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Information Guide

Steven L. Walts, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools

We appreciate your interest in Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS); a strong and thriving school community. This brochure provides essential information about the excellent education offered to our students. The brochure also highlights various programs the School Division has developed to help meet the needs and spark the interests of students from our community’s diverse population. It is our rich diversity and our commitment to providing multiple avenues of opportunity that make our schools special.

School employees are deeply committed to ensuring that each student has the opportunity to reach his or her potential. Guided by our School Board and supported by our dedicated staff, PWCS strives to meet the individual needs of students to support their success.

Whether you are a parent, community resident, or a business professional, there is a place for you to get involved with PWCS. We have a wonderful program for volunteers and a myriad of opportunities for business partnerships with schools. Parents, I particularly encourage you to participate in your child’s education and school activities. Involved parents and guardians are vital to student success. Together, we will prepare our children for the future and continue our journey toward World-Class schools.


Educational Leadership

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) is well-known for its system of school-based management, which emphasizes decision-making and accountability at the school level. Eas school has its own unique character while pursuing the common goal to provide a World-Class Education to every student. A few examples of initiatives that bring recognition to our School Division are school specialty programs, an enhanced curriculum, teacher committees that guide the transition and implementation of the curriculum, a multicultural program, a health and wellness program, a state-of-the-art technology infrastructure, and pioneering use of instructional support teams that work with schools and teachers at the classroom level.

Prince William is repeatedly asked by the Virginia Department of Education to share its innovative programs with other school divisions. PWCS led state efforts to develop the Standards of Learning (SOL) for science and was the first in Virginia to restructure its curriculum. In addition, the School Division was the first to develop its own performance tests. As a result, the state followed Prince William’s model for the SOL testing program.

Recognition of Excellence

PWCS, its programs, administration, staff, and students are often cited as positive models by regional, state, and national organizations. This year, "Newsweek" ranked all 10 Prince William County high schools among the top 6 percent of schools in the United States. Brentsville District High School was placed in the silver award category by “US News and World Report” in December 2007 in a posted ranking of top high schools in the country. Stonewall Jackson High School, considered one of the top high schools by “Newsweek” in 2003, was named by “Time” magazine as the best high school in America in 2001.

For 13 consecutive years the School Division has earned the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) “Meritorious Budget Award.” For 10 consecutive years the School Division has earned the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) “Distinguished Budget Award.” Both the ASBO and the GFOA have awarded PWCS with the highest recognition possible for the Division’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for six consecutive years. Go to Awards & Recognition  home page.

SPQA Medallion of Excellence

Prince William County Public Schools is a past recipient of the Medallion of Excellence, a U.S. Senate Productivity and Quality Award (SPQA), presented to businesses and municipalities that demonstrate productivity and quality excellence.

Prince William County Public Schools is the only Northern Virginia school district to have won the prestigious Medallion of Excellence since the inception of the awards program in 1982. The Medallion of Excellence, the highest level of recognition in the SPQA program, is presented to organizations for their implementation and application of quality principles.


Many Prince William County residents and those considering moving to the county are interested in how Prince William County Public Schools compares with other school districts. There is no one method of comparison, but there are many indicators of success.

  • In an external review conducted by MGT of America in 2007, the School Division received dozens of commendations in all areas of management and was given high marks for utilizing best practices in its efficient management and administration of a public organization that employs more than 10,000 people and serves more than 70,000 students. See the review at
  • According to the approved FY 2010 budget, the basic program cost-per-pupil in PWCS for the 2009-10 school year is $9,961.
  • All schools are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). PWCS is one of the first school divisions in the nation to become accredited Divisionwide by SACS CASI. All PWCS schools are also accredited by the Virginia Board of Education.
  • More than $33 million in scholarships was awarded to the Class of 2008.
  • In 2008, 84.8 percent of high school graduates planned to pursue post-secondary education.
  • PWCS is collaborating with Manassas City, and Manassas Park Public School Divisions, and George Mason University to bring the Governor’s School at Innovation Park to the Prince William area to educate students in the related fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A formal proposal is set for submission to the Virginia Board of Education for first review in July. 


