Prince William County Public Schools: World Class Education
The numbers and anecdotes tell the story. Prince William County has some of the best schools in the state. Between SOL scores, accreditation, school awards and teacher and student awards, it is clear why residents can be proud of our local public school system. Here are just a few insights into Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS).
Standards of Learning (SOL) Testing: Prince William County Scores High
Recent test scores show Prince William County has scored above other counties in just about every area. In reading and writing, PWCS outperformed the state on six of seven reading tests and equaled the state on the other. On high school reading, PWCS improved and had a pass rate of 90 percent. PWCS outperformed the state on all three writing tests. In science, PWCS met or exceeded state performance on four of six science tests. In history and social science, PWCS met or exceeded state performance on eight of nine history/social science tests.
Accreditation: Prince William County Exceeds State Average
A total of 74 out of 86 eligible Prince William County public schools are fully accredited, according to a report by the Virginia Department of Education. These results mean 86 percent of PWCS schools are fully accredited, versus just 68 percent of the schools statewide.
Awards: Our Schools Stand Out
Dozens of PWC Schools have been named Schools of Excellence. Among them have been Mountain View Elementary School in Haymarket and Victory Elementary School in Bristow.
A School of Excellence must be fully accredited by the state, meet Virginia academic Annual Measurable Objectives and achieve an overall score of 90 out of 100 points on PWCS Strategic Plan-based measures. Strategic Plan measures include student achievement, climate and student health. The School of Excellence distinction is the highest recognition awarded to a school by the Prince William County School Board.
Prince William County also achieved national recognition as one of America’s Promise Alliance’s “100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING” for its initiatives to help young people. The competition recognizes communities across the country that focus on reducing high school dropout rates and providing service and support to their youth.
Teachers: Our Educators are Recognized
Three Battlefield High School (Haymarket) teachers have been chosen by the College Board to be readers for the 2015 Advanced Placement (AP) Reading exam, which takes place in June. AP readers evaluate and score the free-response sections of the AP exams. The teachers named are Jason A. Miller, social studies teacher, AP World History, Utah exams; Jessica LoPresti, language arts teacher, AP Literature, Kentucky exams; and Brian Meermans, mathematics teacher, AP Computer Science, Missouri exams.
Four science teachers are helping change the way that science is taught in Virginia schools, moving instruction from teacher-led discussions to inquiry-based problem solving. Amanda Cook from Battlefield High; Scott Kelly and Meghan Waymire from Freedom High; and Amanda Riggleman from Stonewall Jackson High School, shared insights into student-centered teaching at the annual Virginia Association of Science Teachers professional development institute.
The teachers participated as part of the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA) funded by the U.S. Department of Education. VISTA provides graduate credit, stipends, and classroom resources for secondary teachers selected for the program.
Students: Prince William County Learners Shine
A six-student team from The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park has been named “Best in Region” in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. Amber Thaxton and Sydney Williams from Battlefield High School; Margaret Anderson and Isabel Madden from Woodbridge High School; along with teammates Naima Chughtai and Kat Crim have earned a $5,000 cash grant to support programs at GS@IP.
The team submitted “Block It Out” in response to the challenge of designing a mobile application concept that addresses a need or problem in their local schools or communities. Aimed at the issue of distracted driving, but with uses in other areas, this app blocks or filters out calls and messages, allowing drivers to keep their attention on the road. Unlike other car safety apps, “Block It Out” can also send messages explaining why the user is not responding.
Each of the 24 Best in Region student teams now moves on to the finals, where eight Best in Nation winners will be chosen from four middle schools and four high schools.