Dr. McDade

Dear PWCS Families, Employees, and Community,

Prince William County Public Schools recognizes September as Suicide Prevention Month. PWCS is raising awareness through the “Together for Mental Health” campaign and by partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). PWCS prioritizes student mental health and wellness and is seeking to help end the stigma associated with mental health assistance. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text the new national three-digit dialing code (988). You can also visit 988lifeline.org to chat with a trained crisis counselor. Also, please visit the PWCS Suicide Prevention webpage for additional resources.

As we conclude Childhood Cancer Awareness month, I am in awe of our students’ fortitude and determination in their philanthropic endeavors toward the significant causes of childhood cancer. Across our county, schools are raising awareness, raising support, and raising spirits. I hope you will consider supporting your local school’s crusade for our brave warriors in the fight for their lives.

Yesterday, the Virginia Department of Education released accreditation ratings. Virginia public schools receive a rating each year based on their performance on multiple school quality indicators, which include academic proficiency and growth of students, closing achievement gaps among student groups, and student attendance. In addition, high schools are also rated based on graduation and dropout rate. Schools can achieve academic benchmarks for each indicator by using their current performance, their pooled three-year average, or by showing significant improvement over the prior year. Based on their performance, schools are accredited, accredited with conditions, or accreditation denied.

During the 2022-23 school year, seven schools will receive a rating of accredited with conditions. All other PWCS schools were rated as accredited. While accreditation assessments were waived the past two years, this report echoes the need acknowledged in our Strategic Plan for ongoing support to mitigate unfinished learning. Our Unfinished Learning Plan is a two-year recovery plan for acceleration, recovery, and re-engagement through providing comprehensive academic, social-emotional, and mental health supports in schools. The road to recovery will be a multi-year process, but our Strategic Plan provides the roadmap for a better academic journey for all students.

At the close of business on September 16, the Virginia Department of Education released its revised “2022 Model Policies” regarding the treatment of transgender students. PWCS will evaluate the model policies and determine if any changes to School Board policy or PWCS regulations may be needed to remain in compliance with state and federal law. Those who wish to provide comment to the state on the policy may do so beginning September 26 through the VDOE.

PWCS currently implements a Nondiscrimination and Harassment policy, which we will continue to proudly enforce. I want to reaffirm our commitment to protecting the overall physical, emotional, and psychological safety of all staff and students inclusive of our LGBTQ+ community. A Positive Climate and Culture is a key commitment in our Strategic Plan, and in PWCS, we will always treat all students and staff with kindness, compassion, and respect for their identity and overall well-being.

Please be reminded that all PWCS buildings and offices are closed on Monday, September 26, in observance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. We wish the Jewish community a sweet new year as we all can take a moment to reflect and recommit to new beginnings.


Dr. McDade signature

LaTanya D. McDade, Ed.D.
Prince William County Public Schools