Potomac News Online | Prince William County Schools

A growing school system

The Prince William County school division will have 75 schools in operation come fall 2003. J.W. Alvey Elementary School, opening in Haymarket, is the newest addition to last year’s total.

The school division is projecting a 4-percent increase, or 2,381 more students next school year, bringing the total to 62,389 students. To house projected growth, five more schools are on the way. Two elementary schools, two high schools and a traditional school are scheduled to open fall 2004.

Prince William is the third-largest school division in the state. New schools and renovations are a large part of the school system’s $517 million budget this year.

Elected officials

The school division is led by an elected eight-member school board. Lucy S. Beauchamp is the board chairwoman. Donald Richardson of Gainesville is vice chairman. The other board members and the districts they represent are: Julie Lucas, Neabsco; Joan Ferlazzo, Dumfries; Lyle Beefelt, Brentsville; William Hundley, Coles; Stephen Wassenberg, Occoquan; and Steven Keen, Woodbridge. Twenty-two candidates are running in the Prince WIlliam School Board race in November 2003. Half of the incumbents are seeking re-election. Beauchamp and Keen will vie for the chairman at-large seat. Lucas and Richardson are seeking re-election. Board members serve four-year terms. The term of the current School Board extends from Jan. 1, 2000 to Dec. 31, 2003.

How to contact the School Board members:

? At-Large chairwoman: Lucy Beauchamp, (703) 330-4846 or?[email protected]

? Coles: William Hundley, (703) 730-5474 or?[email protected]

? Brentsville: Lyle G. Beefelt, (703) 791-0104 or?[email protected]?

? Gainesville: Donald P. Richardson (703) 753-6551 or?[email protected]

? Dumfries: Joan Ferlazzo, (703) 897-0042 or?[email protected]?

? Neabsco: Julie Lucas, (703) 490-2338,?[email protected]

? Occoquan: Stephen R. Wassenberg, (703) 580-9890 or?[email protected]

? Woodbridge: Steven Keen, (703) 490-0958 or?[email protected]

School Board meetings

The School Board meets the first, second and fourth Wednesday of each month from September through June at 6:15 p.m. in the School Board meeting room at the School Administration complex, 14800 Joplin Road, Independent Hill. Meetings on the first and fourth Wednesdays are open meetings and are broadcast live on Comcast Cable Channel 3. Closed sessions are held on the second Wednesday. Special meetings are called when necessary to conduct school business. For a recorded list of scheduled School Board meetings, call (703) 791-2776, or go to the Web at?http://www.pwcs.edu.

Citizens who wish to address the School Board under citizens comment time must notify Mary Jane Scharf, the clerk to the School Board, prior to noon the day of the board meeting. Please write to: Clerk to the School Board, P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108 or e-mail at [email protected]

Agendas are published in advance. If you would like to receive an agenda or want more information about a specific item, please call the Clerk to the Board at (703) 791-8705.

A leader in education

Prince William County Public Schools is well known for its system of school-based management, which places decision-making and accountability at the school level. A few examples of initiatives that bring recognition to Prince William are an enhanced curriculum, teacher committees that guide the transition and implementation of the new curriculum, the multicultural program, technology infrastructure, and pioneering use of Instructional Support Teams that work with schools and teachers at the classroom level.

Prince William is repeatedly asked by the Virginia Department of Education to share its innovative programs with other school divisions. The school division also was selected to lead state efforts to develop the Standards of Learning tests for science and was the first in Virginia to restructure its curriculum. In addition, Prince William was the first to develop its own performance tests. As a result, the state followed Prince William’s model for the SOL testing program.

Specialty programs

The school division prides itself on more than a dozen specialty programs offered at all levels of schooling in the county.

Centers for the mathematics and science, foreign language, technology and various other disciplines are open to any interested students.

Students may attend schools outside of their boundaries for specialty schools if they are accepted through an application process.

