Superintendent LaTanya D. McDade talking with three culinary arts students at Gar-Field High School

Dear PWCS Families, Employees, and Community,

PWCS recognizes September as National Workforce Development Month, a nationwide effort to acknowledge our workforce's contributions and prepare the next generation of professionals. Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger joined me in celebration by touring the Career and Technical Education programs of culinary arts, plumbing, and Marine Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Gar-Field High School. It was truly inspiring to witness our young professionals engaging in industry discourse and flourishing in authentic hands-on learning.

Yesterday, the Virginia Department of Education released the annual Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) test results and updated School Quality Profile reports. In 2023, the On-Time Graduation rate for the division was 91.7%, on par with last year’s rate, but below our collective goal of 95% by 2025. In four out of the five SOL subject areas, PWCS students outscored the state. The state also released accreditation rates, which are based on school performance quality indicators. In PWCS, 87 of our schools are fully accredited, six are accredited with conditions, and one is under appeal. PWCS remains dedicated to continuous improvement, delivering exceptional instruction, and creating opportunities for our students to launch a thriving future for themselves and their community. Families are encouraged to review school data on the interactive dashboard on the PWCS website.

September is also Attendance Awareness Month. We are off to a strong start as the overall average daily attendance rate for the first two weeks of schools was 96.4%. We need to keep this momentum because, in the first few months of school, attendance is critical to establishing a strong foundation for the entire school year. According to Attendance Works, “Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year. Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month of school.” Together, we must ensure our students are in school and on time. We remain committed to our strategic plan goal of reducing chronic absenteeism by at least 5%. Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10% or a total of 18 school days for any reason. We appreciate your cooperation and support as we work together toward our students' continued success.

As we begin the weekend, I ask you to join me in remembering September 11. On this day, our country observes Patriot Day, a day of reflecting on the devastating event that impacted our proud nation 22 years ago, a day of remembering the precious lives of those who were taken from us too soon, and a day to memorialize the extraordinary heroism of the brave first-responders and the valiant actions of our fellow citizens who made the ultimate sacrifice so that others may live.

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