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Important School Budget News
Supervisors' straw vote on tax rate is good news for schools.

April 17, 2015

Important School Budget news came out of Thursday’s (April 16) meeting of the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS). A BOCS straw vote reportedly favored adoption of the full advertised Prince William County tax rate (advertised rates can be cut, but not increased). That suggests the rate likely to be adopted will generate enough revenue to support the balanced PWCS budget plan created by staff, then modified and submitted by the School Board.
In addition, the BOCS discussion revealed plans to offer the Division an additional $1 million for use toward additional class size reductions in at least one grade level. The offer will reportedly be contingent on the School Board matching the new funds with $1 million from the PWCS spending plan.  
The BOCS is slated to take a final vote on the county tax rate Tuesday night, April 21. Keep up with all budget news through the Budget Update website.
State and National Awards Presented to Top Leaders in PWCS
Superintendent honored for making a difference and for his commitment to public education.

April 17, 2015

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven L. Walts received the 2015 Pathfinders Award from the Board of Directors of the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals (VAESP) at the association’s recent conference.

This award recognizes Dr. Walts’ commitment to public education and the significant positive contributions he has made to enhance the quality of education at each level for PWCS students and school employees.

The award is given to those in Virginia who are members or non-members of VAESP who have provided educational leadership or significant contributions to VAESP in education reform in elementary and middle school education and/or who have, by their deeds, enhanced the quality of elementary and middle school education. Only one award is given each year.
Kelly Nickerson, Assistant Principal of King Elementary School, was selected as Virginia’s 2015 National Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year. The 2015 award marks the fourth year that the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) in collaboration with the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals (VAESP) has presented this prestigious award. See press release.

Andrew Buchheit, principal of T. Clay Wood Elementary School, received the VAESP School Bell Award for his contributions to his school, to PWCS, and to education.

Candy Rotruck, principal of Alvey Elementary School, was honored as a nominee for the National Outstanding Principal Award.

Kindergarten Registration April 23, ​español
April 16, 2015
Kindergarten registration for next school year will be held countywide on 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. 


