Prince William County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. LaTanya McDade recently presented her draft of the school division’s new four-year strategic plan, PWCS Vision 2025, and is currently encouraging community feedback. Among the plan highlights are ambitious goals to add rigor for students at all levels of learning, additional support for Special Education, English Language Learner, and other programs for student groups needing specific accommodations, and a renewed focus on ensuring schools have the support services–including those for mental health and wellbeing–to enable students and faculty to bounce back from the stress surrounding the pandemic, and to thrive in the years ahead.
The vision of this plan also rightfully identifies the relationship between the school and parents as a partnership which should be built on trust. My conversations with parents, educators, students and others have reinforced that the need for mental health services is acute, as is the need to provide support for our educators (both in the form of compensation and additional manpower) to curb burnout and combat attrition. Over time, our teachers have been asked to add duties such as website content management, safety patrol, sanitation, and public health to their daily routines. And it’s taking a toll.
I look forward to seeing the School Board deliberate on this plan in the coming weeks, hearing its proposed budget presentation to the Board of Supervisors next month, and learning about the community feedback to the vision presented by Dr. McDade. Click here to read and comment on the PWCS Vision 2025.