Division News

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3/04/14 > 2 HOUR DELAY - 3/5/14
Manassas City Public Schools will operate on a Two-Hour Delay Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The delay is due to possible early morning icy conditions on roads and sidewalks.
Manassas City Public Schools will be closed Monday, March 3, 2014 due to expected hazardous weather conditions. Code Blue for employees. All extracurricular activities and school events are also cancelled.
2/19/14 > Scholarship Money For OHS Seniors Through Education Foundation

The Manassas City Public Schools Education Foundation has scholarship money available for Osbourn High School seniors!  Applications are due by March 21st.  Students may apply for scholarships in the following categories: Harry J. Parrish Community Service, Fine Arts, Superintendent, STEM, and Career and Technical Education (CTE). The Foundation also has Summer Enrichment scholarships available for students K-12.  Summer Enrichment applications are due by May 16th.  For more information and criteria for the awards, please visit http://www.mcpsedfoundation.org/scholarships/.

Due to possible hazardous road conditions and the conditions of side walks in certain areas,
all Manassas City Public Schools will open 2 hours late today, Tuesday, February 18, 2014.
Schools Closed Friday, February 14, 2014
All Manassas City Public Schools will be closed Friday, February 14, 2014,
due to inclement weather. Code Blue for employees. All after school activities are canceled.

Las escuelas cerradas viernes 14 febrero, 2014
Las Escuelas Públicas de La Ciudad de Manassas estarán cerradas
el vierenes 14 de febrero debido de mal tiempo.
Código azul para empleados. Actividades después de la escuela están canceladas.
Schools Closed Thursday, February 13, 2014
All Manassas City Public Schools will be closed Thursday, February 13, 2014, due to impending inclement weather and the Governor’s State of Emergency declaration. Code Blue for employees. All after school activities are canceled.

Las escuelas cerradas jueves 13 febrero, 2014
Las Escuelas Públicas de La Ciudad de Manassas estarán cerradas el jueves 13 de febrero debido al pronóstico de mal tiempo y declaración de estado de emergencia del gobierno. Código azul para empleados. Actividades después de la escuela están canceladas.
2/04/14 > National School Counseling Week: February 3-7, 2014

During the week of February 3-7th, school systems across the nation will recognize school counselors through National School Counseling Week. 

Manassas City Public Schools is proud to join others in bringing attention to the unique contributions professional school counselors make within U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselors Association (ASCA), highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for life beyond high school.  ASCA's theme this year is "School Counseling: Building Magical Futures."

The School Board proclamation in honor of this special week, includes statements such as "school counselors are actively committed to helping students explore their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents as these traits relate to career awareness and development", and "school counselors seek to identify and utilize community resources that can enhance and complement comprehensive school counseling programs and help students become productive members of society".  Our counselors do this and much more. 

Thank you, School Counselors!

  • Michelle Cowin-Gantz - Baldwin Elementary School
  • Heather Peterson - Dean Elementary School
  • Emily George - Haydon Elementary School
  • Raina Roop - Round Elementary
  • Cara Mitchell - Weems Elementary School
  • Maxine Taylor - Metz Middle School
  • Carmen Perez - Metz Middle School
  • Tim Tibbs - Metz Middle School
  • Nicole Yoshida - Mayfield Intermediate School
  • Heather Fitz-Randolph - Mayfield Intermediate School
  • Lillian Hickman -  Mayfield Intermediate School
  • Monique Cowell - Osbourn High School
  • Sylvia Headen - Osbourn High School
  • Diane Angba - Osbourn High School
  • Sam Morton - Osbourn High School
  • Robin Campbell - Osbourn High School
  • Danielle Tapscott - Osbourn High School
  • Dr. Brian Maiden - Osbourn High School
  • Molly Whittington - Osbourn High School
  • Dr. Diane Reese (Division Director of Counseling) - Osbourn High School
Wednesday, January 29, 2014:
All Manassas City Public Schools will be closed today due to inclement weather.
Code Gray for employees. There will be no after school activities.

El miércoles, 29 de enero de 2014:
Todas las Escuelas Publicas de la Ciudad de Manassas esta cerradas por el dia de hoy debido al clima.
Codigo gris para los empleados. No va haber actividades de las escuela en la tarde.
1/23/14 > 2 HOUR DELAY - FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014

2 Hour Delay - January 24, 2014
All Manassas City Public Schools will open two hours late on Friday, January 24, 2014 due to continued icy conditions. Ice on sidewalks, cul-de-sacs and other minor roadways requires sufficient daylight for students to travel to school safely.
Bus delays may be possible due to street conditions in some areas.  Please note that parents always have the option to keep children home if they have safety concerns.

Viernes, 24 de enero, todas Las Escuelas Públicas de La Ciudad de Manassas se abrirán 2 horas tarde debido a las condiciones heladas. Hielo en las aceras y las carreteras requieren suficiente luz natural para que los estudiantes puedan viajar a las escuelas. Algunos autobuses escolares tendrán retrasos debido a las condiciones de las calles. Tenga en cuenta que los padres siempre tiene la opción de mantener a su hijo(a) en casa si esta preocupados por su seguridad.


Thursday, January 23, 2014:

All Manassas City Public Schools will be closed due to inclement weather. Code Gray for 12 month employees. Employees are to arrive to work at 9:30 a.m.

The safety of students and staff is our paramount concern and priority and the decision to close school or delay school opening is not taken lightly. Closure decisions are based on a variety of factors including weather and news reports and local school and city officials who also report on road and weather conditions. The decision to remain closed Thursday is due to icy streets, consistent low temperatures and flash freeze conditions, which are not safe for buses, student drivers and walkers.

Please note that mid-term exams for Osbourn High School and Metz Middle School have been canceled. The 3rd Quarter will begin Wednesday, January 29th.

*Special Notice for OHS Parents/Students Regarding Cancellation of Exams*

Jueves 23 de enero de 2014

Todas Las Escuelas Públicas de La Ciudad de Manassas estarán cerradas mañana jueves 23 de enero de 2014 debido al mal tiempo. Sera código gris para los empleados de 12 meses. Empleados tienen que reportar al trabajo a las 9:30am.

La seguridad de los estudiantes y empleados es nuestra preocupación y prioridad y la decisión de cerrar las escuelas o tener un retraso de entrada es tomada en serio. La decisión de cerrar las escuelas es basada en una serie de factores como el clima, reportajes locales, y oficiales de las escuelas y ciudad que también reportan las condiciones del clima y carreteras. Las escuelas estarán cerradas el jueves debido a las condiciones heladas de las carreteras, temperaturas bajas, y condiciones de congelamiento que no es sano para los autobuses, estudiantes que manejan o caminan al la escuelas.

También les queremos informar que los exámenes intermedios para los estudiantes de Osbourn y Metz han sido cancelados. El 3er trimestre comenzará el Miércoles, 29 de enero de 2014.

1/21/14 > SCHOOL CLOSED 1/22/14 - CODE BLUE
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
All Manassas City Public Schools will be closed due to inclement weather. Code Blue for employees. There will be no after school activities.
1/21/14 > SCHOOL CLOSED 1/22/14 - Code Blue for Employees
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
All Manassas City Public Schools will be closed due to inclement weather. Code Blue for employees. There will be no after school activities.
1/12/14 > Demeria Elected as New Chairman of the School Board
School Board Selects Tim Demeria as new Chairman

Manassas, VA…The School Board of the City of Manassas elected Tim Demeria as chairman of the Board during its organizational meeting January 11 th .   Scott M. Albrecht was elected as vice-chairman.   The Board also reappointed Kerriann Clapper as School Board Clerk and Lee Miller as Deputy Clerk.

"I am very thankful to the rest of the Board for believing in my ability to be chairman," said Demeria. "I am especially appreciative to our two senior members, Scott Albrecht and Art Bushnell for advocating that new leadership be developed before their time on the Board is completed." 

Demeria has served on the Board since 2006 and says he takes his new responsibility very seriously.   "I will do everything I can to support our Superintendent, teachers and staff in providing opportunities for a successful educational experience for the students of Manassas City Public Schools."

12/11/13 > Osbourn High School Recognized for Excellence in Music

Osbourn High School Recognized for Excellence in Music

Manassas, VA…Osbourn High School is one of 123 schools nationwide to have been named a GRAMMY Signature School semifinalist for 2014 by the GRAMMY Foundation.  Created in 1998, the GRAMMY Signature Schools program recognizes top U.S. public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education during an academic school year.

"Osbourn's selection as a semifinalist by the GRAMMY Foundation is a testament to the strong Fine Arts program at the school," said Manassas City Public Schools Superintendent Catherine Magouyrk.  "From choral groups, to bands, ensembles, guitarists and orchestras, our students have excelled at every level and we are very proud of them."

GRAMMY Signature schools are made possible in part through the generous support of Converse, the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Hot Topic Foundation and Journeys.

The top programs are designated Gold recipients. The best of the Gold recipients is designated the National GRAMMY Signature School. The remaining schools are designated GRAMMY Signature Schools. For schools that are economically underserved the GRAMMY Foundation established the Enterprise Award category to recognize the efforts in music education made by these schools.

The selection process for GRAMMY Signature Schools begins each year in August when the GRAMMY Foundation mails notification to more than 20,000 public high schools from districts large and small, urban, suburban and rural, requesting information about each school's music program.

The Grammy Foundation will announce the finalists for the Grammy Signature Schools program in mid-March 2014. If selected as a finalist, Osbourn High School will receive a custom award and a monetary grant ranging from $1,000 up to $15,000 to benefit its music program.

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1989 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture. For more information, visit www.grammyfoundation.org .



12/10/13 > Schools Closed - CODE BLUE for Employees
All Manassas City Public Schools will be closed today due to inclement weather. CODE BLUE for employees. There will be no after school activities.
12/09/13 > Schools Closed - CODE BLUE for Employees
All Manassas City Public Schools will be closed today due to inclement weather. CODE BLUE for employees. There will be no after school activities.
10/23/13 > Superintendent to Host Saturday Events for the Community

Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent, Dr. Catherine Magouyr k, will h ost "Saturday with the Superintendent" Saturday, November 2, 2 013, at Baldwin Elementary School at 10:00 a.m.

The informal gathering is the first in a series of Saturday meetings that will allow parents, staff and community members to hear updates and engage in open dialogue with the school division's lead administrator. "School divisions primarily host events during weeknights and often times, many of our parents are not able to attend," said Magouyrk. "Saturday with the Superintendent is an opportunity for parents and members of the community to participate in conversations around student achievement, current initiatives and events taking place in MCPS."

Saturday with the Superintendent is free and open to the public.

Additional "Saturday with the Superintendent" events are scheduled at the following locations for the 2013-14 school year.   Each session begins at 10:00 a.m.

  • Saturday, January 25, 2014 - Osbourn High School
  • Saturday, March 8, 2014 - Haydon Elementary School
  • Saturday, June 7, 2014 - Metz Middle School
For additional information, please contact Almeta Radford, Public Communications Coordinator at 571-377-6000 or by email at info@mcpsva.org.
10/22/13 > MCPS is on Social Media

Manassas City Public Schools is on Social Media
MCPS is now social! Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram! Stay connected to division events, important announcements and news about our awesome students! Spread the word!

10/05/13 > Celebrating Excellence in OHS Student Leaders

Celebrating Excellence in Student Leaders
Osbourn High School 2013-14 Youth Salute Honorees

Manassas, VA…Fourteen exceptional seniors have been recognized in this year's "Youth Salute" at Osbourn High School (OHS).

Youth Salute is a program facilitated through the National Council on Youth Leadership whose vision is to make tomorrow's world better by developing leaders today.

This year's honorees include: Liam Arne, Maralee Bell, William Dalton, Bailey Dufrene, Jorge Gonzalez, Kesha Headen, Dale Houchins, Ryan Kunzer, Lauren Obaugh, David Peters, Shreya Raman, Amy Skaggs, Julie Weaver and Patrick Wilson.

The student leaders were recognized for their academic achievement and their leadership contributions in school and in the community.  The students were honored by the School Board of the City of Manassas on September 24th and also during a special ceremony September 15th at Osbourn.  Jesse Radford, pastor of Upper Room Christian Cathedral in Manassas, served as the keynote speaker for the school event.  Radford's address, "Becoming a Person of Excellence", offered nuggets of advice for the students concerning the characteristics of great leaders. 

"Excellence is doing the best that you can on the level that you're on," Radford told the teens.  He continued by reminding the students that doing their best at all times is important because "the opportunity of a lifetime is only available during the lifetime of the opportunity."  Radford's message included tips on what makes leaders who practice principles of excellence standout, such as goal setting, initiative, going the extra mile, and being surrounded by other people of excellence who will provoke them to higher heights.

Four students, Jorge Gonzalez, Liam Arne, Ryan Kunzer, and David Peters, were chosen as finalists for Youth Leaders of the Year with an opportunity to attend the Town Meeting of Tomorrow, October 19-22 in St. Louis, Mo. at Washington University.  The three-day event brings youth leaders together from across the nation.  During national Town Meeting, students share in dialogue with proven adult leaders; broaden their horizons by interacting with youth leaders of diverse backgrounds; enhance their leadership skills through seminars by dynamic professionals and national leaders; participate in small group experiential learning opportunities; and make new friends from across the nation.

"Osbourn High School is very proud of all these remarkable young men and women," said Juan Lopez, OHS Youth Salute advisor. "All the students who participated in this year's program are winners. I feel confident that in a few years, our country's future will be in good and capable hands."

A biographical sketch, along with photos of each student is currently displayed in the lobby of the Manassas Police Station.  The display will travel to Central Library the week of October 18th.

10/02/13 > Building for the Future: Baldwin/3-6 Magnet School Community Meetings

Manassas City Public Schools to Host Community Meetings
  for New Baldwin Elementary and Magnet School


Manassas, VA
...A new Baldwin Elementary and magnet school is on the horizon for students, and Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) is seeking input about its development.  The school division will host two community meetings to discuss the building projects on the following dates:

Thursday, October 17, 2013
6:00-9:00 p.m.
Baldwin Elementary School
9601 South Main Street, Manassas


Thursday, November 7, 2013
6:00-9:00 p.m.
Mayfield Intermediate School
9400 Mayfield Court, Manassas

"Building a new Baldwin was established as a priority during last year's joint Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) process with the City of Manassas," said Superintendent of Schools Catherine Magouyrk. "Having our families and community assist us by providing input regarding what the schools will look like is vital to our success."


The new Baldwin Elementary (PreK-4) and magnet (3-6) will collectively house 1100 students.  The magnet has been identified as a way to alleviate the growth challenges MCPS elementary and intermediate schools are currently experiencing.


Moseley Architects has been approved to lead the architectural and engineering services for the design of Baldwin and for the relocation of the ball fields that are currently located at the Tudor Lane site. Representatives from Moseley will join school division staff at the community meetings to hear stakeholder comments for consideration.  Dr. Bill DeJong, an education and facility planning advisor, will lead the meetings to assist with the community dialogue.  His firm will also design the educational specifications for the architectural drawing phase of construction.


Community members and school division families are encouraged to attend the October 17th and November 7th meetings to provide feedback in the early stages of the project development.




9/26/13 > School Board Supports Lawsuit Against State

Manassas School Board Passes Resolution Supporting Lawsuit Against State
Board agrees Governor's bill violates Virginia Constitution

Manassas, VA…The School Board of the City of Manassas unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) and Norfolk City Public Schools lawsuit against the Opportunity Educational Institution (OEI) Act at its September 24th meeting. Manassas City Public Schools joins over fifty school divisions across the Commonwealth in adopting such a resolution.

VSBA and the Norfolk school division filed the lawsuit in response to legislation passed by the 2013 General Assembly, which forms a new state school division, or OEI, to take control of failing public schools throughout the Commonwealth. If the OEI Board takes over a school, the school board of the local school division in which the school is located must transfer to the OEI Board all per pupil federal, state and local funding that goes to that school. In addition, the OEI Board is given the right to take possession and control of any facilities used by a school that is taken over, although the locality is still required to pay for any capital improvements to the facilities. Further, the school board and locality are prohibited from selling affected school facilities without permission of the OEI Board.

The resolution for the School Board of the City of Manassas reads:

WHEREAS, in its 2013 session, the General Assembly enacted legislation, which was subsequently approved by the Governor, creating the Opportunity Educational Institution (OEI) and the Opportunity Educational Institution Board; and

WHEREAS, the legislation mandates that the OEI Board take over the supervision and operation of any local public schools that have been denied accreditation and authorizes the OEI Board to take over any local public school that has been accredited with warning for three consecutive years; and

WHEREAS, it is the firm conviction of the School Board that this legislation violates the Constitution of Virginia in that it usurps the role of local school boards in supervising and managing the public schools of the Commonwealth; now therefore;

BE IT RESOLVED, the School Board of the City of Manassas hereby supports the lawsuit brought forth by the Virginia School Boards Association and Norfolk City School Board to declare the OEI legislation unconstitutional and to enjoin the OEI Board from taking any action to implement the legislation.

The resolution, which has been signed by all members of the Board, will be filed with VSBA.  Details of the lawsuit can be found at http://www.vaschoolboards.org/images/uploads/conferences/OEILawsuit.pdf.

9/04/13 > MCPS Administration Has a New Home!


Manassas City Public Schools has a new home! 

Our new location for administrative offices is:

Manassas City Public Schools
8700 Centreville Road, Suite 400
Manassas, VA  20110

All correspondence can be mailed to:

Manassas City Public Schools
P.O. Box 520
Manassas, VA  20108

Office hours are 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  All Division phone numbers, fax numbers and emails will remain the same.  If you need assistance, contact the Receptionist at 571-377-6000 or email the webmaster



8/28/13 > School Board Approves Six Year Strategic Plan

On August 27, 2013, the School Board of the City of Manassas approved its 2013-2019 Strategic Plan, which will serve as the blueprint for moving Manassas City Public Schools forward.  It summarizes why we exist, what we want to accomplish and how we will go about doing so.  We invite our school and community stakeholders to review the approved Strategic Plan HERE .

8/26/13 > Find Bus Routes and Boundaries through Webquery


2013-2014 bus schedules are now available using our new Webquery tool.  Simply enter your street address and instantly receive your school boundary information along with your bus stop and route.  Click HERE to visit the Webquery site.

8/20/13 > MCPS SOL Results Show Signs of Improvement & Areas for Growth

Manassas City Schools SOL Results Show Signs of Improvement and Areas for Growth

August 20, 2013... The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has released overall pass rates for the Standards of Learning tests administered during the 2012-2013 school year. Testing included new assessments in reading, writing, and science, as well as additional technology-enhanced items (TEI). According to VDOE, state accreditation and federal accountability reports will be issued in September, along with updated school and division report cards. READ MORE

8/06/13 > Free Summer Meals Continue Through August 23rd

Printable Flyer
Folleto imprimible

2013 Summer Food Program Sites

Manassas City Public Schools is participating in the USDA Summer Food Service program, sponsored by the Virginia Department of Health.  Meals will be provided to all children under the age of 18 without charge.  Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. There will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. 


Meals will be provided at the sites and times as follows:

  • Haydon Elementary School - 9075 Park Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110

June 24 - August 23, 2013

Lunch: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


  • Baldwin Elementary School - 9705 South Main Street, Manassas, VA 20110

June 24 - August 23, 2013

Lunch: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


  • Weems Elementary School  - 8750 Weems Road, Manassas, VA 20110

June 24 - August 23, 2013

Breakfast: 8:15 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


  • Mayfield Intermediate School  - 9400 Mayfield Court, Manassas, VA 20110

July 8 - August 2, 2013

Breakfast: 8:15 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

For more information about the local service, please contact Laryssa Richmond, Director of Food Services by email or at 571-377-6056.

8/06/13 > Staff prepares for new year

The summer is almost over and the start of school is just around the corner! 
MCPS teachers and leaders have gathered together to collaborate and focus on learning
and student achievement in preparation for the 2013-2014 school year!

8/06/13 > OHS Yearbook Students Experience Gettysburg

Nine students from Osbourn High School's yearbook staff recently attended the Gettysburg Yearbook Experience (GYE) held at Gettysburg College.  GYE is a five-day, comprehensive workshop that offers staffs and advisers courses for yearbook, photography and desktop publishing. 

7/15/13 > 2013 Fire & Rescue Camp

Rising Osbourn High School freshmen received hands on instruction during Fire and Rescue Camp with the City of Manassas. The camp features career insights and team building opportunities.  Holly Morris and the Fox 5 Morning team paid a special visit to Metz Middle School to see the students in action!  Watch the show!

7/12/13 > Governor's School Named to Top Schools & University List

July 12, 2013…The Governor's School @ Innovation Park has been honored by Virginia Living Magazine by being selected for its 2013 Top High Schools and Universities list. The school is the 19th Academic Year Regional Governor's School in the state of Virginia, offering selected juniors and seniors from Manassas City, Manassas Park, and Prince William County School Divisions an advanced and intensive program in STEM - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Chosen by its editorial team, Virginia Living 's Top High Schools and Universities list recognizes innovation and excellence in secondary and higher education in Virginia across five categories: Arts & Humanities; Science, Math & Technology; Capital Improvements; Co-Ops & Partnerships; and Athletics.

The Governor's School @ Innovation Park will appear in the Co-Ops & Partnerships category for its relationship with George Mason University.

The award will appear in State of Education 2013, a special bound-in supplement in Virginia Living's October issue, to be published in early September.

For more information on the Governor's School @ Innovation Park, visit the website at http://governor.schools.pwcs.edu/.

6/13/13 > Kratzer selected to lead Mayfield Intermediate


Manassas, VA…The School Board of the City of Manassas announced Tuesday that Kenneth Kratzer has been named the new principal of Mayfield Intermediate School, effective July 1. Kratzer is currently an assistant principal at Mayfield, a position he has held since 2006.

"Mr. Kratzer is a familiar face with Manassas City families," said Superintendent Catherine Magouyrk. "He brings a complete understanding of the many facets of Mayfield, which will assist him in leading the school to even greater levels of student achievement."

Kratzer's administrative duties at Mayfield include serving as the school's testing coordinator, overseeing the safety, security and environmental control program, student discipline and the Child Intervention Team.

Prior to serving as Mayfield's assistant principal, Kratzer held other positions within the school system. He began his career with MCPS in 1991 as an assistant wrestling coach at Osbourn High School, later becoming head coach for one year. In 1992, he was hired as the Physical Education instructor at Round Elementary School. In 2004, he was named assistant principal at Haydon Elementary where he served until he was selected as assistant principal at Mayfield.

"I am humbled by the vote of confidence the School Board has given me to lead Mayfield," said Kratzer. "We will build upon the successes that have been in place under Mr. Abt's leadership to help Mayfield continue to move forward."

Kratzer received a bachelor's degree in physical education and a master's degree in education leadership from George Mason University. He also holds Virginia postgraduate professional licenses in administration and supervision, driver education, and in health and physical education.

Mayfield Intermediate School serves approximately 1,000 students in fifth and sixth grade.


6/13/13 > New Principal of Osbourn High School Named


Manassas, VA …The School Board of the City of Manassas announced Tuesday that Cathy F. Benner will become the new principal of Osbourn High School.

"We are excited to have Ms. Benner join the Manassas City Public Schools family as the new principal at Osbourn," said Superintendent Catherine Magouyrk.  "She has a strong leadership background and a proven track record for finding creative solutions to produce higher student performance."

Benner is currently the principal at Falls Church High School, a position she has held since 2008.  She began her career in education as a social studies teacher with Hopewell City Schools in 1979 before moving to Fauquier County Schools to teach social studies from 1984 to 1999.

Additionally, she served as the Secondary Curriculum Specialist and Social Studies Coordinator for Culpeper County Schools and an assistant superintendent for Orange County (Va.) Public Schools.  Prior to her role as principal in Falls Church, she served as the Sub-School Principal for Centreville High School in Clifton.

Benner says she believes a powerful, rigorous, and relevant high school education are the keys in helping young people become viable, competitive, and credible adults in their own right. "I am very excited about working with the Osbourn community," she said.  "I believe some really wonderful things will happen in the coming year."

In addition to her work in public schools, Benner formerly served as an adjunct professor at George Mason University where she taught School Finance and School Law.

Benner, a Phi Delta Kappa, earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Richmond.  She also has master's degrees in curriculum and instruction from George Mason University and in administration and supervision from Shenandoah University.  She is currently in the doctoral program at Virginia Tech University.

Osbourn High School serves approximately 2,100 students in grades 9-12.



6/13/13 > School Board Appoints New Principal at Weems Elementary

Manassas, VA …The School Board of the City of Manassas has appointed David Rupert as principal at Weems Elementary School, effective July 1st.

Rupert is currently the assistant principal at Baldwin Elementary School, a position he has held for one year.  As assistant principal he creates and monitors teacher schedules, coordinates the Child Intervention program, serves as the school's testing coordinator, and assists the principal in the general day to day operations of the school.

" I am very thankful for the opportunity to serve as principal at Weems," said Rupert. "I am excited to return to the school and work with the students, teachers and the community."

Rupert, a native of Pennsylvania, joined Manassas City Public Schools in 2003 as a fifth grade teacher at Weems. He continued teaching fifth grade at Mayfield Intermediate School when it opened in 2006.  With a desire to move into administration, Rupert returned to Weems in 2009 to serve as assistant principal, a position he held for three years.  

"Mr. Rupert is passionate about instruction and has a very solid understanding of using data to assess and plan for student success," said Dr. Catherine Magouyrk, superintendent of schools .  " His elementary and intermediate teaching and assistant principal experience in the division will serve the Weems community well as they implement their talented and gifted themed school and uniform initiative. "

Rupert holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in supervision and administration leadership from California University of Pennsylvania.

Weems is one of five elementary schools in the City of Manassas and serves 693 students in Kindergarten through fourth grade. 

6/13/13 > State Expects Lower Preliminary SOL Exam Scores


The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has recently posted a press release addressing the new Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in reading, writing, and science.  According to preliminary state level data from fall testing, the VDOE expects school divisions' pass rates to decline in reading, writing, and science.

The Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in reading, writing and science are based on revised content standards approved by the Board of Education in 2010. These revised standards are more rigorous than their predecessors and include technology-enhanced items that require students to demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as content knowledge. These innovative questions and problems make up between 10-15 percent of the items on the new assessments.

According to MCPS' preliminary SOL test data, the school division is experiencing similar trends in the 2012-2013 reading, writing, and science SOL test results.  Preliminary data will continue to change as VDOE finalizes the SOL data in the weeks to come, and the state level pass rates will continue to evolve as data from other parts of Virginia are reported.

MCPS teachers and staff worked hard this year to teach the more rigorous Virginia standards and prepare students for the new SOL exams.  The decline in pass rates were expected as the state has announced warnings that test scores were expected to be lower due to new standards and test items. Teachers are working this summer to review data, identify standards where students struggled, and design plans for instruction to address student needs for next school year in reading, writing, and science.  SOL scores will be sent home with students on the last day of school.

6/11/13 > GT Parent Group Meeting - June 17th

GT Parent Group Open Discussion - June 17th

  • What would you like the MCPS GT parent organization to do?
  • What services would be helpful to you? 

Parents are invited to the Metz Middle School Library on June 17th at 7 pm to discuss the Gifted and Talented Parent Group organization and its purpose. Reservations are not required.  For more information, please call Dr. McGonagill, 571-377-6074, or contact her electronically at bmcgonagill@manassas.k12.va.us. If you are not able to attend, your thoughts and comments are welcome via email.

5/30/13 > Burnett Named New Principal at Metz Middle School

Manassas, VA …The School Board of the City of Manassas has appointed Angela Burnett as principal at Metz Middle School.  Burnett will begin her new assignment on July 1 .

"I look forward to working with Ms. Burnett as she begins a new administrative chapter in her professional career with Manassas City Public Schools ", said Dr. Catherine Magouyrk, Superintendent of Schools.  "Ms. Burnett has a proven track record of improving student performance.  I know that she looks forward to working collaboratively with teachers and parents at Metz to address the needs of all students."

Burnett is currently the principal at Weems Elementary School, a position she has held since 2007.  She also served as assistant principal at the school from 2004-2007. Before joining the Weems administration, Burnett was a middle school math teacher for the school division.  Prior to joining the Manassas City staff, she was a math instructional specialist in the New York City school system where she developed the implementation of a new math program for grades K-8. She also provided on-going professional development of various teaching strategies in the area of mathematics. 

"I am excited to be back where I started ten years ago when I joined Manassas City Schools working with middle school students," said Burnett.  "I am also very excited to see many of the students I worked with in elementary school and to watch them and their peers flourish during their middle school years."

Burnett was recently recognized as one of eighteen principals in the metropolitan area who received the 2013 Distinguished Educational Leader award by the Washington Post.  She w as lauded for her strong leadership and the way she inspires her staff.  Not only has Weems shown high academic success, as principal, she set the bar high for creativity and innovation at the school. Under her leadership, the schools' Enrichment Program was expanded to offer new opportunities for students ranging from Culinary Arts to Creative Writing.  Burnett set a school-wide goal to help all students find, develop, and demonstrate their talents and gifts, all while developing a passion for learning. Parents, students, colleagues and community leaders alike have praised Burnett for her work ethic, innovative educational initiatives and boundless enthusiasm.

This spring, the Ellen DeGeneres Show and online photo-sharing site, Shutterfly, awarded a $50,000 check to Burnett on national television, to be used towards the school-wide uniform effort Weems hopes to implement in the near future. 

Burnett earned a bachelor's degree in Finance from Hampton University.  She also received a master's degree in Administration and Supervision, K-12 from the College of New Rochelle in New York and holds a Virginia Post Graduate Certificate with endorsements in Elementary Education K-6 and Administration and Supervision, K-12.

5/30/13 > MCPS to Participate in USDA Summer Food Service Program


Manassas City Public Schools is participating in the USDA Summer Food Service program, sponsored by the Virginia Department of Health.  Meals will be provided to all children under the age of 18 without charge.  Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. There will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. 


Meals will be provided at the sites and times as follows:

  • Haydon Elementary School - 9075 Park Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110

June 24 - August 23, 2013

Lunch: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


  • Baldwin Elementary School - 9705 South Main Street, Manassas, VA 20110

June 24 - August 23, 2013

Lunch: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


  • Weems Elementary School  - 8750 Weems Road, Manassas, VA 20110

June 24 - August 23, 2013

Breakfast: 8:15 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


  • Mayfield Intermediate School  - 9400 Mayfield Court, Manassas, VA 20110

July 8 - August 2, 2013

Breakfast: 8:15 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

For more information about the local service, please contact Laryssa Richmond, Director of Food Services by email or at 571-377-6056. 

5/24/13 > MCPS Names Kara Mills as New Principal at Round Elementary

Manassas, VA…The School Board of the City of Manassas has appointed Mrs. Kara Mills as principal at George C. Round Elementary School. She will begin her assignment July 1st.

"Mrs. Mills brings strong school leadership experience to Round, which has prepared her to serve as principal," said Dr. Catherine Magouyrk, Superintendent of Schools. "She will be a tremendous asset to the Round community."

Mills is currently the assistant principal at Jennie Dean Elementary School, a position she has held since August 2011.  As assistant principal she oversees testing, the positive behavior program and child study meetings.  She also works in the areas of school improvement, teacher observations and assists the principal in the general day to day operations of the school.

"There is so much to discover as I move into this opportunity to lead," said Mills. "I am looking forward to the opportunity to connect with the staff, families, and students so we can accomplish great things."

Prior to her assignment at Jennie Dean, Mills served as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher at Osbourn High School.  She also served as the department supervisor for the program where she worked with nine teachers and more than 500 ESOL students at Osbourn.  Mills has worked in Orange County Public Schools as a 4th grade teacher and also has an extensive background in broadcast media, having worked at ABC and CBS news affiliates in Orlando, Florida. 

Mills holds a master's degree in educational leadership and a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Central Florida.  She has teaching certifications in elementary education K-6, English 6-12, ESOL K-12 and Administration and Supervision K-12.  She is currently completing her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies through George Washington University.

Mills will replace John Durko, who is retiring after more than twenty-five years with MCPS - fifteen years as Round's principal. Mills says she is excited about the opportunity to lead the Round learning community.  "Mr. Durko has established a strong foundation at Round through his years of dedicated leadership," said Mills. "Round is a strong team and I look forward to continuing down the pathway of success."

Round is one of five elementary schools in the City of Manassas and serves approximately 540 students in Kindergarten through fourth grade.  Serving more than 7,300 students, Manassas City Public Schools' mission is to provide an innovative, engaging, inspiring and challenging learning environment for all students.



5/16/13 > MCPS and City of Manassas awarded for Joint CIP work

May 16, 2013...Manassas City Public Schools and the City of Manassas were honored May 15, 2013 at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Business Awards. The annual awards banquet was held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.  The two organizations were given a business award for Innovative Practices or Partnerships for the joint Capital Improvement Plan process between the city and the schools. The group also won a 2013 Award for Excellence in Local Government from the Alliance for Innovation in Government (public sector) for the joint CIP process.

5/09/13 > MCPS to Begin New Start and Dismissal Times in Fall

New schedule not only saves money, but also supports increasing student achievement by increasing instructional time for many students.

May 7, 2013…The City of Manassas School Board has approved new start and dismissal times for division schools beginning September 2013.  During the FY 2014 budget process, due to decreased funding by the state, a cost reduction took place in transportation that will affect school and transportation schedules for next year.

As part of this schedule change, the daily instructional time is increased in the division's elementary schools by ½ hour per day and in the middle school by 15 minutes per day. 

The chart below highlights the times for each school. 


New Start and Dismissal Times
(Beginning September 2013)


Start & Dismissal Times

Dismissal Times

Late Start Times

Osbourn High School

7:20 a.m. - 2:20 p.m.

11:20 a.m

9:20 a.m

Metz Middle School

7:30 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

11:50 a.m.

9:30 a.m

Baldwin & Weems
Elementary Schools

7:55 a.m. - 3:10 p.m.

12:20 p.m.

9:55 a.m.

Dean, Haydon, & Round Elementary Schools

8:20 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.

12:50 p.m.

10:20 a.m.

Mayfield Intermediate School

8:50 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

1:20 p.m.

10:50 a.m.

The school division will release bus schedules in August on the division and school websites.  The walk-zones for each school will remain as they are currently; however, some school bus stops may be adjusted to accommodate the bus runs.


4/30/13 > Weems Elementary Receives $50,000 from Ellen DeGeneres and Shutterfly

Weems Elementary Receives $50,000 from Ellen DeGeneres and Shutterfly

April 30, 2013...Thanks to the Ellen DeGeneres Show and online photo-sharing site, Shutterfly, students at Weems Elementary School, received a generous $50,000 check to be used towards their school-wide uniform effort.  Principal Angela Burnett was flown to Los Angeles to appear on the show after school librarian Rachel Kirkland wrote to the show about the students and the new uniform initiative the school is taking on next year. 


"Rachel wrote the Ellen Show on behalf of the school, and the next thing I knew, I had tickets to go see a show," Burnett said.  "I was so surprised!" 


The show, which aired April 30th on NBC, also featured a surprise live feed from Manassas so Weems students and their families could witness the presentation.  DeGeneres expressed how proud she was of the students and their efforts.  As she closed her remarks, she announced that Shutterfly was also giving each student at the school a free yearbook.


An avid viewer of the show, Burnett says one of the highlights of the experience was having the opportunity to dance with DeGeneres. 


It's been an exciting month for Burnett.  In early April she was named the 2013 Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leader for Manassas City Public Schools.

4/26/13 > MCPS Administrative Briefs

April 26, 2013...Dr. John Werner, in his second year as principal of Osbourn High School, has been named principal of Western Albemarle High School effective July 1 of this year.  "We wish Dr. Werner the best as he pursues this opportunity to expand his professional experience as a principal," says Dr. Catherine Magouyrk, Superintendent of Schools.

Dr. Michaelene Meyer, Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction has been named Superintendent of Tazewell County Public Schools. "Dr. Meyer has been a part of the MCPS family for the past six years and we wish her much success in her new role as superintendent for Tazewell," Magouyrk says.  Meyer will begin her position as superintendent July 1.

4/23/13 > MCPS Partners with NOVA for Dual Enrollment STEM Academy

MCPS has partnered with Northern Virginia Community College to offer a Dual Enrollment STEM Academy which will serve 11th and 12th grade OHS students.  The Academy will provide learning opportunities for students who have a serious interest in beginning a STEM degree or certificate at the post-secondary level while completing their high school diploma. Students can earn college credits towards a STEM degree or certificate through dual enrollment coursework. Applications are due May 7th and the program begins July 2013.  For more information, visit www.nvcc.edu/systemic or the OHS Counseling Center at 571-377-7026.

4/14/13 > Superintendent's Column: You're Invited to Be There

When I entered the world of public school education as a starry-eyed math teacher, it didn't take long for me to learn that although I was charged with the task of teaching formulas and equations, I, and the other educators in my building were not the most important teachers in my student's lives.

The truth of the matter is parents, family members and even neighbors are the first teachers children encounter. The adage that "it takes a village to raise a child" is still true. This is why Manassas City Public Schools recently launched a new initiative called, "Be There".

Be There is a multi-media campaign designed to inspire families to become more involved in their children's education. While parent involvement in the school building is very important, Be There focuses on the benefits of parental involvement at home. Research shows that family and community involvement makes a huge difference in student achievement. Basically, we can't do it without you, whether you are a parent, a sibling, a mentor or a supportive community member and taxpayer. The home environment is the strongest indicator of student success.

