PWCS Update on COVID-19 Response April 3
Posted on 04/03/2020
Coronavirus updates

By order of the Governor of Virginia, all Prince William County Public Schools will remain closed to students through the end of the 2019-20 school year (June 2020), due to the health concerns caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus). 


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April 3, 2020 Updates

New Information

  1. SPRING BREAK - April 6-10, is Spring Break. PWCS will honor Spring Break for employees and families as planned. Please know that most staff will be off next week as scheduled and will not be expected to respond to emails or other communications while on leave. School Food and Nutrition Services will continue to serve meals during Spring Break. April 13 will continue to be a planned Teacher Workday with teachers working remotely.
  2. SCHOOL BOARD MEETING - The Prince William County School Board met Wednesday, April 1, to hear a presentation by Dr. Steve Walts, Superintendent of Schools, about the Division’s response to the pandemic. You can view the School Board meeting here. Highlights from Dr. Walts regarding the Learning Plan include:
    1. My highest priority remains the physical and mental health of students and staff.
    2. It is simply not fair, nor realistic, to expect our teachers, students, and administrators - or families - to replicate the school day at home.
    3. I want our teachers to know, our students to know, and our staff to know – it’s OK.
    4. We are all in this together – we will work together to do the best we can to support one another – and that’s what matters.
    5. Given this remarkable time we are in – it is my expectation that we provide students with as much latitude and grace as possible.
    6. Consistent with Virginia Department of Education guidance, students’ grades will only be able to go up from where they were on March 13.
  3. CONTINUITY OF LEARNING – PWCS has released details of the Phase 4 of the Continuity of Learning Plan* for all students, that will begin April 14 following Spring Break and the Teacher Workday. This plan provides more specific direction on the Virtual Schoolhouse and how to successfully navigate learning virtually. Additionally, this timeline provides further information on all six phases of the entire Continuity of Learning Plan. Families are asked to allow our school leaders time to work with their teachers after Spring Break, and the Teacher Workday, prior to contacting their teachers or school with questions.
  4. SPECIAL EDUCATION RESOURCES More resources have been posted to provide support for students with special needs and their families.
  5. MEAL PICK-UP INFORMATION – USDA has created a waiver for parents to be allowed to collect meals without their children. Meals will continue to be available during Spring Break. PWCS has expanded meal pick-ups to three more school sites beginning April 6, including Potomac View Elementary School, River Oaks Elementary School and Saunders Middle School. More detailed information can be found here.
  6. COMPUTER ACCESS – As outlined in Dr. Walts' remarks (see #2 above), parents and guardians of high school students should be aware of a phone survey next week to assess the needs of students who may not have a computer at home. Surveys of additional grade levels will be scheduled later this month.

*Due to the challenges related to this historical world health event and national emergency; it will be necessary for our teams to adapt how we support our students. As a result of Governor Northam’s order, PWCS schools must remain closed for the remainder of the school year. As we ensure the safety and well-being of students, PWCS can no longer offer its students an instructional day and services on IEPs, 504 plans, gifted education plans, and required EL services as it does when schools are open for instruction. In the place of instruction, our schools and team members are implementing the following plan to provide students with opportunities to learn, to challenge themselves, and to review and retain past lessons. All teachers will work collaboratively and use proactive strategies to continue engagement in learning for all students including our English learners, special education, dually identified, and twice exceptional students providing the supports possible given the limitations of virtual learning under these conditions.



