Prince William County Public Schools

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  • February 7, 2018

    Board Briefs Banner

    Public Hearing: A citizen addressed the School Board about attendance areas for Neabsco, Montclair, and Wilson Elementary Schools for the 2018-19 school year.

    Ryan Sawyers, Board Chairman, asked that there be a moment of silence to remember Richard Proffitt, veteran bus driver, who died on Monday in a tragic accident at our McCuin Transportation Center. Sawyers stated that this is also a time to remember and thank each of our bus drivers and transportation team members who are devoted to safety and to all the students they serve.

    The School Board Approved:
    • February as Crossing Guard Appreciation Month and February 14 as Crossing Guard Appreciation Day;
    • February 19-23 as School Board Clerk Appreciation Week;
    • February 22 as Digital Learning Day;
    • March as National Women's History Month;
    • March 5-9 as Newspaper in Education Week;
    • The 2018 Summer School Program, as recommended by staff contingent upon funding in the FY 2019 budget;
    • The contracts awarded to Dustin Construction, Inc., for the construction of the new "Parkway Elementary School" and the addition and renovation at Leesylvania Elementary School;
    • Deletion of Policy 405.03, "Security Residents";
    • Dee Thompson to replace Randy Dasher on the Infrastructure Task Force, as recommended by the Superintendent;
    • The proposed Licensed Practical Nursing program tuition rates for FY 2019;
    • The December 2017 payrolls;
    • The School Board meeting minutes of January 3;
    • The boundary plan recommendation, which is consistent with boundary adjustments previously proposed by the Eastern Elementary School Boundary Planning Committee, and permit rising fifth-grade students to remain at their current school, if they provide their own transportation;
    • The appointment of Sara Thompson to represent the Occoquan District on the Safe Schools Advisory Council; and
    • Confirmation of the School Board poll dated February 7.

    Policies and Regulations:
    First reading of revisions on the following policies. (No action is required on the first reading).
    • Policy 405.02, "Vandalism," to incorporate the information from Policy 405.4, "Vandalism/Loss/Incident Report";
    • Policy 751, "Student Insurance Program";
    • Policy 759, "Concussion Management";
    • Policy 771, "Child Abuse and Child Abuse Reporting Procedures"; and
    • Policy 794, "Resolution of Conflicts Between Parents Over School Issues."

    Student Matters:
    Kate Arnold, Student Representative, announced that some dates and times have been set for student Town hall meetings. Town hall meetings will alternate between Magisterial Districts. There will be a preset agenda for each meeting, and students of any grade and from any PWCS district can sign up to speak. Firm meeting dates are:
    • Gainesville District Town hall meeting is scheduled for February 20 at 6 p.m. and will be held at Battlefield High School. This will be followed by a Town hall budget meeting sponsored by Alyson Satterwhite, Gainesville District.
    • Coles District Town hall meeting is March 15, 6:30 pm., at Hylton High School.
    • Brentsville District Town hall meeting is March 22, 6 p.m., at Brentsville District High School.
    • The following are tentative dates: Potomac District, March 1; Occoquan District, April 19; Woodbridge District, May 9; Neabsco District, May 24. (More information will follow).

    Ms. Arnold congratulated Jennine Faruque, eighth-grade student at Stonewall Middle School, who won Best Before the Audience at the Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest. Ms. Arnold reminded principals that they are welcome to send her names of students they would like to spotlight at a School Board meeting.

    Zaki Panjsheeri, Alternate Student Representative, attended The Governor's School Board Joint Meeting last week and wanted to share three student inventions that were presented. Students demonstrated The Emergency Splint, The Smart Syringe, and LIME: Let's Improve My Environment. Mr. Panjsheeri thanked Board Members that were present for their interest in The Governor's School.

    Magin Sanchez, Alternate Student Representative, attended the Woodbridge Leadership Summit and stated that student leadership and awareness is important. He stated that it is valuable when students are acknowledged by teachers and principals for their performance. He announced his support to Kate Arnold for her efforts to conduct Town hall meetings and that student involvement is encouraged.

    Citizens' Comment Time:
    Citizens addressed the School Board on the following topics:
    • Hourly employees and overtime compensation;
    • Purpose of KRONOS and the app;
    • Concussion policy and awareness;
    • School counselor and student ratios;
    • PWCS history;
    • School suspension of elementary students;
    • Lack of toilet paper in school bathrooms;
    • Bullying by administrators;
    • Shortage of bus drivers and teachers;
    • Workplace bullying and retaliation;
    • Budget process, CIP, and overcrowding;
    • Student lunch debt; and
    • The Office of Equity & Compliance.

    Staff Presentation Topics:
    Ashland Elementary School and the best practices that have made them an award-winning school. Select link to see PowerPoint presentation.

