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Prince William Network - Distance Learning
America's Promise Alliance - 100 Best Communities Award
PWCS Tip Line
Divisionwide Announcements
News Stories
Community Outreach to Provide Food Baskets
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, the Office of Student Services collaborated with community groups to provide holiday meals.

November 26, 2014

Through three separate outreach projects, several PWCS families will celebrate a bountiful Thanksgiving. Northern Virginia Community College student Josh Keller collected food baskets with help from Wegman’s for six families; PWCS Comprehensive Child Study school social workers delivered the baskets. Ten other families received holiday baskets donated by First Mt. Zion Baptist Church, with Student Services staff coordinating their delivery at various schools. The Office of Student Services chose families to receive three $100 gift certificates from Food Lion provided by “Women In Community Action” (WICA) for families in Prince William County. Coordinated by Glorine Gholson, a retired PWCS educator, this donation from WICA marks a long history of providing assistance and support to the community.

“It’s such a pleasure to work with our community organizations so that we can provide assistance and support to students and families during this time of year. Without the support of our community, some of our students and their families would not be able to enjoy a traditional dinner like so many of us do,” said Carolyn Custard, director of Student Services.
VSBA Recognizes School Board and Superintendent for their Dedication
Always striving for excellence, Board members participate in professional development. 

November 26, 2014
School Board members devote many, many hours to serving the children of Prince William County Public Schools and accomplishing all that they need to do as policy makers and funding authority for this School Division. Always striving for excellence, Board members participate in professional development to enhance their knowledge. At the November 18 meeting, School Board members and the Superintendent of Schools were presented with VSBA School Board Academy Awards for their participation in Academy events and endorsed activities such as the National School Boards Association convention.
School Board Chairman At-Large Milton C. Johns, Lisa E. Bell (Neabsco), Betty D. Covington (Potomac), and Michael I. Otaigbe (Coles) earned an Award of Distinction and a distinctive pin. Lillie G. Jessie (Occoquan), Alyson A. Satterwhite (Gainesville), Superintendent of Schools Steven L. Walts, and Deborah Urban, Clerk of the School Board, earned an Award of Honor and a gold pin. Vice Chairman Gil Trenum (Brentsville) received an Award of Excellence and a silver pin, and Loree Y. Wiliams (Woodbridge) earned an Award of Achievement and a bronze pin.

School Board Seeks Funding for State Mandates
PWCS Legislative Priorities Online

November 26, 2014

The Prince William County School Board presented its legislative priorities to the Prince William delegation to the Virginia General Assembly at a November 24 breakfast meeting.
The School Board approved its “Legislative Priorities” at its October 1 meeting and will be working with our legislators on these items, some of which require continued or improved state funding.
School Board Chairman At-Large Milton C. Johns addressed the legislators and school officials, noting the achievements of the School Division at a time of continued growth and per-student funding that remains far below neighboring school divisions. The PWCS mean SAT score is up by 21 points over the past two years, the 2014 on-time graduation rate for PWCS was 91%, and nearly half of PWCS graduates earn advanced studies diplomas. Education Week, the nation’s top education weekly, ranked the PWCS graduation rate 7th-highest among the nation’s 50 largest school systems. View presentation.
The legislative priorities package includes statements of support or opposition to a number of issues that may come before the General Assembly as bills that affect public school education in K-12 subject areas. Among these is support for all bills that would move the June election date to the last Tuesday in June when school is out and students are not in the buildings; and bills that strengthen the requirement on school divisions across the Commonwealth to provide concussion education awareness, training, and implementation of a management plan, consistent with practices in PWCS.
Giving Thanks
A Thanksgiving message from Superintendent Steve Walts to the PWCS community.

November 26, 2014 

Dear Neighbors:

On behalf of the School Board and all the employees of Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS), I wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday. As we look back on whatever joys or challenges the past year may have brought, we are all fortunate to be living in Prince William County and in our great nation. PWCS employees are especially grateful to have the privilege of working with our young people to educate and guide our next generation of leaders. Together, we can make our community an ever-better place to live and work, and a continuing reason to be thankful.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, and best wishes for the season ahead!


Steve Walts
Superintendent of Schools
Know the PWCS Weather-Related School Closing Procedures
Wintry weather forecast serves as a prompt to review PWCS inclement weather procedures.

November 25, 2014

With wintry weather in the forecast, PWCS reminds parents that it is important to listen to local media reports and to check the School Division’s Web and social media sites for any messages about changes in school or School Age Child Care (SACC) schedules. No announcements will be made when schools and SACC are operating on a normal schedule. See the Inclement Weather Closings & Delays Procedures page for complete information.
Announcements of changes in school schedules are posted immediately after a decision is made on all School Division websites including,, and, PWCS-TV (Comcast channel 18 and Verizon channel 36), and on the School Division’s telephone closing line, 703.791.2776. Subscribers to E-News can choose to receive closing announcements by email, text message, or both. To register, visit Local media outlets are informed of schedule changes promptly, but may take time to update their information.
Principals have provided a letter to parents through school newsletters and websites with detailed information on closing procedures. Read the letter (English, Spanish).
Prince William County encompasses 348 square miles and stretches from the Potomac River to the Bull Run Mountains. Road conditions may change, vary from one end of the county to the other, or improve over time but decisions are made on a Divisionwide basis for the safety of people across the county. The decision to delay the opening of schools is made to allow commuter traffic to clear and hazardous road conditions to improve, or allow school officials to make a subsequent decision to close schools for the day. Early or full-day closing decisions may also be based on conditions in some parts of the county, though others may look very different.
Say the Right Thing for Safety
Police Chief and Superintendent urge citizens to check with schools and police for credible reports to counter rumors and misinformation.
November 25, 2014
By Stephan M. Hudson, Chief, Prince William County Police, and Steven L. Walts, Superintendent, Prince William County Public Schools
See something. Say Something.

