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Proposed Attendance Area for the 12th High School Now Online
April 23, 2014
The Office of Facilities Services for Prince William County Public Schools invites the general public to view the proposed attendance area boundary for the Division’s 12th high school. View the proposal.
View information regarding boundary change policies and regulations. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Matthew Cartlidge, Supervisor of Planning, at, or by phone at 703.791.7312.
School Board's Internal Audit Committee to Meet on May 7
April 22, 2014
The School Board’s Internal Audit Committee will meet at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7, in room 1132 of the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas. 

Milton C. Johns, Chairman At-Large of the School Board, is the Committee Chairman; Dr. Michael I. Otaigbe, School Board member for the Coles 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 auditors 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.
It’s Earth Day!
PWCS Conservation Good for the Earth, Good for Education

April 22, 2014

Benton Middle School StudentsFrom installation of solar panels to water conservation, from powering down unused electronics to conducting facility audits, Prince William County Public Schools is rapidly moving to the top of energy-wise schools in the country.

As of the latest accounting (another is expected shortly after Earth Day), the School Division has avoided expenditures upwards of $8 million that would otherwise have gone to utility costs and system maintenance.

The PWCS Office of Energy Management is leading the money and environment-saving efforts through aggressive facility scheduling that maximizes efficiency without reducing student or staff comfort.  Routine audits and Divisionwide teamwork play important roles. Energy conservation campaigns in schools and offices have been effective, with decreases in utility usage seen by simply unplugging “vampire devices,” electronics that do not need to be plugged in 24/7.

PWCS expects to be recognized by a top Environmental Protection Agency official on May 1 for moving toward the front of the pack with its number of schools earning EnergyStar certification. The designation means facilities meet high conservation standards.

Benton Middle School showcases an example of how students Divisionwide are getting involved through recycling, energy efficiency, and measures to reduce costs. Students prepared presentations to remind everyone to turn off lights and educated staff and classmates alike on the savings realized by unplugging electronic devices that continue to use energy even when turned off. Benton students are now seeking green certification for their school.

For nearly a decade, PWCS has replaced boilers, installed extensive water conservation devices on plumbing systems, and converted outdated HVAC components. These projects contribute to operational cost savings, with full benefits to be realized over the next four years. Upcoming energy infrastructure improvements are included in the Capital Improvements Program. Additionally, for the second consecutive year, Go Green Virginia has designated PWCS a Silver Certified Green School Division in recognition of its sustainability initiatives and energy conservation and efficiency efforts.

PWCS is making every day Earth Day. Education and taxpayers are reaping the rewards.
Public Hearing on Proposed Sale of Nokesville Elementary School Set for April 23
April 20, 2014
The School Board will hold a public hearing on April 23 at 7 p.m. on the sale of Nokesville Elementary School, which will be vacated when the new Nokesville K-8 School opens in September 2014. The hearing will be held in conjunction with an open meeting of the School Board in the Board meeting room at the Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Road. The full agenda of the School Board meeting is available on the Electronic School Board, PWCS School Board Web.

Nokesville Elementary School, located at 12625 Fitzwater Drive, Nokesville, was built in 1928 and sits on about 10 acres. A gym was added to the school in 1932 and four additions were added through 1956. The building underwent a renovation in 1993.
Keep Prince William Beautiful Campaign Offers $500 Prize to PWCS Students
April 20, 2014

A substantial prize of $500 will go to the best entry in a contest to brainstorm solutions to unwanted litter at public bus stops in Prince William County. The contest, sponsored by Keep Prince William Beautiful (KPWB), is open to PWCS students in grades 9-12. The deadline for entries is April 30. The competition challenges students to use critical thinking and real-life skills. See for additional information.
Good Luck to PWCS Teams Heading to VEX World Championship 2014
Triangle Elementary School, Bull Run and Benton Middle Schools, and Woodbridge High School send teams to California competition.

April 22, 2014
Triangle Elementary School Robotics TeamOn April 23 several PWCS teams will travel to Anaheim, California to participate in the VEX Robotics World Championship. The teams have all won a spot to this event by winning at both the regional level and at the state level. At this international event, 14 countries will be competing against teams from the United States.

The VEX Robotics World Championship brings together top robotics teams to celebrate their accomplishments and compete with and against the best teams from around the world. The 2014 Championship will include nearly 700 teams from over 400 VEX Robotics Competition qualifying tournaments that are happening in cities around the world.

VEX Robotics is just one of nine robotics platforms that is currently in place within Prince William County Public Schools. In 2013-14 PWCS boasted the highest number of VEX teams from one school district in the state of Virginia, 158 out of 381 teams. For more information about any PWCS robotics programs, contact Denyse Carroll, Regional STEM Education Coordinator ( Some teams will need interpreters to work with the PWCS students. Anyone interested should contact Carroll directly.

PWCS teams that will be competing are listed below.

VEX IQ Challenge

Triangle Elementary School - Although VEX IQ Challenge is in its pilot year of conception, Triangle Elementary has shined their way through several wins against other elementary and middle school teams. They are ranked 14th in robot skills and 5th in programming skills in the world out of 250 elementary/middle school teams. The coach is Ryan Osweiller.

VEX Robotics Competition – middle school division

Bull Run Middle School -Three teams from Bull Run Middle School are heading back to defend their international award from the 2013 VEX World Tournament. This school won the Judges Award at the VEX Robotics World Championship 2013 for being the most well-round middle school team at the event. The team’s coach is Erin Stanton.

Benton Middle School -This team is not a rookie to VEX but it is the first year that Benton Middle School has qualified for this international event. Roberta Morse is the team coach.

VEX Robotics Competition – high school division

Woodbridge High School -From Woodbridge High School, four teams and 32 students will be returning once again to the VEX Robotics World Championship. Woodbridge High School received the highest award for any PWCS team at a VEX World Tournament in 2013 when they were ranked 5th in the world. The coach is Carlos Castro.

David Huckestein, Woodbridge High School; Ramona Richardson, Coles Elementary School, in Spotlight as Top Principal and Teacher
PWCS leaders are visionaries and collaborators dedicated to excellence and Providing A World-Class Education.

April 15, 2014

After months of anticipation, the word is out: The winner of the PWCS Principal of the Year Award is David Huckestein; the PWCS Teacher of the Year is Ramona Richardson. Both were recently profiled in The Washington Post. Huckestein received the prestigious Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award; and Richardson, the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award in the Post’s long-standing regional program honoring educators.
The Post profiled the winners on April 14. Richardson will now compete for the title 2014 Virginia Region IV Teacher of the Year.

School communities submitted nominations for the awards, and the School Board and leadership team honored all nominees at a reception in February. Read about all nominees.

David Huckstein (left) and Gil Trenum, School Board Member, Vice Chairman, Brentsville DistrictDavid Huckestein has been principal of Woodbridge High School since 2007, where he began as a teacher in 1991. Creativity, innovation, collaboration, and communication are the watch words at Woodbridge. Since Mr. Huckestein took the helm, student preparedness for college, enrollment in AP classes, and performance on AP exams have increased dramatically. Project Lead the Way, a national engineering program, grew from an enrollment of 80 to over 200; AP tests have grown from 700 to 1700. He is credited with a tremendous capacity to mentor and develop leaders. 

Huckestein turned competition to collaboration among high school principals, establishing and providing vision for the first Divisionwide high school principals’ team. This is a forum for principals to problem solve and propose solutions, including developing plans to increase SOL performance, graduation rates, and participation in rigorous courses. His systemic approach to learning is changing the culture of high school education in Prince William County Public Schools.

Ramona Richardson and Gil Trenum, School Board Member, Brentsville District
Ramona Richardson is a hands-on instructor known for spending individual time with each student to assess their level of mastery in each subject. “She has a very caring, loving demeanor in the classroom, yet pushes the children to achieve high goals and develop self-reliance,” says a fellow teacher. Richardson demonstrates leadership in her classroom, among her peer teachers, and in the school community. She is instrumental in seeking out grants to fund initiatives that will benefit the school. The entire school shares in the maintenance of, bounty from, and learning opportunities provided by the award-winning gardens funded through Mrs. Richardson’s successful grant proposals.

Richardson attended the University of Virginia where she earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. She holds a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction and a Master of Education, ED, LD, both from George Mason University. She is a National Board Certified Teacher. Her teaching career has taken her to Palmyra, Virginia; Dover, Delaware; and Fort Stewart, Georgia. She joined PWCS in 1987.

Community Meetings Scheduled on Proposed Boundary for 12th High School
April 15, 2014
School officials have scheduled two public meetings to gather community input on the proposed boundary for the county’s 12th high school to be located at 13833 Dumfries Road, Manassas. The community meetings will be structured as a forum where members of the community can provide feedback on the proposed boundary. The 12th high school attendance area boundary proposal prepared by the Office of Facilities Services, in collaboration with the School Division’s leadership, will be posted to the Facilities Web site in mid- to late-April.

