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Prince William Network - Distance Learning
America's Promise Alliance - 100 Best Communities Award
PWCS Tip Line
Divisionwide Announcements
News Stories
Students, School Division Lauded for Performance on and Participation in Advanced Placement Courses
PWCS Named to College Board's AP District Honor Roll

March 31, 2015

Prince William County Public School students continue to excel in rigorous college-level Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The percentage of those who do, and earn scores of 3 or higher, has brought acclaim to the School Division. The College Board has selected Prince William County Public Schools for the 5th Annual AP District Honor Roll, a distinction for districts that simultaneously achieve increases in access to AP courses while improving the rate of progress on scores. Based on results of school year 2013-14:
  • 33 percent of PWCS graduates received qualifying scores on one or more advanced exams (AP, IB, Cambridge).
  • PWCS is the largest and one of only four Virginia divisions that met the Honor Roll criteria.
  • PWCS students outperformed students overall at the state (30 percent) and national level (21.6 percent).
“Increased participation and performance in these advanced courses is something for us to be very proud of and to continue to work to achieve,” said Superintendent of Schools Steven L. Walts.
The Board’s continued funding of the fees for AP tests despite significant budget reductions means students who wish to take rigorous courses can do so without having to worry about how to pay for the cost of the exams.
“This effort has been and continues to be a partnership involving many people,” said said Kenneth Bassett, director of student learning, including:
  • Principals in the schools leading the effort by providing professional development for teachers teaching these courses;
  • Teachers providing the supportive environment and rigorous preparation necessary for our students to have success on the exams;
  • Specialty program coordinators recruiting teachers and students to participate and bringing together teachers to coach one another with syllabus development, lesson design, and assessment preparation;
  • School counselors continuing to encourage students to take on the challenge of our advanced courses;
  • Students buckling down and proving to themselves that with hard work and dedication to their studies, they can succeed;
  • Parents encouraging their students to work hard on their studies at school and at home; and
  • Central office staff supporting the school personnel with training, resources, and other support.
PWCS requires all students who take an advanced course to sit for the AP exams, a factor that has increased participation in the tests.
Interest in Environment Lands Freedom High School Student in Select Exchange Program
Lavern Currie is one of only 18 students in the nation heading to Cyprus in the American Youth Leadership Program.

March 30, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With CAT, how a student responds to a question determines the difficulty level of the next question. A correct response leads to a more difficult question, while an incorrect response leads to a less difficult question. Consequently, the majority of questions a student sees will be neither too easy nor too difficult for them to handle.    
Grade 6 students should expect the following changes when taking the Grade 6 Math SOL CAT test this spring.
  • There will be fewer questions than on past Grade 6 Math SOL tests.
  • Each question must be answered completely before the student can move on to the next question. Therefore, students will not be able to skip a question, go back to review a question, or change their response after moving on to the next question.
  • Only a complete test can be submitted.
A great deal will remain the same in terms of what our students will experience and how information about their performance will be communicated.
  • The same online test tools and allowable test manipulatives will be available to students.
  • The levels of performance required to achieve a passing score at the proficient or advanced levels will be the same as with previous math tests, based on the SOL approved by the Virginia Board of Education in 2009.
  • Scores will continue to be reported on a scale of 0 to 600, with 400 indicating pass/proficient and 500 indicating pass/advanced.
  • The CAT tests follow the same approved SOL blueprint and staff will continue to teach the content of the SOL and the PWCS Curriculum.  
For additional information about CAT, please visit the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) CAT website at This resource includes an introductory video, a sample test, and frequently asked questions.
This spring, only the Grade 6 Math SOL test will use CAT. However, we expect that VDOE will expand the use of CAT with other tests in the near future.
Meetings on “Ferlazzo” School Use Set for April 13 & 16; Third Meeting Added April 6
School Board wants input on best use of new school opening in 2016.
Updated March 27, 2015

Community members will get the chance to weigh-in on how best to use a new school going up at Spriggs and Minneville Roads to meet the needs of Prince William County Public Schools students.  School planning staff will present detailed enrollment projections for schools potentially affected by the decision. School Board Members are expected to attend. 

