December 14, 2016
Posted on 12/16/2016
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The School Board Meeting December 14, 2016 

Select this link to view the agenda on the Electronic School Board web page. 

Select this link to view the School Board meeting on PWCS-TV. 

The Forest Park High School Choir performed a medley of holiday songs. 

The School Board Approved:

  • The contract awards to multiple vendors for library books on the basis of a percentage discount;
  • The resolution requesting BOCS transfer of $12,000,000 in proffer funds in support of the PWCS FY 2017 construction of Kyle R. Wilson Elementary School and “Potomac Shores” Elementary School as identified in the CIP;
  • The School Board meeting minutes of November 30;
  • The appointment of Sarah Matthews to represent the Brentsville District on the Special Education Advisory Committee;
  • Option number 2, regarding changes that were made to the teachers’ workday from 7.5 hours back to 7 and the implications regarding leave. Option number 2 is to “do nothing” and the leave balances stay as is; and
  • That Friday, January 20, all PWCS schools and employees have a day off in honor of the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America.

Policies and Regulations:

Policy 542, “Compensated Leave,” first reading (no action is required on first readings). 

Citizens’ Comment Time:

Citizens addressed the School Board on the following:

  • Expansion of physical education and recess for students;
  • Readjustment of teacher’s sick leave;
  • Placement of items on the School Board agendas;
  • Personal political views;
  • Overcrowding in the schools and funding from BOCS; and
  • The role of School Resource Officers in the schools.  

Presentations and Discussions on the following:

  • Battlefield High School’s significant gains in expanding Career and Technical Education classes and dual enrollment classes within its existing specialty program.
  • Gar-Field High School’s significant gains in the achievement gap with English learners and other students. The commitment to providing instructional fairness and support improved math proficiency and graduation rates. Also, students from the Gar-Field High School drum line gave a short performance for the School Board and audience.
  • The naming of the new Facilities Services building #52 on the Independent Hill Complex in honor of Randolph P. Dasher.

Superintendent’s Time:

Dr. Steven L. Walts, Superintendent of Schools, made the following announcements:

  • On December 6, a major water main break affected a number of schools in western Prince William County. These schools stayed open thanks to the tremendous team effort of Facilities Services, Food Services, the Media Production Services and Communications Services, and staff in the schools. This was a totally new type of situation, at least in scope and scale, for us. We have never gone to Walmart and bought 12,000 bottles of water before.
  • The third annual Parent Summit will be held on Saturday, January 7, at Hylton High School, from 8 to 11:20 a.m. This is a free event for parents and guardians of 8th-graders and high school students. Please register in advance by going to the high school websites to be directed to the Parent Summit information on the College and Career web page.
  • Dr. Staples, Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, commended the School Division on reports that the graduation rate for our English learner students is nearly 10% higher than other English learners across Virginia. Congratulations to Mrs. Janine Sadki, director of English Learner Programs and Services, and to administrators and English Learner teachers in our schools.
  • On December 8, Forest Park High School students were at Kerrydale Elementary School to donate computers to 30 families and provide training to the families. This was the third event in a month at which our high school students provided computers to families through our Virginia STAR computer refurbishment program. Since 2010, the VA STAR program, which began at Forest Park High School, has refurbished and donated over 11,000 computers. The students who work on the computers gain valuable technology skills that can lead to industry certification and employment.
  • Stonewall and Benton Middle Schools have student teams competing in the CyberPatriot qualifying round of competitions this week.
  • Daly Computers offers a discount to Prince William County Public School employees on computers and other technologies. Employees may learn more on our pwcs.edu intranet.
  • Robotics competitions are in full swing. Woodbridge High School recently hosted the largest VEX tournament in Virginia. Fifty middle school teams and 50 high school teams battled for spots to the VEX State Tournament in February. Congratulations to Benton Middle School Team 1231-G and Woodbridge High School Team 1575-D on winning the Excellence Award, the highest award of a VEX tournament.
  • Rockledge Elementary School’s team, Electro Eagles Black, won the Judges Award at the FIRST LEGO League State Tournament.
  • Beginning on January 9 and running through the 27th, the annual Divisionwide Survey will be administered to all staff, and to parents and students in grades three through 12. The survey forms are tailored for each different stakeholder group. Your feedback is very important to us; everyone is encourage to participate and complete their survey.
  • Dr. Walts wished everyone a wonderful and safe holiday season, and best wishes for the New Year.

Dr. Walts Reported on his Goals:

The budget discussions will start after the holidays. As part of that budget conversation, Dr. Walts will submit information, as required by the School Board, in terms of the goals they have established for him.

In particular, one of the goals is to provide a comprehensive assessment of the School Division’s efforts to reduce class sizes and develop an expedited, specific five-year plan with numerical goals and recommendations for appropriate class sizes at the different grade levels, identifying the resources needed to reach these goals, financial and otherwise. The plan should also address special education caseloads, alternative educational programs, and the effect on and/or availability of technological resources relative to such plan.

The School Board has already received the initial information, including a budgetary outlay. In addition, there have been discussions on closing the achievement gap, so there will also be this supplement in addition to the budget. There will be a supplementary item on potential ideas in terms of training personnel to close the achievement gap, starting with an acting director for school improvement. Dr. Walts stated that he would be presenting a budget that will come in at the “mark.” The “mark” is given and established by our Board of County Supervisors. He will be submitting the required information as requested by the School Board for its consideration and potential action. 

Volume 12, Number 8 – Publication Date: December 16, 2016

School Board Meeting Information:

Individuals who wish to address the School Board under Citizens’ Time should notify the Board Clerk in writing at P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108; by phone at 703.791.8709; or by email at pwcsclerk@pwcs.edu prior to noon on the day of the Board meeting and will be placed on the list of speakers. Or, individuals may also sign onto the list of speakers maintained at the entrance to the School Board meeting room at the beginning of a regular Board meeting, but prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting. Please provide your name, address, phone number, and topic you would like to speak about. Any deviation from these procedures shall be at the discretion of the Chairman. All speakers must provide the School Board Clerk with their address and phone number in order to verify their residency and permit the Clerk to contact them if necessary. Upon request, the Clerk will not release to the public the address and phone number of the speaker.