School Board Recognizes Dedicated Service through Longevity Awards
April 17, 2015
The School Board and School Division’s Leadership Team congratulate employees who have reached significant milestones in their careers with Prince William County Public Schools. These employees have brought our School Division to where it is today, and are leading our effort to provide our students with a World-Class Education. This year two employees top the list for 45 years of service. Employees received service pins in ceremonies at their schools and offices.
Other honorees include 10 employees with 40 years of service, 32 employees with 35 years of service, 33 with 30 years, 81 with 25 years, and 117 with 20 years of service. Another 1,337 employees reaching milestones of 5, 10, and 15 years.
Honorees are listed below in alphabetical order by the name of their school, department, or office.
45–Years: Frank Hughes, Fred Lynn Middle, and Margaret Banach, Occoquan Elementary.
40–Years: Ted Riley, Facilities Management Services; Goldie Webb, Kerrydale Elementary; Priscilla Corbin, Mary Langhorne, and Janice Rolley; Transportation Services.
35–Years: Kathleen Caiazzo, Benton Middle; Elwood Carner and Gary Perdue, Facilities Management Services; Shirley Coleman, Fred Lynn Middle; Mary Gruber, Human Resources; Steve George, Information Technology Services; Principal Amy Jordan, Kilby Elementary; Richard Shahan, Media Production Services; Lynn Kerr, Neabsco Elementary; Trina Sheckels-Mcfarland, Osbourn Park High; Thomas Peterman, Rippon Middle; Karen Majeske, Saunders Middle; Cary Dougher and Randall  Knack, Special Education, Sandra Willt, Supply Services; Barbara Baughman and Charles Midgette, Transportation Services; Wanda Higgins, Woodbridge High; and Principal Skyles Calhoun, Woodbridge Middle.
30–Years: Cynthia Boning and Alfred Eaton, Benton Middle; Karen Kellett, Beville Middle; Charles Reedy, Brentsville District High; Stephen Bianco, Bull Run Middle; Dennis Clark, Rodney  Clayborn, Gary Garner, and Timothy Nelson, Facilities Management Services; John Robinson, Fitzgerald Elementary; Jerry Mobley, Forest Park High; Linda Melton, Gar-Field High; Brenda Stringfellow, Haymarket Elementary; Richard Pennline, Hylton High; Brenda Jenkins, Information Technology Services; Sherry Addington, Lake Ridge Middle; Patricia  Ferrara, Occoquan Elementary; Brian Beaty, Loretta Bryant-Kline, and Diane Liebman, Osbourn Park High; and Mary Kellogg, Pattie Elementary.
Also receiving 30-year pins are Principal Darci Whitehead, Porter Traditional; Daniel Hurlow, Potomac Middle; Patricia Branigan, Special Education; Kathy Leggett and Margaret Rice, Springwoods Elementary; Eric Wagner, Stonewall Middle; Penny  Parker, Student Learning; Laura  Muller, The Nokesville School; Kevin Davis, Anna  Friend-Scrogum, Kathleen Lyons, Patsy Mitchell, and Beverly Westgate, Transportation Services; Barbara Vignovich, Victory Elementary, and Melanie Miller, Westridge Elementary.
25–Years: Aura Testerman, Accountability; Brian Rodgers, Ashland Elementary; Vicki Burns, Battlefield High; Jill Rocca, Bennett Elementary; Kathleen Erickson, Benton Middle; Principal Timothy  Keenan, Beville Middle; Wilma Blizzard, Ray Edelstein, Spencer Everton, Anthony Thompson, Randall Wolfe, and Andrew Wyatt, Facilities Management Services; Denise Linton, and Karen Moneyhun, Featherstone Elementary; Jacqueline Wilkerson, School Food and Nutrition Services, Albert  Smith, Freedom High; Leslie  Barbour, and Jane  Lowther, Gar-Field High; Elizabeth Vigil, Glenkirk Elementary; Christina  Barcalow, Graham Park Middle; Amy White, Human Resources; Amy Cole and Margaret  Holt, Hylton High; Susan Dooley, Diana Hobbs, and Timothy Jarrell, Information Technology Services; and Barbara Knapp, King Elementary.
Continuing, 30-year pin recipients include Hilda Amezquita and John Wilson, Lake Ridge Middle; Michael  Beyer, Marsteller Middle; Judy Dietrich, Marsteller Middle; Rebecca Patonetz and Rose Potter, McAuliffe Elementary; Luella Williams, Montclair Elementary; Carol  Stoneback, Mountain View Elementary; Donna Atkins, Neabsco Elementary; Frances Karpun-Stanton, Old Bridge Elementary; Kristina  Ferrell, Osbourn Park High; Thomas  Cotter, Linda Hayes, Parkside Middle, Melody Young, Parkside Middle; Bonnie Klakowicz, Gina Merenda, and Tuyet-Hanh  Ragosta, Pattie Elementary; Cheryl  Phillips, Pennington Traditional; William Stearns, Potomac High; Donna Wilder, Professional Development; Susan Handy, Rippon Middle; Elizabeth  Jones, River Oaks Elementary; Patricia  Chimento and Kristin Stapor, Rosa Parks Elementary; and Jacqueline Ashley, Saunders Middle.
Also recognized for 30 years are service are Principal Carrie Webb, Signal Hill Elementary; Randall Chavers, Sinclair Elementary; Jill  Bernstein, and Rochelle  Hamilton, Special Education; Elizabeth  Crayne and Michael Salmons, Stonewall Jackson High; Susan  Dommer, Stonewall Middle; Pamela  Dunbar-Marsh, Katherine Russo, and Katherine  Thiele, Student Learning; Jane  Haga, Student Services; Colleen Arrington, Supply Services; Linda  Clark, The Nokesville School; Brenda  Arrington, Barbara Corbin, Janie Fulcher, Cynthia  Lemon, Lisa  McDaniel, Angela Queen, Jonathan Stanley, Judy Taber, Mary Vlahos, Transportation Services, and Rosanne Zeher, Transportation Services; Carol Turner, Vaughan Elementary; Barbara Beatty, West Gate Elementary; Eileen Atwood and Bettie Kokoski, Westridge Elementary; Brooke Wagner, Williams Elementary; Shelia  Coleman, Zoila  Hernandez, Michiko  Lytle, Michael  Piacesi, and Joseph  Potente, Woodbridge High; Deanne  Lewis, Woodbridge Middle; and Betty  Saunders, Yorkshire Elementary.
20–Years: Janice  Kleindl, Accountability; Datha  Ritenour and Lisa  Ward, Battlefield High; Raymond  Pitner and Kathleen  Rivers, Bel Air Elementary; Robert  Harris, Jennifer  Clegg, Carol  Moonan, Jamila  Stone, Lesli  Stronko, and Glynis  Taylor, Benton Middle; Deborah  Jaeger, Beville Middle, Melanie  Collins, Brentsville District High, 20--Katherine  Carney, Dale City Elementary, Carmen  Martinez, Dale City Elementary; Principal Kathy  Notyce, Devlin Elementary; Edelmira  Artiga and Terry  Corcoran Perrin, Dumfries Elementary; Adrienne  McDonald and Barbara  Thomson, Ellis Elementary; Robert  Burke, Kenneth  Dey, David  Fronda, Paula  McCaslin, Phillip  Olinger, Americo  Perez, Bjorn  Thorpe, and Frank Wilborn, Facilities Management Services; Karen  Sobers, Financial Services; and Mary  Ennis, School Food and Nutrition Services.
Twenty-year service award recipients include Kathryn  Scowcroft, Forest Park High; Rosa Salmeron, Fred Lynn Middle; Patricia  Crissman and Kanika  Spruill, Freedom High; J. Keith  Spencer, Gainesville Middle; Evelyn  Holt and Sun  Katzbeck, Gar-Field High; Florence  Richards, Glenkirk Elementary; Anita  Ford, Regina  Lawlor and Douglas  Silver, Godwin Middle; Twana  Ellis and Michelle  Heindrichs, Graham Park Middle; Valerie Shisler, Henderson Elementary; Elizabeth Durham, Boualovay Souvannarath, and Edward Stevens, Hylton High; Eastern Gault, Independent Hill; Christine  Dunn, Gwendolyn  Edwards, Richard Farley, and Norma McAllister, Information Technology Services; Wendy McGrael and Betty  Williams, Kerrydale Elementary; and Jennifer Dohm, Leesylvania Elementary.
Also recognized for 20 years of service are Heather Goode, Loch Lomond Elementary; Franklin Turner, Marsteller Middle; Sandra Childers, Marumsco Hills Elementary; Diana  Burley, Minnieville Elementary; Cassandra Jenkins, Occoquan Elementary; Charlene  Beckner, Old Bridge Elementary; Michael Feldman, Sheila Parker, Jennifer  Rhawn, and Robert Watters, Osbourn Park High; Cynthia Dana and Jill  Huff, PACE West; Karen Parker-Jackson, Pattie Elementary; Karyn  Kelsey and Debra  Miller, Porter Traditional; Frank Dunn and Mary  Mellott, Potomac High, Kathy Beach and Vineeth Lagouit, Potomac View Elementary; Amy  Alexander, Reagan Middle; Diane Daniel, Joseph MacFarlane, Judith Minor, and Rebecca  Payne, Rippon Middle; Bridget Carter, Reina Salmeron, and Melissa Simpson, Rockledge Elementary; and Joseph Miranda, Saunders Middle.
Also, Gloria Baggette, Signal Hill Elementary; Frances  Baier, Claire Dimaiuta, and Renee  Smith, Special Education; Patricia Herndon and Cindy Persing, Stonewall Jackson High; Kathleen  Netzer and Gloria Payne, Stonewall Middle; Madelyn Pine, and Michelle  Rowe, Student Learning, Virginia Gaige and Koeen Madsen, Superintendents Staff; Kathleen Cretella, Mark Groom, and Melissa Ridley, Swans Creek Elementary; Diana  Kirk and Kathy Smaltz, The Nokesville School; Alice Evans, Kelly  Kalen, Debra  Morris, Gail Newman-Spencer, Laura Proffitt, Jennifer Robertson, Evelyn Strouth, Colleen Wertz, and Jeanne Yawberg, Transportation Services; Carol  Huff, Triangle Elementary; Margaret Hopkins, Tyler Elementary; Shirley Bunch and Jennifer Casey, Williams Elementary; Sharon Smith and Deborah White, Woodbridge Middle.
Fun, Health, and Fitness Combine at May 9 Community Expo
April 17, 2015

The public is invited to participate in sport, dance, fitness, fun, and physical challenges at the PWC Community Expo set for Saturday, May 9, from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. at the Pfitzner Stadium Complex.

