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SPARK
PWCS E-News
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America's Promise Alliance - 100 Best Communities Award
PWCS Tip Line
 
Divisionwide Announcements
Volunteers Needed for "Devlin Road" Elementary School Boundary Planning Committee
See the Web Announcement for details. 

Se necesitan voluntarios para formar el Comité de Planeamiento para los Límites de la Escuela Primaria "Devlin Road" (más información)


News Stories
Building an Oasis for Learning and Wildlife
Coles Elementary School Named a Certified Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat

October 22, 2014

Coles Elementary School StudentsThinking caps on and watering cans in hand, Coles Elementary School students are learning to meet the needs of their school garden's living inhabitants. Led by kindergarten teacher and garden coordinator Ramona Richardson, a committed tending schedule allows vegetables, fruits, and other plants to thrive in all nine garden areas. Recruiting student clubs to solve complex real-world problems, such as an invasive deer population, deepens the learning.

Thanks to the efforts of students, staff, and a supportive local community, Coles Elementary School has been certified through the National Wildlife Federation as a Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat. The school met all the requirements of a garden space that improves habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs, and other wildlife by providing the natural food sources, clean water, cover, and places to raise young that are essential to all wildlife.
Coles Elementary School Students

Coles Elementary School's successful demonstration of a healthy eco-system design, earned its recognition for the third year as a Virginia Naturally School and, now, as a certified Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat.

Mrs. Richardson was the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher of the Year for Prince William County Public Schools for 2013–14.
 
View the National Gardening Association’s Web article, “Growing the Next Generation of Gardeners at Coles Elementary School.”
Building an Oasis for Learning and Wildlife
Coles Elementary School Named a Certified Schooly ard Wildlife Habitat

October 22, 2014

Thinking caps on and watering cans in hand, Coles Elementary School students are learning to meet the needs of its garden's living inhabitants. A committed schedule for tending lets vegetables, fruits, and other plants thrive in all nine garden areas. Recruiting student clubs to solve complex real-world problems, such as an invasive deer population, deepens the learning.

Now, thanks to the efforts of students, staff, and a supportive local community, Coles Elementary School has been certified through the National Wildlife Federation as a Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat. The school met all the requirements of a garden space that improves habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs, and other wildlife by providing the essential elements needed for all wildlife: natural food sources, clean water, cover, and places to raise young.

These environmental lessons resulted in Coles Elementary successful demonstration of a healthy eco-system design, earning their recognition for the third year as a Virginia Naturally School and, now, also as a certified Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat.

Ramona Richardson, kindergarten teacher at Coles Elementary School, is the school’s garden coordinator.
View the National Gardening Association’s Web article, "Growing the Next Generation of Gardeners at Coles Elementary School."
Ellis Elementary Educators Chosen for Life & Earth Science Institute
A team of educators from Ellis Elementary School have been selected to participate in the 2014–15 “Science through an Interdisciplinary Approach: Life & Earth Science” Institute.

Teachers Melonie Yielding, Heather Meek, and Russell T. Korrow will attend sessions conducted by Page Hutchinson, Watershed Education and Outreach coordinator at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

The institute consists of four weekend sessions and is sponsored by the VDOE’s Office of Science and Health Education. Attendance is covered through a VDOE Science and Health Education grant and, upon successful completion of the institute, each teacher will receive a $300 stipend. Additionally, the institute includes a three-day leadership meeting for Ellis Elementary School Principal Caroline Goddard.
 
Pass the Word: PWCS Online Auction’s the Best for Real Deals
October 22, 2014
 
 
Prince William County Public Schools uses an online site to auction the School Division’s surplus inventory. Tell your friends and neighbors to check out the site; computers are a frequent sale item on the auction. The instructions for bidding are available on the auction Web site at publicsurplus.com. From the home page, select Virginia in the Select Region box, then select Prince William County Schools as the agency.
 
PWCS employees and relatives residing in the same household may not bid on auction items.
 
Staffing Update for October 21, 2014
Candace Rogers, an intern in the Fairfax County Public Schools Intern Leadership Development Program, has been named assistant principal at Freedom High School, effective today. 
School Board Event and Meeting Calendar
October 20, 2014

School Board members may attend several general community events in the coming week in addition to their regular meetings. Please refer to the list below and click on links for details.
 
Events
Mon., Oct. 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.     
Mental Health Expo, Kelly Leadership Center
http://pwcs.schoolfusion.us/modules/news/announcements/announcement.phtml?aid=4471371
 
Thurs., Oct. 23, 8-10 a.m.             
Superintendent’s Breakfast, “State of the Schools,” Kelly Leadership Center
http://pwcs.schoolfusion.us/modules/news/announcements/announcement.phtml?aid=4471274
 
 
Thurs., Nov. 6,   6-8 p.m.              
Prince William Education Association Legislative Reception
                                                            Columbus Grill, 8349 Centreville Road, Manassas, VA
                                                            pweaoffice@pweaveanea.org
                                                            Jim Livingston, PWEA President, 703.361.2444
 
Fri., Nov. 7, 9-10:15 a.m.              
Legislative Tour of Governor’s School @ Innovation Park
10900 University Blvd.
Manassas, VA    
                                            
 
Meetings
 
Wed., Nov. 5, 7 p.m.                     
School Board Meeting, Kelly Leadership Center
http://pwcs.schoolfusion.us/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=183198
 
Tues., Nov. 18, 7 p.m.
School Board Meeting, Kelly Leadership Center
http://pwcs.schoolfusion.us/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=183198
 
Can a Budget Document be Reader-Friendly? PWCS Meets the Challenge!
October 17, 2014
 
Most budget documents would not be described as easy reading material. But PWCS has met the challenge of making a school budget readable and understandable. So say examiners for the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International. For the 19th consecutive year, ASBO has given its Meritorious Budget Award to Prince William County Public Schools for the school year budget document. The award is given to recognize excellence in the preparation and presentation of the PWCS annual budget. PWCS is one of only 25 school districts in the nation and one of three in Virginia that have participated in the ASBO program for 15 years or more.
 
The award recognizes Kathleen Addison, supervisor of Budget, and her staff for their work on the School Division’s FY 2015 budget. John Wallingford is the director of Financial Services. David Cline is the associate superintendent for Finance and Support Services.
 
The Meritorious Budget Awards Program is a voluntary program designed by ASBO International and school business management professionals to recognize school business administrators who achieve a standard of excellence in budget preparation and presentation. The program is sponsored by ING. The award is only conferred on school systems that meet or exceed the program’s 30 criteria.
 
