April 3, 2019
Posted on 04/05/2019

Board Brief Meeting Summary
School Board Meeting of April 3, 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.

  • Freedom High School Principal Inez Bryant, spoke about their Bistro and Bakery program which teaches special education students the skills needed for working in a commercial kitchen. 

The School Board Approved: 

Citizen Comments:

Citizens addressed the School Board on the following topics:

  • The Purple Star program;
  • Proposed amendment to Policy 115; 
  • Suggestion by student for school environments to focus on inclusivity and kindness; 
  • Student expressed desire for more exposure to administration and counselors to build more trust between faculty and students; and
  • Students requested permission to decorate their graduation caps.

Student Matters:

  • Sasan Faraj, student representative, met with Patriot High's SCA and students expressed concerns about road construction on roads around school times.
  • Students also expressed that they feel eighth-grade students are not properly prepared with information regarding the impact of choosing certain levels of classes when scheduling their classes for freshman year.
  • Sasan highlighted the application process for the incoming 2019-20 Student School Board Representative and expressed that the goal should be to choose the representative before summer vacation so there is transition between incoming and outgoing representatives.
  • As a student spotlight, Sasan spoke about Amelia, a junior at Forest Park High School, who won the grand prize for her Prince William Service Authority's Water Project.

Staff Presentation Topics and Board Matters:

Superintendent's Time:

  • I wanted to start off by mentioning that our School Board was at the Board of County Supervisors meeting last night, presenting the budget. I wanted to compliment Chairman Lateef, It is not easy to present the entire School Budget to the Board of County Supervisors. It’s a very high-pressured presentation, and I thought he did a great job.
    • I was very pleased that there was support from our board there last night.
    • It was a very good presentation with good conversation between the two boards. Some very positive things were stated about the proposed budget, and I am very optimistic about the outcome.
  • I recently attended the Family STEM evening at Henderson Elementary School. It was Henderson’s sixth Family STEM evening, and the school is very excited about the increase in participation over the past six years. The attendance has grown from 75 to 326 this year, with 50 military connected families attending.
  • And speaking of the military, April is the month of the Military Child. Purple Up Day is April 10. I encourage everyone to wear purple to support our military families.
  • It has been a very busy couple of weeks, giving me a chance to see so many of our extremely talented students and staff.
    • First, the Prince William-Manassas Regional Science Fair for middle and high school students was held March 23. Our students contributed more than 240 projects to this year’s fair. The high school grand prize winners include Zachary Nowak, Ethan Saari, George French, and Zane Vandivere, all from The Governor’s School.
    • At the middle school level, Tony Bright, Hamza Lateef and Gabriel Ralston of Benton Middle School took the grand prize honors. Congratulations to all of our winners!
    • I also attended three outstanding theatrical presentations, including “Into the Woods, Jr.” by the Parkside Middle School players, and “Seussical The Musical” at Brentsville District High School.
      • Starring among other leads was our own Alternate Student Representative, Annabel Bergeron, who played the Cat in the Hat. She was amazing!
    • And I saw “Mamma Mia!” at Colgan High School.
      • My daughter, Delaney, was in that production. It was great.
    • I am so impressed with the talent of our students and staff. All three productions were fantastic. Bravo to Parkside Middle, Brentsville High and Colgan High.
  • Our schools have also been busy celebrating their School of Excellence status. I recently attended the School of Excellence ceremonies for Battlefield High School and Buckland Mills Elementary School. Congratulations to both schools for their academic honors.
  • Last week I had the honor of attending the celebration to recognize a number of Battlefield High students who had their writing published. The students recited excerpts from their writing and then signed autographs in the book. Congratulations to teacher Jamie Marsh, who coordinated the event.
  • Last Thursday, I visited Forest Park High School to cheer on the athletes participating in the 2nd Annual Unified Track and Field Event, before visiting Sinclair Elementary School to help celebrate their 50th Anniversary. Kudos to all of the athletes, and congratulations to Sinclair on 50 years!
  • Speaking of a lot of years, this is Wayne Mallard's last meeting.
    • I just have to say that Mr. Mallard came in to help us out as Interim Associate Superintendent for Support Services.
    • He was the number one most helpful person when I came here in 2005. He had been on the leadership staff of my predecessor who served for 18 years. Mr. Mallard was immeasurably helpful in my transition, helping me to understand the school division, our specialty schools, you name it, he was there to help me understand it.
    • To bring him back after several yeas of retirement was my pleasure, and an immense help to the school division because he knows how the school division works, and he is able to solve incredibly complex issues like no one else I have ever worked with.
    • I’d like to give a round of applause to Mr. Mallard.
  • Before closing tonight, I wanted to share a short video on the SeaPerch program (please view the video of the School Board Meeting).

Policies:

First Readings–No action is required on first readings.

The proposed amendment to Policy 115 (PDF), "Compensation and Reimbursement of School Board Members" was voted on, and the motion failed.