Prince William County School Board Selected Highlights, September 2, 2020

To have one school at Net Zero status for reliance on fossil fuels by 2023 is the ultimate goal of the Board. The Energy Management department is updating lighting to LED exclusively to reduce cost of energy. Dominion power company has donated two electric buses and a charging station. Costs of using electric versus diesel buses that comprise the current fleet will look at the feasibility of converting the PWCS fleet. Current cost of electric buses is three times the price of a diesel bus, but as more electrics are purchased nation-wide, the price is expected to drop.

As would be expected, the bulk of work and issues the Board has worked on and will continue to address in the coming months concerns COVID-19 and how to best manage the 2020-21 school year.

The school system has served over one (1) million meals to students in need. Families have drive-through service to pick up students’ learning equipment prior to September 8.

Tuesday, September 8 will be the first day of virtual school across the County. Most of the 91,000 students will attend classes via computer, smart phone or tablet. However, 1206 students with special needs will begin classes at their respective schools. Teachers have worked arduously with parents to try to meet the learning needs of these children who require one-on-one attention in the classroom.

Students in rural areas will have access to internet because PWCS has shared the cost with Comcast CARE. Elementary students in same families may need to share computers for a while until more laptops become available. Then, each student will have their own laptop.

For security reasons, all Zoom and CANVAS student accounts are locked, so students cannot change their name. If a student has a preferred first name, a parent can change it in the app or browser.

There will be six opportunities each day to access the same course material on-line.

School days will be Tuesday through Friday. Mondays are reserved for teachers to meet. Students will have assignments to complete on Mondays.

School board meetings are on the first and third Wednesday nights at 7 PM via Comcast channel 18 and Verizon FiOS Channel 36. Meetings can also be viewed live online on the PWCS-TV website. Archived meetings are available on YouTube and online at the PWCS-TV Video On Demand website.

Parents and grandparents are encouraged to watch to gain information first-hand. If you have concerns to raise before the Board, you can attend in person. Those details are available at:

In coming weeks we will keep you abreast of School Board activities and issues. Thanks for reading!

— Posted by Tom Salmon for Doris, a fellow member of the Prince William and Manassas Family Alliance

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