The MBA Criteria Checklist provides a foundation for developing a reader-friendly budget document that: 
  • Presents clear budget guidelines;
  • Promotes communication between departments and the community;
  • Encourages short- and long-range budget goals; and
  • Supports effective use of educational resources.




 
What’s Your Parenting Framework? Examine How Education Choices and Obstacles Impact the Goal
October 17, 2014

Parenting. It’s arguably the most important responsibility in the world. Most of us ask ourselves at some point if the choices and decisions we make will lead our children to happy, successful adulthood. Issues like peer pressure, race, class, and the dynamics of life and family further complicate the path.

There’s no easy formula for success but dialogue and thoughtful planning can help.

A free screening of the documentary, “American Promise,” at the Kelly Leadership Center, room 1101, on Saturday, November 15, will be followed by two workshops that will be of interest to parents:
  • “Navigating Home and School Norms” will provide information on parenting styles in collaboration with schools and educational achievement; and
  • “Momentum from College and Beyond” will provide information on how best to motivate and prepare your child for college and life.
The event will be held from 1–5 p.m. See details to share in the "American Promise" flyer found on the Office of Professional Learning Web page.

To register, call or email Jan Sisk in the Office of Professional Learning at siskja@pwcs.edu or 703.8791.7369. 
Help Inspire Future Leaders—Present at March Student Leadership Conference
October 16, 2014

The eighth annual Student Leadership Conference, set for March 9, 2015, seeks submissions of presentation proposals designed to inspire students to build the skills that will help them become capable leaders and successful contributors to their community.
 

Access the packet to submit presentation proposals of a 75–90-minute length to Maria Burgos-Singleton, supervisor of Global Learning and Culturally Responsive Instruction for the Professional Learning Office, by Friday, December 19.

Proposals should focus on promoting effective student leadership traits adapted from “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John Maxwell, including attitude development, communication skills, positive role modeling, personal responsibility, understanding self-motivation, sensitivity in working with peers, self-accountability, action plans to achieve group goals, understanding leadership, and teamwork.
 

The Student Leadership Conference brings together high school and eighth-grade middle school students who hold nominated leadership positions in school organizations and clubs, have leadership potential, achieve average to above average grades, are open to growth and learning, and are looking for opportunities to build leadership skills.
 

The all-day conference is scheduled for March 9 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Prince William Campus of George Mason University. Additional information and the presentation proposal packet is available on the Office of Professional Learning Web site. For questions or additional assistance, contact Maria Burgos-Singleton at burgosmd@pwcs.edu or 703.791.8546.
 
October is United Way Month
Contributions can benefit schools through SPARK, a United Way agency.

October 1, 2014

As United Way Month kicks off, PWCS invites you to join others who give to the United Way Campaign. Past contributions have funded a multitude of service organizations, providing much-needed services, including shelter and emergency assistance, crisis intervention programs, care for terminally ill patients, family counseling, legal aid for the elderly, training for persons with severe handicaps, youth programs, and medical and dental care. Last year, PWCS employees contributed more than $109,000 to various organizations through the United Way Campaign.

SPARK, the Education Foundation for PWCS, receives thousands of dollars thanks to donations made through the United Way. This money helps the Foundation continue to offer educational assistance to students and teachers through the Innovative Grants program, Dr. Edward L. Kelly Memorial Scholarship, and other special projects.

Those interested in giving to SPARK this year may designate code 8167 on their United Way pledge forms. Federal government employees may also donate dollars toward local education by contributing to SPARK via the Combined Charitable Campaign; designate code 84495 to have your money make a difference for education in Prince William County.

With the generous support of Kitchen Gourmet and Potbelly Sandwich Shop adding to the PWCS effort, SPARK looks forward to the most successful campaign yet.

PWCS staff may click here to contribute online.
 
Division’s Advisory Committee Meetings for November
October 15, 2014

The following Advisory Committees or Councils will hold regularly scheduled meetings in November. Meetings are open to the appointed members and the agendas, presentations, and minutes are available to inform the general public. Space limitations may make it difficult to open meetings beyond the membership. If you have questions, please contact the appropriate office.   

• Gifted Education Advisory Council, on Wednesday, November 19*, 7–9 p.m., (KLC room 2011). See the Gifted Education Advisory Council Web page. Contact the Gifted program at 703.791.7400 for assistance.

• Safe Schools Advisory Council, on November 10, 6:30 p.m., (KLC room 3011)
See the Safe Schools Advisory Council Web page (click on “Meetings”). Contact Risk Management and Security Services at 703.791.7206 for assistance.

• Special Education Advisory Committee, on November 18, 7–9 p.m., (KLC room 2002/04). Citizens interested in attending a meeting or seeing the meeting schedule are asked to visit the Special Education Advisory Program Web page or call 703.791.7287 for additional information.

• Superintendent’s Advisory Council on Instruction, on November 13, 7–9 p.m., (KLC 1101). See the Superintendent’s Advisory Council on Instruction Web page.

All meetings are held at the Kelly Leadership Center (KLC), located at 14715 Bristow Road in Manassas. Check the specific Web pages to confirm details. Check with building staff on site for questions about meeting room location. 

*updated 10/16/14
Youth Salute’s Winner Anna Stapor Heads to National Leadership Conference
"Character, as well as leadership, are those qualities that shine through when no one is watching."

October 15, 2014

Anna Elizabeth Stapor, 2014 Youth Salute WinnerHylton High School senior Anna Elizabeth Stapor, 2014 Youth Salute winner, will represent Prince William County at the National Council on Youth Leadership Summit in St. Louis, Missouri, October 18-21.

Stapor is among 148 Prince William County Public School seniors, and 10 finalists, honored for academic achievement, their formidable leadership skills, and a strong commitment to service, at the 25th annual Prince William County Youth Salute awards. She and her three runners up, Emily Kriss (1st), Samuel Keltz (2nd), and Neil Hailey (3rd), were chosen by the Prince William Youth Salute Council to receive a Youth Salute Council scholarship and plaque.

