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A Holiday Greeting from Superintendent Walts
Winter Break for students and teachers begins today. Classes resume on January 5, 2015.


December 19, 2014

Season’s Greetings:

On behalf of the School Board and all the employees of Prince William County Public Schools, my very best wishes to you and yours for a joyous winter season. I hope that you will have a memorable time with your families and friends as you enjoy this break. We look forward to continuing to provide our students the very best learning and teaching environment possible in the coming New Year and beyond.


Steve Walts
Superintendent of Schools


Healey to Lead 12th High School
After nearly five years leading programs and services to ensure Prince William County Public Schools meet the needs of all students, Associate Superintendent for Student Learning and Accountability, Dr. Tim Healey, has decided to again focus his leadership and commitment on an individual school. Healey will leave his Central Office Post July 1 to become principal of the Division’s yet-to-be named 12th high school.
December 18, 2014

 “It is exciting that Dr. Healey will be bringing his tremendous educational expertise and his successful track record as a principal to our newest school,” said PWCS Superintendent Steven Walts. “As an associate superintendent, he helped the Division make advancements through quality professional development related to hands-on science and teacher best-practices working with English language learners. He played an important role in expanding virtual course work and dual enrollment opportunities for students, and in recruiting students to the Governor’s School @ Innovation Park. He also helped parents guide their students to greater accomplishments through his leadership of parent advisory committees on special Education and instruction, and through his development of the Parent Summit. His decision to return to the school-based environment reflects his passion for teaching and a desire to work even more closely with students.”  

Prior to becoming an associate superintendent and earning his Doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy studies, Healey served as principal of Osbourn Park High School from 1999 to 2010.  He led the school to boost Advanced Placement participation by 300 percent and reach its highest SAT scores to date. In 2009, Osbourn Park was one of only 15 schools in Virginia to earn the Governor’s VIP Award for Educational Excellence; Healey was a finalist for both “The Washington Post” Distinguished Educational Leadership Award and for “Prince William County Principal of the Year.”

“The work in my current role has been invaluable to my professional growth,” said Healey. I have been so genuinely impressed with the dedication of the employees in Student Learning and Accountability, and with their emphasis on student learning as our main mission. To witness firsthand the focus of the Superintendent and the School Board on children, families, and our employees is rewarding not only as an educational leader but also as a father of three children in the School Division.” 

Summing up his new direction, Healey explained: “Ultimately, I miss the daily interaction with students, the relationships developed with teachers and staff, and the energy associated with working in a school.  I’m excited to take on this important role and look forward to leading the new high school from inception to success.”
School Board Adopts Pre-Labor Day Opening in 2015
Decision allows for August 31, 2015 start to school year, with a full two-week winter break, and school finish in mid-June.

December 17, 2014

Board members voted unanimously to use a snow-day-related waiver from Virginia's opening day restrictions to allow the early start. The Board considered delaying the vote until January to give residents more time to digest the changes. Ultimately, they decided that benefits such as the longer winter break, more instructional days prior to testing, and the earlier summer closing date merited the immediate decision.

The calendar change has no impact on the length of teacher contracts, and adds no extra days for students. School will open in 2015 only a day earlier than it did this year.
Full listings of both the original and adopted Pre-Labor Day Opening options, as well as comparisons key differences between the options, are posted on the PWCS website as well as in BoardDocs.
Following the December 3 meeting, PWCS staff did further research into a pre-Labor Day opening. Virginia Department of Education staff confirmed that PWCS would qualify for a waiver based on a mathematical average of the five highest “snow day” totals from the past 10 years. As a result, the calendar committee was reconvened and recommended the pre-Labor Day option for consideration by the Board.
The standard option would have started school Tuesday, September 8 (due to the date of Labor Day 2015) and ended school on Thursday, June 23. The winter break in that option would not have been the full two weeks. 
Meetings Set on “Devlin Road” Elementary School Naming
December 18, 2014

The Elementary School Naming Committee will hold  two community meetings to receive name suggestions for the “Devlin Road” Elementary School, currently under construction in Bristow.

The sessions are scheduled for:
  • Monday, January 12, 2015, 7 p.m., at Victory Elementary in Bristow; and
  • Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 7 p.m., at Sinclair Elementary in Manassas.
The committee will consider geographic or historical identifiers, as well as names of living or deceased person(s) who have made local, state, or national service contributions. Citizens who make a suggestion are encouraged to provide background information to aid in the selection process. Please see School Board Policy 854 and Regulation 854-1 for details.