March 27, 2020 Updates

New Information

  1. STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY – the highest priority now is to stay healthy. Parents and guardians should follow CDC Guidelines for physical distancing of children. If children meet outside of school in bigger groups, it can put everyone at risk. Please visit the Prince William County COVID-19 website to see additional local guidance.   
  2. PWCS AND PARENT PARTNERSHIP FOR HOME LEARNING – STUDENT LEARNING CONTINUES -  Although our school buildings and grounds are closed, learning is open, and staff and teachers are working daily. First and foremost, we want all families to know that the continued learning of our students is important to us.
    1. In the very limited time following the closure announcement, PWCS has rapidly developed detailed plans to ensure continuity of learning through the remainder of the year. In support of these detailed plans, a variety of quality online and offline materials, resources, and supports have been quickly developed and put together for students, families, and teachers. We have already implemented Phases 1-3, with Phase 3 beginning this week. This week your child’s teachers began to provide information, resources and/or assignments to support the review and/or extension of the learning standards in all curriculum areas taught through March 13, 2020. It is important to note that the majority of standards students should master before moving to the next grade were a part of this instructional time period from August through mid-March. 
    2. Although, we are currently not grading this review learning, we have asked that teachers continue to provide specific growth-producing feedback to students. Additionally, the Superintendent of Schools has shared that students are also able to work with their teacher(s) to redo assignments and/or retake assessments given or assigned prior to March 13.
    3. These detailed continuity of learning plans also include Phases 4-6 of our learning support that will result in increased virtual instruction and learning time between teachers and students, as well as a movement toward increasing numbers of students utilizing other remote online learning systems. These learning systems will be able to support both review and new learning. It is important to remember that our quick closure and rapidly increased remote learning bring challenges and we are working to mitigate challenges such as device and connectivity access for students and staff. 
    4. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the PWCS Home Learning Resources webpage for ideas and recommended schedules to keep students engaged in learning while at home.
  3. FOOD SERVICE – PWCS will continue to provide to-go meals from 9–11 a.m. at locations across the County. USDA has created a waiver for parents to be allowed to collect meals without their children. However, we are awaiting guidance from VDOE before we can implement this practice locally.  More details about meal service.

  4. SCHOOL BOARD MEETING – the School Board will hold an emergency meeting next Wednesday, and the Superintendent of Schools will outline plans for the remainder of the school year in the following areas (details will be shared with all PWCS staff, students, parents, and guardians following the School Board meeting):
    1. Grading: PWCS will present a plan that is fair and equitable, and will provide students the opportunity to graduate, progress to the next grade level, and raise grades. It is important to note the Virginia Department of Education does not recommend any new graded assignments be developed for the remainder of the year.
    2. Instruction and Distance Learning: Beyond the grading of student work received on or prior to March 13, we are working on a detailed plan to conduct ongoing learning and enrichment through June 14. This plan will include use of a learning management system and enhancing technology access for students, as well as other forms of learning.
    3. Graduations: The School Board will be updated on potential alternatives to High School Graduations.
Moving forward, PWCS will only provide updates when new, significant, Division-wide information is available.

 


 

March 25, 2020 Updates

New Information

  1. NEW GUIDANCE FOR SENIORS - The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has issued new guidance regarding seniors planning to graduate this school year. Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced that he is using his authority under Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 51 (PDF) to ensure that high school seniors who were on track to earn a diploma later this spring are able to graduate.

    High school seniors in the following categories will be able to graduate on time, despite the closure of schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year:

    • Seniors currently enrolled in a course for which they need a standard or verified credit in order to graduate (verified credits are earned by passing a required course and also passing the associated Standards of Learning test);
    • Seniors who have successfully completed a course required for graduation, but have not earned the associated verified credit; and
    • Seniors who have not passed a required student-selected SOL test;

    Flexibility is also available for seniors who have not earned a required career and technical education credential, seniors who have not completed a fine or performing arts course or CTE course, seniors who were unable to complete sequential course requirements, and seniors who have not completed a course in economics and personal finance.

    Action by the General Assembly is required for the waiver of requirements in the Code of Virginia for the following students, and VDOE anticipates that will occur in April:

    • Seniors who have not completed training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators; and
    • Seniors who have not completed a virtual course.

    Based on VDOE guidance, PWCS staff are developing additional details for seniors, and all staff, regarding graduation requirements, grades, and assessments. Further updates will be provided as soon as possible.

  2. KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION - Prince William County Public Schools has opened online kindergarten registration for the 2020-21 school year. Find more kindergarten registration information here.
  3. STUDENT LEARNING CONTINUES - Although our school buildings and grounds are closed, learning is open, and staff and teachers are working daily. Please visit the PWCS Home Learning Resources webpage for ideas on how to keep your student engaged in school while at home. PWCS is exploring opportunities for equitable distance learning while ensuring compliance with all federal and state requirements.
  4. HUMAN RESOURCES UPDATE – A Frequently Asked Questions for employees webpage on many personnel questions is now available .
  5. SOCIAL DISTANCING – Please remember that the Prince William County Parks and Recreation Department has closed playgrounds, and PWCS grounds, including fields, have been closed to Community use as well. Groups of 10 or more should not be using PWCS fields. Please remind your students. See CDC Guidelines for more information.

Moving forward, PWCS will only provide updates when new, significant, Division-wide information is available. 


 

March 24, 2020

March 23, 2020

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) is providing the following update regarding changes caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. Please note PWCS staff members are working daily to coordinate key information and develop guidance based on new information. Your patience and support are appreciated during this extraordinary time.