Sessions are: 
               Monday, April 13, 7 p.m. at Hylton High School; and
               Thursday, April 16, 7 p.m. at Freedom High School.

A third meeting hosted by School Board Member Dr. Michael I. Otagibe (Coles) will be held on Monday, April 6 at 7 p.m. at Saunders Middle School. Those who wish to provide input to Dr. Otaigbe are invited to attend this meeting.

Construction of the new building gets underway soon. It will open in August 2016, as either:
  • A new community elementary school serving students from surrounding areas; or
  • The new home of Porter Traditional School, allowing that school to expand, while freeing its old building for use as an elementary school to relieve severe overcrowding at other elementary sites along the nearby I-95 corridor.

Project Lead the Way Continues to Grow
Interest in engineering is fueling the growth of the Project Lead the Way program in our schools.

March 26, 2015

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

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

March 19, 2015 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit the Summer School Program web page for additional program information.
April 6 Workshop Supports Siblings of Children with Special Needs
March 24, 2015

Does your brother or sister have special needs? Sometimes this means you and your family have special things to deal with and you may have to do more to help than your friends.

"Sibshops” is a workshop for 8 to 11 year old brothers and sisters of children with special needs. It’s a chance to celebrate the extra ways you help your family and to admit the times when this may be hard.

The workshop will be held on Monday, April 6, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at the Arc of Greater Prince William, 13505 Hillendale Drive in Woodbridge. The cost is $5 per child ($10 max per family).

Preregistration is required and is limited to 26 participants. Payment is expected at registration. Registration ends on Friday, April 3. Foreign language interpretation is available upon request, if requested by Monday, March 30.

For further information, contact the PWCS Office of Special Education Parent Resource Center at 703.791.8846 or email or

For more details, please see details, including flyers and registration forms in multiple languages, on the Parent Resource Center Events Calendar page

Funds for this workshop were awarded through the SPARK Innovative Grants program. SPARK is the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools. 
Winter Weather Has Brought Changes to the Spring Testing Calendar
March 24, 2015
The spring testing calendar has changed to allow students and teachers more time to prepare. The new dates are: 
  • Grade 3-8 Non-Writing SOL testing may take place from May 14-June 10.
  • Testing in grades 3-8 may occur from May 28-29 if a school chooses to schedule testing on either of those days. ​
  • Non-Writing SOL End-of-Course testing may take place from April 30-May 28 with retakes scheduled for June 1-June 18.
  • End-of-Course testing will not occur on May 29 so that the Testing Office can load student names for retakes.
Contact individual schools for specific testing dates.
Considering SACC and Next Generation for Next Year?
¿Está considerando SACC y Next Generation para el año que viene?

March 23, 2015

Learn details at parent information nights on April 13, April 14, and April 15.

View website for Alpha Best Education.

Obtenga los detalles asistiendo a una de las noches informativas el 13, 14 y 15 de abril.

Get a Jump Start on Course Credits through Virtual HS @ PWCS; Summer Session Registration Opens April 9
Program overview and info session on April 8 for summer session, June 29-August 7

March 23, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Visit the PWCS Fine and Performing Arts Program Web page.

Students Win $5,000 for their School with Amazing App
Governor’s School @ Innovation Park students design App to block out incoming calls or text messages.

March 20, 2015

An amazing app designed by a team of students at The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park can make roads safer. Amber Thaxton and Sydney Williams from Battlefield High School; Margaret Anderson and Isabel Madden from Woodbridge High School; along with teammates Naima Chughtai and Kat Crim earned “Best in Region” and “Best in State” awards, plus $5,000 in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. The students worked under the guidance of Dr. Felipe Gutierrez, George Mason University faculty advisor.

The “Block It Out” app is aimed at the issue of distracted driving. By categorizing phone contacts, the app would automatically send a reply text notifying the sender/caller that the user is busy (for example, driving). The app would allow the user to determine which, if any, calls or texts would be allowed to come through at any given time, such as during an emergency.