Suggestions may also be sent to, or to the Office of Facilities Services - School Naming Committee, P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108-0389, by January 21, 2015.

The Naming Committee is made up of School Board members Gil Trenum, Brentsville District; Alyson Satterwhite, Gainesville District; and Milt Johns, School Board Chairman. All three represent areas impacted by the attendance area of the new “Devlin Road” school.

The Office of Facilities Services will facilitate the school naming process. Recommendations of the School Naming Committee are scheduled to be presented to the full School Board for information on February 4, 2015, and for action on February 18, 2015.

Currently referred to as “Devlin Road” Elementary School for planning purposes, the new school is scheduled to open in September 2015. It is being constructed to accommodate existing and ongoing residential development in western Prince William County. Attendance boundaries for the new school are scheduled to be approved on January 21, 2015.

Any questions, comments, or naming suggestions may be submitted to the Office of Facilities Services, at 703.791.7312.
PWCS Science Teachers Selected to Share Strategies at State Conferences
December 17, 2014

Four science teachers are helping change the way that science is taught in Virginia schools, moving instruction from teacher-led discussions to inquiry-based problem solving. Amanda Cook from Battlefield High; Scott Kelly and Meghan Waymire from Freedom High; and Amanda Riggleman from Stonewall Jackson High School, shared insights into student-centered teaching at the annual Virginia Association of Science Teachers professional development institute.
The teachers participated as part of the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA) funded by the U.S. Department of Education. VISTA provides graduate credit, stipends, and classroom resources for secondary teachers selected for the program.
“Demonstrating their lesson plans and ideas for presenting science instruction before colleagues is an invaluable aspect of VISTA,” said Pat Linehan, principal investigator and chief operating officer of VISTA.

“We’re creating a community of practice and support for these new teachers. Part of that community-building is bringing teachers together to share the lessons they’ve created according to the VISTA method – interactive lessons that get students engaged and actively learning science in the classroom.”
For more information about all of VISTA’s programs, click here.
School Board Chairman to Retire in a Year

Milton C. Johns will not seek reelection when his term expires at the end of 2015. Board Chairs are elected at-large by the entire PWCS community.
December 15, 2014

Chairman At-Large Milton C. JohnsJohns announced his decision to the press and public in a written statement, noting his intent to stay active in community issues, and expressing pride in PWCS accomplishments. 

“When the 12th year of my tenure on the School Board concludes, I will have been part of a Board that opened 20 schools and renovated and expanded dozens more, that brought robotics to every school in the county, and that established the Safe Schools Advisory Council and the Governor's School @ Innovation Park. We expanded full day Kindergarten county-wide, expanded AP, IB and Cambridge programs, and offered a myriad of specialty programs at nearly all of our schools,” Johns said.  “By my rough count, over 65,000 students have received high school diplomas during that time, and I personally watched almost half of them cross the stage at graduation.”

"Milt Johns is a skilled leader whose passion for public education always brings people together for the benefit of students across the School Division,” said Superintendent Steven Walts.  “The people of Prince William County owe a huge debt of gratitude to Chairman At-Large Johns, as well as to all the School Board members who put in countless hours in the service of our students and our community.”  
The next School Board Chairmen At-Large will be elected in November 2015, and will take office on January 1, 2016.  

Students Go Great Distances to Test their Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Governor's School @ Innovation Park team tackles challenge of detecting gypsy moth infestation.
December 16, 2014

The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park (GS@IP) turns out students of great promise and achievement. While there, students lock on to their passion in science, engineering, mathematics, or technology. Many pursue their interests at the elbows of mentors including professors and those from corporations—a hallmark of the GS@IP.

Last year, four GS@IP students, “Team Omicron,” competed and won at the state level for their design of an unmanned aerial vehicle to detect gypsy moth infestation in corn.

“Not only did the team test their design using simulation software, they went above and beyond the challenge requirements by building an actual UAV with the help of funding and mentors generously provided by GS@IP business partners Aerojet Rocketdyne and Aurora Flight Sciences,” said Karen Dalfrey, director of GS@IP.  

Even with three members attending universities in separate states, alumni Justin Rivera, Jason Zhang, and Alexander Meyer, along with current senior Ryan Ramseyer, reunited in November to compete in the National Real World Design Challenge national invitational. Team Omicron’s business plan focused on the economic value of their product for farmers, and projected savings from increased crop yield as infestation rates were diminished.

