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Superintendent's Corner

Message from Dr. McDade

Dr. C. Bruce McDade

November 18, 2020

Dear Cougar Families,

During Monday night’s School Board meeting (11/16/2020), the Board voted to approve a return to virtual learning for ALL students beginning Monday, November 23, 2020. The Board also approved a revised rollout to a hybrid model of teaching and learning. Currently, no on-site instruction or hybrid learning will begin until after the new year.

Meals distribution will remain available on Mondays. Please watch school newsletters and the division’s Facebook page for updates about this program surrounding the holidays.

The revised timeline for a return to a hybrid model of teaching and learning remains tentative and conditions-based, and is now scheduled for the following dates:

  • Cougar Elementary School, PreK-2, SPED and Level 1 English language learners: January 19, 2021
  • Manassas Park Elementary School: February 2, 2021
  • Manassas Park Middle School: February 16, 2021
  • Manassas Park High School: February 16, 2021

Rising metrics in our area are a cause for concern, and as the pandemic’s impact continues to affect our community, I remain committed to placing the health and welfare of our teachers, staff and students at the forefront of the division decisions. Should conditions warrant a further delay of a hybrid model, this information will be communicated to you as soon as possible.

Thank you always for your support, and I hope for the wellness of our entire Cougar community.


Dr. C. Bruce McDade


The Washington Post Outstanding Teachers

Christie Graf

2020 - Christie Graf

  • 2019 - George Valletti III
  • 2018 - Claude LeGrand
  • 2017 - Carrie Reardon
  • 2016 - Lori Grebner
  • 2015 - Lisa Hill
  • 2014 - Nicole Sarich
  • 2013 - Tracy Holland
  • 2012 - Dawn Woolley
  • 2011 - Kellie Jones
  • 2010 - Marta Craighill
  • 2009 - Allyson Kurtz
  • 2008 - Jeffrey Florio
  • 2007 - Jennifer Kiernan
  • 2006 - Debbie Denk
  • 2005 - Frank Kasik
  • 2004 - Laura LaCava
  • 1999 - Jon Mamon
  • WP Teachers of the Year from 1983 to Present

The Washington Post Distinguished Education Leaders

Smoothie with the Sup 2020

2020 - the year of the first physically distanced award!

Smoothie with the Sup

SEAC Meetings

The Superintendent's Employee Advisory Committee met on May 7, 2020. The official meeting minutes can be found here.

If you have an issue that you would like to be addressed at the next SEAC meeting, please see your building representative.

MPCS Covid Health-Related Documents

From Our School Counselors

Community Resources:

ACT Helpline

24-Hour Suicide Hotline 800.784.2433

24-Hour Crisis Text Hotline

PWC Community Services Board 703.792.7968

MPC Child Protective Services Hotline 888.832.3888

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 800.273.8255

24-Hour Children’s Regional Crisis Response Hotline 844.627.4747

News for you:

Last week around the country many families found themselves transitioning into a new way of life. Parents adjusted to working remotely while being told that their children wouldn’t be returning to school for many weeks. To keep children engaged, teachers are connecting with their students through “distance learning”- virtually sending activities, lessons, and creative ways to continue education at home.

Parents are now faced with new challenges: how to work from home while not allowing their children to vanish into the endless streaming of social media and video games for the upcoming weeks. So how does one juggle trying to work, teach, and care for your family all at once?

  • First and foremost, try to keep a daily routine and a list of goals to meet for yourselves and your children.

This will keep expectations clear, and prevent kids from disappearing onto TikTok for hours at a time. Some people find it helpful to set up multiple alarms during the day and to have designated work spaces to keep everyone on task. Your child’s home schedule doesn’t have to mirror their schedule at school! They don’t need a schedule packed with learning and activities for 7 hours straight. If they’re a late sleeper and that’s when you can get your work done-let them sleep! Just carve out a set time daily for them to be productive and remember to limit screen time.

  • Lastly, while it may be difficult, try to relax and make the most of this time with your kids and to be a bigger part of their education.

Make it enjoyable! What’s something that they are really interested in? Help them explore topics that they want to spend time learning about or teach them about one of your interests. During this unprecedented time, you and your child can focus on learning or doing projects simply for the fun of it!

Please remember nobody can do it all: parent, work, and teach all at once. There will be challenges, and plenty of distractions and interruptions now that the separation between work, home, and school no longer exists. You and your children are probably used to having breaks away from each other. Take care of yourselves by doing things you enjoy, getting good nutrition, resting, and staying active. An additional barrier presents itself to parents who are still required to physically show up for work while trying to find child care. Schoolwork is not the most important thing during this time, do what you need to do to keep yourself and your family healthy.

Best Wishes,
Patty Rose
School Counselor
Manassas Park Elementary

Helpful Links:

Celebrities, they’re just like us! Check out Jimmy Fallon’s “at home” episode where he video chats with Lin Manual Miranda about life at home with their kids. The video features Fallon’s two daughters interrupting and climbing all over him while he tries to tell jokes, and Fallon and Miranda discussing how they haven’t gotten any of their own work done because they’re trying to learn how to teach elementary math.

Mindfulness Matters!

Hey Friends,

I know you may be feeling down and out. We want to know that we are with you and want you to know this! We are feeling this too, but just know it will be okay! While we are #socialdistancing, we want you to have healthy ways to cope. Mindfulness and mediation is a great and peaceful way to reduce anxiety and feelings of depression in the midst of what may be chaotic and uncertain for some, these are positive ways we can share with our families or maybe just ourselves in our quiet time at home they can use for relief when you don’t feel good.

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is simply being aware and being conscious in the moment. Sometimes, we can get so focused on what isn’t going right or working for us that we forget to just BE! It helps us to be present wherever we are and is proven to decrease stress. It helps us be free from distraction or judgment and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in the negativity of them.

Meditation is the act of training your mind to focus and redirecting your thoughts. It can reduce stress, control anxiety, increase your attention span, generate kindness, and improve your sleep- YOU CAN DO THIS ANYWHERE!

We are rooting for and with you! Seniors, stay up! You are still class of 2020! The celebrations may be on hold, but we are SO PROUD OF YOU!!

For our friends at MPMS, we would love to see how you’re staying active and practicing mindfulness at home! Use the hashtag #MPCSWOW and make sure it’s APPROPRIATE! :) If you’re not sure, you can ask one of your counselors, teachers or text Mrs. E. You can follow me on Twitter at @MPCSMrsE https://twitter.com/MPCSMrsE

For our Mini Cougars and MPE Cougars- see the rain to make RAINBOWS! Color and cut out your rainbows and put them in your windows at home! Spread the love with #aworldofhearts so when you take your runs, walks or bike rides- we will know you’re still shining with lots of color and kindness! Share them online, too!

Here are some resources for you to do at home:

Yoga and Mindfulness Channel

11 Mindfulness exercises

Free APPS available on Android/Iphone IOS

Calm - Meditation and Sleep Stories

Down Dog - Learn YOGA at home

~Ms. Everett