Ten finalists were selected based on their resumes and three essays they each wrote addressing topics such as leadership, personal accomplishment, role models, and the challenges facing youth today. Honored before their peers, school administrators, and county officials at a ceremony held at Hylton High School were:
Winner and Runners-Up, 2014 Youth Salute Council
  • Emily Nicole Kriss from Battlefield High School;
  • Mary Elizabeth Croghan from Forest Park High School;
  • Christina Grace Flear from Osbourn Park High School;
  • Kimber Ann Mapili from Hylton High School;
  • Catherine Nhuquynh Phan from Potomac High School;
  • Samuel Marshall Keltz from Stonewall Jackson High School;
  • Anna Elizabeth Stapor from Hylton High School;
  • Margaret Ann Gough from Battle field High School;
  • Neil Adair Hailey from Woodbridge High School; and
  • Lauren Marie Kraynak from Patriot High School. 
Youth Salute candidacy is ultimately recognition of character, and while character can mean many things, guest speaker Ryan Richard Ruff, PhD said he believes that the quintessential character of the Youth Salute Council is that of leadership. “Character ....[and] leadership are those qualities that shine through when no one is watching,” said Ruff. “Leaders are those who willingly shoulder the burden of any failure, and those that graciously share any success. You have made a difference in your world and in the lives of others, and we expect you to keep making a difference,” he told the students.
County and PWCS officials at Youth Salute Awards Ceremony 
Ruff holds degrees from the University of Virginia and Cambridge University. He attended Coles Elementary, Saunders Middle, and Hylton High Schools, graduating in 1999.

Mistress of Ceremonies Jennifer Schlechte Setlock was also a 2002 Youth Salute representative from Osbourn Park High School. Setlock taught at Pennington Traditional School after graduating from George Mason University and currently teaches in Pflugerville, Texas. 
Parents Focused on Best Decisions Get Answers on Middle School Specialty Programs
600 explore opportunities in math, science, world languages, and more at information fair.

October 14, 2014

Does your child love science? Math? Languages? Whether it’s a career ambition or a desire to explore a special interest, PWCS specialty programs are designed to challenge students through rigorous courses with a global perspective. Parents often raise similar questions at information fairs like that held at the Kelly Leadership Center on October 13. What about transportation? How is this program different? How do I get my child enrolled? Will there be opportunities for extracurricular activities?

"Parents had good questions,” said Tim Keenan, principal of"Beville Middle School, which has an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. "They want to make the best decisions for their children."

Diverse special interest programs have been standouts in the Prince William County Public Schools for more than 10 years. They range from culinary arts to STEM, from Junior ROTC to International Baccalaureate and are offered at elementary, middle, and high schools. Information sessions are held in the fall and winter to encourage enrollment in the following school year. Admission is by application and students from other school attendance areas may enroll provided there is room. Application forms are expected to be available online after November 1. The deadline for applications is February 1.

"On the evening of a day when there was no school, we had a great turnout," said James Mudd, supervisor of the Gifted Education and Special Programs, who hosted the evening. 

Snack Time Just Got Healthier
October 14, 2014

Students attending 12 PWCS Elementary Schools are being introduced to a variety of produce at snack time that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to sample. As participants in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, students at Bel Air, Sinclair, Dale City, Dumfries, Ellis, Featherstone, Loch Lomond, Minnieville, Neabsco, Potomac View, West Gate, and Yorkshire Elementary Schools are learning fruits and vegetables are healthy choices and tasty alternatives to snacks high in fat, sugar, or salt.

"I am pleasantly surprised when children tell me it was their first time trying a particular fruit or vegetable," said Serena Suthers, director of School Food and Nutrition Services.

The program is a natural complement to the School Division's Wellness Plan and efforts to promote sound health and nutrition, reduce obesity, and promote physical activity. Participating schools receive funding for snacks three days a week for one school year and are eligible to apply annually if they meet the program criteria. Minnieville Elementary School is a new addition to the program and Ellis Elementary is returning to the program.

"By providing schools with fresh fruits and vegetables that expand their healthy options, we are helping our kids to have a brighter, healthier future," said Suthers. "Every time our kids eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable, they are learning healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime."

View the Potomac View Elementary slideshow on the USDA Web site: http://www.fns.usda.gov/ffvp/potomac-view
Superintendent to Present Annual “State of the Schools” to Business Leaders
October 14, 2014

Challenges and opportunities in the state’s second-largest school division will be addressed by Superintendent Steven L. Walts at the annual Superintendent’s Business Breakfast on October 23 from 8–10 a.m. Business, civic, and education leaders including members of the Prince William County School Board and Board of County Supervisors are expected to attend the event at the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center. The breakfast is one of many events sponsored by SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools. SPARK Innovative Grant recipients, robotics, and Business Partnerships of the Year award recipients will be showcased.

Hosted by SPARK, the event is sponsored by local businesses including Apple Federal Credit Union, Bookworm Central, Cavendo Corporation, Dominion Virginia Power, Lockheed Martin, Micron, Minnieland Academy, Moseley Architects, Novant Health System, NOVEC Energy Solutions, NTA Life, Prince William Education Association, SAI Engineering, Inc., Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, and SySTEMic Solutions. 
Helping Students Learn and Learn to Help
Candace Rotruck is honored as Principal of the Year by the Virginia School Counselor Association.

October 13, 2014

Associate Superintendent Jarcelynn Hart, Dr. Deborah Ransom, Candace Rotruck, Anne HenryRunning a school takes an impressive skill set, akin to running a small town, with the added responsibility of ensuring that students learn and are on track to become contributing, caring citizens in their communities and beyond. The best school principals are adept at weaving goals for academic achievement, rigorous instruction, a nurturing environment, and a highly qualified staff into a comprehensive program where students thrive; such a principal is Candace Rotruck of Alvey Elementary School.

Rotruck was named 2014 Principal of the Year by the Virginia School Counselor Association earlier this month. She was selected from among a statewide pool of nominees for being an advocate for the profession throughout her community and for the school counseling program at Alvey. School counselors Anne Henry and Pam Freybler lead an array of school activities in addition to working with teachers to promote student success through small group and individual counseling, classroom guidance sessions, and community resources.

Rotruck funds professional development for Alvey’s school counselors who return from conferences and share strategies with teachers. "She views school counseling as vital to the mission of the school. She champions service-oriented projects and all things counseling-related," Henry added.

"Giddy up" is just what students at Alvey Elementary School had on their minds not long ago, and it was a bell-ringer for Rotruck. Raising money for a mechanical horse for a riding center sprang from a note she received from a group of students asking to help others with special needs. This became the school’s community service project for that year. It was evidence that Rotruck’s 11-year history of fostering empathy, leadership, and compassion through service learning is reflected not only in the school culture but in the emotional and character development of students.

These standards and more, including career focus, achievement, emotional and social development, and behavior and attendance are integral components of the schoolwide counseling program.