12th High School Community Meeting
  • Date: Wednesday, April 30
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Location: Brentsville District High School Auditorium
12th High School Community Meeting
  • Date: Thursday, May 1
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Location: Hylton High School Auditorium
As in all boundary planning processes, staff develops proposed boundary plans that attempt to balance enrollments at the affected schools, consider the demographic balance among schools, attempt to minimize the number of times any particular geographic area is reassigned schools at the affected level within the past several years, attempt to facilitate the efficient transport of students, and attempt to avoid splitting small neighborhoods. Public input complements these parameters.
Information regarding boundary change policies and regulations is available online at the following URL: If you have questions, please contact Dr. Matthew Cartlidge, Supervisor of Planning,, or by phone at 703.791.7312.
Human Trafficking Can Happen Anywhere, Even Here
PWCS is working to stop a growing national problem.

April 11, 2014

Jessica Woelkers and Elizabeth Young“Stop. Teen. Trafficking.” A PWCS-created billboard at the intersection of Cardinal Drive and Route 1 subtly but starkly introduces the growing problem of teen trafficking to the local community while avoiding unduly frightening anyone. Teen trafficking is the use of force, fraud, and coercion to manipulate youth into the world of commercial exploitation.

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) is taking the lead in bringing this issue to the attention of the public, students, and families, fulfilling a non-funded mandate from the Virginia Board of Education to provide training in human trafficking and strategies for prevention. PWCS sought and received funding from the Potomac Health Foundation for a public awareness campaign related to the mandate.

The billboard has generated over 49,000 impressions during its 30-day display and lists two help line numbers to call—703.368.4141 for the county’s Sexual Assault Victims Advocacy Services (SAVAS), and 1.800.THE.LOST, for The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “Impressions” is a term used in the media industry to describe how many times a message has been communicated.

“Teens are roped into this world through methodical and intense psychological manipulation,” said Jessica Woelkers, a PWCS social worker on special assignment for Human Trafficking Prevention. “An older individual will pose as an older boyfriend who uses a powerful combination of love and fear to keep the teen under his control.”

About 4,000 school social workers, counselors, psychologists, and school nurses are carrying this message to 3,000 ninth graders in six high schools in eastern Prince William County, the Potomac Health Foundation’s service area. Support agencies and activities will provide a continuum of services to youth who have been trafficked, are at risk of being trafficked, or at risk of gang involvement. Anyone who knows of any students who have been approached or victimized by trafficking is encouraged to contact Woelkers at

“We are the first School Division in the state to roll out a lesson for students,” said Woelkers. She will participate, by invitation, on an educators’ panel on prevention at the National Trafficking in America Conference in July. The PWCS classroom lesson, designed by a multidisciplinary team,  has been accepted by The National Educators to Stop Trafficking for inclusion in its online curriculum warehouse.

Read more.
The Best of Both Digital Learning Worlds: Cloud Computing and BYOD
April 10, 2014

AJ Phillips presenting on cloud computing at NSBA ConferenceToday’s students are growing up in a digital world where technology breaks down the barriers of resources, geography, and time to access information 24/7. School Board members and officials of Prince William County Public Schools—a recognized leader in digital learning across the country— recently shared how PWCS has embraced the digital movement through cloud computing.

School Board Chairman At-Large Milton C. Johns; Superintendent Steven Walts; Associate Superintendent for Communications and Technology Services Keith Imon; A.J. Phillips, supervisor of instructional technology; Jason Dasher, supervisor of information security services; and Steve George, director of information technology services, presented an interactive session on the benefits and instructional aspects of cloud computing and the integration of mobile devices in the classroom at the National School Boards Association (NSBA) conference. Their session drew an audience of more than 100 school board members and educators. Of particular interest was discussion of cloud computing with a “bring your own device” program to enhance student learning through use of tools such as Google Apps for Education. For three years, PWCS has allowed students to bring personal mobile devices to their classrooms under conditions specified in policy, regulation, and student “Code of Behavior.”

In addition to Chairman Johns, other School Board members who took advantage of this NSBA professional development opportunity included Lisa E. Bell (Neabsco), Lillie G. Jessie (Occoquan), Michael I. Otaigbe (Coles), Alyson A. Satterwhite (Gainesville), and Loree Y. Williams (Woodbridge).

While attending the conference, the School Board and Superintendent were presented with the 2014 Digital District Award from the National School Boards Association and the Center for Digital Education. PWCS was ranked first in the 2013-14 Digital School Districts Survey among the nation’s largest school divisions. 

Dr. Walts, center, with Digital District First-Place Award, School Board members, and staff.

Get a Head Start on Your Summer Adventures at the PWC Community EXPO
Children can get their first stamp on their Explorer Passports on May 10

April 10, 2014

Families, pack your picnics and go local this summer, exploring top recreational sites in Prince William County. As a warm-up for summer fun, come to the PWC Community EXPO on Saturday, May 10, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Pfitzner Stadium. Admission is free. Close out the day watching a Potomac Nationals baseball game. Pfitzner Stadium complex, the home of the Potomac Nationals baseball team, is behind the McCoart Building on Prince William Parkway.

In early May, all PWCS schools will receive Explorer Passports for children to take home. The Explorer Passports entitle kids free admission at each location listed on the passport. Students should turn in the passports to their schools in September for a chance in a prize drawing. To be eligible for the grand prize, the passports must be stamped at the May 10 Community EXPO.

Attractions at the Community EXPO will please children young and old, and include:
  • Outdoor activities (hiking, rope skills course, rock climbing wall, etc.)
  • Kids’ Games and Prizes
  • Information on Youth Summer Programs (Park Authority, Historic Preservation, Manassas Battlefield, etc.)
  • Important School-Related Information
  • BMX demonstrations and Race
  • Petting Zoo
  • Performances (Student groups)
  • Mascot Dance-Off
  • Reptile and Birds of Prey Demonstrations
  • Moon Bounce and Dare Devil Island
  • And much more…  
The PWC Community EXPO is coordinated by PWCS, Prince William County Health Communities Healthy Youth, PWCS Health and Physical Education, PWC Parks and Recreation, and SPARK, the Education Foundation for PWCS.

Miss Ability Pageant Showcases Those with Special Talents—Apply by May 16
April 9, 2014
Know a young lady who is full of talent? Help her beauty and gifts shine through as she builds new friendships, gains confidence, and has the opportunity to showcase her abilities at the Miss Ability Pageant, scheduled at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 31, at Stonewall Jackson High School. Any student with a disability who is between 10–22 years of age and resides in Prince William County, Manassas City, or Manassas Park is eligible to apply. For additional details, see the Contest Information Sheet. Submit the Miss Ability Pageant Application by May 16.
The pageant is organized by a committee of local educators and volunteers and hosted by Didlake, a Manassas-based organization dedicated to enriching the lives of people with disabilities.
Three PWCS Students are National Achievement Scholars
April 9, 2014
Three PWCS students have distinguished themselves as top scholars among the nation’s high school students by winning National Achievement Scholarship Program honors. Christina Onianwa, a student at Potomac High School, and Osbourn Park High School students Kelsey Brown and Alexander Meyer 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 2014 National Achievement program as a result of qualifying scores on the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).
Onianwa, Brown, and Meyer 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.
PWCS Students Drawn to Neuroscience, Biomedicine, and Education
Chamber scholarship winners stand out for their volunteerism and academic achievements.
April 8, 2014
Business leaders, families, and school officials paid tribute to three Prince William County Public School students who are the winners of the 2014 Prince William Chamber of Commerce Scholarships. PWCS Deputy Superintendent Rae Darlington was among those who honored the students at the Chamber’s Education Summit at the Old Hickory Golf Club in Woodbridge.
Kayla McDonald, Potomac High School
(Check presented by Lockheed Martin, sponsor)
Kayla McDonald, Potomac High School, recipient of $2,500 Chamber ScholarshipKayla will be graduating as a Cambridge Student from Potomac High School. During her years at Potomac, she has been the Captain of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life Team, Captain of the Varsity Cross Country Team, Captain of the American Red Cross chapter, member of the Student Athletic Council, debate team, a volunteer for four years at the ARC of Greater Prince William and for her Church Youth Group, a Girl Scout Silver Award winner, and an accomplished musician in concert and chamber orchestras.
Driven by personal family experiences, Kayla wants to pursue a degree in neuroscience in order to help the general public and athletes understand the effects of concussions and other traumas that can affect the brain. For the past year-and-a-half she has been involved in the Prince William County Concussion Policy Review Team, which works under a George Mason University Achieves Grant along with Dr. Shane Caswell to help the public become more aware of the severity of concussions. She has been accepted into the Honors program at George Mason University this fall. As a recipient of the Chamber scholarship, her goal is to influence others and impact the community through her career focus in concussion training and research. As Kayla shared with the scholarship committee, it was during a Leadership Conference that she heard these words from Josh Sunquist that made a lasting impression….”1MT, 1MT”…which stands for One More Thing, One More Time…to Kayla, that is what makes a difference in somebody’s life.
Karen Tran, Battlefield High School
(Check presented by Everest College, sponsor)
Karen Tran, Battlefield High School, recipient of $2,500 Chamber scholarshipKaren Tran will graduate from Battlefield High School and plans to pursue a degree in the biomedical field at Virginia Tech, then ultimately attend medical school so she can impact the community through lifesaving inventions. Karen has the determination and work ethic to reach her goals. During her four years at Battlefield High School, Karen has achieved an almost perfect straight “A” academic record. Other accomplishments include membership in the Youth United Club for Global Action & Awareness; Music, Math and National Honor Societies; and as an athlete on the lacrosse field. However, it is her involvement in the wind and symphonic bands where her true passion and gift lie. One of her proudest achievements was becoming the Drum Major for the high school marching band. Enduring hot and tiring 14-hour days and the challenges of leading a team of her peers to state competitions, Karen demonstrated her leadership skills and persistence to overcome any obstacle. As Karen shared, “Confucius was right when he said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Hannah Majchrowitz, Woodbridge High School
(Check presented by MTCI sponsor)
Hannah Majchrowitz, Woodbridge High School, recipient of $2,500 Chamber scholarshipHannah will be graduating in the Advanced Placement Scholars Program at Woodbridge High School this fall. She wants to pursue a degree in education where she can influence the minds of future generations and help students discover their potential. Her mother instilled in her a love of teaching through her work in the Prince William County Public Schools. As Hannah shared, in 10 years she hopes to be a teacher for underprivileged students who are struggling.  She believes that inside every child is a desire to be great; her hope is to make children’s dreams a reality.

