September 20, 2017
Posted on 09/22/2017

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School Board Meeting September 20, 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:
The Legislative Priorities for the 2018 Legislative Session;
• October as Italian American Heritage Month, Polish American Heritage Month, Virginia Disability History and Awareness Month, and Filipino American History Month;

• October 6 as German American Day;
• October 16–20 as Custodial Services Employee Appreciation Week and School Bus Safety Week;
• The Internship Participation Agreement with George Mason University to facilitate the placement of George Mason University nursing students in Prince William County Public Schools;
• The Memorandum of Agreement with the Lake Jackson Lions Club and SPARK, The Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools;
• The Memorandum of Agreement with the Montclair Lions Club and SPARK, The Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools;
• The Memorandum of Agreement with the Park West Lions Club and SPARK, The Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools;
• The Memorandum of Understanding with the Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board to support the development of networks of adult education providers and the connection of these networks to the comprehensive one-stop delivery system in Prince William County;
• The School Board meeting minutes of September 6;
• The proposed sale of VPSA bonds for fall 2017;
• The resolution censuring Chairman Ryan Sawyers for “multiple and egregious violations of the Prince William County School Board Code of Ethics.” (Voting information); and
• The amendment to Section IV of Division Counsel’s employment contract.
• The revisions to Policies: 
403.09, “Student Safety Equipment and Training”;
261, “School Calendar”; and
261.01, “Make-Up Time. 

Citizens’ Comment Time:
A citizen addressed the School Board about the sale of a portion of the proposed 13th high school land.

Presentations and discussion on the following topics:
• Progress update on Fred M. Lynn Middle School’s corrective action plan;
• Best Practices Showcase on The Nokesville School. Select link to view the PowerPoint presentation.
• First reading of Policy 737, “Searches and Seizures.” (No action is required on first readings).

Superintendent’s Time:
Dr. Steven L. Walts, Superintendent of Schools, made the following announcements:
• Ninety-four percent of our schools are fully accredited this year, compared with 86% statewide. This is particularly noteworthy since five of our schools that were partially accredited last year now have full accreditation. Special efforts from teachers and staff helped students increase subject-matter proficiency and clearly bore fruit on the Standards of Learning tests.  

  • At Belmont Elementary, for example, SOL science pass rates rose by 34 points last year. 
  • Congratulations to students and staff there, and across the county--because all schools can be proud of gains in some areas. 
  • It’s great to go from 90% of schools fully accredited last year to 94% now. But we are still striving for 100%.
  • We will continue to give students special assistance where they need it. And we’ll work with the Department of Education and others to help every school, and every student to succeed.
  • Please check pwcs.edu for more on our performance and our commitment to continuous improvement.

• Good news about student performance on the ACT test. PWCS composite scores and results in all areas are the highest in five years.
• PWCS has two college fairs scheduled. One is September 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Osbourn Park High School in Manassas. The second is on October 12, 6 to 8 p.m. at Freedom High School in Woodbridge. All juniors and seniors, and their parents, can explore post-graduation options, and meet representatives from colleges and universities, technical schools, and the military.
• Our continuing efforts to provide new options for the future include some fantastic programs in Career and Technical Education. Following the Board’s request to highlight CTE options, we are now helping families to understand the sometimes-confusing question around Transport versus Transfer programs. There is a brief video online that will be used in upcoming school presentations as part of our commitment to CTE awareness.
• Every school requires proper documentation and authorization for all medications, treatments, and student medical procedures. Authorization forms are on pwcs.edu and in school health offices. Contact school nurses with any questions.
• National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15–October 15) recognizes significant Hispanic-American contributions to our nation’s history. Check the Northern Virginia Community College’s Global Learning Center website for news of special events.
• Congratulations to our 2017 National Merit Semifinalists:  

  • Tristan Baird, Abigail Morgan, and Lisa Moshiro from Battlefield High School;
  • Hailey Page from Brentsville District High School;
  • Grace Yeboah-Kodie, Colgan High School;
  • Daniel Dereberry, Forest Park High School;
  • Lauren Osborne and Kenneth Petscavage, Osbourn Park High School;
  • Matthew Trang, Patriot High School; and
  • Natalie Homnyom, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology 

• Jennifer Parris, a 2003 Forest Park High School graduate, won a 2017 EMMY Award as field producer for the outstanding Informational Series, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.”
• Eleanor Sigrest, a Forest Park High School freshman, was featured on NBC’s Today Show for the amazing work that earned her a top national science fair victory, and $25,000. The award came when she was at Benton Middle School last year.
• And, on behalf of the School Division, a Happy New Year to those celebrating both the Jewish and the Muslim New Years.

 Volume 13, Number 2 – Publication Date: Friday, September 22, 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.