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

November 18, 2016

Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the first and official Thanksgiving holiday in 1863. It was during this time that Thanksgiving became an official national holiday, declared on the fourth Thursday of every November. George Washington was the first president that mentioned this term back in 1789. With decades of dispute, the ability for the government to rightly recognize and celebrate this holiday took years. Lincoln made it a reality.

Our Thanksgiving holiday will begin at the close of business on Tuesday, November 22, 2016. I hope you and your families have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Pittsylvania County School Board Attends Virginia School Boards Association Conference:

The School Board attended the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) Annual Conference on Wednesday, November 16, through Friday, November 18, 2016. The VSBA Annual Convention is the largest and most anticipated VSBA meeting of the year.

This event brings together over one thousand school board members, superintendents, and school division staff from across Virginia. Board members participate in over 50 hot topic breakout sessions, have the opportunity to meet with businesses dedicated to serving schools, network with members from other school divisions, and hear updates on school law and school finances.

School Board Liaisons Earn Scholarships at VSBA Conference:

Four Virginia seniors were awarded 2016 Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) Exhibitors Scholarships at the VSBA Annual Convention in Williamsburg, VA on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. The scholarships, funded by exhibiting companies at the VSBA’s annual convention, were made available to spring 2017 graduating seniors who had served as student school board representatives. Erin Mayhew from Gretna High School was recognized with the Silver Award.

Virginia Retirement System Update:

VRS encourages all employees to subscribe to Member News so they receive it directly. You may subscribe at: http://www.varetire.org/newsletter

The November issue of Member News is located at: http://www.varetire.org/mnews

November Topics Include:

  • Have You Visited the New myVRS?

  • Time Is Short to Purchase Your Prior Service Before 2017 Changes

  • Start Planning Your Future Now: Check Out Your 2016 Member Benefit Profile

  • How Does VRS Measure Up?

  • Retiring Soon? Do This First

  • Protect the Ones You Love With Optional Life Insurance

  • Hybrid Plan Members: Auto-Escalation Is Coming in January to Help You Save

  • Wondering About Your VRS Benefits? Do We Have a Class for You!

  • Find VRS on Facebook

  • FAQ: I’m Eligible for a Hazardous Duty Supplement When I Retire: How Long Will It Last?

Free Professional Learning Courses by Oracle Academy Available to Staff:

In response to the recent legislation calling for the development of K-12 Computer Science Standards of Learning, the Virginia Department of Education is proud to provide information regarding FREE professional learning courses by Oracle Academy on computer science topics, including JAVA Foundations, Database Foundations, and Getting Started in Programming Using Alice.  Although the program is competitive, prior computer programming experience is not required for participation in any of the courses.  You can find course descriptions, dates, as well as an interest survey on this informational flyer.  Interest surveys are due by November 28th, 2016.  If the link to the flyer does not work and you are interested, please contact me or Dr. Jeff Early at mark.jones@pcs.k12.va.us or jeff.early@pcs.k12.va.us.  


Pittsylvania FFA Hosts Tractor Driving Contest:

On November 9, the Pittsylvania County FFA hosted the Federation Tractor Driving contest. Contestants representing each County high school competed in the Junior and Senior divisions to see who would be named the County champions. The contest consisted of a two-wheeled wagon obstacle course and a four-wheeled wagon backing event, where competitors had to back a wagon into a shed to park it. Placings for the Senior Division were 1st – Kendall Shelton, Chatham High; 2nd – Adam Moore, Gretna High; 3rd – Adam Watson, Tunstall High and 4th – DJ Moser, Dan River High. Junior Division placings were 1st – Dylan Burgess, Chatham High and 2nd – Holly Moore, Gretna High.

The winners earned the right to represent the Pittsylvania County FFA chapters at the Southridge Area Rally contest in April.

Chatham Middle School Earns Beta School of Distinction Award:

Chatham Middle School’s Beta Club has received the National Beta School of Distinction award. National Beta is the nation’s largest independent, non-profit, educational youth organization committed to recognizing and promoting high academic achievement, rewarding and nurturing worthy character, improving student leadership skills, and encouraging service to others. Its motto is “Let Us Lead by Serving Others.”