Each of the 24 Best in Region student teams now moves on to the finals, where eight “Best in Nation” winners will be chosen—from four middle schools and four high schools. To learn more about the app watch the submission video at

Doug Brammer, who serves as Verizon’s Government Affairs and Community Relations Manager in Virginia presented Dr. Karen Dalfrey, director of The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park, the $5,000 award  to continue to advance STEM programs.

Brammer also presented a letter of congratulations to each student from U.S. Congressman Robert Wittman recognizing the team’s accomplishment.  A letter was also presented to Dr. Felipe Gutierrez for the important role he played as faculty advisor to the team, and to Dr. Dalfrey, for encouraging intellectual and academic excellence.

Virginia State Senator Charles Colgan, Virginia State Delegate Jackson Miller, Senator Colgan and Delegate Miller presented a letter of commendation from the General Assembly to Dalfrey.  

Other attendees included Prince William County School Board Member Dr. Michael Otaigbe, Manassas City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cathy Magouyrk, Manassas Park City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Bruce McDade, Prince William County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Walts, and George Mason University Prince William Campus Chief Operating Officer  Ron Carmichael.  Members of the GS@IP Executive Committee and GS@IP students also attended.

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

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

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

A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, August 27 at 6 p.m.
Aspiring Scientists Make Their Mark at the Regional Science Fair
Is there a way to take the bite out of Lyme Disease? Students take on this question, and many others, during this year's science fair challenge.
March 17, 2015
Meron Aboye wowed the judges at this year's Prince William County-Manassas Regional Science Fair, landing her with the Grand Prize trophy. The jointly enrolled Potomac High School and Governor's School @ Innovation Park (GS@IP) student submitted a project that looked at whether or not expanding the structure of the antibiotic amoxicillin will improve its ability to control the bacteria that causes symptoms of Lyme Disease. Her win continues a four-year winning streak for GS@IP students at the Regional Science Fair. 

Aboye's work displays her impressive level of knowledge in the organic chemistry field, earned through the high-level science course work offered at The Governor's School @ Innovation Park.  She will now compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, PA this May.
Aboye's work displays her impressive level of knowledge in the organic chemistry field, earned through the high-level science course work offered at The Governor's School @ Innovation Park.  Aboye will now compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, PA this May.
Dr. Walts discusses a project with a PWCS student.Lauren Strecker of Stonewall Middle School captured grand prize at the middle level with “The Effect of Organic Miticides on Phoretic Varroa Destructor.”
The first place winners in the middle division are:
  • Abigail Downes, Gainesville Middle School
  • Nathaniel Chong, Bull Run Middle School
  • Brett Estess, Gainesville Middle School
  • Kailey Garrett, Bull Run Middle School
  • Abigail Gferer, Graham Park Middle School
  • Eden Hallit, Reagan Middle School
  • Zoree Jones, Reagan Middle School
  • Robert King, Graham Park Middle School
  • Caitlin Nguyen, Bull Run Middle School
  • Lauren Strecker, Stonewall Middle School
 Senior division first place winners from grades 9–12 include:
  • Meron Aboye, The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
  • Robert Drummond and Joseph Monfort, The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
  • Nicholas Shablom, Battlefield High School
  • Elizabeth Shablom, Battlefield High School
  • Dana Wong, Alan Branigan, and Hana Komine, The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
  • Cameron White and Hardwynn Tunacao, The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
  • Alicia Harris and Heena Shah, The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
View the full listing of high school winners here.
View the full listing of middle school winners here.

