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Superintendent's Corner

Message from Dr. McDade

Dr. C. Bruce McDade

On March 23, 2020, Governor Northam ordered all schools to remain closed for the remainder of this academic school year.

Manassas Park City Schools will be closed until July 1, 2020.

While buildings will be closed, school will not be. Our teachers are currently in contact with students and providing enrichment activities, and food services remains committed to supplying food to our students.

A number of important questions remain unanswered, but over the course of the next several days, the Virginia Department of Education will provided direction that focuses on critical decisions regarding graduation, the earning of credits and verified credits, maintaining continuity of education, including guidance on the delivery of special education, and the continuation of food services.

Undoubtedly, there will be countless other questions/concerns and issues that will arise. The events of the past several weeks and months find us in uncharted territory, and there is no blueprint to guide us. But what I do know is that communication is the key, and I pledge to all of you that I will be as open and transparent as I possibly can to keep you fully informed. As information is shared with me, I will share it with you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love and support of our small AND mighty school division.

Food Services: Media Release

Due to the recent closure of Manassas Park City Schools will be providing meals to all children, age 18 and below, without charge. We will be providing a breakfast meal and lunch meal for consumption of five days on Tuesdays. All meals will be the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Meals will be provided at the site and times as follows:

Locations:
Manassas Park Middle School
8202 Euclid Ave
Manassas Park, VA 20111

Dates and Times:
Tuesday’s between the dates of March 17th – June 12th
Hours of service are:
4:00pm to 5:30pm

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

The Washington Post Outstanding Teachers

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 and Donuts with the Deputy 2019

This year's winner of Smoothie with the Sup and Donuts with the Deputy are April Cabanelas and Aubrey Roach!

Smoothie and Donut Winners

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.

Instructional Updates

The MPCS Continuous Learning Plan can be found HERE.

The MPCS Continuous Learning Plan Grading Supplement can be found HERE.


4/13-4/17 - #MPVirtualSpiritWeek

4/13 - Distance Learning Begins.

3/24 - The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has been working closely with the Governor’s Office, the Virginia Department of Health, and other state agencies to ensure our public schools and communities have the most up-to-date information and resources. The health and safety of our children and staff are our top priorities. Visit COVID-19 & Virginia Public Schools and Frequently Asked Questions for the latest information.

VDOE issued an online guide for parents and other caregivers. COVID-19: A Parent Guide for School-Aged Children is available on the department website and includes information on in-home learning activities, social distancing and other topics.


3/20 - Under advisement from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), MPCS will continue to provide positive proactive strategies to continue student engagement. VDOE guidance to schools states that in order to address student equity, learning opportunities provided during the closure be voluntary for students and not be graded. Students are currently not required to participate, and MPCS does not regard these opportunities as instructional days, but we strongly encourage students to take advantage of the engagement activities our teachers are providing.

Questions have been asked regarding special education and 504 services. School divisions are not required to provide services for FAPE during a school closure; however, your child’s case manager may offer strategies to help parents keep their child engaged while they are away from school. When schools reopen, we will resume full services to all students.

At this time, there is no guidance from the U. S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) regarding the waiver of federal timelines related to special education compliance. Case managers are contacting parents to set up virtual meetings, if possible, for all students that require either IEP or 504 meetings during the closure.

We know this situation is unprecedented and there are many questions. Updates and changes will be made as the Virginia Department of Education supplies guidance, and those will be passed along to parents/caregivers and students as soon as possible. We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding during this time and encourage all students to participate in the enrichment opportunities supplied by their teachers.

Schools will continue to publish newsletters. MPHS and MPMS will remain with a Friday distribution. Cougar and MPE will change to a Monday distribution and include weekly student lessons.


3/19 - Instruction does continue and the general response from our staff and students is positive. We are working on fixing issues as they arise, but the connectedness of our Cougar Community remains.

Based on guidance from the Virginia Department of Education, updates have been made to instructional plans moving forward. Please note the following:

Assignments, lessons, and learning opportunities through April 14, 2020, are for review and enrichment. Teachers cannot assign graded work nor can they be require students to complete assignments. However, MPCS feels strongly that maintaining our connections and continuing to build relationships with our students is the best work we can do at this time. Expect regular communication from us; we miss you!