“It speaks well of these students that three had graduated but came back to continue their commitment to our school and accept the invitation to take their design to the nationals,” Dalfrey said.
Building a Better Community for Youth
The Healthy Communities Healthy Youth Council honors members of the Prince William community with Local Hero Awards for leadership and commitment to youth.

December 16, 2014

PWCS is getting some powerful help in molding local leaders of tomorrow. The winners of the Healthy Communities Healthy Youth (HCHY) Council Local Hero Awards were selected for inspiring and enduring contributions through school and community activities:

Jane Haga, attendance officer based in the School Division’s Office of Student Services, has collaborated with staff and families to reduce truancy since 2000; served as cheerleading coach and scorekeeper for volleyball, baseball, and wrestling; and as a member of the Board of Neighborhood Watches and Northern Virginia Chapter of DARE.

Also recognized as local heroes are volunteers who organize student teams in PWCS high schools and alternative centers. The HCHY “Students Learning Essential Assets of Development,” or Students L.E.A.D. Team organizers are Matt Sisson, Battlefield High School; Dawn Moulen, Brentsville High School; Nikki Peros, Forest Park High School; Brittini Dash-Glover, Freedom High School; Malaika Gaskins, Gar-Field High School; and Cynthia Brown and Maureen Wheeler, Hylton High School.

Also, Lynn Morrow, New Directions; Lillian Orlich and Moulaydriss Belkorchi, Osbourn Park High School; Kimberly Buford, Patriot High School; Margaret Sava Rodriguez, Potomac High School; Debra Williams, Stonewall High School;  and John Bryant and Amy Kerns, Woodbridge High School. These school counselors, school social workers, teachers, and other professional educators spend time without monetary compensation past their contracted work hours to meet, plan give-back projects and attend functions with youth.

Pastor Ron McCormick, The Worship Center in Woodbridge, communicates with and empowers others to help provide human services that address immediate and long-term needs of the homeless, hunger relief, medical care, and education.

Kate Schell-Smith, New Horizons therapist for Prince William County Community Services, has served Prince William County children for over 25 years. She provides substance abuse services, works with youth therapy groups and sports teams; coordinates a horticultural therapy program, and fosters gardening projects to serve ESOL students.

PWC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. which since its inception has worked on behalf of young females by offering service learning, leadership skill building, and middle and high school programs that provide STEM training, college and career preparation, cultural experiences, and self-esteem and etiquette workshops.

PWC Chapter, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, actively  advocates on behalf of women of color, girls, and their families to enhance education, health, political, and economic awareness; provide leadership development; and implement a mentoring program for middle school girls.

Helen McCormick, president and founder of The House, Inc., partners with schools, businesses, community organizations, healthcare professionals, and families to transform the conditions and systems that lead to healthier kids. A former teacher, McCormick advocates for underserved youth in the community and challenges them to dream big.

Becky Ball, Brentsville District High School teacher of students with autism, raises awareness of Autism and helps families of children on the autism spectrum, coaches a community baseball  team for children and young adults with special needs.

Heather Martinsen, a certified prevention specialist with Prince William County Community Services, leads the Prevention Alliance of Greater Prince William which brings community partners together to tackle the issues surrounding tobacco, drug, and alcohol abuse and advocates for services to support and prevent mental health issues.

“Contributions like these have powered the recognition of Prince William County as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People. Prince William continues to acknowledge accomplishments of its citizens,” said Carolyn Custard, co-chair of the HCHY Council and director of Student Services for Prince William County Public Schools.

“The Local Heroes exemplify how we can support and build leadership skills in our youth so that they may one day serve their communities as role models for those who come after them,” said Tracy Hannigan,
Recreational Division Chief, Prince William County Parks and Recreation, and co-chair of the HCHY Council.

Superintendent of Schools Steven Walts thanked the HCHY Council for its leadership and congratulated the award winners, stressing the importance of community in shaping young people into responsible and contributing citizens.

H-C-H-Y, as this initiative is better known, is more than a logo; it is an outstanding example of how our community builds and strengthens an infrastructure that is focused on youth development, in both words and action.

Middle School Moguls in Training
Get an inside look at the class that gets students thinking about their futures and teaches them valuable job readiness skills.