2015 Science Fair Winners - Middle and Senior Level


Antietam Elementary School Celebrates Digital Learning Day
From video animation to Civil War research, students learn resources are only a click away.
March 16, 2015
Antietam Elementary School celebrated Digital Learning Day on Friday, March 13, along with many other schools in Prince William County. 
Students engaged with various digital tools and resources in their activities, which included: 
  • Fourth graders completing a web quest to learn about abolitionists during the Civil War.
  • Third graders researching Famous Americans using Pebble Go and World Book Online.
  • Third graders creating videos using Animoto to educate others about Internet Safety.
  • Kindergarten students completing various online activities to learn about telling time to the hour.
  • Fifth Grade students connecting via video conference to a 6th grade class in southern North Carolina while practicing their geography skills in a game of Mystery Location.  They also used tools such as Google Maps for tracking location clues, Today’s Meet for logging questions and answers, digital cameras for capturing pictures and video, and created a blog post on the learning experience.
  • K-2 Autism Students were using iPads for individualized learning.
View the slide show below to see pictures of Antietam students engaged in digital learning.

PWCS Earns Accolades for Monitoring Performance of Employees
March 18, 2015
The March issue of District Administration magazine recognizes Prince William County Public Schools as a District of Distinction. The award honors the Division’s approach to focus on the progress of probationary teachers, as well as performance pertaining to specific certified and classified staff. 

A feature article in this month’s edition of the District Administration online magazine describes the TEAM process which includes a videoconference with principals and the Level Associate Superintendents. Representatives from the Department of Student Learning and Accountability and Department of Human Resources serve as consultants during the meeting, reviewing data on student academic performance and certification. This approach has led to the reduction of certification issues or performance concerns when a continuing contract is awarded. This has played an important role in boosting the percentage of PWCS teachers rated as “highly qualified” from 94.4 in the 2005-06 school year to 98.2 percent for 2013-14.
Prince William County Public Schools is among 62 districts honored in the March 2015 round of Districts of Distinction, the magazine’s national recognition program for K12 school systems.

Division’s Advisory Committee Meetings for April
March 16, 2015

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

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

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

Middle school band students from across the county will come together to perform at the All-County Middle School Band event scheduled for March 21 at Stonewall Middle School. The annual honors event gives young musicians a chance to perform challenging musical numbers under the direction of a guest conductor, while allowing them to experience working as a member of a larger ensemble. The students will spend most of the event in rehearsals, followed by a culminating public performance at 4 p.m.
The Directors’ Honor Band will perform first, conducted by Dennis Brown, director of orchestras at Hylton High School in Woodbridge. The Middle School Honors Band will be conducted by Linda Gammon, current director of the Northern Virginia Junior Winds, and former Fairfax County Public School middle school band director.
The March 21 All County Middle School Band event is free and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to attend and support arts education in PWCS schools.
School Division Earns High Marks for Making Budget Understandable and Useable as Policy Document and Operations Guide
March 3, 2015

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada has awarded its Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to Prince William County Public Schools for its fiscal year 2015 budget document. This is the 15th consecutive year that the School Division has earned this award, which is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting.

The School Division’s budget met nationally recognized guidelines that assess how well an entity's budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide, and a communications tool.

When a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is granted, the GFOA also presents a Certificate of Recognition to the individual or department designated as being primarily responsible for the achievement. This year, the GFOA has presented that certificate to Kathleen Addision, supervisor of Budget.

The Government Finance Officers Association is a nonprofit professional association serving 17,800 government finance professionals throughout North America. The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.
Patriot and Woodbridge High Schools to Offer AP Capstone Program
March 3, 2015
Students seeking to take on in-depth research, collaboration, and communication challenges to build college and career skills will get new opportunities this fall as Patriot and Woodbridge High Schools offer The College Board’s AP Capstone program. The program includes a two-course AP Seminar and AP Research sequence designed to complement the in-depth, subject-specific rigor of Advanced Placement courses and exams.
The AP Capstone Seminar is currently offered at Osbourn Park High School as part of its biotechnology specialty program and the AP Capstone Research course will be added next school year. The College Board has approved implementation at Patriot and Woodbridge, which is a prerequisite before a school can offer the program. Both Patriot and Woodbridge will offer the AP Capstone Seminar in 2015-16 as a component of their AP Scholars specialty program.