Collections for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Haymarket Food Pantry, Boys’ and Girls’ Club, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are but a few ways Alvey Elementary School students learn the value of giving back. Since the school opened, in fact, Rotruck has led and inspired her students and school community to serve others.

"Besides all of this, Ms. Rotruck just radiates love and caring to her students and to her staff. She has created a warm atmosphere, has the biggest heart, and students know when they walk in the door that they are loved and cared for," said Henry.
 
Giving Kids a Jump Start in Academics at an Early Age Has a Long Tradition in PWCS
Colleagues celebrate the 40th anniversary of Saunders Kindergarten Center.

October 10, 2014

Reunion of staff from Saunders Kindergarten Center, 1974Once a teacher, always a colleague. Although it was 40 years ago when they were teaching together, it seemed like only yesterday as veteran educators shared memories of the first centrally based kindergarten program in Prince William County Public Schools. The principal, teachers, and teacher assistants who welcomed students to the Saunders Kindergarten Center in September 1974 recently gathered at a local restaurant to reminisce.

Most of the schools had room to house kindergarten; however, five did not, and those students were bused to the center. The School Division was on a year-round calendar at the time.

School Board member Betty D. Covington (Potomac) was the principal of the center during its operation from 1974 to 1976. "We knew we were breaking new ground with a center," said Covington. "It was a big commitment of funds by the School Board, but well worth it to prepare students academically for first grade. We wanted to make room for kindergarten for all eligible students."

The center, named for former superintendent Herbert J. Saunders (1972-73), opened with over 400 students and was located at Gar-Field High School (now the Ferlazzo County Government building). At that time, only a handful of states besides Virginia required kindergarten attendance.

This was Covington’s first principal position, and she served with a "great team of teachers." The first year, kindergarten students from Minnieville, Bel Air, and Dale City were bused to the center. The second year, enrollment increased to over 600 with the addition of students from the Dumfries and Washington-Reid attendance area. In 1976, additions and trailers were added to these schools and the students were moved to their base schools. Covington was then appointed principal of Kilby Elementary School.

PWCS records list Saunders Kindergarten Center teachers in the school year 1974-75 as Andrea Chapman, Trudianne Costello, Pamela Cotman, Elaine Fesak, Linda Garrett, Linda Lampkins, Margaret Rice, Rosanne Sharpe, Emma Williams, and Joan Wilson.

A special guest at the luncheon was Blanche Dymond, who had been secretary at Dale City for many years when Covington was assistant principal there. She moved to the Saunders Kindergarten Center to work with Covington. Others who attended in addition to many of the teachers named above include teacher assistants and aides Pat Jacobson, Eleanor Myers, Ann Sullivan, and Arlene Colna. Kari Franklin, also a teacher aide, did not attend.

The legacy of nurturing and teaching our youngest students continues today in our World-Class schools.
B-Thrifty Partnership with PWCS Makes its Mark in Our Schools
Community collections reap benefits to students.

October 10, 2014

Brightly colored B-Thrifty recycling collection bins have landed at Alvey, Belmont, Ellis, Piney Branch, and Victory Elementary Schools; and Fred M. Lynn Middle School and Gar-Field High School. For every pound of gently used clothing, shoes, and household items donated, B-Thrifty in Woodbridge will give funds back to the schools. Since March, more than $900 has been raised.

B-Thrifty is one of 1,000 strong partnerships between local businesses and schools that bring resources and opportunities to our students.

School Board member Lillie Jessie (Occoquan) and the staff of SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools, worked tirelessly to establish a unique partnership with this local business.

B-Thrifty supports the VA STAR program through donations of computers and takes recycling education programs into classrooms. Outside the classroom B-Thrifty supports the annual Prince William County EXPO, offers a discount to PWCS employees, provides winter coat vouchers for students in need, and creates jobs for students and families.
 
Musical Event Showcases “Best of the Best” Vocalists in County Schools
October 7, 2014
 
The School Division’s own singing sensations are going to be center-stage in a few short weeks. Whether their future will take them to a Broadway musical or on stage in an opera, you can say you heard them “when.” Hundreds of choral students from middle and high schools across the county are taking part in the upcoming All-County Chorus event at Gar-Field High School. Everyone is encouraged to attend the free concert on October 25. The mixed chorus often referred to as SATB, or Soprano Alto Tenor Bass, performance will begin at 2 p.m., followed by the high school treble and middle school choirs.
 
The All-County Chorus represents the best vocal performers in the School Division’s choral music program, as participants must earn their spots in the ensemble through audition. The singers rehearse pieces specially selected by guest conductors and gain experience working as a member of a larger ensemble. Singers will spend most of the two-day event in workshops and practice sessions, followed by culminating public performances on October 25.
 
This year’s conductors bring a wealth of choral musical experience to the students. David Castonguay, professor of music at Radford University, will conduct the senior mixed choir, Ernest Johnson, choral director for West Potomac High School in Fairfax County Public Schools, will conduct the senior treble choir, and Chris Fox, director of chorus and band at Stafford Middle School, will conduct the middle school choir.
PWCS Students Boost SAT Scores for Second Consecutive Year
Individual schools make major strides.
 
October 7, 2014

PWCS seniors boosted their combined scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) by 13 points according to the latest report from the College Board; the 2014 combined PWCS scores again exceed the national average.
 
Since 2012, the PWCS combined scores on critical reading, mathematics, and writing exams have grown a total of 21 points from 1490 to the current 1511.
 
"We have made steady progress on increasing student achievement and college readiness,” said Associate Superintendent for Student Learning and Accountability, Tim Healey “The overall results show gains that indicate that our students are on track for success."
 
New gains powered the PWCS above the national scores in critical reading (511 compared to 497) and writing (491 compared to 487), while mathematics lagged four points under the national average of 513.
 
At individual schools, stellar results and improvement were common themes.  
  • Battlefield, Brentsville, Osbourn Park, and Patriot High Schools all beat both the state and national averages in all three subject areas;
  • Woodbridge High School exceeded the national averages in critical reading and writing; and
  • Forest Park, Hylton, and Stonewall High Schools exceeded the national average in critical reading. 
"We are very proud of individual schools that showed notable gains last year," added Healey.  
  • Gar-Field High School showed increases of 26 points in critical reading, 14 points in mathematics, and 14 points in writing.
  • Patriot High School also showed double-digit gains in all three areas, with a 14-point gain in critical reading, an 11 point gain in mathematics, and a 10 point gain in writing;
  • Osbourn Park High School improved 14 points in mathematics;
  • Six schools—Forest Park, Gar-Field, Hylton, Osbourn Park, Patriot and Woodbridge—increased their averages in all three areas.
  • Battlefield High School increased its averages in critical reading and mathematics.
  • Stonewall Jackson High School boosted its averages in critical reading and writing.
  • Freedom High School increased its average in mathematics.  
Among student subgroups:
  • Black students outperformed peers nationally and in Virginia in all three subject areas; and
  • Hispanic students outperformed peers nationally in all three areas. 
"We are seeing real results from efforts to encourage all students to take these tests and to equip all students to succeed," said Healey.
 