Most recently, the state of Virginia selected Hannah to attend the Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s School for Humanities as well as Virginia Girls State.  She has earned the Gold and Silver Awards for Girl Scouts, and is an accomplished athlete, participating for four years on the varsity tennis team. After graduating from Woodbridge High School, Hannah plans to attend Christopher Newport University's Presidential Leadership and Honors Programs in the fall.
Groundbreaking Ceremonies Will Kick Off Construction of Two New County Schools
April 8, 2014
The Prince William County School Board will hold groundbreaking ceremonies for two new schools in May. The ceremony for the 12th High School, set to open in September 2016 and located at 13833 Dumfries Road, will be held Thursday, May 15 at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony for “Devlin Road” Elementary School, which is scheduled to open September 2015 and is located at 12612 Fog Light Way in Bristow, will be held on Thursday, May 29 at 9:30 a.m.
School Division employees and the public are invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremonies. School Board members and other local elected officials are expected to attend these events.
The construction of these two schools is possible through the cooperation of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors and funding received from general obligation bonds via the Virginia Public School Authority.
The Christman Company was awarded the construction contract to build the 12th high school. Dustin Construction was awarded the contract to build “Devlin Road” Elementary School. Upon completion, this new elementary school’s 852 seats will provide much needed relief to projected overcrowding at elementary schools situated in, or along, the Linton Hall corridor.
PWCS High Schools in Top 9 Percent Nationally, Says Washington Post
April 7, 2014
Prince William County’s Patriot High School led the School Division in The Washington Post’s annual ranking of high schools that encourage students to take rigorous college-level courses. Patriot ranks ninth in Virginia, 20th in the Washington, DC area, and 195 nationally out of 22,000 high schools. Osbourn Park follows with 52, 33, and 427 in Virginia, the metro area, and in the nation, respectively, with both schools among the top 2 percent in the country.
The Washington Post is in the process of correcting the originally published index for one Prince William County school. When corrected, all 11 Prince William County high schools will be ranked among the nation’s top 9 percent in the Washington Post list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools,” released today. The Washington Post’s full survey results are posted online at
School ranking is determined by adding up all the Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate, and Cambridge (Advanced International Certificate of Education) tests taken in a given year and dividing by the number of graduating seniors. Education columnist and reporter Jay Mathews calls this formula the Challenge Index. Mathews designed the Challenge Index in 1998.
“With few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.000, meaning they had as many tests in 2013 as they had graduates, were put on the national list,” said Mathews. “Just 9 percent of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools managed to reach that standard and earn placement on our list.”
Patriot High Schools is ranked the highest of the Prince William Schools with a challenge index of 4.31, followed by Osbourn Park (3.195), Forest Park (2.762), Woodbridge (2.611), Hylton (2.511), Brentsville (2.412), Battlefield (2.251), Stonewall Jackson (1.615), Gar-Field (1.352), and Freedom (1.314). Potomac’s ranking is being recalculated by The Washington Post. The corrected figure is expected to be approximately 2.300.
Bus Drivers Needed — Provide a Valuable Community Service and Reap the Benefits
April 7, 2014
The Prince William County Public Schools Office of Transportation Services currently has openings for bus drivers.
You can provide a valuable community service while getting paid training and many other benefits including:
  • Group Health, Dental, & Vision Plans (Partially Paid)
  • Supplemental Retirement Plans (Lincoln Financial Group)
  • Children 3 Months of Age or Older May Ride With You
  • Tax Free Dependent Care Assistance
  • Sick Leave Accruals and Sick Leave Bank
  • Personal Leave
  • Virginia Retirement System (Full Time Only)
  • Credit Union (PWC and Apple Federal)
View job requirements, pay rate, and other details. To apply go to the job postings Web page and select “Classified – Transportation.”
For additional information contact Safety and Training at 571.402.3868.
Lake Ridge Middle School’s Stephanie DeRaymond Named Middle School Math Educator of the Year
Stephanie DeRaymond’s spirit of excellence is contagious as she goes above and beyond to help all students understand math.

April 4, 2014

Stephanie DeRaymond, center, with Principal Jo Fitzgerald, Lake Ridge Middle School.When students come back and visit a teacher after they have left her class, you know you have a teacher who is priceless. And if she is a teacher with an open door to any student who wants to sit in on a lesson with prior approval, you might call her “Fort Knox Gold.” That teacher is Stephanie DeRaymond. She makes time and room for students who drop into her class during their lunch breaks.

DeRaymond recently received the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics William C. Lowry Mathematics Educator of the Year Award. In the words of her principal, Jo Fitzgerald, “Mrs. DeRaymond is truly deserving of this award for she exemplifies what a World-Class professional educator should be.”

DeRaymond manages to get 26 hours or more out of every 24, doing what she loves as a teacher, leader, and volunteer. She is the Math Department Chair at Lake Ridge Middle School; serves on the PWCS Gifted Education Advisory Council; tutors students in SAT prep, algebra, and geometry; teaches a community college math program for incoming freshmen; and has sponsored an after-school math club.

As a teacher leader, DeRaymond shares her innovative strategies for teaching math with colleagues. Her lessons are interdisciplinary, incorporating math, creative writing, and technology. She arrives early to school and stays late, and like all teachers, work continues at home. She insists on giving graded assignments back the next day to her students, “as she knows kids learn best with immediate feedback,” says a colleague.

DeRaymond’s colleagues applaud her for her versatility, willingness to always lend a hand to serve others, and for constantly seeking ways to sharpen her skills in the classroom. She is described as “positive and optimistic, seeing hope in the students most challenged by math.” Students are often overheard exclaiming how much they enjoy DeRaymond’s math class.

One of DeRaymond’s young students, Katie, says it all: “Mrs. DeRaymond is an amazing teacher! She is organized, smart, and has a fun collection of ducks. She is by far my favorite teacher!”
Board of County Supervisors Gets School Board Budget Presentation
Decisions will help determine whether PWCS can fund adopted budget’s plans for programs, class size reductions, and salaries.

April 2, 2014

The Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) received a formal presentation April 1 of the $1.29 billion 2014-15 school budget adopted by the Prince William County School Board in March.
The School Division’s ability to fund that budget depends largely on the tax rate the BOCS will set later this year. The presentation by School Board Chairman At-Large Milton Johns also revealed how potential changes to the county’s approved five-year plan would affect long-term school funding. Recent funding has failed to keep pace with growing costs driven by enrollment, educational needs, and inflation. 

As presented, the adopted School Board 2014-15 budget includes the additional one percent employee pay hike recommended by Superintendent Steven Walts as an amendment to his original proposal. The resulting plan aids the vital retention and recruitment of quality teachers and other employees by providing a two-percent pay plan adjustment, plus another one percent to cover the state-mandated boost in employee costs for the Virginia Retirement System. It would fund all existing programs and services without significant reductions, and would allow PWCS to start the long and expensive process of lowering class sizes.

Availability of revenue required to pay for the plan was projected based on the tax rate “advertised” by the BOCS back in February. The advertised rate is the highest taxing level the BOCS can adopt. Projected revenue from that rate helped close a gap in the Superintendent’s original budget proposal, but supervisors could still cut the tax rate—and resulting school funding—when they are expected to adopt a final tax level on April 29.

Sizeable turnouts by parents, students, teachers, and other PWCS employees, highlighted the importance of the school funding decision at recent BOCS meetings. It reinforced the reality that reductions in the advertised tax rate would force significant cuts to the newly adopted PWCS budget (which also depends on not-yet-finalized state funding levels).

Interested individuals can monitor and weigh-in on budget developments:

  • April   8, 7:30 p.m. BOCS public hearing on budget;
  • April 15, 2 p.m. BOCS budget recap (updated schedule);
  • April 22, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. BOCS budget markup;
  • April 29, 7:30 p.m. BOCS adopts final county budget on which PWCS funding depends.
All sessions take place at the county’s McCoart Administration Building.
The Next Generation of Scientists Make Their Mark
Is there a better way to clean up oil spills? This challenging question and others turn heads at the Regional Science Fair.
April 3, 2014
Students from The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park continued their winning streak by once again wowing the judges at the Prince William County-Manassas Regional Science Fair. Seniors Caroline Gellene and Ashleigh Wright captured the Senior Division Grand Prize with their project titled "Oil Absorption Properties of Hydrophobic Silica-Based Aerogels."
“Caroline and Ashleigh's project is based on a novel alternative to cleaning up oil spills,” explains Karen Dalfrey, director of The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park. “They made modifications to silica-based aerogels causing them to become more porous to absorb oil, yet able to repel water.”
The project displays an impressive grasp of science and keeps the spotlight on the higher-level science education students receive at the Governor’s School @ Innovation Park. The team will now compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair in May.