Everyone from school kids to commuters know the drill, and should. In today’s uncertain world, reporting even a small threat could save a life.

Several times in the past year Prince William County Public School students helped protect themselves, their classmates, and their community by responsibly reporting potential risks. Students warned teachers about possible firearms or about strangers whose presence sparked concern.

We can’t say these responsible actions saved lives or prevented harm. But they were valuable. Information provided to the right person--a teacher, parent, or police officer—can make a world of difference.

Unfortunately, information—or specifically, misinformation—can also do damage.  All too often, students and adults alike repeat discredited rumors, prompting worry, wasting time, and making concerned parents question whether children are safe at school.

Police and school personnel take reports of threats or other potential dangers very seriously; all are promptly and thoroughly investigated. Any necessary action is immediately taken to ensure safety. And that includes sharing factual information with the public. 

When action or even special caution is needed to protect our students or our schools, you will know it. Factual information will be posted on school and police web and Facebook pages, and communicated through other official channels. In the absence of that kind of confirmation, repeating stories of potential danger is merely spreading idle rumors. It helps no one. At best, it prompts unneeded fear and distraction. At worst, it leads others to ignore future warnings that could reveal real dangers.
So please remember: If you see something say something--to the right people. Recent events remind us that unfortunate things can and do happen. But please, avoid spreading idle rumors. Speaking up at the right time and to the right people is the best way to keep us all safe and secure. 
Division’s Advisory Committee Meetings for December
November 21, 2014

The following Advisory Committees or Councils will hold regularly scheduled meetings in December.
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 December 10, 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.
• Special Education Advisory Committee, on December 16, 7–9 p.m., at the (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 December 11, 7–9 p.m., (KLC room 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. 
Academic Achievement Earns “School of Excellence” Designation for 46 Schools
Schools earn coveted distinction by demonstrating high levels of performance, 

November 24, 2014
School communities across Prince William County are celebrating the designation of “Schools of Excellence” based on performance in the 2013-14 school year. Schools earn the coveted distinction by demonstrating high levels of performance, as evaluated by state accreditation and Virginia academic Annual Measurable Objectives. Schools of Excellence must also attain an overall score of at least 90 out of 100 points on PWCS Strategic Plan-based measures.
Maintaining this designation is not an easy task. The finish line that marks success moves each year, ensuring that schools never rest with their last accomplishments. Divisionwide, 38 elementary schools, five middle schools, both traditional schools, and one high school made the cut this year, two more than in the previous year. 

Schools of Excellence honored this year are listed below, with the total number of awards received following the school name.
  • Alvey Elementary School (10)
  • Antietam Elementary School (13)
  • Battlefield High School (5)
  • Bel Air Elementary School (6)
  • Bennett Elementary School (11)
  • Benton Middle School (6)
  • Bristow Run Elementary School (13)
  • Buckland Mills Elementary School (6)
  • Bull Run Middle School (7)
  • Cedar Point Elementary School (10)
  • Dale City Elementary School (6)
  • Gainesville Middle School (5)
  • Glenkirk Elementary School (6)
  • Henderson Elementary School (12)
  • King Elementary School (7)
  • Lake Ridge Elementary School (14)
  • Lake Ridge Middle School (6)
  • Leesylvania Elementary School (6)
  • Marshall Elementary School (13)
  • Marumsco Hills Elementary School (6)
  • McAuliffe Elementary School (5)
  • Minnieville Elementary School (6)
  • Montclair Elementary School (12)
  • Mountain View Elementary School (14)
  • Mullen Elementary School (6)
  • The Nokesville School (11)
  • Occoquan Elementary School (9)
  • Old Bridge Elementary School (14)
  • Pattie Elementary School (8)
  • Penn Elementary School (7)
  • Pennington Traditional School (10)
  • Piney Branch Elementary School (3)
  • Porter Traditional School (9)
  • River Oaks Elementary School (2)
  • Rockledge Elementary School (13)
  • Rosa Parks Elementary School (8)
  • Signal Hill Elementary School (7)
  • Springwoods Elementary School (14)
  • Sudley Elementary School (5)
  • T. Clay Wood Elementary School (3)
  • Triangle Elementary School (5)
  • Tyler Elementary School (8)
  • Victory Elementary School (5)
  • West Gate Elementary School (2)
  • Westridge Elementary School (12)
  • Woodbridge Middle School (7)
The recognition program began in 1999. The School of Excellence distinction is the highest recognition awarded to a school by the Prince William County School Board.
Site-based celebrations will recognize the contributions of the entire school community in achieving the School of Excellence designation. Schools earning the honor will receive commemorative flags and plaques at the school celebrations.
"Devlin Road" Elementary School Community Meeting Dec. 8
November 20, 2014

The "Devlin Road" Boundary Committee and PWCS staff members will host the second of two community meetings on Monday, December 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the  Loch Lomond Elementary School cafeteria..

Boundary plan drafts currently under consideration by the committee will be shared with the public. Those in attendance will be given the opportunity to provide feedback and to ask questions. "Devlin Road" Elementary School is scheduled to open for the 2015-16 school year. For more information, see the Facilities Services website or contact the Office of Facilities Services at 703.791.7312.

School Board Okays Modified Boundaries for 12th High School--Plan Subject to DOJ Review
Students from the River Falls, Coventry Glen, Bacon Race, Reid’s Prospect, and Cannon Bluff communities will attend the county’s newest high school under a revised boundary plan adopted at the Board’s November 18 meeting.