The innovative AP Capstone sequence prepares a broader, more diverse student population for college and career success. This also provides teachers with flexibility in the curriculum to expand access to challenging course work and to further develop students’ skills.
In AP Research, students cultivate the skills and discipline necessary to conduct independent research and to produce and defend a scholarly academic thesis. Students design, plan, and conduct a yearlong mentored, research-based investigation to address a research question. The course culminates in an academic thesis paper of approximately 5,000 words and a presentation with an oral defense.
“This program helps to prepare students to think critically about global issues and to develop academic approaches that will benefit them in future careers in the 21st Century,” said Patriot High School Principal Dr. Michael Bishop. “This helps us to carry out our mission to be a leadership school.”

The AP Capstone seminar and research courses are listed in the 2015-16 PWCS course catalog. The seminar is a prerequisite to the research course.

Future Teachers Put Their Skills to the Test
March 3, 2015

Close to 270 Future Educators Association (FEA) members from 15 Virginia school districts and 27 schools competed in events and participated in the FEA 2015 conference activities at Hylton High School on February 7.  First and second place state award recipients are eligible to represent Virginia FEA and compete at the national FEA conference in Arlington in April. 

Prince William County Public Schools had several students who placed and received awards at the FEA competitive events.
Event Award Student High School
Children’s Literature
3rd place Estefany Perez Jaimes Gar-Field HS
Creative Lecture
3rd place
Amber Sanders Patriot  HS
FEA Moment
1st  place Alexis Green Hylton HS
FEA Moment
2nd place Kelly Flores Garfield HS
FEA Moment
4th place Premirre Howard Forest Park HS
Impromptu Speaking
3rd place Amber Sanders Patriot HS
Impromptu Speaking
4th place Alexis Green Hylton HS
Inside Our Schools
2nd place Shanghool Khan and Lindsay Sowers Forest Park
Job Interview
4th place Haylee Foor Osbourn Park HS
Lesson Planning and Delivery-Stem
4th place Jaclyn McCarthy Battlefield HS
Public Speaking
1st place Dakota Lawhorn Gar-field HS
Public Speaking
3rd place Mikayla Sova Battlefield HS
Public Speaking
4th place Mary DeJardin Woodnridge HS
Researching Learning Challenges
4th place Jessica Gilbert and
Jaclyn McCarthy
Battlefield  HS
PWCS Hosts United Way Grantees in Prince William County
March 3, 2015

United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) awarded grants totaling $100,000 to 10 nonprofit member organizations in Prince William County in a ceremony on February 23 with Superintendent of Schools Steven L. Walts. PWCS participated in the workplace giving campaign in October, United Way Month.

Specifically, the Prince William County grantees are: Action in Community Through Service of Prince William (ACTS), The Arc of Greater Prince William/INSIGHT, Inc., CASA Children’s Intervention Services, Inc., City of Manassas Public Schools Education Foundation, Just Neighbors Ministry, Inc., Literacy Volunteers of America-Prince William, Inc., OAR of Fairfax County, Inc., Northern Virginia Family Service, NOVA Scripts Central, Inc., and Transitional Housing BARN, Inc.  
Schools/Central Offices to Close for Spring Break March 30-April 6
February 25, 2015