In the Elementary Division Eleanor Sigrest from Westridge Elementary School took the Grand Prize with her physics project. The first place winners are:
  • Rishi Kapoor, Alvey Elementary School, Computer Science
  • Blake Hewitt, Alvey Elementary School, Engineering and Mathematics
  • Anya Anand, Glenkirk Elementary School, Chemistry
  • Elizabeth Sullivan, Marsteller Middle School, Animal Science
  • Caleb Harmon, Marsteller MiddleSchool, Medicine and Health
  • Collin Klaco, Parkside Middle School, Environmental Science
  • Mallori Fouser, Pennington Traditional School, Behavioral Science
  • Mackenzie McRae, Signal Hill Elementary School, Earth and Space
  • Margaret Miller, Signal Hill Elementary School, Plant Science
The first place winners in the middle division are:
  • Samuel Kristy, Graham Park Middle School
  • Aliyah Desautels, Gainesville Middle School
  • Teammates Saisamhitha, Dasari and Gia Oana, Reagan Middle School
  • Gavin Saul, Pennington Traditional School
  • Timothy Cha, Lake Ridge Middle School
  • Pranav Avasarala, Pennington Traditional
  • Laura Waren, Parkside Middle School
  • John Dumoulin, Graham Park Middle School
  • Meghan Hancock, Graham Park Middle School
  • Elizabeth Shablom, Bull Run Middle School
  • Chase Bennett, Gainesville Middle School
  • Bradley Skaja, Marsteller Middle School
Senior division first place winners from grades 9–12 include: 
  • Tian Yafeng, Battlefield High School
  • Robert Drummond and Joseph Monfort, The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
  • Caroline Gellene and Ashleigh Wright, The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
  • Madeleine Guyent and Olivia Carros, The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
  • Mitchell Gillin, The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
  • Michael Machado, The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
  • Kendell Dalkiewicz, The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
  • Nicholas Shablom, Battlefield High School
  • Abhishek Gupta, The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
School Board Urges Timely Action on State Budget
April 3, 2014

With much at stake—45% of School Division funding comes directly from the state—the Prince William County School Board is asking the Virginia General Assembly and Governor Terence McAuliffe to “pass a budget as soon as practicable to ensure the continuing functioning of Prince William County Public Schools.” To avoid further delay, the School Board also is asking that the state budget be considered apart from the question of Medicaid expansion. The School Board adopted a resolution  to this effect at its meeting on April 2.
Battlefield High School’s ILITE Robotics Team Heads to World Championship
April 2, 2014

Congratulations to Battlefield's ILITE team 1885 for earning a trip to St. Louis for the FRC World Championship. The team qualified for the World Championship by winning the Chairman's Award at the 50-team Washington D.C. Regional. The Chairman's Award is considered to be the most prestigious award at the event, honoring the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate.

Team member Ben Robson was named as the Dean's List Award finalist, an award that celebrates outstanding student leaders. Coach Gail Drake was named the Volunteer of the Year, an award presented to an individual, business or organization that consistently excels in their efforts, with proven results in the areas of impact, leadership, personal commitment, and community and historical contributions. 

Battlefield High School's ILITE team 1885 heads to FRC World Championship

Parents: Use These Tips to Help Your Children Learn and Do Better in School—April
April 1, 2014

Looking for ways that technology can make learning how to spell more fun for your elementary-age child? Want some strategies to help your middle-schooler master multiple choice tests? How about a few hints for setting appropriate communication boundaries with your teen?

Assistance with these challenges and more is at your fingertips in monthly newsletters available through the PWCS Student Services Web page. Click “Programs & Resources” in the left navigation list to choose “Newsletter-Helping Students Learn” and view this month’s issues. The newsletters run during the school year.

The newsletters are published by The Parent Institute in Spanish and English at the elementary, middle, and high school levels to help parents take an active role in their child’s education.
PWCS Elementary Students Win Virginia Math “Beauty” Contest
March 31, 2014

Two PWCS elementary students are winners in a contest showing that problem solving in math “is a beautiful thing to see.”

The winner in the K-2 level is Perla Valles, a second grade student at Mullen Elementary School. Abigail Rice, a fifth-grader at Lake Ridge Elementary School, was first-place winner in the grade 3-5 level. The unique contest is sponsored by the Virginia Council for Teachers of Mathematics. Perla's math teacher is Susan Larson. Abigail entered the contest through her gifted education class. Her SIGNET teacher is Barbara Mangum.

The contest was open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade throughout Virginia. Perla had to create a pattern that is either a growing or repeating pattern or both. In addition, she had to show a correct solution as well as the logical, sequential development of the solution and write or dictate a paragraph to fully explain the thinking involved and the problem-solving strategies that were used. Abigail had to solve a multi-step math problem and write a paragraph explaining how she arrived at the solution.

The students each won a framed certificate, a $25.00 Wal-Mart Gift card, and a pizza party for their class. See article on PWCS Mathematics Web site.
Perla Valles, Mullen Elementary School student, won a state math contest for K-2 level.Lake Ridge Elementary student Abigail Rice with SIGNET teacher Barbara Mangum.

Division’s Advisory Committee Meetings for April
March 31, 2014

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. 
• CTE (Career and Technical Education) Advisory Council, on April 9, 4:30–7 p.m., (Kelly Leadership Center, Rm 2011). See the CTE Advisory Council Web page. Contact the CTE program at 703.791.7297 for assistance.

• Gifted Education Advisory Council, on April 22, 7–9 p.m., (Kelly Leadership Center, Rm 1101). See the Gifted Education Advisory Council Web page. Contact the Gifted Education program at 703.791.7400 for assistance.

• Safe Schools Advisory Council, on April 7, 6:30 p.m., (Kelly Leadership Center, Rm 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 April 22 (due to the Spring Break), 7–9 p.m., at the Kelly Leadership Center. 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 April 10, 7–9 p.m., (Kelly Leadership Center, Rm 1101). See the Superintendent’s Advisory Council on Instruction Web page.

• Wellness Advisory Committee, on April 3, 7–8:30 p.m., (Kelly Leadership Center, Rm 1101 A& B). See the Wellness Advisory Committee Web page. Contact Health and Physical Education at 703.791.7353 for assistance.

All meetings are held at the Kelly Leadership Center, 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.
School Board Meeting Schedule for April
March 27, 2014

The April public meetings of the Prince William County School Board will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2 and April 23 in the School Board Meeting Room, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas.

Agendas for School Board meetings may be viewed online from the School Board Web page, accessible from Agenda items and materials are subject to change up to the time of the meetings.
Board Schedule
April 2
5 p.m.              Dinner
6 p.m.              Closed Session Meeting
7 p.m.              Public Meeting
April 23
5 p.m.              Dinner
6 p.m.              Closed Session
7 p.m.              Public Meeting
Anyone may attend public meetings, which are streamed live on 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
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 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.
Reagan Archery Team Heads to Nationals
March 26, 2014
Reagan Middle School Archery Team qualifies for nationals with second-place win at state tournamentRonald Wilson Reagan Middle School students brought home a trophy for their success in the VA State Archery Tournament. Their second-place win qualified the team for the National Archery Tournament in May in Louisville, KY.

Individually, two students, Malik Stuckey and Olivia Stickel, automatically qualified for the nationals by finishing in the top 10. Two other students, Mia Scott and Lindsay D’Amato, finished with scores just outside of the top 10.

One archer, Amanda Kraemer, won the Amber Nease Memorial Student Archery Leadership Award. This award is given to one archer in the state each year. The Amber Nease Memorial Outdoor Education Foundation and the Virginia Department of Game and Fish annually present the Amber Nease Memorial Student Archery Leadership Award to recognize a student who is a leader and role model among their peers within the Virginia National Archery in the Schools Program. The student may be nominated by an adult associated with the program or a peer participant.
Reagan Middle School archery coach Jonathan Bukva finishedsecond in the coaches' shootout for the men. Bukva is the health and physical education teacher and athletic director.
Bukva said the team has begun fundraising for the national tournament. For information, contact Bukva at
Students Honored for Service Projects
March 26, 2014

Taylor Campbell, a senior at Stonewall Jackson High School, and Katelyn Blakely, a senior at Osbourn Park High School, have been recognized as Distinguished Finalists in the 2014 Prudential Spirit of Community Award program.

