Group of elementary school students sitting at a table

Dear PWCS Families, Employees, and Community,

February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) month. CTE programs are critical in preparing our students for employment in fast-growing fields, such as computer programming, engineering, health science, and skilled trades. We are proud to recognize our growth toward accomplishing our goals with these recent examples:

  • 644 active enrollments in CTE dual enrollment courses.
  • 242 registered CTE partnerships this year, and the number is still growing.
  • 118 students engaged in a paid internship with PWCS last year.
  • 17 students were engaged in our Youth Apprenticeship program last year.
  • 64 of our students received job offers while attending our Employment Fairs, which we will continue to hold in May.
  • The aviation maintenance class is a prime example of the hands-on industrial and technical learning occurring in our classrooms.

These are just a few highlights of how CTE in PWCS, invested partnerships across the county, as well as the exceptional teaching and learning happening in our classrooms, are preparing students to create thriving futures.

February is also Financial Aid Awareness Month. Now is an exciting time for our seniors receiving early admissions and college decision letters. Along with the celebration of acceptance letters, paying for college is top of mind for families. I encourage you to contact your student’s College and Career Counselor to find out more about grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs and by exploring all SPARK has to offer. You may also join us for a special live virtual Family Engagement Series, called Focus: Scholarship Searches, on Tuesday, February 20, at 6 p.m. More information may be found on our website.

On Wednesday, I had the honor to join Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Lisa Coons at Leesylvania Elementary School to announce the awarded grant to nine school divisions for the Grow Your Own-Registered Teacher Apprenticeship Program. We are excited to receive $350,000 toward building upon our partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Education teacher preparation programs and to continue delivering on our commitment to strengthening our instructional core.

As we conclude Random Acts of Kindness Week and prepare to honor Presidents Day, I reflect upon the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people.” While schools and offices are closed in observance of the holiday on Monday, February 19, I encourage all students, families, and staff to engage in acts of service that exemplify the spirit of kindness and represent the ideals of Presidents Day.

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