The event will include activities for all ages, such as a petting zoo, mascot dance off, BMX demonstrations, on-stage performances, prizes, food vendors, a rock climbing wall, reptile and raptor demonstrations, nutrition education, and physical education activities.

The PWC Community Expo is coordinated by Prince William County Public Schools, Prince William County Healthy Communities l Healthy Youth, PWCS Health and Physical Education, PWC Parks and Recreation, and SPARK, the Education Foundation for PWCS, and the Hylton Foundation.
See details on the Community Expo Web page

The Expo could be cancelled for severe weather or lightning. Check or any Prince William County Public School Web Site for event status.
PWCS Teachers of the Year, Among the Best of the Best
Congratulations to Arvinder Johri, Gela Russell, and Kathleen Rivers, teachers who inspire students, parents, and colleagues.

April 16, 2015

From among 21 nominees for the PWCS Teacher of the Year Award, three have been named as Teachers of the Year at the elementary, middle and high school level. Innovation, leadership, and student achievement are hallmarks of the teaching mastery of those nominated. All stand as testament to the quality of teachers in our World-Class schools.

Kathleen Rivers, PWCS Elementary School Teacher of the YearKathleen Rivers, special education teacher at Bel Air Elementary School, is the Teacher of the Year at the elementary school level. Rivers has spent her entire 20-year career at Bel Air, where she garners praise from students, parents, and colleagues for her ability to help students achieve academically and grow socially and emotionally. She is a mentor for new teachers, a school and community leader, and expert presenter on student behavior at state conferences. She teaches a multi-grade classroom where students within each grade work at different levels, with outstanding results. Last year her students achieved an 88% pass rate on reading and 100% pass rate on science Standards of Learning tests.

Gela Russell, PWCS Middle School Teacher of the YearGela Russell, sixth-grade teacher and language arts chair at Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle School, is the Middle School Teacher of the Year. Calling her students “scholars,” Russell keeps students interested and motivated. She makes it her mission to make lessons engaging and relevant, with opportunities for students to be creative and work independently. She challenges students to openly debate and discuss literature and current news. As a former journalist and communications specialist, she is a master of the subject she teaches and uses her skills in design and public relations to great effect.

Dr. Arvinder Johri, PWCS High School Teacher of the YearDr. Arvinder Johri Is the High School Teacher of the Year. She teaches creative writing and Advanced Placement English literature and chairs the English Department at New Directions Alternative Education Center. She pushes her students beyond their comfort zones and toward understanding of Advanced Placement literature with unwavering confidence. She actively recruits students to take the rigorous AP courses, opening pathways to learning and self-confidence they never thought possible. Johri also is the 2015 recipient of The Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award and is profiled in the April 12 issue of The Washington Post Magazine by reporter Moriah Balingit.

Airshow May 2 – The Right Stuff in Robotics and Aviation
April 16, 2015
Along with the many activities taking place at the 2015 Manassas Airshow, Robotics teams, notably the VEX Team from Woodbridge High School and SeaPerch Team from Gar-Field High School, will be participating on Saturday, May 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Manassas Regional Airport. The Patriot High School marching band will perform. Admission is free. 
Process for Naming 12th High School Begins
The High School Naming Committee will hold two community meetings to receive name suggestions for the “12th” High School, currently under construction in Manassas.

April 15, 2015

The community meetings are scheduled for:
  • Thursday, April 23, 2015, 7 p.m., at Benton Middle School in Manassas; and
  • Monday, April 27, 2015, 7 p.m., at Hylton 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, or to the Office of Facilities Services - School Naming Committee, P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108-0389, by April 28, 2015.

The Naming Committee is made up of School Board members Michael Otaigbe, Coles District; Lisa Bell, Neabsco District; Lillie Jessie, Occoquan District; Betty Covington, Potomac District; and Milt Johns, School Board Chairman. All five represent areas impacted by the attendance area of the new “12th” High 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 May 6, 2015, and for action on May 20, 2015.

Currently referred to as “12th” High 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 the county. Attendance boundaries for the new school were approved November 18, 2014.

Any questions, comments, or naming suggestions may be submitted to the Office of Facilities Services, at 703.791.7312.
Students Honored for Academic Excellence, Career Goals, and Community Involvement
Three PWCS students awarded Chamber scholarships.
April 15, 2015
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce presented high school seniors Anna Stapor, Matthew Critchley, and Casey Peschuka with $2,500 scholarships at its annual education luncheon on April 14. The students were selected based on their academic record and community service, among other criteria. Scholarship applicants must also be dependents of Chamber members, or be Chamber members themselves. The luncheonfeatured Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton as the keynote speaker.

