A Message from Dr. LaTanya D. McDade, Superintendent of Schools

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Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

Dear PWCS Families, Employees, and Community,

I would like to open by acknowledging that today is School Lunch Hero Day. The dedication and service of our school food and nutrition professionals ensures that our more than 90,000 students receive nutritious meals every school day. Their work is foundational to the health and wellness of our students. Thank you to our School Lunch Heroes!

As we conclude the first week of May and Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to again recognize our outstanding teachers. There is not a professional more deserving of appreciation than our teachers. I am grateful to have had many teachers who genuinely cared about me and even changed the course of my life. I want all teachers to know that you are the key to creating thriving futures for our students. Across the Division, our school communities are showing their appreciation for our incredible educators in a variety of ways including these two videos featuring our elementary students and high school seniors extending gratitude. Thank you, teachers, for all you do!

May 1 was Decision Day. I know that this week is a special time for our seniors as they share their future plans after graduation. I have seen many posts and announcements from members of the Class of 2022, and I am excited and celebrating along with them. We have students heading to colleges and universities across the country and across the world. Some of our upcoming graduates have committed to military service, and many will be entering the workforce. To our graduating seniors, I wish you enormous success in your next chapter.

PWCS will recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of graduating seniors who have obtained full-time employment or committed to military service at the upcoming 2022 PWCS Signing Day on May 25 at the Kelly Leadership Center. All families of high school seniors have received information on how to register for the Signing Day event, please be sure to check your email.

While there is much to celebrate this time of year, it can also be a time of high stress for students, staff, and families. This is a good opportunity to pause and note that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As we look back on the past year, and how much our PWCS community has overcome, it is important to take time to reflect on how resilient we are. Our mental health is an incredibly important part of our overall wellbeing, and critical in our ability to support our families, work effectively, participate in school, and contribute to society in meaningful ways.

This year’s message is “Together for Mental Health,” and our focus is to bring our voices together to advocate for mental health and access to care. I was proud to support a wellness walk and fair at Battlefield High School last week, and tomorrow I invite you to join us at the Forest Park High School Suicide Awareness Walk at 8:30 a.m. This event, rain or shine, is free for our Prince William community. There will be guest speakers, vendors, and a 6.2 mile walk to honor those we have lost and give hope to the many who still struggle with mental health issues. Please also visit our Mental Health Awareness website for additional information and resources.

I would like to close today’s letter with two reminders. First, parents/guardians who are interested in a K-8 virtual school option for their student must complete the program application by May 10. Please visit our website to learn more. Second, a survey on school start times has been shared with all families, students, and staff. Be sure to check your email for the link and share your input by May 13.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Dr. McDade Signature

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

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