March 6, 2019
Posted on 03/08/2019

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School Board Meeting of March 6, 2019

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

Positively PWCS:

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

  • Hylton High School Special Education Department Chair, Kimberly Nye, congratulated and presented student Eric “Bean” McKay, who recently worked with the Lidl store in Dumfries to help furloughed workers by providing them with free peanut butter that he had won as part of a life-time supply from the grocery store.

Budget - Public Hearing: 

In accordance with § 22.2-92 of the “Code of Virginia” the Prince William County School Board conducted a public hearing prior to adoption of the School Board’s proposed budget. Citizens spoke briefly on the following:

  • Support of the proposed teacher pay increase; 
  • Support of the proposed gymnasium additions;
  • Support of proposed increase in school counselors, the focus on equity with a nurse in every school and assistant principals in all elementary schools, and sustaining the class size reduction; and
  • Request to revisit that middle and high school encore and PE teachers are set to receive additional compensation, but elementary encore and PE teachers are not.

The School Board Approved: 

Citizen Comments:

Citizens addressed the School Board on the following topics:

  • Required concussion training for families of student athletes; 
  • 2019 Legislative Agenda by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Prince William County Chapter as it pertains to extra funding for Prince William County Schools; 
  • An exchange student attending Hylton High School thanked the School Board and Prince William County Public Schools for the opportunities provided to exchange students; 
  • Read Across America donations to schools; 
  • Prince William Girls Fast-Pitch Softball League; 
  • Why, Inc. will host an internet safety night on March 18, at Battlefield High School; and
  • Support for the naming of the new elementary school, John D. Jenkins Elementary School.

Student Matters:

  • Sasan Faraj, student representative, spoke on the first meeting of all SCA presidents across the county in an effort to share ideas and increase cross-county communication. A Unified Prom will be held by student leaders from all the high schools on May 11, 2019, at the Kelly Leadership Center.
  • Sasan revisited Gar-Field’s SCA, where they discussed class change protocols and steps for withdrawal from classes.
  • Student leaders also expressed that they would like to see more funding allocated to nontraditional sports, such as bowling or rowing.
  • More diversity in literature is desired by students, who expressed to Sasan that diversity is what they appreciate most about their schools. 

Superintendent's Time:

  • I would like to begin tonight with a brief thanks to two distinguished gentlemen who recently passed away. County Supervisor John Jenkins and Former School Board Member John Harper both had a passion and love for our Country, our community, and our students. I think it is important to thank, honor, and recognize both Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Harper for their dedication to our schools. I also send my condolences to their families and friends.
  • On a different note, I would like to congratulate Nathanial Provencio and the staff, students and community at Minnieville Elementary School. Minnieville Elementary School has earned the international 2019 DuFour Award by Solution Tree. This is a prestigious and highly-sought award presented to schools who have successfully demonstrated how Professional Learning Communities positively impact student achievement. We are currently in the process of taking steps to share this successful program in other schools in our Division.
  • Congratulations also to Drew Miller, turf grass management program educator at Brentsville District High School. He and his students have earned a second national award for the turf grass program at Brentsville District High School. Pioneer Athletics has named Brentville’s ball-field a National Field of Excellence. Last November, the Sports Turf Managers Association’s bestowed its highest honor on the Brentsville field. Congratulations to Mr. Miller and Brentsville District High School for an outstanding turf grass establishment and maintenance program.
  • Let me just say, right now we have a lot of different advocates for different kinds of fields and talk about a natural field! We are so proud of Brentsville’s field and the students that are a part of that program, working with Drew, and the recognition they’ve received. That school, and even some colleges swear by natural grass fields, and we are pleased to accommodate that as well.
  • I would also like to recognize Wayne Mallard, John Wallingford, and all members of the finance department for receiving the 2018-19 Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International. The Meritorious Budget Award recognizes the School Division’s 2018-19 school year Approved Budget document for excellence in the preparation and issuance of its school system budget. PWCS has won this award for 23 consecutive years.
  • Congratulations to Amy Hickey, supervisor of mathematics, her staff, many mathematics teachers, and high school volunteers for the coordination of a successful PWCS Math Quest. Fourteen schools and 120 students participated in this competitive event. Thank you, Dr. Lateef for attending and delivering encouraging words to our students.
  • Sydney Jordan, a 2015 graduate of Stonewall Jackson High School, has been named co-winner of the 2019 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize from Princeton University. This award, which recognizes excellent scholarship, strength of character and effective leadership, is the highest general distinction conferred upon a Princeton undergraduate.
  • A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining other members of the superintendent’s staff in a meeting with Riley O’Casey of the Prince William Education Association and Tracey Bailey of Virginia Professional Educators at the Freedom High School Bistro & Bakery. Thank you to Ms. O’Casey, Mr. Bailey, Principal Inez Bryant, Marilyn Austin, and Joni Griffin, teachers of students with special needs, and the outstanding students who prepared and served a fantastic meal to us.
  • Just a couple of things I would like to add since we are in the middle of the budget season. We are coming out of a very long stretch of budget challenge due to the Great Recession, and we are not alone. Every school system in the United States went through a very difficult time, and quite frankly, there were a lot of things that were put on hold.
    • We were trying to keep all of our employees. We did not lay off anyone during that time, and we tried our very best to give a raise, which we did every year but one.
  • For the first time in a decade, we have a more substantial amount of money. The challenge is that there are so many competing interests for that money. I recognize that, our staff recognizes that, and the school board recognizes that.
  • I have to say I remember the first year I was here, I inherited Dr. Kelly’s budget, and it was outstanding. I had one budget that I was able to work with staff and formulate after that, before the Great Recession, and that was a fantastic budget.
    We were able to do some significant things that year.
    • One thing we did was put full-day kindergarten in every school; we doubled the instruction time for children in their first year of public education.
    • Something else we did that year, that I championed, was lead expanding the physical education that we were providing for students at the elementary level. We added a section of physical education and added funding for teaching assistants, to give common planning time to teachers and give our students more physical education.
  • I am very interested in the elementary school PE concerns from the people who spoke earlier, and I think there is a point to what they are suggesting. I have already talked to our Board officers at agenda planning earlier tonight and I am going to have a formal item on our next agenda that reads, “The Superintendent requests the School Board’s approval to have staff conduct an internal study regarding current elementary Physical Education staffing, which would include input from the current elementary PE staff.” I am going to champion that myself.
  • We also will have a budget work session tomorrow night at 6 p.m. You’re all invited. At that budget work session, we will give a current update of the state budget.
    • There are always tweaks that happen when the budget is finally approved at the state, and we have some reductions, so we are going to be looking at how to make things work with that.
    • We have a little bit of good news from the county side as well. We will look at what else we can do to jump-start these concerns with Physical Education staff.
  • Again, I want to congratulate Woodbridge. Woodbridge defeated Cosby 64-43 tonight to claim the Virginia Class 6 State Girls Basketball title.
    • Region player of the year Aaliyah Pitts scored her 1000th point tonight.
  • That is phenomenal! We are very excited.

Policies:

First Readings–No action is required on first readings.

  • Amendment to Policy 115 (PDF), “Compensation and Reimbursement of School Board Members"