Prince William County Public Schools

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  • January 2, 2019

    Board Briefs Meeting Summary banner
    School Board Meeting of January 2, 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.

    • Stonewall Jackson High School (SJHS) Principal Dr. Richard Nichols, Assistant Principal Rhonda Carper, and SJHS teacher Stephanie Nash, spoke about the "Jobs for Virginia Graduates" grant through the Virginia Department of Education. Stonewall Jackson High School applied for the grant four years ago, and Dr. Nichols shared how the program has worked at SJHS by provided funding and support for students.

    Annual Organizational Meeting:

    • The Prince William County School Board elected Justin Wilk, Potomac District, as Vice Chairman for 2019.
    • The Prince William County School Board appointed Deborah H. Urban as Clerk of the Prince William County School Board for 2019. The salary for the Clerk shall be as currently budgeted.
    • The Prince William County School Board appointed B Simpson as Deputy Clerk of the Prince William County School Board for 2019. The salary for the Deputy Clerk shall be as currently budgeted.
    • The Prince William County School Board approved requiring a corporate surety bond in the amount of $10,000 for the Clerk and the Deputy Clerk to the School Board, conditioned upon the faithful performance and discharge of their duties; with the premium for such bonds to be paid for by the School Board.
    • The Prince William County School Board approved times, dates, and locations of School Board Meetings for 2019.
    • The Division Superintendent, Dr. Steven L. Walts, announced the appointment of Keith Imon as the Superintendent's designee to attend meetings of the Prince William County School Board in the absence or inability of the Superintendent to attend.
    • The Prince William County School Board approved membership in professional organizations and appointment of representatives of School Board members.

    The School Board Approved:

    Citizen Comments:

    Citizens addressed the School Board on the following topics:

    • Upcoming boundary rezoning;
    • Heather Abney, principal at Woodbridge High School (WHS), thanked the Woodbridge community as well as the Office of Facilities, for working with her on the stadium project at WHS; and
    • Lake Ridge Elementary School PTO President welcomed any students and families that get moved to Lake Ridge Elementary with the boundary rezoning.

    Student Matters:

    • Wilfredo Villatoro, alternate student representative, gave a report from Sasan Faraj, the student representative, who could not attend the meeting.
    • In 2018, student representatives met with student leaders at Battlefield, Osbourn Park, Colgan, Patriot, Gar-Field, Potomac, Woodbridge,and Hylton high schools. With the upcoming budget season, students have noted a need for open spaces and for upgrades to schools that do not have as many windows.
    • Students expressed that since they rarely go outside the building during the school day, they would like more green spaces and more natural light. Students also brought up diversification of lunch options to better support students with allergies, vegetarian eating habits, and different religious backgrounds.
    • A student summit on mental health will be held this Saturday in conjunction with the Parent Summit at Hylton High School. Students can come to learn how mental health is addressed in PWCS.

    Staff Presentation Topics:

    Superintendent's Time:

    • Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a restful holiday break and is ready for all the great opportunities awaiting us in the new year.
    • I am excited to share that the welding program at Potomac High School was featured in an article in a publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association. Also, a picture of our students was published on the front of the magazine, which is entitled Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator. The article describes this specialty program at Potomac High School as a model program. The article shares that 20 local welding employers visited our program last spring and expressed how impressed they are with our program and our students. Congratulations to Doug Wright, supervisor of Career and Technical Education Programs, and to the teacher, Simon Bhagwandeen, for their work to ensure our students are future-ready.
    • Last month, Michele Roper, director of special education, provided the School Board with an update on our progress on the special education audit recommendations. One of the programs we are using that was mentioned last month is called TeachTown, which focuses exclusively on children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, developmental and intellectual disabilities and emotional behavioral disorders. Dr. Roper has shared that she has received a significant amount of positive feedback from teachers regarding TeachTown.
    • Debby Brown, a Montclair Elementary School teacher of students with autism, thanked the School Division for purchasing TeachTown. "My students are so engaged and loving every bit of this awesome learning program," she said on Twitter.
    • I would like to congratulate Michael Basham, director of bands at Hylton High School. The Vault, a national music education retailer, named Mr. Basham one of the top 25 music educators in the nation. Congratulations.
    • I also want to remind everyone that online registration for spring Virtual High School classes will begin January 4 and continue through January 21. More information is available on our website at
    • Before the winter break, I had the opportunity to visit Mary Williams Elementary School. I was invited to speak to kindergarten students on what I do as the Superintendent of Schools. I was impressed as the students skip counted by tens to 100 and asked numerous thought-provoking questions about my career.
    • I also participated in Gar-Field High School's International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and Certificate program graduation. Congratulations to all the graduates at Gar-Field's IB program.

    School Board Meeting Information:

    Individuals who wish to address the School Board under Citizens' Time should notify the Board Clerk in writing at P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108; by phone at 703-791-8709; or by email at prior to noon on the day of the Board meeting and will be placed on the list of speakers. Or, individuals may also sign onto the list of speakers maintained at the entrance to the School Board meeting room at the beginning of a regular Board meeting, but prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting. Please provide your name, address, phone number, and topic you would like to speak about. Any deviation from these procedures shall be at the discretion of the Chairman. All speakers must provide the School Board Clerk with their address and phone number in order to verify their residency and permit the Clerk to contact them if necessary. Upon request, the Clerk will not release to the public the address and phone number of the speaker.