Brosville Elementary School Holds Veterans’ Day Program and Science Fair:

On Tuesday evening, November 15, 2016, Brosville Elementary School held a Veterans Day program that featured second and third grade students and the Tunstall High School JROTC Color Guard. The second and third grade classes led the Pledge of Allegiance and Star Spangled Banner, and performed My Flag, We Will Not Forget, and Thankful for the USA. Veterans attending the performance were recognized and thanked for their service.

The school also displayed students’ science fair projects for parents and community members to view.

Twin Springs Elementary School Holds Veterans’ Day Luncheon and Program:

Twin Springs Elementary School held its annual Veterans’ Day Luncheon on Tuesday, November 15, 2016. Veterans were treated to a lunch of turkey and ham with all the fixings, followed by a choral performance by the students.

Disney’s Mulan, Jr. Performed at Danville’s North Star Theatre:

While this is not a Pittsylvania County Schools program, I had the good fortune to attend the performance of Disney’s Mulan, Jr. at Danville’s North Star Theatre on Saturday evening, November 12, 2016. Many Pittsylvania County students participated in this play. The final performances are scheduled on Friday & Saturday, November 18 & 19, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, November 20, 2016, at 2:30 p.m. You may wish to attend and experience an outstanding evening of entertainment performed by some extremely talented young people.

Cadets Participate in Veterans’ Day Event at National D-Day Memorial:

Approximately 75 cadets & instructors from Pittsylvania County Schools took part in the annual Veterans' Day activities on Friday, November 11, 2016. The D-Day Memorial made a special tribute to CPT Rod Henderson by dedicating a Memorial Brick in his memory for his outstanding commitment and service not only to the D-Day Memorial but to his JROTC unit at Chatham High School.


Governor’s School Students Partner with the Institute to Teach Chemistry:

Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science and Technology (PGS) students in Susan Propst’s chemistry class recently developed interactive science lessons for 70 third grade students from Park Avenue Elementary School in collaboration with the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. The elementary school students completed various hands-on activities. The stations were designed and facilitated by PGS students along with assistance from the Institute’s Advanced Learning staff. Park Avenue Elementary School students were exposed to a variety of interactive labs including: making slime, the science of candy, making silly putty, and a MENTOS/soda geyser.

“My students enjoy preparing for this program every year. Our hope is to inspire younger students to enjoy learning about science by showing them how it relates to everyday fun activities,” said Susan Propst. “We are very thankful to be able to work with the PGS to enhance STEM education for students. Introducing STEM topics early is a great way to spark their interests. The PGS students also enhanced their leadership and mentoring skills by assisting with the activities,” said Dana Silicki, Advanced Learning Coordinator at the Institute.

Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology is housed at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research for Danville and Pittsylvania County students. The program provides a challenging, project-driven, research-based curriculum in a technology-infused environment.

Propst added, “One of the third graders stated this was the best day ever. Seeing their excitement makes all of the hard work and preparation worth it.”


Dan River High School Raises Money for Injured Graduate:

A recent graduate of Dan River High School was injured in an accident. He has been released from the hospital and is now recovering at home. We are very thankful that he is making progress and continuing to improve. The DECA club, FBLA Club, and SCA completed fundraisers on his behalf. A presentation of these funds was made on Friday, November 11, 2016. Best wishes - the Wildcat family is always here to support you!

Dan River Runner Finishes 13th in the State Meet:

Cameron Lee was an All-State medalist in the Group AA State Cross Country meet which was held at Great Meadow Park on Friday, November 11. He finished 13th in the State.

Dan River Middle School Reaches for the Gold:

Dan River Middle School held its second annual Reach for the Gold event in honor of National Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month in October raising money for the Claire Parker Foundation. Students raised over $4,700 for the foundation bringing its total for the two years to over $10,000.


Mark Your Calendars:

  • Teachers’ Advisory Council Meeting (Virtual) – Monday, November 21, 2016, @ 2:00 p.m.

  • Support Staff Advisory Council Meeting – Tuesday, November 22, 2016, @ 10:00 a.m.

  • Citizens' Advisory Council Meeting – Tuesday, November 22, 2016, @ 1:00 p.m.

  • Thanksgiving Holiday – Wednesday, November 23, 2016, through Friday, November 25, 2016

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: Monday, November 21, 2016 03:53 PM