS Human Resources Summer Employment page and must bring a copy of the completed application with them, along with the names of two references, when they interview at the job fair. (To access this page from the PWCS homepage, pwcs.edu, choose “Employment” in the top navigation buttons, click on “Employment Opportunities,” then choose “Summer Employment” in the drop-down.)
 
Other local employers will also participate in the job fairs to recruit students for available summer positions.
 
 


 
Your Input Needed on PWCS Strategic Plan
Use public comment site to help shape measures of success
 
January 20, 2015
 
PWCS is updating the Strategic Plan for FY2016–20. Primary goals are unchanged, but the plan is being streamlined and updated to better serve all stakeholders. Collaborative teams of Level Associate Superintendents, principals, teachers, and parents are revising benchmarks to help guide school/Division efforts and measure success.
 
What do you think? How should PWCS measure success toward its stated goals? Weigh in at   (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/pwcsstrategicplan). Any member of the community can comment on specific measures or the plan as a whole. The site will be open for comment through the month of February. In addition, a community input meeting will be held on February 19, at 7 p.m. in room 1101 of the Kelly Leadership Center. 
 
Informed by your input, the proposed plan will be presented to the Prince William County School Board in April 2015. Please, add your thoughts now.
It’s Never Too Early to Seek Student Scholarships Through SPARK
January 16, 2015

Looking to offer your students scholarship opportunities?  SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools, will award at least ten 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 the Micron Foundation, 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 the Micron Foundation 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.
To download these applications visit www.poweredbyspark.org or contact SPARK for further information at 703.791.8003. 
Division’s Advisory Committee Meetings for February
January 13, 2015

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 11, 4:30–7 p.m., (KLC room 2011). See the ​CTE Advisory Council Web page. Contact the CTE program at 703.791.7297 for assistance.
  • Gifted Education Advisory Council, on February 17, 7 p.m., (KLC room 1101). 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-CHANGED TO FEBRUARY 10, 6:30 p.m., (KLC room 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 17, 7–9 p.m., (KLC room 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 12, 7–9 p.m., (KLC room 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 details. Check with building staff on site for questions about meeting room location. 
Know the PWCS Weather-Related School Closing Procedures
Wintry weather forecast serves as a prompt to review PWCS inclement weather procedures.

November 25, 2014
 
With wintry weather in the forecast, PWCS reminds parents that it is important to listen to local media reports and to check the School Division’s Web and social media sites for any messages about changes in school or School Age Child Care (SACC) schedules. No announcements will be made when schools and SACC are operating on a normal schedule. See the Inclement Weather Closings & Delays Procedures page for complete information.
 
Announcements of changes in school schedules are posted immediately after a decision is made on all School Division websites including pwcs.edu, facebook.com/PWCSNews, and twitter.com/pwcsnews, PWCS-TV (Comcast channel 18 and Verizon channel 36), and on the School Division’s telephone closing line, 703.791.2776. Subscribers to E-News can choose to receive closing announcements by email, text message, or both. To register, visit https://pwcsalerts.bbcportal.com. Local media outlets are informed of schedule changes promptly, but may take time to update their information.
 
Principals have provided a letter to parents through school newsletters and websites with detailed information on closing procedures. Read the letter (English, Spanish).
 
Prince William County encompasses 348 square miles and stretches from the Potomac River to the Bull Run Mountains. Road conditions may change, vary from one end of the county to the other, or improve over time but decisions are made on a Divisionwide basis for the safety of people across the county. The decision to delay the opening of schools is made to allow commuter traffic to clear and hazardous road conditions to improve, or allow school officials to make a subsequent decision to close schools for the day. Early or full-day closing decisions may also be based on conditions in some parts of the county, though others may look very different.
2015 Summer Program Dates Announced
December 9, 2014

The following dates have been set for the Prince William County Public Schools 2015 Summer School Program:
  • Elementary and Middle School Remediation Program: July 6–24 (three-week program)
  • High School Program: June 29 - August 7 (six-week program)
  • Art Enrichment Program: July 6–17
  • Summer School High school graduation date: Thursday, August 6 (location TBD)

The 2015 summer school information will be available on the Web site in March 2015. Visit the Summer School Program Web page for more information as it becomes available.

