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 2017-2018


September 1, 2017

Employee of the Week:
Please join in recognizing Mrs. Sonia Williams, Second Grade Teacher at Twin Springs Elementary School, on her 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/

Letter from Dr. Steven Staples, State Superintendent:
As we all witness the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, the question most often asked is “What can we do to help?” Our counterpart in Texas, the Texas Education Agency (TEA), has provided some useful guidance.

As many of you are aware from news reports, the rain and flooding continues in many parts of the state, so TEA will not have a clear understanding of what is needed in affected communities and schools until the flood waters recede and the damage can be fully assessed. Right now, TEA is focused on working with those schools and districts affected by this weather and flooding. In the short-term, they encourage anyone interested in assisting to donate to the American Red Cross. The Houston Independent School District also recently posted a list of current needs for donations for its students and families.

Obviously, any decision about direct assistance is a local matter. We provide this information as a resource to inform and support any action you might consider to help during these difficult times.

We will provide more information on how we can support students in Texas once TEA can assess the full damage.

Steven R. Staples, Ed.D.
State Superintendent
Commonwealth of Virginia

I have heard from several principals about the efforts you and your students are making to assist the families in Houston. Thank you. As always, you step up to the plate to assist others.

What Does the Public Think About School Accountability Options?
In response to the changes made to federal legislation in the Every Student Succeeds Acts (ESSA), the Virginia Department of Education is developing metrics other than standardized test performance, including student growth, achievement gaps, dropout rates, and absenteeism to accredit public schools. In July, Compass Point, A Collection of Data, Articles and Insights from the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University, conducted a poll to determine what the public thinks about school accountability options.

A focus of the discussion has been on the use and number of standardized tests to rate public schools. Sixty-one percent of the respondents to this poll indicated that when rating public schools, there should be more emphasis placed on student improvement. Thirty-three percent thought more importance should be put on the number of students reaching proficiency.

The tables below provide a breakdown of results by different groups across the Commonwealth:
Virginia Department of Education Considers Changes to Impact Standards of Learning (SOL) Tests on Accreditation:

The Virginia Department of Education is considering significant changes in how SOL tests impact school accreditation and how many tests students will need to pass to earn a diploma.

At this time, students in grades nine through twelve need to pass nine SOL tests in order to earn an advanced diploma, and they must pass six to earn a standard diploma. Proposed changes may reduce the number needed for graduation for both diplomas.

School divisions may also see a difference in how accreditation is calculated. Revisions being considered to the Standards of Accreditation (SOA) may give schools credit for student growth, how well students in different groups perform, and absenteeism. The Accreditation ranking of schools may be determined by a combined score rather than just SOL pass rates. The Department of Education would therefore be looking at a "combined score" rather than just SOL pass rates.

The State Board of Education has held public hearings on the proposed changes to the Standards of Accreditation and will take action on the new Standards this fall.

Division News:
Deputy Harris Silverman, School Resource Officer at Tunstall High School and lead instructor for the Piedmont Regional Criminal Justice Training Academy's detection and apprehension of driving under the influence training program, shared the following with me.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to your division employees, Mr. Jeff Buchanan, Ms. Tara Mills, Ms. Jenny Watson, and Ms. Kristen Williams. They each elected to volunteer and assist the Police Academy with our recent Standardized Field Sobriety Test training held this week. These four educators used their personal time to assist us in educating law enforcement officers in new national standards of detection, evaluations, and prosecution of impaired drivers.

It is this spirit of collaboration and support that makes our community one of the best places to ‘learn and work’.”

Please join me in thanking Mr. Buchanan, Ms. Mills, Ms. Watson, and Ms. Williams for representing Pittsylvania County Schools. Also, I would like to thank Officer Silverman and the other School Resource Officers for all that they do for the schools.

Character Word of the Month - Trustworthiness


  • Labor Day – Holiday for All Personnel and Students, Monday, September 4, 2017

  • Fall Membership Report Due to Ms. Finney, Wednesday, September 6, 2017

  • Fall Membership Report Due to Ms. Finney, Thursday, September 7, 2017

  • Fall Membership Report Due to Ms. Finney, Friday, September 8, 2017

  • COHORT Training I, ECC/TC, Friday, September 8, 2017 (All Day)

  • PowerSchool Assessment & Analytics Window Pre-Test, EL & MS ends September 13, 2017

  • Initial MAP Assessment Testing Window – K-8, Ends September 16, 2017

  • PALS Screening – Grades 1-3, Ends September 17, 2017

  • PALS Screening – Grades PK-K, September 20 –October 15, 2017

  • Healthy Virginians Week – September 4 – 8, 2017

Family Life

  • DRHS
    Grade 9 September 15, 18-19
    Grade 10 September 12-14

  • DRMS
    Grades 6-8 September 20-22, 25-29

  • KES Grades 4 & 5 September 5-8, 11


  • September 4, 1609-Navigator Henry Hudson discovered the island of Manhattan.

  • September 4, 682-English astronomer Edmond Halley observed the comet named for him.

  • September 5, 1914-Battle of Marne begins, French and British forces prevent German advance on Paris.

  • 1958-“The Huckleberry Hound Show” featuring Yogi Bear premieres.

  • 1966-First Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day telethon raises $1 million.

  • September 6, 1995 - Cal Ripken played his 2,131st consecutive game setting a new record. Lou Gehrig previously held the record.

  • September 7, 1977 - The Panama Canal treaties were signed by U.S. President Carter and General Omar Torrijos Herrera. The treaties called for the U.S. to turn over control of the canal's waterway to Panama in the year 2000.

  • September 8, 1960 - NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, was dedicated by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The facility had been activated in July earlier that year.

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: 09/01/2017 03:18 PM