NEW INFORMATION – 

  1. SCHOOL BUILDINGS CLOSED TO STUDENTS THROUGH JUNE – By order of the Governor of Virginia, all Prince William County Public Schools will remain closed to students through the end of the 2019-20 school year (June 2020), due to the health concerns caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read More
  2. SACC – School age child-care (SACC) is canceled through June 2020. 
  3. GRADUATIONS – all in-person graduation ceremonies and proms planned through June are canceled. PWCS will work to determine alternative ways, or future events, to safely celebrate the Class of 2020 (they’ve earned it!).
  4. ACTIVITIES, SPORTS – all activities including sports are canceled through June 2020.
  5. COMMUNITY USE AND FACILITIES – all community use at any PWCS facility is canceled through June 2020.
  6. ACCESS TO BUILDINGS – all PWCS buildings remain closed to any visitor, except limited support staff per guidance sent last week. We recognize that students and staff would like access to the buildings to retrieve personal belongings and other items; however, the health and safety of all staff and students is the top priority and at this time PWCS cannot risk potential COVID-19 community spread through such activity. 
  7. FOOD SERVICE – PWCS will continue to provide to-go meals from  9–11 a.m. at locations across the County. More details.
  8. IB TESTING – the International Baccalaureate (IB) May 2020 examinations for Diploma Program and Career-related Program candidates will no longer be held. Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student's coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor, and quality control already built into the programs. PWCS IB Coordinators will share further details with students as available. 
  9. GRADES – students on track for graduation should still expect to graduate. PWCS expects guidance from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) this week regarding student credits. Once PWCS has this information, a further determination will be made regarding student grading for this year. 
  10. SPECIAL EDUCATION – PWCS is awaiting further state and federal guidance on providing special education services and conducting IEP meetings. Once clarification is received, PWCS will provide an update.
  11. DISTANCE LEARNING - PWCS is exploring opportunities for equitable distance learning while ensuring compliance with all federal and state requirements.
  12. HOME INSTRUCTION – details regarding expectations for optional at-home instruction during the current closure were sent to all PWCS staff and families last week. Visit the PWCS Home Learning Resources webpage for more information. 
  13. STAFF PAY – PWCS staff will be expected to continue to work remotely, and in limited cases within buildings, and will receive pay through the end of the school year as outlined in previous updates
  14. STAFF HR QUESTIONS – Guidance was sent to all staff Friday regarding some human resources (HR) related questions. Detailed HR FAQs will be posted online later this week.
  

PWCS SCHOOL BUILDINGS CLOSED TO STUDENTS THROUGH THE END OF SCHOOL YEAR

By order of the Governor of Virginia, all Prince William County Public Schools will remain closed to students through the end of the 2019-2020 school year (June 2020), due to the health concerns caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The state will waive the days missed and will not require the days missed be made up.

Guidance is expected to come from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) later this week regarding graduation requirements, credits, and the impact of this decision on learning, including special education. The state is in the process of waiving Standards of Learning (SOL) this year. Once the waiver is received, we will provide an update. PWCS is also waiting on further guidance on other standard assessments and school accreditation.

PWCS will review this guidance, as well as information from the federal Department of Education, to determine the impact to PWCS and necessary changes. PWCS will share additional information on these topics, and other questions in the coming days, as soon as possible.

We know students, staff, and parents will have many questions and we thank you for your patience as we adjust to these changes as rapidly as possible.



March 20, 2020

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) is providing the following update and recap of key information regarding changes caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. Please note PWCS staff members are working daily to coordinate key information and develop guidance based on new information. Your patience and support are appreciated during this extraordinary time.

New Information

  1. HOME INSTRUCTION – details regarding expectations for optional at home instruction during the current closure were sent to all PWCS staff and families earlier today. Visit the PWCS Home Learning Resources page for more information.
  2. AP EXAMS – The College Board announced today that traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place this school year. For the 2019–20 exam administration only, students can take a 45-minute online exam at home. PWCS is evaluating this guidance and will share more details on facilitating this once determined.
  3. STANDARDIZED TESTING - The federal Department of Education today announced that students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-20 school year, once a state applies for a waiver. PWCS anticipates the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to seek waiving Standards of Learning this year. Further details will be provided in the next couple of weeks from the VDOE.
  4. BUILDING ACCESS - Guidance was sent to all staff and families that all PWCS effective today are closed to all but limited support staff. More details.
  5. WIFI ACCESS – PWCS is working to develop outdoor “WIFI Hotspots” at select locations. This will allow families who need to access to the Internet to social distance (such as sitting in car) and get online. The first location now available is the grounds of Fitzgerald Elementary School. More locations will be announced next week.
  6. FOOD SERVICE – PWCS is continually evaluating the best means to provide to-go meals to students. Expanded hours and additional locations will be announced early next week.
  7. STAFF HR QUESTIONS – Guidance was sent to all staff this evening, regarding some human resources (HR) related questions, please see your PWCS email for more information. Detailed HR FAQs will be posted online next week.