The Office of Community and Business Engagement brings together support for SPARK (the PWCS Education Foundation--an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) and all school-to-business partnerships. This office, supported by the School Division, combines support for both organizations to facilitate community and business involvement with the School Division.

The supervisor of the Office of Community and Business Engagement serves as the executive director of SPARK and oversees the more than 1,000 business partnerships that thrive in all 88 schools. Together, school-to-business partnerships and SPARK have provided an estimated value of more than $14 million to support School Division programs and initiatives since 2003.


"School Focus," PWCS news program, is broadcast daily at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and during other time slots throughout the week on PWCS-TV, Comcast Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 36 for subscribers in Prince William County. Segments offer important information about the School Division and highlight special events, educational programs, and award-winning staff and students. Please visit for more information on "School Focus," to view segments on demand and learn how you can submit story ideas.

“Inside Education,” a PWCS-TV original program, offers an in-depth look at major initiatives and keeps the community updated on important School Division matters. The half-hour program engages education leaders and other guests in discussion and analysis. “Inside Education” airs every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on PWCS-TV (Comcast Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 36).

Shows are also available on demand at Click on “Video On Demand.” The Media Production Services Office produces “School Focus” and “Inside Education.” For more information, visit, or call 703.791.7328.


To request an Information Packet be sent to you, call the Community Relations Department at 703.791.8720 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or Email (Include your address).


The total student enrollment for PWCS on September 30, 2008 was 73,929 pupils, making it the second-largest school division in the state.

The average class size for elementary school is 21.86 students; for middle school, 19.8; and for high school, 24.1 students.

There are currently 55 elementary schools, 15 middle schools, 10 high schools, three special education schools, two alternative schools, and two traditional schools. The elementary schools house kindergarten through grade 5, the middle schools have grades 6 through 8, and the high schools include grades 9 through 12.

The School Division recently began construction on an 11th high school in Nokesville, set for completion in September 2011. In addition, a proposal for the Governor’s School at Innovation Park, a program focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, is also under review for location in Prince William County. The proposal is a collaborative project with Manassas City and Manassas Park Public School Divisions, and George Mason University, with an anticipated opening of September 2010.


Parents should enroll their child in school as soon as they arrive in Prince William County. Parents of children whose primary language is not English should call Central Registration (703.791.2727 or 703.491.8432) for an appointment. Central Registration provides registration, assessment, and orientation for speakers of languages other than English. For more information visit the Central Registration Web site.

For information regarding which school a child should attend, please visit the Facilities Services Web site, Email Facilities Services, or call 703.791.7312 .

The following forms must be filled out and brought to the school at the time of enrollment:

Enrollment Information

Bus Transportation

School Menus


Specialty Programs

Gifted Program

The following documentation is to be presented at the time of enrollment:

Required Documentation:

  • One of the following must be presented to school staff as proof of residence in Prince William County:

• Deed for residential property or contract on a residential property in Prince William County;

• Current rental or lease agreement for residential property; or

• Notarized Affidavit of Residency attesting to bona fide residency in Prince William County.

• Additionally, any two of the following showing the residence address must also be presented to school staff: valid driver’s license, car registration, utility bill or utility hook-up paperwork, personal property tax bill, voter registration, bills, or other documentary evidence of similar reliability.