December 16, 2014

All across the county, middle schools are cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurs and businesspeople. Take a peek inside Kyle Donovan's "Make it Your Own" business class at Potomac Middle School where students are dreaming up products and creating the plans necessary to take their goods from factory to marketplace. Watch "School Focus" to see how this class gets students thinking about their futures and teaches them valuable job readiness skills.

"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.

PWCS Student Artwork and Poetry Showcased January 3
December 15, 2014

The Center for the Arts in Manassas will host an open house exhibiting PWCS and other regional school student artwork and poetry on Saturday, January 3 (with a snow date of January 10) from 3–5 p.m. The 11th annual “Off the Wall” exhibit, sponsored by Lockheed Martin and the Center for the Arts, is held in the Caton Merchant Family Art Gallery on the first floor of the Candy Factory building in Old Town Manassas. Artwork will be on display December 18–January 28.
Division’s Advisory Committee Meetings for January
December 15, 2014

The following Advisory Committees or Councils will hold regularly scheduled meetings in January. 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 January 20, 7 p.m., (KLC room 1101). See the Gifted Education Advisory Council Web page. Contact the Gifted program at 703.791.7400 for assistance.
• Safe Schools Advisory Council, on January 12, 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 January 20, 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 January 8, 7–9 p.m., (KLC room 1101). See the Superintendent’s Advisory Council on Instruction Web page.

• Wellness Advisory Committee, on January 15, 7–8:30 p.m., (KLC room 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. 
NBCT Teachers Announced, Recognition of Outstanding Educators January 29
December 15, 2014

Twenty-one PWCS teachers who have received National Board Certification will be honored at a School Board reception on January 29. Seven of the 21 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT) achieved recertification.
Also being honored at the reception are the nominees for the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher and Teacher of the Year Awards, and the Principal of the Year, Joyce Stockton, Principal of Pennington Traditional School. Stockton's name was put forward as the representative of all PWCS principals.
The NBCT for 2014 are:

Maureen Artist, Montclair Elementary School
Dina Baird-Berberoglu, Samuel L. Gravely Elementary School
Shawn Baugh, (Renewal), Triangle Elementary School
Cynthia Brown, Montclair Elementary School
Jennifer Carter, Minnieville Elementary School
Allyson Davis, Marsteller Middle School
Deborah Ellis, Assistant Principal, (Renewal), Minnieville Elementary School
Megan Hostutler, (Renewal), Patriot High School
Heather Mainwaring, Montclair Elementary School
Franki Miller, Old Bridge Elementary School
Kathryn Miller, Dale City Elementary School
Michael Neal, (Renewal), Student Learning
Kimberly Papandrea, Special Education
Matthew Ragghianti, Osbourn Park High School
Kelly Riley, Swans Creek Elementary School
Joanne Ortiz, Marumsco Hills Elementary School
Barbara Rohr, (Renewal), West Gate Elementary School
Lori Sterne, Stonewall Jackson High School
Lydia Stewart, Osbourn Park High School
Wendee Sukanovich, (Renewal), Montclair Elementary School
Rebecca Utter, (Renewal), Battlefield High School
Twenty-one Teachers Nominated for Teacher of the Year and Annual Washington Post Awards
December 15, 2014
Twenty-one World-Class teachers have been nominated by school staff and parents for the PWCS Teacher of the Year Award and the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award. Nomination packets will be evaluated based on award criteria, including the teacher's ability to instill in students with the desire to learn and achieve; understand the individual needs of students; and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of subject matter and have the ability to share it effectively with students. Three will be selected as Teachers of the Year at their respective level; one of the three will become the winner of the Washington Post Award and the PWCS Teacher of the Year.
Teacher Nominees are:
Wilton Anderson, Potomac High School
Jonathan Bukva, Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle School
Pamela Edwards, T. Clay Wood Elementary School
Jason Fox, C. D. Hylton High School
Danielle Garcia, Forest Park High School
Donna Hessein, Martin Luther King Elementary School
Katherine Hodgson, Stonewall Jackson High School
Heather Hughes, T. Clay Wood Elementary School
Jennifer Ita, George P. Mullen Elementary School
Arvinder Johri, New Directions Alternative Education Center
Kristie Kraynak, Glenkirk Elementary School
Kristin Mackert, Stonewall Jackson High School
Kristina Nelson, Osbourn Park High School
Marylouise Polhamus, Buckland Mills Elementary School
Wista Rector, Battlefield High School
Kathleen Rivers, Bel Air Elementary School
Gela Russell, Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle School
Karola Scarce, T. Clay Wood Elementary School
Kelle Stroud, Buckland Mills Elementary School
Thomas Tutwiler, C. D. Hylton High School
Linda Zaldivar, Gar-Field High School
Nominees will be honored during a reception on January 29 at Patriot High School.