**Please note the next update will be Monday March 23, unless there is a need to share urgent information.

Other Key Reminders – REPEATED INFORMATION

  • PWCS works in close collaboration with the Prince William County Health Department and will ensure that the appropriate individuals are notified of the possibility of exposure to the virus. At this time, PWCS has received no directive to make any such notifications. If this changes, PWCS will alert families immediately. For more, please visit the Virginia Department of Health.
  • Food service to-go is available at various locations in PWCS: See complete details.
  • The College Board is canceling the May 2, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled for March 28) are also canceled. Visit College Board for more information.
  • Instructional and support staff should expect to be available remotely during standard work hours next week (March 23-27).
  • Prince William County Libraries are offering Curbside Pick Up. Place an order, then come to your branch to pick it up curbside. See complete details.
  • Spring Break will still occur as scheduled (April 6-10).
  • All Prince William County Public Schools are closed to students until April 14. This may be extended if necessary.
  • Community use of all PWCS facilities indoor and outdoor is canceled until further notice.
  • County officials have asked we remind all parents and guardians to instruct children to use social/physical distancing and not to gather in groups including playgrounds, playing fields, and playdates.
  • Teachers will not report in person until the planned teacher workday on April 13. This may be extended if necessary.
  • No PWCS employees should report until further notice (with the exception of designated staff to support critical functions who should report as directed).
  • All student work due dates have been extended until at least April 14.
  • The third quarter grading period will be extended until at least April 17; this may be extended as the situation evolves.
  • All full and part-time employees (on contracts or position assignments) will continue to be paid during the closure.
  • All active substitutes and temporary employees hired on or before February 13, 2020, will receive pay during the closure. In order to be considered active, a substitute or a temporary employee has to have worked between February 13, 2020, and March 13, 2020. You will be paid based on your average bimonthly earnings over the past six months. Those with less than six months employment will be paid based on their average bimonthly earnings over the period they have been employed with PWCS.
  • Please visit the CDC and Virginia Department of Health for more information regarding key health and social distancing information.
  • Those interested in donating money, supplies, and your time to help our students and families please  visit the SPARK website. 



March 19, 2020

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) is providing the following update and recap of key information regarding changes caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. Please note PWCS staff members are working daily to coordinate key information and develop guidance based on new information. Your patience and support are appreciated during this extraordinary time. 

New Information

  1. HEALTH - PWCS works in close collaboration with the Prince William County Health Department and will ensure that the appropriate individuals are notified of the possibility of exposure to the virus. At this time, PWCS has received no directive to make any such notifications. If this changes, PWCS will alert families immediately. For more, please visit  the Virginia Department of Health
  2. STUDENT HEALTH – County officials have asked we remind all parents and guardians to instruct children to use social/physical distancing and not to gather in groups including playgrounds, playing fields, and playdates.
  3. DONATIONS - We recognize that these are trying times and we are thankful that our PWCS community is sticking together. We know that many of you are interested in donating money, supplies, and your time to help our students and families. For more information on donations, go to our SPARK website.
  4. HOME INTERNET - for those reading this email (such as via phone) who would like to expand your access to the internet at home:

    a.  Comcast: is offering 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service. To sign up, applicants can simply visit the Comcast Internet Essentials website.  The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language.  There are also two dedicated phone numbers: 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

    b.  Cox: Connect2Complete Service. Until May 15, 2020, they are providing phone and remote desktop support through Cox Complete Care at no charge to provide peace of mind and ease for technology needs. Resources for discounted, refurbished equipment through our association with PCs for People. Visit the Cox website.