  • A valid birth certificate, a certified copy, or completion of an affidavit provided by the school;
  • A social security number (however, no student will be denied enrollment or attendance due to failure to present a social security number);
  • A copy of the current IEP if the student has been receiving special education services;
  • A certificate of physical examination done within one year of school entrance for students entering kindergarten through grade 5;* and
  • Documentary proof of adequate immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, mumps, measles (rubeola), German measles (rubella), and varicella as outlined in Attachment II of PWCS Regulation 755-1 (available in schools or online at
  • All preschool, school-age, or adult students who are seeking admission to PWCS who have been out of the United States for a period of three or more consecutive months during the previous five years are also required to submit a tuberculosis screening test prior to admittance.
Beginning in the 2008–09 school year, the Virginia Department of Health provided information on the human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV vaccine to schools for distribution to families with rising sixth-grade girls.The HPV vaccine series, which is administered in three evenly-spaced doses, is optional for female students, with the first dose given before the child enters sixth grade. Unlike other required vaccines, after reviewing the materials provided by the Virginia Board of Health, the parent or guardian may elect for the child not to receive the HPV vaccine. For additional information, parents may contact Dr. Sandra Sommer, Division of Immunization, Virginia Department of Health, by telephone at 804.864.8055, or by email at, or Tia Campbell, Office of Student Services, Virginia Department of Education, by telephone at 804.786.8671, or by email at

Students who do not have all of the immunizations and a physical examination will not be allowed to attend school. However, students may be conditionally enrolled if they provide proof of having received at least one dose of each of the required immunizations, accompanied by a schedule for completion of the required doses within 90 days and a physical examination recorded on the state-approved form (MCH 213F),* as outlined in PWCS Regulation 755-1. Objections based on religious or medical grounds may be discussed with the principal.

The Prince William County Public Health Department gives immunizations at its clinics. While there is no fee for routine childhood immunizations, charges may apply. Call 703.792.6300 (Manassas), or 703.792.7300 (Woodbridge) for information. (For more details about the physical examination, immunizations, or to download forms, go to the Student Services' Health Services home page.)

*Physical examination forms are available from the main office of each elementary school or at either of the two Central Registration sites. The Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Department of Health
require the physical examination documentation to be on the MCH 213F (School Entrance Health Form). If completing this form for use in Head Start, EPSDT screening and diagnostic tests apply. This includes blood lead (test at age 1 and 2, or age 3 if not previously done) and a screen for anemia (hemoglobin or hematocrit annually at ages 2-5). Record the specific results and date of each in the spaces provided. For other children, EPSDT lead or anemia screen, or any significant history of abnormal test results, may be noted in this section as information to the personnel reviewing the form.


Virginia law provides for the following:

A child who has reached his/her fifth birthday on or before September 30, should be enrolled in kindergarten. However, if in the opinion of the parent or guardian, the child is not prepared to attend school, a request for a waiver may be submitted in writing to the base school principal.
A child who will be 6 years old on or before September 30, 2009, must attend school.
Non-Residents Attending Prince William County Public Schools

Parents who do not live in Prince William County must pay tuition if requesting that their child attend Prince William County Public Schools. Per child tuition for the 2009-10 school year is $5,691 in-state and $10,514 out-of-state.


School hours
are staggered by grade level to use buses most efficiently. Generally, high schools are in session from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; middle schools from approximately 8:20 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.; and elementary schools from approximately 9 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.

Special education preschool students typically attend one of two half-day sessions that run from approximately 8:45 a.m. to noon, or from approximately noon to 3:30 p.m.

Individual school hours may vary slightly from the general hours of operation for that level. Bell times are listed on the PWCS Web site, Click on the “Schools” button and choose “Bell Times” in the drop-down menu. Principals will inform parents and students of the hours school is in session. The business hours for the Central Office are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Prince William County offers School Age Care (SAC) to address the needs of the growing number of working parents who would like adult supervision for their elementary-age children before and after school. The self-supporting program is directed from the Office on School Age Care at 4379, Suite 201, Ridgewood Center Drive, Woodbridge, Va. 22192. Minnieland Private Day School, Inc., which is licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services, offers the program in 46 elementary schools.