Dates for the summer session of the Virtual High School @ PWCS (VHS), Prince William County’s online high school program, will run at the same time as the regular high school summer session listed above. Registration for VHS will open at the beginning of April after the spring break. Learn more.

 
12th High School Boundary Maps Now Online
December 2, 2014

The 2016-17 attendance boundary maps for the 12th High School have been posted online.  The School Board approved the proposed boundary at its meeting on November 18.
 
What Kids at T. Clay Wood Elementary Want to Know
November 5, 2014
 
Delegate Richard L. (Rich) Anderson (51st) visits T. Clay Wood Elementary SchoolA future in public service? Students learned first-hand what it means to be a public official and work on behalf of others. In celebration of the Virginia School Board Association’s “Take Your Legislator to School Month,” T. Clay Wood Elementary School hosted Delegate Richard L. (Rich) Anderson. Anderson represents the 51st House District where the school is located. He spoke to each 4th grade class about the life of a delegate, Virginia history, Virginia government, and how a bill becomes a law, and answered questions from students. Students asked if he has met the President, how long a term is, and if he likes his job, among other questions.
Hylton Planetarium Presents Laser Light Shows in October
October 3, 2014

Your choice of laser light shows in October will entertain you with spooky lights and sounds or with the pulsating images and music of the band Metallica. Fright Light shows will send chills up your spine or perhaps you will keep your eyes closed and only sneak a peek at fun renditions like Purple People Eater. Or experience the music of Metallica -- tempos, instrumentals, themes, and sound are joined with laser lights of the same caliber and style. Your pulse will pound as the music fills both your ears and eyes. The Irene V. Hylton Planetarium presents laser music and light shows Friday nights in October on the following dates:
 
October 10:
6 p.m. - Fright Light (family friendly)
7:30 p.m. - Laser Metallica
9 p.m. - Fright Light (loud and scary)
 
October 17:
6 p.m. - Fright Light (family friendly)
7:30 p.m. -  Laser Metallica
9 p.m. - Fright Light (loud and scary)
 
October 24:
6 p.m. - Fright Light (family friendly)
7:30 p.m. - Laser Metallica
9 p.m. - Fright Light (loud and scary)

Theatrical lighting, stage effects, the darkness of the planetarium and the SkyLase laser system set to music from various artists such as Michael Jackson, Garbage, Weird Al Yankovic. All 9 p.m. shows will be much louder than the earlier shows so they may not be suitable for everyone. Tickets are $10 at the door. Please bring exact change.

Seating is limited to the first 65 people each show so come early! Park in the main lot and enter the building through door #1. Hylton High School, 14051 Spriggs Road, Woodbridge, VA 22193.  Email Tony Kilgore at kilgorae@pwcs.edu with questions.
Parents and Students -- Need to Change Your Email Address or Web Site Password?
September 26, 2014


Your email address listed in the Parent Portal will be used to send notifications from both Parent Portal and from school Web sites (SchoolFusion). Since the Parent Portal is self-service you must change your email address in the Parent Portal and it will be automatically changed for school Web site notifications. View instructions on the
Parent Portal FAQ’s Web page.
 
However, if students have changed their student email address but are still not receiving Web site notifications, check with your school office staff; they may need to make a change in the student database.
 
Your password for both Parent Portal and your school Web site must be changed in the Parent Portal. See instructions for changing your password and for retrieving a forgotten password.
 
October School Board Meeting Schedule
September 25, 2014
 
The October public meetings of the Prince William County School Board will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 1 and October 15 in the School Board Meeting Room, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas. View School Board meeting agendas online and find additional information on the School Board Web page. Agenda items and materials are subject to change up to the time of the meetings.
 
In addition, a disciplinary hearing is tentatively scheduled on October 22. If needed, members Lillie G. Jessie (Occoquan), Alyson A. Satterwhite (Gainesville), and Gil Trenum (Brentsville) will convene to review up to four cases.
 
October 1
5 p.m.           Dinner
6 p.m.           Closed Session Meeting
7 p.m.           Public Meeting
 
October 15
5 p.m.           Dinner
6 p.m.           Closed Session Meeting
7 p.m.           Public Meeting       
 
October 22 (tentative)
5 p.m.           Dinner
6 p.m.           Disciplinary Hearing
 
Anyone may attend public meetings, which are streamed live on pwcstv.com and broadcast live on PWCS-TV, available on Comcast Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 36. Past meetings are also available for viewing on-demand at pwcstv.com.
 