    Superintendent's Time:
    Dr. Steven L. Walts, Superintendent of Schools, made the following announcements:
    • February is School Board Appreciation month. On behalf of myself and all our students and staff, thank you for the hard work that each of you do.
    • The Division's annual Outstanding Educators Reception was held on January 30. It was wonderful to salute the 22 teachers who demonstrated their commitment to excellence by going through the rigorous process of earning or re-qualifying for the designation of National Board-Certified Teacher.
    o We celebrated 31 educators nominated by their school communities for selection as either Prince William County Public Schools Teacher or Principal of the Year.
    o Congratulations to this year's Teacher of the Year, Dr. Robert Scott, who teaches AP Capstone courses at Osbourn Park High School, and Principal of the Year, Mr. Robert Eichorn. They will now represent PWCS in the Washington-region educators of the year competition coordinated by The Washington Post. Those winners will be announced in March.
    • Janine Sadki, our former director of English Learner Programs and Services, recently retired.
    o She made a real difference for our Division and our students.
    o Her knowledge, expertise, and attention to detail enabled the Division to dramatically upgrade the services and support we give our English Learners, their families, and their teachers.
    o Her leadership helped us make significant gains in closing the achievement gap for English Learners, and to increase their on-time graduation rate.
    o We appreciate her vision of excellence and her commitment to developing our staff, and serving our English Learner community.
    • I had the privilege of attending the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Oratorical competition back on Monday, January 15. I saw and heard our amazing students speak! Congratulations to the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and especially to our student winners.
    o Patriot High School sophomore Zoree Jones won the top high school honors. She received awards for Best Before the Judges and Best Before the Audience.
    o On the middle school level, Syed Sarim, a seventh-grader at Porter Traditional School, won the Best Before the Judges Award.
    o And Stonewall Middle School eighth-grader Jennine Faruque took BestBefore the Audience.
    o We're extremely proud of the students who participated in both theoratorical and essay contests. They did a fantastic job, and you can find all their names on our website.
    o Special thanks and congratulations to the coordinators, coaches, and to Occoquan Elementary School Board member and Vice Chairman Lillie Jessie as well. She was the founder and first chairperson of the Youth Oratorical Contest 33 years ago.
    • I also joined Mr. Deutsch and Mr. Mulgrew at the Hylton High School ring ceremony for the varsity cheerleading squad. Congratulations to the squad for winning the Class 6 State Championship.
    • Congratulations to the Freedom High School "Soul Squad" Marching Eagle Band. They did a great job performing in the Virginia Governor's Inaugural Parade in Richmond. Freedom was one of only two high school bands that had the honor of participating.
    • I attended the Dale City Civic Association recognition banquet to honor outstanding members of the community. Congratulations to:
    o High School Teacher of the Year, Michael Meadows, special education teacher and coach at Gar-Field High School;
    o Middle School Teacher of the Year, Damon Broiles, math teacher at Beville Middle;
    o Elementary Teacher of the Year, Amanda Brown, fourth-grade teacher at Bel Air Elementary;
    o The 2018 John D. Jenkins Youth Citizen of the Year, Ernestine Priebe, a student at Hylton High School;
    o Teresa Polk, supervisor of School Health Services, who won the Kathleen Seefeldt Community Service Award; and
    o Alaa Idris, a student at Gar-Field High School, for winning the David G. Brickley Youth Environmental Conservation Award.
    • I had a great time at the Haymaker STEAM expo held at Battlefield High School. Hundreds of students and their parents attended and participated in a variety of activities, including balloon car races, build a bot, and marble roller coasters.
    • The High School Parent Summit, originally scheduled for January 6, has been rescheduled for March 17. It will take place at Colgan High School. Registration is now underway.
    • The School of Excellence presentations are currently underway at our schools. I have had the pleasure of attending the ceremonies at Brentsville District High School, Lake Ridge Middle School, and Triangle Elementary School.
    • Here is an update of goals and objectives that the School Board has set for me. I am happy to report on Standard 2, Planning and Assessment, Indicator 2.3. A slide showing this indicator addresses the gathering and use of data to guide planning and decision-making resulting in student progress.
    o As of December, all principals had completed a School Improvement Plan that reflects the goals, objectives, strategies, and activities that align with the Division's Strategic Plan.
    o Each of those school plans emphasizes the importance of improved learning outcomes for students with disabilities, as well as other groups identified using school-specific data.
    o Specifically, they are focused on teaching and learning aimed at producing at least a 5% increase in formative and summative results for students with disabilities in reading and math.
    o All Level Associate Superintendents meet with their respective principals to provide feedback on the plans, and make certain that they continue to be aligned with the Division's Strategic Plan.
    o The Associates and Principals will continue to monitor school progress and performance as the year goes on. This will advance efforts leading to improved student results.
    • Finally, I have good news for those concerned about the kind of facilities available in the field house at Woodbridge High School and the boy's restrooms at Stonewall Jackson High. New urinals are being installed in the boys' facilities. That's not a glamorous way to end my remarks. But it is important.

    FY 2019 Proposed Budget & CIP:
    Dr. Steven L. Walts, Superintendent of Schools, unveiled a proposed 2019 budget plan that includes program continuation, step increases for employees, and educational enhancements. Click to see the proposed 2019 budget plan.