Other Key Reminders – REPEATED INFORMATION

  • Reminder: staff and students are asked to focus on themselves and their families this week (March 16 – March 22). Details regarding future instruction expectations will be provided to students and teachers later this week. Teachers should not be assigning work to students this week. No new student work should be assigned or graded until at least March 27.
  • Two additional food distribution sites have been added -- Coles and Yorkshire Elementary Schools. See complete details. 
  • The College Board is canceling the May 2, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled for March 28) are also canceled. Visit College Board for more information.
  • Instructional and support staff should expect to be available remotely during standard work hours next week (March 23-27). More details will be provided later this week.
  • Details on resources and expectations for supporting student learning at home will be provided later this week.
  • The Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is closing all public playgrounds until further notice.
  • Prince William County Libraries are offering Curbside Pick Up. Place an order, then come to your branch to pick it up curbside. See complete details
  • Spring Break will still occur as scheduled (April 6-10).
  • All Prince William County Public Schools are closed to students until April 14. This may be extended if necessary.
  • Community use of all PWCS facilities indoor and outdoor is canceled until further notice.
  • Teachers will not report in person until the planned teacher workday on April 13. This may be extended if necessary.
  • No PWCS employees should report until further notice (with the exception of designated staff to support critical functions who should report as directed).
  • All student work due dates have been extended until at least April 14. 
  • The third quarter grading period will be extended until at least April 17; this may be extended as the situation evolves.
  • All full and part-time employees (on contracts or position assignments) will continue to be paid during the closure.
  • All active substitutes and temporary employees hired on or before February 13, 2020, will receive pay during the closure. In order to be considered active, a substitute or a temporary employee has to have worked between February 13, 2020, and March 13, 2020. You will be paid based on your average bimonthly earnings over the past six months. Those with less than six months employment will be paid based on their average bimonthly earnings over the period they have been employed with PWCS.  
  • Please visit the CDC and Virginia Department of Health for more information regarding key health and social distancing information.

 

 

 


 

March 18, 2020

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) is providing the following update and recap of key information regarding changes caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. Please note PWCS staff members are working daily to coordinate key information and develop guidance based on new information. Your patience and support are appreciated during this extraordinary time.

  1. The College Board is canceling the May 2, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled for March 28) are also canceled. Visit College Board for more information.
  2. Instructional and support staff should expect to be available remotely during standard work hours next week (March 23-27). More details will be provided later this week.
  3. Details on resources and expectations for supporting student learning at home will be provided later this week.
  4. The Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is closing all public playgrounds until further notice.
  5. Prince William County Libraries are offering Curbside Pick Up. Place a hold, then come to your branch to pick it up curbside. See complete details.

Other Key Reminders:

  • Two additional food distribution sites have been added — Coles and Yorkshire Elementary Schools. See complete details.
  • Reminder: staff and students are asked to focus on themselves and their families this week (March 16 – March 22). Details regarding future instruction expectations will be provided to students and teachers later this week. Teachers should not be assigning work to students this week. No new student work should be assigned or graded until at least March 27.
  • Spring Break will still occur as scheduled (April 6-10).
  • All Prince William County Public Schools are closed to students until April 14. This may be extended if necessary.
  • Community use of all PWCS facilities indoor and outdoor is canceled until further notice.
  • Teachers will not report in person until the planned teacher workday on April 13. This may be extended if necessary.
  • No PWCS employees should report until further notice (with the exception of designated staff to support critical functions who should report as directed).
  • All student work due dates have been extended until at least April 14.
  • The third quarter grading period will be extended until at least April 17; this may be extended as the situation evolves.
  • All full and part-time employees (on contracts or position assignments) will continue to be paid during the closure.
  • All active substitutes and temporary employees hired on or before February 13, 2020, will receive pay during the closure. In order to be considered active, a substitute or a temporary employee has to have worked between February 13, 2020, and March 13, 2020. You will be paid based on your average bimonthly earnings over the past six months. Those with less than six months employment will be paid based on their average bimonthly earnings over the period they have been employed with PWCS.
  • Please visit the CDC and Virginia Department of Health for more information regarding key health and social distancing information.

 



March 17, 2020

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) is providing the following update and recap of key information regarding changes caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. Please note PWCS staff members are working daily to coordinate key information and develop guidance based on new information. Your patience and support are appreciated during this extraordinary time.