We are reaching out to families with the Be There campaign based upon solid research. National surveys show schools where teachers reported high levels of outreach to parents, test scores grew considerably higher than in schools where teachers reported low levels of outreach. Research indicates the following benefits of family and community involvement for students:

• Higher grades and test scores

• Better attendance and more homework done

• Higher graduation rates

You may think it's difficult to be involved because your days are full. We understand. As I mentioned, the Be There campaign takes a little different approach to traditional parent involvement. Simply engage your child in a conversation about what happened each day at school. Ask specific questions about teachers, friends and extra-curricular activities. No matter your child's age, use everyday moments - like trips to the bank, grocery store or gas station - to teach your child about money matters, reading food labels or conserving energy. Turn routine trips into games. For more information and ideas, visit www.betheremcps.org.

As our division's Strategic Plan is being developed, community engagement and family involvement have been deemed as a top priority. The Be There campaign is an excellent way to put this in action.

Published on manassaslocal.com, April 14, 2013

4/12/13 > Manassas City Police Partner with Schools for Online Safety


City of Manassas, VA . . . Many parents wonder what their teenage son or daughter is posting online to one of the many social media sites.  More importantly, they wonder who is watching what is posted and how to keep their children safe.

On Tuesday, April 30 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Osbourn High School Auditorium, the Manassas City Police Department is partnering with Manassas City Public Schools to hold a candid discussion about the dangers of social media. Topics will include online sexual predators, general online safety, and unsafe behaviors such as cyber-bullying and "sexting."  Parents will learn how they can play an active role in their children's social media experience, while keeping safety in mind.  The session is open to parents of any aged teen.

For more information, visit www.manassascity.org/police<http://www.manassascity.org/police> or call Manassas City Police Crime Prevention at 703-257-8064.

*** end ***

4/10/13 > Burnett recognized for outstanding leadership

Angela Burnett, principal of Weems Elementary School, has been named the 2013 Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leader for Manassas City Public Schools.

Burnett is in her sixth year as principal at Weems. She has been lauded for her strong leadership and the way she inspires her staff.  As a highly effective manager, she provides the goals, direction, motivation and guidance required for the overall success for her building.  She sets high standards for others to follow and leads by example. 

Not only has Weems shown high academic success, Burnett has set the bar high for creativity and innovation at the school. Under her leadership, the schools' Enrichment Program has expanded to offer new opportunities for students ranging from Culinary Arts to Creative Writing.  Even traditional courses like Fractions or Mysteries are taken to a new level through rich performance tasks, cooperative activities, hands on learning, and other creative approaches.  The goal of these courses is to allow all students to find, develop, and demonstrate a talent or gift that is often hidden in traditional school subjects as well as to cultivate a depth of knowledge that rekindles a passion for learning. Parents, students, colleagues and community leaders alike commend Burnett for her work ethic, innovative educational initiatives and boundless enthusiasm. 

Burnett will be honored at the Washington Post's annual award ceremony in Washington, DC on May 7th and at the school division's "Night of Excellence" (formerly Salute to Excellence) on May 11th.

4/08/13 > Jennifer Alexander selected as MCPS Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher

Jennifer Alexander, a social studies teacher at Osbourn High School, has been named the 2013 Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher for Manassas City Public Schools.Alexander has 13 years teaching experience, 11 of which have been with MCPS. Her nominators spoke of her creative and engaging teaching methods and how she brings out the best in her students and colleagues.Alexander's focus areas include World History, AP European History, US/Virginia History and US/Virginia Government.She is also an instructor and building facilitator for Read 180 and the CLC building leader. She is very involved in developing student leaders through extra-curricular activities at the school.

Colleagues, students and parents each commented on the ways this teacher embodies the spirit of the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award. Ms. Alexander will be honored at the Washington Post's annual award ceremony in Washington, DC on May 14th.

Manassas City Public Schools would also like to congratulate the following educators who were nominated for the award by their schools: Cybil Mills, Baldwin; Samora Blake, Dean; Cathy Nowak, Haydon; Jennifer Boaz, Round; Sally Meredith, Weems; Christa Kellas, Mayfield; and Sandra Bushrod-Thompson, Metz. Ms. Alexander and all nominees will be recognized at the "Night of Excellence" (formerly Salute to Excellence) on May 11th.

3/22/13 > Kindergarten Registration May 1 & 2, 2013

En Español

Manassas City Public Schools

Kindergarten Registration
May 1 & 2, 2013

Students who turn five on or before the last day of September 2013 are eligible to register for Kindergarten.  Parents should register their child at the school at which their child is assigned to attend.  Attendance is determined by address.  If you are unsure of your school, please call one of the elementary schools and they will assist you.  

DOCUMENTATION:   The following documents are required for registration:

  • Child's original birth certificate
  • Child's social security number (requested but not required)
  • Parent/guardian's proof of residency
    • Copy of settlement papers or current lease plus two of the following:
      • Driver's license
      • Home telephone bill
      • Utility bill
      • Car registration
      • City property tax bill/information
      • Car insurance documentation


IMMUNIZATIONS/PHYSICAL: Before your child may begin school in September a complete Virginia State Physical and current immunizations MUST be on file in the school office.  The physical must have been done within twelve months of starting school in September.

Complete and current immunizations are as follows:

  • 4 DTaP or DTaP - at least one dose of DTaP or DTP on or after 4th birthday
  • 4 Polio - at least one dose on or after 4th birthday
  • MMR - a minimum of 2 measles, 2 mumps and 1 rubella with the first dose given on/after the child's 1st birthday
  • Hep B - 3 doses required
  • 2 Varicella - one dose on/after 12 months of age and the second dose before starting kindergarten


(A 4-day grace period may be applied to all vaccines.)  

A tuberculosis screening is required for children who have been out of the country for a period of three or more consecutive months within the past five years. 

Immunizations may be completed through your private physician or at the local Health Department located at 9301 Lee Avenue, Manassas.  Information can be obtained by calling 703-792-6300.  


PRE-ASSESSMENT: All children will be asked to participate in a Kindergarten Pre-Assessment. You will be assigned a date and time for the Pre-Assessment when you register for Kindergarten.  

Please contact the school office with any questions. 

Baldwin Elementary School: 571-377-6100

George C. Round Elementary School:  571-377-6400

R. C. Haydon Elementary School: 571-377-6200

Weems Elementary School: 571-377-6500

Jennie Dean Elementary School:  571-377-6300

Las Escuelas Públicas de La Ciudad de Manassas

Registración Para Kínder
el 1 y 2 de mayo de 2013

Estudiantes que cumplen cinco años en ó el último día de septiembre de 2013 son elegibles para registrar para Kínder. Padres deben registrar a su hijo(a) en la escuela que le correspondan. Su escuela elementaria es determinado por su domicilio. Si usted no está seguro(a) de la escuela que le corresponde, por favor de comunicarse con una de las escuelas elementarias y ellos los asistirán.  

Documentación: Los siguientes documentos son necesarios para registración:

  • Partida de Nacimiento- Original
  • Numero de Social del estudiante (requerido pero no es necesario)
  • Prueba de residencia del padre/guardián
    • Copia de escritura de propiedad (casa) o arrendamiento (contracto de renta) mas DOS de los siguientes:
      • Licencia de conducir
      • Factura de teléfono de casa
      • Factura de utilidad
      • Registro de vehículo
      • Factura de impuesto de propiedad
      • Documentación de seguro de automóvil


Inmunización/Físico: Antes que su hijo(a) pueda asistir a la escuela en septiembre la oficina de la escuela TIENE que tener los siguientes documentes: Físico Completo del Estado de Virginia y corriente registro de inmunizaciones.

Necesarias inmunizaciones completas y actuales: 

  • 4 DTP o DTaP - por lo menos una dosis de DTaP o  DTP antes o después  de cumplir 4 años
  • 4 Polio - por lo menos una dosis antes o después de cumplir 4 años
  • MMR - un mínimo de 2 dosis para el sarampión (cisticercosis), 2 dosis de paperas y 1 dosis de rubéola con la primera dosis dada el/después que el niño(a) cumplió 1 año
  • Hep B - 3 dosis requerida 
  • 2 Varicella - 1 dosis al/después que cumplió los 12 meses de edad y la segunda dosis antes de comenzar kínder


(Una extensión puede ser aplicada por 4 días para todas las vacunas.)

Un examen de tuberculosis es requerido para todos los niños que han salido afuera del país 3 meses o más consecutivo en los últimos cinco años.   

Inmunizaciones pueden ser obtenidas por su médico familiar o El Departamento de Salud localizado en 9301 Avenida Lee  Manassas, VA 20110.  Para más información pueden llamar al  703-792-6300.  


Pre-Evaluación: Todos los niños participaran en una evaluación de Pre-Kínder. El día de registración usted será asignado un día y hora para su evaluación de Pre-Kínder.  

Por favor de comunicarse con la oficina de su escuela si tiene preguntas. 


Escuela Elementaria Baldwin: 571-377-6100

Escuela Elementaria George C. Round: 571-377-6400

Escuela Elementaria R. C. Haydon: 571-377-6200

Escuela Elementaria Weems: 571-377-6500

Escuela Elementaria Jennie Dean: 571-377-6300

Escuela Elementaria Baldwin: 571-377-6100

3/21/13 > Education Foundation Scholarships - DUE APRIL 5th

The MCPS Education Foundation is preparing to assess scholarship applications for graduating Osbourn High School seniors as well as for Manassas City Public School students participating in summer enrichment programs. Scholarship applications are due on April 5, and applications can be found at www.mcpsedfoundation.org/scholarships .

Please "CLICK" on the Scholarship that you are interested in to download below:

Completed scholarship applications are due April 5, 2013.
Summer Enrichment Applications due May 15, 2013.

Delegate Harry J. Parrish Community Service S cholarship $2,000  (sponsored by Mayor Parrish and family)
• 3.0 GPA • Must be a graduating senior from Manassas City Public Schools • Attend a four-year college • Participate in community and school activities during high school • Held a Leadership position in two or more different organizations while in high school • Must submit recommendations from one teacher and one community service representative • Write a 500 word essay on why community service is important. Application due by April 5, 2013.

Fine Arts Scholarship $2,000 (MCPSEF) 
• 3.0 GPA • Must be a graduating senior from Manassas City Public Schools • Plan to pursue a degree in their artistic field (Theater, Music, Art, etc) • Attend a four-year college • Participate in community and school activities • Must submit a recommendation from one teacher or employer • Write a 500 word essay. Application due by April 5, 2013.

Superintendent Scholarship $2,000  (MCPSEF)
• 3.0 GPA • Must be a graduating senior from Manassas City Public Schools • Attend a four-year college • Pursue teaching as a career • Participate in community and school activities • Must be a graduating senior from Manassas City Public Schools • Write a 500 word essay.Application due by April 5, 2013.

STEM Scholarship $8,000 (4 @ $ 2,000 ea)   (sponsored by Micron and Lockheed Martin)
• 3.0 GPA • Must be a graduating senior from Manassas City Public Schools • Attend a four-year college (or a two-year college with a plan to enroll in a four-year college) to pursue a degree in the field of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) • Participate in community and school activities • Must submit a recommendation from one teacher or employer • Write a 500 word essay. Application due by April 5, 2013.

Vocational/Trade School Scholarships $2,000 (1 @ $ 2,000 ea)   (sponsored by Micron and NOVA SySTEMic Solutions)
• 2.5 GPA • Must be a graduating senior from Manassas City Public Schools • Enroll in a vocational training program or trade school • Participate in community and school activities • Write a one page essay about career aspirations. Application due by April 5, 2013.

Summer Enrichment Scholarships $1,000 (maximum award per student is $250)  (available for sponsorship)
• For all students grades K-12 in MCPS • Grant offering of up to $250 annually per student • Students in grades K-4 must obtain teacher or administrator recommendation • Students grades 5-12 will write an essay expressing why they want to participate in this program • Include information about the program • Application due by May 15, 2013.

3/20/13 > MCPS and City of Manassas win award for joint CIP work

The City of Manassas' Joint CIP Process Between City and Schools was selected as a winner of the 2013 Award for Excellence in Local Government by the Alliance for Innovation in Government. The award will be presented at the 2013 Transforming Local Government Conference in Atlanta, GA during an annual Awards Luncheon on April 10.

Innovation Awardees were chosen from more than 70 applications received by a Selection Committee consisting of City and County Managers from across the US and Canada, ASU Faculty and Alliance Executive Management. The Selection Committee looks for those local governments that have shown their dedication to stretching and improving the boundaries of day-to-day government operations and practices, implementing creative business processes, and those who have improved the civic health of their community.

The Joint CIP Process application detailed the process that the City of Manassas and Manassas City Public Schools created to jointly create a Capital Improvement Plan that would address the facility needs of both organizations for the next five years and beyond.

3/13/13 > Metz Student Wins PWC Spelling Bee

Christopher is pictured on the leftMCPS is proud to congratulate Christopher Shoemaker, an eighth grader at Metz Middle School for winning the 35th annual Prince William County Spelling Bee on March 8th. The local spelling bee is sponsored by Prince William Today and InsideNoVA.com, along with the Bel Air Woman's Club. Christopher prevailed over 23 top spellers from area public, private, and home schools. The competition was tough at this year's spelling bee, which lasted 24 rounds and approximately two hours before Christopher was named as champion. His winning word was "arcane".

Christopher has won his school spelling bee three years in a row.  He studied many hours with his parents and also with the Metz Spelling Bee sponsor, eighth grade teacher, Joy Malycke.  Christopher will be going to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC for the first time this year. The competition will be held in May. As the local champion, Christopher won an all expense paid trip to the national competition, including transportation, meals and hotel, from Prince William Today, Webster's Third International Dictionary, Unabridged, from Merriam-Webster, a Samuel Louis Sugarman Award Certificate and 2013 United States Mint Proof Set from Jay Sugarman, a $100 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble from Bel Air Woman's Club and a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online from Encyclopedia Britannica. Read more of about Christopher's victory at http://www.insidenova.com/news/local/metz-student-wins-prince-william-county-spelling-bee/article_ce0fa3e2-886b-11e2-b202-001a4bcf887a.html

3/12/13 > MCPS Choirs Featured on Music Education Site
MCPS chorus students participated in a Pyramid Concert at the Hylton Performing Arts Center back in January. Music teachers Cathy Drummond, (Round Elementary) and Stacey Rubach (Haydon Elementary) submitted a proposal to the National Association for Music Education to be displayed in the online "Concert for Music In Our Schools Month" (in March). MCPS won and the concert is now being featured nationally on the NAFME website. This concert has reached an estimated 6 million students, teachers, and music supporters over the years. You can view the concert at http://musiced.nafme.org/concert/videos/why-we-sing/
2/26/13 > OHS Choir Recognition

Exceptional students from Osbourn High School recently earned spots in the All Virginia Choir.  The students had to earn a spot through audition into District Honors Choir and were then offered the opportunity to audition for All Virginia Honors Choir. Only juniors and seniors are offered the chance to audition. These students had to go through two rounds of rigorous sight-reading demonstrations and two different panels of people for their prepared pieces. Osbourn High School was well represented at the district chorus competition with 16 students in attendance. The following 6 students advanced to the All Virginia Choir.

  • Maralee Bell (JR.) - District Honors Choir (#1 Soprano 2)/ All-Virginia Choir
  • Meghan Perez (SR.) - District Honors Choir/All-Virginia Choir
  • Damien Thomas (JR.) - District Honors Choir/All-Virginia Choir
  • Michael Boyles- District Honors Choir/All-Virginia Choir (Alternate)
  • Ernesto Gagarin Jr. - District Honors Choir/All-Virginia Choir (Alternate)
  • Skyler Rubin - District Honors Choir/All-Virginia Choir (Alternate)
2/26/13 > OHS Theatre Dominates District One-Act Festival

Osbourn High School recently dominated at the Virginia High School League's Cedar Run District One-Act Festival.  The theatre troop won individual honors and also won acting honors for the play, Promageddon. This marks the sixth time in seven years that Osbourn has advanced to the regional competition, securing their status as one of the best theatre schools in the Cedar Run District.  The group placed fourth at the regional competition on February 16th.

The following students received recognition at the Festival:

  • Matthew Turner - Best Actor
  • Maralee Bell - Best Actress
  • Michael Boyles - Director
  • Meghan Perez- Director
  • Ernie Gagarin Jr. - Acting Honors
  • Courtney Mercado
  • Alexandra Maddox
  • Samantha Cali
  • Ben Binkley
  • Rachel Shriver
2/25/13 > Chilly Nights Warmed by Family Events at Mayfield Intermediate School

Math, Literacy Celebrated by Hundreds of Manassas Families, despite Inclement Weather

A Mayfield family enjoys literacy night

Despite snow, rain and sub-freezing temperatures, hundreds of Mayfield Intermediate School families attended Math and Literacy Nights recently at the school. Families participated in classroom-planned games celebrating math--on a stormy Tuesday evening--and literacy, a few weeks earlier, amid record-setting cold temperatures and impending snow.

Last week, crowds thronged around the Math Karaoke station where children and adults donned glitter wigs, strummed inflatable guitars and sang math-related lyrics set to the melodies of popular songs. Sixth grader Ben Giboney sang "The Coefficient Song" to the melody of "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. "I liked that somebody made up math words to go with the music," he said, adding, "I didn't expect to have that much fun!"

Parents and students played games
during Math Night at Mayfield.

Math Night co-organizer Kathy Bacon estimated 300 people attended the event--about the same size crowd as Literacy Night last month. Technology was the star of that event, said Reading Specialist Erin Karicher. Participants played Word Monkey on iPads and grammar games on iPods; read favorite titles on e-readers; and vied against family members in "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?" on interactive whiteboards. Karicher was "constantly surrounded by students waiting for me to call their raffle ticket numbers," she said. More than 250 books were given away throughout the night.

"We're excited families braved the elements to share learning activities with their children, our teachers and the community," said Principal Jeff S. Abt. Teacher Kathy Bacon added, "I'm proud this has become part of Mayfield's culture. Families count on us hosting Math Night each year; they look forward to it."

2/23/13 > Superintendent's Column: What the Buzz is All About

What's the Buzz All About?

There's been a buzz going around the city about the schools' and city's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and the MCPS budget process. As I thought about my column this month, I was reminded of something I mentioned in my first message to the community, "no school system thrives without community support."  This truth has become more evident with each passing day of the budget process. The MCPS and city staff recently completed a lengthy process to create a 5-year CIP for the division and city infrastructure improvements. We are now seeking public support to finance the much needed improvements to our school and city infrastructure.  The community's financial support will also help attract businesses and homeowners which, in turn, impact the city's economic development and real estate values. The fact that the City of Manassas has the lowest tax rate in the Northern Virginia region opens the door for the community to lend its support for the schools and city's CIP. Although our primary purpose is to serve more than 7200 children everyday, we cannot overlook the division's infrastructure that supports them.Practical things like HVAC, paving, tracks, security cameras, roofs, and painting are important for preserving what we currently have.  A new Baldwin with the addition of a school within a school, and in the future years, a new or renovated Dean Elementary are also components of the CIP to prepare us for our projected future growth.

Instead of following a path based on what we have always done, MCPS is going through a zero-based budgeting process.  Many times, businesses and governments start with the current year budget and go from there, preserving what already exists.  With zero-based budgeting, you start with nothing and justify every allotment, program, and service to determine need and value. For MCPS it's an important exercise that provides accountability for spending and ensures that revenue is focused on students' needs. 

I have been asked by many members of the community to address our cost per pupil which is $1000 higher than neighboring Manassas Park and Prince William, but lower than the average in Northern Virginia.  The staffing allotment and zero-based budget process are being used to determine how to best utilize our resources to increase student achievement and to answer the cost per pupil question in the community.

In December, principals were provided with their staffing allocations based on current MCPS class size structure. During this process, 111 positions were identified as being above what the state funds. Principals were asked to work with their staffs to develop their instructional plans and identify the instructional needs for their schools for next school year.
I understand how at first glance a change of 111 positions in preliminary allocations can be unsettling and misunderstood; however, they were not identified as positions to be cut, but positions to substantiate in our budgeting process. I remain sensitive to the feelings and concerns to what this preliminary allocation number means as we move forward. I want to assure our parents, students, staff, and community that class sizes have not increased and that our students remain at the center of all our decisions. I do accept that budgets can be contentious and unnerving, but I must also make sure that our students not only have the best and brightest teachers, but the resources, experiences, and technology that will provide them prosperous futures.

As we seek staff and community input during the budget process, I understand that each person looks at spending priorities through their own lens. Teachers and taxpayers have different perspectives as do guidance counselors, the State Department of Education and parents of children with special needs. We need parents, elected officials, business leaders, and the community supporting the hard-working staff at MCPS to make our schools safe, efficient, and high achieving.

As we go through the process, we will continue to work together to develop a fiscally responsible budget that allocates our limited resources in a manner that supports student achievement and our strategic goals and priorities.  I will present the proposed budget to the School Board at their regular business meeting on February 26, 2013 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.  I welcome you all to attend and appreciate your support.

Public Input on the budget is scheduled for March 12, 2013.  Click here for our current budget development calendar:  FY 14 Budget Calendar

Dr. Catherine Magouyrk

Posted on Manassaslocal.com/Potomaclocal.com

2/15/13 > Superintendent's Pre-Budget Letter to Parents

Superintendent prepared the following letter for parents regarding the proposed FY 14 budget.

Superintendent's Letter to Parents Regarding FY 13/14 Budget

2/13/13 > Metz Robotics Team Advances to Roboticon
 Pictured: On the left, 8th graders Brandon Azbill
and Jack Spall (5173Z) and on the right,
7th grader Jonathan Peters (5173S).

Robotics team members from Metz Middle School competed in the Central Division VEX Qualifier at Manassas Park Middle School on Saturday, February 9th. With a focus on building the most innovative robots possible, the team's six robots competed against a total of 40 robots hoping to earn spots to Roboticon at Forest Park High School on March 9th and the VEX World Championship in Anaheim, California, in April. Metz's robot 5173S ended the qualifying round in 9th place, while robot 5173Z ended in 15th place. 

A total of four of Metz's robots were selected to compete in the tournament round.In what appeared to be a scene from a futuristic motion picture, Robot 5173S selected 5173Z to compete as an alliance during the tournament, winning their best two out of three matches during the round of 16 and quarterfinals before ultimately falling short in the semifinals.

Both robots earned spots in next month's Roboticon at Forest Park.  Roboticon will feature the top 60 robots from public and private middle schools in Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park.Additional spots will be awarded to the VEX World Championship in Anaheim during this competition.

The Metz Robotics team is led by Metz math teacher, Leonard Newman.


2/12/13 > Growing Up Green in Manassas City

For the past five years, the City of Manassas Department of Public Works and Utilities and the Manassas City Public Schools have been 'going green' by championing the Go Green Initiative, a comprehensive environmental program that teaches earth-friendly behaviors and helps evaluate environmental impact.  From school energy audits to learning gardens, Manassas City Schools are helping students grow up green and educating them on the benefits of recycling and reusing. Going Green Initiatives are endorsed by the National School Board Association, the National Recycling Coalition, and Parent-Teacher Associations throughout the United States. For details, go to www.manassascity.org or call 703-257-8276.

Environmental stewardship programs at Manassas City Schools, include: glue stick recycling, cell phones for soldiers, single-stream recycling, energy audits by support-services staff, learning, herb and rain gardens with reading centers, cafeteria recycling, walking trails, and the Safe Routes to School program that encourages students to walk and bicycle to school. Also, the schools are currently in a state-wide contest to collect the most plastic bags to win a grand prize made from TREX lumber. The contest ends on Earth Day in April, 2013.

"Manassas Public Works has been a long-standing advocate of environment-friendly programs, so we're thrilled to be a part of educating our next generation on the benefits of reusing and recycling," said Mike Moon, director of public works and utilities for the City of Manassas. "Conservation of our resources begins at home, and education is the key to spreading the word of its importance," said Moon.

"Manassas City schools are on the front lines of recycling, teaching our youngest students the value of reusing, and laying the groundwork for them to be aware of their resources and how they can wisely use them," said Sandy Thompson, supervisor of administrative services for Manassas City Schools. "The Safe Routes to School program has demonstrated the benefits of exercise and helping our environment," said Thompson.

Manassas City Schools earned the 2009 Magna Awards, which recognizes schools across the U.S. for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools.  All Manassas City Public Schools are registered Eco Schools and have been recognized twice for awards, once in 2011 and in 2012, from the Virginia School Board Association for their Growing Up Green Program and the Green Schools Challenge. They were also recognized by the Virginia Recycling Association for the Outstanding Waste Reduction and Prevention Group in 2009.

The Go Green Initiative involves a partnership with students, teachers, administrators, custodians and parents and can be aligned with existing Virginia Standards of Learning curriculum. Through activities such as recycling, composting, and waste reduction, the Go Green Initiative encourages environmentally responsible behavior in and out of the classroom. The program focuses on five basic principles: generate compost - it's nature's way of recycling; recycle everything that cannot be reused and purchase items that can be recycled; educate students, parents, and teachers about environmentally responsible behavior; evaluate the environmental impact of every activity; and nationalize the principles of responsible paper consumption. For more information about the program, contact 571-377-6043.

Established in1913, the City of Manassas Utilities/Public Works department ensures the availability of safe, reliable water usage, electric utilities, as well as provides responsive maintenance and collection services at an affordable cost to citizens of Manassas, Va., Manassas Park, Va. and parts of Prince William County, Va. It is noted for its environment-friendly projects and equipment, while tasked with capital projects that enhance public and private infrastructure. The utilities team participates in community fundraisers, like Toys for Tots, the United Way, American Public Power Association Tree Power and Arbor Day. The department holds memberships with America Public Power Association, American Water Works Association, American Public Works Association and the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce.

The City of Manassas, Va., is an independent, full service city of 10-square miles in Northern Virginia. The City is rich in history and the Manassas Junction of railroads played a pivotal role in the American Civil War. The City has a population of 35,821, owns its own public utilities, has the busiest general aviation airport in Virginia and is part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. Manassas has been recognized by the Virginia Municipal League and other national and state organizations for its highly successful neighborhood improvement programs and by the Government Finance Officers Association for excellence in financial reporting and budgeting. For more information, go to www.manassascity.org or call 703-257-8219.

2/08/13 > OHS Choirs Shine at the Hylton

More than 600 students joined together on Thursday, January 31st to perform in one of the premier venues in the DC metropolitan area, the Hylton Performing Arts Center. The students had an extraordinary performance alongside teacher volunteers from Manassas City Public Schools, Prince William County Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, and the Manassas Symphony Orchestra. Be sure to subscribe to the Osbourn Choirs homepage on YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/osbournchoirs) to view more of this concert and others featuring these talented students.

1/18/13 > MCPS Opens Parent Teacher Resource Center

The Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) Special Education Parent/Teacher Resource Center (PTRC) opened its doors in the Fall of 2012.  Housed at the Johnson Learning Center (Room #20), 9051 Tudor Lane, Manassas, the center is open to all families and school division staff.

The center, established with the assistance of the MCPS Special Education Advisory Committee, assists:

  • Manassas City families of children with special needs
  • Manassas City teachers, staff and students who would like additional information regarding special education and disability-related issues
  • Manassas City families who have children who are dually identified with a disability and English for Speakers of Other Languages or Gifted and Talented
  • Individuals seeking information about disabilities or community resources


The PTRC services are free and offers a lending library that includes books, DVDs, CDs and videos, support for parents and families, and information about community resources.  Staffed by volunteers, the Center will be open Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Thursdays from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. or by appointment.

For further information, please email the Center at ptrc@manassas.k12.va.us or visit www.manassas.k12.va.us/PTRC .


1/15/13 > March 1st Deadline for Governor's School Applications

Governor's School @Innovation Park
Regional school accepting applications from rising juniors from for 2013-2014 school year

January 15, 2013...The application process for the 2013-14 school year is currently open to rising juniors interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  Applicants must be enrolled in either Manassas City Public School Division, Manassas Park Public School Division, or Prince William County Public School Division. 
The purpose of the regional program is to educate students in the related STEM fields in order to prepare them to contribute to the global community of the 21st century.  The Governor's School is located in Prince William County, Virginia, and classes are held on George Mason University's Prince William Campus. The Governor's School @ Innovation Park is a member of the National Consortium of Specialized Secondary Schools for Math Science and Technology (NCSSSMST).

The program offers students opportunities to:

  • Explore and engage in original research through mentorships and collaboration with experts
  • Further explore areas of personal interest
  • Discover new insights
  • Pursue their personal goals and aspirations in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

Click here for Manassas City Public School Division Application - Due March 1, 2013

1/09/13 > Planting Seeds College & Career Readiness Event
Providing support and information for families of students in grades 5-8

January 9, 2013...Navigating the pathway towards college and possible careers can sometimes be overwhelming for families. Three Manassas City schools have joined together for a special event to assist families in this process. The staffs of Mayfield Intermediate, Metz Middle and Osbourn High School will host “Planting Seeds: A College and Career Readiness Event” to be held Saturday, January 19, 2013 from 8 a.m to noon on the campus of Metz Middle School (9950 Wellington Road). The event is specifically geared towards students in grades 5-8 and their families. The public is invited to attend.

The counseling departments from each school planned the event. Families will view a 90-minute documentary entitled "In 500 Words or Less", which follows the college application process for five diverse students. There will be an opportunity for participants to visit with representatives from colleges and universities. Parents may attend a free Financial Aid workshop and also gather important high school program information.

“We are very excited to host this first collaborative effort in supporting students as they navigate their path to graduation and beyond”, said Dr. Melissa Saunders, principal at Metz. “We hope that this is an event that we can build upon in the future to strengthen the transitions from intermediate school to graduation.”
1/02/13 > Scrabble Run is the Latest Craze at Mayfield Intermediate School

Speedy runners and wordsmiths united in the gym at Mayfield Intermediate School recently to compete in Scrabble Run, a new physical education activity creating a stir at the Manassas City public school serving about 1,000 fifth and sixth graders.

It's become common for visitors to stop by the gym to observe Scrabble Run in action, said Michael DeEmilio, physical education department head. The principal, assistant principals, reading specialists, substitutes and many others have popped in to watch, and students are talking about it in hallways, at lunch and even in the library.

"I think it's awesome and fun! And it makes fitness more educational," said fifth grade student Jaren Cazar-Garcia. "I like running across the room to get the letters!" added student Hailey Egan.

Each class period, students in relay teams race to the middle of the gym, grab from among dozens of letter cards, race back to their teams and then place the letters face-down in hula hoops. When each team has 12 letters, students circle around their hoops, turn over letters and begin creating as many three- to seven-letter words as possible before the whistle blows.

Longer words earn higher points. Words from the physical fitness word wall earn bonus points.

"We made retina!" one student exclaimed to his teacher Aubrie Sawyer. Sawyer, in her first year of teaching, introduced the activity after finding it on P.E. Central, a website resource from her training at Old Dominion University. "Students don't even realize they are learning two things at once," she said.

DeEmilio added, "It gives every child the chance to be successful-students at every academic and fitness level use their different strengths to work together as a team."

Mayfield  teacher Michael DeEmilio
oversees students as they race to get letters for
Scrabble Run during physical education class.

Mayfield teacher Aubrie Sawyer oversees students as they play Scrabble Run during physical education class.



Mayfield fifth graders work together to make words from their letters during
the Scrabble Run activity in physical education class.
12/21/12 > Superintendent's Holiday Message to Parents

Dear Parents and Families of Manassas City Public Schools:

During my brief time here in Manassas, I have had the opportunity to meet many students and their families at the various activities held throughout the division.  I have especially enjoyed attending many of the fine arts celebrations and watching our students perform the wonderful sounds of the season.  As I reflect on those encounters, I feel very blessed to be a part of the MCPS family.  Our school community has much to be thankful for. 

Our winter break begins December 21st and ends January 1st.  As you gather with friends and family, I hope you are able to enjoy the precious moments we all often take for granted. On behalf of the School Board and staff of Manassas City Public Schools, I wish you a joyous and safe holiday and a prosperous new year.

Dr. Catherine Magouyrk,

Padres de Las Escuelas Públicas de La Ciudad de Manassas:

Durante me breve tiempo aquí en Manassas, he tenido la oportunidad de conocer a muchos estudiantes y sus familias en varias actividades que han tomando lugar  en nuestra división escolar. He disfrutado especialmente asistir a muchas de las celebraciones de artes y viendo a nuestros estudiantes cantar las maravillosos canciones de la temporada. Al reflexionar sobre estos encuentros, me siento muy bendecida y feliz de ser parte de la familia de MCPS. Nuestra comunidad escolar tiene mucho que agradecer.

Nuestra vacación del invierno comienza hoy y terminara el 1 de enero.  Mientras ustedes se reunión con amigos y familias espero que puedan disfrutar de los preciosos momentos que a veces no apreciamos. De parte de La Mesa Directiva Escolar y empleados de Las Escuelas Públicas de Manassas, les deseo un feliz fin y un próspero año nuevo.

Dr. Catherine Magouyrk,

12/17/12 > OHS HolidayFEST 2012 Highlights

OHS Combined Ensembles present the Hallelujah Chorus (12/13/12)

To view more of the highlights from HolidayFEST, visit the Osbourn High School Choirs YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/OsbournChoirs?feature=watch.
12/16/12 > Superintendent Message: Connecticut Tragedy


A Message from the Superintendent Regarding the Tragedy in Connecticut

Print a copy

December 16, 2012

Dear Manassas City Public Schools Staff and Parents,

Friday's events were of the most heinous of acts. Anytime we experience a tragedy such as what occurred in Connecticut, it hits very close to home, in the schools, and community. As a school division, Manassas City Public Schools extends its most sincere condolences with prayers, concerns and sorrows to those families of Newtown, Connecticut for their loss. This is a very tragic event for all of us in this country.

We have always made safety our first priority and we will continue to take all measures necessary to provide for a safe school environment for our students and staff. We know our parents take safety very seriously as well, and we appreciate all you do at home to help us with this expectation.

While no one is totally immune from the kind of incident that occurred in Connecticut, I want to assure students, parents and staff that the Manassas City Public Schools is continually auditing its safety procedures. Schools conduct safety drills to educate staff and students on precautionary protocol designed to address any potential exposure to unpredictable safety risks, but always hope that we never have an emergency where they must be implemented. I have contacted Chief Keen with the Manassas City Police about increasing patrols and visibility this week around our schools. This is not in response to any specific threat, but rather an initiative to enhance safety and security around the schools and to help alleviate the understandably high level of anxieties.

As we begin our final week of school before the Holiday break, please know that plans are in place to assist students with any emotional trauma that an event like this brings out. Our priority is to make sure that our students know that they are safe and that people are there to listen to them about what they may hear over the next few days on television as well as at home and school.

Counselors at each school will be present to assist wherever needed. We will take some time in our morning moments of silence at all schools to remember the families and victims of the tragedy.

While school safety procedures and precautions can sometimes be inconvenient for parents and visitors, we must embrace and reinforce them to maintain the highest level of safety for our students. This type of tragedy has no place in our community and it is inherent upon all of us to keep our schools safe through awareness and diligence.


Catherine B. Magouyrk

Links for Parent Resources :

12/13/12 > MCPS Recognized by State for Green Efforts

Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) received a 3rd Place award for the 2012 Green Schools Challenge from the Virginia School Boards Association in Williamsburg in November at a special reception. MCPS was one of 32 school divisions in Virginia to be certified green, having received recognition in the 5,001-10,000 student population category.  The VSBA Green Schools Challenge is a friendly competition designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce the carbon emissions generated by both the local school division and the broader community. The award is based on 30 benchmarks within the following areas:

  • energy efficiency
  • waste management
  • vehicles
  • indoor environmental quality
  • education/community participation
  • schools
  • student involvement
  • cooperation between school division and local government
  • innovation

Currently, schools in the division are participating in the TerraCycle Program which has a team of scientists and designers that have developed a way to collect non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle waste and then turn it into innovative new prod ucts. Best of all, when the use of a TerraCycle product is complete, it can be put back in the same collection program.

MCPS is not new to recognition for its green program.  The division was recognized in 2009 by the American School Board Journal by claiming a first place Magna Award for the Growing Up Green Recycling program and also at the state level that sa me year by the Virginia Recycling Association.

According to Sandy Thompson, division coordinator for the program, Growing Up Green is aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) curriculum in that it is strongly connected to science.  Jennie Dean, Haydon and Weems Elementary Schools each have an outdoor learning garden.  Jennie Dean also recycles boxes in the cafeteria, while other schools are recycling cell phones for soldiers, glue sticks, ink cartridges and eyeglasses.

Thompson says other MCPS schools have been actively involved in combining hands on science learning activities with the Growing Up Green program.  Mayfield Intermediate has done a unit on rain gardens.  A rain garden collects runoff from impervious surfaces such as blacktop and roof tops. It prevents this water from going into storm sewers which is then recycled and cleaned.

The school division also participates in the Safe Routes to Schools initiative that promotes safe walking and/or biking to school and decreases pollution.  All Manassas City schools are registered as ECO-Schools, an internationally acclaimed program that allows students, parents, and staff to learn about environmentally responsible behavior.

For additional information about the recycling program, please contact Sandy Thompson, Supervisor of Administrative Services at 571-377-6043.


