November 4, 2020
Posted on 11/18/2020

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School Board Meeting of November 4, 2020

View the agenda on the Electronic School Board webpage.
Watch the School Board meeting on PWCS-TV.

The School Board Approved:

  • The award of a contract for Abatement Services to the lowest responsive and responsible bidders (PDF), Primary: ACM Services, Inc., Secondary: BARCO Enterprises, Inc., Tertiary: Waco, Inc., and Quaternary: Retro Environmental, Inc.;
  • The award of a contract for Electrical Services to the lowest responsive and responsible bidders (PDF), Primary: Lighting Maintenance, Inc., Secondary: R.E. Lee Electric Company, Inc., and Tertiary: Custom Service, Inc.;
  • The appointment of Russell Keating to represent Dr. Babur Lateef, Chairman At-Large, on the CTE Advisory Council for a two-year term;
  • A resolution (PDF) requesting the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) to accept, budget, and appropriate $897,711.40 awarded by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS). The source of funding was based on formula-based and competitive grants to support the programs and activities under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER), and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) State Set-aside funds. And, that the BOCS adjust the Fiscal Year 2021 School Board Operating Fund budget by an increase of $897,711.40, and to direct staff to prepare the appropriate documents to be forwarded to the BOCS to request the adjustment;
  • The Preschool Program Enrollment Criteria (PDF) for the 2020-21 school year;
  • The appointments of Tony Ethan Bright, Mayor Earnie Porta JD, PhD, and John Wheeler to represent Dr. Babur Lateef, Chairman At-Large, on the Sustainability Advisory Council for a two-year term;
  • The School Board meeting minutes (PDF) for October 21, 2020;
  • The adoption of new Policy 411 (PDF), "Menstrual Supply Products”;
  • Proposed legal revisions to Policies 060, 063, 501, 507, 512 and 701;
  • The appointment of Brandynn Reaves as Deputy Clerk to the School Board conditioned upon a satisfactory background check and any other prerequisites to employment. The Prince William County School Board will require a corporate surety bond in the amount of $10,000 for the Deputy Clerk to the School Board, conditioned upon the faithful performance and discharge of her duties; with the premium for such bonds to be paid for by the School Board;
  • Holding a special meeting on December 17, 2020 for the purpose of receiving a report on the superintendent search process; 
  • Adopting a resolution (PDF) and appointing Loree Williams as representative, and Lillie Jessie as alternative representative, to the Racial and Social Justice Commission created by the Board of County Supervisors on October 20, 2020; and
  • Calendar Option C (PDF) for the 2020-21 Annual School Calendar.

Citizens addressed the School Board on the following topics:

  • Return to School Buildings Plan
  • Health Plan
  • Proposed calendars for 2021-22 school year

Student Matters:

  • Measures Woodbridge High School has taken to address concerns from the student survey
  • Upcoming events and items for students
  • Free SAT school day

Staff Presentation Topics:

  • 2020-21 Annual School Calendar (PDF) and calendar options (PDF)
  • Strategic Plan Report (PDF)
  • 9/11 Remembrance Plan (PDF)
  • Update on the High School Virtual Learning Program (PDF)
  • Update on the status of CARES Act Funding and Expenditures (PDF)
  • Superintendent’s update on the pandemic and health services update (PDF)
    • Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with an update on health metrics and our Return to School Buildings Plan.
    • Since school began, PWCS has reported more than 130 positive cases of the COVID-19 virus. Some of those cases have affected individuals currently working or attending school in-person resulting in a number of quarantines, and many of those cases have been for individuals working or learning virtually.
    • It is important to note that as we prepare to bring students back for in-person learning next week, had all of these cases been in-person cases, we would have had people in quarantine at various times at 69 schools or offices in our Division, which is more than half of our total schools.
    • We continue to monitor local health metrics, and the trends are not positive, as COVID cases grow locally, regionally, and nationally.
      o Last week, Prince William County entered the red on one of the three primary core indicators. PWCS total number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the past 14 days were above 223 as of Monday; anything above 200 is considered the highest risk for that primary indicator.
    • It is my pleasure to introduce Teresa Polk, supervisor of Student Health Services, who will share more information on the health metrics. (See health services update (PDF))
    • Thank you, Ms. Polk. It is important to note that should multiple primary indicators or secondary indicators enter into the highest risk category, we may enter Phase I guidance, which is the most restrictive for allowing in-person teaching and learning.
    • We will continue to review and share local health metrics on our COVID dashboard at www.pwcs.edu and make any adjustments to our plans to return students to the school buildings if needed.
    • At this time, I am not making any changes to our current plan to implement the 50 percent hybrid model as scheduled.
    • PWCS will be conducting surveys beginning November 16 to gather feedback from parents, students, and teachers about their experiences with virtual learning in the first quarter. These surveys will provide PWCS with information to further refine virtual and hybrid learning as needed moving forward.
    • Many parents and guardians have asked to have an opportunity to update their selection for their student’s preferred attendance method in the third quarter. As such, we will provide another opportunity from January 4 through 8 to update their ParentVUE selection if they want to make a change for their student to attend in-person or virtually in the third quarter, should health conditions permit us to open per the dates the school board approved at the last meeting. Only those who plan to make a change would need to do so.
    • We continue to prepare for the return of our students to our school buildings. Thanks to the IT staff working hard every Sunday this month, the network upgrade is now complete, and the 100 Gigabit network is available to all schools. Headsets and webcams are being delivered this week to schools, with priority to prekindergarten through third grade, and all other grades by November 12. Additionally, the Division is expected to be fully one-to-one with computers a month earlier than planned, and will be fully implemented by winter break.
    • Also, some of our students are currently participating in out of season conditioning for sports, following several safety guidelines including social distancing. Winter sports, including basketball, gymnastics, indoor track, swim, dive, and wrestling, are scheduled to begin as early as December 7 and some student clubs have begun to meet as well. As with in-person learning, athletics and in-person activities may be adjusted based on changing health guidance and/or pandemic health metrics.
    • Thank you and stay safe and healthy.

Superintendent's Time:

  • I appreciate the opportunity to update the School Board, staff members, parents, students, and community members on the education and other important work occurring while we experience COVID-19.
  • During a pandemic, it is always great to receive some good news about the Division. Prince William County Public Schools has earned the Virginia School Boards Association Green Schools Challenge Award. Congratulations to our School Board, Associate Superintendent Al Ciarochi, Director of Facilities Services John Windley, Administrative Coordinator for Energy Management Brian Gorham and his team, for the outstanding work dedicated to energy management and sustainability in our schools.
  • Also related to the pandemic, I would like to highlight the work of Chris and Sarah Eckenrode, teachers at Featherstone Elementary School, who have built and donated 35 desks to students.
  • Thank you and stay safe and healthy.