Prince William County Public Schools

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    School Board Meeting May 16, 2018

    Select this link to view the agenda on the Electronic School Board webpage.

    Select this link to watch the School Board meeting on PWCS-TV.

    The School Board Approved:

    • Renewal of FY 2019 Liability/Property Insurance;
    • International Literacy Day;
    • Milestone Communications Lease Agreement at Gar-Field High School - First Amendment;
    • National Arts in Education Week;
    • National Chemistry Week;
    • National Earth Science Week;
    • National Police Week;
    • Revision of Policy 741, "Corporal Punishment"; and
    • Student Housing: Recommendations for Administrative Attendance Area Modifications 2018-19.
    • Authorizing Division Counsel to work with the Office of Equity and Compliance, and outside counsel as needed, to benchmark and evaluate all policies, regulations, procedures and protocols regarding the reporting, investigation and resolution of complaints asserted against PWCS staff, employees and administrators, and further, authorized the School Board and Division Superintendent to review past school climate surveys to determine if new, modified or independent surveys be utilized going forward in order to best assess concerns relating to school climates.

    Student Matters:

    Kate Arnold, student representative on the School Board, made the following remarks:

    • Miss Arnold wished all teachers a happy Teacher Appreciation Week.
    • She attended the Suicide Awareness Walk at Forest Park High School, and participated in a round table discussion with both local and state legislators about ways to promote student safety in schools.
    • She noted the importance of administrative presence in schools and recommended that administrators deepen their relationship with students by making it a personal goal to visit at least one student club meeting per month, dedicating each month to a different organization.
    • The Brentsville District student town hall will be held on May 24 at 6 p.m. at Stonewall Jackson High School.
    • Miss Arnold congratulated Grace Yeboah-Kodie, a senior at Colgan High School, whose outstanding PSAT score earned her a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship, a competition famous for how difficult it is to win a scholarship.

    Magin Sanchez, alternate student representative, spoke about Battlefield's Acts of Random Kindness Club, the only chapter in Virginia, and its impact on students. He wished the students much success. He noted the good work of the "Healthy Schools Healthy Communities" team at Battlefield.

    Citizens' Comment Time:

    Citizens addressed the School Board on the following topics:

    • Leadership;
    • World Language contest winners;
    • Late bus issues;
    • Professional Learning Communities;
    • Recognition of staff;
    • Communication; and
    • School safety.

    Presentations and Topics:

    Superintendent's Time:

    I'll begin with my continuing effort to keep the School Board and Community aware of the progress in meeting the annual objectives you have assigned to me.

    • Slide 1 - Our score card shows a red check mark for items I've already reported on. If the check has a red "P" after it, that means the reported work remains in progress. And a white check means it's an item we'll be discussing tonight.
    • Slide 2 - As of May 9, I had made 95 school visits so far this school year, where I saw evidence of solid safety and operations, as well as great educational progress. Since the 2005-2006 school year, I've made more than 1,700 visits to our schools. And every visit is a high point in my day.
    • Slide 3 - Moving down to indicator 7.9. I've already reported with pride that our on-time graduation rate continues to rise every year. It now stands at 91.8 percent. The second part of the objective calls for increasing the reading and math pass rates for students with disabilities by five percent. Unfortunately, tests that will determine success have just begun. But we are pursuing this outcome with vigor. The improved performance is an objective for me, for our level associate superintendents, our principals, and for other school administrators and teachers. The associates and the principals have identified the schools where students need the most help, and given them added support. They constantly evaluate and improve student performance. The results look very promising.

    Looking now at the successes coming out of our schools:

    • Emily Yeh, a sixth-grader at Parkside Middle School, earned first place in the top division of the Virginia Mary Smart Piano Competition.
    • Patriot High School sophomore Zoree Jones wrote her way to a $10,000 scholarship. She is Virginia's first-place winner in the Junior Achievement of Greater Washington essay contest.
    • Freedom High School's varsity baseball team recently beat Park View, 14-8, which is newsworthy because this victory ends a 59-game losing streak over four years.
    • Rockledge Elementary School earned a grant from the Master Gardeners of Prince William County, part of the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office. The grant will be used to create a pollinator garden for fun, outdoor, hands-on learning.
    • Marumsco Hills Elementary School is one of only 11 individuals, institutions, or projects nationwide that was awarded the Best of Green Schools Award by The Center for Green Schools for their sustainability efforts.
    • Bennett Elementary School third-grader Timothy Clem has calculated his way into the national MathFest competition on May 19 in Alabama. He was the champ at both state and regional MathFest competitions in the third through fourth grade division. Congratulations and best of luck to Timothy this Saturday.
    • Lake Ridge Middle School sixth-grader Alice Haeske competed in the final three rounds of the National Number Knockout competition on May 1. She was one of 16 finalists nationwide to participate in this mental math game of problem-solving and creativity.
    • Robotics programs continue to dominate locally and worldwide. The 2017-18 season includes success stories from elementary to high school in FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Robotics Competition, VEX, VEX IQ, and SEAPerch platforms. Congratulations to all students, volunteers, coaches, and teachers. Their success is very impressive.
    • I attended several School of Excellence celebrations recently. Congratulations to Mountain View Elementary School and The Nokesville School on their outstanding achievements.
    • I also had the opportunity to attend the PWCS 50th Anniversary of Strings Celebration on May 4 at Brentsville District High School. This entertaining event highlighted the unique musical talents of current and former strings teachers, and featured an interesting history of the development of our strings program!

    Volume 13, Number 17 - Publication date: May 16, 2018