Individuals who wish to address the School Board during Public Comment 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 by noon on the day of the meeting. Individuals may also sign up in the School Board Meeting Room prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting.
Global Competency--What is It and Why Do Our Students Need It? Participate in Global Conference in November
September 23, 2014

Plan now to participate in the 2014 Global Education Conference during International Education Week, November 17-November 22. All PWCS educators are encouraged to take part. The conference is soliciting proposals through November 15. This will be a week of free online professional learning in webinar format with educators and innovators around the world. The conference will take place entirely online using the Blackboard Collaborate platform which can be accessed at any time, even in the evenings. See the Blackboard Web site for details. 
The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park Joint Board Meeting Schedule
September 18, 2014
 
The Joint Board of The Governor's School @ Innovation Park will hold its first meeting of the year on September 25, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Room 110H of the Occoquan Building on the Prince William Campus, George Mason University, located at 10900 University Boulevard in Manassas.
 
2014-15 Meetings:
 
September 25, 2014             Business Meeting
December 11, 2014              Business Meeting
February 19, 2015                Business Meeting
April 23, 2015                      Business Meeting
June 18, 2015                       Business Meeting
 
Members of The Governor's School @ Innovation Park's Joint Board are Scott Albrecht, Manassas City Public Schools; Arthur Bushnell, Manassas City Public Schools; Brenda Foster, Manassas Park City Schools; Milton Johns, Prince William County Public Schools; Dr. Fran Kassinger, Manassas Park City Schools; and Dr. Michael Otaigbe, Prince William County Public Schools.
 
View meeting agendas and minutes.  
Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation Hosts Student Poster Contest
September 15, 2014
 
Poster submissions based on the theme “Bully Free Zone” are due by April 30, 2015 for the Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation 2015 Poster Contest. See contest rules and details, including pictures of the School Division’s own 2011 winning posters created by students from Bennett Elementary School, at www.vapt.org. (Click on “Poster Contest” and scroll down to view winning posters and contest rules.)
 
 
Parents, Here’s How to Receive Critical Messages from PWCS
September 12, 2014

Blackboard Connect (Automatic Enrollment)

Parents and guardians of students and employees of Prince William County Public Schools are automatically enrolled in the Blackboard Connect messaging service. PWCS central office and schools use this system to communicate delayed opening and school closing information, emergency messages, and attendance and school-based outreach messages. Messages are delivered using basic contact information provided by parents and employees. 

 
Updating Basic Contact Information
It is important to keep emergency contact information up to date. Parents may request edits to their child's emergency contact information online through Parent Portal.

Employees may view and update their contact information through Employee Self Service.

Be sure to add the email@pwcs.edu and email@blackboard.com addresses to your contact list to ensure you receive important messages from your child's school and the School Division.

E-News (Blackboard Connect Subscription Service)

Students, spouses, and community members interested in receiving emergency messages, news, events, and updates from PWCS may subscribe to PWCS E-News. News is sent by email; emergency messages and inclement weather closures or delays are sent to your choice of email and/or via a text message. Parents may consider using this service to receive emergency messages at additional phone numbers or addresses not listed in their child’s contact record.

Subscribe to any of the following topics: 
  • Emergency messages, delayed openings, and school closings (select your schools of interest)
  • News releases, Events, and Web stories
  • Board Briefs
Updating Contact Information
Subscribers are responsible for updating and removing themselves from the subscription system.
 
Be sure to add the news@pwcs.edu and email@blackboard.com to your contact list to ensure you receive important messages from the School Division.
Save the Date; College Fairs Set for September 29 and October 22
September 11, 2014

Parents and students are invited to attend one of the college fairs scheduled in the coming weeks to explore post-graduation options. Representatives from various colleges, universities, technical schools, and the military will attend. All seniors and juniors and their parents are strongly encouraged to attend.

The Western Prince William County Regional College Fair will be held at Patriot High School on September 29 from 7–8:30 p.m. Patriot High School is located at 10504 Kettle Run Road in Nokesville.