The number of PWCS students taking the SAT rose to 3,341 in 2014; Forest Park, Freedom, Gar-Field, Hylton, Osbourn Park, Patriot, Potomac, and Woodbridge High Schools all increased their participation numbers.  
 
The College Board bills the SAT as the nation’s most widely used admissions test among colleges and universities, assessing knowledge and critical thinking skills students need for academic success in college. Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200 to 800, with two writing sub-scores for multiple-choice questions and an essay.
 
 
Math Professional Development Day for Teachers Slated for November 1
October 6, 2014
 
The Battlefields of Northern Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (BNVCTM) and the PWCS Mathematics program will host a Mathematics Professional Development Day for teachers on Saturday, November 1 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Benton Middle School (7411 Hoadly Road in Manassas). The conference features keynote speakers Carole Tilley (primary level) and Ian Shenk (secondary level) followed by breakout sessions.
 
To register in advance, complete the registration form available on the PWCS Office of Mathematics Web page by October 24. The $10 fee includes conference registration and membership in BNVCTM for the school year. Onsite registration will also be available.
 
PWCS pays registration fees for PWCS Math Lead Teachers or Math Department Chairs. Teachers who attend the entire conference earn five Virginia recertification points. School Division employees should also register using the online Professional Learnings Catalog for MAT 701.
 
Hylton Planetarium Presents Laser Light Shows in October
October 3, 2014

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

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

Seating is limited to the first 65 people each show so come early! Park in the main lot and enter the building through door #1. Hylton High School, 14051 Spriggs Road, Woodbridge, VA 22193.  Email Tony Kilgore at kilgorae@pwcs.edu with questions.
Volunteers Needed for “Devlin Road” Elementary School Boundary Planning Committee
October 3, 2014

The Office of Facilities Services for Prince William County Public Schools seeks local community members and/or parents or legal guardians of students who attend Bristow Run, Cedar Point, Ellis, Glenkirk, Loch Lomond, Mullen, Piney Branch, Signal Hill, Sinclair, Sudley, Victory, West Gate, T. Clay Wood, or Yorkshire Elementary Schools to join the “Devlin Road” Elementary School boundary planning committee. The objective of the boundary committee is to develop the proposed boundary changes resulting from the opening of “Devlin Road” Elementary School in 2015, for the School Board’s consideration.

Committee membership is limited. Selection preference will be given to local community members and parents who are directly impacted by the opening of the new elementary school, as well as to local leaders, such as PTO/PTA officers and school advisory council members.

The Office of Facilities Services will work closely with the committee to develop boundary change proposals. The duties of committee members will include evaluating student enrollment, demographic, bus transportation, and real estate data in order to prepare well-informed elementary school boundary recommendations for School Board consideration. Committee meetings will occur once a week during evenings from early November through mid-December.

In addition to its regular meetings, the boundary committee will also hold two community meetings to enable the general public to review the committee’s boundary proposals and to provide feedback on each plan’s strengths and weaknesses. The first is scheduled for Monday, November 24 at 7 p.m. in Piney Branch Elementary School’s cafeteria. The second community meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 8 at 7 p.m. in Loch Lomond Elementary School’s cafeteria.
 

Persons interested in volunteering to serve on the boundary planning committee are requested to complete the “Devlin Road” ES Committee Volunteer Sign-up Form. Those without Web access may volunteer by calling 703.791.7312. Please include your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and community experience (if any). The deadline to volunteer is October 20.

View information regarding boundary change policies and regulations. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Matthew Cartlidge, Supervisor of Planning, at CartliMR@pwcs.edu or by phone at 703.791.7312. 
Students Make New Middle School Program their Own
What’s in a name? Parkside Middle School student Shiya Bowles wins naming contest for after-school program.

October 2, 2014

Getting a jump start for middle school could not be easier for Shiya Bowles. The sixth-grader won an iPad for coming up with the name, “Next Generation,” for the School Division’s middle school after-school program. 

"Next Generation" was launched in September, and all students enrolled in the six pilot schools were invited to submit suggestions to name the program. Shiya says the name, "Next Generation," means SACC [School Age Child Care program] is growing up.

"What an appropriate name," said Carolyn Custard, director of Student Services. "These students are our future leaders, and they are getting a World-Class launch into their academic careers in middle school through this program."

Next Generation is a structured, caring environment that provides students the opportunity to receive academic support and participate in school-sponsored clubs; and provides socialization and team building activities to enhance their transition to middle school.

Registration is still open for Next Generation at Benton, Bull Run, Parkside, Potomac, Reagan, and Woodbridge Middle Schools. View more information.

Pictured: Shannon Hampton, site director for Parkside Middle School; Shiya Bowles; and JimellWest, teacher assistant.
Eye-opening first-hand accounts from students in specialty programs show why these are great choices for highly motivated students.

September 29, 2014

Forging friendships around the world. Taking computer wizardry to the next level. Unscrambling mysteries of DNA.  PWCS students are quick to tell you what they are getting out of PWCS specialty programs. Like International Studies at Hylton, Information Technology at Forest Park, or Biotechnology at Osbourn Park High School, PWCS offers a broad range of opportunities that are unique for their diversity.

Check out program offerings at the upcoming Special Opportunities Information Nights for
Middle School Specialty Programs and High School Specialty Programs. Students and faculty in specialty programs will be on hand to answer your questions and provide detailed information.

These are programs of choice, open to all students who are interested in pursuing a particular field of interest. High-tech corporations and businesses across the spectrum support specialty programs by providing mentors and volunteers, and financial and other resources.
 
Note that an application is required to participate in Specialty Programs even when the program location is in the student’s base school.
 
If a school receives applications for more students than the specialty program can accept or the school can house, a lottery is held to select participants. Under conditions of extreme overcrowding of a given school, a program may be open only to students within the school’s boundary and may be closed to all transfer students. Additionally, other programs may be filled through lottery, if necessary, due to capacity.
 