PowerSchool and gradebooks will not be used to track/grade assignments. Nothing after March 13 or before April 14, 2020, will be entered, but we highly encourage participation in our distance-learning opportunities, at minimum, to remain connected to the community and encourage interaction with teachers and peers. We are incredibly fortunate to have a robust technology platform to keep us in touch during this closure and social isolating period.

Any assignments due before March 13 that still need attention? Be assured that teacher(s) will work with students to provide every opportunity to complete, makeup, or improve work that was assigned before March 13.

Students enrolled in Virtual Virginia, distance learning courses through Cougar’s Connects, or dual enrollment courses should contact their teachers for specific instructions.

This situation is unprecedented. Updates and changes will be made as the Virginia Department of Education supplies guidance, and those will be passed along to parents/caregivers and students.


3/17 - Reminder that weekly assignments for Cougar and Manassas Park Elementary students have been distributed via a special edition of the principal newsletter:

Cougar: https://www.smore.com/4w9g7

MPE: https://www.smore.com/0hw8u

If you have any questions about the distance-learning plan in place at MPCS, do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher.


3/16 - Efforts to ensure Manassas Park students have access to instruction are under way. Weekly assignments for Cougar and Manassas Park Elementary students have been distributed via a special edition of the principal newsletter:

Cougar: https://www.smore.com/4w9g7

MPE: https://www.smore.com/0hw8u

Building cleaning continues to ensure all buildings are ready for reentry when that time is allowed. Entry will not be allowed after cleaning has been completed.


3/13 - UPDATE: To be consistent in our regional efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, MPCS will remain CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 14, 2020. Employee Code Red/Virtual Work days in place.

Continue to check the MPCS website and social media channels for updates. Thank you for your understanding as we navigate this state of events. Please check school newsletters for more information.

The health and wellness of our community continues to be of the utmost importance. If you would like more information about COVID-19, contact your health care provider or refer to the Virginia Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.


3/13 - MPCS SCHOOLS WILL CLOSE AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL DAY TODAY, FRIDAY, MARCH 13.

Because of the rapidly changing nature of the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Manassas Park City Schools and surrounding divisions will be closing for the next two weeks. At this time students will not report back to school until March 30, 2020.

All student activities – including SAT testing at MPHS on Saturday, March 14 – are cancelled until further notice. There will be no MPCS facility use during this closure.

Please follow www.mpark.net and MPCS social media channels for the most up-to-date information. We have access to the latest information and recommendations from federal, state, regional, and local authorities. We will continue to rely on them and other public-health experts to inform our decision-making as circumstances change. Our highest priority is the well-being of students and staff.

At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in the Manassas Park community.

Enhanced cleaning products and increased frequency of cleanings had been occurring on a daily basis in all of our buildings and on all of our buses. We will continue deep-cleaning efforts with CDC-recommended products during the closure.

INSTRUCTION WILL CONTINUE - Please consult school newsletters for more detailed information.


3/12 - MPCS schools and school-sponsored activities are open and operating on a normal schedule.

Manassas Park City Schools is in close communication with the Prince William County Health Department and the State Commissioner of Health regarding the best response to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation.

We encourage everyone in our community to prepare for the possibility of school closures. We will not hesitate to close schools if public-health experts advise that such a step is in the best interest of our community.

By the end of the school day today (Thursday), all teaching staff will have the tools in place on how to maintain continuity of instruction for students in the event of a closure. Please check tomorrow’s school newsletters for more detailed information.

Updates will be sent out to our community as soon as possible. Please check here for daily updates and follow the division’s social media accounts for the most up-to-date information.

The health and wellness of our community continues to be of the utmost importance. If you would like more information about COVID-19, contact your health care provider or refer to the Virginia Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.

Thank you for your continued support of our school division.

From Our School Counselors

Community Resources:

ACT Helpline
703.368.4141

24-Hour Suicide Hotline 800.784.2433

24-Hour Crisis Text Hotline
741741

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