Dr. McDade speaking with a librarian in a school library

Dear PWCS Families, Employees, and Community,

One focus of Commitment 1: Learning and Achievement for All in the PWCS Vision 2025 Launching Thriving Futures Strategic Plan includes preparing every student for post-secondary success. Our goal is 100% of graduates enrolling in technical school, two- or four-year college programs, entering the military, the workforce, or accessing community transition services within 16 months of graduation. Monday, May 1, is National College Decision Day. For all those graduates who have chosen that path, congratulations on your college acceptance. I can’t wait to witness the impact you will have on our future.

Our Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs also continue to innovate, remaining vital in preparing our students for post-secondary success. Bezawit Abate, a Potomac High School sophomore, serves as a powerful example of the game-changing work our CTE programs accomplish across PWCS every day. What started as a class project in Ms. Tillar’s Economic/Personal Finance course turned into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as Rubin Education, a provider of online curriculum for employability skills, awarded Bezawit with the first-ever America's Next Great Intern award. Bezawit moved to the U.S. from Ethiopia only seven months ago, but by embodying the five characteristics of a PWCS Profile of a Graduate and active membership in Future Business Leaders of America, Bezawit earned this national recognition. We are so proud of Bezawit’s accomplishment and the continued success of our brilliant CTE graduates.

April is National School Library Month, and this week is National Library Week. The celebratory theme of “There’s More to the Story” reads true for our students, our libraries, our librarians, and the books we all enjoy. Our libraries are at the heart of our school communities, providing internet and technology access, academic resources, guidance as digital citizens, and, of course, entertainment. I want to thank our wonderful school librarians, who continue to innovate with the changing landscape of technological advancements while encouraging our students to develop a lifelong love of reading.

Our arts festivals showcase our students’ innovation, vision, and critical thinking through their unique interpretations of the world. I was so impressed with the creative imaginations and technical craft on display at the PWCS Elementary Arts Festival on April 15. I encourage all our community members to attend the Middle and High School All County Arts Festival tomorrow, April 29, from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. at the Kelly Leadership Center.

As a reminder, the 7th Annual Suicide Awareness Walk will take place on May 6, 2023, at Forest Park High School between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. I hope you will join me at this meaningful event. PWCS continues to raise awareness through the “Together for Mental Health” campaign in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. PWCS prioritizes student health and wellness and looks and hopes to end the stigma associated with suicide prevention. 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.

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