Bull Run Middle School Student’s Art Garners National Award
December 11, 2014
Dylan Noles, Bull Run Middle School, placed second in national poster contestDylan Noles, 6th grade student at Bull Run Middle School, is the second place winner in a national poster contest sponsored by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). Dylan competed against over 200 students from around the country and Mexico, and he is the first student to ever place in this contest from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.   
The NCMEC poster contest was established as a tool to teach children about the potential dangers in real world and online situations that could impact their personal safety.  Dylan artistically created a useful poster that will likely gain the attention of children when teaching these safety tools.
Get Your Holiday Gift Early—Download Free PWCS Mobile App
Want to check school news, menus, bus schedules, calendars, or find a contact? Go mobile.

December 5, 2014

The first generation MyPWCS mobile app is now available to download free from the iTunes App store (for Apple products) or the Google Play Store (Android users). Search for "PWCS, MyPWCS Blackboard."

Parents, students, and staff can follow one or more schools, plus the School Division for quick access to information and links to resources such as the Parent Portal.

Be sure to activate “push notifications” to get the best alerts your specific device has to offer. Users’ guides and other helpful information are located on and in the resources section of the mobile app.  Various devices will have different capabilities. A little exploration will help you find your way. Future capability updates will be available in the app store.

Don’t wait. Start your holiday season early and unwrap your gift, a mobile link to your schools.

Find Course Options, Flexibility in Virtual Classes
More than 10,000 students have earned course credit through the Virtual High School @ PWCS.
December 10, 2014
The spring semester schedule for the Virtual High School @ PWCS is now online. The semester will run from February 4 through June 3. Virtual learning offers flexibility, low teacher-student ratio, and an alternative to traditional classroom instruction. It is ideal for students who want to work ahead, recover credit, or fulfill electives. Registration is an online-only process that begins January 7 and closes February 2. Courses include foreign language, health and physical education, language arts, math, science, and social studies.
Students interested in enrolling are required to obtain their school counselor’s permission before enrolling. For more information, visit the Virtual High School @ PWCS website or contact Gina Jones at or 571.261.4517.

2015 Summer Program Dates Announced
December 9, 2014

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

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

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

Did you know homework was meant for this? Find out results of survey.
December 8, 2014

In the spring, parents, teachers, principals, and samples of students in grades 3-12 were asked to complete a survey on knowledge of changes in Regulation 663-1 on homework. Regulation 663-1 states that the purpose of homework is to provide:

• Pre-learning opportunity to organize new information or build interest in an upcoming topic, or build interest in an upcoming unit of study;
• Practice for applying new knowledge and skill;
• Revisit knowledge and concept for review; and
• Prepare for an upcoming assessment.

Read what people have to say.
Staffing Update December 8, 2014
Staffing Update December 8, 2014
Deborah Pflugshaupt, director of Network Services for Long & Foster Companies, has been appointed supervisor of Information Systems Support for Information Technology Services.
Michael Davis, a T.V.production teacher at Hylton High School, has been appointed administrative coordinator for Media Production Services.
Congratulations to these outstanding individuals.
Puzzling Over the Future after High School? Don’t Miss Parent Summit January 10
Back by popular request, “best that PWCS has ever offered,” Parent Summit offers tips on college and career readiness and more.

December 4, 2014

Feeling the mystery and confusion of swirling questions parents face on preparing their children for college or careers? Check out the PWCS Parent Summit on January 10 at Hylton High School. Registration opened December 1. Last year’s summit attracted more than 600 parents of high school students; this year, the 2015 summit has expanded to welcome parents of eighth-graders. Attendance is free, but space is limited.

The half-day program (8–11 a.m.) offers 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. Details, registration, and videos from the 2014 summit are available on the Parent Summit web page and links are on all high school web pages. 

Contact your child's school or the Student Services Office of Secondary Counseling and Student Support Services for assistance at 703.791.7258.
Save the Date: January 10 Parent Summit Can Help You Assess College and Career Readiness
December 4, 2014

Parents of eighth-grade and high school students across the county are invited to a Parent Summit at Hylton High School on Saturday, January 10. The half-day program (8 a.m.– 11 a.m.) offers 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. Attendance is free, but space is limited.

