November 7, 2018
Posted on 11/09/2018

Board Briefs Meeting Summary Header
School Board Meeting of November 7, 2018

View the agenda on the Electronic School Board web page.
Watch the School Board meeting on PWCS-TV.

Positively PWCS:

Each School Board meeting begins with presentations about the good things that our schools are accomplishing. These presentations are intended to focus on how we are preparing our students academically and socially for success in college and careers.

  • Dr. Gary Jones, chief executive officer of Youth for Tomorrow, Lawrence Hubb, Taylor Naleppa and Stonewall Middle School Principal John Miller gave a presentation about the therapeutic day treatment program.

The School Board Approved: 

Citizen Comments:

Citizens addressed the School Board on the following topics: 

  • A symposium being offered to PWCS staff to learn more about Muslim culture; 
  • Proposed changes for Citizen Comments time; 
  • Red Ribbon Week highlights and the winners of the Red Ribbon Week Video Contest; 
  • Concussion recovery of students; 
  • Suggestion of using the "Roots" miniseries as a teaching tool in the high school curriculum; 
  • "Red for Ed" pledge; 
  • Take Your Legislator to School event; and 
  • Closing schools for Election Day.

Student Matters:

  • Sasan Faraj, student representative, discussed his visit with Woodbridge and Potomac high schools. Sasan reported that the students discussed the pressures of testing, dress code, access to technology, and a desire for more vegetarian options at school cafeterias.
  • Wilfredo Villatoro, alternate student representative, recently met with students at Neabsco district schools. Two topics of discussions were undocumented students and student mental health. Wilfredo explained that this time of year can be difficult for undocumented students who are applying to college, and expressed a desire to provide school counselors with resources to better support undocumented students. Wilfredo shared that students appreciate the mental health support of New Horizons, and would like to see more similar programs and services.

    Staff Presentation Topics: 

    • Presentation of the Strategic Plan (PDF) which includes test results, program participation rates, graduation information, discipline rates, teacher licensure/endorsement data, organizational data, and Divisionwide Survey results.

    Superintendent's Time:

    • I would like to begin by congratulating Dr. Lateef for his election as Chairman of the Prince William County School Board. We are excited to experience the positive effects of your leadership and your focus on students. 
    • I am very proud to report that our students scores on the SAT continue to excel. The overall mean score of 1100 for students in Prince William County Public Schools is up 3 points from last year, and 51 points higher than the overall score for public school graduates nationwide.
      • Black students in PWCS outperformed peers in Virginia and nationwide in reading, writing, and mathematics.
      • Six high schools exceeded the overall mean score in Virginia and nationwide.
      • Five of our high schools scored higher than the state and national average in all three areas.
    • At last month’s School Board meeting, I shared the Division’s on-time graduation rate of 92.1 percent. I would like to add that the graduation rate in Prince William County Public Schools has increased nearly 10 percent in the past 10 years. This increase is equivalent to graduating approximately 600 more students, or roughly the number of graduates at a high school like Stonewall Jackson.
    • And speaking of success at the high school level, Prince William County Public Schools is also experiencing an increase in the percentage of students earning dual credit and receiving qualifying scores recognized by Northern Virginia Community College for credit. As shared in tonight’s Strategic Plan Report, we experienced an 11 percent increase in the percent of graduates receiving dual enrollment credit in the past three years.
    • Congratulations to Penn Elementary School and Porter Traditional School. Both schools have been named Virginia Distinguished Purple Star Schools by the Virginia Department of Education. This honor is awarded to schools that have made a commitment to serving students and families connected to the military.
    • This month the School Division will be well-represented at the Virginia Music Educators Association conference by 36 students who were selected for the Virginia Honors Choir. The students attend Battlefield, Brentsville, Colgan, Forest Park, Hylton, Osbourn Park, Patriot, Potomac, Stonewall Jackson, and Woodbridge High Schools. More students from Prince William County Public Schools qualified for the Honors Choir than any other school district in the state.
    • We are working very hard at closing the communication gap. To share more of the great news happening in our schools, I recently began to broadcast a weekly video, in addition to the Positively PWCS campaign we initiated this year. Last month, during our first meeting of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council for Instruction, several parents shared their praise of the Positively PWCS campaign. We will continue to boost our efforts to better communicate with our families and our community.
    • Finally, I attended the 50th anniversary celebration of Coles Elementary School recently. It was great to see the display of memorabilia through the decades and to meet former principals, teachers, and students.

    Policies:

    First Readings - No action is required on first readings.

    School Board Meeting Information:

    Individuals who wish to address the School Board under Citizens’ Time should notify the Board Clerk in writing at P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108; by phone at 703.791.8709; or by email at pwcsclerk@pwcs.edu prior to noon on the day of the Board meeting and will be placed on the list of speakers. Or, individuals may also sign onto the list of speakers maintained at the entrance to the School Board meeting room at the beginning of a regular Board meeting, but prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting. Please provide your name, address, phone number, and topic you would like to speak about. Any deviation from these procedures shall be at the discretion of the Chairman. All speakers must provide the School Board Clerk with their address and phone number in order to verify their residency and permit the Clerk to contact them if necessary. Upon request, the Clerk will not release to the public the address and phone number of the speaker.