Campbell has worked since 2007 to inspire second graders to read. She founded “Ready, Set, Read! The Race to Literacy” in 2007 to inspire second graders to read.  Blakely founded “Kids Like Us,” a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $30,000 in two years with its annual “Swim-A-Lap” event and other projects to benefit children in foster care in Prince William County.
Osbourn Park Student Jocasta Palacio a Winner in State Geography Fair
March 26, 2014
Osbourn Park High School student Jocasta Palacio won first place at Virginia Geography Fair.Osbourn Park High School recently hosted the Virginia State Geography Fair, with entries from across the state. The single entry from Osbourn Park High School’s Jocasta Palacio won first place in the contest in the category of large-scale multifaceted display at the high school level. She created a model of India’s Taj Mahal.
Nominate a Special School Counselor Who Deserves Recognition
March 26, 2014
Nominations are sought for outstanding members of the Prince William Regional Counselors Association (PWRCA) for recognition in one of the two categories:
  • Counselor of the Year;
  • Humanitarian and Caring Person Award
Contact Mike Deabler, professional school counselor at Freedom High School, at for a nomination packet. Complete packets should be sent to the attention of Mike Deabler, PWRCA Awards Chair, at Freedom High School, 15201 Neabsco Mills Road, Woodbridge, VA 22191. Packets must be submitted by April 25.

With Proms and Graduations on Teen Minds—’Tis the Season to Promote Safe Driving
March 26, 2014

The spring excitement level is high as prom season approaches with high school graduations not far behind. This time of year brings with it our concerns for safe teen driving and the hope that teens will make wise choices amid the fun and excitement. This is an excellent time to remind teens to use caution behind the wheel and in decision making when getting in the car with another driver. Visit for tips and ideas on guiding your young driver on the road toward safe, experienced driving. You can also “like” Partners for Save Teen Driving’s Facebook page.

Parent Tips for Prom:

The prom or senior ball should be a positive experience for your child, one that he or she will never forget. Before the big event there is much to talk about—gowns, tuxedos, which groups will share a limousine, and of course, who will be the big date. But the most important part of that talk should come from you, the parent, in explaining to your child that prom night safety is crucial in the planning process, and that alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes are not necessary for a fun evening.

• On prom night demand that alcohol not be allowed.
• Make sure the vehicle your teen will be driving is in good working condition.
• Limit the number of passengers your teen will be allowed to transport.
• Insist that everyone in the vehicle wear seat belts at all times.
• Don’t allow driving after midnight; make alternative arrangements (chauffeur, car pool with other parents, taxis) if necessary.
• If renting a limo, parents and passengers should sign a contract allowing the driver to phone parents if alcohol is detected. Insist that only registered passengers be allowed transportation.
• Make sure your teen provides contact phone numbers where he or she can be reached.
Mind Games Mean Tough Competition Now and Ahead for Gravely Elementary’s Odyssey of the Mind Team
March 25, 2014
Congratulations to Gravely Elementary School’s Odyssey of the Mind team on winning the Region 12 Tournament on March 22.
“This is a big win for Gravely, particularly since ours is a new school that is also relatively new to Odyssey of the Mind and this is the first time for the school that a team has placed in regional competition,” said coach Michael Heilen.
It is also a big win for the team, which has built on the experience of two prior successful competitions in the Primary Division two years ago and last year in Division I.
The achievement also means that the team advances to the Odyssey of the Mind State Finals Tournament on Saturday, April 26 at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, VA.
Students Put their Best Foot Forward at Summer Job Fair
March 24, 2014

Nearly 500 PWCS students attended the annual student job fairs over two evenings, March 18 and March 20. Approximately 200 student aide positions will be filled for the PWCS summer school program across the county.

Health Events Listing

Saunders Middle School Sara Lott Memorial 5K Run/1Mile Walk
Date: Saturday May 17

2014 Sara Lott Race-Home of the Saunders Middle School 5k Run/1mile Walk in partnership with the Sara Lott Spark Memorial Scholarship Saturday, May 17, 2014. 8 AM - 1 Mile Walk 8:30 AM - 5K Run. Visit Saunders MS Web site, or go to 

Patriot High School Interact Club's Supporting Autism 5K Walk/Run
Date: Saturday April 26
Patriot's Interact Club will sponsor a "Supporting Autism Around the World" 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, April 26 (rain or shine) at Patriot High School to benefit The Matthhews Center in Manassas. See the flyer and registration form or find them on the Patriot HS Web site or you can register online at

Triangle Elementary School Community Wide Health and Wellness Fair
Date: Saturday April 10

Triangle ES will will hold a health and wellness fair on Thursday, April 10 from 6-8 p.m. 
We will have vendors from all walks of life on hand for you to visit...Lions Club to check your eyes, Yoga to relax you, Red Cross to sign up for our very first Blood Drive on May 5, lots of activities for the young and old alike! Sign up to get Health Insurance for your children. PWC Parks and Recreation will be here to help you spend your summer getting healthy! Visit the
Triangle ES Web site or contact School Nurse Dany Peabody at 703.445.0258.

Gainesville Middle School Fun Run & 5K
Date: Saturday, March 22
Gainesville Middle School PTO is proud to present our 5th annual 5K race and 1 mile Fun Run on Saturday, March 22nd. The proceeds from the event will support needed programs for the Gainesville Middle School, for Arts and Sciences. Visit the 
GVMS school Web site for info. 

Fifth Annual 5K Race and Fun Run
Date: March 22 
Gainesville Middle School for the Arts and Sciences is having its 5K Race and Fun Run. (Fun Run at 8 A.M. 5K is at 8:30). The proceeds from the event will support needed programs for the Gainesville Middle School, for Arts and Sciences. See details on the Gainesville MS Web site. Register early at

Battlefield 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run
Date: March 22, 2014

The Battlefield 5K Race and 1-Mile Fun Run will be held on Saturday, March 22 at 9 a.m.  The race will begin and end at the Battlefield High School stadium. There will be medals for the winners.  Register online at Proceeds benefit the athletic training program at Battlefield High School.

Community Health Fair
Date: February 8, 2014
Pattie Elementary School will host a community health fair on Saturday, February 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be fun activities for children, the Sentara Mobile Mammography Van, Lions Club vision and hearing screenings, INOVA Partnership for Healthier Kids, and much more.

Green Splash 5K Run/Walk at OPHS
Date: February 15, 2014

Support the Leukemia Lymphoma Society by running a 5k sponsored by the Osbourn Park Leadership Seminar Class on Saturday, February 15, at 9 a.m.  Raise awareness and raise funds for Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma research while running/walking. Participants will get splashed with green glitter, green silly string, and green powder.  
Kindergarten Registration set for April
March 21, 2014

Kindergarten registration for the 2014–15 school year is set for Thursday, April 10 and Thursday, April 24 at individual schools. Parents should contact their school for specific registration times. 

During the kindergarten registration days, schools will ask parents of children who speak or understand a different first language, in addition to or instead of English, to call Central Registration to make an appointment for an English language evaluation. This evaluation helps determine the language support children might need to be successful in school. 

Beginning Friday, April 25, English language learners not yet registered at school, will be both registered and evaluated at Central Registration. Parents should call one of two Central Registration locations, the Stonewall Middle School site in western Prince William County at 571.402.3800, or the Ann Ludwig site in the eastern part of the county at 703.491.8432.

PWCS Central Registration Centers: 
  • The Ann Ludwig Central Registration Center in eastern Prince William County is located at 14575 Potomac Branch Drive in Woodbridge. The telephone number is 703.491.8432 and the fax number is 703.491.8439.
  • The western Prince William County location is on the campus of Stonewall Middle School, 10100 Lomond Drive in Manassas. The new phone number is 571.402.3800 and the fax number is 703.831.8773.

Se han establecido las fechas de matrícula para Kindergarten

La matrícula para niños que comenzarán Kindergarten en el año escolar 2014–15 se realizará el jueves 10 de abril y el jueves 24 de abril en las diferentes escuelas. Los padres deben contactar a la escuela de su hijo para enterarse de los horarios de matrícula.

Durante los días de matrícula, las escuelas les solicitarán a los padres de niños que hablan o entienden otro idioma en lugar o además del inglés, que hagan una cita con el Centro de Matrícula para que sus niños sean evaluados en las destrezas del inglés.  Esta evaluación se utiliza para determinar el apoyo que algunos niños puedan necesitar para tener éxito en la escuela.

A partir del viernes 25 de abril, los niños que están aprendiendo inglés (English language learners), cuya matrícula no se haya completado en la escuela anteriormente, serán matriculados y evaluados en el Centro de Matrícula. Los padres de familia deben llamar a uno de los Centros de Matrícula: Stonewall Middle School, 571.402.3800, ubicado en la zona oeste del condado,  o Ann Ludwig, 703.491.8432, ubicado en la zona este del condado. 

Los Centros de Matrícula de las Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Prince William son:
  • El Centro de Matrícula en Ann Ludwig; localizado en la zona este del Condado de Prince William, está ubicado en 14575 Potomac Branch Drive en Woodbridge. El número de teléfono es 703.491.8432 y el número de fax es 703.491.8439.
  • El Centro de Matrícula anteriormente localizado en el campus de Coles Elementary School ha sido trasladado a Stonewall Middle School, ubicada en el 10100 Lomond Drive en Manassas. El nuevo número de teléfono es 571.402.3800  y el número de fax  es 703.831.8773. 
Thinking of a Graduate Degree in Special Education? Don’t Miss Info Sessions
March 18, 2014

In partnership with George Mason University, PWCS offers teachers, and any PWCS employee who holds a bachelor's degree, the opportunity to obtain licensure in teaching students with disabilities who access the general curriculum, plus a Master of Special Education from Mason. 

