Pittsylvania County Schools: 
A Great Place to Learn and Work!

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P.O. Box 232 • 39 Bank Street, SE 
Chatham, Virginia 24531  
Telephone:  (434) 432-2761 • 1-888-440-6520
Fax: (434) 432-9560


Superintendent's Weekly Wrap-Up




Superintendent's Weekly Wrap-Up

School Year 2016-2017

April 10, 2017

Employee of the Week:
Please join in recognizing Mr. James Hardy, Mechanic at the Pittsylvania County Bus Garage, on his selection as Employee of the Week for Pittsylvania County Schools. Please click on the following link to find out what employees do to make this A Great Place to Learn and Work! http://www.pcs.k12.va.us/staff/employee-of-week/


Gifted Endorsement Opportunity
An informational session has been scheduled for any interested teachers who may have a desire to add the Gifted Education endorsement to their Virginia teaching license. The session will be held on Monday, April 24, 2017, at 3:30 p.m., at the School Board Office, Chatham, Virginia. The course work is available through The University of North Georgia. For additional information, please visit the website at:

https://ung.edu/teacher-education/endorsements/gifted.php. Please contact Mr. Cedric Hairston, Supervisor of Specialty Curricula Areas, (Extension 5050), if you plan to attend on April 24.

County JROTC Complete Accreditation Reviews:
The JROTC units at each of the four County high schools completed Program of Accreditation by the Fourth Brigade Evaluation Team (Mr. Dawson and Mr. Shay) this week.

Report from Dan River High School - Dan River High School’s JROTC scored a 98.125 out of a possible 100. The Cadet Battalion Commander Gauge Mayhew commanded the Platoon Drill with a perfect score, Paige Perkins commanded the Color Guard with just a minor deduction. Michael Clark, Paige Perkins, Adontae Nibblett, Dylan Shelton, Emily Liverman, Gauge Mayhew, Austin Hudson, Charlie Holifield, Ryan Thanasi, Cameron Cassady, and Callie Kirk all had a part in the presentation of two briefs with only a small deduction on each. Ten cadets, Morgan Cook, Joshua Pettiford, Andrew Saunders, Callie Kirk, Tomi McGinnis, Haley Guerrant, Paige Perkins, Hannah Mullins, Michael Clark and Charlie Holifield, participated in the presentation of portfolios receiving perfect scores for their hard work. The score that was received makes Dan River JROTC an Honor Unit with Distinction. The Highest Ranking that a JROTC Unit can receive.

As reports are received from the other high schools, each will be shared in the Wrap-Up.

Pittsylvania County Schools’ Student Artwork Displayed at Reid Street Gallery:
Art teachers from Pittsylvania County Schools displayed their students’ artwork at Reid Street Gallery, Chatham, Virginia, from Friday, March 31, 2017, through Friday, April 7, 2017. A reception was held to kick-off the event on March 31.

Teachers in attendance were from left to right: Elizabeth Killian (Gretna Middle School/Chatham Middle School), Dan Franklin (Dan River High School), Wanda Evans (Tunstall High School), Alisa Davis from Reid Street Gallery, and Brandy Durham (Chatham High School).

Danville-Pittsylvania Chamber of Commerce Hosts Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!):
On Thursday evening, young entrepreneurs from Pittsylvania County Schools and Danville City Schools presented their ideas to a panel of investors. In a format similar to the popular television show, Shark Tank, students shared their inventions as well as business plans and prototypes in an effort to garner financial support from investors. Each participant received a $2,000 scholarship to attend Danville Community College and awarded $100. Investors also selected several of the ideas developed by Pittsylvania County students in which to invest: Emily Saunders (Dan River Middle School) - Personalize the Planet-$500; Samuel Nauss (Gretna Middle School) - Dyna-Bytes-$750; Grayson Snead & Emma Williams (Dan River Middle School) - Gray’s Clays and Em’s Gems-$1,000; Zach Parker (Chatham Middle School) & Kathryn Saunders (Dan River Middle School) - Angel Treats-$750; Michael Groom (Dan River Middle School) - Pups Pastries-$446; William McKinney (Tunstall Middle School) - Patronus 3D Printing-$1,309; and Cayla Davis (Dan River Middle School) - Divine Events-$400.