Registration is available from the Parent Summit web page and all high school web pages. 

Contact your child's school or the Student Services Office of Secondary Counseling and Student Support Services for assistance at 703.791.7258.
Research-minded Students Opt for Rigor of Governor's School @Innovation Park
Students can delve into advanced science and math without sacrificing the traditional high school experience.

December 3, 2014

View video.

During a recent visit, about 100 high school sophomores and a delegation of legislators discovered that choosing to attend college while still in high school has its perks. The Governor's School @Innovation Park offers motivated students advanced courses in physics, engineering, science, and math in the morning and still engage in activities at their base school. The half-day academic Governor’s School on the campus of George Mason University attracts students from Prince William County Public Schools and Manassas and Manassas Park City schools. Watch School Focus to peek inside this unique school and hear what students have to say.

"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.

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

The 2016-17 attendance boundary maps for the 12th High School have been posted online.  The School Board approved the proposed boundary at its meeting on November 18.
Community Meetings Scheduled on Naming of “Devlin Road” Elementary School
December 2, 2014

The School Board Naming Committee will hold two meetings to gather community input on possible names for “Devlin Road” Elementary School. The meetings are scheduled for Monday, January 12 at Victory Elementary School, and Tuesday, January 20 at Piney Branch Elementary School. Both meetings will begin at 7 p.m.
Flu Season Has Arrived; Take Precautions—Ha llegado la temporada de la gripe; se debe tomar precauciones
Careful hand washing is the best means of preventing the spread of germs.

December 1, 2014

Washing HandsSchool officials encourage parents to remind their children of the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of germs. It is important to take precautions to protect our students and families from contagious ailments.

Parents are asked to keep sick children at home and to promptly pick up those who become ill at school. Do not allow children to return to school until they have fully recovered.

Important recommendations:
  • Keep children home for a minimum of 24 hours after vomiting, diarrhea, or fever;
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water; use an alcohol-based cleaner if soap and water are not available;
  • Cover nose and mouth with a sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing;
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs;
  • Avoid close contact with those who have symptoms;
  • Seek care for you or your child if needed, and please call ahead to your health care provider's office to tell them what symptoms you have, so they can see you quickly and prevent exposing other people in the waiting room.
  • A bleach solution (one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water) is the most effective way to kill germs on surfaces.
  • Flu season has arrived—make sure everyone is vaccinated, especially those with asthma and other existing health conditions.
Ha llegado la temporada de la gripe—se debe tomar precauciones
La mejor manera de prevenir la propagación de los gérmenes es lavarse bien las manos. Se les pide a los padres que mantengan en casa a sus hijos enfermos y que recojan con prontitud a cualquier niño que se enferme en la escuela. No deben permitir que el niño regrese a la escuela hasta que se haya recuperado por completo.
Recomendaciones importantes:
  • Mantenga a los niños en casa por lo menos 24 horas hasta que los síntomas de vómitos, diarrea o fiebre hayan terminado; 
  • Lávese las manos frecuentemente con jabón y agua. Use un limpiador de manos basado en el alcohol si el jabón y el agua no están disponibles; 
  • Cubre la nariz y la boca con una manga o pañuelo de papel cuando tose o estornuda; 
  • Evite tocarse los ojos, la nariz y la boca para prevenir la propagación de los gérmenes; 
  • Evite contacto físico con personas que tienen los síntomas; 
  • Busque cuidado médico para usted o su niño de ser necesario, y llame al médico antes de ir a la clínica para que él sepa de antemano sus síntomas; así podrá atenderlo pronto y a la vez prevenir la exposición de otras personas en la sala de espera; 
  • Una solución que consiste en una parte de cloro y 10 partes de agua es la manera más eficaz de matar los gérmenes en las superficies; 
  • Ha llegado la temporada de la gripe—asegúrense que todos están vacunados, especialmente las personas con asma y otras condiciones médicas existentes.
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.
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. 
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.

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

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

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

Seating is limited to the first 65 people each show so come early! Park in the main lot and enter the building through door #1. Hylton High School, 14051 Spriggs Road, Woodbridge, VA 22193.  Email Tony Kilgore at with questions.
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.  
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.
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.

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

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