More information on special programs is available at (703) 791-7400 or by calling the individual schools.

A specialty program that focuses on traditional learning with a concentration on discipline and high academic standards is available on the west end of the county. Pennington School, located at 9305 Stonewall Road in Manassas,will serve first- through eighth-graders this fall. At Pennington, students wear uniforms and parents are required to volunteer. A second traditional school is scheduled to open on Blackburn Road September 2004. A name for the second traditional school opening in September has not been decided.

New Dominion Alternative School, located at 8220 Conner Avenue, serves middle and high-schoolers who have come from respective schools for reasons such as academic, discipline or attendance.

The School Board will also vote on whether to approve a charter school application in the fall. Charter schools are publicly funded schools managed by teachers, parents, or others to establish educational philosophies and goals.

Gifted Education programs are offered for students who are identified as potentially gifted beginning in elementary school.

Prince William students also can apply to the Thomas Jefferson School for Science and Technology, a Governor’s Regional School in Alexandria.

Meeting special needs

Prince William offers special education services to students who fall into 14 categories. Federal law dictates that children between the ages of 2 and 21 be provided a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. For more information, call (703) 791-7287. The county school system provides programs for students in all grades who are identified as gifted and talented.

The division also provides English for Speakers of Other Languages classes for any student for whom English is not the primary language and whose English is not adequate for the student to function successfully in regular subject areas. ESOL students receive one to four hours of English instruction per day at one of 52 centers in the county’s elementary, middle and high schools. Bilingual support services, including translating and interpreting for school purposes, are available on an as-needed basis. ESOL students represent more than 105 languages and cultures. For more information, call (703) 791-8706.

Before and After care

Thirty-six elementary schools will offer before- and after-school child care during the 2003-04 school year. The schools are: Alvey, Antietam, Ashland, Bel Air, Belmont, Bristow Run, Cedar Point, Coles, Dumfries, Dale City, Kerrydale, Lake Ridge, Leesylvania, Marshall, Marumsco Hills, McAuliffe, Minnieville, Mont-clair, Mountain View, Mullen, Neabsco, Occoquan, Old Bridge, Pattie, Pennington, River Oaks, Rockledge, Penn, Signal Hill, Springwoods, Sudley, Swans Creek, Triangle, Tyler, Vaughan and Westridge.

Weekly rates for the completely self-supporting School-Age Care program are: $77 for before- and after-school care; $54 for after-school care only; $49 for before-school care only. During the winter, spring and summer vacation periods, School-Age Care children can receive care for $107 week.

Residents should call (703) 792-6091 for more information. Those interested in applying can find an application and instructions on the Internet at http://www.pwcgov.org/sacare.

There is a $25 non-refundable application fee. Students who participate in free or reduced lunch programs pay lower fees.

Breakfast and lunch

The school system offers school lunch and breakfast programs, including reduced prices and free meals for students whose financial status makes them eligible.

Breakfast, all students: $1 Breakfast, adult: $1.10 Lunch, elementary: $1.60 Lunch, middle and high: $1.65 Lunch, adult: $2.15

School hours

High school classes are generally held from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; middle school from 8 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.; and elementary school classes from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

All but 18 of 47 elementary schools in the county will have an early dismissal about 1 p.m. on Thursdays. The exceptions are: Antietam, Ashland, Belmont, Dale City, Enterprise, Henderson, J.W. Alvey, Leesylvania, Loch Lomond, Marumsco Hills, McAuliffe, Mullen, Neabsco, Old Bridge, Penn, Sudley and Yorkshire elementary schools. Pennington School also will not have early release.

Schools contacts

? Superintendent Edward L. Kelly: (703) 791-8712

? Community Relations (basic information): (703) 791-8720 or on the Web at http://www.pwcs.edu

? Transportation (information on bus stops and times): (703) 368-0176 Planning Office (enrollment information): (703) 791-7273

? School cancellations and lunch menu information: (703) 791-2776

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