Five elementary school students holding books standing in their school library

Dear PWCS Families, Employees, and Community,

As PWCS nears 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.

At the last School Board meeting, the Research, Accountability, and Strategic Planning Department presented the 2023-24 first quarter data. Compared to last year at the same time, our average daily attendance rose from 94% to 95%, and our chronic absenteeism decreased from 18% to 16%. We are encouraged by the support of our families in ensuring students are present every day, and we look forward to our continued partnership to improve our attendance, especially at our 11th and 12th grade levels.

In elementary schools, we are seeing improvement in reading levels, specifically a 5% increase in our Phonological Awareness Literacy Screenings (PALS), a comprehensive assessment of young children’s knowledge of the important literacy fundamentals that are predictive of future reading success. I encourage our students and their families to remain attentive and engaged as we continue to move deeper into the school year’s curriculum. PWCS owes student success to the collective collaboration between students, families, teachers, and all staff. Together we achieve more.

Also, earlier this week, the School Board voted on the 2024-25 school calendar. Option A was selected in alignment with the community and staff survey results. As a reminder, Option A provides a full two weeks at winter break and a teacher workday following spring break. The 2024-25 school calendar’s first day of school for students will be August 19, 2024. I invite you to review the calendar as you make family plans around your child’s education.

Thank you to all who give to those in need, especially during the winter and holiday months. This is a critical time for nonprofits in requesting support and contributions. If you are looking for a way to support your local community, I encourage you to donate to SPARK’s End-of-Year Giving Campaign: “Launching Careers of the Future.”

I am so proud of the Battlefield High School girls’ volleyball team who battled triumphantly in the state semifinals and valiantly in the state championship. Congratulations to a team of dedicated, determined, and talented ladies.

I would like to congratulate the Freedom High School football team, whose 55-14 win against Madison High School last Saturday qualified them for the state championship in Class 6 for the second consecutive year. We wish the Eagles the best of luck this weekend vs. Highland Springs High School. The game is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 9 at the University of Virginia. Go Eagles!

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