November 19, 2014

The school will open in September 2016 without a senior class. Rising juniors will have the option of attending the new 12th high school or completing their high school careers at their original schools.
The newly added communities expand the High School's attendance area established in the Alternative Boundary Plan. That plan was originally released on October 28, in response to both community input, and Department of Justice (DOJ) concerns about the racial and ethnic composition of the new school population.
The DOJ previously announced it would not challenge the demographic mix created by the Alternative Plan. It has yet to review the newly revised boundaries.
The latest changes followed extensive community feedback. Beyond adding the new communities to the 12th high school attendance area, the School Board directed the Superintendent to enhance the specialty programs at Osbourn Park High School to increase potential enrollment there.
A liberal transfer policy will be put in place for students from the eastern portion of the Trentdale community who wish to remain at Hylton High School. Students enrolled in Hylton specialty programs will also have the option to remain at that school. 
Honoring Veterans on Military Appreciation Day at NVCC
November 20, 2014
Supervisor John Jenkins, Provost Sam Hill, LTC (Ret) Victor Burnette, Cadets Cedric Smith, Jr., Ian Dumas, and Jason Villacorta.Veterans and Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Cadets have a common bond.
“While the purpose of JROTC is to provide and encourage citizenship and that of the military is to defend our country in peace and war, both groups share the same values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage,” said Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Victor W. Burnette, addressing the crowd at Northern Virginia Community College –Woodbridge Campus (NVCC). Burnette, the Senior Army Instructor, Department of Military Science at Woodbbridge High School, was the keynote speaker on Military Appreciation Day at NVCC. Six Army JROTC cadets from Woodbridge High School were ushers.
“Cadets, through their community involvement, assist veteran organizations and veterans give back to JROTC programs as mentors, teachers and make financial donations,” said Burnette. 
In the photograph (left to right) are Neabsco District Supervisor John Jenkins, Dr. Sam Hill, Provost for NVCC - Woodbridge Campus, LTC (Ret.) Victor Burnette, Cadets Cedric Smith Jr., Ian Dumas, and Jason Villacorta. Also present but not pictured was the Air Force JROTC Color Guard team from Freedom High School.
Love Science, Engineering? Not Even the Sky is the Limit at Governor’s School
November 19, 2014
Rising juniors seeking a head start on a special future are encouraged to apply to attend The Governor's School @ Innovation Park. Students must have completed algebra II/trigonometry, and both biology and chemistry by the end of 10th grade in order to apply.
This half-day academic year Governor’s school serves juniors and seniors in Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, and Manassas Park Public Schools. Prospective students and their parents are invited to attend an information meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 9 at 7 p.m. in room 1101 at the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas, VA  20112.
Students interested in attending the Governor’s School may now apply by submitting the “Intent to Apply” online form found on the school’s website. After submitting the online form, follow instructions to download the application. PWCS students interested in applying should submit the PWCS application to Dr. Jim Mudd, Supervisor of Gifted Education, by February 6, 2015.
If students are submitting an application through their base school, it is recommended that all application materials be submitted no later than January 30, 2015 to ensure delivery to Dr. Mudd by the February 6 due date.
Dual Enrollment Puts Students on Fast Track to University Degree
Learn about The Governor's School @ Innovation Park on December 9 and submit your application.

November 13, 2014

Passionate about science, technology, engineering, math or medicine? The Governor's School @ Innovation Park allows you to earn credit when you successfully complete your college courses.   

Prospective students and their parents are invited to attend an information meeting on Tuesday, December 9 at 7 p.m. in the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Rd., Manassas, VA 20112.
PWCS students may now apply by submitting the "Intent to Apply" online form. After submitting the online form, students will be prompted to download the application. The deadline for submitting the application is February 6, 2015.
The Governor’s School serves juniors and seniors in Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, and Manassas Park Public Schools. The program offers qualified students:
  • Hands-on research and projects guided by top teachers and mentors from the professional science community;
  • Credit from a top four-year institution (George Mason University), while attending part time and staying a part of your current school;
  • Exposure and internship opportunities with leading technology companies;
  • Award-winning classmates and career-building potential 
Click the video to hear what students say about The Governor's School @ Innovation Park.
It’s Never Too Late to Learn—Registration Begins January 7 for Adult Basic Education, GED, and ESOL Classes
November 19, 2014

Has it been a long time since you entered a classroom? Need some help preparing for the General Educational Development Test (GED Test) or learning to speak English? Come study with adults like you to achieve your career and life goals. PWCS adult education classes begin the week of January 20 for residents of Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park. Classes are generally held three evenings a week at different locations around the county. Some classes are held during the day. 
  • Adult Basic Education classes are for individuals 18 years of age and over and whose basic reading, math, and/or writing skills are below the ninth grade level of achievement.
  • GED preparation classes are for individuals 18 years of age and over with reading, math, and/or writing skills at the ninth grade level or above.
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes are for individuals 18 years of age and over who speak a native language other than English.

Allow approximately 30–60 minutes for registration of Adult Basic Education, GED preparation, and ESOL classes. Tuition is $165 for a 12-week session and is due at the time of registration by cash, cashier’s check, or money order only. For further information, visit the Adult Education Web site, or contact the Adult Education Office at 703.791.7357 or email

Registration dates and sites for Adult Basic Education, GED, and ESOL classes are listed below.