A Mason-PWCS Special Education Cohort Program is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2014.
Information sessions regarding the cohort are scheduled for:
  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in room 2011, in the Kelly Leadership Center at 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in room 2011, in the Kelly Leadership Center at 4 p.m.
See the flyer on the Office of Special Education Web site for more details.

GMU personnel will be available to answer questions. For further information, contact Sherley Channing at or Maria Ortiz at 703.791.8318.
Take a Course in the Comfort of your Own Home This Summer— Register for the Summer Session of the Virtual High School @ PWCS
March 18, 2014
Enrollment for the summer session of the Virtual High School (VHS) @ PWCS, the School Division’s online high school program, opens April 10. Register online by visiting their Web site at
The summer session will run June 30–August 8, simultaneous with the regular summer school session. The Virtual High School’s complete program of 22 full credit courses are available. Tuition is $450 for every course except HPE II ($375). Register early as some classes fill up quickly.

Join the VHS @PWCS staff for a program overview and Q&A session at the optional Summer Information Meeting on Wednesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in the Hylton High School auditorium. 

Watch a video clip in which three students discuss how the Virtual High School @PWCS helped them to reach their goals. From overcoming scheduling issues, to making up credits to help students graduate on time, the Virtual High School @ PWCS is a great part of our “World-Class” School Division. Led by highly qualified teachers proven in both real and virtual classroom settings, the courses are open to any ninth-twelfth grade student enrolled in an accredited Virginia school.

More details about the program can be found on the Virtual High School @ PWCS Web site.

Spring Food Drive Aids Local Friends and Neighbors
March 14, 2014
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 Prince William County Public School Division (PWCS) annual food drive to benefit ACTS and SERVE (the Manassas campus of Northern Virginia Family Service), is under way now to support our local community. Schools and administrative offices will have collection boxes on site until April 4.
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 & chicken), beans (dry & canned), rice, pasta, spaghetti sauce, soups, macaroni and cheese, and canned fruits and vegetables.
Donations made after April 4 must be delivered directly to SERVE in Manassas or ACTS in Woodbridge.  
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
Know an Aspiring Artist? Sign Up Today for Popular Summer Activity
March 7, 2014

Young Picassos and Rembrandts are invited to explore how “Art Makes Connections” this summer during the annual PWCS Summer Art Enrichment program. The program is open to all local-area students currently in grades 2–8. Teachers will lead students to enhance their skills and explore the visual arts through a community perspective. The program begins on Monday, July 7, and continues through Friday, July 18 at two locations, Benton Middle School and Marsteller Middle School. Hours are 9 a.m.–noon each day.

This intensive two-week program offers studio experiences beyond art instruction during the school year. Students will work with 2D and 3D media including drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, ceramics, sculpture, and mixed media. The Office of Student Management and Alternative Programs and the Office of Student Learning/Fine & Performing Arts Program present the Summer Art Enrichment Program annually.

The enrollment fee for county residents is $200 and $250 for non-residents. The fee must be paid in the form of a cashier’s check or money order made out to PWCS. Personal checks, cash, and credit cards will not be accepted. Transportation will be provided at satellite pick-up schools; see the registration form for specific locations.

The deadline for registration is Friday, May 2, at 3 p.m. Registration forms are available beginning March 3 from all PWCS elementary and middle school art specialists and online on the Arts Program Web Page. Send the registration form and tuition to the Office of Student Learning/Arts Program, PWCS, P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108.

For additional information, please call Debbie Barnard, administrative coordinator for the arts, at 703.791.8174.
Questions about ADHD? Hear Expert on March 20
February 21, 2014

What is every parent’s dream? Helping their child to recognize their strengths and overcome obstacles to success. When one of those obstacles is a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sometimes the difficulties can seem insurmountable.

Prominent ADHD expert Dr. Russell Barkley will address the nature, causes, life course risks, types, and treatments for ADHD from 6–9 p.m. on Thursday, March 20 at Hylton High School, 14051 Spriggs Road, Woodbridge, VA 22193.

Barkley is clinical professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina. He is a Diplomate (board certified) in Clinical Psychology, Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Clinical Neuropsychology. He is the founder and editor of “The ADHD Report,” now in its 20th year of publication. Barkley has presented more than 700 addresses internationally and has appeared on 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, and CNN.

Those who would like to attend this free conference are asked to RSVP to Jan Russell at by Friday, March 14.

Sign or foreign language interpreter services are available upon request. To request these services, contact Jan Russell at 703.730.3124 or email by Wednesday, March 12.

This event” ADHD in Children and Teens:  What Do We Know and What Can We Do?” is the first in a series of speakers sponsored by Prince William County Public Schools and the Arc of Greater Prince William/INSIGHT to commemorate the Arc’s 50th anniversary.

Register now for the Aspiring Scientist, Technologist, Engineer and Mathematician (ASTEM) Event
February 25, 2014

The Governors School @ Innovation Park invites students, and parents of students, interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to the Third Annual Aspiring Scientists, Technologist, Engineer and Mathematician (ASTEM) event. The event is open to students in grades 6 through 10 who currently attend a school in PWCS, MCPS and MPCS.  ASTEM will take place Saturday, March 29 from 10 a.m.–noon in Bull Run Hall on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus. 
Learn about the importance of STEM education from keynote speaker Dr. Padhu Seshaiyer, meet the faculty and students from The Governor's School @ Innovation Park, and experience exciting hands-on demonstrations, exhibits, and explorations.

Students and parents/adults who would like to attend the event should preregister by March 15. Click here to register.

Visit the Governor’s School @ Innovation Park Web site for additional details.
Calling All Math Whiz Kids for Challenge 24
February 20, 2014
Is there a math whiz in your family? Between now and mid-April, Prince William County elementary and middle schools will hold grade-level competitions for students in grades 3–8 to determine their entry in the 13th Annual Mathematics Challenge 24 Tournament scheduled in April. Interested students should check with their teachers to see if their school participates in this tournament.
In the “Game of 24,” students apply their math skills in computation, problem solving, number sense, critical thinking, and pattern sensing to find a way to mathematically combine four numbers to equal 24. Depending on their grade level, students use whole numbers, fractions, and decimals and solve multi-step problems using integers and algebraic notation.
The Mathematics Challenge 24 Tournament will be held on Saturday, April 26, from 8:15 a.m.–noon at Godwin Middle School, located at 14800 Darbydale Avenue in Woodbridge. Students in grades 3–8 who win the grade-level competitions at their individual schools may enter the tournament. Trophies are awarded to the winners at each grade level in the Challenge 24 Tournament. This competition is organized by the PWCS Office of Student Learning - Mathematics. Please visit the PWCS Mathematics Web site and click the “Game of 24” link on the left navigation bar for more information.
Life after High School Looming? Fair Helps Students with Disabilities Plan for Transition
January 31, 2014

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 Transition Fair. This free event will be held on Saturday, March 1 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 on the following topics:
  • 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 to be helpful 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.
For more information about the fair, contact Deana Holinka, administrative coordinator of Transition Services for Prince William County Public Schools, at 703.791.8319, or email at
To register for the fair, call 703.791.8354 (voice) or 703.791.8847 (TDD), or email
Accommodations provided upon request. View more information.

Kindergarten Registration Dates on the Horizon
January 31, 2014
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 10 and Thursday, April 24. 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 Central Registration sites, Stonewall Middle, 571.402.3800, or Ann Ludwig, 703.491.8432, to make an appointment for an English language evaluation.
After April 25, 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. 

Fechas para la matrícula de niños que entrarán a Kindergarten:
31 de enero de 2014
Los padres de niños que entrarán a kindergarten el próximo año escolar deben notar dos fechas importantes. La matrícula para kindergarten se llevará a cabo en las escuelas primarias del condado el jueves 10 de abril y también el jueves 24 de abril. Los padres deben comunicarse con la escuela de su hijo para saber los horarios de matrícula.
Se les pedirán a los padres de niños que hablan o entienden otro idioma en lugar o además del inglés que hagan una cita con el Centro de Matrícula (Stonewall, 571.402.3800, o Ann Ludwig, 703.491.8432) para que esos niños sean evaluados en sus destrezas del inglés.
Después del 25 de abril, los niños que no hablan inglés o que hablan inglés como segundo idioma (English language learners) serán matriculados y evaluados solamente en el Centro de Matrícula de Stonewall o Ann Ludwig. Es siempre necesario hacer una cita.
Choose Your E-News—Complete All Three Sign-Up Sections to Get the News You Want
With winter in full swing, the Prince William County community is encouraged to keep up with school announcements through official School Division sites, including the home page on the Internet,; PWCS E-News; Facebook; Twitter; and YouTube. The Office of Communications Services uses these sites to get information to the community quickly during inclement weather.
PWCS E-News is an email and/or text message subscription service that offers a choice of topics including daily news digests, emergency and inclement weather announcements, and in-memoriam announcements.
Get weather and emergency news by email, text message, or both pertaining to your school by signing up online for PWCS E-News.
To subscribe, go to and click on the PWCS E-News logo, located on the left of the home page. Remember to fill out the information on all three pages of the online form by clicking the three tabs on the “MY ACCOUNT” page.
Complete the:
1-    “User Info” tab with your contact information;
2-    “My PWCS E-News Roles” tab with any student/school associations; and
3-    “PWCS eNews” tab with your closing and emergency notification preferences.
View detailed instructions for registering for PWCS E-News, or go to, click on “News and Updates” on the left navigation, and click “How do I subscribe to PWCS E-News” to view them.
Volunteers Needed to Keep Robotic Events Rocking
Exciting robotics programs and competitions involving local students continue from January through May. Don’t miss the next VEX Robotics event on Saturday, January 11 at Bull Run Middle School. Community members and parents from Manassas, Manassas Park, and Prince William County are invited to participate as volunteers.  Programs include elementary students from the FIRST LEGO League who design and build robots using LEGO Mindstorms; middle and high school students participate in VEX Robotics competitions; and the SeaPerch program for high school students just concluded with a regional competition. For more information contact Denyse Carroll, Regional STEM Education Coordinator, email View the schedule of events.
Want to Create Your Own TV Production? Watch “Producing an i-Report” to Learn How
December 31, 2013

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.