The Eastern Prince William County Regional College Fair will be held and at Woodbridge High School on October 22 from 6–8 p.m. Woodbridge High School is located at 3001 Old Bridge Road in Woodbridge.
 
Applications Available for Families Eligible for Free and Reduced Meals
August 15, 2014

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 2014 will receive an application packet in the mail. 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.
 

Ya están disponibles las solicitudes para aquellos que califiquen para la comida gratis o a precio reducido

15 de agosto de 2014

Los padres de alumnos de las Escuelas del Condados de Prince William que deseen solicitar comida gratis o a precio reducido, pueden completar y enviar la solicitud por internet.  El proceso evitará a las familias las demoras que pueden producirse al enviar la solicitud por correo. Además, podrán estar seguros de que la solicitud se completó en su totalidad ya que el sistema les pedirá que proporcionen toda la información necesaria. Completen ya la solicitud en línea. Los enlaces a las solicitudes en inglés y español se encuentran en la barra de navegación izquierda de la página de los Servicios de Comida (School Food Services) en menus.departments.pwcs.edu. Toda la información proporcionada será confidencial y estará a disposición solamente de la Oficina de Servicios Alimentarios y Nutrición.
 
Los padres tendrán la opción de completar la solicitud por escrito. Las familias de estudiantes registrados en las Escuelas del Condado de Prince William antes de fines de julio de 2014, recibirán un paquete de inscripción por correo. Las familias de estudiantes registrados después de dicha fecha deberán retirar la solicitud en su escuela. Las solicitudes también pueden obtenerse en el Kelly Leadership Center ubicado en 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas.
 
Por preguntas relacionadas al proceso de solicitud, llame a la Oficina de Servicios Alimentarios y Nutrición al 703.791.7314.

 
2014-15 Bell Times Revised for Woodbine Preschool
Five minutes has been added to the morning and afternoon sessions at Woodbine Preschool Center. This will provide a 10-minute increase in the school day which is consistent with the 10-minute increase previously added to other schools. The revised bell schedule reflects this change. View revised bell schedule.
PWCS-TV Airs High School Graduations
June 12, 2014

PWCS-TV will air broadcasts of most PWCS high school graduation ceremonies. The shows give graduates, friends, and families a second chance to view the big event from the comfort of their own home. Broadcasts will take place at 5:30 p.m. on the following dates and are available via Video On Demand after the first airing date. Go to pwcstv.com and scroll through the episodes to find the graduation ceremony you are interested in viewing.

Potomac High School
June 30 and July 4

Battlefield High School
July 7 and July 11
 
Stonewall Jackson High School
 July 14 and July 18
 
Patriot High School
July 21 and July 25
 
Osbourn Park High School
July 28 and August 1
 
Forest Park High School
August 4 and August 8
 
Hylton High School
August 11 and August 15
 
Gar-Field High School
August 18 and August 22
 
Woodbridge High School
August 25 and August 29
 
Freedom High School
September 1 and September 5
 
Brentsville District High School
September 8 and September 12
 
Adult Education and Summer School
September 15 and September 19
 
New Directions
September 22 and September 26 

Saluting Our Stars Photo Gallery Now Available
June 11, 2014 

A photo gallery from the May 13 Saluting our Stars ceremony at Patriot High School is now available through the SPARK website at www.poweredbyspark.org and videos from the event are available on-demand at www.pwcstv.com. Award recipients may now share their special moment with friends and family.
 
The event brought together more than 400 recipients of international, national, state, and regional awards in academics, arts, athletics, and education. SPARK is the Education Foundation for PWCS, and sponsors the annual recognition event.  SPARK represents the commitment of the business, non-profit, and civic sectors to encourage and recognize excellence throughout PWCS and to support efforts to offer a World-Class Education to students. 
By Popular Request, Here Are Videos and Resources Shared at the High School Parent Summit—A “Must See” for Parents
March 14, 2014
If you missed the opportunity to attend the High School Parent Summit at Hylton High School on Saturday, January 11, you can still learn much of what was offered. The half-day program included expert presentations on graduation requirements, earning college credit through tests, financial aid and scholarships, college admissions and programs, SAT/ACT information, career and workforce information, trade and technical options, and much more. Event organizers heard from many parents that they wanted to see presentations again and watch those they missed.

Check out the videos and resources
here 

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