Register for Classes beginning on or after January 20: 
  • Wednesday, January 7, at 5–7 p.m. at Stonewall Middle School;
  • Thursday, January 8, at 5–7 p.m. at Gar-Field High School;
  • Monday, January 12, at 5–7 p.m. at Stonewall Middle School;
  • Tuesday, January 13, at 5–7 p.m. at Gar-Field High School; and
  • Friday, January 9, at 11 a.m.–2 p.m. at the Adult Learning Center.

Register for Classes beginning on or after March 3:
  • Monday, February 9, at 5–7 p.m. at Freedom High School;
  • Tuesday, February 10, at 5–7 p.m. at Osbourn High School (City of Manassas);
  • Wednesday, February 18, at 5–7 p.m. at Freedom High School;
  • Thursday, February 19, at 5–7 p.m. at Osbourn High School (City of Manassas); and
  • Friday, February 13, at 11 a.m.–2 p.m. at the Adult Learning Center.

Try a Different Path to Your High School Diploma—Benefit from Your Life Experience and Work Know-How
November 19, 2014

Need a high school diploma to advance in your career? If you have acquired academic skills through life and work experiences and can demonstrate what you have learned, the National External Diploma Program (NEDP) may be for you. In addition to the GED Program (for individuals 18 years and older), PWCS Adult Education offers this competency-based high school completion program for individuals 21 years of age and older. Successful completion of this program earns the participant a high school diploma issued by the local school board.

To learn more, attend one of the information sessions, scheduled for your convenience at both 10 a.m. or 7 p.m. on the following dates:
  • December 15, 2014
  • January 12, 2015
  • February 2, 2015
Sessions are held at the Adult Learning Center, Building 4, 14800 Joplin Road, Manassas, VA 20112 (Independent Hill).
For additional information, please call 703.791.7357 or refer to the Adult Education Web site.

Pursuing Dreams with Passion in the Heart of Academia
Legislators and students tour Governor’s School on George Mason campus.

(Please open your  browser to the full window to view complete story and  video.)

November 19, 2014

Seated in pairs in a chemistry lab filled with black counters, one of today’s high school students could be a scientist on the brink of discovery. That anticipation of doing something notable to help the world brought these students to the elite STEM program at the Governor’s School @ Innovation Park in Manassas.

“Students want to learn; they challenge themselves and each other,” said Director Karen Dalfrey. On this day, she addressed 150 visiting sophomores, School Board members, and members of the Prince William County legislative delegation who were invited to commemorate “Take Your Legislator to School Month,” sponsored by the Virginia School Boards Association.

Visitors learned of the rigorous sequence and schedule. You have to be prepared,” she said. She encouraged the students to ask themselves, “Is this program right for you,” and, “Are you right for this program?”

Governor’s School junior Rachel Kanefsky is dually enrolled at Hylton and plans to become a wildlife biologist. She chose the Governor’s School because of the opportunity to study science. “I love it here. I’ll have the lab background, and once I get the mentorship, I’ll have experience with the different elements of biology that I don’t think I could get at my base school,” said Kanefsky. “I’m with people that want to be here, that care to be here,” she added.

For those students who have a passion for a subject, want to delve deeper into it, and want to be challenged by like-minded students, check out The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park. Applications for 2014-15 are now being accepted. The deadline to apply is February 6, 2015.

Visiting dignitaries included Senator Chuck Colgan, Senator Toddy Puller and Legislative Assistant Carrie Ann Alford; Delegate Richard Anderson, Delegate Michael Futrell, Delegate Bob Marshall, Delegate Jackson Miller, Katrina Foard representing Delegate David Ramadan; and Joe Montano representing Senator Tim Kaine. School Board members Michael I. Otaigbe (Coles) and Alyson A. Satterwhite (Gainesville) also attended.


Funding Issues to be on the Table at Legislative Breakfast November 24
November 19, 2014

In preparation for the 2015 Virginia Legislative Session, the Prince William County School Board will present its legislative priorities to the Prince William delegation at a breakfast meeting scheduled for Monday, November 24 at 7:30 a.m. at the Kelly Leadership Center.
The School Board approved its “Legislative Priorities” at its October 1 meeting and will be working with our legislators on these items, some of which require continued or improved state funding.
The School Board’s number one issue is to fully fund the Standards of Quality (SOQ) at appropriate levels to take into account the real cost of meeting SOQ requirement, not just the minimum previously assessed by the state to be necessary.
The second item is to fund annual teacher salary increases and reinstate full funding for the Cost-Of-Competing Allocation (COCA) for PWCS and other Region 4 school divisions. COCA is intended to provide additional funds to school divisions for the higher staffing costs in Northern Virginia. Based on past legislative sessions, PWCS has lost millions of dollars in COCA funding.
The School Board also requests continued annual funding to PWCS to coordinate the statewide implementation of our computer refurbishing program, VA STAR, which provides opportunities for high school students to earn information technology certification and provides free computers to students and schools in need of technology.
Additionally, the School Board supports legislation that would eliminate the “A-F Grading” of Virginia Schools; continue to reexamine Virginia’s public school student assessments and the corresponding system of accountability; and give local school boards the option to count up to 15 minutes of daily, unstructured elementary school recess as part of the instructional day, as a more accurate accounting of instructional minutes.
The legislative priorities package includes statements of support or opposition to a number of issues that may come before the General Assembly as bills that affect public school education in K-12 subject areas.
Celebrate the Season with Hylton Planetarium’s “Holiday Lights”
November 19, 2014
Celebrate the Season with Hylton Planetarium’s “Holiday Lights”
Looking for something festive to do this holiday season? Look no further than the Irene V. Hylton Planetarium’s presentation of “Holiday Lights.” Enjoy a perfect blend of traditional holiday favorites mixed with some modern-day holiday tunes, all set to laser lights for a holiday experience unlike any other! Or maybe you’re more interested in why the night sky is so special this time of year? The Star of Bethlehem is the most famous celestial object that stargazers still look for every winter. What was this special star? Is it possible to see it here in Prince William County? Find out the answer to these questions and more as Hylton’s own Tony Kilgore takes you on a journey through your very own backyard night sky.
Tickets for all shows are $10 each and can be purchased in advance at the Hylton High School main office Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. or on the evenings of shows at the planetarium box office starting at 5:3 p.m. Seating is limited to 65 for each show so get your tickets early! You can visit for more information.
Show dates & times:
Friday, December 5
6 p.m. – Laser Holidays
7:30 p.m. – Star of Bethlehem
9 p.m. – Laser Holidays
Friday, December 12
6 p.m. – Laser Holidays
7:30 p.m. – Star of Bethlehem
9 p.m. – Laser Holidays
Friday, December 19
6 p.m. – Laser Holidays
7:30 p.m. – Star of Bethlehem
9 p.m. – Laser Holidays
School Board Event and Meeting Calendar, November-December
November 19, 2018