2014–15 School Calendar Approved
December 19, 2013
At its meeting on December 18, the School Board approved the 2014–15 school calendar. The first day of school will be Tuesday, September 2, 2014. The elementary school calendar features 182 days of instruction with 13 days of conferences or inservice/workdays for a total of 195 days. The middle and high school calendar features 183 days of instruction with 12 days of conferences or inservice/workdays to equal a 195-day-calendar. The last day of school for students will be Thursday, June 18, 2015.
Holidays include Veterans Day (observed November 11), two days for Thanksgiving (November 27 and 28), New Year’s Day Holiday (January 1), Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 19), Presidents’ Day (February 16), and Memorial Day (May 25).
Schools will be closed on Monday, October 13, 2014 (Columbus Day) for a teacher professional development/workday.
Students and teachers will attend a half-day on November 26 before beginning Thanksgiving break (November 27–28). Winter break will give students and teachers a full two weeks off from classes, stretching from Monday, December 22-Friday, January 2. Winter break for all employees is December 24 and 25, plus the New Year's holiday on January 1.  School will resume on Monday, January 5, 2015.
Spring break for students and teachers runs from March 30–April 3. Spring break for all employees is April 2–3. Schools will be closed on Monday, April 6, 2013 for a teacher professional development/workday.
The annual school calendar is reviewed by employee groups, organizations, and councils prior to being submitted to the School Board for approval each December.
An orientation and induction program for new teachers will be held August 21–22, 2014. All teachers will report to their schools on August 25.

2014 Summer Program Dates Announced
November 13, 2013

The following dates have been set for the Prince William County Public Schools 2014 Summer School Program:
  • Elementary and Middle School Remediation Program: Monday, July 7–Friday, July 25 (three-week program)
  • High School Program: Monday, June 30–Friday, August 8 (six-week program)
  • High school graduation date: Thursday, August 7 (at Woodbridge High School)
  • Art Enrichment Program: Monday, July 7–Friday, July 18

The 2014 summer school information will be available on the Web site approximately mid-February 2014. 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. Visit for more information about VHS.
Students Earn Honors as National Hispanic Scholars
October 16, 2013

For their exceptional academic achievement, Paul Hartman from Hylton High School, Madeleine Guyant from Forest Park High School, and Battlefield High School students Branden Arnold and Daniel Gardeazabal have been named National Hispanic Scholars by the College Board through the National Hispanic Recognition Program. More than 3,500 colleges across the country will soon receive word of their accomplishments.
These outstanding students qualified for recognition based on their grade point average and combined verbal, math, and writing skill scores on the PSAT/NMSQT taken in their junior year of high school.
The College Board's National Hispanic Recognition Program was initiated in 1983 to identify outstanding Hispanic high school students and to share information about these academically well-prepared students with subscribing colleges and universities. Although the recognition program does not provide a monetary award to these students, its purpose is to identify superior students of Hispanic heritage to colleges and universities and encourage them to recruit these students and offer financial support.

Parents — How to Make Sure You Receive Your School Web Site’s Daily Email Notifications
Some parents have indicated recently that they are not receiving the SchoolFusion “recent activity notifications” email which contains their child’s class Web site activities including homework. Here is what you can do to resolve the problem. Also see details about when notifications are sent out.

1)  Make sure that no one in your family is using the same email address. SchoolFusion has a problem with the notifications system if an email address is used for more than one person. If your child is using your email address, please notify the school to delete or change the student’s email address, or change your own in Parent Portal. In the case of a parent who is also a teacher and has 2 accounts, each account needs to have its own email address.

2)  Check the SPAM filter for your email service. It could be that your email service is blocking you from receiving email from SchoolFusion. Check your email options — Add the following to your contact list: SchoolFusion, Daily Digest,, You may also need to call your email provider and ask if these addresses are being blocked.

3)  Check your SchoolFusion notifications settings to make sure that option is turned on. Logon to your school’s Web site; Click “My Account – Personal Settings – Notifications” on the lower left of the screen. Then select “Yes” and “Submit.” Also check the setting called Daily Digest which sends announcements and events email. Select one of the options on the menu, such as “Send me a daily “Prince William County Public Schools Digest the day before.”
Click on "Notifications" 

Select "Yes"
Select an option.

4) If your email address has changed, change it in Parent Portal -- It will automatically be imported to SchoolFusion:
To change your email address for daily SchoolFusion notifications you will need to first change it in the Parent Portal. Please go to the following URL to change your email address: Be sure to change it in 2 places on Parent Portal -- see instructions at:

Parents/students should receive email notifications between 3 and 8:30 p.m. EST:
The Recent Activity Email contains new information added to the system within the prior 24 hours, and will contain information for the upcoming three days. Teachers need to have information added to their FusionPages, such as new Announcements, New Events, and Homework Assignments posted prior to 3 p.m. EST, in order to be included in that day's email notification. Recent Activity email is sent Sunday through Friday, and is not sent on Saturday.

To view your child’s class activities, calendar, and homework at any time, log on to your school Web site and click on “My Family” on the bottom left of the screen.

View more information about SchoolFusion and how to use your school's Web site.
View Parent Portal FAQs.
School Board Vice Chairman Dr. Michael Otaigbe Named Chairman of Joint Board for the Governor's School @Innovation Park
October 11, 2013

School Board Vice Chairman Dr. Michael Otaigbe
Dr. Michael I. Otaigbe, Vice Chairman of the School Board and Coles District representative, has been named chairman of the Joint Board of the Governor’s School @ Innovation Park.

The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park is the 19th Academic Year Regional Governor's School in the state of Virginia, offering selected juniors and seniors from Manassas City, Manassas Park, and Prince William County School Divisions an advanced and intensive program in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Otaigbe is serving his third term on the Prince William County School Board. He is Dean of the Woodbridge Campus of Strayer University. He is also past chair of the Northern Virginia Community College Technical Program, past vice president of the Citizens Police Academy, and a member of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce.

Otaigbe earned a Master of Arts in economics from The Catholic University and a doctoral degree in sociology from The American University. He is a graduate of Strayer University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.
National Board Offers New Options for Busy Teachers Seeking Certification
October 2, 2013

Beginning in spring 2014, teacher applicants seeking National Board Certification will find new options for fitting the rigorous application process into their busy schedules, as well as a reduction in cost.

Teachers may choose to complete the certification process over several years rather than one year if that fits better with other demands on their time.  Additionally, the total cost of certification will decrease to about $1,900, with each of four compo­nents costing no more than $500. Candidates will have the option to pay for and submit each component separately.

View the details about revisions on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Web site.
Teachers in Prince William County Public Schools may visit the PWCS Professional Learning Web page for more information or contact Kelli Stenhouse, Organizational Professional Development specialist in Human Resources, at or 703.791.8020.

Have a Great Idea for a Class Project, Curriculum Unit, or School Initiative? Apply for a SPARK Innovative Grant
October 2, 2013
Any employee of Prince William County Public Schools is eligible to apply for funding from SPARK for projects or initiatives that benefit a classroom, an entire school, a cluster of schools, or the School Divison. Collaboration is encouraged; applicants may apply individually or as team members. SPARK is the Education Foundation for PWCS.
Proposals must be received on or before the 15th day of the month to be included in the monthly funding cycle. Grant workshop webinars are posted on the SPARK Web site. For information on SPARK or the innovative grant process, contact the Office of Community and Business Engagement at 703.791.8001.
Innovative grants are supported by SPARK to encourage educators to identify and develop solutions to significant educational challenges. This year SPARK has raised $65,000 thus far towards funding innovative grants. Additionally, Micron has donated $15,000 to support innovative science, technology, engineering, and math grants.

The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park Joint Board Announces Meeting Schedule
 The Joint Board of The Academic-Year Governor’s School @ Innovation Park will hold its first meeting of the 2013–14 school year on September 26, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Room 110H of the Occoquan Building on the Prince William Campus of George Mason University located at 10900 University Boulevard in Manassas.
2013–14 Meetings:
September 26, 2013             Business Meeting
December 12, 2013              Business Meeting
February 20, 2014                Business Meeting
April 24, 2014                      Business Meeting
June 19, 2014                       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.
Parents, Here’s How to Receive Critical Messages from PWCS
September 18, 2013

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 view 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 Blackboard email address to your contact list to ensure you receive important messages from your child's school and the School Division.