Schools will be closed for spring break March 30–April 6. School buildings will be accessible during the break with minimal staff. Schools will reopen on Tuesday, April 7. Central Offices will be closed April 2–3 for the spring break and will reopen on April 6.
2015 Graduation Dates Announced
Date: February 19, 2015
The following graduation dates, times, and locations have been announced for Prince William County Public Schools high school, summer school, practical nursing program, and adult education students. Events scheduled at Jiffy Lube Live Pavilion and the Patriot Center are subject to change.
School Day Date Time Location
Adult Ed & Summer School Thursday August 6 7:30 p.m. Stonewall Jackson HS Gym
Battlefield HS Wednesday June 10 2:30 p.m. Jiffy Lube Live
Brentsville District HS Saturday June 6 10 a.m. Brentsville District HS
Forest Park HS Saturday June 6 2:30 p.m. Patriot Center
Freedom HS Saturday June 6 7:30 p.m. Patriot Center
Gar-Field HS Saturday June 13 2:30 p.m. Patriot Center
Governor’s School Awards Ceremony and Banquet Saturday May 30 9:59 a.m. Manassas Park MS
Hylton HS Saturday June 6 9:30 a.m. Patriot Center
Independent Hill School Friday May 29 1 p.m. IHS Gymnasium
New Directions Alternative Ed Center Senior Awards Thursday June 4 6 p.m. Hylton Performing Arts Center
Osbourn Park HS Saturday June 13 9:30 a.m. Patriot Center
PACE East Senior Awards Friday May 29 9:15 a.m. IHS Gymnasium
PACE West Senior Awards Luncheon Thursday June 4 12:30 p.m. PACE West Gymnasium
Patriot HS Wednesday June 10 7:30 p.m. Jiffy Lube Live
Potomac HS Monday June 8 2:30 p.m. Jiffy Lube Live
Practical Nursing Program Friday June 5 6:30 p.m. Osbourn Park HS Auditorium
Stonewall Jackson HS Tuesday June 9 7 p.m. Jiffy Lube Live
Thomas Jefferson HS for Science & Technology Saturday June 20 7 p.m. Patriot Center
Woodbridge HS Saturday June 13 9 a.m. Woodbridge HS

Missing a High School Diploma? Free Practice Test Lets You See if You’re Ready to Get Back on Track
February 11, 2015

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

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


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

Kindergarten Registration Dates on the Horizon
January 30, 2015
Parents of children who will enter kindergarten next school year should make note of two important dates. Kindergarten registration will be held countywide on Thursday, April 9 and Thursday, April 23. Parents should contact the school their child will attend for specific registration times.
When parents of children who speak or understand a language other than American English register their child, they will be asked to call one of two sites, Stonewall Middle Central Registration, 571.402.3800, or Ann Ludwig Central Registration, 703.491.8432, to make an appointment for an English language evaluation.
After April 23, instead of registering at their local school, English language learners will be registered and evaluated at Central Registration. Parents will need to call the Stonewall Middle or Ann Ludwig sites for an appointment. 
It’s Never Too Early to Seek Student Scholarships Through SPARK
January 16, 2015

Looking to offer your students scholarship opportunities?  SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools, will award at least ten scholarships to graduating seniors this year. Applications are now available on the SPARK website for the following scholarships:
  • The Derek Crowe Scholarship allots $2,500 to two graduating student athletes.
  • The Dr. Kelly Scholarship offers $1,000 to three graduating high school seniors who intend to pursue studies to become a teacher.
  • The CTE scholarship, sponsored by the Micron Foundation, offers $1,000 to one graduating high school senior who plans to pursue a professional certification in Career and Technology.
  • The STEM scholarship, sponsored by the Micron Foundation and Lockheed Martin, offers $1,500 to at least four graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue a career in the STEM field.
  • An additional $6,000 four-year scholarship ($1,500/year) will be offered to a student who plans to pursue a degree in a STEM field at George Mason University.
To download these applications visit or contact SPARK for further information at 703.791.8003. 
2015 Summer Program Dates Announced
December 9, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your email address listed in the Parent Portal will be used to send notifications from both Parent Portal and from school Web sites (SchoolFusion). Since the Parent Portal is self-service you must change your email address in the Parent Portal and it will be automatically changed for school Web site notifications. View instructions on the
Parent Portal FAQ’s Web page.
However, if students have changed their student email address but are still not receiving Web site notifications, check with your school office staff; they may need to make a change in the student database.
Your password for both Parent Portal and your school Web site must be changed in the Parent Portal. See instructions for changing your password and for retrieving a forgotten password.
Global Competency--What is It and Why Do Our Students Need It? Participate in Global Conference in November
September 23, 2014

