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PSHS STUDENT HANDBOOK

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2021-22 School Year Virtual Only Updates


Parents, the attached letter contains important details for parents/students who are pursuing Virtual Learning for the 2021-2022 school year.  Please view the information here



How to create a Canvas Parent Observer Account

Before creating an observer account, students must generate a "pairing code" to share with their parents. Access instructions here.  Access instructions in Spanish here.

After students share the  "pairing code",  parents should follow these steps to create their account.  Access instructions in Spanish here.

 



GRADUATION 2022 UPDATE

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the graduation date and location has been changed.  Updated information is as follows:
    POTOMAC SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION
                    SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 2022
                                  2:30PM
EAGLE BANK ARENA AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY



Week of January 10

Our normal schedule and classes resume beginning tomorrow, Monday 1/10/22, with an ODD Day (Periods 1, 3, 5, and 7). We’re returning with just 3 weeks left in 2nd Quarter which ends on Thursday, January 27 so we’ll all need to lock-in from the start! Please find a few Potomac Senior High School updates below:

WEATHER IMPACT:

  • Road Conditions: Although our countywide road conditions have improved since last week, please be advised that several slick and icy spots remain in addition to fallen trees. Please encourage student drivers to slow down and take necessary precautions or to ride the bus to allow time for the roads to improve.
  • Transportation: Due to the road conditions and driver availability, buses may be delayed early next week. Please be patient and allow a few extra minutes if your bus is running behind schedule. If there are consistent issues or your bus hasn’t shown up at all, please feel free to contact PWCS Transportation directly at 571-402-3940

VACCINATION INFORMATION: Although our students have continued doing an amazing job of following school health and safety procedures and PWCS universal masking guidelines, according to the CDC: “Vaccines are still the safest and most effective way to prevent severe illness and death from COVID-19”. Everyone age 5 or older in Virginia is now eligible for FREE COVID - 19 vaccination and booster doses.  More information on vaccination sites and opportunities in our area can be found HERE.  

ATTENDANCE UPDATE: One of the biggest indicators of student success is consistent on-time attendance and we’ll continue to reinforce attendance expectations with all of our students throughout the year. We will continue with regularly scheduled unannounced “Tardy Sweeps” which will result in immediate consequences for students who are not in their classes on-time. Please see 3 quick reminders below:

  1. Be in class BEFORE the bell rings! Any student arriving to their classroom after the bell is tardy.
  2. Make morning drop-offs by 7:15a! Although school starts at 7:25a, dropping students off after 7:15a runs the risk of students being unable to make it in the building and to their class before the bell rings.
  3. Follow Student Drop-Off procedures! After turning in at the marquee, take the 4th right into the underclassmen lot and then an immediate right to drop off at the sidewalk leading up the steps toward the school. Please do not drop your students off at any other location. Check out the drop-off procedures outlined in THIS student-produced video.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • January 17: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday (NO SCHOOL)
  • January 20: PTSO Meeting @ 7pm (Potomac HS Library)
  • January 27: End of Q2
  • January 28: Teacher Workday (NO SCHOOL)

Week of December 13


12TH GRADE IMMUNIZATION UPDATELast call! A copy of your Senior's meningitis vaccine administration record must be emailed (BenfieTR@PWCS.EDU), faxed (703-441-4497), or delivered to Potomac HS by Friday, December 17 in order for your Senior to be able to attend school on Monday, January 3, 2022. 

CODE ORANGE DAYS: Our Superintendent's Office recently communicated divisionwide updates regarding the new inclement weather "Code Orange" designation. In short:    - Code Red/Code Green still exist! Code Orange is a new designation that might see use for marginally bad weather days and previous "2 Hour Delay" days.

   - Similar to 20 -21 virtual learning, a schedule for Teacher, Counselor, and Administrator Zoom availability will be provided for Code Orange days. 

   - Please see the full Potomac HS Inclement Weather Update linked HERE for more details.

 COLLEGE AND CAREER PLANNING:  The winter months also mark the time when college applications come into focus for many Senior students and families. Please see school/county resources below and feel free to contact Potomac’s College and Career Counselor, Ms. Austin (AustinSL@pwcs.edu), with questions.

  • Need step by step assistance with the FAFSA? Click HERE
  • Need US Department of Education Federal Student Aid Resources? Click HERE
  • Need PWCS College and Career Portal (Financial Aid Resources and Countywide Presentations) Resources? Click HERE

 

Week of December 6


LATE BUS: Just a reminder that late buses are available each Tuesday and Thursday for students seeking additional assistance or enrichment opportunities in their classes. Please encourage your student to check their teacher’s availability to utilize Tuesday or Thursday late buses for opportunities to deepen their learning beyond class time. We would like to thank our partners at Grace Church for assisting with making this early intervention strategy a reality.

