Bee in the Know

Week of October 11, 2020

Fall is upon us! As the leaves change and the temperature drops, our commitment to meeting the needs of our students remains unwavering. The administrative team at OP is so thankful to be a part of a community whose members have shown grace, support, and patience to our staff as we navigate through this situation. Last night, Dr. Walts shared a phased return to school beginning with pre-K and K. This means, the majority of our high school students will continue with virtual learning through the second quarter. Please know, we will still be planning for a safe return to school. Additionally, our team is working hard to optimize virtual learning as we collect feedback from students, parents and teachers. Please know that we are committed to making this work for everyone involved and look forward to continued collaboration with our OP community!

Monday, October 12 is a Professional Development day and there is no school for students.

Virtual Learning Survey

Thank you to the 599 students and 704 parents who completed our Virtual Learning Survey! We are in the process implementing the many suggestions we received.
Some “hot topics” were:
Access: Some Wi-fi and connection issues but overall students can access materials and are comfortable with the tools. (We have reached out to students with Wi-Fi/computer issues.)
Workload: Greatest issue! Long days on the computer. Many assignments due on Sunday, rather than Monday. Several requests from parents for teachers to be mindful of assignments. Students commented about busywork. (Teachers will create weekend due dates to allow students to use Mondays as workdays. We encourage students to communicate with their teachers if/when they feel the workload gets too much.)
Instructional Delivery: Some students are frustrated with the "flipped classroom" approach and feel like they are being expected to teach themselves. Some think their teachers are spending too much time talking during Zoom classes and not giving them enough time to work on assignments. (Teachers will have the opportunity to work on Canvas pages during the October 12th PD day.)
Lack of Social activities: Several students and parents noted that they miss social activities and would like to see more clubs and other social engagements happening in the virtual world. (Today, the Virtual Activities Fair opened in canvas! Over 1600 students and 800 parents joined! Thank you to Mr. Laine and all of the club, sport, and activities sponsors who helped make this happen!)
Canvas: Parents asked that the Canvas navigation bar be made identical/in the same order for all classes. This might be an easy thing to ask teachers to do to make Canvas more user-friendly. (Teachers will have the opportunity to work on Canvas pages during the October 12th PD day.)

We will continue to implement improvements. As you have suggestions, please share!

Communication and Contacts

If you have issues, concerns or complements to share, we encourage you to reach out. Not sure who to contact? Click:

Administration and their assistants:

School Counseling Staff:

High Schools will not hold annual TouchBase Conferences October 12

While high schools will not hold annual TouchBase conferences this year, parents can set up virtual meetings to get updates on student progress.

PWCS Senior Families

On Tuesday, October 27, we will administer SAT School Day for seniors at select locations throughout the county. This test is offered at no cost to families, transportation will be provided from express bus stops, and a grab and go lunch will be served. To sign up to take the test, please complete the form below.

You will receive a follow-up email with your assigned testing location no later than Friday, October 23. Based on demand and available resources, we will assign students to schools. Every attempt will be made to assign students to the closest geographical testing location.

The deadline to sign up is Sunday, October 11.

Complete SAT School Day

Principals Advisory Council

Attention, parents! Below is the link to the PAC page on our website. If you’d like to join the next virtual meeting scheduled on Monday, 11/9, please email Mrs. Dunlow ( by Friday 11/6.

Biotech Hour Opportunities

As a reminder, all Biotech students are required to earn 100 hours of science or engineering related service by May 1, of their senior year. There are multiple opportunities available to earn hours during the pandemic such as reading books and writing a reflection, or taking Cisco coursework where you earn 70 hours per course! Please visit the Biotech Hours Opportunity page for more information!

Shelfie Contest

The library is continuing their “Shelfie Contest” found on the OPHS-library canvas page. The link is below the picture of the lovely library ladies. The top winners will be entered into a drawing for a 30.00 Amazon gift card provided by the PTSO.

The library also has a book return box at the main entrance of the building to turn in books if you are not able to turn them in during our curbside pickup days, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00-3:30. For more information, please go to the library canvas page.

College Application Help

Seniors! Need college application help? Have some questions? We have answers! The OPHS School Counseling Department is hosting drop-in help sessions on Monday October 19th and 26th from 10-11:00 am. Microsoft forms have been emailed to all seniors to sign up. Zoom links will be mailed closer to the date

PSAT Information

Tuesday 10/14 will be the 10th grade PSAT date. All learning will be asynchronous on the 14th. If you have signed up to take the PSAT, you will be receiving additional information this week about test day. The Junior PSAT date will be October 29th. All learning on the 29th will be asynchronous as well. Registration for the PSAT is now closed.

Face Coverings will be required for in-person learning

A minimum of three feet of physical distancing is required for students attending in-person under the 50/50 hybrid models. As such, face coverings will be required for all staff and students the majority of the school day to include: in hallways between classes, common areas, classrooms, and on school buses.

Specialty Program Information Night

PWCS Families are invited to join us for Prince William County’s School Specialty Program Information Nights. Virtually, families can investigate the variety of programs available to middle school and high school students.

The Specialty Program Information Nights inform students and families about Advanced Academic and Specialty Programs (AASP) as well as Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs available in PWCS. The evening begins with a general session beginning at 7 p.m., followed by breakout sessions for individual programs. All grade level appropriate programs will be represented each night. Once you have completed the sign-up, you will receive a reply email with the zoom link for the main session and links for the individual sessions.

For more detailed program information and application details, please visit the AASP and CTE webpages.

High School Information Night:

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 7 p.m.
Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 7 p.m.

Have a great week, everyone!

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