PWCS ENews (Subscription Service)

Students, spouses, and community members interested in receiving emergency messages, news, events, and updates from PWCS may subscribe to PWCS ENews. News is sent by email; emergency messages and inclement weather closures or delays are sent to your choice of email and/or 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.

Updating Contact Information
Subscribers are responsible for updating and removing themselves from the subscription system.

To avoid duplicate messages, parents of PWCS students should not subscribe to “Emergency Messaging” for the school where their child attends if their e-mail and/or phone number is already listed in the contact record for their child. These contacts are automatically included in the Blackboard Connect service. 

Be sure to add the PWCS ENews email address to your contact list to ensure you receive important messages from the School Division.
You may 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
  • School Board news from At-Large Member – Milton C. Johns
  • School Board news from Vice Chairman (Coles) — Dr. Michael I. Otaigbe
  • School Board news from Brentsville Member — Gil Trenum
  • School Board news from Gainesville District Member — Alyson A. Satterwhite
  • School Board news from Neabsco Member — Lisa E. Bell
  • School Board news from Occoquan Member — Lillie G. Jessie
  • School Board news from Potomac District Member — Betty D. Covington
  • School Board news from Woodbridge District Member — Steven Keen
Parents and Students, Need to Change Your Email Address or Web Password?
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.
Your password for both Parent Portal and your school Web site must also be changed in the Parent Portal. See instructions for changing your password and for retrieving a forgotten password.
PWCS Google Apps Now Available to Grade 6-12 Students
September 4, 2013

PWCS Google Apps for Education is now available to students in grades 6-12. For more information visit the Instructional Technology Web page for Google Apps information.
Back-to-School Tips on Hand-Washing to Prevent Spread of Germs
August 29, 2013
As school begins, thousands of students will be focused on learning, getting a good night’s sleep, and healthful eating habits. This is also a great time to remember that proper hand-washing can help prevent the spread of germs that can cause infection, especially during flu season which runs from October through mid-May, with most cases occurring in January and February.
Parents are reminded to be alert for any symptoms of influenza-like illnesses. The symptoms of influenza include fever and any two of the following: cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue, and occasionally vomiting and diarrhea. Children should stay home if they experience any symptoms of a flu-like illness, and remain at home at least 24 hours after any fever subsides without the use of fever-reducing medication, per the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A public service announcement (PSA) is now running on the School Division’s PWCS-TV cable channels (Verizon Channel 18 and Comcast Channel 36) on the importance of good hand-washing hygiene. Directed toward children, the PSA recommends that children should scrub their hands with soap and water for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song two times.
Some tips to stay healthy include:
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Clean hands with an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your sleeve or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Avoid close contact with those who have symptoms of flu.
  • Seek care for you or your child if needed, and please call ahead to your health care provider's office to tell them what symptoms you have, so they can see you quickly and prevent exposing other people in the waiting room.

Rules for School Now Online for Your Review
Providing A World-Class Education requires clear responsibilities, expectations, and rules that apply primarily to students, but also guide the behavior of parents, teachers, and school employees. These are addressed in detail in Prince William County Public Schools’ Policy and Administrative manuals, and are summarized in the Code of Behavior (COB) on the PWCS Web site.

Please review the Code of Behavior. Make sure you and your children understand the expectations, rules and regulations, policies, and procedures it contains. Use these “rules of the road” to navigate opportunities and challenges in PWCS, while protecting the health, safety, and rights of PWCS students and staff, and the quality of our learning environment.

Online Enrollment Available for Student Insurance
Student accident insurance offers a low-cost way to obtain medical or dental coverage. It can fill in the gaps in a family’s insurance plan or serve as primary accident insurance for those who have no other policy. According to the PWCS Office of Risk Management and Security Services, some parents mistakenly believe that the Division provides blanket medical insurance for students when they are at school or involved in a school activity. However, this is not the case, reports Patti Pittman, Director of Risk Management and Security Services.
Parents are urged to read the information available on the PWCS student accident insurance provider’s Web site carefully before making a decision. Student accident insurance is important for families who lack other insurance for their children or have major medical plans with ever-increasing deductibles, and co-insurance requirements.
For the second year, enrollment is electronic and students will not receive the familiar paper application in their back-to-school materials. Using a dedicated and secure enrollment Web site,, parents are able to:
  • View all of the coverage and premium options;
  • Review a “Frequently Asked Questions” section; and
  • Purchase the insurance using a credit/debit card and receive an instant and printable confirmation of purchase.
Direct any questions on this, or any other school-related insurance issue, to the PWCS Office of Risk Management and Security at 703.791.7206.
La inscripción para el seguro escolar está disponible en internet. 
El seguro de accidentes estudiantil ofrece una manera de obtener cobertura médica o dental a bajo coste. Puede llenar los vacíos en el plan de seguros de una familia o servir como seguro de accidentes primario para aquellos que no tienen otra póliza de seguros. De acuerdo con la Oficina de Gestión de Riesgos y Seguridad de PWCS, algunos padres creen erróneamente que la División proporciona seguro médico general para los estudiantes cuando están en la escuela o participan en una actividad escolar. Sin embargo, la Sra. Patti Pittman, directora de Gestión de Riesgos y Seguridad de PWCS, quiere dejar claro que este no es el caso.
Se ruega que los padres lean cuidadosamente la información disponible en el sitio Web del proveedor de seguro de accidentes de PWCS antes de tomar una decisión. El seguro de accidentes estudiantil es importante para las familias que carecen de otro seguro para sus hijos o que tienen grandes planes médicos con copago y requisitos de coseguro cada vez mayores.
Por segundo año, la matrícula es electrónica y los estudiantes no recibirán la habitual solicitud en papel con sus materiales de regreso a la escuela. Gracias al uso de un sitio Web de inscripción dedicado y seguro,, los padres pueden:
·        Ver todas las opciones de primas de seguros y cobertura.
·        Revisar la sección de “Preguntas Frecuentes.”
·         Comprar el seguro con tarjeta de crédito/débito y recibir una confirmación inmediata e imprimible de su compra.
Dirija cualquier pregunta sobre este o cualquier otro tema relacionado con el seguro de la escuela a la oficina de Gestión de Riesgos y Seguridad en el 703.791.7206.
Applications Available for Those Eligible for Free and Reduced Meals
August 8, 2013

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. To apply online, go to, click on the “Meal Applications” button on the left side of the page and select the English or Spanish version. 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 2013 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.
School Board Meetings for 2013–14 School Year Set
August 6, 2013
The first public meeting of the Prince William County School Board for the new school year will be held on Wednesday, September 4, beginning at 7 p.m. in the School Board Meeting Room, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas.
 A closed session has been scheduled prior to this meeting.
With the exception of meetings on Tuesday, November 19, and Wednesday, April 23, the School Board meets during the school year on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 7 p.m. In addition, a public meeting is set for Monday, February 10, to discuss the 2014–15 budget and a budget work session is scheduled on Wednesday, March 12.
Regular public meetings are open to the public and are streamed live on, and broadcast live on PWCS-TV, Comcast Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 36. Closed sessions are held prior to the public meetings at 6 p.m. and are not open to the public. Items discussed in closed sessions are confined by law to personnel, student matters, acquisitions/disposition of real property, legal, and other specific matters exempted from open sessions under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act.
Special meetings are called when necessary to conduct school business and are announced in advance on the School Division’s Web site and through local news media. All School Board meetings, except closed sessions, are open to the public.
Electronic School Board agendas are available online in advance of meetings from  Agenda items and materials are subject to change up to the time of the meetings. “Board Briefs”summarizes the actions taken by the School Board at each meeting and are also available online.
Individuals who wish to address the School Board under Citizens’ Time may notify the board clerk in advance in writing at P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108; by phone at 703.791.8709; or by email at Individuals may also sign up in the School Board Meeting Room prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting.
Parents of Students Taking Driver Ed Must Attend Presentation with Their Child
State law requires students to accompany their parents/guardians to participate in a 90-minute traffic safety program as part of their in-classroom driver education curriculum.This program requirement must be met before a student receives a Driver Education Certificate of Completion card (DEC-1 card). View 2013-2014 dates for the student/parent presentations at all PWCS high schools on the Health & Physical Education, Driver Education, JROTC, Athletics Web site.
The driver safety class was designed by PWCS staff and is now the model for the state, incorporated in the Virginia “Partners for Safe Teen Driving” initiative. The session informs parents and students about state driving laws, covers techniques for coaching teens, empowers parents to assist their children in managing high-risk driving environments in the community, and offers other essential safety information.

Parents/guardians and students are strongly encouraged to attend the program at the time the student is enrolled in the classroom driver education course. Doors will close promptly at the beginning of the presentation. In order to meet the 90-minute requirement of participation by parents and student, participants will not be permitted to enter the program after it has started and the doors are closed. Presentations are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on weeknights and 10 a.m. on Saturdays. 

Warning! This Web page may contain links to one or more Web sites outside the PWCS network, which are not PWCS venues and may not reflect the views or opinions of PWCS. PWCS does not control the content of such Web sites and does not sponsor or endorse any messages, products, or services contained on such Web sites.

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