12/11/12 > Healthy Learners Hand Washing Campaign Week
Healthy Learners Hand Washing Campaign December 10-14th
Clean Hands Save Lives
A Message from Administrative and Health Services:
Each year at this time we see more illness. Hands are the most exposed part of the body to germs. Touching your eyes, mouth,nose or food transfers germs into the body. Washing your hands is the best way to stop germs from spreading.
Wash your hands:
  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • After using the restroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
Please remember to wash your hands frequently during flu season. School Nurses will continue to promote hand washing at all Manassas City Public Schools in recognition of Healthy Learners Hand Washing Week.
12/11/12 > Metz Student Receives VFW Essay Award

Jaden Beard, a student at Grace E. Metz Middle School, recently won second place in the VFW Post 7589 Patriots Pen Essay Contest.  The VFW and Ladies Auxiliary sponsor the Patriot's Pen Essay Contest annually. The contest is open to sixth through eighth grade students in the Greater Manassas area.

The theme for the essay this year was "What I Would Tell America's Founding Fathers." Jaden, a seventh grader, was one of more than 200 Manassas area students to enter the essay contest and was awarded second place for his essay that according to the judges, "read like the Founding Fathers were having lunch together."

12/10/12 > Mayfield Intermediate Featured on Voice of America
“Dress for Success”, a program at Mayfield Intermediate School, has been featured on Voice of America (VOA), a multimedia broadcaster funded by the U.S. Government that presents news and information to an international audience. View the video at http://www.voanews.com/content/students-dress-for-success-in-school-and-life/1560662.html.
12/08/12 > Metz PTA accepting hurricane donations through Jan 2013

The Metz Middle School Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) recently sent home a letter with students seeking support for their Adopt a School effort to assist those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.  The following is a transcript of the letter:

Dear Metz Students, Parents and Staff:

As you know much of the New York and New Jersey Coast was devastated by Hurricane Sandy.  Many families have lost their homes and all of their belongings.  The Metz PTA has decided to "Adopt a School" in New Jersey that has been significantly impacted by the hurricane.  We have been in contact with the Toms River Regional Schools and plan to adopt Toms River Intermediate East School.  This intermediate school is home to over 1600 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students.  We have learned that many of these students and their families, along with many staff members have been displaced by the hurricane and lost many of their belongings.  With the cold weather approaching, the Metz PTA is asking that families help by donating any of the following items:

  • Warm socks
  • Scarves
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Target Gift Cards
  • Walmart Gift Cards
  • Monetary Donations

In addition, students are encouraged to write letters to the students at Intermediate East School.

Donations will continue through January 2013.  The group is especially appreciative of gift cards for Walmart and Target. PTA members will deliver the collected items to the Toms River Intermediate East School. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Metz Middle School PTA

12/07/12 > Pearl Harbor Survivor Visits Mayfield

Former sergeant's first-person account enthralls 6th graders

December 7, 2012..."It was a sparkling, beautiful morning" that fateful December 7, 1941, "and in the blink of an eye we went from peaceful existence to having somebody overhead in bombers trying to kill us!" said 92-year old Pearl Harbor survivor and former U.S. Army Sergeant Stephen Krawczyk to 6th grade students at Mayfield Intermediate School in Manassas.

"I had just left the barracks for chow. Suddenly, barreling over the field toward us were planes with the large red Japanese ball insignia on the fuselage and wings. We were not so much afraid as stunned!" he said.

Krawczyk, a Manassas resident, recently presented to students in teacher Sandra Reynolds' reading class as an extension of the novel they are studying, I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis. Krawczyk is one of few U.S. military survivors of the attack remaining and "the students probably don't realize how special and rare his visit is," said Reynolds.

Students found it most amazing that Krawczyk had never fired a gun until that day.

As mechanics for the Army Air Corps, he and his unit "weren't trained as soldiers! But that morning we ran to the supply room for rifles and started shooting at the low-flying planes" from inside the building, he said.

"Before I could fire, I had to pause and ask an airman, how do you load this gun? I learned in a hurry!" he added.

Eventually Krawczyk was "forced to leave the barracks and make a break for it" near the airfields, the bombers' main target.

"I got on Hangar Avenue and sprinted down to get away from the airfields and saw a Zero bomber headed my way with machine guns rattling. I was not only scared, I was terrified. I hit the ground."

That close call with death "was something I'll never forget," he said.

Krawczyk's message resonated with the students, whose rapt attention rendered the classroom quiet enough to distinguish the emotion and dignity behind his parting words: "What you should remember is that our most precious aspect of America-freedom-is not free. At Pearl Harbor, our freedom was tested at the cost of many, many lives."


12/05/12 > Your Voice, Your Community, Our Future Part 2

Citizens Prioritize City-wide Projects ...

Did you miss the second community engagement regarding the capital improvement future of  Manassas?  The second phase of "Your Voice, Your Community, Our Future was held on Tuesday, December 4th at Mayfield Intermediate School.  The event brought approximately 100 participants together with a purpose to prioritize projects for the City.


The meeting was a product of the resolution between the City of Manassas and Manassas City Public Schools. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Catherine Magouyrk and City Manager John Budesky led the meeting. Community leaders such as Mayor Harry J. "Hal" Parrish II, City Council and School Board members, as well as the school division's facilities steering committee were also in attendance.


After hearing an overview of the October 16th meeting, participants were asked to prioritize 17 city-wide projects using hand-held electronic responders, provided by E Instruction Partner.  Prioritization was to be based on a scale of 0-5 years, 5-10 years and beyond 10 years.  Attendees were also given an opportunity to indicate if a project was not deemed as a need.


Citizen prioritization results:


Schools Immediate Need Projects (0-5 years)

· Building a new Baldwin Elementary School/3-6 School ("school within a school")

· Renovating the second floor of the Johnson Learning Center

· Building a new Central Office


Schools Near Need (5-10 years)

· Building a new Jennie Dean Elementary School


City Immediate Need Projects (0-5 years)

· Portner Avenue/Battle Street Stormwater Improvements

· Two Fire and Rescue Stations


City Near Need (5-10 years)

· City-wide Drainage Projects

· Prince William Street Improvements

· New Public Safety Building


Complete results from the meeting, a copy of the presentation and additional information from both events can be found at www.manassascity.org/future .

11/29/12 > Apple & Pear Award Winners Nov. 27, 2012 Board Meeting

Teachers and support staff recognized by peers for outstanding service

School Board Apple Award

The School Board Apple Award was established to recognize some of the school division's outstanding instructional staff.  These teachers are nominated by their colleagues who were asked to provide examples for each recipient in the following areas: demonstration of effective strategies and techniques of instruction; use of innovative approaches to support the instructional program; how the nominee shares ideas and/or materials and a willingness to collaborate with co-workers to improve student achievement; effective communication with parents, students, administrators, co-workers and the community and demonstration of 21st Century skills for the 21st Century Learner by using critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation, communication and/or collaboration.  MCPS thanks each nominator for the commentary provided for the Apple Award recipients.

  • Baldwin Elementary - Cybil Mills
    Apple Award winners pictured with
    Dr. Catherine Magouyrk, Superintendent and
    Mr. Scott Albrecht, School Board Chairman

Cybil Mills utilizes pictures, play acting and technology to make sure that her students receive instruction in all modalities.  She makes sure that every student in her class has a chance to actively participate in learning. She also uses team building activities and strategies to make sure that all of her students realize that they are an integral part of the class. Mrs. Mills has a good rapport with all of her co-workers.  She shares all of the innovative ideas she comes up with for each subject.  She is constantly on-line looking for resources and sharing her "finds" with her co-workers to use with their classes.  The ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and Special Education teachers love collaborating and working with her in her classroom. Mrs. Mills is always available to talk to a co-worker, parent, student, or administrator. She is in constant contact with parents and works on the Parents as Partners team. 

Students love to tell Mrs. Mills something that they learned or something that happened in their lives.  The administrators rely on her as a strong and organized teacher. Mrs. Mills is truly a 21st Century instructor.  She requires her students to think and make connections with the material she is teaching.  She uses her creative and innovative teaching ideas and resources to provide opportunities for her students not only to understand the material, but to make a connection to it.


  • Jennie Dean Elementary - Christine Thai-Pappa

Christine Thai-Pappa uses a variety of instructional strategies to challenge and engage her students. Both her classroom management strategies and direct instruction provide a structured level of support for her students. Her students make excellent gains and rarely have a behavioral concern because they are so familiar with her routines. Mrs. Thai-Pappa uses a variety of instructional resources. She is proficient with her SmartBoard and often incorporates it through interactive lessons for her students. She also uses iPads to engage students in learning. She ties these resources and lessons back to Virginia SOLs (Standards of Learning).  Mrs. Thai-Pappa is a valued member of her team known for sharing ideas on data, instruction and even classroom design. She collaborates with her team to examine data and helps set appropriate student goals. She runs math centers with her grade level, targeting individual groups of students (based on need), by using assessment data.

Mrs. Thai-Pappa communicates regularly with all of the above. She attends nearly all of the after school and weekend events hosted at Jennie Dean. She communicates with parents and co-workers on a daily basis and volunteers for committees in the school division. Mrs. Thai-Pappa challenges her students through her use of technology and the rigor of her lessons. She has very high expectations of her students and facilitates thinking and learning through various modalities. She shows exemplary skills in creativity, communication and collaboration.

  • Round Elementary School -Dena Caracciolo

Dena Caracciolo challenges, enriches, and guides students through science activities geared to the grade level that she is teaching.  Her skill and understanding of ways to make science come alive for her students has made her classes very popular at Round. Mrs. Caracciolo provides students with a classroom rich in science vocabulary.  Her efforts to give students the understanding of key science vocabulary at their grade level are developing both an understanding as well as a love of science in each student. Classroom teachers enjoy and learn with their students during science classes with Mrs. Caracciolo.  A hands-on approach keeps students involved while allowing classroom teachers an opportunity to participate with their class. 

When teachers ask for help or suggestions on how to present a concept, Mrs. Caracciolo is always there to lend a hand.  Her knowledge of the science curriculum is outstanding and she is willing to share all her knowledge and resources with the staff. Mrs. Caracciolo has taken a leadership role in providing students with engineering opportunities and the students have created very interesting projects working under her direction.

  • Weems Elementary School - Amanda Wagner

Amanda Wagner provides an atmosphere of learning where students feel comfortable asking questions. She also challenges the students by asking questions about their answers. Serving as the Reading Specialist for Weems, Mrs. Wagner has taken on the school's "One School, One Book" program, which focuses on literacy as a family.  Recently featured in the local media, "One School, One Book" has proven to be an excellent opportunity for the Weems community to come together.  During the most recent family night, more than 225 students and their families attended the event.  Mrs. Wagner also incorporated a school-wide writing project with the current book which will be turned into a personalized book just for Weems, written by students.

Mrs. Wagner co-teaches with an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teacher to provide effective lessons.  Using technology such as the SmartBoard and different online games for review, Mrs. Wagner continues to make student learning interesting.

  • Mayfield Intermediate School - Erin Karicher

Erin Karicher creates an environment for learning in her classroom that is both positive and fun. She greets every student with a smile and relates to students through personal experience and a sense of humor. She has high expectations for her students and encourages them to reach their highest potentials. There is no status quo in Mrs. Karicher's teaching style. If something isn't working, she looks for new creative and fun ways to present curriculum. She is a student-first teacher, wanting not only to improve students' reading and test scores, but also to help develop a love for reading. She runs a book club during her lunch hour to encourage pleasure reading and is always willing to assist students in any way she can. Mrs. Karicher often gives up her planning time to mentor peers with reading strategies in their classrooms. She also co-leads the language arts department, collaborating to provide teachers with inspirational and effective techniques to improve student achievement, especially in reading.

Beginning with a positive disposition, Mrs. Karicher effectively communicates with all members of the Mayfield family. She also co-hosts Family Literacy Night each year, which brings the community, students and parents to Mayfield to enjoy an evening filled with dozens of literacy activities. As co-chair of the language arts department, she regularly helps to plan and implement literacy goals for the school, communicating with administration, teachers, students and parents in the process.  Mrs. Karicher incorporates 21st Century skills with a variety of strategies for all students, by using technology and a guided reading approach. She epitomizes the enduring teaching skills as well-persistence, positivity and patience-while helping students to succeed.    

  • Metz Middle School - Carol Murphy

Carol Murphy works with all students on critical thinking skills and helps them develop a love of science and inquiry. She works with all students from Special Ed (Special Educations), ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), and GT (Gifted and Talented).  She believes in all students being able to achieve his/her goals. Ms. Murphy uses progress monitoring in the classroom that enables students to become accountable for their quizzes. She also uses a "teaming approach" for her classroom management, which allows students to be rewarded when their team follows classroom rules. This teaming approach works on cooperation amongst students and motivates them to do well. Ms. Murphy works great with the science department in brainstorming ideas to enhance student instruction. She is open minded and willing to share anything with her colleagues. She has developed a website that allows families to access her curriculum from home including all worksheets and assignments as well as interactive activities.

Ms. Murphy is also the team leader for her team where she effectively works with seven other teachers. During meetings, she leads the team to develop strategies to work with students needing interventions and collaboratively works with administration on what the team is implementing. Ms. Murphy offers hands on experiments that allows students to critically think and problem solve using the concepts taught in class. She makes every lesson highly interactive through SmartBoard games or online science programs. Ms. Murphy encourages students to think with an open mind and teaches them how to work and communicate with each other in a group setting.

  • Osbourn High School - Jodi Kranich

Jodi Kranich has been instrumental in helping her department develop the CLC (Content Literacy Continuum) teaching strategies and formats.  She has produced posters, handouts, rubrics and bulletin boards so that all students are keyed in on her expectations and the direction her class is going. Ms. Kranich has been the leader in transforming all of her lessons into interactive presentations, often spending long hours looking for the perfect health or driver education video to support the lesson of the day.  She is constantly developing games and warm-ups that keep the students focused on her presentations. Ms. Kranich is incredibly gracious in sharing her presentations, her teaching materials and her ideas with her colleagues.  She has shared her work with several new teachers that have been assigned new preparations this year. She eased their stress and was happy to be of help. 

Ms. Kranich has always been a popular teacher at Osbourn High School.  The students share an easy camaraderie with her.  However, she is very clear about her expectations with her students and their parents. The staff says she is also meticulous about getting all of her administrative work in on time and completed correctly. Ms. Kranich is known as the technical expert for her department.  She will spend time with her staff to make sure they understand and can solve their technical issues. In her classroom, she is always looking for innovative strategies and motivational devices to help her students understand her teaching goals for the day. Ms. Kranich likes to use several problem solving techniques to engage her students in meaningful group discussions, especially concerning some of the more sensitive health related issues. The staff says this has been one of her strongest years at Osbourn High School and applauds her continued efforts for success in student learning.


School Board Pear Award

Pear Award winners pictured with
Dr. Catherine Magouyrk, Superintendent and
Mr. Scott Albrecht, School Board Chairman

The School Board Pear Award is a program that recognizes some of the people that support Manassas City Public Schools behind the scenes.  These staff members include, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodial staff, instructional assistants, administrative associates and others who support student learning.  To be considered for the School Board Pear Award nominees must demonstrate exemplary motivational characteristics, positive interaction with their peers and noteworthy contributions to his/her department or school/location.  A very special thank you is extended to the various nominators who have offered examples of how each award winner demonstrates these qualities. 

Pear Award recipients are as follows: 

  • Baldwin Elementary School - Michelle McKenzie

Michelle McKenzie goes above and beyond to make sure there is clear communication at Baldwin. As Safety Monitor she interacts with students at all times. In the office she collaborates with staff to make sure all needs are met. The Baldwin staff knows that they have a reliable, honest, and hard-working member to trust in whatever the task may be. Mrs. McKenzie is always looking to make Baldwin the best and safest school around. She is open to suggestions and reflects and discusses issues with an open mind. She is welcoming and extremely helpful to teachers and parents who need assistance in Baldwin's front office. You can be sure that when given a role or assignment, Mrs. McKenzie will be accountable for it. She works tirelessly to make sure office and safety documents are current and up to date. Each day Mrs. McKenzie handles approximately 600 students in the cafeteria, she is able to keep them engaged and safe. She finds creative ways to maintain order and safety by practicing safety drills monthly, playing games such as the "quiet game", and encouraging students to do their best by earning character pillars and golden spoons.

  • Dean Elementary School - Katrina Ward

Katrina Ward is an exceptional motivator. She encourages students in her classroom as well as those in the cafeteria. She motivates children to follow the school's positive behavior plan through positive reinforcement. She always has a smile on her face and a nice word for her co-workers. Her positive attitude is contagious and helps lift others who might be having a challenging day. She works with students through the school-wide mentor program and checks in and out with them each day. Mrs. Ward is always willing to lend a hand to those in need. She constantly assists teachers with printing documents and other various technology related items. She is always willing to cover a class for a co-worker, or pull students to take make-up tests. 

Mrs. Ward not only contributes fully to her department, she continuously takes on additional tasks both during the school day and after school. She is involved in all levels of state and local testing. She helps set up computers for testing, prints testing tickets and assists the School Testing Coordinator (STC) on the day of testing. She often stays after school to make sure tasks are organized and ready for the following day. Mrs. Ward is up to date with much of the current technology used in the school and she shares that knowledge with students and teachers. She works with students to develop problem solving skills on the computer and in test taking. She has knowledge of testing programs, online programs and office programs and uses that knowledge to effectively communicate with staff and students. 

  • Haydon Elementary School - Nancy Hurley

Nancy Hurley completes jobs whenever needed, with a positive attitude.  For example, when the bookkeeper was out, Mrs. Hurley assumed some of those responsibilities to make sure things continued to run smoothly. Mrs. Hurley always arrives at work each day with a smile on her face.  She helps her colleagues daily and cares deeply for those she works with, both adults and children.  In addition, she offers words of encouragement to those in need at every opportunity. 

Mrs. Hurley is an instructional assistant and works with students with special needs. She demonstrates a flexible, caring attitude while continuing to maintain high standards. Mrs. Hurley demonstrates a collaborative demeanor when meeting with staff and families.  In addition to all she does, she also attends multiple family events at the school and offers to help as much as she can.

  • Round Elementary Schools -  Chana Richitt

Chana Richitt is a hard working office assistant at George C. Round Elementary School.  She is willing to help with any task assigned to her.  No matter the degree of difficulty, the task is accomplished to the best of her ability with a smile. Mrs. Richitt is a very caring individual.  When a student is in need, she is there to help.  The type of need does not matter to her.  If a student misses a bus, she will stay with the child until someone comes to pick up the child.  If no one can come, she will find a way to get the child home. She will take over for the nurse when she is out or busy, she brings calm to challenging situations and helps to maintain peace in the cafeteria. 

Mrs. Richitt is consistent, flexible, adaptable, and available to all staff, students, and parents.  She accomplishes tasks efficiently and accurately.  She works throughout each day with a smile on her face and a willingness to assist in any way that she can. Mrs. Richitt has proven herself to be someone that can be counted on time and time again.  She remains calm in any situation that may arise.  She is organized and prepares things in advance.  She is ready for anything that comes her way and is ready to share her ideas about making improvement.

  • Weems Elementary School - Gloria Membreno

Gloria Membreno is known as a warm, kind and caring teacher assistant.  The Weems staff says she is a wonderful addition to the school and can be relied on every day to work with students in any content area.  She has high expectations for students on every learning and age level. Ms. Membreno continues to be an integral part of the Weems Special Education team.  She is frequently assigned to assist students in all grade levels, with various needs, to include both inclusion and self-contained classes. Many positive comments are made regarding her work ethic and "Weems team" dedication. 

Ms. Membreno needs little teacher guidance in the classroom.  She understands the school's programs and builds upon them each year.  She consistently looks for opportunities to help students and teachers and it shows in the progress of the students that she works with.  Her staff notes how wonderful it is to work with someone who has that teacher's instinct of "who needs what", and is specific in what the next steps should be based on her observations. Ms. Membreno assists Weems' students within their individual learning styles and strengths and gives positive feedback to them.  She has the communication, innovation and collaboration skills to pass down to her students.

  • Mayfield Intermediate School - Marcus Hyde

It is not often that an individual comes into a professional assignment and redefines it. As the personal assistant to one of Mayfield's most medically fragile students, Marcus Hyde has done just that. Mr. Hyde has expanded his position to become a mentor, tutor, role model, cheerleader and friend not only to his charge, but to all students he encounters daily. Mr. Hyde's presence in the classroom, lunchroom and encore classes has positively impacted his co-workers because he reaches beyond his role to assist teachers and other students as well. He has helped all students in the classroom with team building and friendships. Students and teachers recognize and appreciate his professionalism, his sincerity, his warmth and his desire to play a positive part in students' lives.

Mr. Hyde has taken the task of his student's care, both physically and mentally, to heart. He assists the student daily with his physical activities. Whether helping him around the classroom, down the hallways or in physical education class, Mr. Hyde is the student's constant shadow and safety monitor. Mr. Hyde encourages the student to achieve more independence, physically and emotionally. The student has made extreme strides in his activity tolerance and abilities this school year. Mr. Hyde has been integral to this change. Mr. Hyde often recognizes a teachable moment in difficult situations and creatively engages students in impromptu mentoring sessions, which refocuses and reenergizes the students. Mr. Hyde shows true insight into the nature of his student, and others. His gentle, kind nature enables him to effectively and positively enhance those in his presence. Mr. Hyde's influence at Mayfield is wide ranging, but personal to everyone he meets.

  • Metz Middle School - Mayra Garcia

This is Mayra Garcia's first year working at Metz Middle School.  She is working for the 7th grade office as the Administrative Assistant for Mr. James Gregory, one of the school's assistant principals.  Ms. Garcia is willing to go that extra mile.  If someone asks her to assist them with something she is ready and willing to help with a smile on her face. Ms. Garcia has stepped up in her new position and is learning her job very quickly.  She is always willing to help in the front office or to assist other departments when needed.  She works well with the students, parents and staff when communicating with families.

Ms. Garcia is very punctual with all office tasks.  No matter how long the job takes she is willing to stay until the job is completed and done correctly. Ms. Garcia's communication skills are very positive when speaking to parents. She is proactive in finding effective solutions when needed and she is not afraid to ask questions if she is not sure about something.

  • Osbourn High School - Angela Brooks

Angela Brooks is a huge asset to Osbourn High School.  As a bookkeeper, she handles many of the school's finances.  Not only does she work with all of the staff members, she also works with all of the students.  She works hard to get students in the finance office to clear debts and pay dues. She also works with many of the parents to figure out the best way to clear student accounts to prepare them for the following year or for graduation. Even though she is always extremely busy, she is still quick to help and give advice on finance issues.

Ms. Brooks also works directly with all of the school's clubs and organizations.  She helps staff members order various items, plan fundraisers, plan trips, write checks, create purchase orders, and buy products for their groups. She is inundated regularly with tons of questions from students, parents, and staff members; however, she continues to work efficiently and gets results. She is one of the few staff members who has the opportunity to work with everyone in the building - students and staff.  She is always pleasant and friendly. Students feel comfortable working with her each day. The staff appreciates all of her hard work and dedication to the school. 

  • Support Services - Shanté Gee

Shanté Gee has accepted many new tasks in the Support Services Department, while maintaining her normal responsibilities as bookkeeper. Her actions demonstrate a team player mentality that has become contagious to the rest of the department. One head custodian made a point to report how impressed they were with Ms. Gee and commented that she was very detailed and responsive to their requests and questions.

Ms. Gee has improved the service level to division custodians by streamlining the supply order process, ordering safety shoes, and making herself available for their suggestions. Ms. Gee has started to research custodial products in an effort to reduce the amount of chemicals that custodians use to clean. One cleaner is being tested as a replacement for several products, which could free up storage and save money for the school division at the same time.

11/26/12 > Superintendent's Column: When Students Talk...

When Students Talk, We Should Listen

"Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we
could hear twice as much as we speak."

Epictetus, Greek philosopher


Students have much to say if we take the time to listen. They will tell us how we can teach without putting them to sleep; they will tell us about their dreams and aspirations when they graduate; and they will tell us what kind of food they want in the cafeteria.

Just as I have been listening to adults during my first 100 days as superintendent, so have I been listening to students. The community engagement activities that I have been writing about in this column include student input as well as parents, community leaders and taxpayers. As we ponder major decisions on facility needs, strategic plans and improving student achievement, all stakeholders need to be heard.

During a recent First Lego League Competition, I watched elementary and Mayfield Intermediate students present their research and compete with their robots. Following the tournament rules, they enter a world where they are monitored by and converse with adult judges. I watched as they maneuvered their robots with confidence and determination. It was impressive and I smiled thinking they will keep the teachers on their toes when they reach Osbourn High School. It was a reminder that today's students need hands-on experiences relevant to the real world to keep their interest.

I talked with some Metz eighth graders as they were beginning their unit on local government. From their questions, I could tell they were growing into high school students.

They had strong opinions about their school, activities and classes, as well as a critique of cafeteria food. It reminded me that our curriculum must teach students how to solve problems with their ideas and thoughts, not just regurgitate facts on a test.

At Osbourn, I have watched students compete athletically, perform through the fine arts program, and study in the classroom. I have been impressed with the quality of our programs and the opportunities we afford students to get involved. What I have learned from these articulate students is that they know much about themselves, their school, and their desires.

The students talked about how they learn best, when they know a teacher really cares about them, and even gave their descriptions of what good instruction looks like.

Some know what they want to do after high school and are busy with their goals, checking off each step as they progress. Others aren't quite sure and want opportunities to learn about how they could be successful after high school. That reminded me how we need to offer career oriented courses and opportunities for students to learn soft skills to make sure our students are ready for college or the workplace when they graduate.

A resounding comment that I found interesting mirrored what I have heard from parents and the community - students want to be fully engaged in their school, just as adults want to be engaged with Manassas City. Currently, OHS houses 2,074 students, making it a community in and of itself. It has its own student government, a bank (Apple Federal Credit Union), athletics, fine arts, student organizations, a restaurant, classrooms, social opportunities, and the list goes on. The campus is a thriving community where students learn to interact with each other and adults, preparing them for the next stage of life. They know the world outside of OHS is competitive and they want their chance for success. That reminded me of the need to provide a variety of extra-curricular activities and to partner with local businesses and organizations for internships, field trips, and special events that allow students to investigate and learn about the skills they need after high school that aren't in textbooks.

Moreover, we need to include students in the planning processes.

Recent research has found connections between employee performance and their engagement in where they work; strong relationships between the employee and the organization create an atmosphere where employee turnover is less.

Similarly, education strategists have been saying the same thing for many years. In looking at the connection between engagement and achievement, student engagement is one of the driving forces in creating high-achieving schools in which students graduate with options for their futures. 

Since I began in MCPS, I have said to everyone that Osbourn High School is our flagship; every plan and decision we make from prekindergarten through 8th grade must rest on preparing students who can successfully enter high school. We cannot work in silos and expect all of our students to funnel into one high school without an overall plan of where we want our students to be as they begin 9th grade and graduate four years later. 

So where do we go from here? For OHS, we have to support and listen to our students. If we reach out, they can enlist their peers and increase engagement and most likely model to us adults how it's done. I know I will be watching that growing community known as Osbourn High School, its staff and students as they move toward greater opportunities and success.

Dr. Catherine Magouyrk
Superintendent of Schools

Published in the the November 25, 2012 edition of the News & Messenger

11/16/12 > Parent/Teacher Resource Center Opens

November 16, 2012…Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) will host an open house to celebrate the grand opening of its Special Education Parent Resource Center from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, November 19th.

The Parent/Teacher Resource Center (PTRC) is housed at the Johnson Learning Center (Room #20), 9051 Tudor Lane, Manassas.  Families and school division staff are invited to attend the grand opening.

The Center, established with the assistance of the MCPS Special Education Advisory Committee, assists:

  • Manassas City families of children with special needs
  • Manassas City teachers, staff and students who would like additional information regarding special education and disability-related issues
  • Manassas City families who have children who are dually identified with a disability and English for Speakers of Other Languages or Gifted and Talented
  • Individuals seeking information about disabilities or community resources

The PTRC services are free and offers a lending library that includes books, DVDs, CDs and videos, support for parents and families, and information about community resources.  Staffed by volunteers, the Center will be open Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Thursdays from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. or by appointment.

For further information, please email the Center at ptrc@manassas.k12.va.us or visit www.manassas.k12.va.us/PTRC.

11/14/12 > Baldwin's Fourth Grade Archeologists

Students dig deeper into science...


These Baldwin fourth graders aren't just playing with their food.  They are actually being archeologists!  In order for students to better understand what archeology is all about, fourth grade teachers had their students simulate digging for artifacts by using toothpicks to dig chocolate chips out of a cookie.  This activity proved to be a fun and tasty learning experience.

11/13/12 > Baldwin 1st Semester Highlights

Student highlights submitted by Baldwin Elementary:

Second Grade Science Investigations

Classrooms were abuzz with activity recently as second graders at Baldwin Elementary became scientists.  Using science investigations students worked with sets of materials relating to topics such as solids and liquids, light and color, and magnets. 

As budding scientists they learned to ask their own questions about the materials then use the materials to test and retest to find answers to their questions.   The final step in the investigation was to write about their results. 

Discipline of Martial Arts for Third and Fourth Graders

Third and fourth graders at Baldwin got a special treat in P.E. class recently when Tim Rock of Premier Martial Arts visited their classes.  In addition to giving students training in the discipline and basic moves of martial arts, Rock provided advice on proper nutrition and building healthy bodies.

First Graders: Apples to Apples

At the conclusion of their unit on apples, Baldwin first graders learned firsthand about one of the many uses of apples by making their own homemade applesauce. They cut up apples and prepared the recipe in the morning, and by afternoon it was time for a successful taste test!

First Grade Sorting and Graphing

These Baldwin first graders are already learning how to sort and graph data.  Given pictures of various sizes and colors, students figured out on their own how to sort the pictures and graph their data.


Baldwin Supports Cancer Research

This year, Baldwin once again participated in the Pink Hair for Hope campaign. The staff raised $355 for cancer research.

11/09/12 > Weems Elementary: One School, One Book
Imagine a school community - teachers, staff, students and families- reading the same book at home over the
MCPS School Board members read to Weems students. (Pictured left to right: Sanford Williams, Ilka Chavez,
Tim Demeria, Ellen Purdy and Pam Sebesky)
course of a single month.Students at Weems Elementary School are doing just that through their "One School, One Book" reading challenge."One School, One Book" encourages schools to choose a chapter book and distribute a copy to every family in the school. Families then commit to finishing the book together with their entire school community.

At the end of October, the school introduced the selected book, "School Days According to Humphrey" by Betty Birney, during a school-wide assembly where students "met" the author via a personalized video.

On Thursday, November 1st, Weems hosted the first evening event to celebrate their love of reading with the community. Over 130 students and their families participated in the event. Students snacked on popcorn and read along while members of the Manassas City School Board read Chapter 4 of the book aloud. After the reading, students were tasked with reading clues throughout the room and used their books to identify which classroom Humphrey would be in based on what was described in the clue. According to Amanda Wagner, reading specialist for Weems, it was wonderful to see the students and families were dedicated to solving the mystery, but nothing could have topped their excitement in meeting Humphrey himself.

Weems students record answers
to clues found in the search for Humphrey .
"Humphrey is a hamster who is staying with us here at Weems, just as he does in the story, and visiting our classrooms and children each day" said Wagner. "From his cage, he witnesses many events and brilliant children at work and "writes" about them in his journal."

During their reading journey, students will compose their own writings of what Humphrey has witnessed each day and the writings will be published into a personalized book for the school entitled, "Weems According to Humphrey".

"Humphrey will not only be visiting us in classrooms throughout the day", said Wagner, "but in order to meet all of our community, he will attend all of our community night events as well!"

On Monday, November 12th at 6:30 p.m., Weems will welcome City of Manassas Mayor Harry J. Parrish II who will read with the students. In addition to the mayor's visit, Dr. Catherine Magouyrk, Superintendent of Schools, will serve as a guest reader on Tuesday, November 20th at 6:30 p.m. Each event will also include children's engineering projects and cooperative writing activities.

Wagner is excited about what the program is doing for students.

"We are thoroughly enjoying and looking forward to continuing this exciting journey of uniting our school and community through our love of a good book and an adorable hamster named Humphrey!"

 Humphrey the Hamster
11/07/12 > OHS Marching Band Receives Top Honors

The Osbourn High School "Screaming Eagles" Marching Band competed at the US Bands Northern Virginia Showcase at Park View High School in Sterling, Virginia, on Saturday, October 20th. The band received a score of 77.8, earning them 1st place in Class 2A. The band also received the caption awards of Best Visual, Best Effect, Best Music Ensemble and Best Percussion.

The "Screaming Eagle" Marching Band also appeared in their final competition of the year on Saturday, November 3rd at King George High School and scored 3rd Place in the US Bands Class 2A State Championship. The group performed very well and scored approximately 10 points higher than their 1st place finish in October.

"The Osbourn High School Marching Band has worked extremely hard this season", said Bill Stevens, Director of Bands for OHS. "In addition to their normal varsity football attendance activities of supporting the team, school, and community, the band has, as a group, taken on the challenges of being a competitive Class 2A band."

This year's show, "Santana", featured an upbeat Latin flare. According to Stevens, the group met a number of goals this year such as receiving its highest marching VABODA score in the last 5 years, took class 2 A 1st place and received several caption awards in the US Bands Park View High School Marching Festival, and then added 10 more points onto their final US Bands Virginia State Championship score to take 3rd place in class 2A.

The Osbourn High School Screaming Eagle Marching Band's final performances of the year include the Manassas Veteran's Day Parade on November 10th, Manassas Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 30th, Manassas Christmas Parade on December 1st and the Manassas Mall March on December 1st after the parade.


10/31/12 > Team Jennie Dean Walks for Autism Awareness

Jennie Dean Elementary teachers and staff have joined to create "Team Dean's Littlest Dolphins". Team Dean's Littlest Dolphins participated in the Northern Virginia Walk/Run for Autism on October 27th and plan to participate in the Autism Speaks Walk for Autism in Washington, DC on November 3rd. Team Dean's Littlest Dolphins has raised over $1000 in donations for both Autism Awareness Walks.

10/30/12 > November Citizen Mtg Date Changed

For Immediate Release
Oct. 30, 2012

Contact:  Patty Prince
703-257-8456 or 703-895-6535

City of Manassas and Manassas City
Public Schools Change Date for
Your Voice.  Your Community.  Our Future.

City of Manassas, Virginia . . . The City of Manassas and Manassas City Public Schools are changing the date for the next citizen engagement opportunity, previously scheduled for Nov. 7.  The next opportunity for residents to offer their suggestions and comments regardingCity and School Capital Improvement needs will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Mayfield Intermediate School.
With the focus of the City and Schools being Hurricane Sandy over the last few days, and with the overwhelming amount of quality information collected, both online and during the first citizen meeting, City and School staff would like to give the proper time and attention to the collected information.

"The group has received great, quality feedback from residents about the future of our City," said City Manager John A. Budesky.  "Staff want to ensure that proper time and care are given to putting together this information in a meaningful presentation to residents and we hope to get wonderful feedback at the Dec. 4 meeting as well."

At this second meeting, participants will hear a short recap of the first meeting and then provide an opportunity for public comment and suggestions.  These projects, which the city and schools have worked together on gathering resident input, willultimately go into the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

"I was pleased to meet and get feedback from so many residents from the City of Manassas," said Superintendent Dr. Catherine Magouyrk.  "The school system will benefit from the participation and involvement of our residents."

This is a one-of-a-kind effort in the Northern Virginia area.  The City of Manassas and Manassas City Public Schools will use the information gathered at these meetings, along with recommendations from staff, to create their Capital Improvement Plans.

*** end ***

10/28/12 > Superintendent's Column: Be Engaged for Education

Be Engaged for Education

What do we mean by community engagement? We caught a good glimpse of it recently at Mayfield Intermediate School when 200 Manassas community members showed up to express their opinions about our capital improvement needs.

It could also take different forms, especially in today's high-tech world of busy lives and active families. Your engagement may be online, answering questions to a survey or contributing to a discussion about education. It could mean a telephone conversation with a counselor or a principal, answering a phone survey, or sending a note or email to your child's teacher. Engagement could simply mean encouraging your child to do well in school and asking about homework.

Why do we need community engagement? Because in the end, you own our schools. Taxpayers pay our salaries and build our schools. As the ultimate board of directors, your opinions and thoughts matter. When we do come up with a plan on where to spend your money for buildings or how to improve student achievement, we want to be sure you will support the plan. That goal requires community engagement.

I was pleased with the turnout at our first community forum. After a few presentations on the facts, we heard lively conversations about how to improve our school facilities from people across our community. You can attend our second session on Nov. 7 as we share some costs and start establishing priorities. It will be held at Mayfield Intermediate School at 6:30 p.m. You can also make comments online at manassascity.org/future. So as you can see, everyone has the opportunity to be engaged depending on their schedule and needs.

For those who couldn't attend the first community engagement session, I outlined three key factors to consider when offering suggestions about the school division's capital improvement needs.

First, student enrollment will grow over the next 10 years and we'll need more space. Our moderate projection, which has proven to be accurate in the past, shows an increase in enrollment from 7,241 students today to 7,668 students by 2021. We could need as many as 46 trailers/mobile units if we don't increase capacity in our buildings.

Second, many of our buildings have reached the age where renovations or replacement becomes necessary. Baldwin is 51 years old and Dean is 54. Weems and and Haydon are 35 and 34 years old respectively. Our two Central Office buildings are 57 and 51 years old and provide only one-third of the space we need for current staff.  It's very inefficient for meetings, technology and everyday communications.

Third, and perhaps most important, we must renovate our schools to meet the needs of modern teaching and learning. We must offer students the tools of their trade, not only with computers, but teaching techniques that make learning relevant and real to them. Employers are demanding a different skill set than the industrial age. Our students' brains are wired differently in the digital age. Our classroom space -- and the technology they use -- should accommodate those needs so students are ready for their future.

If you have ideas about how we can meet these demands, please offer them. I stand ready to listen and hope the conversation leads to solid solutions. Let's stop tearing down our schools and start building them up. Our economic prosperity, the price of real estate, and community spirit rests largely with the success of our schools. Cooperation and consensus will work much better than conflict and criticism to move our schools forward. We want and need your support and constructive suggestions. We need parents and families to embrace our schools, support our teachers, talk to their children about school work stressing the importance of doing their best, make sure they are ready to learn each day, and compliment them when they do well.

Get the facts and understand our needs. Then come to the table to offer suggestions so we can reach consensus and build a broad base of support for our future direction.

Dr. Catherine Magouyrk
Superintendent of Schools

Published October 28, 2012: News and Messenger

10/24/12 > On-Time Graduation Rate Data for 2012

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released the class of 2012 cohort On-Time Graduation Rate (OGR) on October 23rd.  This annual cohort report from the VDOE is based on outcomes for students who entered the ninth-grade for the first time together and were scheduled to graduate four years later.

The OGR is different from the Graduate Completer Index (GCI) which is the rate used by the VDOE for Osbourn High School's accreditation status.  The GCI is a Virginia Board of Education approved formula that calculates a weighted percent of the students within a given cohort who graduate, complete, or stay in school each year. It also incorporates outcomes for students who remain in school beyond their "on-time" graduation year.

The OGR states the percentage of students in a cohort who earned a Board of Education-approved diploma within four years of entering high school for the first time. Percentages are based on longitudinal student-level data and account for student mobility and retention and promotion patterns. The OGR continues to improve for Manassas City Public Schools and are stated below in Table 1.


Table 1 : 3-Year On-Time Graduation Rates (OGR)





All Students




























Economically Disadvantaged




Limited English Proficient




Students with Disabilities





Significant trends and gains:

  • Three-year trend data in all subgroups shows positive growth.
  • All students, when aggregated as one group, continued the three-year trend of growth that resulted in raising the OGR from 77% in previous year to an 80% in cohort 2012.
  • Students identified as economically disadvantaged improved by a rate of 19% over the previous school year which resulted in the OGR going from 50% to 60%.
  • Limited English proficient students also made significant gains in reading by improving their rate by 76% over the previous school year.
  • Hispanic students' OGR went from 64% to 69% which is a 7% rate of improvement over the previous year.
  • Black students improved their rate by 7% which resulted in the OGR going from 76% to 81%.
  • White students' OGR rate went from 76% to an 81% which was a 4% improvement over the previous school year.

Dr. Catherine Magouyrk, superintendent of schools, says the administration has noted areas of deficiency and knows the school division must provide appropriate learning opportunities so learning standards and goals can be met.  "Manassas City Schools' first priority remains higher achievement for all students," said Dr. Magouyrk.  "It is clear that the staff efforts at Osbourn are having positive effects on the students and while we celebrate these improvements, we know the job is not done.  We will continue our quest to improve on-time graduation rates."

10/20/12 > Student Inspires Book Launch Party at Mayfield Intermediate School

Fifth and sixth graders celebrate arrival of The Mark of Athena, Amazon's #1 seller

 It was 3 a.m. and it was about time.


When 12-year-old Meredith Seaberg's alarm rang out in the darkened house on October 2, she began a process she had waited a year to complete.


The time had finally arrived when best-selling author Rick Riordan's The Mark of Athena was being released-the third in his Heroes of Olympus adventure series intertwining mythological beasts, gods and demigods in a present-day setting. It is currently the #1 best-selling book on Amazon's Top 100 Books list .


It was midnight on the west coast, and-withthe three-hour time difference in Manassas-the time had come at last to download onto her Nook the book Meredith had pre-ordered months ago.


"I told my Mom I was going to get up at 3 a.m., but I don't think she believed me," the sixth grader said, "The alarm doesn't always wake me."


But she had been awaiting this day since she finished the second book, Son of Neptune, 24 hours after its release last fall. Her anticipation for The Mark of Athena had reached, well, mythic proportions. So much so, that Meredith wanted to share the excitement with others.


She took the initiative to ask Mayfield Intermediate School Librarian Linda Zeoli about hosting a book launch party to "share the experience. It gives you people to talk to about it, people who have read the series," Meredith said.


On October 4, Mayfield Intermediate School's library staff hosted two launch parties-one each for fifth and sixth graders.


Many of Meredith's suggestions were implemented, including taking turns reading the first chapter aloud, doing book-related activities and providing blue refreshments. Blue is the favorite color of the series main character, Percy Jackson.


About 30 Mayfield students signed up for the launch parties, and those attending made bookmarks, wrote their names in Greek, drank blue Gatorade, ate blue-chocolate covered pretzel rods, raffled for free books and most of all-chatted about titans, giants and quests.


"I got to hang around people who love the same author and series I do," one student said.


"There's always heart-stopping suspense and a lot of problems you don't know how they are going to solve," his friend added. Meredith smiled quietly. She knew how all the problems in The Mark of Athena were solved. She had already finished reading the book with its "shocking ending."


Now Meredith is counting down to October 2014. That's when the next installment, The House of Hades, will be released.

Submitted: Mayfield Intermediate

10/19/12 > MCPS Race to the Top Timeline

Manassas City Public Schools has elected to apply for a federal Race to the Top grant.  The grant was created to spur innovation and reforms in K-12 education. 


  • October 10th-19th : Advance Draft Review for Public Comment - Comments due by 4:00 p.m. on October 19th.
  • October 21st-24th : Steering Committee Review - All submitted input/suggestions will be considered for inclusion or modification.
  • October 24th : FINAL Application Posted
  • October 26th : Teacher Vote Conducted - All teachers at Mayfield Intermediate School, Metz Middle School and Osbourn High School (the participating schools in the grant) will have an opportunity to vote on the grant.  Voting will take place during school hours 8 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • October 27th : Special School Board Meeting - The School Board will meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Central Office in Temporary Unit #1 (9000 Tudor Lane, Manassas, VA) for final review and approval. 
  • October 29th : Grant submission to US Department of Education
10/19/12 > Wal-Mart Rewards Haydon Teachers

Wal-Mart employee, Linda Vaccarino, addressess teachers at Haydon Elementary as Principal Amanda Wilder and Asst. Principal Sonia Martin look on.

Teachers from Haydon Elementary recently received a suprise visit from representatives from Wal-Mart (Manassas Mall).  The employees had prepared a wonderful meal to thank teachers for the work they do on behalf of students. Wal-Mart employees, Linda Vaccarino (shown in picture) and Melanie Kirk placed teacher names in a basket and drew twenty names as recipients of $50.00 Wal-Mart gift cards. 

The visit was part of the Teacher Rewards Program the corporation began four years ago.  "Wal-Mart believes in giving back to schools in our local community," said Vaccarino.  "We know how often teachers buy classroom supplies for children out of their own pockets and recognize the great impact that teachers have on the future development of each and every student."

10/15/12 > MCPS Students Walk to School

2012 Walk to School Day Album

Safety was the name of the game as Manassas City students and their families joined others across the nation by participating in International Walk to School Day on October 3rd.  The one-day event is part of a world-wide effort to encourage more families to enjoy the many benefits of safely walking or bicycling to school. 

"My children usually ride the bus to school," said Jen White, a parent from Haydon Elementary School.  "They don't typically have a chance to walk so we thought this event was something good to be a part of."  Students who live within a safe walking distance to school were invited to walk to school with a parent or other adult. Although it was a foggy day, the event had a great turnout, as many students walked to school, accompanied by their parents or other adults, according to Heidi Kaska, Haydon's School Nurse and coordinator for the event.  In many cases, parents brought younger siblings along, too, so the neighborhood sidewalks were filled with smiling children in spite of the seemingly dreary weather.

Complete with two fire trucks, City of Manassas Fire Chief Brett Bowman and members of his staff joined students at Round Elementary School for their Walk to School celebration.  They assisted school staff in promoting safe walking habits.  Lisa McLaren, Round's school nurse coordinated the event.  Ann Marie Stephens, a first grade teacher at Round walked a mile during the school day with her students. Jennie Dean Elementary School promoted the event with teachers and students walking throughout the school day during physical education and recess times.  Dean's Walk to School Day activities were coordinated by physical education teacher, Don Regenbogen.

Haydon and Round Elementary each received $1000 Safe Routes to School grants funded by Prevention Connections.  Dean Elementary received a $1000 grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Safe Routes to School.

"These events brought attention to the national Safe Routes to School program which aims to increase physical activity among school age children and to promote safe walking and bicycling practices," said Sandy Thompson, Supervisor of Administrative Services for the school division.  "We were happy to receive Cliff Kids tool kits provided by the Greater Washington Region Safe to School Network, which were used to promote the events."

According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, Walk to School Day was founded in 1997 as a way to bring community leaders and children together to build awareness of the need for communities to be more walkable. In 2011, students and parents from more than 4,000 U.S. schools joined millions of Walk to School Day participants worldwide. The one-day event has now grown to a month-long celebration, and the reasons for walking have grown just as quickly as the event itself.  For more information on Walk to School events, visit www.walktoschool.org.

For more information on Manassas City Public Schools safety and wellness events, please contact Sandy Thompson at sthompson@manassas.k12.va.us or 571-377-6043.

10/08/12 > Students Dress for Success at Mayfield

Students at Mayfield Intermediate School look forward to Dress for Success Mondays. Although students are encouraged to participate, it is not mandatory.

Principal Jeff Abt brought the program to Mayfield after hearing about it from a keynote speech given by Baruti Kafele at an Association for Supervision Curriculum Developers conference in Williamsburg.  Kafele, a New Jersey educator, former principal and motivational speaker, tried the program at a New Jersey school and it was a success, according to Abt.  Mayfield's administrators and students have said the program has already made a big mark on the culture at their school.

This story was featured in the News and Messenger and can be found at http://www2.insidenova.com/news/2012/oct/01/students-dress-success-mayfield-ar-2242687/

10/05/12 > Your Voice, Your Community, Our Future - Community Engagement

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Visit the website at www.manassascity.org/future

September 27, 2012...Future building projects for schools and the city will be the topic of conversation as the City of Manassas and Manassas City Public Schools host a meeting to determine top priority projects for the decades ahead. Residents are encouraged to join city and school staff on Tuesday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Mayfield Intermediate School, 9400 Mayfield Court in Manassas.

"Citizen involvement is crucial to developing a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that represents the entire City of Manassas," said City Manager John A. Budesky. "By working together, the City and the Schools will both benefit from these meetings."

At this first meeting, participants will hear short presentations and see lists of needs from both school and city personnel, then break into groups to discuss ideas and priorities, such as schools, public safety, parks and transportation. The city and schools have joined forces to engage the community about projects that will ultimately go into the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

"We will work with the city to identify capital improvements for the entire community," said City of Manassas Schools Superintendent Dr. Catherine Magouyrk. "Goals must be set in a collaborative manner based on projected needs voiced by the community."

At the August 13, 2012 City Council Meeting, the City Council and the School Board passed a resolution to direct City and School staff to work together to define and document current and future capital improvement needs. This and future citizen engagement meetings are a part of this process.

This is a one-of-a-kind effort in the Northern Virginia area. The City of Manassas and Manassas City Public Schools will hold three citizen engagement meetings. The first is on Oct. 16, the second is on November 7, and the third will be held on December 4. All three meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Mayfield Intermediate School.

27 de Septiembre de 2012...Futuro proyectos de construcción para las escuelas y la ciudad será el tema de



conversación cuando la ciudad de Manassas y Las Escuelas Públic as de La Ciudad de Manassas anfitriona una reunión para determinar los proyectos de prioridad para los próximos décadas. Miembros de la comunidad están invitados a unirse con personal de la ciudad y la división escolar el martes 16 de octubre a las 6:30pm en la Escuela Pre-Intermedia Mayfield localizada en 9400 Mayfield Ct Manassas, Va 20110.

"Participación de la comunidad es fundamental para el desarrollo de un Plan de Mejoramiento de Capital (CIP) que representa a toda la ciudad de Manassas" dijo Administrador Municipal John A Budesky. "Al trabajar juntos la ciudad y la división escolar ambos beneficiaran de estas reuniones." 

Es esta primera reunión, participantes escucharan presentaciones breves y observaran listas de las necesidades de ambos personal de la división escolar y ciudad. Después se dividan entre grupos para discutir ideas y prioridades, tales como escuelas, seguridad pública y parque y transportación. La ciudad y las escuelas han unido sus fuerzas para incluir a la comunidad acerca de los proyectos que últimamente serán incluidos en el Plan de Mejoramiento Capital (CIP).  

"Vamos a trabajar con la ciudad para identificar los mejoramientos capital para toda la comunidad" dijo la Superintendente de Las Escuelas Públicas de La Ciudad de Manassas Dr. Catherine Magouyrk. "Las metas deben ser establecidas de forma colaborativa basada en las necesidades expresadas por la comunidad acerca los proyectos."

En la Reunión de Ayuntamiento del 13 de agosto de 2012 el Ayuntamiento y La Mesa Directiva Escolar aprobó una resolución para dirigir que los personales de la ciudad y división escolar trabajen en colaboración para definir y documentar las necesidades de mejoramiento capital. Esta y futuras reuniones que incluye participación de la comunidad es parte de este proceso.

Este es un esfuerzo único en el área de Norte Virginia. La Ciudad de Manassas y Las Escuelas Públicas de La Ciudad de Manassas llevara a cabo tres reuniones que incluye la participación de la comunidad. La primera reunión tomara lugar el 16 de octubre, la segunda el 7 de noviembre y la tercera el 4 de diciembre. Las tres reuniones tomaran lugar a las 6:30pm en la Escuela Pre-Intermedia Mayfield.

10/04/12 > City Firefighter Visits Classroom

Firefighter/EMT Luis Salazar spoke to students today at Osbourn High School during an event called Hispanic Americans Impacting The Work Force. Salazar talked with students about being Hispanic as a Firefighter/EMT for the City of Manassas. He also spoke about how being bilingual has been a positive experience when working with a diverse population.

Students asked many questions about how to become a firefighter and who could be a volunteer. "The Fire and Rescue Department is always looking for ways to reach out to the community," said Fire and Rescue Chief Brett Bowman. "These students may be our firefighters and emergency services personnel of the future. Firefighter/EMT Salazar really connects with the students."

Hispanic Americans Impacting The Work Force is part of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is historically celebrated from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. Osbourn High School has been participating in activities surrounding the celebration and will conclude with a performance and potluck dinner next week.

10/01/12 > Two OHS Students Commended in 2013 National Merit Program
Paakojo Acquah Francis King

September 2012…Osbourn High School is pleased to announce that Francis King and Paakojo Acquah have been named Commended Students in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program.

A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented to these scholastically talented seniors by the school's principal, Dr. John Werner.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2013 competition for National Merit Scholarship Awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 competition by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

"Recognizing academically talented students plays a fundamental role in the advancement of educational excellence within our nation," commented a NMSC spokesperson. "The young people recognized as Commended Students represent some of the best and brightest minds in the country as demonstrated by their outstanding performance in our highly competitive program. We sincerely hope this recognition will provide them with additional educational outlets and motivate them in their pursuit of academic achievement."

9/28/12 > All MCPS Schools Accredited by State

Manassas City Public Schools Accredited
Superintendent focuses on higher achievement for all students

September 28, 2012...Osbourn High School is an accredited school, the Manassas City Public Schools clarified in a statement today. 

"We want to be clear with the public," said new superintendent Catherine Magouyrk. "We still have work to do, but Osbourn is accredited." 

The Virginia Department of Education released official accreditation ratings for all Virginia schools earlier this week based upon results of last year's Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. It showed that all Manassas City schools are accredited.  Osbourn was included in the accredited list but came with warnings in the areas of math and graduation rates.

All of the City's elementary schools, plus Mayfield Intermediate and Metz Middle School are deemed as fully accredited.  According to David Lyon, Executive Director of Assessment and Accountability for the school division, Osbourn has three years to improve its math performance and increase its graduation rate in order to reach full accreditation. 

The superintendent has made higher achievement for all students her first priority.  "We want higher achievement for all students from all sub-groups," Magouyrk said.  "I truly believe every child can learn, but some learn differently than others. Our ability to adjust to individual students will be tested and we must meet the challenge."

Since the Virginia Department of Education released the accreditation ratings, Manassas City Public Schools has taken note of a few misunderstandings regarding accreditation ratings in conversations with parents, community members, and in some local media outlets.  The Virginia Department of Education's school accreditation ratings reflect student achievement on SOL tests and other approved assessments in the four core academic areas of English, history/social science, mathematics and science.

The two most common ratings that Virginia schools typically earn are fully accredited and accredited with warning.  When a school is fully accredited, it has met or exceeded the benchmarks in all four core areas and met the Graduation Completer Index (GCI).

Listed below are the benchmarks for accreditation:


Elementary Schools are fully accredited if the student pass rate meets or exceeds the following:


· English - 75 percent or higher, grades 3-5

· Mathematics - 70 percent or higher, grades 3-5

· Science - 70 percent or higher in grade 5 and 50 percent or higher in grade 3

· History - 70 percent or higher in Virginia Studies (grade 4 or 5) and 50 percent or higher in grade 3


Middle schools are fully accredited if students achieve pass rates of 70 percent or higher in all four content areas.


High schools are fully accredited if students achieve pass rates of 70 percent or more in all four content areas and attain a point value of 85 or greater based on the Graduation and Completion Index (GCI).


If a school does not meet a benchmark based on its most current year of SOL test performance results, it may use its three-year average to meet the requirement.  When a current pass rate or three-year average does not meet a benchmark, the Virginia Department of Education will identify a school to be accredited with warning.  The warning informs the school that it has three years to improve its performance and meet the benchmarks. 

Last spring, the Virginia Department of Education assessed students using new SOL math assessments. It is not unusual for students to perform lower than they typically would when new standardized tests are implemented.  The dip in mathematic performance is related to the increased level of difficulty with the standards of learning, the new technology-enhanced items, and the higher level of rigor in the test questions.  Though Osbourn's math performance is more apparent because it is the reason for being accredited with warning, all of MCPS schools experienced a drop in SOL math scores. 

As part of MCPS' continuous improvement efforts, the data has been analyzed and the instructional areas identified that need improvement. MCPS is focused on supporting its teachers in expanding their ability to adapt their instructional approaches to address the new demands built into the revised Mathematics Standards of Learning.  Teachers will continue to support students as they demonstrate higher levels of mastery of content through deeper levels of critical thinking, problem solving and application of their knowledge to complex problems.

The School Board and Superintendent have made it their priority to ensure full accreditation for all MCPS schools.  The division is committed to providing equal access to quality instruction, resources and technology.  "Our goal is to raise results for every student and that means we will have a laser-like focus on meeting individual student needs, regardless of what those needs are," said Magouyrk.

Manassas City Public Schools is focused on improving student achievement in all areas and is pleased to see the significant gains and successes that MCPS students attained this past school year.  In a few instances below, schools may be mentioned because of their high rates of improvement but may still have a lower than desired overall pass rate.  The scores exemplify how the continuous improvement efforts are having positive results and that the schools' and students' quest for excellence is coming into reach. 

·   Reading Performance:

  • ­ Students with limited English proficiency from a division level posted an overall 20% improvement rate from the previous year, which increased its pass rate from 56% to 67%.
  • Baldwin's grade 3 reading improved by19% over the previous year, which changed the pass rate from 59% to 70%.
  • Dean's grade 4 reading improved by 25% improvement from the previous year which increased their pass rate from 59% to 74%.
  • Dean's students with limited English proficiency pass rate grew by a rate 30% which increased the pass rate from 47% to 61%.
  • Weems' grade 4 posted an improvement rate of 13% from the previous year, which changed the pass rate from 82% to 93% of students passing.
  • Baldwin's students with limited English proficiency pass rate improved by 29% over the previous year, which increased its pass rates from 51% to 66%.
  • Mayfield's grades 5 and 6 reading pass rates improved by a rate of 3% and 4% over the previous year, which resulted in increasing the pass rates for grade 5 from 73% to 75% and grade 6 from 78% to 81%.
  • Osbourn improved its pass rate for Hispanic students by 5% from previous year to increase their pass rate from 78% to 82%.
  • Osbourn improved its pass rate for students with limited English proficiency by 50% over the previous year to increase their pass rate from 46% to 69%.

·   Writing

  • ­ Mayfield's grade 5 writing improved by a rate of 10%, which resulted in moving the pass rate from 79% to 87% of all students passing.

  · History

  • ­ Metz's Civics and Economics pass rate improved by a rate of 4%, which changed the pass rate from 74% to 77%.
  • Baldwin improved its achievement in the VA Studies by 22% with a huge increase from 69% to 84% of their 4th graders passing the test.
  • Weems posted a 13% improvement in its performance by jumping from 86% to 97% of all 4th graders passing the VA Studies test.

·   History: 

  • ­ All elementary schools experienced growth in grade 3 history. 
  • Baldwin's grade 3 improved by 32% which increased their pass rate from 62% to 82%
  • Weems' grade 3 experienced a 10% rate of improvement moving the pass rate from 80% to 88%, which is better than the state pass rate average.
  • Dean's grade 3 had an 8% improvement over last year, which increased the pass rate from 74% to 80%.
  • Haydon's grade 3 with an improvement rate of 5%, which moved the pass rate from 74% to 78%.
  • The school with the highest percentage of students passing the test was Round with a grade 3 pass rate of 90%, which is better than the state average of 87%.

·   Science:

  • ­ Baldwin's grade 3 showed an 18% improvement in its pass rate from 78% to 92% of their students passing and beating the state average. 
  • Dean's grade 3 posted a 7% improvement, which resulted in improving the pass rate from 80% to 87%.
  • Mayfield's grade 5 Science grew by a rate of 14% from the previous year, which resulted in increasing the pass rate from 73% to 82%.
  • Metz's Earth Science pass rate of 96% outpaced the state average at 91%.


·   Math

  • ­ Round's pass rate outpaced the state's grade 3 math average of 64% with its Grade 3 pass rate of 74%.  Grade 4 math continued on to outperform the state average of 70% with a pass rate of 85%.
  • Weems' grade 4 math pass rate of 88% was higher than the state average at 70%.
  • Mayfield's grade 6 math grew by a rate of 6% which moved the pass rate from 80% to 85%. It is also among the top 16% of Virginia school systems in regards to grade 6 math performance.
  • Metz's grade 7 math improved by 36% from the previous year, which increased its pass rate from 39% to 53%.

·   Graduation

  • ­ Osbourn's GCI improved by 4% from the previous year to move it from 80 to 83.
  • Graduation rate for students who are economically disadvantaged improved by 26% from the previous year, which increased from 39% to 49%.
  • Graduation rate for white students increased from 82% to 83%
  • Graduation rate for Hispanic students grew by a rate of 9% over last year, which improved the rate from 47% to 51%.
  • Graduation rate for black students increased by 3% from the previous year, which increased from 64% to 66%.

It is important to note Osbourn High School has taken tremendous steps towards increasing student achievement.  In an effort to provide support for incoming ninth graders, a Freshman Academy program was implemented 4 years ago and they continue to add components to the program based on student needs.  The dynamic program includes transitional assistance at the middle school level and a summer camp to provide early interaction with counselors and teachers.  The Academy features targeted support throughout the school year to assist freshmen in their studies in an effort to keep them on track for on-time graduation.

"As I have stated before, Manassas City Schools will continue to increase student achievement," said Magouyrk.  "We are focused on working diligently to address opportunities for sustainable growth and encourage our families and community to join us in the journey towards higher levels of success."

9/25/12 > Saluting Osbourn’s Student Leaders

Nineteen Osbourn High School juniors have been recognized in this year's "Youth Salute." The 2012 awards ceremony was held in their honor September 13th in Osbourn's auditorium. The student leaders were honored for their academic achievement and leadership contributions.

Recognized at the ceremony were Cassidy Barnett, Nick Best, Charles Bolling, Hugh Campbell, Quentin Canada, Kate Fearon, Nicole Gallahan, Kaitlin Garrison, Rachel Higgins, Conner Lane, Alexandra Maddox,Paul Okoroagor, Meghan Perez, Melissa Polen, Mary Spitler, Emily Teller, Nathan Underwood, Juliane Veloso, and Brian Vetal. Four semi-finalists were selected to attend the Town Meeting on Tomorrow in St. Louis - Emily Teller as the top leader, followed by Brian Vetal, Meghan Perez and Mary Spitler.

Art Jackson, professional speaker, executive coach and the President of Eagles Nest Performance Management, Inc. encouraged the student leaders to "just be great" through a collection of stories that focused on maximizing their potential and the opportunities that will be presented to them as they journey through life. The students were praised for their leadership positions at school, at church, and in the community.

Adolphus Graves (Action Photos 4 U) provided various photographs of each student. A biographical sketch, along with the photos, will be displayed in the community through November 23rd at the following locations: Metz Middle School, Hylton Performing Arts, Fall Jubilee, Manassas City Hall, Manassas Mall, Central Library, Prince William Hospital, Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center, Manassas City Police Department, and Apple Federal Credit Union.

The National Council on Youth Leadership is guided by the vision of making tomorrow's world better by developing leaders today. The mission is to assist communities to applaud, encourage and provide opportunity for the leadership development of their youth.

9/23/12 > Superintendent's Column: It's Your Turn to Be Heard

It's Your Turn to Be Heard

"Public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed." -- Abraham Lincoln

One of the first things we teach children in kindergarten is to "take turns." Well, it's your turn to talk and my turn to listen.That's because, as Abraham Lincoln said, public sentiment is everything. 

As your new superintendent -- and new to Manassas -- I recognize the need to listen before speaking. I have listened and learned about your challenges and opportunities. I have interviewed staff, parents and citizens, and clearly see the tremendous potential here for a second-to-none school division. We are already fully engaged in improvements to our technology and communication systems -- something both the public and the School Board echoed as urgent needs.

Another focus that has begun centers on Manassas City Public Schools and the City of Manassas. On August 14, 2012, the Manassas City Schools School Board approved a joint resolution between the City Council and the School Board outlining a process for identifying the capital needs of Manassas City Schools and the City. Now it's your turn to talk, again, about our facility needs for both the schools and our community. We will present information and capture your opinion at an upcoming event October 16 at Mayfield Intermediate School. It's called "Your Voice. Your Community. Our Future." Everyone is invited and urged to attend.

The Manassas City Public Schools is working collaboratively with the City of Manassas to develop a Capital Improvement Plan. As citizens of Manassas, we want you to see a list of needs for both schools and our city's infrastructure at the same time. By working together, and with your help, we can ultimately prioritize the list for future funding and take it to our respective boards. City Manager John Budesky and I stand ready to build community consensus on our greatest needs and help find the resources to build them.

For our schools, we can all agree that our first priority is student achievement. We want higher achievement for all students from all economic and ethnic backgrounds at all levels of academic performance. We must provide equal access to quality instruction, resources, and technology, and adjust our teaching to meet the needs of every student.

In the coming weeks and months, I will share with you through this column our priorities for academics, technology, family involvement, and accountability through multiple measures of performance that we will call a "Balanced Scorecard."  We want to be transparent so you can see our progress.

One thing I know for sure is that I will need your support to be successful.  No school system thrives without community support. We will ask for constructive suggestions, not negativity and skepticism.  We need parents and families to embrace our schools, support our teachers and talk to their children about school work. We invite non-parents to get the facts and understand our needs, then come to the table to offer suggestions and hear our stories so we can reach consensus and build a broad base of support for our future direction.

I look forward to taking this journey with you. Please take advantage of this opportunity to have your voice heard.

Dr. Catherine Magouyrk
Superintendent of Schools

Published September 23, 2012: News & Messenger

9/20/12 > iPods Invigorate Learning at Mayfield

"You don't have to worry about messy handwriting," said one fifth grade student, "and you finish faster."

Students in Peter Wolf and Melissa Butera's fifth grade class at Mayfield Intermediate School rave about the using the Apple iPod touch as part of their lessons.  

"As soon as they found out this was a class that uses the iPod, they became more interested in what we were learning," Butera said, just two weeks into the new school year.  

And use it they do-every day, in all subjects. Wolf spent much of his summer finding and testing hundreds of applications, including many to support existing activities. The team's always-popular Word Detective vocabulary activity will be enhanced this year. Students will present word findings weekly, integrating the iPod touch with the interactive whiteboard mounted on the front wall.

Last year, Wolf obtained 14 iPod touch units that Manassas City Public Schools had on hand and introduced them to his class as part of a research project, required of all third-year teachers. Now, the pocket computer's success has Wolf seeking to expand the collection to a class set.

Wolf's research last year proved that, after repeated exposure, 73% of the class performed the same or better on tests using the iPod touch, compared to paper and pencil results. Wolf also discovered efficiency as a significant benefit.

"Tests taken using the iPod lasted no more than 10 minutes, while paper and pencil format tests took students 30 to 40 minutes to complete," allowing more time for classroom instruction, he said. Test grading is automatic, freeing up the teacher to focus on planning.

The most important benefit? "Students are excited about any lesson that involves the iPod," according to Butera, and confirmed by one of her students: "When I hear our teacher say we are going to use the iPods, I get happy!"



9/19/12 > MCPS Invited to White House
September 19, 2012….Sandy Thompson, Supervisor of Administrative and Health Services and Cecily Anthony, Director of Food and Nutrition Services recently traveled to the White House where they represented Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) as one of the eleven school divisions in Virginia who were recognized for the great work they are doing in providing healthy meals, combating childhood hunger and promoting a wellness lifestyle for students.

The White House welcomed school food service staffers for a roundtable discussion on school nutrition with Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives. Kass also serves as the Executive Director of the national Chefs Move to Schools program.

MCPS earned a first place award in the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) Food for Thought Initiative in April 2012. The school division has also been recognized in the VSBA database for best practices in nutrition and physical fitness. MCPS began a partnership with Charles Gilliam, owner of Okra's Louisiana Bistro (Manassas) in 2011 as part of the Chefs Move to Schools program.Gilliam and members of his team visited all schools in the division, exposing students to Okra's New Orleans cuisine.The division also consistently seeks ways to educate the whole child through additional wellness related events throughout the year.

This school year, MCPS will continue to focus on providing opportunities that promote healthy choices for students and families.Each school day, students enjoy a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy gourmet side salads, whole grains, and lower sodium options. For more information on Food and Nutrition or Health Services visit www.manassas.k12.va.us/foodservices or www.manassas.k12.va.us/healthservices.


9/12/12 > Input re: Math Text Series Grades 6-8
MCPS Math Resource Committee, Grades 6 - 8, invites the public to view the math text series which will be brought before the School Board for consideration on September 23. The series, Big Ideas, published by Big Ideas Learning, LLC, will be on display in the Metz Library from September 12 to October 3 during school hours. Comment and input forms are available at the Metz Library.
9/12/12 > Input re: Math Text Series Grades K-5
MCPS Joint Math Resource Committees, Grades K-2 and 3-5, invite the public to view the math text series which will be brought before the School Board for consideration on September 23. The series, Math Expressions, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, will be on display in the Mayfield Library from September 12 to October 3 during school hours. Comment and input forms are available at the Mayfield Library.
8/29/12 > Lioness Lions Donate Supplies to Mayfield

New school supplies are a luxury for some students at Mayfield Intermediate School. Thanks to the Manassas Lioness Lions Club and Staples/Liberia Avenue, many of those students will receive the royal treatment on the first day of school with brand new book bags, pencils, notebooks, and other essentials.

"Our 33 active members each contributed items, for a total of $1,000 in supplies," said Pat Nichols, Community Services Director of Manassas Lioness Lions Club (MLLC). She noted that the Staples Store on Liberia Avenue in the City of Manassas provided gift cards and discounts to the club members for the program. Supplies were also provided to Osbourn High School.

"These ladies demonstrate a commitment to the community that will benefit many of our students directly. We sincerely appreciate the MLLC's gener osity and compassion," said Jeff S. Abt, Principal of Mayfield Intermediate School.

Mayfield Intermediate School serves the approximately 1,000 fifth and sixth grade students of Manassas City Public Schools. MLLC includes "ladies of all ages and from all walks of life" who embody the club's motto "We Serve," according to the website. Staples is located in the Davis Ford Shopping Center on Liberia Avenue in the City of Manassas.

Manassas Lioness Lions Club Secretary Anna Marie Robinson and Community Services Director Pat Nichols deliver school supplies to Mayfield Principal Jeff Abt

8/28/12 > Parent News: Family Life Education Nights

Manassas City Public Schools 2012-2013 School Year Family Life Education Parent/Guardian Notification Family Life Education has been taught successfully in the City of Manassas Public Schools since 1989. More than 99% of our student population has participated in the program since its inception. A committee of Manassas City Public Schools teachers, administrators, parents, students, healthcare professionals, and representatives from the community developed the locally based curriculum to meet community needs.

You are encouraged to review the objectives for your child's grade level available on the Parent link on our Web site www.manassas.k12.va.us . The K-10 curriculum and instructional materials are also available in the library at your child's school. Separate parent preview nights will be held for:

  • grades 5 and 6 at Mayfield Intermediate School (Cafeteria) on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
  • grades 7-10 at Metz Middle School (Library) on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.

At these meetings you will see samples of activities and materials and become acquainted with our approach to potentially sensitive material, which begins in grade 5 with a discussion of puberty and hygiene.

Parents have an opportunity to remove a child ("opt-out") from any or all parts of the Family Life Education Program. Should you choose an "opt-out" for your child, we ask that you complete the Family Life Education Non-participation Form at your child's school.

We appreciate the involvement of parents in the program development and implementation and look forward to your continued support.

8/28/12 > OHS Incoming Freshmen Explore Careers
Students engage in hands on demonstrations to explore opportunities in service oriented careers

It's not often that you hear of students volunteering to come to school in the summer, but during the week of August 20th, 130 freshmen and 14 staff members arrived on the campus of Osbourn High School (OHS) for the school's three-day Freshman Academy.

The team of teachers and staff members, lead by Freshman Academy Coordinator Mike Dufrene
took the students on a journey focusing on the following areas:

  • Day One: "Effort & Attitude" - art project and team building
  • Day Two: "Opportunities & Respect" - career day with local Fire and Rescue Personnel as well as officers from the Manassas City Police Department
  • Day Three: "Character & Teamwork"  - counselors meet & greet and stations for team building), day ended with handing out locker assignments, class schedules, and OHS t-shirt!

The OHS Freshman Academy began as a pilot program a year ago and provides help in note-taking, finding resources and the importance of turning in homework.  The  academy also focuses on leadership skills, coping strategies, character building, time management techniques, maintaining a positive attitude, enhancing self-confidence, and team building activities.

Now in its second year, the program has grown tremendously from the fifteen students who participated last year to the more than 130 students who committed to be a part of the 2012 session.

8/16/12 > MCPS SOL results information


The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released Standards of Learning (SOL) test pass rates for all schools and divisions on Tuesday.  Manassas City Public Schools received an 85 percent pass rate in sixth grade math, well above the state's passing rate of 74 percent.  MCPS fifth graders exceeded the state pass rate in math by 5 percent with a 72 percent rate.  The division matched the state's pass rate in Virginia Studies with an overall 89 percent passing rate as each elementary school performed at or well above the state average.  Fifth graders also performed at the state average in writing with an 87 percent pass rate.


Metz Middle School seventh grade Math achievement increased by 36 percent when compared to the 2011 results.  Notably, Metz grade 8 Math scores do not reflect the entire eighth grade as more advanced students take the Algebra I and Honors Geometry tests. Seventh and eighth grade students excelled on the Geometry end-of-course tests with a 100 percent pass rate while Algebra students achieved 64 percent. Jennie Dean Elementary saw significant improvement in its grade 4 reading test performance by 25 percent.  Osbourn High School increased performance in World History II by 19 percent and Earth Science by 16 percent.  

"We are proud of the improvements in many areas and will continue to increase student achievement," said Dr. Catherine Magouyrk, division superintendent.  "While we celebrate the areas of growth, we are working diligently to address opportunities for sustainable growth."

The Virginia Department of Education SOL results can be viewed at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/news/news_releases/2012/aug14.shtml. Specifice scores for MCPS can be viewed here .

8/15/12 > School Board Names Wilder as Haydon Principal
Manassas, VA…The Manassas City School Board has appointed Amanda J. Wilder as principal at Haydon Elementary School. Wilder will begin her new assignment on August 20th.

“Ms. Wilder is very enthusiastic and personable,” said Dr. Catherine Magouyrk, Superintendent of Schools. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and strong leadership experience to Haydon, which has prepared her to serve as principal.”