Anna Stapor will graduate from Hylton High School at the top of her class in June. She is characterized by one of her teachers as “an exception among the exceptional.” Her list of honors and awards is extensive; among them: first place in Prince William Youth Salute, Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, and National Honor Society member. Stapor was the captain of Hylton’s varsity field hockey team, where she was named the Most Valuable Player and received The Coaches Award. Stapor will enter Virginia Tech this fall and major in industrial design. “I see myself working with others to design goods that can be implemented in poverty­ stricken areas all over the world.…I feel it is my calling to enter a line of work such as this, and I hope that I can leave a positive impact on the world through this kind of work,” she said.
Matthew Critchley, a life-long resident of Dumfries, will graduate from Forest Park High School as an active member of the National Honor Society, as well as the National Science, Social Studies, and International Thespian Honor Societies. He is active in the Drama Club and Future Business Leaders of America. Teachers describe Critchley as “a diligent student, gifted with creativity, maturity, and a willingness to help other students.” Critchley will be the first in his family to go to college and plans to enter Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall, majoring in criminal justice. His future goals are to work and serve in Prince William County

Casey Peschuka will graduate from Woodbridge High School where he serves as the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Valkyrie. His teachers say he is an “exemplary student, conscientious, responsible, intelligent, poised, and mature.” In addition to his role as captain of the varsity lacrosse team, Casey helped found “El Fuego” or “The Fire,” a recreational soccer team that combats hunger in the local community. Peschuka says of the experience, “I am very proud and honored to have been a part of a team  that was able to come together and realize that at the end of the day, soccer isn't as important as issues such as starvation and poverty in our community.” Peschuka has chosen to study biology and organic chemistry with the hope of one day becoming an oncologist, specializing in cancers commonly found in children, such as leukemia and brain tumors. 

Superintendent Steven L. Walts and School Board Members Betty Covington (Potomac) and Lillie Jessie (Occoquan) joined guests in honoring these outstanding students.

Division’s Advisory Committee Meetings for May
April 15, 2015

The following Advisory Committees or Councils will hold regularly scheduled meetings in May.
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 May 19, 7–9 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 May 11, 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 May 19, 7–9 p.m., (KLC room TBD). 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 May 14, 7–9 p.m., (Independent Hill-Building 52 (old administration building) 14800 Joplin Road, Manassas. 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. 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.
Diplomas and Jobs Go Hand-In-Hand Thanks to the Adult Education Office
Students of all ages are receiving the benefits of a World-Class Education.

April 14, 2015

The PWCS Adult Education Office has partnered with the Prince William SkillSource Center to help students find jobs. By bringing GED and English Language services on site, the SkillsSource Center has evolved into a one-stop-shop that delivers valuable community services for those who are looking to join or rejoin the work force. 

Summer School, Great for Second Chances and New Opportunities
April 13, 2015

Summer school provides a variety of educational opportunities that serve to mitigate summer learning loss and prepares students for future learning experiences which lead to improved student achievement.

See below for dates and descriptions of the 2015 Summer School program or visit the Summer School Program Web page.
  • July 6–24 (three-week program): The summer elementary and middle summer school program is remedial and complements what is taught during the school year.  
  • June 29–August 7 (six-week program): High school students in grades 9–12 may take courses for new or repeat credit. The Summer School High school graduation date is Thursday, August 6 at Stonewall Jackson High School.
  • July 6–17: Young Picassos and Rembrandts are invited to explore “The Artist’s Toolbox,” the PWCS Summer Art Enrichment program. The two-week program is open to all local-area students currently in grades 2–8.

Information for the summer session of the Virtual High School @ PWCS (VHS), Prince William County’s online high school program is availabale at Registration for VHS began April 9. Learn more.
Last Day of School Student Dismissal Schedule, Thursday, June 18
April 13, 2015
If there are no unexpected closures that impact the school schedule for the remainder of this school year, we are on target for the last day of school for the 2014–15 school year to be Thursday, June 18, with the standard early dismissal plans as follows. 
  • Elementary and middle school students will be dismissed on a half-day schedule.
  • High school dismissal is set for 10 a.m.
  • June 18 dismissal times for all schools will be posted to the Transportation Services website as soon as they are available.
  • PACE students will follow the high school schedule.
  • There will be no preschool special education or Head Start classes on Thursday, June 18.
  • Lunch will not be served in the high schools.
  • Lunch will be served in the elementary and middle schools.
  • Each SACC site will open at school dismissal on June 18 and will remain open until the usual closing time of 6:30 p.m.
  • The Next Generation after-school program will not be open on June 18.
Washington Post Honors Top Principal and Teacher in PWCS
New Directions teacher and Pennington principal honored as among DC-area top educators.
April 13, 2015

The Washington Post has named Dr. Arvinder Johri as one of 20 recipients of the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award and Joyce Stockton as one of 20 recipients of the Distinguished Educational Leadership Award.

Johri teaches creative writing and Advanced Placement English literature and chairs the English Department at New Directions Alternative Education Center. Her classroom is said to be student-driven, where she teaches by making topics relevant to students and provides prompt feedback. She actively recruits students to take the rigorous AP courses, opening pathways to learning and self-confidence they never thought possible. Johri is profiled in the April 12 issue of The Washington Post Magazine by reporter Moriah Balingit.

“What makes Dr. Johri an exceptional educator is transparent care and a sincere belief that all students can be successful regardless of past circumstances, barriers, or challenges,” said Robert Eichorn, principal of New Directions Alternative Education Center.

With Principal Joyce Boyd Stockton at the helm, Pennington Traditional School (grades 1-8) has twice been named as a national model for middle schools. Stockton applies her vast knowledge and solid management skills to monitor and adjust strategies at the elementary as well as middle school level, and gets results. Standards of Learning tests consistently show higher than 90% passing rates.

“Mrs. Stockton inspires her teachers to bring innovative strategies into the classroom and to pursue their own professional growth. She involves her parents, promotes community service, and participates in community activities,” said Renee P. Chinn, retired assistant principal. (See profile in recognition program, pages 19-20.)

The Distinguished Educational Leadership Awards were established in 1987 and honor principals who go beyond the daily responsibilities of their position to create an exceptional educational environment through dedicated leadership.  
Honoring Military Families on Purple Up Day, April 15
April is designated “Month of the Military Child” to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. More than 2 million people in the United States serve in the nation’s military and many have families and children who are also impacted through their service. 

Join the PWCS family to honor and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices on the nationally recognized day of Wednesday, April 15th by wearing purple. This is a special way of showing support and recognition of families with military members.       

“Purple Up!” Why purple?  It is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, combining Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red, and Navy blue.



Governor Visits West Gate Elementary to Mark Outstanding Success
Focus on results and collaboration propels diverse school toward excellence.

April 10, 2015

(Watch video of the governor’s visit.) (See the slide show)

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe visited West Gate Elementary School to learn how it became a “School of Excellence,” one of the county’s most successful, just two years after being considered a struggling “Focus School.” 

West Gate’s focus on helping every student to succeed dramatically increased the performance of students challenged by learning English as well as other subjects. Two-thirds of West Gate students are receiving English Learner services and speak a total of 22 languages other than English. That can make teaching a challenge. But Principal Craig Gfeller, Assistant Principal Julie Svendsen, their teachers, and West Gate parents came together to help students excel.

The governor applauded West Gate for earning the School of Excellence Award for the first time in 10 years.

“I commend West Gate on not only meeting but exceeding benchmarks. I can see the passion and excitement of the teachers,” said McAuliffe. “West Gate is an excellent example of what can be done.”

Principal Gfeller says there are three key components leading to West Gate’s success: a focus on learning for students and staff; collaboration between regular teachers and those specializing in teaching English as a Second Language; and a focus on results. The school posted exemplary results on last year’s Virginia Standards of Learning tests: In all grades for math SOLs, there was a 25% increase in students passing from 2012-13 to 2013-14. In all grades for reading SOLs, there was a 12% increase in students passing in the same period.

Hear more of what the Governor had to say and see slide show below of the Governor’s visit.

School Board Presents Advertised Budget to BOCS
Use of Future “Ferlazzo” School Not Yet Determined.

April 8, 2015
The Prince William County School Board presented its FY 2016 Advertised Budget to the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) last night for approval.

The presentation included the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) with the yet-to-be determined use of the school being constructed at the "Ferlazzo" site. (View web story.) The BOCS needs to approve the PWCS FY2016 Budget by April 30.

More information may viewed on the Budget Update web page.
Testimonials at National Conference Highlight Success of Nontraditional Education in PWCS
School Board Member Lisa Bell and New Directions Graduate are Keynoters at Conference
April 9, 2015
Alyssandra Malinish, Principal Robert Eichorn, School Board Member Lisa E. Bell (Neabsco)Alyssandra Malinish, graduate of New Directions Alternative Education Center and Pre-Med student at James Madison University, and Lisa E. Bell, Neabsco District School Board member, were the closing keynote speakers at the National Alternative Education Association’s 21st Annual Conference on Alternative Education. 
Bell spoke about her personal experiences as a nontraditional student, her engagement and advocacy for students with special needs, and the journey she and her son had at New Directions. 
“Mrs. Bell’s personal narrative coupled with her gracious presentation engaged the hundreds of attendees and exemplified the work professional educators and leaders play in support of our most in-need and at-risk students,” said Robert Eichorn, principal of New Directions Alternative Education Center. “Ms. Malinish and Mrs. Bell left an indelible mark on conference attendees and exemplified what World Class students and parents can achieve as a part of our Prince William County community.”
Malinish shared the impact the staff at New Directions had on her life which included her award-winning performance at the school, her enrollment and completion of an Associate’s Degree at Northern Virginia Community College which garnered additional academic awards, and her subsequent acceptance to James Madison University. Malinish drew rave reviews as she wove her growth and service experiences at New Directions with her university-sponsored medical mission trips aboard. 
The multi-day conference featured nationally renowned speakers and presenters who highlighted best practices and strategies used in nontraditional and alternative schools.
Three Named National Achievement Scholars
April 8, 2015

Brianna Gilmore, Francesca Peavie, and Sydney Jordan have distinguished themselves as top scholars among the nation’s high school students by winning National Achievement Scholarship Program honors. Gilmore, a student at Battlefield High School; Peavie, a student at Patriot High School; and Jordan, who attends Stonewall Jackson High School, have each received $2,500 National Achievement Scholarships.

These students join talented black American high school seniors from across the United States who will receive scholarships in the 2015 National Achievement program as a result of qualifying scores on the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).
Gilmore, Peavie, and Jordan were selected from among 1,300 finalists. All finalists must have an outstanding high school academic record, be endorsed and recommended by their school principal, and submit SAT scores that confirm their earlier qualifying test performance in the PSAT/NMSQT test which originally qualified them. The National Achievement Scholarship Program recognizes academically promising black students throughout the nation and provides scholarships to the most outstanding program participants. Finalists were selected based upon professional evaluations of the finalists' abilities, accomplishments, and potential success in rigorous college studies.
Spread the Word: PWCS Online Auction's the Best for Real Deals
April 7, 2015

Prince William County Public Schools uses an online site to auction the School Division's surplus inventory. Tell your friends and neighbors to check out the site; computers are a frequent sale item on the auction. The instructions for bidding are available on the auction website at From the home page, select Virginia in the Select Region box, then select Prince William County Schools as the agency.  

PWCS employees and relatives residing in the same household may not bid on auction items.
Want to Create Your Own TV Production? Watch “Producing an i-Report” to Learn How
April 7, 2015
Students: Do you want to be on TV? Or, maybe you would rather try writing and directing a documentary? PWCS-TV invites students, teachers, and parents to try their hand at working on a video production. Here’s how:

Write five paragraphs about one of these topics:
  • Your school activities,
  • Your dream job,
  • Your winter break activities, or
  • Your favorite hobby (cooking, sports, cheerleading, robotics, etc.).
Take 20 photos related to your topic. If you have access to a video camera, have someone record you reading your report. At the end of the video, record, "For PWCS-TV, this is _(your name)__, i-Reporter!"
Email your written report to (with your parent's contact information if you're under 18). Any PWCS staff member or parent is also invited to participate in a student production. Staff in PWCS Media Production Services will work with you, your parents, teachers, or scout leaders to produce your report, using our cameras, if you don't have access to a video recording camera.
Parents, teachers, or students who have questions may call Angie Carey at 703.791.7433. Reports will be broadcast on PWCS-TV, Comcast Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 36, and on our Web site,
Click here or below to watch this PWCS student-made video, which shows students, parents, and teachers how to be an i-reporter.