Update March 17, 2020

  1. Two additional food distribution sites have been added — Coles and Yorkshire Elementary Schools. See complete details. 
  2. Reminder: staff and students are asked to focus on themselves and their families this week (March 16 – March 22). Details regarding future instruction expectations will be provided to students and teachers later this week. Teachers should not be assigning work to students this week. No new student work should be assigned or graded until at least March 27.
  3. Spring Break will still occur as scheduled (April 6-10).
  4. The Virginia state superintendent announced today that the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will seek relief from federal and state requirements related to state required testing (Standards of Learning SOLs). PWCS will provide any updates as available.
  5. The state superintendent has also directed VDOE staff to review state laws and regulations related to state graduation requirements to determine what steps must be taken to ensure that seniors who would otherwise graduate this spring are not denied diplomas. PWCS will provide any updates as available.
  6. Human Resources and the Finance Office are working remotely and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding payroll, benefits, hiring, and licensure are being developed and will be shared this week.

Other Key Reminders:

  • All Prince William County Public Schools are closed to students until April 14. This may be extended if necessary.
  • Community use of all PWCS facilities indoor and outdoor is canceled until further notice.
  • Teachers will not report in person until the planned teacher workday on April 13. This may be extended if necessary.
  • No PWCS employees should report until further notice (with the exception of designated staff to support critical functions who should report as directed).
  • All student work due dates have been extended until at least April 14. 
  • The third quarter grading period will be extended until at least April 17; this may be extended as the situation evolves.
  • All full and part-time employees (on contracts or position assignments) will continue to be paid during the closure.
  • All active substitutes and temporary employees hired on or before February 13, 2020, will receive pay during the closure. In order to be considered active, a substitute or a temporary employee has to have worked between February 13, 2020, and March 13, 2020. You will be paid based on your average bimonthly earnings over the past six months. Those with less than six months employment will be paid based on their average bimonthly earnings over the period they have been employed with PWCS.  
  • Please visit the CDC and Virginia Department of Health for more information regarding key health and social distancing information.

 


 

March 16, 2020

PWCS is providing the following updates March 16, 2020, regarding changes caused by the COVID-19 shutdown:

  1. Staff and students are asked to focus on themselves and their families this week (March 16 – March 22).
  2. In response to the Governor’s direction, all new instruction will be suspended for the next two weeks.
  3. New student work must not be assigned until at least March 27. 
  4. All student work due dates have been extended until at least April 14. 
  5. The only exception will be students participating in dual enrollment courses, who will follow the expectations communicated by the colleges and universities that provide their course.
  6. The third quarter grading period will be extended until at least April 17; this may be extended as the situation evolves.
  7. Teachers will not report in person until the planned teacher workday on April 13. This may be extended if necessary.
  8. Details for the expectations for staff and teachers working virtually starting March 23 will be provided later this week.
  9. All full and part-time employees (on contracts or position assignments) will continue to be paid during the closure.
  10. All active substitutes and temporary employees hired on or before February 13, 2020, will receive pay during the closure. In order to be considered active, a substitute or a temporary employee has to have worked between February 13, 2020, and March 13, 2020. You will be paid based on your average bimonthly earnings over the past six months. Those with less than six months employment will be paid based on their average bimonthly earnings over the period they have been employed with PWCS.  
  11. No PWCS employees should report until further notice (with the exception of designated staff to support critical functions who should report as directed).
  12. Information for essential medications pick-up and food service pick-up locations can be found at www.pwcs.edu.   

 

 

Parents/Guardians,

We realize that some students may have needed medications in our school clinics. Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) will be opening up each of our school buildings on Tuesday, March 17, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. for pick-up for those medications that students will need in the next few weeks. Please note that this is not an end-of-year medication pick up; rather it is a pick up for those essential medications that students need between now and April 14. Our school nurses and administrators will be on hand for parents to retrieve their student’s medication. We ask that you come to the school during this time with your photo ID and a personal pen to sign the Prince William County Schools Authorization for Medication Administration form to retrieve student medication. Parents/guardians and students will not have access to any parts of our school buildings with the exception of area where the school nurse and administrator will be stationed. Here are some guidelines for the medication check-out:

  1. Parents/guardians will need to report to the main entrance of the school. Depending on the location of the clinic in the school building, you may see a sign directing you to report to another door.
  2. In order to ensure that we have your medication ready for pick up, we ask that you use the online form  to share your intent to pick up student medication. 
  3. Please remember to bring a photo ID and your own pen to sign the form.
  4. Parents will be asked to wait outside the building at the designated entrance and will be invited in one at a time to pick up their student medication. We will ask those waiting in line to comply with social distancing and safety protocols.

Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented school closure.