Wilder is currently an Assistant Principal at Grace Miller Elementary School in Fauquier County, a position she has held since 2006. Prior to her assignment at Grace Miller, Wilder was a special education teacher at C.D. Hylton High School in Prince William County. She also has experience as a first grade teacher in both Prince William and Fairfax counties.

Wilder is a 1991 graduate of the University of Washington where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She also holds a post-baccalaureate degree in early childhood education from James Madison University and a master’s degree in Special Education from George Mason University. She earned her Administration and Supervision K-12 license from George Mason in 2006. Wilder is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Education Policy and Leadership from George Mason.

Haydon is one of five elementary schools in the City of Manassas and has over 650 students in Kindergarten through fourth grade.
7/03/12 > Mayfield Intermediate Address Change
Please note that effective immediately, the new address for Mayfield Intermediate School is:

9400 Mayfield Court
Manassas, VA 20110

Thank you!
7/03/12 > MCPS Leadership Sworn In
Pictured left to right: Ilka V. Chavez, Scott M. Albrecht, Arthur P. Bushnell
Dr. Catherine B. Magouyrk and Ellen M. Purdy

Four members of the City of Manassas School Board, along with the school division's newly appointed superintendent were sworn in Tuesday, July 2012 at City Hall.

Dr. Cathy Magouyrk, Superintendent of Schools and recently re-elected School Board members Scott M. Albrecht and Arthur P. Bushnell took their oaths of office before a crowd of witnesses. Ilka V. Chavez and Ellen M. Purdy were also sworn in as new School Board members.

Michele McQuigg, Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk, facilitated the ceremony.

Following the swearing in ceremony, the Board held its organizational meeting. Albrecht was re-elected Chairman and Bushnell was re-elected Vice-Chairman of the Board. Also, Mrs. Marion J. Martin was appointed Clerk of the Board and Mr. Kenneth LaLonde was appointed Deputy Clerk of the Board.

During the organizational meeting, the Board approved a calendar of meeting dates for the 2012-2013 school year. Meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will take place in City Council Chambers, City Hall, 9027 Center Street, with exceptions noted.

6/18/12 > School Board Names New Superintendent

Manassas, VA…The Manassas City School Board has unanimously appointed Dr. Catherine Magouyrk, a Georgia educator, to be the city's new superintendent of schools.

Dr. Magouyrk will assume her new duties on July 2.  She succeeds Dr. Gail Pope, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

"We listened to a good deal of public input and believe we have found the perfect match for our needs and our school system. Dr. Magouyrk is an experienced educator who knows how to provide the leadership needed to get outstanding results in the classroom," School Board Chairman Scott Albrecht said in announcing the appointment.

Dr. Magouyrk had been Associate Superintendent for Student Achievement and Leadership in Douglas County, Georgia.  Her former division included 25,000 students and 33 schools.  Manassas City Schools have 7,025 students and eight schools and an alternative education center.

"Dr. Magouyrk has been in charge of student achievement in a much larger school system with high percentages of at-risk students.  The Board believes her success in both increased graduation rates and improved student achievement will help our schools move up to the next level of performance," Albrecht said.

Dr. Magouyrk began her career as a high school math and social studies teacher.  She has also served as an assistant principal at the middle and high school levels and as an elementary school principal.

"She has hands-on experience at each level of an education system.  She is collaborative, an effective communicator and, most importantly, she has consistently demonstrated an ability to increase student achievement for all students," Albrecht said.

Dr. Magouyrk has also served as Director for Curriculum and Instruction in Marietta, GA, a school system similar in size and diversity to Manassas, and Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning in Macon, GA, a Title One division of 22,000 students.

"The School Board was very pleased with the number of highly qualified candidates who wanted to serve as our next Superintendent," Albrecht said. "We had more than two dozen applicants from nine states. It was truly a nationwide search and resulted in us being able to select the right person for our needs."

Dr. Magouyrk and her husband will reside in Manassas.


6/04/12 > Ed Foundation & Apple FCU support new teachers

MCPS Education Foundation recently announced that Apple FCU Education Foundation, a philanthropic arm of Apple Federal Credit Union, has expanded its support of professional development by funding a $3,000 planning grant to support the development and enhancement of the Teacher Induction Program within Manassas City Public Schools.  The grant allows the school system to apply for a $20,000 grant over the next five years to be used for the Teacher Induction Program. In addition, Apple FCU Education Foundation recognized the work of the MCPS Education Foundation in securing funds for the school division by awarding a $2,000 grant for the general operating budget.

"Providing a solid support structure for beginning teachers is vital to the success of our instructional programs within MCPS," said Michaelene Myers, Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction with Manassas City Public Schools. "Funding provided through the partnership will ensure that we have incentives (stipends) for veteran teachers to choose to mentor our new teachers. The commitment they make to ensuring that new teachers have an advocate and supporting mentor has proven to be very successful in MCPS, with a solid retention rate as a result of careful programming to meet the early induction needs of our newest educators. We appreciate the support this partnership will provide to keeping our Beginning Teacher Program solid."

"We strongly support Manassas City Public Schools and the new teachers who impact our student's success," said Mike Engley, executive director of the Apple FCU Education Foundation. "We believe that a formal and comprehensive approach to induction will accelerate the effectiveness of new teachers. When teachers succeed, students succeed."

Apple FCU's commitment to Teacher Induction, those practices used to help new teachers become competent and effective professionals in the classroom, extends to nine school districts across Northern Virginia. In the 2011-2012 school year, the Foundation donated a total of over $250,000 to this effort.


# # #

6/01/12 > Math SOL changes may lead to reduced scores in VA
To ensure students are college ready by their senior year, the Virginia Department of Education has developed and implemented new Math Standards of Learning (SOLs) with increased rigor that requires students to apply higher level thinking ability and more sophisticated test-taking skills. Because there has been a shift in higher performance expectations, it is projected that divisions across the state will see a decrease in Math SOL results in grades 3-12. The change means, “Virginia is expecting more of students—not that students are learning less,” explained Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Patricia Wright, after limited administration of the newly minted tests produced diminished results in some parts of the Commonwealth last fall.

Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) students are taking the newly developed Math Standards of Learning tests this spring. Students are required to show mastery of complex test formats and demonstrate their knowledge rather than select from multiple choice answers. Although there is a potential for a decrease in SOL math performance, other local assessments indicate that MCPS students are making adequate progress in mathematics.

To learn more about the new math SOL visit the Virginia Department of Education link at www.doe.virginia.gov/testing.
6/01/12 > 5th Annual MCPS Education Foundation Scholarship Breakfast

Each spring MCPS Education Foundation (MCPSEF) is pleased to award scholarships to graduating seniors from Osbourn High School. On Thursday, May 24 the Scholarship Breakfast was held at American Legion Post 10. Introduction remarks by MCPSEF president, Michael Howard and keynote speaker, Dr. John Werner, Principal of Osbourn High School, highlighted the importance of community support to continue the excellence in our schools and help meet the education challenges of the future - each stating is it "Our children, Our schools, Our community, Our Manassas!". In addition, Dr. Werner pointed out that the Three R's in education are Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships, demonstrating that education is about the working with the whole student and preparing them for their role in the community and the world.

Recipients of the scholarships are:

a) Kyle Wilson West, Delegate Harry J. Parrish Community Service Scholarship, presented by Michael Howard, TelNet of Virginia and MCPSEF President. Mr. West has proven that he is not only a high achieving student, but also a man of character and service. In his application: Anyone can gain from a day of service because helping others is human nature. No one likes to see another suffer. People care for each other because it is instinctively the right thing to do." Kyle plans to attend the University of Virginia.

b) Steven Andrew Field - Fine Arts, presented by Rita Colleran, MCPSEF Managing Director. Mr. Fields is dedicated to the performing arts and has received awards and volunteered a great deal of time in music in his church, school and community. In his application he quotes, "Music speaks what cannot be expressed", and states "growing in my musical abilities is realizing my purpose --- to speak to others through music." He plans to attend Christopher Newport University.

c) Timothy Joseph Apple, Science and Technology, presented by Zuzana Steen, Micron Foundation and MCPSEF Board Member. One of his teachers said, "Timothy Apple is a strong leader that is willing to go above and beyond." In addition to his school and community involvements, Timothy is preparing for a career in marine biology. He plans to attend Virginia Commonwealth University.

d) Julie Anne Dalton, Science and Technology, presented by Alex Rodriguez, Lockheed Martin and MCPSEF Board Member. Julie was deeply inspired by an experience she shared with a cousin diagnosed with cancer. She admired the dedication and caring of the nurses and learned that "out of tragedy often comes hope. Julie has chosen to pursue nursing for her education and career. She will attend Virginia Commonwealth University.

These students were selected by the Education Foundation Board of Directors, using a blind/anonymous procedure that does not reveal the name or identifying factors of the applicants. Applicants are selected through a point system regarding their academic achievement, community involvement, service, and an essay that illuminates personal qualities.

The scholarships and the event are provided by the MCPS Education Foundation and made possible through sponsors. Special appreciation to the American Legion Post 10 for donating the facility, the Sons of the American Legion Post 10 for donating the funds for the food, and the veterans and members of the American Legion who prepared the food. Further gratitude to these donors: Micron Foundation for sponsoring the event as well as a Science and Technology Scholarship , Lockheed Martin for sponsoring a Science and Technology Scholarship, Minnieland Private Day School for sponsoring the Fine Arts Scholarship, and the Parrish Family for sponsoring the Delegate Harry J. Parrish Community Service Scholarship.

In addition, MCPS Education Foundation offers scholarships education and vocational/technical training. Unfortunately, there were no applicants for these scholarships this year.

The scholarship program is one of many programs and initiative offered by the MCPS Education Foundation. It mission is to ensure funding for quality education for all Manassas City Public School students now and in the future through: 1. Advocacy, public awareness and community engagement to the work and needs of Manassas City Public Schools; 2. Fund development from private and corporate sources to support Foundation programs and initiatives as needed within the MCPS Division. MCPSEF is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

# # #

5/18/12 > Baldwin Honors Principal with Special Day

May 15th was a day to remember at Baldwin Elementary this year, as it was officially declared Dr. Ashley Cramp Day. Cramp, the school's principal, recently received the 2012 Distinguished Educational Leadership Award from The Washington Post. She was one of 18 outstanding principals in the Washington area to receive this prestigious award.

Proud of their principal, Baldwin staff and students also wanted to honor Cramp for her continued dedication to their school. At a surprise assembly on the morning of the 15th Cramp was greeted by the entire student body and staff holding Dr. Cramp masks and chanting "Doc-tor Cramp, Doc-tor Cramp." After being bestowed with a crown, sash, scepter, and flowers May 15th was declared Dr. Ashley Cramp Day. Manassas City School Superintendent Dr. Gail Pope was on hand to offer her congratulations and share in the celebration.

4/27/12 > School Board Update on Superintendent Search
After a thorough review of all applicants, twenty-four highly qualified candidates are being considered to be the next Superintendent of Schools in the City of Manassas, the School Board announced Friday.

“We are pleased with the quality of applications and the large number who met the qualifications set by our community. We look forward to selecting a new superintendent to help us continue to improve our system and better the education of all our students,” School Board Chair Scott Albrecht said.

The candidates include 11 current and former superintendents. They include people from Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Mississippi and Georgia, the School Board said. Applications closed April 13. The School Board will interview finalists for the position during May and will announce a new superintendent in June.
4/16/12 > Congratulations, CenterStage!
"CenterStage", the ensemble choir at Osbourn High School recently traveled to New York City to compete against other high schools from around the country in a singing festival. CenterStage placed first over five other schools in the advanced mixed choir division. The choir is under the direction of Matthew Harrison.
4/11/12 > OHS student featured as guest writer for local paper
OHS students not only make positive news, they also write it. Niki Papadogiannikis, a senior at OHS, had her story "Firebirds offer local home-school students chance to play softball" featured in the April 11, 2012 sports section of the News & Messenger. Click the following link to read the complete story. http://www2.insidenova.com/sports/2012/apr/10/firebirds-offer-local-home-school-students-chance--ar-1832308/
3/23/12 > OHS Students Claim First Place in Reflections Contest
The Patriot District PTA Reflections Awards Ceremony will be held at Osbourn this Sunday, March 25, at 2:00 pm in the Egidi-Rohr Commons. Three Osbourn students won first place in their categories in the Patriot District and are competing in the Virginia Reflections Competition. This year's Reflections theme is "Diversity Means..."

The Osbourn students who placed first in district competition are:
Hannah Freeman - Literature, 11th grade, "A High Schooler's Mosaic"
Kaitlin Price - Visual Art, 12th grade, "Diversity is Inevitably Beautiful"
Tim Apple - Photography, 12th grade, "Diversity is What We Fight For"
2/28/12 > Superintendent Search Press Release


Scott Albrecht, Board Chair, (703) 361-9202
Gina Patterson, VSBA, (434) 295-8722

The Manassas City School Board announced today that it will begin the process of hiring a new superintendent by seeking public input on the qualifications.

The School Board will make available a survey related to superintendent criteria, which will be sent home with children in the Manassas City Public Schools, provided to staff and made available on the school's website at www.manassas.k12.va.us. Extra copies of the survey will also be available at all schools. In addition to the survey, the Board will hold a public hearing immediately prior to its regularly scheduled board meeting on March 13. The public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. and will be held at Metz Middle School, 9950 Wellington Road, Manassas, VA.  

"Hiring a new superintendent is the biggest task facing a School Board and we want to make sure that the public has a voice in this process," said School Board Chair Scott Albrecht. "We hope that parents, staff and residents will take time to fill out the survey or attend the public hearing."


Manassas City Public Schools
Superintendent Search Timeline


February 23, 2012
Announcement to the public of Superintendent Search

February 27, 2012
Distribute the survey to the community

March 13, 2012 (6 p.m.)
Public Hearing/Deadline for Surveys

March 19- April 13, 2012
Receive Applications

April  27, 2012 (1:30 p.m.)
Meeting with VSBA

May/June 2012
Interview Candidates

Announcement of Person Selected

2/17/12 > OHS Student Receives Leadership Award

Toms commended for record of achievement at Osbourn and in the greater Manassas community.

Gregory Toms, a senior at Osbourn High School, has been awarded the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. Leadership Award for 2012.The award totals $10,000 and is given to a senior from each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts. Toms travelled to Richmond on February 16th to receive the award at a special ceremony in the courtroom of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

In 1994, Former U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr. established the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. Leadership Award Program. Senator Byrd established this leadership award program because of his deep conviction that a strong system of public education is essential to democratic government, and that cultivating leadership among young citizens advances both education and government.

According to the nomination packet, the Leadership Award seeks to reward applicants who consistently display excellence of character, qualities of leadership, devotion to duty, and academic accomplishment. While academic excellence is a consideration, the selection of award recipients emphasizes the importance of leadership and public service. Therefore, most recipients are leaders who go above and beyond their peers to improve themselves and to make a difference in the lives of others. Most recipients engage in endeavors that demonstrate their independence, initiative, courage, personal discipline, strong work ethic, commitment to community service, leadership qualities, ability to confront challenges, and pursuit of academic excellence.

For more information, visit http://www.byrdleadershipaward.org/.


Osbourn High School has announced the
graduation date for the class of 2012.
Graduation is scheduled for
Monday, June 11, 2012 (7:30 PM)
at Jiffy Lube Live.

2/14/12 > Jennie Dean Elementary School-Wide Reading Adventure

In the format of the One Book, One School program, Jennie Dean Elementary School began their third school-wide reading adventure upon the students' and faculty'sreturn from winter break.  Everyone at Jennie Dean is currently enjoying a delicious chocolate adventure with the book, "The Chocolate Touch" by Patrick Skene Catling!

Students from pre-school to fourth grade are taking part in a variety of activities supporting their own reading and the efforts of their school wide colleagues.  Students and staff are involved with vocabulary development, comprehension skills including summarizing, predicting, and questioning, higher level skills including evaluative and analytical thinking, as well as writing strategies incorporating 6+1 trait work.

Some of the activities are:

  • School-Wide Vocabulary Charts based upon the Steps to Literacy© model
  • Trivia Questions through morning broadcast and lunch time activities
  • Daily activities from Teacher Resource Packets and Student Calendars
  • Web Page links and support materials for home and school:
  • Vocabulary Puppet Review
  • Recorded Student Summaries
  • Links for vocabulary support
  • Additional comprehension questions
  • Science and Social Studies connections:
  • History of Chocolate
  • Making of Chocolate
  • Encore connections through art, physical education, computer, library, music

Jennie Dean students, staff, and faculty are sharing the joy of reading.  They will be concluding this adventure during the week of February 13 and will celebrate with opportunities for even more family involvement!  They will also be looking forward to the next great reading adventure; "The Lorax" Project!

Submitted by Jennie Dean Elementary

2/08/12 > Local Chef to visit Metz: Reposted from manassaspatch.com

Local chef, Charles Gilliam of Okra's in Old Town Manassas is scheduled to visit Metz Middle School students on February 10th.  Chef Gilliam's visit coincides with the White House's 'Chefs Move to Schools' initiative with a focus on getting students to eat healthier.

This story has been featured in the Manassas Patch and can be viewed online at http://manassas.patch.com/articles/local-chef-ready-to-unveil-new-menu-items-at-carnivale

1/30/12 > Literacy Lights Up the Night at Mayfield

Literacy Lights Up the Night at Mayfield
Family Literacy Night Attracts Hundreds to Manassas City Intermediate School

A genie who knew all the an swers; adults who weren't smarter than a fifth grader; and Thomas Edison were some of the several hundred people who filled Mayfield Intermediate School at its first annual Family Literacy Night on January 25. Mayfield serves Manassas City Public Schools' 1,000 fifth and sixth grade students.

Parents, students and their siblings participated in dozens of literacy activities, such as the Akinator, a computer genie who correctly guessed book characters; a re-enactment of the television show "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader;" and a Wax Museum with students who dressed as historical figures and came to life at the touch of a button.

Each of the 17 language arts classroom presented or performed a literacy activity. In Mr. Megenhardt's sixth grade class, students performed a dramatic version of The Three Little Pigs written by their teacher and based on a book by Jon Scieszka. Julie Rodgers' fifth graders hosted a Talk Show and Luke Krizmanich's classroom was transformed into a Poetry Lounge.

Students especially enjoyed the 22 book-related snacks which filled the cafeteria. "I really liked the pickles with the book Pickles to Pittsburgh," said sixth grader Alejandro Bolivar, who portrayed Thomas Edison for the Wax Museum.

A buzz surround Computer Lab teacher Susan Walton's activity: playing Word Monkey on Apple iPads. "Students were addicted to it! They were lined up waiting because they saw the kids playing it w ere having so much fun," Walton said.

"I was surprised there were a lot of snacks and that people won prizes," said Leonardo Solis, who was thrilled with his win: Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen. Samantha Contreras enjoyed dressing as Elizabeth Katy Stanton for the Wax Museum and "I also liked the snacks, especially the goldfish with the Dr. Suess book."

The evening was hosted by language arts teachers, librarians and computer lab teachers. "There was a festival feeling to our school as kids and parents discovered how fun literacy can be," said Reading Specialist Erin Karicher, who added "Everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves!"

Submitted by Mayfield Intermediate

1/30/12 > Dean Honors Top Spellers

Jennie Dean Elementary School spelled s-u-c-c-e-s-s as they participated in the school wide Spelling Bee on January 24, 2012. The nine participants were the third and fourth grade winners of their classroom spelling bees. Each student received a medal at the start of the program for winning within their classroom.

Ayonnah Tinsley, a third grade student, emerged as the top winner of the bee. The runner up was Adam Marchant. "We at Dean are very proud of all of our participants", says Dr. Robin Toogood, principal. "We are especially proud of Ayonnah, as she will represent us in the county wide spelling bee, and Adam who will step in if Ayonnah is unable to participate." The spelling bee program is headed by Mrs. J. Sue Kelly, third grade teacher.

Jennie Dean Elementary School: "Achieving Success...Now and for the Future."

1/12/12 > Dr. Pope Commends All-City Chorus Students

Students WOW Hylton Audience!

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs
And as silently steal away.
The Day is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Last night the voices of 500 students filled the night sky and the cares of the day drifted away on the notes of their melodies. The All-City Chorus Concert made its debut on the stage of the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Touted as one of the finest European style opera houses in America, it was the perfect venue to showcase the amazing talent of our Manassas City students.

There are many, many people to thank for the success of this evening. Our choral educators deserve many kudos for their leadership in this endeavor. Mr. Chris Short, Ms. Laura Boyles, Mrs. Anastacia Rubach, Mrs. Catherine Drummond, Ms. Patricia DiGiovine, Mrs. Margaret Everett, Ms. Wendy Pierce, and Mr. Matthew Harrison, take a bow!

Many thanks to the hard work of Dr. Barbara McGonagill and the members of the Fine Arts Committee.

Special thanks to our Maintenance, Transportation, and Food Service Departments; to Mike Emanuel and the OHS Graphics 2 and 3 classes; to our principals and assistant principals; and to Mrs. Sandy Thompson and Ms. Heidi Kaska for ensuring the health and safety of our students.

And finally, to the many wonderful teachers who volunteered their time to be chaperones for our students.

We would also like to thank City Council for their financial support of this endeavor.

The combined efforts of each individual resulted in a life time experience for our students. The students knew they were in a very special place, and their behavior, demeanor, and musical presentation rose to the occasion.

Gail E. Pope, Ed.D.
Manassas City Public Schools

12/14/11 > MCPS Accredited by AdvancED
Manassas City Public Schools has received division accreditation through AdvancEd, a global leader in advancing excellence in education through continuous improvement and organizational effectiveness.

This means the division and all of its schools are recognized across the nation as a quality school system. The AdvancED accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance, designed to help educational institutions boost their ongoing performance efforts for the benefit of their students.

“Accreditation through AdvancED has so many benefits for our students,” says Dr. Gail Pope, division superintendent. “It reinforces our commitment to raising student performance and accountability and it opens the door for students to have greater access to federal loans, scholarships, postsecondary education and military programs that require students attend an accredited institution.”

Teams from AdvancED look for a systems approach to improvement; the presence of a continuous improvement model; efforts to meet accountability requirements; and efforts to encourage growth beyond compliance to achieve excellence.

Accreditation by AdvancEd is based upon seven standards which include: Vision and Purpose; Governance and Leadership; Teaching and Learning; Documenting and Using Results; Resources and Support Systems; Stakeholder Communications and Relationships; and Commitment to Continuous Improvement. Based upon responses to questions, interviews, and artifacts, the division is rated on each standard as being not evident; emerging; operational; or highly functional.

Between December 4 and December 7, 2011, a six member team of experienced educators representing AdvancEd conducted a Quality Assurance Review (QAR). They interviewed approximately 273 division, school, and community stakeholders including division and school administrators, School Board members, teachers, students, school parents, and business and community leaders. They also conducted 106 classroom visits. The results of their review were presented orally to the School Board on December 7th. The school division received commendations for the following: the leadership that provides direction and vision for student achievement; the strong stakeholder ownership of the vision “productive citizens of the 21st century”; the movement away from a focus on adults and support corporate elements to a focus on students; a culture of mutual respect and value of people among adults and students across the system; and the increased emphasis on using technology to support teaching and learning.

Accreditation by AdvancED is for five years. The team always presents required actions or areas for improvement divisions should work on during that time. The required actions for Manassas City Schools are: to implement with fidelity the existing division strategic objectives, and to incorporate a wide variety of strategies to obtain the support, input, and data from all stakeholders, especially those stakeholders who are yet to be engaged.

The school division will track its progress in the two areas recommended by the QAR team and will submit a report to AdvancEd in two years.

The QAR team rated the school division as operational on six standards and as highly functional on Governance and Leadership. Supporting documentation for the Governance and Leadership standard states, “A system is successful in meeting this standard when it has leaders who are advocates for the system’s vision and improvement efforts. The leaders provide direction and allocate resources to implement curricular and co-curricular programs that enable students to achieve expectations for their learning. Leaders function with clearly defined authority and responsibility and encourage collaboration and shared responsibility for system and school improvement among stakeholders. The system’s policies, procedures, and organizational conditions ensure equity of learning opportunities and support for innovation.” According to Dr. Drew Moore, Chairman of the QAR team, a rating of highly functional is very rarely earned by school divisions. Additionally, the team commented on the high caliber of teacher leaders in each of the school sites they visited, as well as other leaders throughout the division.

Parents and interested community members may review the Quality Assurance Review Team’s presentation here. The full report will be posted once it is received.
12/08/11 > Meyer Receives Curriculum Award

Dr. Michaelene Meyer, Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for Manassas City Public Schools, has been named the 2011 Curriculum Leader of the Year by the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (VASCD), an affiliate of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).  VASCD recently honored Meyer at the 2011 Annual Conference in Williamsburg. 

The award is intended to recognize school leaders whose focus on curriculum and instruction has promoted excellence in teaching and learning, increased student achievement, and created a positive school climate and culture.  According to Ann Etchison, Executive Director for VASCD, Meyer's personal commitment to the well-being of children and her ability to unite and mobilize colleagues exemplify the student-centered approach to leadership that drives effective school reform. 

Meyer received many positive comments from colleagues in support of her nomination.  "Dr. Meyer is a hands-on worker who is readily accessible to teacher leaders who are doing this critical work.  She is a masterful facilitator which allows her to orchestrate multiple projects at the same time," said one colleague. "Michaelene Meyer is a life-long learner.  She constantly seeks the latest research when initiating a project, and she brings research and insight to all instructional meetings."

Another supporter states, "Dr. Meyer serves as both a wise counsel and objective arbiter in discussion about program decisions.  Her years as a principal help us to recognize and avoid common staff mistakes that could hinder our effectiveness with school leaders and their staffs.  She sees the big picture which allows her to move all programs forward, at the most effective time, by capitalizing on changes within educational debate, city council initiatives, and partnerships with the greater Manassas community.  The exciting changes our science and engineering programs have achieved over the past three years are a testament to her ability to anticipate, read, and react positively to changes in the big picture."

Meyer joined Manassas City Public Schools in July 2006 and is responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of all K-12 curriculum and programs, as well as all state and federal grants supporting the programs.  She provides leadership to the classroom instructional program by working with school principals and instructional staff.

Meyer has a varied teaching and administrative background.  Prior to Manassas City Schools, she served as the Director of School Improvement and Professional Development with the Educational Service Center of Franklin County in Columbus, Ohio.  Her resume includes experience as a Special Education Supervisor, positions at the elementary level as principal and teacher, as well as a school improvement specialist.

Meyer is seasoned in school leadership, curriculum and instruction.  Major accomplishments and involvements include strategic planning, effective schools leadership training, and facilitating school-wide discipline planning and implementation.  She has received awards throughout Ohio and Nebraska for outstanding leadership and achievement and is a member of numerous professional and civic organizations including the National Staff Development Council and Phi Delta Kappa, International.  She has also served on the Board of Directors for ASCD. 

Meyer has a doctorate in Educational Studies with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership, a master's degree in Educational Administration and a bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Founded in 1943, ASCD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that represents educators from more than 148 countries and is dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner.  Its 160,000 members are professional educators from all levels and subject areas--superintendents, supervisors, principals, teachers, professors of education, and school board members. For more information, please visit www.vaascd.org .

12/07/11 > MCPS Receives 2011 VSBA Green Schools Challenge Award

Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) is one of nine school divisions to recei ve a top award in the 2011 Virginia School Board Association's (VSBA) Green Schools Challenge. Winners were announced at the VSBA Annual Convention in Williamsburg which was held November 16-18. The competition was sponsored by Moseley Architects, Linc Energy and Building Solutions, Trane, Ameresco and Johnson Controls. Winning school divisions were selected from over 51 entries, and 38 school divisions were recognized as certified green school divisions.  MCPS received third place recognition in the 5,001-10,000 student population category.

The VSBA Green Schools Challenge is a friendly competition designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce the carbon emissions generated by both the local school division and the broader community. This is the third year the awards were given out.

MCPS was recognized in April 2009 by the American School Board Journal by claiming a first place Magna Award for the Growing Up Green Recycling program and also at the state level in May 2009 by the Virginia Recycling Association.

According to Sandy Thompson, division coordinator for the program, Growing Up Green is aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) curriculum in that it is strongly connected to science.  "A great example of this is at Jennie Dean Elementary where they established an Outdoor Learning Center called the Sunshine Courtyard - A Garden for Learning, " says Thompson. "The first and second grade classes planted winter rye to add nutrients to soil for spring planting of Milkweed, which will attract Monarch Butterflies.  The third and fourth grade classes also planted tulip bulbs and winter vegetables in early November."

Thompson says other MCPS schools have been actively involved in combining hands on science learning activities with the Growing Up Green program.  Mayfield Intermediate has done a unit on rain gardens.  A rain garden collects runoff from impervious surfaces such as blacktop and roof tops. It prevents this water from going into storm sewers which is then recycled and cleaned. Mayfield science teacher, Cyndy Mattia received grants from the Department of Forestry, Project Learning Tree and the Mayfield PTA to fund the garden. "All students K-12 are supposed to have a 'meaningful watershed experience' prior to exiting school," explains Mattia. "A rain garden is part of an overall watershed, thus students working in it creates a hands-on experience."

The school division also participates in the Safe Routes to Schools initiative that promotes safe walking and/or biking to school and decreases pollution.  All Manassas City schools are registered as ECO-Schools, an internationally acclaimed program that allows students, parents, and staff to learn about environmentally responsible behavior. Eco-Schools USA surveyed teachers across the nation and results show that 100% of the teachers saw academic improvements in the area of "better understanding of science concepts for students". 

In addition to Thompson serving as the division recycling coordinator, all individual schools have coordinators to assist in the effectiveness of the recycling program.  Schools also have very active Go Green programs which include activities such as collecting cell phones for soldiers, recycling glue sticks and technology items and have participated in the City government's Spring Clean Up Day held each April.

12/06/11 > Congratulations to Christmas Parade Winners

Congratulations to the following MCPS winning participants in the 66th Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade, held in Old Town Manassas Saturday, December 3, 2011.

  • Sponsor/Commercial: Third place - Mayfield Intermediate School Student Government Association, sponsored by Prince William Hospital

  • Cheerleading Groups: Second place - Osbourn High School Cheerleaders

  • Bands: Third place - Osbourn High School Band

  • Marching Groups: First place - Osbourn High School JROTC

Congratulations to all!

11/20/11 > Aurora Science Makes Generous Donation to OHS Robotics

Patricia Woodside, Public Relations Director for Aurora Science, recently visited Osbourn High School to present a check to the OHS Robotics team. Aurora has been a generous supporter of the Lambda Corps team for several years.

(Pictured front row, left to right): Brian Shepard, staff sponsor and Rachael Ortega, team president receive the $1500 donation from Woodside. They are shown with fellow Lambda Corps team members, as well as Dr. John Werner, OHS principal.

11/20/11 > National Merit Commended Students

Congratulations, National Merit Commended Students!


Jamie L. Null and Jacqueline M. Penders, seniors at Osbourn High School, received Letters of Commendation for outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in 2010. This Letter of Commendation signifies their designation as Commended Students in the National Merit® Scholarship Program. Their high Selection Index score places them among the top 50,000 of over 1.5 million students who entered the 2012 National Merit Program by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).

Jamie and Jaqueline are among approximately 34,000 Commended Students nationwide who have shown exceptional academic promise. Congratulations to Jamie and Jaqueline on this distinguished honor!

11/15/11 > Haydon Elementary Walks to School

Haydon Elementary School was very pleased to participate in International Walk to School Day, which took place during the month of October. Students who live within a safe walking distance to school were invited to walk to school with a parent or other adult. According to Heidi Kaska, Haydon's School Nurse, the event had a wonderful turnout, with over 70 students walking to school, accompanied by their parents or other adults. In many cases, parents brought younger siblings along, too, so the neighborhood sidewalks were filled with smiling children. Haydon wishes to thank all school staff who helped that day, the Manassas City Police Department, who provided extra security and crossing guard" support, and the PTA who provided volunteers for the school grounds.

11/15/11 > MCPS Students Honor Vets

Across the region, communities honored service men and women during Veterans Day activities November 11th and 12th. Here are a few highlights involving Manassas City students and/or staff.

Johnson Learning Center:

The Johnson Learning Center (JLC) faculty, staff and students commemoratedVeterans Day with keynote speaker Master Sergeant Martin - a career Marine of twenty-one years. Master Sergeant Martin shared with students his experiences as a U.S. Marine, coupled with a reflective video of past and present day Marines and their role in protecting our country. During his presentation, he explained the history of Veterans Day and what it means to be a veteran.

Master Sergeant Martin's visit was concluded with a question and answer period in which his enthusiasm sparked students' curiosity to learn more about the armed forces. The Johnson Learning Center salutes and honors all veterans for their commitment and dedication to serving our country!

Mayfield Intermediate School:
Mayfield Students Receive a Living History Lesson on World War II

On November 4th, Mayfield Intermediate School students were able to spend nearly three hours with three World War II veterans. Merel Hancock, Perry Andrews and Garland LeRoy spent time sharing their wartime experiences with the students. The children were given an opportunity to ask questions and the vets responded eagerly. VFW Post 7589 Commander Ron Link, a Desert Storm vet, and retired US Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jerry Martin wanted these students to be able to have the chance of a lifetime - to see and hear from these World War II vets. Martin, who fought in the Vietnam War, said, "These men are history. They are real-life heroes. We are citizens first. We come back into the community and try to make a positive difference." Martin himself went on to become a teacher in the local schools.

OHS Swim Coach Lays Wreath at Tomb of the Unknowns

Laura Belch, a long term substitute and head swim coach at Osbourn High School, had the honor of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery on November 9th. Belch joined others from "Cause", a non-profit organization that supports recreation, relaxation and resiliency programs for thousands of injured service men and women who face months of medical care and rehabilitation far from home and family. The programs are designed to bring a bit of relaxation and fun into what are, for many, very challenging circumstances.

(Laura is pictured in the black "peacoat" in both images.)

10/25/11 > OHS Parent Mtg on AP Classes/VASS - 11/3/2011

Information Meeting for Parents

Re:  AP Classes and VASS


On Thursday, November 3 at 7:00 pm, a meeting will be held for all parents of current AP students and those who are interested in AP for next year in the auditorium of Patriot High School for cohort 4 member schools of VASS.  Cohort 4 schools include Freedom High School, Manassas Park High School, Osbourn City High School, Woodbridge High School, and Patriot High School.


Paul Nichols, Chairman and CEO of VASS -Virginia Advanced Study Strategies, a non profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of AP classes taught and qualifying scores attained in Virginia High Schools, will be the guest speaker.  VASS was created as an outreach of the National Math Science Initiative and since 2007 has provided training, support, and assistance to high schools across the commonwealth of Virginia who are interested in maximizing AP enrollment and success for high school students.


Mr. Nichols will share information about the mission, vision and ideology behind VASS, and will outline the support mechanisms built into the program to ensure student success.


Please join us for this informational meeting.


http://www.virginiaadvancedstudystrategies.org/  for more information

10/24/11 > SES Family Events/Evento Familiar SES

For Baldwin, Dean and Haydon families who qualify for free or reduced price meals. 

· Hear about the free tutoring program

· Get tips on making tutoring choices from school staff

· Talk with tutoring companies about what they can offer your child

· Enjoy refreshments

Click here for more

Para las familias de Baldwin, Dean y Haydon que califican para alimentos gratis o reducido.

· Ent é rese del programa gratis acerca los tutores

· Reciba sugerencias acerca de los diferentes tutores d i sponible

· Hable con las compa ñía s de tutores acerca lo que ellos pueden ofrecer a su hijo(a)

· Disfruten de los refrescos

 Mas aqui

10/06/11 > RFB: Partial Reroofing Haydon & Weems Elem

Public Notice





ITB #M12-04


Sealed bids for Partial Reroofing at R. C. Haydon Elementary and Weems Elementary Schools ("Project") for the School Board of the City of Manassas ("School Board," "Manassas City Public Schools," or "Owner") will be accepted until 2:00 P.M., October 27, 2011, at which time they will be opened and read aloud in the Main Conference Room, 8500 Public Works Drive, Manassas, Virginia 20110.

Bidders may obtain the Bid Documents for the above Project through Roof Design and Consulting Services (865) 584-3770.

A Pre-Bid Conference will be held at Weems Elementary School, 8750 Weems Road, Manassas, VA, October 17, 2011 at 10:00 AM. Attendance by bidders is MANDATORY. Call 571-377-6082 if directions are needed.

Manassas City Public Schools reserves the right to cancel or reject, in whole or in part, this solicitation or any and all bids, and to waive informalities.

9/07/11 > City of Manassas Receives VML Award


Manassas, VA (Sept 2, 2011) - The Virginia Municipal League (VML) has notified the City of Manassas that the municipality will be awarded the VML President's Award 2011 for its Neighborhood Services revitalization projects, including 1 By Youth, Week of Hope and Neighborhood Improvement Circles.

The VML President's Award is the most prestigious award given by the Virginia Municipal League, recognizing the best of all candidates nominated in VML's annual achievement awards competition.  The award recognizes innovative problem-solving, excellence in management, increasing citizen participation, and reaching toward higher service levels.  Past winners
include the City of Galax (2010), Virginia Beach (2009 and 2008), Roanoke County (2007), Culpeper (2006) and Chesterfield County (2005).
In making the notification, the award judges commented that the neighborhood development and volunteerism described in Manassas is a model for the future of sustainable community and citizen led neighborhood improvement. It is through this public recognition that all Virginia governments can share and learn from these achievements.