William McKinney was selected to represent Pittsylvania County/Danville City in the Regional Competition being held in New York later this Spring.

Danville Community College/Pittsylvania County Schools Announce Summer Enrichment Program:
The Summer Enrichment Program for identified gifted students in grades eight through ten will be held on June 5-9, 2017, on the Danville Community College (DCC) campus. Each participant will be enrolled as a DCC student for this enrichment session and must test and receive qualifying scores on the Virginia Placement Test (VPT) to be eligible to take any of the courses offered. In order to apply to the Summer Enrichment Program, each student must complete an application and a DCC Summer Enrichment Parent Permission Form and return each to Mr. Cedric Hairston, Supervisor of Specialty Curricula Areas, by April 7, 2017.

PCTC To Host State SkillsUSA Precision Machining Championship:
The Pittsylvania Career and Technical Center Precision Machining Program will be hosting the State SkillsUSA Precision Machining Championships on Saturday, April 8, 2017, from 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. The competition will take place throughout the morning and end around noon, and the awards ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Law Enforcement Partners for 5th Annual Youth Athletic Games:
Danville area law enforcement partners teamed up again for the 5th annual Youth Athletic Games which featured officers and staff members from the Danville Sheriff’s Office, Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, Danville Police Department, Virginia State Police, Danville Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, and Pittsylvania County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. The law enforcement collaborative partnered again with the Boys and Girls Club to continue building positive relationships with youth in the area in the form of athletic competition. Area youth ages 5-17 showed up to participate in four (4) athletic events; 100 yard dash, pull up contest, free throw contest, and jump rope contest. The event was opened with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. The participants then recited a “Good Citizen’s Pledge” which consisted of the young people raising their right hands and promising to be rule-following, law-abiding citizens now and in the future. Each child signed the pledge which was printed on formal paper and was given to them as a keepsake. Children donned bright yellow T-shirts, and medals were awarded for first through third place in each event (distributed by gender and age categories. The event was cost free thanks to local sponsors: Danville Regional Medical Center, Aramark and the Trophy and Sign Center. Aramark provided a meal for everyone in attendance. Over fifty children attended, and the event was a success.

The Danville Sheriff’s Office would like to extend a special thanks to Sheriff Mike Taylor, Chief Philip Broadfoot, Danville Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Newman, Pittsylvania County Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Haskins, Virginia State Police First Sergeant John Turner and the men and women from their respective agencies who volunteered their time and energy to make this event a success. Special recognition was expressed to DSO Sgt. Shawn James for coordinating the event.

2017 SOLs: Shorter Math and Reading Tests and More Test-Compatible Devices for Students:
(Article by Charles B. Pyle, Director of Communications, Virginia Department of Education)

The further expansion of computer-adaptive testing is resulting in shorter Standards of Learning (SOL) reading and mathematics tests for nearly 300,000 additional elementary and middle school students this Spring. In addition, a new version of the Commonwealth’s test-delivery system is allowing students to take SOL tests on a wider array of devices, including iPads and Chromebooks.

“This upgrade simplifies the logistics of SOL testing for many schools because principals and testing coordinators don’t have to move hundreds of students through a limited number of computer labs,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “Students can test in their classrooms with devices they’ve used all year. And the ability to assess more students in less time decreases the amount of instructional time lost to testing.”

While eighth graders and some high school students took SOL writing tests in March, the main Spring testing window opens on April 10. Students in the western part of the State typically test in April and May, while students in central and eastern Virginia test in May and June.

The 2016-2017 school year is the third of a four-year phase-in of adaptive testing — a format that allows for shorter tests — in grades 3-8. This spring, all math tests in grades 3-8 are computer adaptive (with the exceptions of end-of-course algebra and geometry tests), and adaptive reading tests are being introduced in grades 3-5. The phase-in will be complete with the introduction of adaptive reading tests in grades 6-8 during the 2017-2018 school year.

