April 5, 2017
Posted on 04/10/2017

Board Briefs masthead

School Board Meeting April 5, 2017
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 School Board Approved:

  • April 23–29 as Administrative Professionals Week;
  • April 26 as Administrative Professionals Day;
  • May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month;
  • May 1–5 as School Food and Nutrition Services Employee Recognition Week;
  • A contract awarded to Service Mechanical, Inc. for a chiller replacement at Minnieville Elementary;
  • A contract awarded to Function Enterprises, Inc. for roof replacement at Fred M. Lynn Middle;
  • The Education Affiliation Agreement with Stone Springs Hospital Center and the Training Affiliation Agreement with Fort Belvoir Community Hospital allowing Prince William County Public Schools Practical Nursing students to utilize both sites as additional clinical sites;
  • The payrolls for February 2017 in the amount of $54,932,410.51;
  • The minutes of the School Board meeting on March 15; and
  • Naming the new “alternative school” as Independence Non-Traditional School.

Citizens’ Comment Time:

Citizens addressed the School Board on the following topics:

  • Bullying;
  • Standardized testing;
  • Out of County tuition for PWCS employees;
  • Recess;
  • Planned addition at Lake Ridge Elementary;
  • Pass rate for boys in Title I schools.

Presentations and Discussions on the following topics:

Superintendent’s Time: Dr. Steven L. Walts made the following comments:

I am pleased to report on the initiatives on closing the achievement gap in Title I schools, including:

  • Thirteen Title I elementary schools, with a poverty percentage over 70%, have been allocated an additional $20,000 to coordinate a three-to-five week Rising Kindergarten Summer Program.
  • Five additional preschool programs, funded by the Title I grant, have started at Belmont, Ellis, Featherstone, Marumsco Hills, and Sinclair Elementary Schools.
  • At least 160 students at each Title I school will receive summer materials to practice reading and math skills to mitigate summer learning loss. Each Title I school holds a “Prevent the Summer Slide” parent event to practice ways to use the instructional materials over the summer months.
  • Forty-seven schools have been designated as a School of Excellence, up from 34 schools last year. This is the highest recognition awarded to our schools by the School Board. Congratulations to the following 33 elementary schools:
    • Alvey, Ashland, Bennett, Buckland Mills, Cedar Point, Coles, Dale City, Fitzgerald, Glenkirk, Gravely, Haymarket, Henderson, King, Leesylvania, Loch Lomond, Marshall, Minnieville, Montclair, Mountain View, Occoquan, Old Bridge, River Oaks, Rockledge, Rosa Parks, Sinclair, Sudley, Swans Creek, T. Clay Wood, Tyler, Victory, West Gate, Westridge, and Williams;
  • Congratulations to the three combined grades schools:
    • Nokesville, Pennington Traditional, and Porter Traditional;
  • Congratulations to the following five middle schools:
    • Benton, Gainesville, Reagan, Saunders, and Woodbridge Middle;
  • And congratulations to the following six high schools:
    • Battlefield, Brentsville, Forest Park, Hylton, Osbourn Park, and Patriot.
  • Congratulations to our students who excelled at the state conference of “Educators Rising,” formerly known as the Future Educators Association:
    • Elizabeth Golden from Stonewall Jackson High School – the only freshman competing –  was awarded first place in Lesson Planning;
    • John Novak and Tessa O’Neal from Battlefield High School earned second place in Researching Learning Challenges;
    • Jennifer Carranza and Tiger-Lilly Cruz from Gar-Field High School won second place in Children’s Literature; and
    • Gar-Field High School’s Lucy Gramajo de Leon and Norma Ramirez took third place in Children’s Literature.
  • And now to our local version of March Madness, congratulations to Hylton High School’s varsity boys’ basketball team and coaches on reaching the Group 6A state finals.  The team made a valiant effort and can be proud of its season record. 
  • Potomac High School 11th-grader Donovan Louis ran 6.87 in the 60-meter dash and placed first in the nation at the New Balance National Indoor Championship. This was a meet record.
    • Potomac 10th-grader Matthew Mitchell placed 8th in the nation in the 60 meter hurdles.
    • And Patriot 12th-grader Rachel McArthur was the national champion in the 800 meter run.
  • The Reagan Middle School and Battlefield High School archery teams had a successful competition at the Virginia National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament. Two team titles were won and three individual State Champions were named. Please see our social media posts to Facebook and Twitter.
  • Congratulations to the winner of the 39th annual Prince William County Spelling Bee, Aditya Chezhiyan, a 7th-grader at Marsteller Middle School, and to all the participants who won spelling bees at their schools to advance to the county competition.
  • Congratulations to the Grand Prize winners of the Prince William-Manassas Regional Science and Engineering Fair:
    • Joshua Beatty, an 8th-grader at Parkside Middle School, for his project in the computer science category; and
    • Juniors Jarrett Lash and Hahnbee Lee from Patriot High School and the Governor’s School at Innovation Park, for their project on solar energy, in the engineering category.
  • The Osbourn Park High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, under the direction of Commander James Ogawa and Chief Darrick Williams, placed third in the regional competition and will be the first unit from Northern Virginia to ever advance to the national competition at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida. Only the top 25 units of the 575 units nationwide qualify to compete in the national competition each year.
  • Our students are doing amazing things in science, and now they are getting a giant boost from a business partner, C & A Scientific, a Prince William County-based and family-owned business located in Manassas.
    • C & A has donated $300,000 worth of products to SPARK, our education foundation, including new lab equipment, experimental kits, and microscopes.
    • C & A is also providing professional development to teachers on using the donated equipment.
    • On behalf of the School Board and Administrative Leadership Team, I extend our appreciation to C & A for their generosity and business partnership with SPARK.
  • Congratulations to Ms. Lynn Colon, principal of Mary Williams Elementary School, for being selected as one of the National School Boards Association’s “20 to Watch” educators for the 2016-17 school year. This award recognizes emerging leaders who will help to shape the world of education technology for the next 20 years.
  • For the 14th year in row, PWCS has been honored by the Association of School Business Officials International with the Certificate of Excellence Award for our Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Congratulations to Associate Superintendent Dave Cline, Director John Wallingford, Supervisor Lisa Thorne-Izes, and all of the staff in the Financial Services Office.
  • For the third year in a row, the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals has named a PWCS employee as the National Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year. Congratulations to Swans Creek Elementary Schools’ Amanda Broy.
  • April is designated as “Month of the Military Child” to show support for military children and to thank them for their strength and sacrifices. We ask all of our families, staff, and students to participate in "Purple Up Day" on April 21 by wearing purple as a special way to recognize military families.
  • It was exciting to attend the 47th Annual All-County Arts Festival at Colgan High School on April first. It was great to see the creative talents of students in our K-12 Visual and Performing Arts programs.
    • I thank all of the teachers for taking the time and effort to display their students’ work.
    • While on the topic of creative arts, I encourage parents to enroll their students in our summer art enrichment program. Registration materials are available from all elementary and middle school art teachers. Registration closes May 5.
  • As requested by several School Board members, representatives from Segal Waters Consulting will return to the May third Board meeting to further discuss recommendations from the Compensation Study.
  • And in closing to my celebratory comments, a 16-person team of education experts from across the U.S. says it is recommending PWCS for its third 5-year system accreditation by AdvancED, based on our impressive performance in critical areas of teaching and learning, leadership capacity, and use of resources. AdvancEd evaluators assess, and make improvement recommendations for more than 32,000 schools worldwide. The final AdvancEd report and official accreditation designation is expected in about a month. However, while still unofficial, the team said PWCS has reason to celebrate the way it is serving students and the community.
  • Now, on to my next update on the work we are doing to accomplish the School Board’s identified goals for the Superintendent and the School Division for the current school year.
  • As a reminder for the viewing audience, the Board established nine over-arching goals from within seven standards. And from those goals, 40 indicators of success were identified.
  • I have already presented on a number of these improvement opportunities at previous Board meetings.
  • Tonight, I will present on the status of the work that is being done in Standards Two and Three and two of the 40 indicators related to Closing the Achievement Gap for students with disabilities.

Volume 12, Number 14 – Publication Date: April 7, 2017

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.