Plan now to participate in the 2014 Global Education Conference during International Education Week, November 17-November 22. All PWCS educators are encouraged to take part. The conference is soliciting proposals through November 15. This will be a week of free online professional learning in webinar format with educators and innovators around the world. The conference will take place entirely online using the Blackboard Collaborate platform which can be accessed at any time, even in the evenings. See the Blackboard Web site for details. 
The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park Joint Board Meeting Schedule
September 18, 2014
The Joint Board of The Governor's School @ Innovation Park will hold its first meeting of the year on September 25, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Room 110H of the Occoquan Building on the Prince William Campus, George Mason University, located at 10900 University Boulevard in Manassas.
2014-15 Meetings:
September 25, 2014             Business Meeting
December 11, 2014              Business Meeting
February 19, 2015                Business Meeting
April 23, 2015                      Business Meeting
June 18, 2015                       Business Meeting
Members of The Governor's School @ Innovation Park's Joint Board are Scott Albrecht, Manassas City Public Schools; Arthur Bushnell, Manassas City Public Schools; Brenda Foster, Manassas Park City Schools; Milton Johns, Prince William County Public Schools; Dr. Fran Kassinger, Manassas Park City Schools; and Dr. Michael Otaigbe, Prince William County Public Schools.
View meeting agendas and minutes.  
Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation Hosts Student Poster Contest
September 15, 2014
Poster submissions based on the theme “Bully Free Zone” are due by April 30, 2015 for the Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation 2015 Poster Contest. See contest rules and details, including pictures of the School Division’s own 2011 winning posters created by students from Bennett Elementary School, at (Click on “Poster Contest” and scroll down to view winning posters and contest rules.)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Study at Independent Hill Complex Assures No Health Risk
August 18, 2014

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

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

As part of its work, the USACE is evaluating and developing treatment options for the site. School Division staff have worked closely and coordinated work activities with the USACE, monitored their activities and progress, and will continue to ensure that students and occupants work in a safe and healthy environment. The public is invited to learn more about how the USACE manages and executes environmental cleanup projects and other associated responsibilities on formerly-used defense sites, and in particular the Independent Hill complex, by contacting Andrea Takash, Corporate Communication, US Army Corps of Engineers - Baltimore district, at 410.962.2626 or
Applications Available for Families Eligible for Free and Reduced Meals
August 15, 2014

Parents of Prince William County Public School students wishing to apply for free and reduced-price meals can complete and submit their application online. The process can help families avoid delays they may encounter by mailing in an application, and will ensure that applications are complete because applicants will be prompted to submit all of the necessary information required. Apply now for Meal Applications online. Links to the online application in English and Spanish are also on the left navigation of School Food Services Web site at All information transmitted will be kept confidential and made available only to the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services.
Parents still have the option of completing the traditional paper application. Families with students who were registered in Prince William County Public Schools by the end of July 2014 will receive an application packet in the mail. Families with students who registered after that date will need to secure an application from their local school. Applications may also be obtained at the Kelly Leadership Center located at 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas.
If you have questions regarding the application process, contact the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services at 703.791.7314.

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

15 de agosto de 2014

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

2014-15 Bell Times Revised for Woodbine Preschool
Five minutes has been added to the morning and afternoon sessions at Woodbine Preschool Center. This will provide a 10-minute increase in the school day which is consistent with the 10-minute increase previously added to other schools. The revised bell schedule reflects this change. View revised bell schedule.
Saluting Our Stars Photo Gallery Now Available
June 11, 2014 

A photo gallery from the May 13 Saluting our Stars ceremony at Patriot High School is now available through the SPARK website at and videos from the event are available on-demand at Award recipients may now share their special moment with friends and family.
The event brought together more than 400 recipients of international, national, state, and regional awards in academics, arts, athletics, and education. SPARK is the Education Foundation for PWCS, and sponsors the annual recognition event.  SPARK represents the commitment of the business, non-profit, and civic sectors to encourage and recognize excellence throughout PWCS and to support efforts to offer a World-Class Education to students. 

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