March 15, 2020

  1. All School-Age Child Care (SACC) is closed until further notice.
  2. No PWCS employees should report until further notice (with the exception of designated food service employees, custodians, and designated staff to support critical business who should report as directed).
  3. PWCS will provide further details for staff reporting later this week.
  4. Packaged breakfasts and lunches will be provided to-go at select locations throughout the county, to anyone under the age of 18. View school sites and times for to-go meals.
  5. All activities and community use are canceled until further notice.
  6. Per the Governor’s order related to the state of emergency, the state will waive the school hours missed during the Governor’s order covering the closure until at least March 27. Beyond this time, PWCS will continue to have 13.5 days of emergency hours “snow-days” to utilize if necessary to cover school closing.
  7. Teachers do not need to be assigning work to students this week. Due to the waivers provided by the Governor’s office, at this time, schools do not need to consider strategies for continuity of learning to count as an official instructional day.
  8. PWCS will provide updates later this week regarding additional resources for families to support student independent learning at home and expectations for staff to support this learning beyond this week.
  9. The Virginia Department of Education is evaluating options to provide flexibility in meeting testing requirements for the Standards of Learning tests, the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program and the ACCESS for ELs test administered to English Learners. More information and guidance will be provided as it becomes available.
  10. This is an evolving situation that is changing rapidly. PWCS will continue to make every effort to provide updates on a daily basis as needed, to answer the many important questions we are receiving from staff and families.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.


March 13, 2020

PWCS Closed to Students Until April 14

All Prince William County Public Schools will close to students effective Saturday, March 14, until April 14, due to the growing health concern caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus). This closure may be extended depending on the situation.

Additional details:

  • All SACC will be closed from March 16 onward.
  • Packaged breakfasts and lunches will be provided to-go at select locations throughout the county, to anyone under the age of 18. School sites and times for to-go meals.
  • The only employees who will report March 14 -17 will be the Superintendent, the Deputy Superintendent, the Associate Superintendents, and custodians as directed.
  • Designated food service employees and custodians will report during the closure at select locations as scheduled.
  • No other PWCS employees should report until further notice.
  • Decisions on instruction and employees reporting to work beyond March 16-20 will be sent next week.
  • All full and part-time employees will continue to be paid during the closure.
  • For student safety, the SATs planned for this weekend have been canceled, students should contact the College Board for more information.
  • All activities and community use are canceled until further notice.

March 12, 2020

Dear PWCS Parents, Guardians, and Staff,

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) places the safety and health of all our families and staff as our highest priority. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has been rapidly evolving and we have been closely monitoring the situation. Today, a number of significant developments have occurred that have provided us new information, including the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency.

Recognizing any changes to school operations have significant impacts on students, I am announcing a number of actions only after serious and considerable deliberation with stakeholders across the County. Our goal is to continue to provide instruction in a safe and effective manner. At this time there is no known direct case of COVID-19 within any PWCS school.

The following are changes I have directed today:

  • Effective Friday, March 13, 2020 - All students should continue to attend school on Friday, March 13. Parents can choose to keep students home and the absence will be excused. All extracurricular activities outside of the regular school day are canceled until further notice. This includes before and after-school activities, and community use of buildings and grounds. All field trips, out-of-state trips, team practices, club meetings, interscholastic contests and athletic contests, both home and away, are canceled until further notice. School Age Child Care will continue as regularly scheduled.
  • Saturday, March 14, 2020 -The SATs will continue as planned with appropriate health precautions in place.
  • Monday, March 16, 2020, will be a teacher and staff workday. This will allow administrators and teachers to collaborate and prepare to ensure continuity of instruction should PWCS need to close for an extended period. Students will not report to school. School Age Child Care (SACC) will operate an all-day program 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. that includes breakfast, lunch and snack.
  • Tuesday, March 17, 2020, is a virtual workday, with the exception of essential personnel. Students will not report. School Age Child Care (SACC) will operate an all-day program 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. that includes breakfast, lunch and snack.
  • Students will return to school on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. PWCS will continuously monitor updates regarding COVID-19 and will communicate updates as needed.

These closures will also allow an opportunity for additional disinfection of schools and buses.

We continue to value your support as we work together to help support all children, their families, and our staff through this challenging situation. Additional FAQs .

We are continually monitoring this situation and will make updates as necessary.

Sincerely,
Steve Walts
Superintendent of Schools




UPDATED March 12, 2020

Prince William County Public Schools is aware of multiple closings and cancellations in the area. Our Pandemic Team has been meeting everyday and is currently meeting to determine next steps. Health Department guidance has not changed. However, all information is being considered and if a decision is made to change school operations, we will share that information through the same channels used to communicate weather closings. A complete update will be made by this evening.