School Board members may attend the events and meetings listed below in the coming months.
Nov. 19-21          Virginia School Boards Association Annual Convention, Williamsburg, VA
Nov. 24                School Board’s Legislative Breakfast
                           7:30 a.m., Kelly Leadership Center
Dec. 3                 School Board meeting
                           Dinner, 5 p.m. followed by Closed session, 6 p.m.; open School Board meeting, 7 p.m.
                           Kelly Leadership Center
Dec. 9                 Annual Board-to-Board dinner meeting, Board of County Supervisors and School Board
                           6:30 p.m., Kelly Leadership Center
Dec. 17                School Board meeting
                           Dinner, 5 p.m. followed by Closed session, 6 p.m.; open School Board meeting, 7 p.m.
Please see the School Board Meeting Calendar for latest schedule of meetings.
School Board to Attend Joint Meeting with Board of County Supervisors
November 18, 2014

The Prince William County School Board will attend a joint dinner meeting with the Prince William Board of County Supervisors on Tuesday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at the Edward L. Kelly Center.

Building Student Interest One Popsicle Stick At A Time
Lake Ridge Elementary School's Frederick Jackson illustrates how every staff member augments the student experience.

November 17, 2014

Not only is Frederick Jackson a model for PWCS employees, he also has a knack for building them. The Lake Ridge Elementary School custodian is well-known for engaging students with models of famous landmarks. Jackson, a self-taught artist, weaves the reduce-reuse-recycle lessons of conservation into his creations. Watch "School Focus" to see first-hand how students are captivated by this staff member who goes above and beyond his job description to enrich their lives.

"School Focus," produced by the Office of Media Production Services, airs regularly on PWCS-TV (Comcast Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 36), on demand at, and on YouTube. Episodes air daily at 9 a.m., noon, 5 p.m., and 8 p.m. For more information about PWCS-TV productions or for a complete listing of show times and schedules, visit The airing schedule is subject to change.

November 26 Half-Day School Dismissal Schedule Announced
November 17, 2014

Prince William County Public Schools and School Division offices will close for Thanksgiving break beginning with a half-day early dismissal for schools on Wednesday, November 26. Employees may be released on a half-day schedule if their work situations allow it. All schools and offices will remain closed on Thursday, November 27, and Friday, November 28 and will reopen on normal schedules Monday, December 1.
The School Age Child Care (SACC) program will be open on Wednesday November 26 from school dismissal until 6:30 p.m. for students enrolled in the afternoon only, or the before- and after school-care programs.
The Kelly Leadership Center will be closed November 27 through November 30.
View school dismissal schedule.
12th High School Takes Shape
November 14, 2014

Roger W. Snyder, aerial photographer, has captured the progress of construction on the 12th high school.
Students, School Division Earn Accolades for Significant Progress on and Access to Advanced Placement Courses
November 12, 2014

Each year, more Prince William County Public School students are encouraged to take challenging 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. PWCS is the largest and one of only six Virginia divisions that met the Honor Roll criteria. Inclusion on the AP District Honor Roll is based on three years of AP data, from 2012 to 2014, on 34 AP exams including world language and culture.
"This is a testament to all of the talented and hard-working AP teachers who have encouraged students to take the risk of a challenging course and have supported students through their effort to prepare for college level coursework," said Kenneth Bassett, director of Student Learning.
"Across the Division, principals have committed their efforts to increasing access while investing in the professional development of our teachers; school counselors are commended for their work in finding students who may not have enrolled in AP courses but encouraged them to try; and we recognize the dedication of our students who tried something new, rose to the challenge of the AP level course work, and are better for having made the extra effort to take on the rigors of AP,” Bassett said.

The School Division’s effort is multi-faceted, involving the School Board’s Strategic goals for student achievement as well as the Board’s continued funding of the fees for AP tests despite significant budget reductions.
Reminder--Community Meetings Scheduled on Boundary for Devlin Road ES
Schools and Staff Recognized for Advancing Student Growth and Achievement
Teachers and administrators at 13 PWCS schools receive performance awards. 