"This is local government of the future:  partners, mentors, facilitators.even cheerleaders to emerging community leaders," said City Manager Lawrence D. Hughes.  "Our Council has cut $3 million, five departments and the equivalent of 20 full-time positions to balance the budget.  We need residents who are themselves engaged in revitalizing their own neighborhoods."

"The Neighborhood Services Program has added a new dimension to the City government," said Mayor Harry J. "Hal" Parrish II.  "The staff engaged neighbors, volunteers and nearly every department of the City government in our neighborhood improvement effort."

Neighborhood Services Manager Kisha Wilson-Sogunro, an AmeriCorps alumna from Maryland and Utah, has led the charge in making City government a catalyst and partner for change.  Sogunro has engaged residents in innovative Neighborhood Improvement Circles, moved them to action with mobile, ready-to-go volunteer "strike units" of the summer Week of Hope program and sent the "shock and awe" of 600 volunteers into one neighborhood for one day with the massive 1 By Youth projects of Georgetown South (2010) and Point of Woods (2011). 

"Kisha and her volunteers seem to be everywhere in the City at the same time," the Mayor said.  "And, everywhere they go, they leave a trail of successful neighborhood projects."

"Our role is to meet people where they live and show them how to use their own relationships and resources to make their communities better," said Sogunro.  Many business and nonprofit partners helped in the neighborhood revitalization efforts, from Habitat for Humanity, Mike Garcia Construction, Lockheed Martin, Lowes, Walgreens and Sherwin Williams, to Manassas Assembly of God, Manassas Baptist, Manassas St. Thomas UMC and Evergreen Community
Church, among others.

"Once you've engaged the community, there's no going back," said Sogunro. "People still call with complaints.  But more and more, they are stopping in or calling to ask, 'when's your next project?' and 'what can I do to help?' In Manassas, we're committed to growing this movement of change, year after year, one neighborhood at a time."

The City of Manassas will be featured on the cover of a fall issue of Virginia Town & City, the magazine of the Virginia Municipal League. The VML is a statewide, nonprofit, nonpartisan association of city, town and county governments established in 1905 to improve and assist local governments through legislative advocacy, research, education and other services. The membership includes all 39 cities in the state, 156 towns and 10 counties.

The President's Award will be presented to City of Manassas officials at the VML Conference Banquet, Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at the Ramada Plaza Richmond West in Henrico County, Virginia.

# # #

Contact:  Lawrence D. Hughes, City Manager (703) 257-8212.

9/01/11 > BUS ROUTE INFO FOR 2011-2012

The 2011-2012 Bus Schedules have been posted to the Transporation website.  Please select your school list for AM and PM stops.  The schedules can be accessed HERE .

8/24/11 > MCPS sees no visible damage from earthquake...
Following yesterday's earthquake, all buildings were immediately inspected and then inspected again this morning. We did not have any structural damage.

Después del terremoto de ayer, todos los edificios fueron inspeccionados inmediatamente y luego inspeccionados de nuevo esta mañana. No hubo daños estructurales de ningún tipo. Sus lugares de trabajo están seguros.
8/24/11 > MCPS implements new meal pay plan for students

Manassas City Public Schools will implement a new meal pay system beginning this fall. The new service is called Café Prepay and can be accessed through the Food and Nutrition Services website HERE . Please note that all previous student balances have been transferred to the Café Prepay system.

8/22/11 > OHS students to participate in AP Boot Camp

Nearly 100 students have registered for a chance to learn more about Advanced Placement courses by participating in the Osbourn High School Summer AP Boot Camp.  The camp will run August 23-25.  A meet and greet with AP teachers is scheduled for Day One, which will allow students to ask questions, meet their teachers and receive additional information about their summer assignments.  The camp will address study skills with an emphasis on ethics, organization and time management as well as listening and note taking.  Students will also hear information on college planning, such as the admissions process and how to apply for financial aid.  During a scheduled Student Panel, participants will have the opportunity to speak with other  students who have taken AP courses.  The camp will conclude with an overview of Virginia Study Sessions by a Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) representative.

8/15/11 > Concussion Education


Effective with the 2011/2012 school year, all student athletes and their parents or guardians will be required to receive concussion information provided by Metz Middle School and Osbourn High School.  Participation in this concussion education training is mandated by state law (Virginia Code 21.1-271.5).  A concussion is a brain injury that is characterized by an onset of impairment of cognitive and/or physical functioning, and is caused by a blow to the head, face, or neck, or to the body that causes a sudden jarring of the head (e.g., a helmet to the head, or being knocked to the ground).  A concussion can occur with or without loss of consciousness.


Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) supports the need to ensure that its staff, students, and the community are aware of the seriousness of brain injuries and concussions and how they can affect the student's abilities in the educational setting.  In June 2011, the MCPS School Board adopted a concussion policy that meets the Virginia Code.  The law requires parents and students to sign a form attesting that they received concussion information prior to any level of student participation in athletics.


The division has developed an MCPS Concussion Management Plan, "Protocol and Procedures for Management of Sports-Related Concussion."  If you have questions regarding the Concussion Management Plan, please contact Sandy Thompson, Supervisor of Administrative Services at 571-377-6043.

6/25/11 > Notice: Textbooks on Display (Metz/Osbourn)
Textbooks selections for Grades 7-12 Social Studies are now displayed for review at Metz and Osbourn High schools in the library for public review and comments. The textbooks recommended for adoption to the School Board on June 14th, include textbooks that are on the approved Virginia Department of Education Textbook list. These textbooks are aligned to the Revised History and Social Sciences Standards of Learning (2008). The textbooks will remain on display throughout the month of July.
6/23/11 > Congratulations OHS Class of 2011

The Osbourn High School Class of 2011 was celebrated on Monday, June 13th as they walked across the stage to receive their high school diplomas.  The graduation was held at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA.

Just as the graduating classes before them, the Class of 2011 has made tremendous accomplishments both individually and corporately. With approximately $1.3 million in reported scholarships to colleges and universities across the nation, the sky is the limit to what they will achieve.  Others will excel in the armed forces and yet others, in the work force. 

Osbourn's principal, John Conti, who is retiring June 30th after more than thirty years in public education, wished the graduating seniors well as they embark on their journeys beyond high school.  The 2011 Valedictorian, Angela Jividen, told her classmates that they are now ready to take on the world.  Leah Frederick gave the salutatory address, thanking everyone who helped each of them grow throughout the years.

Manassas City Public Schools congratulates each of the 400 graduating seniors who have "turned the tassel" in preparation for the next phase of their lives!  Go Eagles!

6/23/11 > City Teachers Journey with the Monarchs
MCPS teachers participate in the Monarch Teacher Network

As the summer begins, 21 MCPS teachers attended a Monarch Teacher Network workshop at George C. Round Elementary. The powerful story of the 2,000 mile fall migration of the monarch butterfly to Mexico and the spring return of their great grandchildren creates a rich environment for teaching science and ecology while increasing an understanding of the interrelationship of cultures across North America.  These teachers, while having an engaging learning experience of their own, are preparing for lessons in the fall that will expand the learning to hundreds of area students.

On Tuesday June 21, Monarch butterflies brought in for this class were tagged and released at Round. This event impacts the community in a number of ways, as there is also a growing effort of the Local 4-H Council to train young people to track the migration patterns of butterflies.  The data collected in a study of migration patterns can be used as an indicator of air quality, and evidence of global warming. A prominent focal point at the upcoming Prince William County Fair will be butterfly gardening.


Citizens, local scouting groups, students and teachers are speaking up in an effort to show their involvement and raise awareness of the positive contributions of butterfly gardens to Manassas.  Round, Weems, Haydon, Baldwin and Jennie Dean schools each have a butterfly garden created by students with the help of teachers and community volunteers.


In the Monarch Teacher Network workshop, elementary, ESOL and Head Start teachers are learning how to raise butterflies in their classrooms so that students can experience first hand the miracles of transformation and patterns of migration.  In the workshop, teachers learn about science, world cultures, social studies, language arts, visual and performing arts, mathematics, technology and research through activities built around the story of the Monarch Butterfly. The City workshop is one of sixteen nationwide venues this summer transforming teachers in preparation for the fall migration back to their classrooms.


If you would like to contribute to the efforts to create and preserve butterfly habitats in the City of Manassas, please contact your local school, scout troop or 4-H office.

6/23/11 > Jennie Dean Shining Stars

Students and staff at Jennie Dean Elementary School recently celebrated earning 10,000 STARS throughout the school year. STARS are earned by students when they exhibit "STARworthy" behavior - going above and beyond expectations.

Students earn STARS in the classroom, hallways, music, during lunch - wherever they may be. Dr. Debbie Bergeron, assistant principal, collects the totals for the school year. "At the end of the year we celebrate the awesome behavior that was displayed all year long at the school's "STARnival" where students can play games, dance, enjoy shaved ice and just have fun," says Bergeron. "This year we had perfect weather and a wonderful day."

6/23/11 > Former Pro Football Player Visits Mayfield

Former NFL football player George Coghill recently stopped by Mayfield Intermediate School in Manassas City and shared his motivating personal story with Mrs. Pratt and Mrs. LaMay's 6th grade classes. He obtained a football scholarship to Wake Forest where he also played baseball and ran track. He made the Dean's List and All American honors, a tribute to his upbringing in a single parent household with financial limitations. He later played for the Denver Broncos from 1998 to 2001 where he earned two Super Bowl rings.
Coghill said he relied on choosing role models he knew personally, such as his Mom, rather than celebrities whom he did not know. He surrounded himself with pushers, people who pushed him to achieve, rather than pullers, people who pull toward doing what is wrong. He worked hard to do well in school for a good education, as it provided the back up plan after his football career was over. He is a teacher and football coach at Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs, Florida.  Coghill came to Mayfield as part of his association with Project Infusion, a leadership program for area youth designed to show them succeeding through achieving. He grew up in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Submitted by Mayfield Intermediate
5/31/11 > Mean Green Dean Running Machine

Dean faculty members get moving...


Members from the Jennie Dean Elementary School staff recently took their fitness quest to the streets of Manassas by participating in the Manassas City Police Association's 10th Annual Memorial 5K Run through Old Town Manassas.


According to Dr. Deborah Bergeron, assistant principal at the school, staff members believed the run supported a great cause.  While this was their first event as a group, they hope to participate in more local marathons in the future.

5/16/11 > Baldwin Students Become Chefs for the Day

Food Services Director Cecily Anthony believes students should have a clear understanding of food and nutrition so they can make healthier eating choices.  She recently visited Baldwin Elementary for Career Day where students were able to create a healthy snack by becoming Chefs for the Day.
Finding ways to move healthy eating lessons from the cafeteria to the classroom is very important to Anthony.  The "hands on" lesson the students participated in for Career Day involved making a fruit and yogurt parfait.  Each student was given an official chef's hat and encouraged to assist their parents in preparing healthy meals at home.
Please visit the Food and Nutrition website for additional information about the program.
4/25/11 > Pope named Region IV Superintendent of Year
The Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) has named Dr. Gail E. Pope, Superintendent of Manassas City Public Schools, the Region IV Superintendent of the Year. She is one of eight Regional Superintendents of the Year who will be considered for the Virginia Superintendent of the Year. The winner of the Virginia title will be announced at the VASS annual conference in Roanoke on May 3, 2011.

Region IV includes 20 school divisions in Northern Virginia: Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Madison, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and Warren counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park and Winchester.

Dr. James Upperman, former superintendent in Manassas City Schools and now chairperson of the Region IV nominating committee, made the announcement during the April meeting of the Region IV division superintendents. "I was deeply humbled and honored when I found out I was selected for the award," said Pope.

Pope has a passion for seeing children work at their optimal level and a determination to promote teaching and learning in every one of the nine schools she oversees. In August 2008, she introduced Preparing the 21st Century Learner , a platform that critically analyzed what was being taught and how the division was best utilizing their current resources.  "As I attended several workforce seminars to learn what local employers need in today's employees, it became very evident that if our students developed the 21st century skills of critical thinking and problem solving, good oral and written communication, a strong work ethic, and the ability to collaborate with a diverse a diverse work team, they would be better prepared for post secondary educational opportunities which could lead to great jobs in Manassas," Pope said.  "Solid literacy and mathematic skills are equally important."

At the height of Pope's focus on 21st Century learning, all school divisions across the Commonwealth were dealing with significant cuts to their budgets.  Pope was able to partner with the Manassas City Council who offered additional funding through the Manassas NEXT initiative, which is based upon 21st Century skills focusing on science and mathematics.  With the additional funding, the division's children's engineering program was birthed giving students in grades K-8 earlier access to engineering principles.

Pope was also involved in the design and development of the new regional Governor's School @Innovation Park which has an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  The school is the result of a collaborative effort between the Manassas City, Manassas Park City and Prince William County Public Schools systems and George Mason University.

Continuing to look to the future, Pope recently implemented a new six-year comprehensive plan that revised the school division's vision, mission, and strategic goals.  She says the plan is designed to be the umbrella under which the division's work will be documented and reported.  "Everything we do will always align with our overall goal of teaching and learning."

Pope earned her bachelor's degree from Radford University and her master's and doctorate degrees in educational administration from Texas A & M University. She has experience as a teacher, principal, and associate superintendent.  She came to Manassas City Schools in 2006 from Manassas Park City, where she served as Associate Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Technology for five years.  Prior to joining Manassas Park City, Pope served as Director for Region VIII Governor's Best Practice Center for the Virginia Department of Education.  She is on the Board of Directors for the NOVA Manassas Symphony. She served on the Board of Directors for the Virginia ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) from 1995-2006 and the Board of Directors for ASCD International from 2002-2006.

Manassas City Public Schools is a diverse school division in Manassas, VA that serves approximately 7,000 students.

4/13/11 > School Board appoints new principal at OHS


At its April 12, 2011 meeting, the Manassas City School Board named Dr. John Werner as the new principal for Osbourn High School.

Dr. Werner has served as principal of Clarke County High School for three years. Before going to Clarke County he was assistant principal at Westfield High School, Fairfax High School, and Herndon High School all in Fairfax County. Dr. Werner earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from George Mason University. He earned two Master's Degrees from George Mason; one in curriculum and instruction and one in educational leadership. He recently completed his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Dr.Werner will begin on July 1.

Dr. Werner replaces Osbourn's current principal, John Conti, who is retiring July 1 after thirty-five years of dedicated service in public education. Osbourn is Manassas City Public Schools' only high school and serves approximately 2,000 students.

4/11/11 > Award-Winning Illustrator Visits Mayfield


Illustrator Uses Erasers to Create Drawings for Students



During his morning visit last week to Mayfield Intermediate School, Cooper demonstrated how he develops an image by erasing rather than drawing. He paints an illustration board with oil paint, and then erases the paint to make a picture. "How could he do that? It's awesome!," one 12-year-old said afterwards.

Cooper has used this unusual process, and other techniques, to illustrate over 85 children's books. He has earned national accolades, including Coretta Scott King honors, American Library Association notables, the NAACP Image Award and Parent's Choice honors.

Cooper described his evolution from a 3-year-old drawing on surplus building supplies at his father's construction sites into a professional illustrator. He then invited some students to join him in a scribble exercise. One or two students at a time drew a scribble on blank chart paper at the front of the room. Cooper eyed the scribble and--in less than a minute or two--created an illustration from it. A cowboy, dog with a bow and Patrick from SpongeBob Squarepants were some of the subjects that emerged.

"Kids are kids no matter where you go. The scribble game always breaks them down," Cooper said.  He says that students who are interested in becoming illustrators should read as much as they can, and then double it. Text is always the inspiration for his illustrations, he said. They should also work on hand-eye coordination. Cooper credits his Mom's drills in cursive writing as the foundation for his skills. "Cursive forces you to use different muscles and movements with your hands and wrists," he said.

The day after his presentation at Mayfield, Cooper was the featured speaker at the Potomac Regional Conference for the Virginia Educational Media Association , held at Metz Middle School.

Cooper, his wife, and their two sons-who have posed for many illustrations-live in Easton, Pennsylvania. Cooper visits schools nationwide demonstrating his talents and telling of his journey which involved determination, hard work and perseverance.

Some of the books Cooper has illustrated include The Blacker and the Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas,  Meet Danitra Brown by Nikki Grimes and one of his favorites, Be Good to Eddie Lee, by Virginia Fleming. He has also authored four books in addition to providing illustrations, including JUMP!  from the Life of Michael Jordan. More information is available on his website.

Sixth grade students watched in wonder as award-winning illustrator Floyd Cooper created the image of a Native American in minutes by using a stretchy eraser.

4/04/11 > FY2012 Budget Letter to Parents & Citizens
3/28/11 > School Board Forwards FY 2012 Budget Transmittal to City Council

The School Board of the City of Manassas has submitted their approved FY 2012 operating budget to the City Council. To review the transmittal, please click here

3/18/11 > 9-5-2-1-0 Healthy Kids Program


9-5-2-1-0….BLAST OFF!!!  What is it?  A countdown? A famous zip code?  No, 9-5-2-10 represents the focus on wellness for Manassas City Public Schools and other school divisions in Northern Virginia.


MCPS began the division-wide 9-5-2-1-0 health campaign with an official kick-off in the Fall of 2010.  9-5-2-1-0 is a clever way for students to remember the keys to better health: 9 hours of sleep each night, 5 servings of fruit and vegetables, 2 hours or less of television, 1 hour of exercise and 0 sugary drinks.  9-5-2-1-0 is a project that was developed by the Northern Virginia Healthy Kids Coalition (NVHKC), an organization that is sponsored by the Inova Health System.  There are nine jurisdictions represented within the group.  NVHKC states that their mission is to engage the entire Northern Virginia community in collaborative, family-focused efforts to promote better health for children of all ages.  "We are trying to help students embrace healthy lifestyles," said Sandy Thompson, MCPS Supervisor of Administrative Services and co-chair for the Northern Virginia Healthy Kids Coalition.  "We have found ways to incorporate the five health messages into the school day." 


Manassas students have embraced the 9-5-2-1-0 challenge.  "Our students began doing creative broadcasts, interactive technology presentations and other activities last school year to gear up for the kick-off in the fall," said Thompson.  "This year, we have full implementation across the division.  Teachers received tips on how to integrate the campaign into instruction and it's exciting to see the change that has happened in the students."  Students at every level are reminded to adhere to the 9-5-2-1-0 challenge throughout their buildings.  From posters to bookmarks to catchy melodies, the message that encourages them to take responsibility for better health is all around them. 


The importance of the issue can be seen in a 2007 survey conducted by the Inova Health System.  The key findings for the Northern Virginia area showed that one out of four, (more than 100,000) Northern Virginia children and adolescents is overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.  Further results showed that the children surveyed, ages 2-18, do not eat enough fruits and vegetables; do not engage in moderate or vigorous exercise on a daily basis and they spend four or more hours per day in front of a television or computer screen.


The results of the survey have shown those connected with the coalition the importance of partnering with families to assist children in developing healthier habits.  In addition to the 9-5-2-1-0 campaign, Manassas City Public Schools has adopted other initiatives to further incorporate healthy messages within the walls of the schools.  The division has received a Kaiser Grant through the Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Program sponsored by the Prince William Health Partnership. The grant allows the school system to provide nutrition tool kits for students in grades K-5.  MCPS will also provide kits for ninth graders beginning in the Fall of 2011.  A wellness theme is chosen each month and is highlighted in the monthly newsletters for every school in the division so families can actively participate in the health principles that have been shared.


Additional information regarding the 9-5-2-1-0 program can be found at www.tippingthescales.net .  For more information regarding overall health and related services in Manassas City Public Schools, please contact Mrs. Sandy Thompson, Supervisor for Administrative Services at sthompson@manassas.k12.va.us.

3/09/11 > Weems Elementary receives community donation

Weems Elementary is one happy school as they are the recent recepients of a $1000 donation from Bull Run Plaza of Manassas.  During the 2010 holiday season, Bull Run featured a contest for shoppers that encouraged them to submit the name of a local school they believed to be deserving of the monetary donation.  Thanks to Weems parent Crystal Turner, the school received notice that they were the winners.

Zaria West, Marketing Representative for The Rappaport Companies, which manages the shopping center, visited the school to present the generous donation to principal Angela Burnett.  "Our school has several ongoing projects that the funds can be used to support," said Burnett.  "We know our students will benefit from the generosity of Bull Run."

3/02/11 > Metz Students Compete in Chess Tournament
Three students from Metz Middle School competed in the Marshall Elementary Scholastic Chess Tournament, which was held February 26th. "Team Metz" came in sixth place out of seventeen teams in the 6th-8th grade category competing against other teams with 5 members. The next tournament competition is scheduled for March 26th at Montclair Elementary School.
2/14/11 > Forum for Young Leaders with Disabilities

Twenty-five Virginia high school students with disabilities will be selected to receive full scholarships to participate in the 2011 Youth Leadership Forum (YLF). Scholarships cover the entire cost for delegates to attend this five day leadership development program, including room & board, instructional materials, activities, interpreters, and personal care assistants.


YLF educates students with disabilities about the principles of leadership, builds their self-confidence and advocacy skills, and prepares students for future career choices.


Rising high school juniors and seniors are strongly encouraged to apply. To be considered, student applications must be received by March 31, 2011. The 2011 YLF will take place at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, July 18-22, 2011.


Applications and instructions can be found at http://www.vaboard.org/ylfforms.htm . Electronic submission is strongly encouraged. For more information, call 1-800-846-4464 (toll-free, voice/TTY) or e-mail Kara.White@vbpd.virginia.gov   or Teri.Barker@vbpd.virginia.gov


Students, parents, and teachers can learn more about YLF on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXwkRUrtFYw

2/14/11 > OHS Boys' Basketball Set District Record

OHS Boys Basketball Set District Record
Finish regular season 20-1


The OHS Boys' Basketball Team ended the regular season with a 20-1 overall record and 8-0 in the District. The team set the all-time record for the most wins in a single season and won the Cedar Run District Regular Season title.

The team is led by head coach, Mike Dufrene who is now looking forward to hosting the District semi-finals vs Loudoun Valley Tuesday (2/15/11) at 7:00 p.m. (only 1 game). With a win, the Eagles will play at home again on Friday night (2/18/2011) at 7:30 p.m. in the District championship game against the winner of the Stonewall vs. Battlefield game.


2/04/11 > Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools


Baldwin Elementary School was recently notified that the school has been selected to receive the Great American Salad Bar grant. 

The grant includes a portable 72 inch 5-well insulated salad bar with two tray slides; divider bars; four 4-inch deep full pans with covers; eight 4-inch deep half pans with covers; and eight 4-inch deep quarter pans with covers; five buffet chilling pads; 24 serving tongs; 24 serving spoons; four squeeze bottles; one cutting board; one chef's knife; one paring knife; one peeler and one digital pocket thermometer.

Any K-12 school district or individual school participating in the National School Lunch Program was eligible to apply.

The goal of the Great American Salad Bar Project initiative is to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables by offering more of a variety on a daily basis.  "Manassas City Public Schools seeks ways to increase student access to multiple fruits and vegetables while providing experiences that can shape healthy habits outside of school," Director of Food and Nutrition Services Cecily Anthony said.

Other division schools to receive the grant include: Mayfield Intermediate, Dean Elementary and Metz Middle.  Each are awaiting the arrival of their equipment.

The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity has endorsed schools using salad bars and upgrading cafeteria equipment to support providing healthier foods to children.

To learn more about the grant or about donating to the program at Baldwin Elementary School, visit: http://saladbars2schools.org/ and click on "Donate Now".

For more information regarding Manassas City Schools Food and Nutrition Services, please contact Cecily Anthony at canthony@manassas.k12.va.us or 571-377-6056.

1/19/11 > Round Elementary Green Team Recognition by National Wildlife Federation

The Green Team at Round Elementary School was recently recognized by the National Wildlife Federation.  A holiday season blog praises the school's efforts in protecting the environment.  To read more, click here .

1/03/11 > OHS Students Recognized at Center for the Arts
The OHS Visual Arts Department is pleased to congratulate Vicki Canamaso, Mary Spitler and Kayla Tangen whose work was selected for 2010 Off the Wall Juried Exhibition at the Center for the Arts in Old Town Manassas. The opening reception will be held Saturday, January 8, 2011 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Awards for best in show will also be given. The public is invited to attend.

The show will run at the Center for the Arts through February 2, 2011.
12/15/10 > Senator Charles Colgan visits Metz Middle School
Eighth grade students at Grace E. Metz Middle School recently welcomed Senator Charles J. Colgan (D-29th District) to their health class to see how the Life Skills curriculum encourages them to make sound choices about smoking and/or the use of tobacco products.

Senator Colgan was greeted by a collage of signs prepared by the students to welcome him to their school. Upon arriving to Lisa Warner’s health education class, student artwork encouraging peers to live “tobacco-free” lives was displayed around the room. Senator Colgan greeted the students by telling them personal stories of the effects of tobacco use. “Smoking can shorten your life”, he said. He further explained that the Virginia General Assembly established the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) in 1999 to lead the state’s effort to reduce and prevent youth tobacco use.

The Senator was able to watch the group of eighth grade students as they openly discussed how the choices they make today can affect others. They also participated in a game using SmartBoard technology, in which questions regarding the use of tobacco products were posted. Each participant was asked to respond to facts and statistics about tobacco use in order to advance in the game. During another activity, the class formed small groups, where they created situations that their peers may encounter and worked together to determine possible solutions.

Upon completion of the Life Skills course, students are invited to take the “tobacco free” pledge. Currently in its second year, the Life Skills program is offered through a three-year grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. Additional information about the VFHY and its mission can be found at www.vfhy.org.

For more information about the Metz Life Skills program, please contact Sandy Thompson, Supervisor of Administrative Services at sthompson@manassas.k12.va.us or 571-377-6043.

Serving approximately 1000 students, Metz Middle School is committed to creating an educational environment that fosters learning and develops the skills students need to succeed in the 21st century.
12/01/10 > Weems Elementary Focus on Healthy Lifestyles through BodyWorks Program

Weems Elementary School has announced a new program for 114 fourth grade students and their parents. BodyWorks, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, helps children and their families improve family eating and activity habits. The BodyWorks program focuses on parents and caregivers as role models and provides them with information to make small; specific behavior changes to prevent obesity and help maintain a healthy weight.

The program provides opportunities to improve eating and activity levels for children and their families. As well as helping both adopt healthy habits, which promotes healthy weight. Highlights from the program include:

  • A monthly informational sheet 
  • Ten (10) sessions taught by the school's physical education teachers and Certified BodyWorks Trainers, Sally Meredith and Shawn West. 
  • Guest speakers from the community who will assist in teaching sessions 
  • A Family Fitness Night to be held in the spring

The students at Weems Elementary School are taking time to focus on improving their family's healthy lifestyle choices and activity levels. The program will help ensure that students will receive messages and practical support for better health, which will benefit them and our community for a lifetime.

For more information about the BodyWorks program, please contact Sandy Thompson, Supervisor of Administrative Services at sthompson@manassas.k12.va.us or 571-377-6043.

Weems Elementary is one of five elementary schools in Manassas City and serves approximately 600 students in grades K-4.

11/29/10 > OHS Eagles Claim NW Regional Championship
The Screaming Eagles football team has been named Northwest Regional Champions after a 48-7 win over Mountain View Saturday, November 27th. The Eagles, now 12-0, will play Stonebridge High of Loudoun County, also 12-0, in the Virginia State Semi-Finals, Saturday December 4th, at Osbourn High School. The game is tentatively scheduled for 1:30 pm due to the Manassas City Christmas Parade. Congratulations to the Eagles!
11/23/10 > OHS Eagles Football to Host Regional Championship Game
The Osbourn Eagles (11-0) will play Mountain View over the holiday weekend as they vie for the NW Regional Championship. The game will be played at Osbourn's James J. Leo Stadium, Saturday, November 27th at 1:30 pm.

The cost to attend is $8.00. Please note that OHS passes and/or MCPS city employee IDs are not accepted at the gate.
Go Eagles!
11/23/10 > Baldwin Receives Donation from Capital One
Dr. Ashley Cramp, the principal at Baldwin Elementary, received a very happy surprise recently when Branch Manager Ron Brennan stopped by the school to present her with a $4200 donation from Capital One Bank.

Donating to area schools is just one of the many ways that Capital One Bank gives back to the communities they serve. Baldwin is very excited to be the recipient of such a generous donation.
11/20/10 > MCPS Mourns Passing of Student
Manassas City Public Schools has been informed that the 9th grade student from Osbourn High School, who was stabbed on his way home from school Friday, November 19, 2010, has died from his injuries.

The entire school division mourns with the family in the loss of their loved one. Administrators are preparing grief counselors to be available for students at Metz Middle School and Osbourn High School on Monday, November 22.

The Manassas City Police Department is continuing its investigation of this tragedy.
11/15/10 > Eleven OHS Students Chosen for All-District Chorus
Eleven Osbourn High School singers were recently selected by audition to be members of All-District Chorus, which is comprised of the best singers in the Virginia Choral Director's Association (VCDA) District IX. The district includes all high schools in Prince William County, Faquier County, the City of Manassas, and the City of Manassas Park. For the audition, students had to sing a prepared art song, Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Wither Must I Wander, and sing an eight measure sight-reading exercise. The following juniors and seniors were chosen for the SATB (mixed) Chorus: Brianna Williamson (Soprano I), Carley Wilson (Soprano II), Katie Thompson (Soprano II), Samual Keeler (Tenor I), Matthew Kelly (Tenor II), Taylor Drinko (Tenor II), Cody Frank (Bass I), Steven Field (Bass II), and Michael Boyles (Bass II). Sophomores Katie Cappuccio (Alto II) and Maria Davis (Alto II) were selected for the SSAA (treble) Chorus. These students will travel with their director, Jonathan Ledger, to C.D. Hylton High School on February 11-12, 2011 for two days of intense rehearsal with guest conductors, followed by a final concert given Saturday afternoon, February 12.
11/10/10 > Mayfield Celebrates National Young Reader's Day
Manassas City Public Schools recently joined in the celebration of National Young Readers Day. Students at Mayfield Intermediate School in were honored to have Mayor Hal Parrish, Manassas City Council Member Sheryl Bass, School Board Member Sanford Williams, Police Officer James Pearce and business persons from the Manassas community as readers in different classrooms throughout the building. Hosted by the Prince William Chamber of Commerce with Chamber member Ms. Lianne Best as host, the event included a total of 26 guests from the community reading picture books aloud to the students.
10/08/10 > Osbourn Salutes Youth Leaders

Delegate Jackson Miller recently spoke with a group of prominent leaders in the community. The leaders were not fellow delegates or senators, but quite possibly future ones. The Delegate addressed twelve students from Osbourn High School as they were recognized as semi-finalists at the school's Youth Salute Awards Program. The student leaders were commended for their academic achievement and leadership contributions.

Recognized at the ceremony were Amani Cheedalla, Leah Frederick, Channing Harlow, Thomas Hittinger, Angela Jividen, Brandon Kriesten, Cassie Malato, Emma Murphy, Alyssa Ritner, Victoriana Savas, Katharine Sucher, and Carley Wilson. The students were praised for their leadership positions at school, at church, and in the community.

The National Council on Youth Leadership is guided by the vision of making tomorrow's world better by developing leaders today. The mission is to assist communities in applauding, encouraging and providing opportunities for the leadership development of their youth.

Four of the semi-finalists were selected to attend the national Town Meeting on Tomorrow in St. Louis, Missouri during the month of October. Angela Jividen as the top leader, followed by Leah Frederick, Thomas Hittinger and Cassie Malato.

The photographs and biographies of the Youth Salute semi-finalists will be on display at various locations throughout the Greater Manassas/Prince William community through November 19, 2010.

*Display Board Schedule   

10/06/10 > Three OHS students selected for prestigious Virginia Senior Honors Choir

Three Osbourn High School seniors were recently selected by audition for the prestigious Virginia Senior Honors Choir, sponsored by the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA).  Auditions were held on Saturday, October 2, at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, and involved nearly 1,000 seniors from across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The audition consisted of singing a prepared art song, If Music Be the Food of Love, by Henry Purcell, which counted for 80% of the total score, and an eight measure sight-reading example, which counted 20%.


Samual Keeler and Matthew Kelly tied for the top ranking among Tenor 2's in Virginia, while Carley Wilson placed 16th out of 112 Soprano 2's to earn her place in this elite ensemble.  "What an honor for these three outstanding students and the dedicated effort each of them put forth to prepare and successfully be selected for this prestigious choir", said Dr. Michaelene Meyer, Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.  "Each can be most proud of their efforts, as well as the results!  As always, MCPS shares great pride in the accomplishment of Sam, Matt and Carley -- and we are thankful to have had the opportunity to support and/or nurture these students during their journey." 


All three students will travel with OHS Choral Director Jonathan Ledger to the VMEA Conference in Norfolk, Virginia, on November 18-20.  They will rehearse with acclaimed conductor and composer Dr. Keith Hampton from Chicago, Illinois, for three days before performing a final concert at the conference on Saturday afternoon, November 20.


For more information about the VMEA Honors choir, visit their website at http://www.vcda.net/honorschoir.htm .

8/30/10 > MCPS Contracts with Minnieland for Before and After Care Program
Minnieland has proudly operated school age child care programs in Virginia public schools for more than 20 years. Their mission is to provide an affordable, high quality child care program to the families they serve. Minnieland Private Day School was created for the convenience of the working parent. Their philosophy is to provide a quality child care program in a learning and loving environment. For more information on the Before and After School Programs in Manassas City Public Schools, please visit Minnieland's website at www.minnielandsac.com or call 703-670-2131.
8/18/10 > Mayfield Intermediate School Presentation - August 18, 2010
On Wednesday, August 18th, Griffith Construction representatives will give a presentation in the Mayfield cafeteria at 7:00 pm. This presentation will give specific information on how the school's roof has been repaired. All Mayfield parents are encouraged to attend. For those unable to attend, a video describing the repair can be found on the homepage of the Manassas City Schools website. Thank you!
6/22/10 > Metz Student Wins National Literary Contest
Mallory Pearson, left, is pictured with her 7th grade language arts teacher, Carolyn Burns.  Pearson is the 2010 grand prize winner of the Disney: Jump at the Sun Scholarship contest.


Mallory Pearson, a seventh grade student at Metz Middle School, has won first prize in the Disney: Jump at the Sun Scholarship award contest. 


Always on the lookout for a good author visit, Schenell Agee, Library Media Specialist at Metz, secured a meeting with the community relations liaison, Ramunda Young at Barnes and Noble of Tyson's Corner and was able to meet award-winning author, Sharon Flake.  Young was also able to arrange for Andrea Davis- Pinkney, a New York Times best-selling author, to visit Metz in February and share her book, Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down , which was published on the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro, North Carolina sit-in of 1960. Davis-Pinkney was thrilled with her reception and the students' awareness of her book.  After returning to New York, she invited Metz students to participate in the Disney: Jump at the Sun essay competition.


Agee says she received sixty copies of the book You Don't Even Know Me by Sharon Flake.  She then worked with language arts teachers to assist her in having the students read the book and to voluntarily submit an essay or poem for the contest.  "Many of our students read some, if not the entire book and told their friends about it," says Agee.  "We had a number of entries from our school and on June 8, I was notified that Mallory was selected as the grand prize winner."  Agee says that although not every student volunteered to participate, the dialogue that was sparked created endless learning opportunities for both students and staff at Metz.


Pearson will attend the Corretta Scott King breakfast hosted by the American Library Association (ALA) on June 29 in Washington, DC where she will read her poem and receive the grand prize of a laptop computer.  Coretta Scott King winners (past and present) will also attend the ceremony.


According to ALA, librarians must "provide instruction to foster competence and stimulate interest in reading, viewing, and using information and ideas". Agee agrees. "Providing opportunities for our students can only help them achieve their goals in life," she says. "I hope this experience will plant a seed that will grow with abundance throughout Mallory's life and be shared with others."

6/17/10 > Mayfield Intermediate School Special Presentation - June 22, 2010
There will be a special presentation on the Mayfield Intermediate School repairs during the June 22nd School Board meeting. This meeting will be held at City Hall in the Council Chambers and will begin at 7:00 p.m. All parents are encouraged to watch the presentation live on Comcast Channel 23. The presentation will also be posted on the homepage of the school division website.

Also, please note that a special meeting for parents of rising 5th and 6th grade students will be held in August. An overview of the construction process will be provided and representatives will be available to address questions parents might have. Please look for additional information regarding the special meeting during the summer.
6/17/10 > Una presentación especial sobre los reparos de Mayfield - el martes 22 de junio de 2010
Este mensaje es importante para todos los padres de la escuela Pre-Intermedia Mayfield sobre el progreso al momento de la escuela. Les queremos informar que habrá una presentación especial sobre los reparos de Mayfield que tomara lugar en la reunión de La Mesa Directiva el martes 22 de junio de 2010. La reunión tomara lugar en la Alcaldía Municipal y comenzara a las 7:00pm. Les aconsejamos a todo los padres de ver la presentación en vivo en el canal 23 de Comcast. La presentación también estará disponible en la página de web de la división escolar.

