A Message from Dr. LaTanya D. McDade

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Dear PWCS Families, Employees, and Community,

We are all saddened and incensed by the news of another tragic school shooting, which took place yesterday in Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. There are no words to convey the sorrow we feel for the lives lost and those forever changed. We ask so much of our students and our teachers in these moments. My fervent hope is that we one day know a reality that does not include school shootings or the need to prepare for one.

Please be assured that safety remains our top priority every day. We have processes in place and work closely with the police department to keep our schools safe. Our Risk Management and Security Services Department provides Active Threat Response training at schools with age-appropriate resources to students to ensure safety in a crisis. In addition, every main school entry is limited by a secure buzzer access system. We frequently assess our safety protocols to ensure timely improvement if needed.

Through our Memorandum of Understanding with the Prince William County Police Department, middle and high schools have School Resource Officer support. At the elementary school level, Community Safety Officers and Security Patrol provide continuous support. Additionally, we work closely with the Prince William County Police Department daily. I meet regularly with Police Chief Peter Newsham to ensure collaboration in supporting the needs of Prince William County Public Schools. In the wake of this incident, the Prince William County Police Department is providing special attention to schools throughout the county.

The “See Something Say Something” anonymous reporting system is designed especially for students in grades 6-12 and staff to report concerns of potentially unsafe behavior. This is the best tool for our students to report anything, other than reporting an incident directly to a school administrator or security. This system is monitored 24/7.

School counselors and social workers are here to support any student who is having an acute emotional reaction during the school day. These professionals also stand ready to connect parents/guardians with community resources. Additionally, the PWCS webpage has Crisis Resources that you may find useful.

Every day, you entrust us with not only your students’ academic development, but also their safety and protection. This is a sacred responsibility and one we are committed to doing our absolute best every day.

Sincerely,

Dr. McDade Signature

LaTanya D. McDade, Ed.D.   Superintendent   Prince William County Public Schools

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