12TH GRADE IMMUNIZATION UPDATEReminder! A copy of your Senior's meningitis vaccine administration record must be emailed (BenfieTR@PWCS.EDU
), faxed (703-441-4497), or delivered to Potomac HS by Friday, December 17 in order for your Senior to be able to attend school on Monday, January 3, 2022. 

Week of November 29


1ST QUARTER HONOR ROLL:  Visit our official Potomac HS YouTube page HERE to view a list of our students who earned 1st Quarter Honor Roll (3.0+) and Principal’s Honor Roll (4.0+) status. We are so proud of the commitment to RESULTS shown by these students! Please be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on information and events at Potomac. The channel will include even more school news, school events, and student-created/parent-created content soon.

 ACADEMICS UPDATE: With only 3 weeks until Winter Break, I am asking that parents be intentional about checking student grades via ParentVUE on Friday, December 3 in the place on previous “Interim Report Cards”. The grades reflected in teacher gradebooks on December 3 should serve as a good indicator of student mastery on specific standards and also provides enough time for adjustments to be made if your student is struggling. Between busy holiday responsibilities and breaks throughout the quarter, please be sure to work with your student and our Potomac staff to stay current on student progress. A few common culprits of student underachievement include:

  • Not consistently attending all classes
  • Not completing formative practice opportunities, such as homework or classwork
  • Not taking advantage of retake opportunities on summative assessments, such as tests
  • Not making use of afterschool Office Hours or Tuesday/Thursday buses for additional assistance

Please be sure to reach out to your student’s counselor, teacher, or administrator with questions.

 ATTENDANCE UPDATE: Heads Up! We will resume our unannounced “Tardy Sweeps” this week which will result in immediate consequences for students who are not in their classes on-time. Remember that you can help your student to avoid school consequences by:

  • Making sure that your student arrives on-time by ensuring that they ride the bus or by dropping them off no later than 7:15am.
  • Discussing the expectation for your student to be in their class on-time and note both the academic and disciplinary consequences of being late

STAY CONNECTED: Remember, Engaged Parents = Student Achievement! I encourage all of our parents to support continued success at Potomac by joining the Potomac PAC or PTSO. Please see meeting info below:

  • Provide feedback and input about the school’s Continuous Improvement Plan and budget at the PAC meeting on Tuesday, December 7 (NEW DATE!) at 7pm in the Potomac Library.
  • Assist with community partnerships and student support events at our virtual PTSO meeting on Thursday, December 16 at 7pm using THIS Zoom link.

 

12TH GRADE IMMUNIZATION UPDATEReminder! A copy of your Senior's meningitis vaccine administration record must be emailed (BenfieTR@PWCS.EDU), faxed (703-441-4497), or delivered to Potomac HS by Friday, December 17 in order for your Senior to be able to attend school on Monday, January 3, 2022.

 


Week of November 22


ATTENDANCE UPDATE: Attention Potomac Parents! We will regularly schedule unannounced “Tardy Sweeps” throughout the school day which will result in immediate consequences for students who are not in their classes on-time. You can help your student to avoid school consequences by:

1.  Making sure that your student arrives on-time by ensuring that they ride the bus or by dropping them off no later than 7:15am.
2.  Discussing the expectation for your student to be in their class on-time and note both the academic and disciplinary consequences of being late




Week of Nov 8

ATTENDANCE REMINDER: Attention drivers and drop-off parents! Although school starts at 7:25a, students arriving after 7:15a run the risk of being unable to make it in the building and to their class before the bell rings. Please plan on arriving/dropping your student off no later than 7:15a and follow the drop-off procedures outlined in THIS student-produced video also uploaded on our Potomac YouTube Channel.

AFTERSCHOOL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE: To further promote our commitment to student success, late buses are available ~4pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays for students to receive extra assistance with teachers or to meet with school-sponsored clubs/organizations afterschool! Please encourage your student to check their teacher’s availability to utilize Tuesday or Thursday late buses for opportunities to deepen their learning beyond class time. We would like to thank our partners at Grace Church for assisting with making this early intervention strategy a reality.

 




Week of Nov 1

Are you interested in applying for a PWCS specialty program? The applications are now available!

➡️ To review available programs and the application process, please use this link to access the district's Specialty Programs webpage.

2ND QUARTER UPDATE:
Please be reminded that 1st Quarter grading closed on Friday, October 29! This week there is a Teacher Workday on Monday, November 1, a Professional Development Day on Tuesday, November 2, and a Holiday (Diwali) recognized on Thursday, November 4. There will be NO SCHOOL on any of these days. 2nd Quarter begins on Wednesday, November 3.

