April 20, 2016
Posted on 04/21/2016
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School Board Meeting April 20, 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 School Board Approved:

  • The Perkins Local Plan and Budget for Career and Technical Education;
  • The contract awarded to Autumn Contracting, Inc., for the replacement of the roof at Featherstone Elementary School;
  • The contract awarded to Northeast Contracting Corp., for the recovery of the roof at Gar-Field High School;
  • The Local Special Education Annual Plan. The grant application is required by the Virginia Department of Education to receive entitlement money;
  • The minutes of the School Board meeting for April 6;
  • The history and social science textbook adoption timeline and evaluation criteria as proposed;
  • The modification contract with CGI for the implementation of the Network Inventory and Optimization Solution software; and
  • The appointment of Kalai Kandasamy to represent the Coles District on the Safe Schools Advisory Council.

Citizens’ Comment Time:

Citizens addressed the Board on the following topics:

  • School library month;
  • Second annual suicide walk at Forest Park High School on May 21;
  • Bullying;
  • 5K run and walk sponsored by Army JROTC at Forest Park High School on April 23;
  • PWEA’s voice for teachers and students;
  • Teacher’s workload, planning time, and flex time; and
  • George M. Hampton Middle School new gym floor.

Presentations:

Mr. Dave Cline, associate superintendent for Finance and Support Services, presented to the School Board the list of possible changes and cost to the School Division for the name change of Godwin Middle School. The presentation was for information only. 

Superintendent’s Time:

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

  • Two students from Stonewall Middle School were chosen out of 44,000 applicants from across the country to participate in MathCON, a prestigious academic competition hosted by Concept Schools in Chicago later this month. Among the 564 finalists chosen were Bayna Phou, a 6th-grader, and Tuan Vuong Tran, an 8th-grader, at Stonewall Middle School. They scored in the 99th percentile in the qualifying competition.
  • ShennaSomsmieh, a 2011 graduate of Forest Park, sings a song she wrote for the sound track of a movie called “Miss Stevens.” The movie premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival. Shennaworks as an independent singer and songwriter.
  • Another Forest Park graduate, Mayah Dyson, who appears on the Television Show, “Chasing Destiny,” on the Black Entertainment Network, recently sang the classic, “Ordinary People.” 
  • MacKenzie Fisher, also a Forest Park graduate, debuted her album, “Restless” on iTunes recently.
  • In early April, Mountain View Elementary School hosted the Western Prince William STEAM Showcase. Students in elementary, middle, and high schools in the area showed how they integrate science, technology, engineering, art, and math in their projects to solve engineering challenges.  
    • Mountain View leads other PWCS elementary schools in the use of its Makerspace, a do-it-yourself environment to stimulate students’ imagination. Makerspaces are widely popular, and several other Prince William elementary schools are taking the cue from Mountain View and looking at how to convert some of their space into a Makerspace.
    • SPARK, our education foundation, supports Makerspace start-ups in our schools with mini-grants.
    • Battlefield High School some years ago adopted a curriculum incorporating Maker-related components and was the first to have a robotics team. And we know the rest is history in robotics in our county!
    • Mountain View and Battlefield were highlighted in the April issue of Prince William Living in an article on Makerspaces.
  • Brentsville District High School has just been named a Top Global Learning School by AFS—USA and the National Society of High School Scholars. AFS was formerly known as American Field Service.
  • The School Division received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association. This award reflects the commitment of the School Board and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. Congratulations to Kathleen Addison, supervisor of budget, and the entire staff in the budget office.
  • The County recently sold $171.16 million in bonds to support our Capital Improvements Program. These bonds were sold at a record low 2.38 percent true interest cost, the lowest ever achieved on a county bond sale. This low rate, the resultant savings, and our continued Triple A bond rating, are a result of the outstanding financial practices and sound fiscal policies of Prince William County Government and our School Division.
  • According to the latest available data, Prince William County Public Schools has moved from the 38th to the 36th largest school division out of almost 14,000 in the United States.
  • The “Washington Post” issued its annual list of America’s “Most Challenging High Schools.” The challenge index score is calculated on the number of college-level tests given at a school in the previous calendar year divided by the number of graduates that year. Once again, all 11 PWCS high schools are in the top 10% of the 22,000 high schools nationwide.
  • Dr. Walts stated he attended several School of Excellence celebrations recently. Special congratulations to Loch Lomond, Occoquan, Coles, T. Clay Wood, Marumsco Hills, Haymarket, and Henderson Elementary Schools.
  • He also mentioned that the event held in early April for parents on the subject of bullying—how to prevent it, report it, and talk to your children—drew nearly 200 parents. The event was well received and he thanked those parents for coming and all the staff, including school counselors, who assisted that evening.

School Board Matters:

Topics raised by School Board members for Board discussion and possible action:

  • Mr. Justin David Wilk, Potomac District, presented to the School Board a pay plan proposal to provide teachers with a step increase. Click to see presentation.
  • The School Board discussed possible changes to Policy 854-1, “Naming of School Facilities and Buildings.” 
  • Mr. William J. Deutsch, Coles District, discussed with the Board a one-time transfer for teachers on a personal improvement plan.
  • Also for discussion was Policy 930, “Community Use of School Facilities.”

Volume 11, Number 15 – Publication date:  April 21, 2016 

Information and Public meetings of the School Board are broadcast on pwcstv.com

(Select “Video on Demand”), Comcast Channel 18, and Verizon Channel 36. 

School Board Meeting Information

School Board meetings are held in the School Board Meeting Room at 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas. Citizens who wish to address the School Board under Citizens’ Comment Time may notify the Board Clerk in writing, by phone, or by email prior to noon on the day of the meeting.

Please include your address, phone number, and topic of discussion. Your contact information will not be shared with the public. Clerk to the School Board, P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108, Phone: 703.791.8709 - Email: pwcsclerk@pwcs.edu 

Citizens may also sign up to speak prior to 6:55 p.m. on the day of the meeting.

Closed Sessions start at 6 p.m. and are followed by public sessions, which start at 7 p.m.