March 8, 2020

Dear PWCS Parents, Guardians, and Staff,

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) is aware of the recent announcements that Virginia has two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus). PWCS places the safety of our students and staff as our highest priority and is closely monitoring this situation. PWCS will continue to the follow the guidance of local, state, and national health agencies. The Prince William Health District is coordinating its response with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Governor of Virginia, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to health officials, there are no signs of the virus spreading in Virginia. For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is still considered low.

As the risk remains low, at this time, PWCS does not plan any changes to operating status of schools or events. However, should this change, PWCS is prepared to make adjustments as necessary. It is important that school staff and adults provide reassurance to students during this period of uncertainty. In order to support this, lesson plans and resources are being provided to schools via school counselors. For more information on PWCS preparedness, and tips for communicating with children, please refer to the detailed answers available in the Frequently Asked Questions.

PWCS continues to encourage students and staff to practice healthy behaviors (for example, staying home when students or staff are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands often). PWCS works with schools to ensure proper supplies are on hand for school cleaning and that school custodians are cleaning frequently touched surfaces. If you or your student is sick, please contact your health care provider.

Please visit the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for additional information.

Thank you for your ongoing support of PWCS.



February 27, 2020

Dear PWCS families and staff,

We recognize that recent national news regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) may be confusing and worrying. Please know that Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) has been closely monitoring this situation for the past few weeks and stands ready to implement any specific guidance received by local or national health officials. PWCS has not received any new guidance beyond what we have shared in previous communications.

While we do not have any information regarding a specific risk to Prince William County, out of an abundance of caution, PWCS recommends families and staff begin planning for a potential disruption to school operations. This preparation is recommended to be similar to a “Code Red” weather event that may emerge without the ability for much prior notification, and without knowing the timing or duration in advance. It is also possible that no such disruption occurs. Just as in a weather-closing, families should consider child-care plans in the event both schools and school age child-care are impacted.

As we remain in the height of flu-season, PWCS continues to encourage students and staff to practice healthy behaviors (for example, staying home when students or staff are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands often). PWCS works with schools to ensure proper supplies are on hand for school cleaning and that school custodians are cleaning frequently touched surfaces. If you or your student is sick, please contact your health care provider.

At this time, the School Division does not have any overseas trips planned to countries impacted by the virus outbreak. However, we continue to closely monitor this evolving situation and the possibility for cancellation of planned travel exists.

It is important to note this virus does not discriminate based on nationality or ethnicity. We are proud of our diverse School Division and community, and we are certain that everyone will continue to support one another during this period of uncertainty. As always, we expect our students and staff to provide a welcoming environment for every student, family, and staff member.

PWCS has a collaborative working team that is updating detailed plans for operational and instructional support should this virus impact PWCS. We will continue to communicate updates on a regular basis as needed.

Please visit the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for additional information.

Thank you for your ongoing support of PWCS.




February 26, 2020

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness, called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Cases of COVID-19 are also being reported in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States, where the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on January 21, 2020, in a traveler who had recently returned from Wuhan.

No cases have been confirmed in Virginia at this time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not yet released guidance specifically for K-12 school settings, but staff, students, and parents seeking general information may visit the VDH and CDC websites for the most current information.

PWCS staff are closely monitoring the situation and a collaborative working group is developing specific plans in the event any changes to school operations are required. Additional guidance will be provided as developed and as necessary.

All PWCS families are encouraged to continue the practice of maintaining healthy behaviors necessary during any cold and flu season. These include but are not limited to:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand 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.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

If you would like further information, please contact your healthcare provider or refer to the Virginia Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.




January 30, 2020

Dear PWCS Parent or Guardian:

The wellness and health of PWCS students is of the utmost importance at this time of year. The Virginia Department of Health is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (termed “2019-nCoV”). Please be assured that PWCS Student Health Services staff continue to monitor illness in our schools as a standard practice. As always, we will share additional information with school communities as needed.

We urge all PWCS families to continue the practice of maintaining healthy behaviors necessary during any cold and flu season. These include but are not limited to:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand 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.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

If you would like further information, please contact your healthcare provider or refer to the Virginia Department of Health and Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention websites.

We appreciate your support and cooperation as we work together to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our students and staff.

Sincerely,
Teresa Polk
Supervisor of School Health Services

 

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