The application deadline is February 1, 2015 for most PWCS schools.
 
Middle School Program Opportunities Information Nights
 
Monday, October 13, 2014 from 7–9 p.m.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 from 7–9 p.m.
Kelly Leadership Center
 
High School Program Opportunities Information Nights
County-wide programs that will be represented both nights are: Center for Environmental and Natural Sciences (Freedom), Center for International Studies and Languages (Hylton), The Biotechnology Center (Osbourn Park), and Center for Fine and Performing Arts (Woodbridge). 
 
Monday, October 20, 2014
7–9 p.m. 
Gar-Field High School
Eastern Prince William County —Forest Park (Information Technology), Gar-Field (International Baccalaureate), Potomac (Cambridge), and Woodbridge (Advanced Placement Scholars)
 
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
7–9 p.m.
Stonewall Jackson High School
Western Prince William County—Battlefield (Information Technology), Brentsville District (Cambridge), Patriot (Advanced Placement Scholars), and Stonewall Jackson (International Baccalaureate)
International Walk to School Day is October 8
 September 26, 2014

International Walk to School Day is an effort to promote health and environmental awareness and safer routes for walking and bicycling. On October 8 many elementary schools will participate in a variety of ways that include all students, not just walkers. All elementary schools will be offered support by local fire and rescue stations.

PWCS is promoting safe routes to school activities in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) initiative and the Virginia Department of Education. The PWCS coordinator is Rebecca Short, a retired firefighter. She is working with Prince William County (PWC) Fire and Rescue and the PWC Police Departments to coordinate support for walkers and riders on International Walk to School Day. To learn more and get involved, visit the PWCS Safe Routes to Schools Web page, or contact Rebecca Short at shortbv@pwcs.edu or 703.791.8798.

SRTS is a federally funded program to encourage children to walk or bicycle to school; make walking and bicycling safer and more appealing transportation alternatives; and facilitate planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
Expand Your Opportunities through Adult Education Classes -- Registration Begins October 6
September 26, 2014
 
Registration for Prince William County Public Schools Adult Education classes begins next week for the fall session which starts October 27. Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Educational Development (GED), and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes are offered for adults 18 years of age and older at locations throughout Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park.

Register at any of the following locations on dates and times below:

5-7 p.m.
Mon., Oct. 6, 2014 - Freedom High School
Tues., Oct. 7, 2014 - Osbourn High School
Wed., Oct. 15, 2014 - Freedom High School
Thurs., Oct. 16, 2014 - Osbourn High School
 
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 17, 2014 - Adult Learning Center


Allow approximately one hour for registration. Classes are in 12 Week/90 hour sessions. Tuition is $165 and is due at registration, payable by cash, cashier's check or money order to PWCS. Credit or debit cards, or personal checks will not be accepted. Children will not be allowed at the registration.

For more information please click below, call 703.791.7357, or email adulted@pwcs.edu or view the following brochures.

ABE-GED Class Brochure Fall 2014

ESOL Class Brochure Fall 2014 

Classes de Otoño 2014


 
Parents and Students -- Need to Change Your Email Address or Web Site Password?
September 26, 2014


Your email address listed in the Parent Portal will be used to send notifications from both Parent Portal and from school Web sites (SchoolFusion). Since the Parent Portal is self-service you must change your email address in the Parent Portal and it will be automatically changed for school Web site notifications. View instructions on the
Parent Portal FAQ’s Web page.
 
However, if students have changed their student email address but are still not receiving Web site notifications, check with your school office staff; they may need to make a change in the student database.
 
Your password for both Parent Portal and your school Web site must be changed in the Parent Portal. See instructions for changing your password and for retrieving a forgotten password.
 
October School Board Meeting Schedule
September 25, 2014
 
The October public meetings of the Prince William County School Board will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 1 and October 15 in the School Board Meeting Room, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas. View School Board meeting agendas online and find additional information on the School Board Web page. Agenda items and materials are subject to change up to the time of the meetings.
 
In addition, a disciplinary hearing is tentatively scheduled on October 22. If needed, members Lillie G. Jessie (Occoquan), Alyson A. Satterwhite (Gainesville), and Gil Trenum (Brentsville) will convene to review up to four cases.
 
October 1
5 p.m.           Dinner
6 p.m.           Closed Session Meeting
7 p.m.           Public Meeting
 
October 15
5 p.m.           Dinner
6 p.m.           Closed Session Meeting
7 p.m.           Public Meeting       
 
October 22 (tentative)
5 p.m.           Dinner
6 p.m.           Disciplinary Hearing
 
Anyone may attend public meetings, which are streamed live on pwcstv.com and broadcast live on PWCS-TV, available on Comcast Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 36. Past meetings are also available for viewing on-demand at pwcstv.com.
 
Individuals who wish to address the School Board during Public Comment Time may notify the Board Clerk in advance in writing at P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108; by phone at 703.791.8709; or by email at pwcsclerk@pwcs.edu by noon on the day of the meeting. Individuals may also sign up in the School Board Meeting Room prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting.
PWCS On-Time Graduation Rate Reaches New High of 91%
Freedom HS Posts Major Gains.

September 24, 2014
 
A record number of Prince William County Public School students who entered high school in the fall of 2010 graduated on time in 2014. The new on-time graduation rate of 91 percent continues a steady climb from 83 percent just six years ago.

"This is truly cause for celebration," said PWCS Superintendent, Dr. Steve Walts, who noted that nearly 47 percent of all students earned advanced studies diplomas.
 
Seven of 11 PWCS high schools saw improved on-time rates in 2014, with Freedom High School leading the upward climb. Freedom's on-time rate soared by more than four points over 2013, to a new level of nearly 86%.
 
"Freedom's success is a tribute to what can be accomplished by hard work and dedication," added Walts. "Everyone at that school should be extremely proud." 

New Directions School played a significant role in the Divisionwide success story. The alternative school assists students who faced challenges that once created big obstacles to graduation. New Directions programs put students back on the path to academic success, graduation, and even bigger achievements ahead.    
 
The PWCS on-time graduation rate exceeds the Division's Strategic Plan target, and also surpasses the steadily climbing statewide record.

