Prince William County Public Schools

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  • October 2, 2019

    Board Briefs Meeting Summary

    School Board Meeting of October 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.

    • Forest Park High School Unified Sports Program Coordinator Kelly McCann shared information about two awards that they recently earned.

    The School Board Approved:

    Citizens addressed the School Board on the following topics:

    • Teacher pay;
    • Climate change;
    • Climate change and energy net positive schools;
    • Bullying prevention;
    • Sedimentation of pond/stream on Old Bridge near John D. Jenkins Elementary School;
    • Rural crescent;
    • National Dyslexia Awareness Month;
    • Office of the Ombudsman; and
    • Gang awareness.

    Staff Presentation Topics:

    Superintendent's Time:

    • Good evening. I would like to begin by sharing information on the SAT scores released last week by The College Board. The PWCS mean score is 1105, up five points from last year, and is 66 points higher than the overall score for graduates nationwide.
    • I want to address the point that has been made that our mean score is eight points lower than the state's mean score. We are closer to the state score than we have been in the past. Please keep in mind that while the number of state test-takers has dropped by more than 600, the number of test-takers in PWCS increased.
    • I do not want to limit access to students taking the test to inflate our scores. We need to continue to use inclusionary practices, not exclusionary practices, in our college-readiness testing.
    • I am especially proud that the students who choose to take the SAT reflect the diversity of our Division. Our overall student body is 70% minority, as are 63% of PWCS students who chose to take the SAT.
    • I would like to add that African-American students in PWCS outperformed peers in Virginia and nationwide on the SAT, and Hispanic students in PWCS outperformed peers nationwide.
    • However, I am committed to continuous improvement in all areas for our students, and to that end, we will be forming a working group of leading high school teachers and administrators to identify further opportunities for support to ensure our students achieve their full potential on the SAT and other college-readiness tests.
    • I have more good news to share about the academic success of our students. PWCS, for the second consecutive year, has all schools accredited. The Virginia Department of Education has three levels in the accreditation system, and accredited is the highest level. All of our schools are at that level. Other jurisdictions, including Fairfax, have one or more schools accredited with conditions, so they do not have all schools at the highest level. Congratulations to our students, teachers, support staff and school leaders, who can be proud of the hard work they have done to improve academic achievement.
    • On Saturday, September 21, more than 20 bands participated in the Colgan High School Classic. I stopped by for a brief visit and watched the Battlefield High School Marching Bobcats perform an excellent show. Congratulations to Colgan Band Director Don Magee, the Colgan Band Boosters, and the many talented student organizers.
    • Later that evening, I attended the Hylton High School Athletic Hall of Fame. The event, which was sponsored by the Varsity Athletic Boosters, recognized 16 outstanding athletes or contributors to the athletic program. Congratulations to the 2019 inductees and to Hylton High School for hosting a fabulous ceremony and raising money for the boosters.
    • Last Wednesday afternoon I was invited to attend the Patriot High School Eco Club's ribbon-cutting ceremony for an outdoor living classroom called the Patriot Pond. I am excited about the opportunities this outdoor learning environment will offer our students.
    • And speaking of Patriot High, ABC7 selected the varsity football game of Hylton vs. Patriot for last week's game of the week. Both schools received outstanding media coverage, and I had the privilege to visit both schools on Friday morning, as well as attend the game. I was rooting for both teams, but in the end, the Patriot Pioneers pulled off the win.
    • In addition to local media attention, our School Division also attracts the attention of the national media. The September Edition of SportsTurf magazine features the Brentsville High School award-winning turf program on the cover and in multiple places inside the magazine. Kudos to Andrew Miller, turf program advisor, and all of students and staff who contribute to the Donald Lambert Field, the Field of the Year.
    • The Summer Edition of EdTech magazine (hold up magazine) features an article on AJ Phillips, our director of technology, and how she coordinated efforts to expand our network infrastructure. Congratulations AJ.
    • Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet "Unique" and "Puddin", two cows visiting Belmont Elementary School as part of the Divisionwide science unit focusing on watershed. Students in elementary and middle schools from across the Division visited Belmont Elementary to learn more about the cows and their impact on watershed. While I visited, students from Potomac Middle School and Belmont were experiencing the hands-on learning in science. It was a fun learning experience for everybody.