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  • Dr. McDade Discusses Substance Abuse Prevention and Required Immunizations

    Dr. McDade

    Dear PWCS Families, Employees, and Community,

    Top of mind at the end of this week is the recent information shared by the Prince William County Police Department (PWPD) regarding three teen overdoses, including one that led to the death of one of our students. We are heartbroken by these events and our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends. According to the PWPD, these incidents are connected to fentanyl-laced counterfeit forms of the drug Percocet, sometimes referred to as “Perc30.”

    According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “the misuse of and addiction to opioids-including pain relievers such as fentanyl is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.” As a community, we must remain vigilant and informed on how to best support our youth and together prevent misuse, addiction, and even death associated with substance abuse.

    As part of this education effort, please review the special Family Engagement Series session called “Substance Abuse-Let’s Talk About It.” This virtual event provided parents and other caregivers with the tools needed to start conversations with our students. I also encourage all students, families, staff, and community members to review helpful resources, including signs of drug and alcohol abuse, at our Substance Abuse Prevention webpage.

    Additionally, lifesaving Narcan nasal spray is available from PWC Community Services. By attending a 60-minute virtual REVIVE training session, you may learn the signs of opioid use, addiction, overdose, and how to respond using Narcan. There are three classes scheduled in December and more information can be found on the Community Services events calendar.

    If you have concerns about your child, or your family, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Contact 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for assistance. SAMHSA also has a treatment locator available on their website. In addition, you may also reach out to your child’s school for support.

    As a reminder, the December 14 immunization deadline is quickly approaching. Students who remain non-compliant with their immunization(s) will be excluded from school on December 15, 2022. Immunization compliance is a state and federal requirement. Families may view information about student compliance with required immunizations in ParentVUE. I invite you to read more about the Immunization Deadline.

    Children may be vaccinated at the Manassas or Woodbridge clinics of the Prince William County Health Department or through other medical professionals. Vaccinations required for entry into school are free at county health clinics. The Prince William Health District may be reached at the following telephone numbers: Manassas Clinic (703-792-6300) or Woodbridge Clinic (703-792-7300).

    PWCS is at the mid-point of the second marking period. I encourage families to check in on your student’s real-time grades through ParentVUE . If you have questions about your child’s academic standing, please reach out to your child’s teacher or school counselor.

    I would like to congratulate the Freedom High School football team, whose win last Saturday qualified them for the state championship in Class 6. We wish the Eagles the best of luck this weekend vs. James Madison High School. The game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. this Saturday at Old Dominion University. Go Eagles!

    I also want to remind all students, families, and staff, that every school day is vital in a child’s education. Every instructional hour is filled with promising potential, and it is our collective responsibility to fill each day with lessons from the living room to the classroom. We look forward to seeing all of our students every day during our last week before winter break.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. McDade signature

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