PWCS On-Time Graduation Stats:
  • Graduation rates have increased from 83% in 2008 to 91% in 2014.
  • 46.7% earned an advanced studies diploma in 2014, compared with 43.5% in 2013.
Details for Student Groups:
  • Graduation rate for Black students increased from 88.9% in 2013 to 89.0%.
  • Graduation rate for Hispanic students increased from 81.8% in 2013 to 84.3% in 2014.
  • Graduation rate for economically disadvantaged students increased from 82.5% in 2013 to 85.3% in 2014.
Details for Schools:
  • Seven of 11 PWCS high schools showed increases in on-time graduation rates.
  • Seven of 11 PWCS high had graduation rates higher than the state average.
  • For the first time, ALL high schools in PWCS met the graduation benchmark required for full accreditation (Graduation and Completion Index). ​
Students Named in First Round of Rigorous National Achievement Scholarship Program
September 24, 2014
 
Seven Prince William County Public School students are among the highest-scoring students in Virginia. They have been named National Achievement Scholarship semifinalists for 2015 based on the results of the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test they took as juniors. The students join more than 1,600 Black American high school seniors designated semifinalists in the 51st annual National Achievement Scholarship Program.
 
The semifinalists are Brianna J. Gilmore from Battlefield High School; Noah Hawkins of Forest Park High School; Ian B. Jones from Osbourn Park High School; Sydney A. Jordan a student at Stonewall Jackson High School; Francesca L. Peavie and Hannah C. Wied of Patriot High School; and PWCS student Rollin N. Woodford attending Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.
 
To qualify as a finalist and be considered for an Achievement Scholarship, a semifinalist 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. The semifinalist and a school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which also  details the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, and educational goals. 
 
Two types of Achievement Scholarship awards will be offered in 2015: one-time National Achievement scholarships worth $2,500 awarded regionally and about 100 Achievement Scholarships funded by corporate and business sponsors who set individual award criteria. The National Achievement Scholarship Program will release the names of the 2015 Achievement Scholarship winners in April 2015.
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.  
Fall Health Events Listing

Get out and enjoy fall by participating in an outdoor event. The following are family-friendly events hosted by Prince William County Public Schools. If you have an additional school-sponsored event that is open to the community, please send information to tilgnerk@pwcs.edu.
 

Event Date: Saturday, October 25, 2014
Run Gauntlet 5K/1 Miler
Triangle Elementary School invites you to a medieval-themed 5K/1 mile fun run.

See flyer for additional details or visit the Triangle Elementary School Web site.
 
Workshop Series Answers Your Questions about Special Education
September 17, 2014
 
 
The PWCS Office of Special Education Parent Resource Center is hosting a series of evening workshops for parents, educators, and community members on the special education process. Interested persons can attend one, two, or all three sessions. All sessions of this series will take place from 7-9 p.m. in room 1101 A & B at the Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas.
 
Thursday, October 9 - "Understanding Special Education: School Intervention, Referral, Evaluation, and Eligibility"
Participants will learn about the School Intervention process, how a student is referred for a comprehensive special education evaluation, the evaluation process, and how special education law finds a student with a disability eligible to receive special education services.  Michelle Roper, supervisor, Office of Special Education, will present.
 
Thursday, October 16 - "Understanding Special Education: Parents as Partners in the IEP Process"
 
Participants will learn the components of the IEP document and how to be an active participant in the IEP process. Robin Blaemire, administrative coordinator, Office of Special Education, will present.
 
Thursday, October 23 -  "Understanding Special Education: Parental Rights in Dispute Resolution"
Participants will learn the "appropriate chain of command" for rectifying problems that arise with regard to a child’s special education services, also gain an understanding of the options for dispute resolution available to parents and schools, which include central office review, state mediation, and due process hearing. Chrystal Thompson, administrative coordinator, Office of Special Education, will present.
 
There is no charge for attending the workshops; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, or for further information, contact the Parent Resource Center at 703.791.8846 (Voice), 703.791.8847 (TDD) or email howartmj@pwcs.edu or bamaher@pwcs.edu.
 
Individuals requiring accommodations, such as sign or foreign language interpreter services, are asked to pre-register by 4:30 p.m. one week prior to the scheduled workshop.
 
Staff can earn six state recertification points by attending all three workshops in the series. PWCS staff members should register online through the electronic register.
Division’s Advisory Committee Meetings for October
September 15, 2014

The following Advisory Committees or Councils will hold regularly scheduled meetings in October. 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 October 8, 4:30–7 p.m., KLC room 3011. See the CTE Advisory Council Web page. Contact the CTE program at 703.791.7297 for assistance.

• Gifted Education Advisory Council, on October 14, 7–9 p.m., KLC room 2011. See the Gifted Education Advisory Council Web page. Contact the Gifted program at 703.791.7400 for assistance.

• Safe Schools Advisory Council, on October 20, 6:30 p.m., KLC room 3011.

See the Safe Schools Advisory Council Web page (click on “Meetings”). Contact Risk Management and Security Services at 703.791.7206 for assistance.

• Special Education Advisory Committee, on October 21, 7–9 p.m., KLC room 2011. 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 October 9, 7–9 p.m., KLC 1101. See the Superintendent’s Advisory Council on Instruction Web page.

• Wellness Advisory Committee, on October 2, 7–8:30 p.m., KLC 1001 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 (KLC), located at 14715 Bristow Road in Manassas. Check the specific Web pages to confirm details. Check with building staff on site for questions about meeting room location. 
Could a Regional Governor's School be in Your Future? Learn How to Make it Happen
September 15, 2014
 
Considering a regional Governor's School for high school? PWCS students have two great options to explore--The Governor's School @ Innovation Park and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Be sure to mark your calendars with these upcoming events as you begin to chart your path.


THE GOVERNOR'S SCHOOL @ INNOVATION PARK
 
The Governor's School @ Innovation Park offers juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn high school and college credit through dual enrollment. Mornings are spent on the Prince William campus of George Mason University where students explore STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Students return to their base schools in the afternoon for additional classes, and continue in their social and extracurricular activities.
 
Students in grades 7–10 and their parents are invited to attend an open house to learn more about the Governor’s School @ Innovation Park on November 8 or December 8.
 
November 8 -- Open House at 9 a.m.
George Mason University, Prince William Campus
Occoquan Building - Verizon Auditorium
(note: there will be no fee to park on campus for this event)

December 9* -- Open House 7-8:30 p.m. 
Location TBA
 
THOMAS JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
 
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) is a full day four-year regional Governor's School located in Fairfax County. Residents of Prince William County are eligible to attend. Online and paper applications for admission to the TJHSST for the class of 2019 will be available beginning September 22. Students interested in applying should contact their school counselor.
 
Some important dates to remember:
 
September 29 —Information Session at 6:30 p.m.
                            Benton Middle School
                            7411 Hoadly Road, Manassas, VA 20112
 
October 7 —       Information Session at 3 p.m.
                             Lake Ridge Middle School
                             12350 Mohican Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192
 
October 8 —       Information Session at 6:30 p.m.
                             Reagan Middle School
                             15801 Tanning House Place, Haymarket, VA 20169
 
 October 17 —    Absolute deadline is 4 p.m. for submission of (online and paper) applications to schools or admissions office. No late applications will be accepted for any reason.
 
November 15 — Open House from 9 a.m.–noon
                             Holmes Middle School*, 6525 Montrose St., Alexandria, VA 22312
                             Change of location due to construction at TJHSST.

*Date updated on 9/23/14
Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation Hosts Student Poster Contest
September 15, 2014
 
Poster submissions based on the theme “Bully Free Zone” are due by April 30, 2015 for the Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation 2015 Poster Contest. See contest rules and details, including pictures of the School Division’s own 2011 winning posters created by students from Bennett Elementary School, at www.vapt.org. (Click on “Poster Contest” and scroll down to view winning posters and contest rules.)
 
 
Parents, Here’s How to Receive Critical Messages from PWCS
September 12, 2014

Blackboard Connect (Automatic Enrollment)

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

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

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

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

E-News (Blackboard Connect Subscription Service)

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

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

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

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

The Eastern Prince William County Regional College Fair will be held and at Woodbridge High School on October 22 from 6–8 p.m. Woodbridge High School is located at 3001 Old Bridge Road in Woodbridge.
 
Back to School Nights Announced
September 4, 2014
 
 
Many Prince William County Public Schools have scheduled Back to School Nights as an opportunity to orient parents to school procedures and introduce their child’s teachers. Please check your school's Web site for times, dates, and more detailed information. Check back for updates, as dates and times are subject to change. 
 
High Schools:
     
Middle Schools:
 
Traditional and K–8 Schools:  
Elementary Schools:
 
Alternative and Special Education:
 
 
 
 
 
Student Accident Insurance Available Online
August 25, 2014

Many parents without insurance coverage worry about protecting their children in the event of an illness or injury. Affordable student accident insurance is available for purchase through your child's school at a group rate. Parents now need to enroll for student accident insurance via the Internet. This process will be accomplished by the use of a dedicated secure enrollment Web site from the insurance provider.
 
Enroll in Student Insurance.
It’s Never Too Late -- Registration Starts August 25 for Fall Adult Education, GED Prep, or ESOL Classes

August 25, 2014

Has it been a long time since you entered a classroom? Need some help boosting your basic reading, math, or writing skills, preparing for the General Educational Development Test (GED Test), or learning to speak English? Come study with adults like yourself to achieve your career and life goals. PWCS has adult education classes beginning in September and October for residents of Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park.

Adult Basic Education and the GED program classes are for individuals 18 years of age and over and provide instruction in reading, math, and/or writing skills at the ninth grade level or above.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program classes are for individuals 18 years of age and over who speak a native language other than English.

(See links above to access the flyers for specific class tuition, dates, and locations.)

For classes beginning on or after September 2, registration will be held from 5-7 p.m. on the following dates: From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on the following dates:
  • Friday, September 5, at the Adult Learning Center, Building 4, 14800 Joplin Road, Manassas (Independent Hill).
For classes beginning on or after October 28, registration will be held from 5-7 p.m. on the following dates: From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on the following date:
  • Friday, October 17, at the Adult Learning Center, Building 4, 14800 Joplin Road, Manassas (Independent Hill).
Tuition fees vary by class and are payable at registration. Fees may be paid by cash, cashier’s check, or by money order, payable to PWCS. We do not accept personal checks, credit cards or debit cards for payment. ESOL registration takes approximately one-half hour and Adult Ed/GED registration takes approximately two hours to complete once a registrant enters the registration process.

For additional information, visit the PWCS Adult Education Web site, email adulated@pwcs.edu, or call 703.791.7357.
Applications Available for Families Eligible for Free and Reduced Meals
August 15, 2014

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

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

15 de agosto de 2014

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

 
2014-15 Bell Times Revised for Woodbine Preschool
Five minutes has been added to the morning and afternoon sessions at Woodbine Preschool Center. This will provide a 10-minute increase in the school day which is consistent with the 10-minute increase previously added to other schools. The revised bell schedule reflects this change. View revised bell schedule.
School Board Meetings for 2014-15 School Year
August 7, 2014
 
The first public meeting of the Prince William County School Board for the new school year will be held on Wednesday, September 3, beginning at 7 p.m. in the School Board Meeting Room, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas.
 
With the exception of meetings on Tuesday, November 18, and Wednesday, April 8 and 22, 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 9, to discuss the 2015-16 budget and a budget work session is scheduled on Wednesday, March 11.
 
Regular public meetings are open to the public and are streamed live on pwcstv.com, 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.
 
View meeting schedule for the school year.
 
Electronic School Board agendas are available online in advance of meetings from pwcs.edu.  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 pwcsclerk@pwcs.edu. Individuals may also sign up in the School Board Meeting Room prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting.
   
Location for the Summer English Learner Institute Has Changed
July 10, 2014
 
 
The location of the Summer English Learner (EL) Institute has changed. It will now be taking place at Reagan Middle School. Sessions begin June 23 and run through August 8.

These courses are applicable toward the 15 hours of annual professional development to be completed during the 2014–15 school year by educators instructing English Learners (ELs) in meeting the Language Allocation Service Plan requirements. Read the course descriptions to learn how best practices in classroom instruction for ELs are addressed. Find course dates, descriptions, and register using the “EPLP” code to search in the Professional Learning Catalog. For your convenience, the course lists for July and August offerings are attached, as well as offerings planned for the October 13 professional development day. Flyers are available by topic and focus area on the ESOL home page under EL Courses for Staff.
 
Please contact Christina Jennings (jennincm@pwcs.edu) or Kim Peterson (peterskx@pwcs.edu) with any questions.
 
PWCS-TV Airs High School Graduations
June 12, 2014

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

Potomac High School
June 30 and July 4

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

Saluting Our Stars Photo Gallery Now Available
June 11, 2014 

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

Check out the videos and resources
here 
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.edu; 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 pwcs.edu 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 pwcs.edu, click on “News and Updates” on the left navigation, and click “How do I subscribe to PWCS E-News” to view them.
 
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 careyax@pwcs.edu (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, pwcstv.com.

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.


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