Before-school care begins at 6 a.m. The after-school program starts when classes are dismissed and the service ends daily at 6:30 p.m. An all-day program from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. is offered on teacher workdays. Parents have the option of choosing either before-school or after-school child care, or both.

SAC serves students at the following elementary schools: Alvey, Antietam, Ashland, Bel Air, Belmont, Bristow Run, Buckland Mills, Cedar Point, Coles, Dale City, Dumfries, Ellis, Fitzgerald, Glenkirk, Gravely, Kerrydale, King, Lake Ridge, Leesylvania, Marshall, Marumsco Hills, McAuliffe, Minnieville, Montclair, Mountain View, Mullen, Neabsco, Occoquan, Old Bridge, Pattie, Penn, Pennington, Porter, River Oaks, Rockledge, Rosa Parks, Signal Hill, Springwoods, Sudley, Swans Creek, Triangle, Tyler, Vaughan, Victory, Westridge, and Williams. Parents whose children attend one of these schools and who work or attend school at least 20 hours a week are welcome to register their children in the program.

The weekly fee for care before and after school is $89. Before-school child care costs $60 per week and after-school care is $65. During winter, spring, and summer breaks, a full-day program is offered at selected elementary schools for $125 per week. Reduced weekly fees are available for children receiving free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program, and for multiple children from one family. The nonrefundable application/registration fee is $40 per child. Registration is on a first-come, first-placed basis.

The SAC program offers students the additional opportunity to participate in school and extracurricular activities which may not be available in other out-of-school child care programs. Information and the application are available at; click on “Residents,” “Youth,” “Child Care,” and then “School Age Care.” Items may also be found on the School Division’s Web page at In the drop down menu under “Schools,” click on “School Age Care.”

Applications and additional information is available at the Prince William County Web site:

If you have questions about serving children with special needs or questions not answered on the application form, please call the Office of School Age Care at 703.792.6091


School bus transportation is provided for students who live more than one mile away from the school in which they are enrolled, or who require transportation because of special needs. Express bus service is provided for students enrolled in specialty programs. This service is to and from express bus stops only. Bus schedules are distributed to individual schools and posted on the PWCS Web site. In addition, post cards with bus stop information will be mailed to the homes of all students using regular school buses. Students who require special transportation services will be directly notified of their bus arrangements by their respective schools.

Parents with questions about the location or times of bus stops may call their school or Transportation Services:

703.791.0255 for Central Area schools
703.753.6398 for Western Area schools
703.445.1240 for Eastern Area schools
703.368.0176 for special needs schools
703.368.7327 for specialty programs
More detailed transportation information is provided in the School Division's Code of Behavior | en Español (Código de Conducta)


Breakfast and lunch is provided by School Food and Nutrition Services (visit home page) and is available daily in all schools offering students nutritious, enjoyable, high-quality meals at a reasonable price. The menu's feature a wide variety of selections including lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Free and reduced-price meals are available to students whose households qualify under Federal Guidelines. Applications for meal assistance are available from the office of each school or can be completed on line by going to the School Menus home page or call 703.791.2776.

Meals and a la carte items are reasonably priced to encourage participation while maintaining a self-supporting operation. Prices are as follows:

 Elementary Lunch - Full Price
 Middle - Full Price
 High - Full Price
 All Levels - Reduced Price
 All Levels - Full Price
 All Levels - Reduced Price

Students may set up prepaid meal and/or cash accounts with the Food Services manager in the morning before school using cash or checks. Parents may also choose to make prepayments online at by using a credit card for a fee of $1.95 per payment.

Prepayments can be made for any number of days. For daily menu information, visit the School Menus home page or call 703.791.2776.

