Prince William County Public Schools

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    School Board Meeting of May 5, 2021

    View the agenda on the Electronic School Board webpage.

    Watch the School Board meeting on PWCS-TV.

    The School Board Approved:

    • Authorizing $8,500 in compensation to TGM Manassas, Inc. for dedication of an off-site sanitary sewer easement (PDF) necessary for the "Rosemount Lewis" Elementary School;
    • The award of a contract (PDF) for the Gainesville Middle School addition to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, Carlson Brothers, Inc., in the total amount of $3,539,000;
    • The award of a contract (PDF) for the Unity Braxton Middle School security residence to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, Alta Vista Consultants, in the total amount of $324,076;
    • The Declaration of Restrictive Covenants (PDF) on the deed for the Joplin Road Administrative Complex, which is primarily utilized by the Office of Facilities Services; further, the Chairman At-Large and clerk are authorized to sign any necessary documents pertaining to the Restrictive Covenants, subject to approval as to form only by the Division Counsel;
    • A resolution (PDF) request to the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) to accept the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Virginia American Rescue Plan ACT (ARPA) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds awarded to Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) in the amount of $87,868,215.36, and that the BOCS adjust the Fiscal Year 2021 School Board Operating Fund budget by an increase of $87,868,215.36, and to direct staff to prepare the appropriate documents to be forwarded to the BOCS to request the adjustment;
    • The 2021-22 Local Special Education Annual Plan (PDF);
    • Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) between PWCS and George Mason University to continue their ongoing partnership with the George Mason University Elementary Professional Development School Internship Program for the 2020-21 school year;
    • March 2021 payrolls (PDF) in the amount of $61,476,106.04; and
    • The School Board Meeting minutes (PDF) for April 21, 2021.

    Citizens addressed the School Board on the following topics:

    • Reopening plan for the 2021-22 school year

    Student Matters:

    • Teacher Appreciation Week
    • Decision Day
    • End of the school year events
    • Update on the Student Senate

    Superintendent's Time:

    • Even during a pandemic, our School Division continues to earn accolades. I would like to congratulate our School Board and the amazing staff in the Office of Energy and Sustainability for the School Division's U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon District Sustainability Award. Prince William County Public Schools is one of only five districts in the nation to earn this award, which is based on high achievement in reduced environmental impact and costs, improved health and wellness, and effective environmental and sustainability education. The U.S. Department of Education will formally present the award at a ceremony later this year.
    • As you know, during the pandemic, PWCS remains committed to offering hands-on learning so critical to students pursuing careers in career and technical education. Students at Brentsville District High School recently showed off the school's new greenhouse. Check out this video.
    • Vaccines are currently available for anyone 16 years and older, and it is expected that the Pfizer vaccine will receive Emergency Use Authorization by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for those 12 and older as soon as the next week. PWCS has been in communication and collaboration with the Prince William Health District (PWHD) to explore ways to support expedited vaccinations for our students who are 12 years and older. The President announced yesterday, that once approved, the vaccine is expected to be available to those 12 and older via pharmacies and pediatricians. Additionally, the PWHD has secured the use of Gander Mountain or Veteran's Park to provide vaccines for our students who are 12 years and older. PWCS will support vaccination efforts through assisting with communication of vaccinations options and organization for prioritized registration. This includes assistance with transportation for families if needed. Vaccination in schools has been discussed but is not something the PWHD can immediately implement. The use of the current community options will be the most effective avenue due to the large number of students 12 years and older. PWHD will continue to work with PWCS to determine the needs of our students and work to provide vaccination support as needed.
    • I am also happy to share that community use groups were allowed to begin scheduling the use of PWCS buildings, beginning today, subject to compliance with all Governor and CDC mandates and protocols.
    • During the pandemic, we continue our important efforts to ensure that equity is embedded in all of the work that we do. A recent report from the VDOE indicates that PWCS has the second most diverse certified workforce in Region IV. As a reminder, Region IV includes all northern Virginia school divisions, as well as divisions to the west including Shenandoah, and Frederick, and to the south to Orange county. While we will always continue to aspire and work to be number one in this area, I commend Donna Eagle and the staff in the Department for Human Resources for their targeted efforts to recruit and retain diverse staff members.
    • I am excited to share that PWCS is committed to holding in-person graduations for our 2021 graduating seniors. Because of the pandemic, our high schools will limit tickets and adhere to social distancing requirements and other requirements based on Governor Northam's executive order. More information on our graduations can be found at I plan to attend as many of these ceremonies as I can to celebrate our students before I retire in June. As a reminder, we have increased our on-time graduation rate every year for the past 13 years to an all-time high of 93% for the 2019-20 school year.
    • I have had the pleasure of visiting a few schools during the past few weeks, including Reagan and Marsteller Middle Schools, as well as Piney Branch, Victory, Westridge, Chris Yung and T. Clay Wood Elementary Schools. I am continually amazed by our teachers and the innovative practices they are using to ensure our students are receiving a World-Class Education during a pandemic.
    • May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I recognize, especially in the middle of a pandemic, the importance of taking care of our own mental health, as well as the mental health of our students and staff. Our professional counseling staff has worked so hard this year providing additional supports for our students. I am proud to share that six of our schools have earned American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recognition for model counseling programs for our support of students. This Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) award is given to less than 1% of all public and private K-12 schools in the United States since its inception in 2003. Congratulations to Marshall Elementary School and Forest Park High School, both earning the designation for the second time, and Rockledge and Kyle Wilson Elementary Schools. Kyle Wilson is a national school of distinction and one of only five in the nation. Freedom High School has earned the designation for the first time this year, and Independence Nontraditional School has earned the designation for the third time. Congratulations to these schools for this outstanding honor.
    • Last week I had the honor to participate in the SPARK Superintendent's Business Breakfast, which was held virtually due to the pandemic. SPARK, the education foundation for PWCS, honored Amazon Web Services, Food Lion Store #1249, and I-66 Express Mobility Partners as Partnership of the Year winners. Additionally, SPARK recognized Novant/UVA Health Systems with the Sharon Henry Community Partner of the Year for their coordination of COVID-19 vaccinations for our staff members and others in our county. Congratulations.
    • Due to the gathering limitations established by Governor Northam, PWCS held the Outstanding Educators Ceremony virtually last week. Congratulations to our Teacher of the Year, Jamie Dziuba from Fred M. Lynn Middle School, and Principal of the Year, Amy Schott, from Rockledge Elementary School. Congratulations to all of our nominees, as well as our National Board-Certified Teachers.
    • And speaking of teachers, this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I know our School Division is recognizing teachers with shout-outs on social media, and individual schools are celebrating our teachers in their own way, but I want to take this opportunity to share how sincerely impressed I am with the efforts of our teachers, especially this year. There is no doubt that this has probably been the most difficult year in education in recent history. Our teachers have learned and implemented the use of new technology and different instructional delivery strategies in a very short time. They are truly rock stars, and I cannot thank them enough for their outstanding efforts during this pandemic.
    • This is also School Nutrition Employee Recognition Week. Our School Food and Nutrition Services staff have been working since the pandemic closed our schools last March, serving millions of meals to our students and their families. They have truly been lifesavers during this difficult time.
    • And speaking of lifesavers, May 12 is National School Nurse Day. When the pandemic began, many of our school nurses volunteered to help our county government staff a COVID-19 hotline. But that is not all - our school nurses served as critical staff during the vaccination clinics held for our staff members and community. They continue to serve as important sources of information during this difficult time. You are appreciated!
    • Because of the pandemic, Virginia Code and authority granted by the General Assembly has permitted our School Board agenda topics to be limited. Because of this limitation, we have temporarily suspended Board recognition and approval of many proclamations honoring various observances. However, I do think it is important to mention these additional observances. May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Better Hearing and Speech Month, Brain Injury Awareness Month, National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and National Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month. Today is National Bike to School Day, and this week is also Exceptional Children's Week.
    • Thank you and stay safe and healthy.

    Board Matters: