March 20, 2019
Posted on 03/22/2019

Board Brief Meeting Summary (banner)
School Board Meeting of March 20, 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.

  • Dr. Cassatta gave a presentation on report data from the College Board regarding students passing the AP, IB, or Cambridge AICE exams and earning college credit. Students in Prince William County Public Schools exceed both the national and state average in percent of students earning qualifying scores on one or more advanced exam.

The School Board Approved: 

Citizen Comments:

Citizens addressed the School Board on the following topics:

  • Boosterthons and fundraising; 
  • Highlight about symposium hosted at Dar Al Noor Islamic Community Center with PWCS; 
  • Encouragement for the School Board to accept the proposed raise for School Board Members as a way to attract more people to run for the school board; 
  • Encouragement for the School Board to look at the priorities in the budget to provide students with needed resources to help them one day get into good colleges; and
  • Concern for how the Virginia SOLs are teaching early African American history.

Student Matters:

  • Sasan Faraj, student representative, recently visited the Brentsville SGA to discuss the transition of the grading policy. Students feel there is disparity between classes and there should be consistency between formative and summative assessment grading.
  • The Brentsville SGA would also like to promote the efforts of conservation or being green around schools. The students suggested containers at lunch where students can dispose trash, recyclables, and food waste separately.
  • The students at Brentsville expressed appreciate for small class sizes as they feel it helps build connections between staff and students.
  • The SCA from all high schools are working together to create a unified prom, which they have decided to call the “One for All Ball.” Registration forms will be handed out to schools next week and will include information about the dance; the dance is on an invite basis, so they stay within the max capacity limit.

Staff Presentation Topics:

Superintendent's Time:

  • Congratulations to Chuck Drake and the Virginia STAR program for achieving the $1 million mark as measured in donations of computers.
  • Thirteen PWCS schools are a part of the Virginia STAR program, and many of the donated laptops that are refurbished are given to families who live within Prince William County. The remaining refurbished laptops are then given to other Virginia schools.
  • These really go to families where they cannot afford a computer, and the impact is really amazing when you think about $1 million mark of donated computers. I just want to say Chuck Drake is “Virginia star,” because he’s really the one who got it started. Every school division in the state who has this program, their program is coordinated through Chuck Drake, who is retiring this year. I just want to give a shout out to him for the amazing work he has done and all of the families he has helped to gain access to computer technology.
  • I want to give a shout out to the executive director of SPARK, Sharron Henry, and again I would say she is “the spark” in our education foundation. She too is retiring. When she started here during my first year, we raised a few hundred thousand dollars and under her leadership we have topped over $6 million in donated services, materials, and in-kind service this past year. She has done an amazing job, and I know each and every one of you appreciate her contributions to the Division.
  • Last weekend I attended Cedar Point Elementary School’s production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Great job by Director Ms. LaFleur, Art Director Mrs. Darter, Music Director Mr. Davis, and the 99 children who participated. Thank you also to the volunteers who made it happen. It was outstanding.
  • I was very please to be with Board Member Satterwhite to celebrate Battlefield High School as a School of Excellence for the eighth time. I want to thank all the students who participated that day, from the Air Force JROTC who presented the colors, Mr. Zach Saunders who is director of the Battlefield Chamber Players, who played for us, Mr. Mulgrew was in attendance as well as representatives from the administration of Battlefield. I wanted to give a shout out to Kurt Boyd, who is the SCA president. He gave an amazing speech. If you were a teacher at that school, it had to feel good to hear him characterize personal stories about things some of those teachers taught him during his days at Battlefield.
  • Over the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit many of our students and staff members at schools across the division. Recently, I visited Colgan High School and Patriot High School, and we have two very short videos that highlight those visits. (To view the video, please watch the live stream of the School Board Meeting at pwcstv.com