Dear PWCS Families, Employees, and Community,

The devastating news of this week’s tragedy involving gun violence in Nashville, Tennessee, has left us all saddened and disheartened. There are no words to convey the sorrow felt for the lives lost and for those lives forever changed. Regrettably, the news of the recent school shooting is yet another example of the discouraging nationwide trend of gun violence and its lethal effects.

As a community, as a society, and as a nation, our moral obligation must be to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our children, our staff, and our schools. My fervent hope is that we one day know a reality that does not include school shootings or the need to prepare for one. Until that hope becomes the living standard, PWCS recognizes the need to respond proactively to deter, detect, and defend. We consistently review our crisis management plans, progressively invest in safety initiatives, and frequently evaluate our building security. We need our community to partner with us to ensure our students have the freedom to attend school without hesitation, trepidation, or fear.

Today is the last opportunity to provide feedback on the prospect of utilizing the weapon detectors demonstrated at our recent Safety and Security Briefings. Please submit your comments or questions on our official form. More information about security scanners may be found on our website. The division will review the feedback and present the findings and recommendations to the School Board in April.

On a more hopeful note, PWCS continues to focus on post-secondary success for our students. This month, PWCS hosted an inaugural Career Fair at Gainesville High School. Fifty business partners participated and over 500 parents/students attended. This was a true collaboration, and you can watch our students who benefitted from this fantastic event.

We continue to seek your voice and your partnership in improving our school division. On April 10, look for your invitation to complete the annual PWCS Climate and Culture Survey, which will be open from April 10-21. The survey captures feedback from families, students, and staff on progress in addressing the four commitments of PWCS Vision 2025 Launching Thriving Futures Strategic Plan. Students in grades 3 through 12 will complete the survey in school, while parents/guardians and staff will receive web links to complete the survey by email or text. Participation in the survey is voluntary and anonymous. All voices are essential to ensure we build on strengths and address areas of concern.

As a reminder, Spring Break for students and teachers is April 3-7. Teachers will report to school on Monday, April 10, for a Teacher Professional Development and Workday. Students will return to class on Tuesday, April 11.

I wish everyone a relaxing and safe Spring Break.

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