April is Autism Awareness Month - Did You Know
Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys.
Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the U.S.
Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average.
Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism.
There is no medical detection or cure for autism.
PWCS provides a structured teaching environment for all students with Autism that nurtures a variety of educational strategies supporting each student’s IEP, the Standards of Learning, and Aligned Standards of Learning. 

Learn more on the following websites:
PWCS Autism web page
April 18 Park Event Brings Nature & Learning Together for Outdoor Fun
April 1, 2015
Join Park Rangers at an array of hands-on activities, including bird migration obstacle games, bird watching, nature journaling, TRACK Trail hikes, dip netting for macro-invertebrates, and a host of other outdoor activities at a free, fun-filled event on Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. at the Manassas National Battlefield Park Brownsville Picnic Area on Groveton Road in Manassas.
For more information about this event, please visit For more information on Manassas National Battlefield Park, please visit
The event will also feature local partners such as the Virginia Department of Forestry, the Sweet Virginia Foundation, and Prince William Wildflower Society offering hands-on activities to connect people to the outdoors and promote environmental stewardship and education.
Along with Manassas National Battlefield Park, this event is sponsored by supporting partners Prince William County Public Schools, and SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools.
Students, School Division Lauded for Performance on and Participation in Advanced Placement Courses
PWCS Named to College Board's AP District Honor Roll

March 31, 2015

Prince William County Public School students continue to excel in rigorous college-level Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The percentage of those who do, and earn scores of 3 or higher, has brought acclaim to the School Division. The College Board has selected Prince William County Public Schools for the 5th Annual AP District Honor Roll, a distinction for districts that simultaneously achieve increases in access to AP courses while improving the rate of progress on scores. The other divisions in Virginia making the College Board's 2015 AP Honor Roll are Alexandria, King George County, and Powhatan County. The College Board also recognized Quantico Middle/High School on the Marine Corps Base as an Honor Roll District.

Based on results of school year 2013-14:
  • 33 percent of PWCS graduates received qualifying scores on one or more advanced exams (AP, IB, Cambridge).
  • PWCS is the largest and one of only four Virginia divisions that met the Honor Roll criteria.
  • PWCS students outperformed students overall at the state (30 percent) and national level (21.6 percent).
“Increased participation and performance in these advanced courses is something for us to be very proud of and to continue to work to achieve,” said Superintendent of Schools Steven L. Walts.
The Board’s continued funding of the fees for AP tests despite significant budget reductions means students who wish to take rigorous courses can do so without having to worry about how to pay for the cost of the exams.
“This effort has been and continues to be a partnership involving many people,” said said Kenneth Bassett, director of student learning, including:
  • Principals in the schools leading the effort by providing professional development for teachers teaching these courses;
  • Teachers providing the supportive environment and rigorous preparation necessary for our students to have success on the exams;
  • Specialty program coordinators recruiting teachers and students to participate and bringing together teachers to coach one another with syllabus development, lesson design, and assessment preparation;
  • School counselors continuing to encourage students to take on the challenge of our advanced courses;
  • Students buckling down and proving to themselves that with hard work and dedication to their studies, they can succeed;
  • Parents encouraging their students to work hard on their studies at school and at home; and
  • Central office staff supporting the school personnel with training, resources, and other support.
PWCS requires all students who take an advanced course to sit for the AP exams, a factor that has increased participation in the tests.
Interest in Environment Lands Freedom High School Student in Select Exchange Program
Lavern Currie is one of only 18 students in the nation heading to Cyprus in the American Youth Leadership Program.

March 30, 2015

Freedom Principal Inez Bryant, School Board Member Lillie Jessie, Lavern Currie, Rhonda C. LyleFor nearly a month this summer, Freedom High School junior Lavern Currie will be project planning and meeting with organizations in Washington, D.C., doing site visits with environmental organizations in Cyprus, exploring sustainable management of resources, and promoting environmental stewardship with her Cypriot peers. Her trip is supported by a grant to Legacy International from the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Currie’s experience will extend well beyond the 26-day stay in Cyprus. From August through December, she will share what she learned and engage her school in community service and education projects. Legacy International promotes citizen participation worldwide.

Currie is enrolled in Freedom High School’s Center for Environmental and Natural Sciences and plays the trombone in the school's marching band. She attended Rippon Middle School, and was a student at Vaughan Elementary while School Board Member Lillie Jessie (Occoquan) was principal there. Currie was nominated for the leadership program by Rhonda C. Lyle, local coordinator for several of the State Department’s foreign exchange programs.

“My goal is to get as many deserving students like Lavern in Prince William County schools selected for these fully funded programs to travel abroad,” said Lyle.
Technology Changing This Year’s Grade 6 Math SOL Test
La tecnología introduce cambios a los exámenes SOL de matemáticas de sexto grado para este año. ♦  Trắc nghiệm SOL Toán Học Lớp 6 Thay đổi theo Công nghệ. ♦ 

La tecnología introduce cambios a los exámenes SOL de matemáticas de sexto grado para este año.​ Más información.

Trắc nghiệm SOL Toán Học Lớp 6 Thay đổi theo Công nghệHãy xem them.

This spring, students taking the Grade 6 Math Standards of Learning (SOL) test will see some important changes that will make their testing experience more engaging and efficient. The Grade 6 Math SOL test will be administered using a technology called Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT), which customizes each test for each individual student.

With CAT, how a student responds to a question determines the difficulty level of the next question. A correct response leads to a more difficult question, while an incorrect response leads to a less difficult question. Consequently, the majority of questions a student sees will be neither too easy nor too difficult for them to handle.    
Grade 6 students should expect the following changes when taking the Grade 6 Math SOL CAT test this spring.
  • There will be fewer questions than on past Grade 6 Math SOL tests.
  • Each question must be answered completely before the student can move on to the next question. Therefore, students will not be able to skip a question, go back to review a question, or change their response after moving on to the next question.
  • Only a complete test can be submitted.
A great deal will remain the same in terms of what our students will experience and how information about their performance will be communicated.
  • The same online test tools and allowable test manipulatives will be available to students.
  • The levels of performance required to achieve a passing score at the proficient or advanced levels will be the same as with previous math tests, based on the SOL approved by the Virginia Board of Education in 2009.
  • Scores will continue to be reported on a scale of 0 to 600, with 400 indicating pass/proficient and 500 indicating pass/advanced.
  • The CAT tests follow the same approved SOL blueprint and staff will continue to teach the content of the SOL and the PWCS Curriculum.  
For additional information about CAT, please visit the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) CAT website at This resource includes an introductory video, a sample test, and frequently asked questions.
This spring, only the Grade 6 Math SOL test will use CAT. However, we expect that VDOE will expand the use of CAT with other tests in the near future.
Project Lead the Way Continues to Grow
Interest in engineering is fueling the growth of the Project Lead the Way program in our schools.

March 26, 2015

With the addition of Project Lead the Way at Gar-Field High School this school year,
PWCS is now stirring up interest in the field of engineering in six high schools. Through a series of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses, students explore what it takes to be part of this in-demand career field while preparing for college level work. The mixture of hands-on work and technology is proving to be a winning combination that is attracting more and more students, fueling the growth of the Project Lead the Way in our schools.

School Board Adopts and Advances Balanced Budget for 2015-16
Delays Decision on Use of Future “Ferlazzo” School

March 19, 2015 

The Prince William County School Board is sending the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) a $1.04 billion operating and debt service budget proposal for the coming school year. It maintains all existing PWCS school programs and services, requires no layoffs, and funds top School Board priorities of a one-step pay increase for employees, and the next modest phase-in reducing class sizes.

School Board Members expect to revisit and trim budgeted spending after the BOCS clarifies its taxing plans, which account for nearly half of School Division revenue. For now, spending in the School Board plan is based on total revenue that includes funding generated under the BOCS’ advertised tax rate.

The adopted budget is built around a balanced proposal offered a week earlier by Superintendent Steven Walts. It uses $5 million in savings from extending the school bus replacement cycle to help close previous funding shortfalls. Another $1.8 million came from reduced spending during staff turnover, and $650,000 was saved on cafeteria kitchen equipment.

The adopted version also includes Board-directed changes that eliminated administrative positions for a proposed Office of School Improvement, and a Director of K-12 Activities and Athletics, and cut a proposed School Board pay increase. Board Members also directed the addition of five positions for Special Education.

Board Members initially split on whether to consider potential cuts and reaffirm priorities now or later. They ultimately voted to delay those discussions until learning more about BOCS decisions that will further define spending parameters.
School Board Members also voted to approve the Division’s Capital Improvements Program for 2016-2024, but with one significant change:  A new school will be built on the “Ferlazzo” site at the corner of Spriggs and Minnieville Roads, but its use will be determined from two possibilities.

Board Members will hold public meetings before deciding if the building should house a new community elementary school, or be used to relocate the popular Porter Traditional School. The relocation option would give Porter more space to meet high student demand, and allow conversion of its current building for elementary use. Dates for Public Meetings will be announced shortly.

Next steps in the budget process include formal submission of the Board Advertised budget to the BOCS by March 31; a School Board Budget presentation to the BOCS on April 7; and the BOCS will decide the final county tax on April 16 and vote on an overall County budget April 21.

Once county revenue projections are clearer, the School Board will amend the just-passed PWCS spending plan to balance with available funds.
Leadership Team for Summer School Announced
March 27, 2015

More than 9,000 students will enroll in summer school to take advantage of a variety of educational opportunities to improve academic achievement.

Sessions will be led by outstanding school leaders. Summer School principals, assistant principals, and summer school sites are listed below.

Summer School Principals for Elementary Schools
Chris Dalton, Bristow Run Elementary
Geoffrey Deavers, Marumsco Hills Elementary
Malcolm Foust, Coles Elementary
Adrianne Harrison, Glenkirk Elementary
Lucy Jensen, Loch Lomond Elementary
Danna Johnson, Minnieville Elementary
Regina Nash, Dumfries Elementary
Shana Robinson, Fitzgerald Elementary
Melissa Rosenbaum, Westridge Elementary
Carol Schuster, Tyler Elementary
Tiffany Turner-Bell, Pattie Elementary

Summer School Principals for Middle Schools
Kathleen Hybl, Woodbridge Middle
Jodi Puhlick, Benton Middle
Todd Yoho, Marsteller Middle

Summer School Principals for High Schools
Brandon Boles, Stonewall Jackson High
Cassandra Crawford, Stonewall Jackson High
Stacy Norwood, Potomac High (SOL remediation program)

Summer School Assistant Principals for Middle Schools
David Anderson, Woodbridge Middle
Rose Fraze, Benton Middle
Joseph Murgo, Marsteller Middle

Summer School Assistant Principals for High Schools
Jeremy Byrd, Stonewall Jackson High
Jeremy Cortash, Stonewall Jackson High
Joshua Miller, Stonewall Jackson High
James Smith, Potomac High (three-week remediation program)

Visit the Summer School Program web page for additional program information.
Winter Weather Has Brought Changes to the Spring Testing Calendar
March 24, 2015
The spring testing calendar has changed to allow students and teachers more time to prepare. The new dates are: 
  • Grade 3-8 Non-Writing SOL testing may take place from May 14-June 10.
  • Testing in grades 3-8 may occur from May 28-29 if a school chooses to schedule testing on either of those days. ​
  • Non-Writing SOL End-of-Course testing may take place from April 30-May 28 with retakes scheduled for June 1-June 18.
  • End-of-Course testing will not occur on May 29 so that the Testing Office can load student names for retakes.
Contact individual schools for specific testing dates.
Get a Jump Start on Course Credits through Virtual HS @ PWCS; Summer Session Registration Opens April 9
Program overview and info session on April 8 for summer session, June 29-August 7

March 23, 2015

Need to make up course credits or get ahead? No time in your schedule to take every course you want? Then our Virtual High School is right for you. Find out more at a program overview and Q&A session on Wednesday, April 8, from 7–8 p.m. in the Hylton High School auditorium. 

Led by highly qualified teachers proven in both real and virtual classroom settings, the courses are open to any ninth- through twelfth- grade student enrolled in an accredited Virginia school. More details about the program can be found on the Virtual High School @ PWCS website.

Students may register online beginning April 9. Register early, as some classes fill up quickly.

Hear how the Virtual High School @PWCS helped three students reach their goals in the video below:

Celebrate Art in All Its Forms at Arts Fest April 18
March 23, 2015
Come see the work of young and aspiring artists at the 45th PWCS Fine Arts Festival, “Art Makes Connections” on Saturday, April 18, at Patriot High School. Browse school hallways, the commons area, and the gym to view more than 10,000 two- and three-dimensional works by K-12 students on exhibit. Doors will open at 10 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Visit the PWCS Fine and Performing Arts Program Web page.

Chris Yung Elementary School Will Open in September 2015
March 19, 2015

Prince William County Police Officer Chris YungThe Prince William County School Board voted unanimously on March 18 to name the new “Devlin Road” elementary school under construction at 12612 Fog Light Way, Bristow, in honor of Prince William County Police Officer and Iraq war veteran Chris Yung. Officer Yung was killed in a motorcycle crash while responding to a separate automobile accident. Yung served on the police force for seven years and had lived in Bristow for six years.

The principal of Chris Yung Elementary School is Kathy Notyce, former principal of Mullen Elementary School.

A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, August 27 at 6 p.m.
Division’s Advisory Committee Meetings for April
March 16, 2015

The following Advisory Committees or Councils will hold regularly scheduled meetings in April. 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. 
All meetings are held at the Kelly Leadership Center (KLC), located at 14715 Bristow Road in Manassas. Meeting dates are subject to scheduling changes. Please check the specific web pages to confirm dates and details. Check with building staff on site for questions about meeting room location. 
NAMI Basics Course for Parents of Children with Brain Disorders begins April 8
March 13, 2015
NAMI Basics will be offered on Wednesday evenings, April 8 to May 20 from 7–9:30 p.m., at the Kelly Leadership Center, room 2002/04. The Kelly Leadership Center is located at 14715 Bristow Road in Manassas.
NAMI Basics is a free seven-week course designed for parents/caregivers of children and adolescents with mental illness/emotional disabilities (ADHD, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Oppositional Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Childhood Onset Schizophrenia, Substance Abuse Disorders and Co-Morbid Disorders). It is not necessary that the child have an “official” diagnosis.
This course is not intended for parents/caregivers of children/adolescents with intellectual/developmental disabilities, autism, brain injuries, or other permanently disabling disorders.
There is no cost for the course; however, class size is limited to 25 participants. No childcare is available. Preregistration is required and should be submitted by Monday, April 6. Sign language or foreign language interpreter services are available upon request. Registrants requiring interpreter services are asked to preregister by Wednesday, April 1. Childcare will not be available. To preregister, or for further information, contact the Parent Resource Center at 703.791.8846 (Voice), 703.791.8847 (TDD) or email or    
NAMI stands for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
View the NAMI Basics flyer (English, Spanish, Urdu), also accessible from the Parent Resource Center Event Calendar page.
Parent Workshops Help Students with Disabilities Transition to Next School Level
March 12, 2015

The Prince William County Public Schools Office of Special Education Parent Resource Center will host free workshops for parents: The workshops will take place from 7–9 p.m. at the Kelly Leadership Center, located at 14715 Bristow Road in Manassas.

Advance registration is required for each workshop. Child care will not be available. Sign and foreign language interpreter services are available if requested in advance. (See the flyer for deadlines.) To register or for further information, call the Parent Resource Center at 703.791.8846 or email
Note: If Prince William County Public Schools cancel evening activities, this workshop
will be rescheduled at another time.
Musicians Prepare for All-County Middle School Band
March 10, 2015

Middle school band students from across the county will come together to perform at the All-County Middle School Band event scheduled for March 21 at Stonewall Middle School. The annual honors event gives young musicians a chance to perform challenging musical numbers under the direction of a guest conductor, while allowing them to experience working as a member of a larger ensemble. The students will spend most of the event in rehearsals, followed by a culminating public performance at 4 p.m.
The Directors’ Honor Band will perform first, conducted by Dennis Brown, director of orchestras at Hylton High School in Woodbridge. The Middle School Honors Band will be conducted by Linda Gammon, current director of the Northern Virginia Junior Winds, and former Fairfax County Public School middle school band director.
The March 21 All County Middle School Band event is free and open to the public. 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

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,

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. 
2015 Summer School 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 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.
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 (Click on “Poster Contest” and scroll down to view winning posters and contest rules.)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Study at Independent Hill Complex Assures No Health Risk
August 18, 2014

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues its assessment of groundwater at the one-time Manassas Air Force communication facility, now the site of Prince William County Public Schools' Independent Hill complex, as part of an ongoing effort to assess and clean up former Department of Defense sites. Periodic reviews and studies of the site have occurred since 1986. The complex was connected to the county water system in 1986 to avoid any potential exposure to possible solvent contaminants.

The past and ongoing reviews by USACE indicate there are no health threats to students, occupants, or residents of the Independent Hill complex and none of the scheduled construction at Independent Hill alters safety conditions. The Independent Hill School, PACE East, and other buildings and offices on the site are not affected. The USACE reconfirmed findings from past reviews and shared with local representatives the groundwater at only the southern portion of the site contains chlorinated organic compounds.

As part of its work, the USACE is evaluating and developing treatment options for the site. School Division staff have worked closely and coordinated work activities with the USACE, monitored their activities and progress, and will continue to ensure that students and occupants work in a safe and healthy environment. The public is invited to learn more about how the USACE manages and executes environmental cleanup projects and other associated responsibilities on formerly-used defense sites, and in particular the Independent Hill complex, by contacting Andrea Takash, Corporate Communication, US Army Corps of Engineers - Baltimore district, at 410.962.2626 or
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 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 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.
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 and videos from the event are available on-demand at 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. 

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