Adaptive tests begin with a question or problem of moderate difficulty. If a student answers the item correctly, the computer selects a slightly more challenging problem as the next item. Conversely, an incorrect response results in the selection of a slightly less difficult item. Students’ scores are determined by the number of questions answered correctly and the relative difficulty of the correctly answered items.

“Adaptive testing allows us to accurately measure proficiency and growth with fewer test items and that means significantly shorter testing times for most students,” Staples said.

The adaptive reading tests that third and fourth graders are taking this Spring have 33 items, 14 fewer than the 47-item tests students took last year. The new adaptive fifth-grade reading SOL also has 33 items, 17 fewer than last year’s non-adaptive version.

Also new this year are 39-item adaptive math tests in grades 4-5, which replace the 60-item math SOLs fourth and fifth graders took last year.

Computer-adaptive SOL testing was first introduced during 2014-2015, with the debut of an adaptive version of the sixth-grade math test. Computer-adaptive versions of the grade-3, grade-7 and grade-8 math tests were introduced in 2015-2016.

Student Leaders Meeting Held:

Student leaders in grades nine through twelve from each of the four County high schools met with school and Central Office administration on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at the Pittsylvania Career and Technical Center to talk about their schools and the school division. This is an annual event that began in 1999 and provides an opportunity for the School Division to hear from students. Topics discussed this year were as follows: parking for students, High School Course Selection Guide, use of cell phones/Smart watches, dress code, SAT prep, coding, school safety, bullying/cyberbullying, grading scales, and Valedictorian/Salutatorian.

I and the other administrators who participated in this activity were extremely impressed with the maturity and intellect of our students. The discussions brought out differing perspectives, and the students were able to glean the complexities of the issues. We truly have a great group of students.


  • April Character Word of the Month – Caring

  • Super Saturday, Saturday, April 8, 2017, Pittsylvania County STEM Academy

  • Southwestern Piedmont Elementary Science/STEM Showcase, Saturday, April 8, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon, Museum of Natural History, Martinsville, VA

  • PRGS Staff Meeting, Saturday, April 8, 2017, Chatham High School

  • Title 1 District Parent Advisory Council Meeting, Tuesday, April 11, 2017, @ 10:00 a.m., School Board Office

  • School Board Meeting, Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 6:30 p.m. Closed, 7:00 p.m. Open, School Board Office

  • Virtual School Informational Meeting, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, @ 2:00 p.m., School Board Office

  • Instructional Principals’ Meeting, Thursday, April 13, 2017 @ 8:00 a.m.
  • Principals’ Meeting, Thursday, April 13, 2017, @ 10:00 a.m.

  • Holiday for Students and All Personnel, Friday, April 14, 2017

  • Holiday for Students and All Personnel, Monday, April 17, 2017

  • National Library Week, April 10-14, 2017

  • Term Graduate/Project Graduation (2nd Opportunity Writing), April 10-13, 2017

  • Family Life Education

    • Dan River High School
      Grade 9 April 26-28, 2017
      Grade 10 April 24-25, 2017

    • Tunstall High School
      Grade 9 April 18-20, 2017
      Grade 10 April 10-13, 2017

  • PowerSchool Assessment and Analytics Posttests, March 28 – May 25, 2017

  • Spring Non-Writing SOL Testing (EL & MS), April 19 – May 16, 2017

  • Spring Non-Writing SOL Testing (HS), April 26 – May 23, 2017

  • Small Business Idea Fair – April 20, 2017, @ Tunstall High School, 6:00 p.m.

  • April is School Library Month

  • Mathematics Awareness Month

  • Autism Awareness Month

  • National Poetry Month

  • Keep America Beautiful Month

Please send media requests to: http://www.pcs.k12.va.us/media/.  This may be (1) to request media presence on site to cover an upcoming event or (2) to request media coverage (without media on site) of an upcoming event or (3) to report news from a past event.  Thank you for identifying the great things happening in the schools!

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Last update: Sunday, April 09, 2017 03:32 PM