November 6, 2014

Prince William County Public Schools teachers and administrators are receiving special incentives for demonstrating the student growth and achievement, quality teaching, and the school environment essential for significant educational progress. These are the third annual incentives provided under the Division’s Teacher Incentive Performance Award program (TIPA), created to enhance teaching and learning at schools whose students face economic challenges.
This year’s TIPA recognized schools are:
Bel Air Elementary
Dale City Elementary
Ellis Elementary
Featherstone Elementary
Godwin Middle
King Elementary
Loch Lomond Elementary
Minnieville Elementary
Mullen Elementary
Occoquan Elementary
Potomac View Elementary
River Oaks Elementary
West Gate Elementary
TIPA-eligible schools are evaluated based on 23 factors that provide a comprehensive view of a school’s effectiveness. The criteria include student attendance; student and parent satisfaction; highly qualified staffing; and classroom observations. The greatest emphasis goes to evidence of student academic achievement, and of how individuals progressed compared with peers across Virginia. Use of the combined appraisals sets TIPA apart from other approaches that often evaluate or label schools based on a single test or measure.
“All of the schools have a laser-like focus on ensuring they are providing what all students need to grow and achieve. The TIPA program staff supports the educators through on-site, targeted professional development and coaching. We are able to respond quickly to the unique needs of each school in an ongoing manner” said PWCS TIPA Project Director, Natalie Bonshire. “It is a privilege to provide support to the hard-working, dedicated teachers and administrators in our TIPA schools, and especially to see the great progress their students are making,” added Bonshire.”
A total of 30 schools participate in the federally-funded TIPA project. More than half the students at each school qualify for free or reduced-price meals, establishing the schools as among the neediest in Prince William County.
The TIPA project provides additional support for these high-need schools through professional development. Grant-funded coordinators offer specialized assistance to improve instructional expertise and strategies among individual teachers, grade or subject-focused teams, and schoolwide faculties.
Teachers and administrative staff in the recognized TIPA schools receive financial incentives according to their positions, grade level, and subject emphasis. 
Cast Your Vote to Help Sarah Plumitallo Win Her Grant
November 10, 2014

Kilby Elementary School second-grade teacher Sarah Plumitallo is seeking a $2,500 grant from State Farm Insurance’s “Thank A Million Teachers” voting contest. This grant will fund Samsung Galazy Tablets for her classroom and put technology in the hands of each of her students.

The voting period runs through November 30. Individuals may vote once per day. Her proposal was one of 100 applicants selected from the 21 states that make up the East region. The top six grant proposals from each region will be funded.

Follow these steps to support her quest:
 1. Go to
2. Click on "Vote for a Proposal" and select "$2,500 proposal."
3. Search for the last name "Plumitallo."
4. Enter your email address and click "vote."
5. Watch your inbox for a verification email to confirm your vote (this step must be completed for your vote to count).

Plumatillo says, “Students will be able to utilize technology for EVERY major content area, and will be able to create projects that truly show what they've learned! No longer will students be limited to pencil and paper — they will be able to record, draw, and produce projects that reflect their enthusiasm for learning.”
I'm Determined Workshop for Parents of Students w/IEPS—December 4
November 10, 2014

Sign up now to learn how you can support your child’s strengths, development of self-advocacy, and other important life skills. The PWCS Parent Resource Center, along with the Parent Resource Center of Manassas City Public Schools, will host, “I’m Determined,” a parent workshop on Thursday, December 4, from 7-9 p.m. at the Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas, VA 20112.
Preregistration is required. Sign and foreign language interpreter services are available if requested in advance.
See the flyer in English or Spanish for details and registration information or call the PWCS Parent Resource Center at 703.791.8846.  
Deadline Nears on Offers for Nokesville Elementary School
November 7, 2014
December 5, 2014 is the final date that Prince William County Public Schools will accept offers on the sale of Nokesville Elementary School, located at 12625 Fitzwater Drive, Nokesville. The school was replaced by The Nokesville School which opened this past September. The School Board authorized staff to sell and dispose of Nokesville Elementary School. A public hearing on the proposed sale was held on April 23, 2014.
Nokesville Elementary School was built in 1928 and sits on about 10 acres. A gym was added to the school in 1932 and four additions were added through 1956. The building underwent a renovation in 1993. The school facility is approximately 44,627 square feet with 19 regular classrooms.
The property (not including building contents and portable classrooms) is being sold “as is” in its entirety. Offers will be reviewed by staff; feasible offers will be presented to the Superintendent to share with the School Board for consideration.
Contact Maureen Hannan, Supervisor of Land Acquisition and CIP Planning at 703-791-7313, with questions about the disposal process, to visit the school site, or to present an offer.
Staffing Update November 7, 2014
Congratulations to Dr. Ronald Pannel, Assistant Principal of Potomac Middle School, who has been selected to serve as Supervisor of Specialized Instruction, Office of Special Education. His appointment is effective December 1, 2014.
Are You Mad for Science? Local Apprentice Program Open to Grades 9–12 Students, Apply by December 19
November 6, 2014

The Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) is an opportunity for students to participate in research at a Department of Navy (DoN) laboratory for eight weeks during the summer. SEAP places academically talented high school students with interest and ability in science and mathematics as apprentices in DoN labs working with scientists and engineers who act as mentors.

SEAP provided competitive internships to over 265 high school students last year. The DoN has 25 participating laboratories, several of which are local. These include:
  • Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute
  • Naval Medical Research Center
  • Naval Research Laboratory
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center

US Naval ObservatoryJohn Mabry III, a student from Forest Park High School, participated in the SEAP program at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. this past summer and received high praise on his excellent performance from his mentor, computer scientist Dr. Napoleon Paxton.

The SEAP online application will close on December 19.
In Any Language, PWCS Teachers Stand Out
PWCS language experts showcase how they help students eager to travel the world.

November 5, 2014

Every day, PWCS teachers inspire students to be global citizens. Taking their capacity to inspire to a higher level, many PWCS world language teachers were among the presenters and 800 participants at this year’s Foreign Language Association of Virginia conference. The teachers, along with Gainesville Middle School Principal Catherine Porter-Lucas, shared best practices and research-based strategies with world language teachers across the state.

"All our presenters demonstrated Divisionwide consistency in effectively teaching language and meeting state standards," said Carol Bass, PWCS supervisor of World Languages, who also attended the conference. PWCS offers 10 languages in high school including American Sign Language

Three teachers participated in a three-day training session on building proficiency for oral interviews. The teachers, their language specialty, and high schools were Kathy Issa, French, Hylton; Matthew Forrester, French, Forest Park; and Victoria Sampedro, Spanish teacher and Department Chair,  Woodbridge.
PWCS co-presenters were Inmar Romero, Spanish teacher and Department Chair of Gar Field High School and Gimara Richards, Spanish teacher at Stonewall High School who received the “Best of FLAVA 2014” Award for the most outstanding session of the conference among over 200 presenters. The criteria were based on participant evaluations and alignment with national standards. For their superior presentation, they received scholarships to attend the Southern Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages to be held in March in Atlanta.
Workshops and presenters from PWCS included:
 “From Bored to Engaged: Teaching in a New Age,” presented by Catherine Porter- Lucas, Principal of Gainesville Middle School, Elizabeth Williams, Spanish Teacher and Department Chair of Battlefield High School, and Mallory Trowbridge, Spanish Teacher, Battlefield High school;
“Great APPS for All language Learners,” Kholoud Mayees, Arabic Teacher, Hylton High School;
“Exploring the Rich Historical Heritage of the Storytelling and Music of Senegal,” Francesca Chery, French Teacher, Fred M. Lynn Middle School;
“Integrating Google Drive in the Chinese Classrooms,” Yuqing Yao, Chinese Teacher at Buckland Mills Elementary School;
“Academic Vocabulary and English Language Learners: The Importance of Tier Two Words Across Curricula,” Sarah Eqab, ESOL Teacher, Stonewall Jackson High School;
“Take Your Phones Out! Integrating Mobile Devices in the Language Classroom,” Claudia Deferre, Italian Teacher at Hylton High School and Jennifer Guido, Norfolk Schools, formerly with PWCS; and
“Descriptive Feedback: A Way to Support Student Learning,” Inmar Romero, Spanish Teacher and Department Chair, Gar-Field High School and Gimara Richards, Spanish Teacher, Stonewall Jackson High School.

Carol Butler, German teacher at Woodbridge High School, as a leader in the American Association of Teachers of German, also participated throughout the conference. 

Victoria Sampedro,  Francesca Chery, Carol Bass, Matthew Forrester, Kholoud Mayees, Kathy Issa,
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.
Making Sense of Dollars and Cents Prepares Students for their Future
November 3, 2014
At some time, managing money is on everyone’s mind; in Prince William County Public Schools, we are teaching students to be good managers of their money. Seven stand-out teachers have been named Gold Star Teachers for the 90% pass rate their students achieved on the WISE Financial Literacy Certification test during the last school year. In addition, Forest Park and Woodbridge High Schools are receiving the Blue Star School designation for student performance on this national standardized test students take at the end of a course on personal finance
The teachers are Brenda Davis and Don Setliff from Forest Park High School; Jennifer Coleman, Kathleen Riddle, and Susan Zayas from Osbourn Park High; and James Bailey and Shannon Gunn from Woodbridge High School.
"Five years ago, in the depths of the recession, the General Assembly and Board of Education added economics and personal finance to the list of courses students must pass to graduate and challenged school divisions to implement the new requirement with existing staff and resources," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples. "The Blue Star and Gold Star awards won by Virginia schools and teachers are a testimony to how divisions — in collaboration with private sector partners — rose to the challenge. Thousands of young people will graduate better prepared for the realities of the 21st century economy because of the outstanding work of these schools and teachers."
Check Out Bus and Train Safety Rules PWCS Bus Drivers Know and Follow
Check out bus/train safety rules PWCS bus drivers know and follow to keep kids safe. Safety reminder courtesy PW police & Operation Lifesaver.
School Calendar Reminders for November
October 29, 2014
Please note the following dates on the PWCS calendar that occur in November:
Elementary schools will be closed for students on Monday, November 3 for a teacher professional development/workday; middle and high schools will be open and operate on a regular schedule that day.
All schools will also be closed Tuesday, November 4. Elementary schools will hold parent/teacher conferences and middle and high school teachers will have a teacher professional development/workday.
All schools and administrative offices will be closed on Tuesday, November 11 in observance of the Veterans Day holiday.
Schools will dismiss on a half-day schedule on Wednesday, November 26 to begin the Thanksgiving holiday. All schools and offices will be closed for Thanksgiving break on Thursday, November 27, and Friday, November 28.
See the full Prince William County Public School 2014-15 Annual School Calendar.
Community Meetings Set on Attendance Boundaries for "Devlin Road" Elementary School
October 28, 2014

The Office of Facilities Services and the Boundary Committee for the "Devlin Road" Elementary School invite the general public to attend upcoming community meetings where proposed boundary plans will be discussed. Meetings will be structured as a forum where members of the community can provide feedback on each of the proposed boundary plans. School Board members may attend any of these meetings.

"Devlin Road" Elementary School Community Meetings
Monday, November 24, 7 p.m.
Piney Branch Elementary School

Monday, December 8, 7 p.m.
Loch Lomond Elementary School

Information regarding boundary change policies and regulations is available at If you have questions, please contact Dr. Matthew Cartlidge, Supervisor of Planning, at, or by phone at 703.791.7312.
School Board Event and Meeting Calendar Update Oct. 28
Updated October 28, 2014

School Board members may attend several general community events in the coming weeks in addition to their regular meetings. Please refer to the list below and click on links for details.

Tues., Oct. 28, 7 pm.
Community Information Meeting on revised alternative boundary plan for 12th High School 
Thurs., Nov. 6,   6-8 p.m.              
Prince William Education Association Legislative Reception
Columbus Grill, 8349 Centreville Road, Manassas, VA
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    
Sat., Nov. 15,8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
FLL Robotics tournament (elementary school level)
Osbourn Park High School

Wed. - Friday, Nov. 19-21
VSBA Annual Convention, Williamsburg

Mon., Nov. 24, 7:30 a.m.

Annual Legislative Breakfast
Kelly Leadership Center, atrium
Wed., Nov. 5, 7 p.m.                     
School Board Meeting, Kelly Leadership Center
Tues., Nov. 18, 7 p.m.
School Board Meeting, Kelly Leadership Center
Staffing Update on October 27, 2014
The following appointments were made over the last several months and were not previously announced:

Pamela Hanshaw, administrative intern at Enterprise Elementary School, was named assistant principal for Enterprise Elementary School.

Pamela Delgado, fourth-grade teacher at Glenkirk Elementary School, was named assistant principal for Mullen Elementary School.

Angela Flowers, health insurance analyst at Spotsylvania County Schools, was named administrative coordinator in the Human Resources Office of Benefits and Retirement Services.

Prashant Shrestha, management and budget analyst at Prince William County Government, was named administrative coordinator for program analysis in Financial Services.

Jeremy Cortash, Annandale High School assistant principal and dean of students at Fairfax County Public Schools, was named administrative intern at Gar-Field High School.

Jeremy Young, senior network engineer, Department of Justice, Anti-Trust Division, at IntelliDyne, LLC, was named network engineer II in Information Technology Services. 
Speaker Series – An Evening with Tim Harris: If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It
October 27, 2014

The Arc of Greater Prince William/INSIGHT and Prince William County Public Schools are presenting the next event in The Arc’s 50th Anniversary Speaker Series, "An Evening with Tim Harris: IF You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.”  The presentation will be on Thursday, November 20, from 7-9 p.m. at Hylton High School, 14051 Spriggs Road, Woodbridge.  

To register for this free event please contact Jan Russell at by Tuesday, November 18. Sign or foreign language interpreter services are available upon request. To request an interpreter, please contact Jan Russell at 703.730.3124 or email by Thursday, November 13.

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
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.
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 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.
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 and broadcast live on PWCS-TV, available on Comcast Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 36. Past meetings are also available for viewing on-demand at
Individuals who wish to address the School Board during Public Comment Time may notify the Board Clerk in advance in writing at P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108; by phone at 703.791.8709; or by email at by noon on the day of the meeting. Individuals may also sign up in the School Board Meeting Room prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting.
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.  
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 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 (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 (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 and 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 and 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.
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.
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, 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  Agenda items and materials are subject to change up to the time of the meetings. “Board Briefs” summarizes the actions taken by the School Board at each meeting and are also available online.
Individuals who wish to address the School Board under Citizens’ Time may notify the board clerk in advance in writing at P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108; by phone at 703.791.8709; or by email at Individuals may also sign up in the School Board Meeting Room prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting.
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 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 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. 
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
Choose Your E-News—Complete All Three Sign-Up Sections to Get the News You Want
With winter in full swing, the Prince William County community is encouraged to keep up with school announcements through official School Division sites, including the home page on the Internet,; PWCS E-News; Facebook; Twitter; and YouTube. The Office of Communications Services uses these sites to get information to the community quickly during inclement weather.
PWCS E-News is an email and/or text message subscription service that offers a choice of topics including daily news digests, emergency and inclement weather announcements, and in-memoriam announcements.
Get weather and emergency news by email, text message, or both pertaining to your school by signing up online for PWCS E-News.
To subscribe, go to and click on the PWCS E-News logo, located on the left of the home page. Remember to fill out the information on all three pages of the online form by clicking the three tabs on the “MY ACCOUNT” page.
Complete the:
1-    “User Info” tab with your contact information;
2-    “My PWCS E-News Roles” tab with any student/school associations; and
3-    “PWCS eNews” tab with your closing and emergency notification preferences.
View detailed instructions for registering for PWCS E-News, or go to, click on “News and Updates” on the left navigation, and click “How do I subscribe to PWCS E-News” to view them.
Want to Create Your Own TV Production? Watch “Producing an i-Report” to Learn How
December 31, 2013

Students: Do you want to be on TV? Or, maybe you would rather try writing and directing a documentary? PWCS-TV invites students, teachers, and parents to try their hand at working on a video production. Here’s how:

Write five paragraphs about one of these topics:
• Your school activities, 
• Your dream job, 
• Your winter break activities, or 
• Your favorite hobby (cooking, sports, cheerleading, robotics, etc.).

Take 20 photos related to your topic. If you have access to a video camera, have someone record you reading your report. At the end of the video, record, "For PWCS-TV, this is _(your name)__, i-Reporter!"

Email your written report to (with your parent's contact information if you're under 18). Any PWCS staff member or parent is also invited to participate in a student production. Staff in PWCS Media Production Services will work with you, your parents, teachers, or scout leaders to produce your report, using our cameras, if you don't have access to a video recording camera.

Parents, teachers, or students who have questions may call Angie Carey at 703.791.7433. Reports will be broadcast on PWCS-TV, Comcast Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 36, and on our Web site,

Click here or below to watch this PWCS student-made video, which shows students, parents, and teachers how to be an i-reporter.

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

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