STUDENT ATTENDANCE UPDATE:
As we transition from 1st to 2nd Quarter, I’ve asked that our teachers and staff pay particular attention to accurately inputting student attendance each day. Please see 5 quick notes below:

1.  Be in class BEFORE the bell rings! Any student arriving to their classroom after the bell is tardy.

2.  Make morning drop-offs by 7:15a! Although school starts at 7:25a, dropping students off after 7:15a runs the risk of students being unable to make it in the building and to their class before the bell rings.

3.  Follow Student Drop-Off procedures! After turning in at the marquee, take the 4th right into the underclassmen lot and then an immediate right to drop off at the sidewalk leading up the steps toward the school. Please do not drop your students off at any other location.

4.  No bus penalties! While we do have a limited amount of bus delays each day, each student impacted is provided with a bus pass upon arrival to ensure that they can eat breakfast and go to class. Students are not penalized for late buses.

5.  Avoid disciplinary consequences! In the coming weeks, our Administrative team will be processing discipline for tardies and absences and conducting tardy sweeps throughout the building with students receiving consequences described in our Student Handbook.

Let’s continue to work together to promote the very best teaching and learning environment for our students and staff!

REMINDER TO JOIN OUR PSHS ANNOUNCEMENTS CANVAS PAGE:
Attention Parents and Students! If you haven’t already, please accept our PSHS Announcements Canvas page invite. On the PSHS Announcements Page, we will:

List late buses for the morning and afternoon runs
List bus changes for the morning and afternoon runs
Provide a link to a Bus Location map for student use at dismissal

Morning bus changes should be available no later than 7:00am. All students who ride a bus should accept the invitation to join the Canvas page.  Parents who are set up as an “observer” to their student’s Canvas account will also receive the emails with bus announcements.  Parents who need assistance with becoming and observer can visit the Weekly Announcements page on the Potomac webpage for directions on how to create a parent Canvas account.


12TH GRADE IMMUNIZATION UPDATE
PWCS was granted an extension for the Meningococcal vaccination requirement to be met by December 2021. A copy of your 12th Grader's vaccine administration record must be emailed (BenfieTR@PWCS.EDU), faxed (703.441.4497), or delivered to Potomac HS in order for your 12th Grader to be able to attend school on Monday, January 3, 2022. Please see Meningococcal Immunization flyers linked HERE.
 

 


Week of October 18

POTOMAC SCHOOL COUNSELING: Our Potomac School Counselors remain available to discuss course schedules, support student learning, and to provide resources to support student wellbeing.

  • October marks the time when college applications come into focus for many Senior students and families. Please see school/county resources below and feel free to contact Potomac’s College and Career Counselor, Ms. Austin (AustinSL@pwcs.edu) with questions.
  • Need step by step assistance with the FAFSA? Access site HERE
  • Need US Department of Education Federal Student Aid Resources? View HERE
  • Need PWCS College and Career Portal (Financial Aid Resources and Countywide Presentations) Resources? Click HERE

GAME SECURITY: Beginning October 13, Prince William County policy will no longer permit fans to bring bags into games.  This includes backpacks, purses, fanny packs, etc.  We thank you in advance to your adherence to this policy when attending games at Prince William County schools. 

 

 


STUDENT ATTENDANCE: In an effort to keep students and staff healthy and safe, Potomac High School is moving towards a paperless attendance office system. Please send all communications about attendance via email to your child's administrative secretary. 

For absences, late arrivals or early dismissals, please send an email with your child's name, attendance request, brief explanation of the request and date/time if available. If you have documentation from the courts, a doctor's office, etc., please send this as an attachment to your email.  Once we receive the email, we will process the request and make the necessary adjustments in your child's records.

Please email early dismissal requests on the same day of the dismissal. We will process as quickly as we can. Parent/guardians may also call in early dismissals at 703-441-4200 and you will be directed to your child's administrative secretary. We may only accept calls from the parent/guardian (not emergency contacts). If the dismissal is not pre-arranged, please call from your vehicle and we will process via phone. Please park in one of our visitor parking spaces outside of door 34, and your child may exit the building once processed. Below is a list of our administrative secretaries and their email addresses: 

9th Grade   Mrs. Claudia Vela           velacp@pwcs.edu
10th Grade     Mrs. Dena Covington     covingdj@pwcs.edu
11th Grade   Mrs. Katie Satchell         satchekm@pwcs.edu
12th Grade   Ms. Katelynn Manetta    manettka@pwcs.edu 

Additional attendance information can be found here.



POTOMAC YOUTUBE CHANNEL


 Students and parents are encouraged to visit our official Potomac HS YouTube page HERE! Please be sure to subscribe to stay up-to-date on information and events at Potomac. Various events will be live streamed and the channel will also include more student-created and parent-created content very soon!