The PWCS Office of School Food and Nutrition Services encourages visitors to its virtual cafeteria. Nutri-Café is an interactive experience that provides a virtual view of a school’s serving line for a particular day, the actual food items offered, and pricing information. Students can create a meal by placing items on their tray and comparing the nutritional values of the items selected to the USDA recommended daily allowances. The use of this tool will teach students to make healthy food choices in the cafeteria and for a lifetime. Go to


Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center
14715 Bristow Road
Manassas, VA 20112

Get Directions


Shipping Address
14800 Joplin Road
Manassas, VA 20112

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 389
Manassas, VA 20108
Interoffice Zip: EA790


The education of our young people is a primary concern in communities across the nation. Thomas Jefferson may have said it best when he stated that education is the cornerstone of American democracy. The future well-being of each of us rests upon the students attending our schools today. No one institution can do the job alone. Schools, homes, and the community must join together to provide the learning experiences which enable students to be
well-informed and capable citizens.

Prince William County residents have always been supportive of educational programs. Many local businesses encourage their employees to volunteer as tutors and mentors in after-school programs. The School Division also encourages parents to be involved in the schools.

Contact your local school and sign up to volunteer an hour or two a week.

Call your child’s teacher and ask what you can do at home to enhance learning. Attend school meetings and contribute your opinions and support. Keep informed about what’s happening in the classroom. Visit the schools and observe the instructional programs. Become a partner in education. We need your support and help to do the job you want us to do.


PWCS E-News is an email news and text messaging subscription service that provides timely announcements and information about activities of the School Division, including news releases, legislative updates, teacher and staff information, and emergency and school closing announcements. To register online, visit the Prince William County Schools Web site at or click the "PWCS E-News" icon on the bottom of the home page.


PWCS-TV, found on Comcast Channel 18 and on Verizon Channel 36, offers a wide variety of programming for the Prince William County community that is both educational and entertaining. A live stream of PWCS-TV can be viewed at

On PWCS-TV, you will find original programs, including "School Focus” and "Inside Education," as well as educational programs produced by NASA, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Colonial Williamsburg, Fairfax County Public Schools, and other providers. Professional development programs, including "Spanish for Educators," as well as programming for GED preparation and more, can also be found in PWCS-TV's weekly line-up. Programming also includes regular broadcasts of School Board meetings and the U.S. Department of Education's news program "Education News Parents Can Use." On-demand episodes of original programs, including School Board Meetings, are available at

PWCS-TV is also an excellent resource for information about Prince William County Public Schools. Tune in to get the most up-to-date information on activities, emergency announcements, and school closings in Prince William County.

PWCS-TV is programmed and operated by the PWCS Office of Media Production Services. For weekly television guides and upcoming program information as well as live stream and on-demand viewing, please visit PWCS-TV.


Prince William County is located 35 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and 80 miles north of Richmond, Virginia. The county encompasses 348 square miles and stretches from the Potomac River to the Bull Run Mountains.

Prince William was established in 1731 and named for Prince William Augustus of England. The First and Second Battles of Manassas (Bull Run) figured significantly in the Civil War. From the end of the Civil War until after World War II, the county’s rural population grew slowly. Between 1950 and 1960 the population doubled and in the 1960s more than doubled again as housing developments were constructed. The current population is estimated at 389,052 (as of September 15, 2008), which is approximately 1,151 persons per square mile of land area. The county population has grown 38.5 percent since 2000, when the population was 280,813. The average annual increase since 2000 is approximately 12,804 persons and the average annual growth rate is 3.93 percent. The county is projected to grow to 555,012 persons by 2030. Today, Prince William County is a suburban community linked to the Washington metropolitan area, yet has an appreciation for its own history, natural features, and rural roots. Click here for more on the Manassas Battlefield.

Records indicate that free, public schools were established in the county in 1869 and operated by magisterial districts until 1923, when the Prince William County School Board was created. Prince William has had 20 school superintendents since 1869.

Warning! This Web page may contain links to one or more Web sites outside the PWCS network, which are not PWCS venues and may not reflect the views or opinions of PWCS. PWCS does not control the content of such Web sites and does not sponsor or endorse any messages, products, or services contained on such Web sites.

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