También, estén atentos que habrá una reunión especial para los padres de estudiantes comenzando 5 y 6 grado en agosto. Un resumen general sobre el proceso de construcción y representantes estarán disponibles para contestar sus preguntas. Por favor, esté atento sobre información adicional a respecto a la reunión especial durante el verano.
6/15/10 > Organization Seeks Host Families for Chinese Day Campers
The following message is from The Astar Education Institute of Manassas and is not associated with Manassas City Schools...

The Astar Education Institute of Manassas is looking for families interested in hosting a boy or girl from China for 2 weeks. Our students are middle school and high school aged Chinese boys and girls and there are two sessions available, July 13-July 27 or July 25-August 8. They will attend camp during the day Monday-Friday. Hosting an exchange student is a great opportunity to make a difference in your community and in a student's life. Please note that all families will be compensated $300 for each student per session to cover any costs, or we can offer an opportunity for your child to travel to China with us in 2011. Please contact Leigh Ann Ragland at leighann@astarinstitute.org or at (202) 628-8226.
5/26/10 > Manassas City Schools Appoints New Directors
The Manassas City School Board has appointed Beth Dunman-Jones as Director of Special Education and Related Services and Timothy K. Guill as Director of Transportation. The appointments were made at the May 25, 2010 School Board meeting.

Dunman-Jones is currently the Director of Special Education for Floyd County Public Schools in Floyd, Virginia. Prior to serving the students in Floyd, she was Coordinator for Special Education for Roanoke City Public Schools. Dunman-Jones has a strong background in special education instruction. She began her teaching career in 1998 at Staunton River Middle School where she served as a special education teacher.

Dunman-Jones is a graduate of Radford University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Social Science and History, master’s degree in Special Education and an additional master’s degree in School Administration. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in School Leadership and Policy Studies at Virginia Tech University.

Timothy Guill is currently the Director of Transportation, Operations, and Maintenance for Lancaster County Public Schools in Kilmarnock, Virginia. Prior to his appointment as director, he was a technology education teacher for Lancaster County, as well as Waynesboro City and Accomack County Public Schools.

Guill is a graduate of Virginia Tech University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Arts (Technology Education). He also received a master’s degree in education (with an emphasis on educational leadership and supervision) from the College of William and Mary.

Dunman-Jones will join the MCPS staff July 1st, while Guill will begin August 1st.
5/25/10 > Six Osbourn Students Receive Scholarships from MCPS Education Foundation

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The City of Manassas Public Schools Education Foundation recently awarded scholarships to six Osbourn High School seniors during a breakfast at Okra's Louisiana Bistro in Old Town Manassas.  The breakfast was sponsored by Mr. Charles Gilliam and his friendly team at Okra's.


The following Osbourn students received generous scholarships from the Foundation:


  • Melissa M. Peters received the Delegate Harry J. Parrish Community Service Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who is a proven leader and has been an active participant in community service throughout their high school career.  This award is co-sponsored by the Parrish Family.  Melissa will attend the University of Mary Washington.
  • Julie A. Vetal received the Superintendent Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who plans to pursue a career in teaching. Julie plans to attend James Madison University.


  • Gabriela M. DeCuir received the Fine Arts Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who plans to pursue studies in an artistic field such as journalism, art, music, theatre, etc.  Gabriela will attend the University of William and Mary.


  • Amanda G. Best and Megan M. Scarton both received scholarships in Science and Technology.  This scholarship is awarded to two students who plan to pursue a career in a science or technology field and is co-sponsored by Micron Technology and Lockheed Martin.  Amanda will be attending Johns Hopkins University and Megan will be attending the University of Virginia.


  • Shannon M. Lowry was the recipient of the Vocational/Trade School Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who intends to continue their education at a vocational or trade school/college to pursue certification.  Shannon is currently completing her Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certification.

The City of Manassas Public Schools Education Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization that seeks community funding to encourage innovation, enhance education and promote student success in Manassas City Public Schools.  To find out more about the Foundation or to see how you can become involved, please visit their website at www.mcpsedfoundation.org.

5/19/10 > Mayfield Intermediate Students Go to Hockey School with the Capitals

Students from Mayfield Intermediate were recently "schooled" by Washington Capitals alumni Craig Laughlin and Paul Mulvey, along with Slapshot (team mascot), as they hosted Capitals Hockey School presented by Chevy Chase Bank. The 125 fifth-graders from Mayfield participated in an one-hour, interactive hockey clinic that was held at the Carteret Mortgage Boys and Girls Club of Manassas.  Mayfield teacher, Luke Krizmanich initiated the event when he contacted the Caps organization regarding tickets for some of his students.  "I called for tickets and was told they weren't being provided this year," said Krizmanich.  "The representative said the Caps were holding youth hockey clinics that I could sign up for and maybe be selected.  That was in October and by March, I had received an email telling us that we were selected."

Mayfield's building was closed after the February 2010 snowstorm. The roof of their school building was deemed unstable and they have not been allowed back in for materials or classes since that time. Krizmanich contacted the Boys and Girls Club and they graciously offered use of thier gym to accommodate the event.  Students played hockey with the players, received Caps merchandise and certainly, memories that will last a lifetime. 

Read more from the Washington Capital's website here...

5/19/10 > Weems Elementary Claims Caps Care Click to Win Prize for the Month of March
Weems Elementary students Rock the Red for the Washington Capitals!

Weems Elementary Wildcats were recently named winners in the Washington Capitals Caps Care Click to Win initiative.  Weems and four other schools in the metropolitan area were each selected to receive a $500 grant from Washington Capitals Charities.

The five selected schools registered for this season's Caps Care Click to Win program and submitted a photo with a caption of their school "Rocking the Red." From April 26-May 3, the photos and captions were posted in an online poll on WashingtonCaps.com for fans to vote for the school they thought had the most school spirit. With more than 65,000 votes, Weems received the highest percentage and received an additional $1,000 grant from Washington Capitals Charities. With the money they had already won for being selected, this brings the grand total of its Caps Care Click to Win grant to $1,500. The school plans to use their winnings for field trips during the 2010-2011 school year. 

For more information visit the Caps website at http://capitals.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=529053.


5/11/10 > Osbourn High School Graduation for the Class of 2010 - June 14th
The Osbourn High School Class of 2010 will hold their Commencement Excercises Monday, June 14, 2010 at 7:30 p.m at Jiffy Lube Live (formerly Nissan Pavilion).
5/10/10 > Mayfield Intermediate One Step Closer to Completion
Griffith Construction reports that they have finished all of the change out of the structural members and the installation of bracing and plywood facing at Mayfield.  All that is left is the re-attachment of electrical wiring, ductwork, sprinkler piping, etc. and the repair to finishes. They are very confident of returning Mayfield to the school division by August 1. 
5/10/10 > Baldwin Music Teacher Featured Soloist with Local Symphony Orchestra

Christopher Short, music teacher at Baldwin Elementary School, was recently featured as a horn soloist with the NOVA Manassas Symphony Orchestra (NMSO).  Short, Co-principal horn for NMSO was featured on the orchestra's performance of Richard Strauss' Concerto for Horn No. 1.  


Short holds a Master's Degree in Horn Performance from Michigan State University and a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Penn State University.  He has been performing and teaching in Northern Virginia for five years.  Before coming to Virginia he performed with the Music at Penn's Woods Festival in Pennsylvania, the Midland (Michigan) Symphony Orchestra, and was the horn instructor at the Flint School for the Performing Arts in Michigan.


In addition to being a member of NMSO, Mr. Short is also a member of the Prince William Symphony, PWSO Brass and Wind Quintets, and the Capital Wind Symphony.  He has also performed with the Virginia Grand Military Band, Prince William Baroque, Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra, Reston Chamber Orchestra, and the National Concert Band of America.

5/05/10 > Regional College Fair at Osbourn High School - Monday, September 20, 2010
Osbourn High School will host the Fall 2010 Western Prince William County Regional College Fair on Monday, September 20, 2010, from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Osbourn is located at 9005 Tudor Lane, Manassas, VA 20110.

Over 100 colleges will be represented! All seniors, juniors, and their parents from Osbourn and western Prince William County are encouraged to attend.
5/05/10 > R.C. Haydon Students Raise Money for St. Jude

R.C. Haydon students raise $3,066.51 through St. Jude Math-A-Thon to help kids battling cancer

Students at R. C. Haydon Elementary School recently participated in the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® Math-A-Thon® program. They exceeded their goal of $3,000 by raising $3,066.51 to help kids battling cancer and other deadly diseases at St. Jude, one of the world's premier pediatric cancer research centers. The Manassas community supported Haydon students by making donations in honor of their participation in the program.

"We are very proud of our students for working so hard to raise money for St. Jude through Math-A-Thon," said Mrs. Daisy Reynolds, coordinator of the event. "Our school, students and community have helped St. Jude in its work to find cures and save children. Since 2001, we have collected almost $58,000 for St. Jude's through the Math-A-Thon program."

Math-A-Thon allows students to build and practice essential math skills while they raise funds for kids battling cancer at St. Jude. The program works in the following way: Teachers serve as volunteer coordinators for Math-A-Thon at their school. Participating students solve math problems in a printed or online Funbook. Students ask family and friends for donations in support of their participation in the Math-A-Thon. All donations are sent to St. Jude, where no child is ever turned away because of the family's inability to pay.

4/26/10 > 104th Osbourn Alumni Association Annual Banquet - June 5, 2010

(The oldest known active Alumni Association in the state of Virginia.)

When: Saturday, June 5th, 2010
Where: Prince William Fair Grounds, Manassas, Virginia

Reception: 6:15 - 7:15 PM
Cash Bar: 6:15 - 8:00 PM
Dinner: 7:30 - 8:15 PM
Program: 8:15 - 10:00 PM

Anniversary Classes: 
1940 - 70 Years;   1950 - 60 Years;   1960 - 50 Years;   1970 - 40 Years; 
1980 - 30 Years;   1990 - 20 Years;   2000 - 10 Years;   2010 - Graduating Classes.

Next Year Anniversary Classes:  1941, 1951, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 & 2011.


Banquet invitations will be mailed early in April 2010.

For additional information call Mabel Black at (703) 368-6591.

4/20/10 > Director Named for The Governor's School @ Innovation Park

The Joint Board of The Governor's School @ Innovation Park has named Karen Dalfrey, Ph.D., as the first director of the new Academic Year Governor's School scheduled to open in September 2010. Dr. Dalfrey currently serves as the coordinator of The Bio-Technology Center at Osbourn Park High School.


Dr. Dalfrey received her doctorate, master's, and bachelor's degrees from George Mason University, where she has served as an adjunct instructor. She has taught all levels of biology at Osbourn Park High School and has been involved with developing curricula for the biological sciences. Before becoming an educator, Dr. Dalfrey was employed in the field of cytogenetics, a specialized area of laboratory medicine involving the study of normal and abnormal chromosomes and their relationship to human development and disease.


The Governor's School @ Innovation Park is a collaborative venture of the Manassas City, Manassas Park City, and Prince William County Public School Divisions in cooperation with George Mason University. The Governor's School @ Innovation Park will offer selected juniors and seniors from these school divisions an advanced and intensive program in STEM - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students selected to attend the two-year program will attend classes at George Mason University's Prince William Campus each morning. Students will return to their base high schools each afternoon to complete other requirements for graduation.

4/06/10 > Two Local Churches Receive MCPS Community Service Awards


The School Board of the City of Manassas presented Manassas Assembly of God and Manassas Baptist Church with Manassas City Public Schools Community Service Awards at the March 23, 2010 School Board meeting.  The churches were recognized for their willingness to house the 5th and 6th grade staff and students of Mayfield Intermediate School, who were displaced after the Blizzard of 2010 damaged the roof of their building.  Chairman Art Bushnell and Superintendent Gail Pope commended each church for demonstrating community responsibility and the power of caring for others.

Members of Mayfield's Student Government Association were also present to offer thanks to representatives from each church.

 School Bd Mtg
School Board Chairman, Arthur Bushnell and students from Mayfield Intermediate
(Mayfield 5) show their appreciation to Pastor Scott Leib and Ms. Barbara Dripps
from the Manassas Assembly of God.


 School Bd Mtg
School Board Chairman, Arthur Bushnell and students from Mayfield Intermediate
(Mayfield 6) show their appreciation to Pastor Bill Higgins
and Ms. Terri Johnson from the Manassas Baptist Church.


3/26/10 > Mayfield Intermediate School Receives $8,000 Grant from Wal-Mart

Mayfield Intermediate School, relocated due to the "Blizzard of 2010", recently received a generous grant from the Wal-Mart Corporation. The $8,000 donation will be used to assist in securing additional resources for the school.

Sharon Wood, store manager for Wal-Mart Liberia Avenue, and several others from her staff along with Georgia Knepp, store manager of the Wal-Mart Super Center at Manassas Mall, made the presentation at both the Mayfield 5 and Mayfield 6 locations. Wood contacted other store managers in the region to provide funding for the grant. Wal-Mart's Market Human Resources Director J.P. Phillips also attended the presentations.

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3/25/10 > 2010-2011 Calendar Approved by School Board
The Manassas City School Board approved the 2010-2011 School Calendar on Tuesday, March 23, 2010. The standard format calendar as well as a new version that highlights student holidays is available on the division website and can be accessed here
3/25/10 > OHS Robotics Claims 2nd Place Prize in Richmond

SchoolCenter PictureWhen "Lambda Corps", the Osbourn High School Robotics Team, went to Richmond, Virginia for the FIRST Virginia Regional Competition on Thursday, March 18, they were not expecting dramatics, they were not expecting medals. They were expecting their hard work for their fifth year in a row to pay off in possibly ending with a ranking in the top 50%.


Osbourn's Robotics Team finished the season earning a berth in the finals at the FIRST Robotics Regional Event held in Richmond, March 18-20.   After battling 63 teams from Virginia and other states, the OHS Team ranked 13th was selected as a team member for the 7th seed team alliance.   Pitted against the 2nd rank team, OHS and their two team alliance partners battled through four quarter final matches before arising victorious, earning the honor of moving to the semifinals.  In the semifinals, the two opposing alliances were evenly matched, and went on to play a total of five games to determine who would move on to the finals to compete against the team ranked first in the competition. In the five semifinal matches, Osbourn lost their first match, won the second, and then tied the opposing alliance twice. In an extremely stressful fifth match with the finals on the line, the team won a decisive victory and progressed to the final round in the Virginia Regional.

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Unfortunately, the Lambda Corps lost the first match 10 - 7. During this intense match, Osbourn's robot lost a chain on their front right wheel although David Dodge, the driver, managed to keep the robot in the game.   With only three minutes in between matches to make repairs, the team worked desperately to fix the damage before the next match. With the quick teamwork of Matt Perez, Matt Lasweski, Jeff Hill, Leah Frederick and Adi Narahari, the team was able to make the repair, stay in the competition and complete the final round. The alliance decided that their chances were better if the positions of the robots were rearranged. After quick decision-making, the teams entered the field and began their match. During the championship matches at the Virginia Regional, the electronic scoring system was broken so the score had to be kept by hand and the audience did not know what the score was during the game. So, as the tension built after the second match it was announced that the score was tied, but there was one penalty being assessed. Unfortunately, the one penalty was against a robot on Osbourn's alliance, and the final score amounted to a loss for the team with a score of 8-7.


Although this was a heart-breaking loss for the Osbourn High School Lambda Corps, the second-place finish was monumental for the team who is still considered a new team to the robotics scene. Additionally, this last match was the closest any alliance had come to beating the first-ranked alliance which consisted of the reigning world champions and a team with three consecutive regional champions under their belts. At the end of the day, the Osbourn Robotics Team is proud of their hard work, and ability to work together as a team. Adi Narahari is quoted as saying: "We can't wait to come back next year!"

3/17/10 > Overwhelming Support for Mayfield Intermediate

SchoolCenter PictureThe Manassas community quickly rallied behind Mayfield Intermediate School recently when heavy snowfall compromised the roof of the school, resulting in the relocation of 1,000 students and 150 staff into different locations. An outpouring of support came and continues to come in every form-moral, physical, supply donations and financial contributions, according to Principal Jeff Abt. Donated school supplies were in the hands of students and teachers immediately upon their return to classes, after missing only five days of instruction. Donations have ranged in size from a child's penny bank contents to thousand-dollar checks from large multinational corporations, local non-profit organizations and professional associations. Mountains of loose leaf notebook paper, pencils, pens and other school supplies were collected at the Manassas Boys and Girls Club Carteret Branch, who generously donated storage space. Two weeks later, most of those supplies are in use by the schools and more arrive each day. Local colleges and universities, other school systems, restaurants, banks, business associations/chambers, neighborhoods, churches, small businesses, police and fire departments, and parents and friends of students and teachers-all have contributed in a significant way. "We are overwhelmed on a daily basis by the generosity of our community, both within our 10 square miles and well beyond," says Abt. The result, he says, is that "amazing learning is taking place! The positive, supportive attitude of our community is mirrored in our students and staff."

3/16/10 > Protecting Your Child's Mental Health: A Community Forum - May 13, 2010


Protecting Your Child's Mental Health
What Can Parents Do?
Presented by the Manassas City Schools Health Advisory Board

  MAY 13, 2010
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Osbourn High School (Lecture Rm)
9005 Tudor Lane, Manassas

Join us as the School Health Advisory Board provides an overview of the SOS Program,
taught in 7th and 9th grades.  You will also learn ways to recognize the signs of anxiety
and depression.  You won't want to miss this very informative session.


Caring families, schools and communities working together on behalf of children.
For more information, please contact Mrs. Sandy Thompson,
Supervisor of Administrative Services at 571-377-6043.

3/16/10 > Online Course Selection for Osbourn High School - March 16-21, 2010
Online course selection for the 2010-2011 school year will be available for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors March 16-21st.

Students who do not have internet access outside of school may use a library computer during lunch on 3/16-3/19 (get a pass from a teacher) or use a school computer in room 1114 or 1115, 8:00-10:00am, on Wednesday, March 17th only. Students will need their PowerSchool ID# and password in order to complete this process.
3/10/10 > Author Shares Sit-In Story with Metz Students

SchoolCenter PictureAward-winning author, Andrea Davis Pinkney, visited Metz Middle School during Black History month to share her latest book with students.   "SIT-IN: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down"  is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in― a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement.  Designed to share this story specifically with children; SIT-IN masterfully captures how young people can make a difference by remaining strong in the face of adversity.


Andrea Davis Pinkney is the author of many acclaimed picture books and young adult novels, and she received a Coretta Scott King Book Award Author Honor for Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters. She is a children's book editor at a major publishing company.  Brian Pinkney, illustrator of the book, is a celebrated artist and has illustrated numerous books for children, including two Caldecott Honor books.  He has also written and illustrated several of his own books. He has received the Coretta Scott King Book Award for Illustration and three Coretta Scott King Book Award Honor medals.

Andrea and Brian Pinkney are a husband-and-wife team who have collaborated on a number of books for children, including the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott king Book Award Illustrator Honor book Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra. They live with their children in New York City.


( Additional photos can be seen here )

3/08/10 > OHS English 11 Writing SOL Testing Date Change

Due to inclement weather, the English 11 Writing SOL test will be administered the week of March 15. 


The multiple choice portion of the English 11 Writing SOL test will be given on March 15 and March 16.  The direct writing will be given on March 17 with students following a modified bell schedule.  All students taking the English 11 Direct Writing SOL must be at school by 7:30 a.m. on March 17. All other students will report to their first block class at 10:45 a.m.  No bus service will be provided for the 10:45 a.m. start time. A study hall will be provided to students in the cafeteria if they arrive before 10:45 a.m.


Please make sure your student has a good night's rest and breakfast the morning of the testing.



En Español:

Debido a las recientes condiciones del tiempo, el SOL de Ingles de 11no grado ha sido cambiado de fecha, ahora será administrado el día 15 de marzo.


Los días 15 y 16 de marzo se administrara la parte de múltiples opciones del SOL durante el horario de clases normal.


La parte escrita del SOL se administrara el día 17 de marzo a las 7:30 am.

Los estudiantes que no necesitan tomar el examen el día 17 comenzaran las clases a las 10:45 am. No habrá transportación disponible a las 10:45. Los estudiantes que necesiten el transporte escolar deben venir a las 7:30 y permanecer en la cafetería de la escuela hasta que comiencen las clases así como los que lleguen antes de las 10:45.

3/05/10 > Osbourn High School Career Day: African Americans Impacting the Job Force


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Osbourn High School sponsored several activities to celebrate the rich heritage of African Americans during the month of February to include daily announcements of Black Facts, Poetry Slam/Open Mic, a guest speaker Mr. David Wellington, and the African American Read-in.  On February 23, 2010 Osbourn held a career day featuring African American men and women currently impacting the job force and the community. Twenty-seven speakers shared their job and life experiences in fifty-two classes throughout the day. 


Featured occupations included attorney, doctor, therapist, business owner, chief financial officer, law enforcement, college professor, marketing program manager, librarian, city and federal government worker, engineer, paralegal, creative director, and many others.  The guest speakers were Sanford Williams, Dr. Anastasia Williams, Needham Kelly, Jr., Michael French, Chris Cobb, Dr. Telly Whitfield, Almeta Radford, Jasmine "Jaz" Mitchell, Leonard Patterson, Sharon Patterson, Dr. Jan Chambers, Theodore Jones, Sr., Will Smith, Amber Maiden, Curtis Donald, Carla Henry, Michelle Robinson, Cynthia Gordon-Nicks, Valerie Bell, Tina Laguna, Leslie Williams, Ricky Lang, Michael Watts, Thelma Kennedy-Malveaux, Clifton Gilchrist, Brian Coe, and Schenell Agee.


One teacher wrote, "Just a quick reply on how effective the speaker was in talking about his career as well as encouraging students about college and their future.  He did an outstanding job - the students were engaged, interested, and attentive the entire 3rd period." Another wrote, "Thanks so much for this opportunity - the speakers were awesome!"  Other teachers shared the same type of comments.  Students learned a great deal about careers and they saw first hand how African Americans are impacting the job force.

2/23/10 > OHS Academic Team Advances to State Tournament

OHS Its Academic Team

The Osbourn High School Academic Team placed second in the Northwest Tournament held at Hylton High School February 17, 2010. The team, lead by Erik Pomrenke, David Dodge, Adi Narahari, and Leah Frederick, remained undefeated throughout the tournament until succumbing to Massaponax at the end. The team earns a berth in the State Tournament which will be held February 27 in Williamsburg, VA. They will be one of only eight teams competing for the AAA title.

2/23/10 > OHS Boys Basketball Team Claim Cedar Run Championship

OHS EagleThe Osbourn High School Boys Basketball team won the Cedar Run Tournament Championship Monday night beating Battlefield 47-45!

 The Screaming Eagles travel to Potomac Thursday, February 25 for the quarter-finals of the regional play-offs. Tip-off is 7 p.m.

2/16/10 > Information Regarding Traveling to School - February 16, 2010
As students have returned to school in the City of Manassas, it is our desire that all students are able to safely arrive at school each day. We are grateful for the hard work the maintenance teams have already done on our campuses so that school can resume. While most primary streets are in good travel condition, many of the neighborhood sidewalks and bus stops still have mounds of snow. The City of Manassas has crews out working to clear the streets and sidewalks. We ask that parents, if possible, would please carpool to reduce long lines of automobiles competing with school buses and students who are walking to school.

Also, please help by monitoring students who are walking to bus stops and school both in the morning and the afternoon. Using streets as sidewalks presents dangers that can be minimized with proper adult supervision.

After evaluation of the Osbourn High School parking lot and sidewalks, the only entrance into the front of the high school that will be available to incoming and outgoing traffic will be on Tudor Lane. This entrance is between the Lacrosse/Field Hockey practice field and the junior parking lot. All students who drive are being asked to park in the junior lot. Police and administration will be out directing traffic. The school administration also asks that all drivers pay special attention to pedestrian traffic that may be in the parking lot. Please plan your schedule accordingly for additional time needed to arrive at school safely.

We have encountered some unusual weather conditions that have kept our students out of the instructional setting much longer than expected. Thank you for your help and patience as we work together to make their return to school as safe as possible.
2/16/10 > La información con respecto a Viajes para escuela - el 16 de febrero de 2010

Los estudiantes han regresado a las Escuelas en la Ciudad de Manassas y es nuestro deseo que todos los estudiantes puedan llegar a las escuelas con seguridad todos los días. Estamos agradecidos a nuestros equipos de mantenimiento por el buen trabajo que han hecho en las escuelas para que los estudiantes puedan continuar con los estudios. Mientras las mayorías de las calles principales están en buenas condiciones, muchas de las aceras y paradas de autobuses todavía tienen muros de nieve. La Ciudad de Manassas tiene trabajadores en la comunidad limpiando las calles y aceras. Les pedimos a nuestros padres si es posible de por favor compartir viajes escolares con otros padres/estudiantes para reducir largas filas de automóviles compitiendo con los autobuses y caminantes de las escuelas.

Además, les pedimos el favor de estar vigilante a estudiantes caminando a las paradas de autobuses o las escuelas durante la mañana y tarde. Utilizando las calles como aceras es peligroso pero pueden ser reducidos con supervisión de un adulto. Después de evaluar el estacionamiento y aceras de la escuela Osbourn, la única entrada disponible al frente de la escuela será por la calle Tudor Lane. La entrada esta localizado entre la cancha de Lacross/Field Hockey y el estacionamiento para el grado 10. Todos los estudiantes que manejan les estamos pidiendo que se estacionen en el estacionamiento del grado 10. El Departamento de Policía y Administración estará dirigiendo tráfico. La Administración de la escuela también les pide que todos los conductores presten especial atención a tráfico de pedestre en el estacionamiento. Por favor de planear su horario en consecuencia al tiempo adicional necesario para llegar a la escuela sin peligro.

Hemos tenido condiciones de tiempo extraño que han resultado en que los estudiantes han perdido más tiempo instrucciónal de que esperado. Gracias por su ayuda y paciencia mientras trabajamos juntos para tener el regreso a las escuelas lo más seguro posible.

2/09/10 > Mayfield Intermediate Closed Due to Compromise in Roof from Heavy Snow

Excessive snow loads from the recent storm have caused sections of the roof structure at Mayfield Intermediate School to be compromised. The roof has not collapsed as had been previously reported. A structural engineer has evaluated the situation and determined that the building can not be used until the entire structural system is evaluated and the compromised structural trusses replaced. This will require, at least for the next several weeks, that the Mayfield Intermediate School students and staff be housed elsewhere. Staff are working on alternatives regarding instructional settings. Mayfield serves approximately 1,000 fifth and sixth grade students.

Plans will be shared using the division’s Alert Now system, the division website at
www.manassas.k12.va.us and Comcast Cable Channel 18 as they become finalized. Division officials ask that parents be patient as they deal with this disruption to normal educational services. All other Manassas City schools have been inspected with no safety concerns sited.
1/28/10 > OHS Magazine Continues to Shine

The Osbourn High School Connections Magazine was recently awarded an All-American ranking from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). It was also given four additional marks of distinction in Content, Art, Layout, and Concept. This is the first time the magazine has won such an award from one of the top national organizations! Congratulations to Ms. Kimberly Schell, advisor and all of the students who worked on this award winning publication:

Current Students

  • Sarah Clements
  • Tara Foley
  • Jordan Husk
  • Emily Moran
  • Elizabeth Storey
  • Kassandra Walters
  • Casie Boyle
  • Nicole Erickson
  • Randy Fullerton
  • Vincent Troutwein
  • Alex Vieyra

Students Who Graduated:  

  • Katie Demeria
  • Danielle Lewis
  • Kathryn Thompson
  • Erika Swarthout
  • Ciara Brooks
  • Giancarlo Bulfon
  • Nicole McConnell
  • Jana Pivonka
  • Brittany Tatum


1/15/10 > OHS Academic Team Wins Cedar Run District

OHS Academic Team 2010

Osbourn's Academic Team are the Cedar Run District Champions after winning the tournament held at Loudoun Valley High School on January 13, 2010.  The team, lead by captain Erik Pomrenke, finished the season with a perfect record of 12 wins and 0 losses. The team will move on to Regionals held at Hylton High School on February 6. The team, pictured from left to right, includes Matt Hough, Rachael Ortega, Adi Narahari, Susan Perryman (Coach), David Dodge, Erik Pomrenke, Leah Frederick, Alex Feidt, Erik Schultz, and Amanda Best.

1/15/10 > Round Elementary School Receives Governor's VIP Award

Round Elementary School Receives
Governor's Award for High Performance

George C. Round Elementary School is one of 288 Virginia public schools to meet the rigorous criteria required to earn the Virginia Board of Education's VIP Excellence Award. The award is the second-tier honor in the Board of Education's Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) incentive program for schools and school divisions, which was created in 2007 to advance Governor Timothy M. Kaine's "competence to excellence" agenda encouraging advanced learning and achievement in the Commonwealth's public schools. 

The award is given to schools that have met all state and federal accountability benchmarks for at least two consecutive years and have made significant progress toward goals for increased student achievement and expanded educational opportunity set by Governor Kaine and the Board of Education.  


"This award is the result of hard work by the entire staff and student body at Round", said John Durko, school principal.  "It begins with the pre-k staff establishing a solid foundation for success and every grade level that follows doing their part."


For more information regarding the Governor's Award for Educational Excellence and to view the requirements for the awards, visit http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/NewHome/pressreleases/2008/jan10.html .


Serving over 6,500 students, Manassas City Public Schools is committed to creating an educational environment that fosters learning and develops the skills students need to succeed in the 21st century.

12/09/09 > Message to Metz Parents Regarding Bus Involved in Traffic Accident - December 9, 2009

Dear Parents/Guardians,


This morning  the bus driving Route 22 was heading east on Wellington just past Clark Place when a car coming in the opposite direction jumped the median, struck the side of the bus, and was lodged underneath the bus.  Driver Susan Lester got the students off of the bus in a safe and orderly manner. Metz staff, including Nurse Marisa Regan, quickly arrived on the scene. Nurse Regan was there to render aid until emergency medical teams arrived.  The City of Manassas Fire and Rescue and the Police Department responded very quickly to the accident site.  


Thankfully there were NO life threatening injuries.  Four students were slightly injured and were transported to the hospital to be checked out by medical staff. Their parents were with them.  The students have been released from the hospital.


The other students were escorted by Administrators to the building where they were met by Metz Counselors, staff members and a nurse to assist with student needs.  All of the student's parents were notified by the school.


Please know our students were very cooperative and worked extremely well during the entire incident.  If you have any additional questions about the incident, please contact the school.


Robert J. Nitowski
Acting Principal
Metz Middle School

11/24/09 > 2009 Fall Break Information/informacion por las vacaciones de otoño


November 25, 2009:
Last Regular School Day before Fall Break - Early Dismissal*
*Early Dismissal times for students are:

  • 12:30 pm for the middle and high schools
  • 1:00 pm for the intermediate school
  • 1:30 pm for the elementary schools

All Schools and Offices closed for Fall Break November 26-27, 2009.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

25 de noviembre de 2009:
Ultimo día antes de las Vacaciones de Otoño-Despedidos Temprano*
*Horario para días despedidos temprano para los estudiantes son:

  • 12:30 Intermedia y Secundaria
  • 1:00 Pre-Intermedia
  • 1:30 Primaria

Todas las escuelas y oficinas estarán cerradas durante las vacaciones de otoño 26-27 de noviembre de 2009.

¡Tengan feliz y sanos días feriados!

11/20/09 > OHS Receives Trophy Class Honors from VHSL

Congratulations to Osbourn High School for their recent recognition by the Virginia High School League (VHSL). The OHS yearbook (Eyrie), literary magazine (Connections) and newspaper (The Talon) were each awarded Trophy Class recognition by VHSL. Trophy Class recognition is the highest honor a student publication can receive. Of the 312 VHSL member schools in Virginia - 32 received Trophy Class recognition for yearbook, 15 for literary magazine, and only 11 for newspaper. Only one other high school in Virginia received Trophy Class recognition for all three of its student publications. Congratulations to publication advisors Ruth Lindenfelser, Kim Schell and Audrey Swain and all the students who were a part of this winning team!


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"The Talon" Newspaper
VHSL Trophy Class

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"Connections" Literary Magazine
VHSL Trophy Class

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Eyrie Yearbook (Group 1)
VHSL Trophy Class

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Eyrie Yearbook (Group 2)
VHSL Trophy Class

11/13/09 > Round Staff Wears Pink in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Round Elementary School Staff collected $290.00 for the Susan G. Koman Foundation. Staff members paid $5.00 each and wore pink on October 30th to show their support of Breast Cancer Awareness.
10/19/09 > OHS Triumphs on It's Academic

OHS A team of outstanding students from Osbourn High School defeated teams from North Point High School of Waldorf and Robinson Secondary School of Fairfax, on IT'S ACADEMIC, the nation's foremost high school quiz program.  The match aired Saturday, October 3rd on NBC Channel 4.


The Osbourn team consists of Captain Erik Pomrenke, David Dodge, and Adi Narahari.  Their faculty coaches are Susan Perryman and Jennifer Alexander. The team will return later in the season for a playoff match.


IT'S ACADEMIC has been recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as "the world's longest-running television quiz program."  The program is sponsored by GIANT FOOD. Mac McGarry is the long-time host of IT'S ACADEMIC.

10/16/09 > Baldwin Elementary Staff Helps Raise Money for Breast Cancer Research

Baldwin Staff with Pink Hair Extensions

Baldwin Elementary Staff members proudly display their pink streaks in support of the Pink Hair for Hope Campaign.  At the request of Kindergarten Instructional Assistant, Heather Bezek, Tina Marie Faint, owner of Creative Hair Designs along with MiRa West, set Baldwin's staff members up with the pink extensions (for a $10 donation) in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thirty-four e xtensions were put in for a total of $340.00 to support the Pink Hair for Hope campaign's effort in assisting the National Breast Cancer Foundation in finding a cure for breast cancer.

9/29/09 > Policy for Free/Reduced Meals
9/08/09 > Food Services Announcement/Mensaje Del Departamento de Comida

We've Moved!
The Manassas City Public Schools Food Services Department has moved!  Our new location is:
Metz Middle School: 9950 Wellington Road, Manassas, VA  20110
Applications for free and reduced meals can be obtained in the
front office of any school or online here .

Nos Mudamos!
El Departamento de Comida de Manassas City Public Schools se ha mudado!
Nuestra nueva direccion es:
Metz Middle School: 9950 Wellington Road, Manassas, VA  20110
Las aplicaciones para comida gratis o reducida pueden ser obtenidas en la
oficina de cualquier escuela o en el internet
aqui .

9/02/09 > MCPS Takes the VSBA Green Schools Challenge

Go Green Virginia

The School Board of the City of Manassas is taking the next step to reduce energy usage and promote sustainability in our schools. Through the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) Green Schools Challenge, the school division is committed to leading by example and helping everyone in the school community take steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

The VSBA Green Schools Challenge is a friendly competition designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce the carbon emissions generated by both the local school division and the broader community.  The goal of the challenge is to become a certified "Green School Division." Awards will be given at the VSBA Annual Conference in November to the top three school divisions in each of three student population brackets (less than 5,000; 5,001-10,000; 10,001-plus).  Awards are being generously provided by Moseley Architects and TRANE.

For more information, contact Samantha Staebell, at VSBA, (434) 295-8722 or access the VSBA website at www.vsba.org.


6/11/09 > Manassas City Schools Names New Principal at Jennie Dean Elementary
Robin Anthony Toogood II

Manassas , VA …The Manassas City School Board has appointed Robin Anthony Toogood, II as principal at Jennie Dean Elementary School.  Toogood will begin his new assignment on July 1.  Toogood says he feels privileged to join the Jennie Dean Elementary team.  "I look forward to our shared success as we come together to continue the rich legacy of Dean Elementary," he said.

Toogood is currently the principal at Center City Public Charter School in Washington, Dc, a position he has held since June 2008. As its founding principal he seeks to maintain high expectations for students and believes all students can achieve - a philosophy he plans to bring with him to Jennie Dean.

Prior to his assignment at Center City, Toogood was an assistant principal at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School in Silver Spring, MD.  He has also held other positions in the Washington, DC Public Schools including dean at Friendship Collegiate Academy, and principal at the New School for Enterprise and Development Public Charter School. He is also an experienced elementary school teacher in the DC public schools.

T oogood is a graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County where he earned a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.  He earned a master of arts degree in Elementary Education from Trinity University in Washington, DC and a master of science degree in Administration from Nyack College also in Washington, DC. 

As he prepares for his arrival at Jennie Dean, Toogood states, "A firm foundation has already been laid. As we build upon it, we will do so with a clear vision, a strong sense of determination, and firm dedication. The journey ahead of us is paved with the strength of an aligned curriculum, a competent staff, and most importantly, motivated scholars.  Together, we WILL achieve our best!"

Jennie Dean is one of five elementary schools in the City of Manassas and has approximately 530 students in kindergarten through fourth grade.  Serving more than 6,500 students, Manassas City Public Schools is committed to preparing students to be successful and productive citizens of the 21st century.


6/10/09 > City of Manassas School Board Seeks to Appoint New Board Member

City of Manassas School Board member Sheryl Bass has been appointed to serve as a member of the Manassas City Council. She will be sworn in Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at City Hall.

Mrs. Bass has been a member of the School Board since July 2000.  During her time as a School Board member, she has served on various committees such as the Fine Arts Advisory Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee and chair for the Finance/Manassas Next Committee.  Mrs. Bass has been deeply involved in the Virginia School Boards Association.  Most recently, she was named Region 4 Chairman.  She has also served as an alternate voting delegate with VSBA.

Mrs. Bass' appointment now means that there is an opening to serve on the School Board.  The Board has 45 days to fill the vacancy. The Board will solicit letters from people interested in the position until June 30, 2009.  Letters of interest and a brief resume should be sent to the School Board in care of the Clerk of the Board at 9000 Tudor Lane, Manassas, VA  20110.  Letters must be received in the Clerk's office no later than 4:30 p.m. on June 30, 2009.  Community letters of support for each candidate may also be sent to the Clerk's office by June 30th.

Interested parties will have an opportunity to present their qualifications to the School Board during a public hearing July 7, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. (and July 8, 2009 if necessary) at Metz Middle School (Lecture Room), 9950 Wellington Road, Manassas .  The appointee will serve until May 2010 when a special election is held to fill the remaining two years of Mrs. Bass' original term. 

6/08/09 > Osbourn High School Alumni Directory

Osbourn High School Alumni Directory

April 14, 2009

Details were recently finalized on a brand-new publication for Osbourn High School alumni.  OHS graduates should have already received a request for biographical information to be included in a comprehensive directory.  Manassas City Public Schools has partnered with Harris Connect, LLC to make this possible.  The 2009 Osbourn High School Alumni Directory will include information from 1978-2008, with a special section highlighting key information prior to 1978. 

The publication will be available for purchase through Harris Connect.  If any graduate did not receive a letter, but would like to update your information for the directory, please feel free to contact Harris Connect directly using the dedicated OHS Alumni hotline at 1-877-228-5838.  Those who do not wish to be included in the directory are free to convey their request to Harris Connect after been contacted.  For additional inquiries, please contact Mrs. Al. Radford, MCPS Public Relations Specialist at 571-377-6033.

6/04/09 > Health Advisory Group Announces Date for Children's Wellness Festival

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Save the Date


Rotary Clubs of Bull Run- Gainesville-Haymarket- Manassas

Third Annual Children's Wellness Festival

Health Screenings- Height, Weight, Hearing, Dental, Vision
Fun Activities- Entertainment- Interactive Games  

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
at Metz Middle School
9950 Wellington Road, Manassas

Manassas City Public Schools - Health Advisory Board

6/02/09 > Osbourn Students Head Off to Governor's School

Governor's SchoolTen Osbourn High School students and two alternates have been selected to attend either the Summer Residential Governor's School Programs or the Governor's Foreign Language Academies this summer. These special programs are provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia at colleges and universities throughout the state for approximately 7,500 gifted students who are rising juniors or seniors. Governor's School Programs range from three to six weeks and provide students with intensive educational experiences in visual and performing arts; humanities; mathematics, science, and technology; life science and medicine; or through mentorships in marine science or engineering.

The Governor's Foreign Language Academies, held at Virginia Commonwealth University, are summer residential programs for Virginia's most motivated and talented foreign language students. Academies will allow each of the six academies to maintain its individuality as well as to offer activities to expand global awareness, multi-cultural understanding, and international education.

Students selected to attend the Governor's School for the Visual and Performing Arts at the Christopher Newport University include Sarah Clements and Mary McIvor.  Emilie Bachmann and Matthew Kelly were selected as alternates.  Matthew Hough was selected to attend the Governor's School for Humanities also held at Christopher Newport University.

Farhan Qureshi was selected to attend the Governor's School for Life Sciences and Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, while Kojo Acquah and Thomas Hittinger were selected to attend the Governor's School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Lynchburg College.

The following students have been selected to attend the 2009 Governor's Foreign Language Academies at Virginia Commonwealth University: German, Angela Jividen and Erik Pomrenke; Japanese, Emma Murphy; and Russian, Meghan Oakes.

For more information visit the Governor's School website at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/Instruction/Govschools/.  Information regarding the Foreign Language Academies may be found at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/Instruction/Language/GAindex.html.

5/21/09 > Education Foundation Awards Six Scholarships to Osbourn Seniors

Ed Foundation Scholarship Winners

Manassas, VA…The City of Manassas Public Schools Education Foundation recently awarded scholarships to six Osbourn High School seniors during an elegant breakfast at Foundation Restaurant in Old Town Manassas.  The breakfast was sponsored by Mr. Charles Gilliam and his friendly team at Foundation. 
Awards were presented by members of the Education Foundation.  The following Osbourn students received generous scholarships from the Foundation:

  • Vaidehi Mujumdar received the Delegate Harry J. Parrish Community Service Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who is a proven leader and has been an active participant in community service throughout their high school career.  Vaidehi will attend Dartmouth College.

  • Molly Jayne Henry received the Superintendent Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who plans to pursue a career in teaching. Molly will attend George Mason University.

  • James L. Dwyer received the Fine Arts Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who plans to pursue studies in an artistic field such as art, music, theatre, etc.  James will attend Radford University.
  • Xuan-Mai Thi Nguyen and Jonathan Miles Sucher both received scholarships in Science and Technology.  This scholarship is awarded to two students who plan to pursue a career in a science or technology field.  Xuan-Mai will be attending the University of Virginia and Jonathan will be attending Virginia Tech.

  • Danyelle Lynn Anderson was the recipient of the Vocational/Trade School Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who intends to continue their education at a vocational or trade school/college to pursue certification. Danyelle has chosen to attend DeVry University.

 The City of Manassas Public Schools Education Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization "Dedicated to Excellence" in the Manassas City Public Schools.  To find out more about the Foundation or to see how you can become involved, please visit their website at http://www.mcpsef.org/mcpsef.html.


5/05/09 > MCPS and Manassas Police Dept. to Host Parent Information Safety Night - May 27th!

A "Parent Information Safety Night", sponsored by Manassas City Public Schools and the Manassas City Police Department, has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, 2009, in the Osbourn High School Auditorium, from 7 - 9 PM.

This public forum will address two specific issues: cyber bullying and cell phone safety, which will reference the highly publicized phenomenon of students sending and receiving inappropriate messages and pictures. The committee for this forum has also invited several stakeholders from the technology outreach community to also take part in this information night to provide credence to these growing issues. Informational packets will be distributed to all who attend and the information will be made available on the MCPS website following the evening's program.

4/22/09 > MCPS Joins Effort to Encourage Distraction Free Driving in Virginia

CONTACT:  Al. Radford, PR Specialist - Division & Community Relations, 571-377-6033

Manassas , VA - Manassas City Public Schools is joining Governor Tim Kaine, DRIVE SMART Virginia, the Virginia Highway Safety Office and the Virginia State Police in recognizing April 29th as Distracted Driving Awareness Day in Virginia. Distracted Driving is recognized as a major factor in most roadway crashes.

A Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study determined that in 8 of 10 crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes, a distracted driving action occurred within three seconds of the incident.  More information on the study can be found at http://www.vtti.vt.edu/PDF/100-Car_Press-Release.pdf .

Driving while distracted may be described as any activity that takes one's eyes and/or mind off of the task of driving. Common distractions behind the wheel include eating or drinking, personal grooming, cell phone use, or reading, just to mention a few activities.

Cell phone use is recognized as a major distraction. In fact, a University of Utah study shows that a person talking on a cell phone is four times more likely to get into a crash than someone driving without distraction from the phone. For someone texting when driving, the likelihood is six times higher.

Governor Tim Kaine recently signed into law a bill that will prohibit text messaging behind the bill. This law takes effect on July 1, 2009. 

Drivers can pledge to drive distraction free at www.drivesmartva.org .


4/22/09 > Manassas City Public Schools wins first place honors in Magna Awards program

Manassas City Public Schools has been selected as a first place winner in the American School Board
15th annual Magna Awards program.

The division was recognized in the 5,000 to 20,000 enrollment category for "Growing Up Green," a division-wide program designed to reduce environmental waste. During the first three months of the 2007-08 school year, the school system recycled 19 tons of material. For the entire school year, the students and staff recycled about 76.1 tons of materials - 60.1 tons of paper, 8.37 tons of glass, 6.85 tons of metal, and .76 tons of plastic. Individual schools also have embraced the recycling efforts and formed recycling clubs.

According to Sandy Thompson, Supervisor of Administrative Services for Manassas City Schools and the division recycling coordinator, a Go Green Team was formed to develop an action plan to implement the "Growing up Green" initiative.  She attributes the success of the program to the hard work of the recycling coordinators at each school who oversee the day to day operation at the building level.  "This is certainly an exciting program and we are excited about this award", said Thompson.  "It reminds our school community that as we recycle, we save energy, save resources and save money.  By saving the environment, we are saving the earth."  

The Magna Awards, presented with the support of Sodexo School Services, recognize districts across the country for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools. This year's three grand prize, 15 first place, and 15 honorable mention winners were selected based on three enrollment categories: less than 5,000 students, 5,000 to 20,000, and 20,000 and above.

"As schools face unprecedented challenges in today's difficult economy, the Magna Awards are an opportunity to showcase innovation and the bold steps taken by districts every day," said Marilee Rist, ASBJ's publisher and associate executive director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA). "This year's entries reflect the hard work of school boards, superintendents, and staff who strive to meet changing community needs in creative and innovative ways."

Lorna Donatone, president of Sodexo School Services, said, "Sodexo is proud to support the Magna Awards because they celebrate partnerships that encourage fresh approaches to education. This year's winners inspire others by showing us how school boards and communities can innovate and persevere to advance student learning."

In addition to receiving the Magna Award, the school division was informed that the Growing up Green program has also been selected for inclusion in the new Magna Best Practices Database.  MCPS is one of only 85 high-scoring programs selected for this special recognition from the more than 340 nominations received by the American School Board Journal.

Additional information regarding the Magna Awards can be found at www.asbj.com/magna .  For more information on the Growing up Green program, please contact Sandy Thompson at 571-377-6043.


# # #

4/03/09 > Washington Post Educational Foundation Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Mr. Brian Maceyak, the 2009 Washington Post Educational Foundation Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher of the Year for Manassas City Public Schools!  Mr. Maceyak is a Special Education teacher at Mayfield Intermediate School and has been with Manassas City Public Schools eleven years.
Other nominees for the division include the following:
  • Melissa Baker, Baldwin Elementary School
  • Christi Morton, Dean Elementary School
  • Lynn Oliver, Haydon Elementary School
  • Brenda Wambold, Round Elementary School
  • Deborah Lunsford, Weems Elementary School
  • Wendy Pierce. Metz Middle School
  • Shanae Hill, Osbourn High School
The Agnes Meyer Award is presented annually to a teacher from each school division in the Washington metropolitan area. The goals of the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Awards are to recognize excellence in teaching, to encourage creative and quality instruction, and to contribute in a substantive way to improving education in the Washington area. 
Mr. Maceyak, along with the other MCPS Agnes Meyer nominees, will be recognized at the April 14, 2009 School Board meeting.
Congratulations to Mr. Maceyak and all of our finalists!
4/02/09 > Academic Year Governor's School Information Meeting Scheduled for April 15, 2009

March 30, 2009

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Schools, and Prince William County Public Schools are working in collaboration with George Mason University to develop and gain approval for an Academic Year Governor's School (AYGS) to open in Fall 2010.

Manassas City Public Schools will be hosting an information session regarding the proposed Academic Year Regional Governor's School on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 7:00pm in the Metz auditorium.  We encourage all interested 8th and 9th grade students and their parents to attend this meeting.   Information will be presented regarding the proposed instructional program and possible course selection implications for students who may be interested in applying.


Barbara McGonagill, Ed.D
Director, Gifted/Talented and Special Programs

4/02/09 > Informacion para la Escuela Anual Académica del Gobernador - el miércoles 15 de abril del 2009

30 de marzo del 2009

Estimados padres/ Guardianes:

Las Escuelas Públicas de la Ciudad de Manassas, Manassas Park y el Condado de Prince William, están trabajando en colaboración con la Universidad George Mason para desarrollar y ganar la aprobación para abrir en el otoño del 2010 la Escuela Anual Académica del Gobernador (Academic Year Governor's School).

Representantes de las Escuelas Públicas de la Ciudad de Manassas llevarán a cabo una sección informativa referente a la propuesta.  Esta se realizará el miércoles 15 de abril del 2009 a las 7:00 pm en el auditorio de la escuela Metz.  Exhortamos a todos los estudiantes de 8vo y 9no grado que estén interesados, a que asistan junto a sus padres a esta reunión.  Se brindará información a cerca del programa de instrucción y las posibles implicaciones en la selección de cursos para los estudiantes interesados en aplicar.


Barbara McGonagill, Ed.D
Directora de los Programas para Estudiantes Dotados/Talentos y Especiales



Public Input
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
City Hall
7:00 p.m.

School Board Finance Committee Meeting - planned at the March 7, 2009 meeting
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Central Office
5:30 p.m.

Budget Work Session - added at the March 7, 2009 meeting
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Central Office TU 1
7:00 p.m.

School Board Business Meeting
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
City Hall
7:00 p.m.

Budget Work Session - added at the March 7, 2009 meeting -
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Central Office TU 1
Immediately Following Business Meeting

Budget Work Session - added at the March 7, 2009 meeting
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Central Office TU 1
7:00 p.m.

Additional work sessions may be scheduled as needed

* Subject to change based on budget development status

Approved budget submitted to City of Manassas by April 1, 2009






3/04/09 > MCPS Receives Grant Encouraging Students to Say No to Tobacco Use

SchoolCenter PictureManassas, VA…Manassas City Public Schools has received a three year grant totaling approximately $23,500 from the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation (VTSF) to assist in the division's efforts to teach tobacco use prevention and refusal skills.  The grant, entitled Tobacco Use Prevention Programs for Youth, will focus on 8th grade students over the three year period.  According to Dr. Gail Pope, superintendent of schools, the division has successfully implemented the Life Skills Training curriculum in grades 3-7, which promotes healthy alternatives to at-risk behaviors .  The VTSF Grant funding will allow program implementation for students in 8th grade. "Our focus on the whole child aligns with this grant as well as our successful implementation of our federally mandated wellness policy", Pope said.

Training will be provided for 8th grade Health and PE teachers and administrators. "It is very exciting to have this funding come in to the schools to work on prevention activities," said Sandy Thompson, program administrator. "We will be using an award winning, evidence based program to work on prevention. Each student will receive individual materials, and we will have a celebration after completion of the program to support our students' decision to say no to tobacco products."  Lisa Warner, Health and PE teacher at Metz Middle School says she is excited about the opportunity to teach students the consequences of their choices and provide up to date information on the harmful effects of smoking, and the importance of making healthy choices.  Warner's students recently completed smoking prevention pamphlets to creatively encourage other young people to say no to tobacco products.  Bob Nitowski, an assistant principal at Metz says, "With the media messages our students are seeing, it is important that our teenagers know decisions they make now will stay with them for the rest of their lives."

The Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation (VTSF) implemented the grant to:

  • Assist in financing efforts to discourage, eliminate, or prevent the use of tobacco products by minors through such means as educational and awareness programs on the health effects of tobacco use on minors;
  • Assist enforcement of laws restricting the distribution of tobacco products to minors;
  • Establish requirements that every recipient of money distributed from the Fund establish and maintain policies that restrict the use of tobacco products by minors;
  • Evaluate the implementation and results of all efforts receiving support from the Foundation.

For additional information, contact Sandy Thompson, Supervisor of Administrative Services at 571-377-6043.



The Special Education Advisory Committee will hold a public hearing on the Special Education Annual Plan, Application for Part B Flow Through Funds and Preschool Grant Thursday, April 23, 2009 in the Central Office Conference Room, 9000 Tudor Lane, 7:00 PM. All interested citizens are welcome.
2/27/09 > Metz Community Looks Good in Red!
Metz Wearing Red
Metz students and staff recently showed their support to show their support for women's heart disease awareness by participating in National Wear Red Day. 
Sponsored by the American Heart Association, National Wear Red Day encourages thousands of companies, organizations, and cities across America to support the Association's efforts towards ongoing research and education about women and heart disease.
2/25/09 > Superintendent's Budget Presentation - February 24, 2009

On February 24, 2009, Superintendent Gail Pope presented her FY'10 Proposed Budget recommendations to the School Board of the City of Manassas. A copy of the presentation can be seen here

2/25/09 > Manassas City Schools to Hold Public Input on FY'10 Budget on March 10, 2009







Manassas City Public Schools will hold public input on the FY 2010 Budget at the regularly scheduled School Board meeting on Tuesday, March 10, 2009. Interested citizens are invited to attend. Written comments regarding the FY 2010 Budget can be submitted to the Manassas City School Board.  Please forward comments to:

Manassas City Public Schools
Attn:  Clerk's Office
9000 Tudor Lane
Manassas , VA  20110

For further information, please call the Clerk's office at 571-377-6008. 
Reasonable accommodations will be provided to persons with disabilities, if requested.

2/17/09 > Osbourn High School Announces Graduation for Class of 2009
The Osbourn High School Graduation for the Class of 2009 has been scheduled for Monday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Nissan Pavilion.
2/13/09 > Mayfield Families Have Fun with Math!
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Over 450 students and their families gathered at Mayfield Intermediate School on Wednesday,
February 11th for Family Math Night! 
2/10/09 > Bingo at Baldwin!

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Bingo Night at Baldwin
The Baldwin cafeteria was filled to capacity Friday night as families and staff came out to enjoy the school's annual Bingo Night, sponsored by the Baldwin PTO. Combining a pizza dinner with an evening of bingo provided a fun-filled evening for all. Many prizes were awarded throughout the evening, which ended with the grand prize winner taking home a new 21"  flat screen television.

2/04/09 > Metz Middle School Celebrates Careers in the Community


Metz Career DayRealtors, doctors, engineers and policemen...  These are just a few of the people that stopped by Metz Middle School on February 3rd for Career Day.  The school's theme this year was "Academics & Careers - There is a Connection." According to Maxine Griggs, Director of Counseling at Metz, having guest speakers from the business community help students connect their academics with future career choices.

Guest speakers were in each classroom for about 30 minutes and students were encouraged to ask relevant questions to better understand the connection between their current studies and life after graduation.  Some of the presentations were hands on, such as the one facilitated by Michael Wood, Fire and Rescue Chief for the the City of Manassas, where a few students were allowed to try on his official "work attire". 

2/02/09 > Osbourn Students Recognized for Excellence in Financial Literacy

Congratulations to the following Osbourn High School students who have scored in the top 25th percentile of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Fall 2008 National Financial Literacy Challenge. This is an initiative recommended by the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. These students included:

Logan C. Cunha
Blake S. Muonio
Eric R. Perricone
Benjamin K. Roseberry
Eric A. Saenz

The Challenge was taken by more than 75,000 high school students this past November/December. Participants included students in rural areas, suburbs, and inner cities across the country. These students are a part of a growing movement to have a better understanding of our increasingly complex financial system. All of these students have taken the Money Management course that is offered at Osbourn High School.

1/30/09 > Osbourn Students Rewarded with Limo and a Lunch


Eagles Limo and Lunch Portrait

Osbourn students pose in front of a Hummer stretched limousine that was
provided for them as a reward for perfect attendance, no tardies to class,
and no discipline referrals assigned during the first semester.  The students
were transported to a local Ruby Tuesdays courtesy of the Eagle Man
Program at Osbourn. 

1/29/09 > Superintendent of Schools Under Winter Weather Watch



Dr Pope clearing cars

Winter Weather Watch:
After returning from visiting school sites on Tuesday, January 28th,
Dr. Gail Pope, Superintendent of Schools, was spotted clearing the
snow from cars for employees in the Central Office lot.


1/28/09 > Exxon Makes Donation to Osbourn Eagle Man Program


Eagle Man at Exxon

Dave Rigotti (left), co-owner of the Grant Avenue and Wellington
Exxon, presents a $1000 check to John Conti (right), principal of
Osbourn High School and Eagle Man (middle) for the schools' Eagle
Man Program. The program awards students for various achievements
in the school, such as perfect attendance and exceptional

1/16/09 > Student Engineers Showcase Work at Weems Elementary

Weems Engineering 1 - December 2008

Weems Engineering Project 2 - December 2008


Weems Engineering Project 3 - December 2008

Students at Weems Elementary proudly display the work they produced for an engineering project.

1/16/09 > Local Exxon Makes Donation to Math and Science Programs


Exxon Check Presentation

Dave Rigotti and Kristin Daggle, (left), owners of the Exxon located on
the corner of Grant and Wellington, present checks in the amount of
$500 each to Melissa Saunders, principal of Metz Middle School
and John Conti, principal of Osbourn High School.  The Exxon
Corporation offers an educational alliance grant which supported
approximately 4,000 schools across the nation.  Funds are to be
used in the area of math and science.

1/13/09 > MCPS Health Advisory Board to Sponsor Community Forum - January 21, 2009
The Manassas City Public Schools Health Advisory Board will sponsor a Community Forum on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m. at Metz Middle School (9950 Wellington Road, Manassas). The emphasis of the forum is “A Call for Action: Creating Supportive Environments to Safeguard our Children in Turbulent Times”.

The forum is designed for parents and guardians of children at each grade level. Attendees will walk away with useful information regarding the emotional well-being of their children. Breakout sessions, led by community resources will address topics such as: Dealing with Stress; Depression; Anxiety and Coping Strategies.

The keynote speaker for the evening will be Dr. Henry Koch, president and director of Prince William Family Counseling. For more information, please contact Mrs. Sandy Thompson, Supervisor of Administrative Services at 571-377-6043.
1/12/09 > OSBOURN HIGH SCHOOL EXAM SCHEDULE Revised 01/09/2009


Revised January 9, 2009

Semester evaluations are required in all areas of instruction and will count one-sixth of the first semester grade. It is requested that parents do not plan vacations during review and evaluation days. Students absent from an exam/evaluation must present a note to an administrator who will determine if a make-up exam is to be given. Make-up arrangements will be at the teacher's convenience.

Students are only eligible for first semester exam exemptions in semester elective courses that are not required for graduation. The criteria for non-SOL courses specified below are to be applied:

  • at least an 84% average for the course. Note: the first semester exam grade will be the average of the first and second nine-week grades.
  • accrued no more than three absences
  • not received either an in-school detention or an out-of-school suspension

Osbourn's evaluation schedule for the first semester of the 2008-2009 school year will be as follows:

  • January 19, 2009 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
  • January 20   Inauguration Day Holiday 
  • January 21   A-3 and A-4 exams with early release at 10:52 a.m.
  • January 22   B-3 and B-4 exams with early release at 10:52 a.m.
  • January 23   A-1 and A-2 exams with early release at 10:52 a.m.
  • January 26   Teacher Workday - NO SCHOOL for students
  • January 27   B-1 and B-2 exams with early release at 10:52 a.m.
  • February 2 Report cards issued

A revised bell schedule will be used on the following evaluation days - January  21, 22, 23 and 27.

7:25 - Warning bell

7:30-9:05 - First exam

9:05-9:15 - Break

9:20-10:52 - Second Exam

10:52  - Students dismissed

10:52-2:45  - Teachers work in their rooms


****If school should be delayed two hours on January  21, 22, 23 or 27 due to inclement weather, the scheduled exams will be given and the following bell schedule will be used:

9:25 - Warning bell

9:30-11:05 - First exam


11:20-12:52Second exam/Students dismissed

12:52-2:45 - Teachers work in their rooms

If school should be cancelled on January 21, 22, 23 or 27 due to inclement weather, the semester exams scheduled for that day (unlike the regular A and B-day calendar) will be given on the next school day or the first day the students return to school.  

  Udrv ExamSch1stSemNewsltr Rev. 1/9/09

12/01/08 > MCPS Has New Phone Numbers

Special Announcement:

Manassas City Public Schools is now utilizing a new phone system. Due to the installation of the new phones, many familiar numbers have now changed.  Please make note of the following:

Manassas City Public Schools Directory ( Frequently Called Numbers):

- School Board Administrative Office 571-377-6000 
- Support Services 571-377-6080
- Transportation 571-377-6091
- Food Services 571-377-6058
- Baldwin Elementary School 571-377-6100
- Dean Elementary School 571-377-6300
- Haydon Elementary School 571-377-6200
- Round Elementary School 571-377-6400
- Weems Elementary School 571-377-6500
- Mayfield Intermediate School 571-377-6600
- Metz Middle School 571-377-6800
- Osbourn High School 571-377-7000
- Johnson Learning Center 571-377-7250


11/17/08 > Baldwin Gets a Visit from the College Cat
On November 12, local author J. W Garry, Jr. arrived at Baldwin Elementary and visited Mrs. Kelly's 3rd grade class to talk about the writing process, as well as his book entitled College Cat, the true story about a kitten who "attended" the College of William and Mary. The cat now resides with Mr Garry and his wife, Baldwin's assistant principal Betty Garry.

Mr. Garry met with the students in Baldwin's Butterfly Garden and brought along Princess, the star of the book, as well as his dog Storm, the subject of his next book.
10/13/08 > Weems Elementary School Participates in Picturing America Program


Manassas , VA …The Weems Elementary School Art Department is one of over 26,000 school and public libraries across the nation to receive the Picturing America program from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).  Picturing America is a free initiative that helps teach American history and culture by bringing some of the country's great art directly to classrooms and libraries. 

"We are so pleased to receive Picturing America," said LeeAnn Brannon, Art Specialist at Weems. "This program will really enrich classroom learning by allowing our students immediate access to some of the nation's most important art."

Weems Elementary School received 40 large, high-quality reproductions of great American art and a comprehensive teachers resource book to facilitate the use of the works of art in core subjects.  Picturing America's resources are designed to allow each work of art to enhance the study of American history, social studies, language arts, literature, and civics.

"I really like learning about history through the pictures, said a third grade student at Weems.  "Using the art helps me understand how people felt in the past, and to see what their lives were like."

"The Endowment believes that Picturing America should be in every school and public library in the United States," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "Picturing America helps us understand our democracy by bringing us face to face with the people, places, and events that have shaped our country. It provides an innovative way to experience America's history through our nation's art."

From January 7 through April 15, 2008, over 26,000 schools and public libraries in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. Territories successfully applied to receive Picturing America in the program's first nationwide application period.  In the Manassas area eight institutions have been awarded Picturing America. A complete list of recipient schools and public libraries in cities and states across the country is available on the media page of the Picturing America Web site at: http://picturingamerica.neh.gov/public_awards.php .  

The NEH will offer Picturing America to more schools and libraries in 2009.   Applications are currently being accepted.   All eligible organizations in the U.S. and its territories that have not previously received Picturing America may apply for the program through Oct. 31, 2008 at PicturingAmerica.neh.gov.

Picturing America is distributed by the NEH in cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA).  For information about the ALA, please visit www.ala.org .

  # # #

10/08/08 > MCPS Announces Osbourn High School 2008 Graduation Rate

Manassas , VA ...Today, the Virginia Board of Education released its long-awaited secondary school graduation rate figures.  In 2006, the Virginia General Assembly directed the State Board to collect, analyze, and report high school graduation data using a formula reflecting the recommendations from the task force of the National Governor's Association.  This new way of assessing the data regarding graduates is referred to as the Virginia On-Time Graduation Rate.

A Virginia on-time graduate is a student who graduates in four years or less after earning one of the following diplomas: Standard Diploma, Advanced Studies Diploma, Modified Standard Diploma, General Achievement Diploma, or Special Diploma.  Virginia's Educational Information Management System [EIMS] follows students through Virginia's public schools by assigning a unique number to every student. This number, known as a "state-testing identifier," stays with the student throughout his or her PK-12 career.  Using each student's identifier, the records of students who entered 9th grade for the first time in 2004-2005 were linked to their records four years later to determine their status and calculate the 2008 Virginia On-Time Graduation Rate for schools, school divisions, and the Commonwealth.  The graduating class of 2008 is the first school cohort for which there are four years of longitudinal data.

In late summer, the state sent a list of students whose records indicated they were first time 9th graders in 2004-2005 and had been in the Manassas City Public Schools sometime between 2004-2005 and 2007-2008.  According to this list, MCPS had over 580 names.  The task of the school division was to begin verifying the graduates, as well as all General Education Development [GED] students.  The next phase was to identify the status of other students who did not receive a diploma or GED from Manassas City Schools.  According to Osbourn High School administrators, staff had to produce written documentation to VDOE that these students had either moved to another school division or completed a GED, otherwise the students would be identified as dropouts. 

In the past, there were multiple formulas used to calculate the graduation rate and each was based on estimates.  Dr. Gail Pope, superintendent of schools, sees the new formula as a tool the division can use to assist in meeting the needs of students. "The new formula is an improvement over the estimates we have used until now because it gives a more accurate account of student mobility and retention patterns," said Pope.  The new On-Time Graduation rate as defined by the Board of Education is calculated as follows:

[On time Graduates in Year 2008]
[# of 1st time entering 9th grade in year 2004] + {transfers in} - {transfers out & deceased}

Students who are allowed extra time to complete their high school education i.e. special education students and English as a Second Language (ESL) students are not counted against the graduation rate.

The 2008 cohort shows Osbourn had 388 graduates with the following diplomas, 142 standard, 224 advanced studies, 16 special, and 6 modified.  Based upon the new formula, Osbourn's graduation rate is 74.521.  When the GED certificates are added, the completion rate is 83.5249.

"We want to make sure that our school community understands that these numbers do not mean that we have a dropout rate of 25% if GED students are not included, or 15 % with them included," said Pope.  "The Virginia Department of Education has pointed out that the dropout rate for a school or school division is not the inverse of its Virginia On-Time Graduation Rate."  VDOE will calculate cohort dropout rates for schools and divisions in early 2009 after submission of the 2007-2008 academic year dropout data.

The school division notes several ongoing instructional opportunities to help improve the transition from middle school to high school in an effort to reduce 9th grade retention. Instructional research shows that writing improves reading skills.  The division's "Six plus One Writing Traits" program was implemented in grades K-12.  The school system has realigned its math curriculum in grades K-8, as well as Algebra 1.  In an effort to meet individual needs of students, every student in grades 4-8 who failed a math or English Standards of Learning [SOL] test has a personal SOL Action Plan and all students at Metz Middle School have an individual Student Learning Plan for English and math.  "We have also implemented homebased activities at our intermediate, middle and high schools to help build student to teacher relationships and to focus on key issues," Pope explains.

MCPS has enhanced student assistance teams, including transition teams, at the secondary level and the school division also employs an intervention specialist and a student assistance coordinator to target potential drop-outs and increase the likelihood of graduation.  Pope feels the division is doing an excellent job in providing students with the tools to be successful in the 21st century.  "Our goal is for all students to earn their diplomas in four years.  However, the value of the diploma is not diminished by how long it takes to earn it."


9/23/08 > MCPS Administrators Recognized as State School Health Leaders

Sandy Thompson and Patsy Burner of Manassas City Public Schools were recently named Fellows in the Virginia Coordinated School Health Leadership Institute. Thompson Supervisor of Administrative Services for the school division and Patsy Burner, Assistant Principal at Round Elementary, completed a two-year program in which they developed personal and professional leadership competencies to effectively build organizational capacity for school health programs, created a strong school health team and motivated colleagues to contribute while effectively advocating for a coordinated school health program.

The Coordinated School Health Model is designed to assist schools in addressing health-related issues that affect learning. The model consists of eight components that encompass all aspects of school-community life: health education, health services, school environment, school nutrition, parent and community groups, mental health services, staff wellness, and physical activity. Through the implementation of this model, the Virginia Coordinated School Health Leadership Institute has been shown to contribute to student achievement and school success. Seventeen participants were awarded the status of Institute Fellows in June 2008.

For more information concerning the Institute, please contact Caroline Fuller, comprehensive school health specialist, at 804-225-2431 or caroline.fuller@doe.virginia.gov.

9/22/08 > Clean Hands Save Lives: Support Clean Hands Week, September 21-27

Manassas City Public Schools and the Clean Hands Coalition celebrate "Clean Hands Week," September 21-27, 2008.  Handwashing is the single most important act you can do to prevent getting sick and making others sick. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 5,000 people die each year from food borne illness, 78 million become ill and between 79,000 and 96,000 die from hospital infections each year. A direct link to many of these deaths is poor handwashing.

Handwashing is important for food safety, disease prevention and personal health. Wash your hands; before you eat and after you use the bathroom, before, during and after preparing food, after handling animals or animal waste, after playing sports, after changing diapers, and anytime your hands are dirty. Use soap and water, scrub, rinse for 20 seconds and dry. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based gel.

Join Manassas City Public Schools in the effort to help reduce illness by practicing handwashing. Make it a habit and prevent illness and reduce the impact of cold and flu season. Flu shot info to come out at a later date.

9/18/08 > Osbourn Student Semifinalist in National Merit Scholarship Program

Melissa Teller, a student at Osbourn High School, was recently named a Semifinalist in the 54th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).  More than 1.5 million juniors entered the 2009 National Merit program by taking the 2007 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Teller is among approximately 16,000 high school seniors named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists for 2009.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,200 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $35 million, that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test. The Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student's self-descriptive essay and information about Semifinalist's participation and leadership in school and community activities. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Three types of National Merit Scholarship awards will be offered in the spring of 2009 including National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis, corporate-sponsored scholarships, and colleges/university sponsored scholarships.  The 2009 National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced nationwide beginning in the spring of 2009.

Osbourn had Commended Students in the 2009 National Merit program as well.  A Letter of Commendation from the school and NMSC will be presented by the principal to the following scholastically talented seniors: Brian Au; Calla Feucht; Benjamin Garlick; Iain McPherson; Vaidehi Mujumadar; Kyle Mullins and Holly Spitler.

About 34,000 Commneded Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise.  Although they will not continue in the 2009 competition for Merit Scholarships, Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of the 1.5 million students who took the 2007 PSAT/NMSQT.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 500 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC's goals of honoring the nation's scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.   

  Revised 9/29/2008 to include newly recognized Commended Students.

9/02/08 > Information Regarding Parentlink
MCPS is in the process of updating Parentlink to an improved version. All parents will be issued a new user code and password for the 2008-2009 school year. Thank you for your patience. More details to follow.
8/18/08 > MCPS Partners with Manassas Next and Micron on Children's Engineering Project

New Funds Accelerate 'STEM Initiative' in Schools
Next and Micron Kick Start Engineering and Technology Initiative for Children
Article provided by: Cindy Cross Brookshire

Once the City Council's Manassas Next funding was in place, Dr. Michaelene Meyer, Deputy Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction, Manassas City Public Schools quickly deployed instructors to open a four-day pilot "Principles of Children's Engineering" Summer Camp for 35 rising third and fourth graders from across the City July 28-31 at Weems Elementary School.

Children's Engineering Camp 1"It's bringing some very dynamic learning opportunities into the classroom and some professional development for a pioneering group of teachers," relayed Dr. McGonagill, Director of Gifted and Talented for Manassas City Public Schools.

The 7 to 10 year old engineers and scientists were tasked to create and evaluate their own designs while exploring basic scientific concepts.  One design brief centered on the popular picture book "Zoom" by Istvan Banyai (1995, New York; Viking/Penquin).  The children explored scale and relationship - what something looks like magnified or miniaturized, as compared to actual size.

"Remember the last scene in 'Men in Black' when you see the Earth and other planets moving around and they pan out and you realize, it's a game board?" asks Dr. McGonagill.  "That's Zoom.  You think you're looking at a planet.  But, in fact, you're looking at a marble."

The young engineers and scientists explored the function of simple machines beginning with a demonstration by Micron's K-12 Educational Specialist, Denyse Carroll.  Five large scale models enable students to test the use of levers, pulleys, wheels and axles and incline planes.  Following these introductions, the students then faced the challenge to create an environment and a wheeled vehicle that would be appropriate for that environment.  Students then tested their vehicles against the design brief criteria, stability, motion and capacity.

Build with a purpose in mind

The "Principles of Children's Engineering" Summer Camp was a professional development boost for the pioneering teachers who planned it, and who now are expected to incorporate design briefs into their science and math classrooms this fall.  More teacher training is expected this year, with the goal of enriching language arts andChildren's Engineering Camp 2 social studies instruction next year as well.

"Hands on science is such a powerful learning technique," says Dr. McGonagill.  "The Manassas Next contribution is going to equip teachers to know how to create design briefs, and then how to set up the classroom and support the students as they are trying to fulfill these tasks, and how to help the kids evaluate their work and draw conclusions about the different things they've learned.  It will pay for tool kits that are specifically geared to children with safety factors built in so we don't have kids using tools that are too dangerous for them."

Children's Engineering is not the only new program under the umbrella Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative.  Micron Technology Virginia has provided funding for the division to use to support STEM, such as purchasing Lego building sets for team design competitions between elementary schools.

"We'll encourage our elementary schools to create Lego teams to challenge other teams - to see what they can build and how quickly they can do it - using the same design brief evaluation tools," details Dr. McGonagill.  'We want to build a stronger feeder system that goes from elementary to Mayfield, to Metz, and then to the robotics team that is so well recognized at Osbourn.  Ultimately this relates to the collaborative partnership between Manassas, Manassas Park, Prince William County and George Mason University to open an Academic-Year Governor's School on GMU's Prince William Campus in the fall of 2010, with a focus on math, science and technology," she adds.  "You don't just build; you build with a certain purpose in mind.  We see all of this being an important foundation for all school children."


Photos by: Robin Kruczek, Dapplepatch Graphics

8/12/08 > MCPS Receives Recognition from National School Public Relations Association

Manassas City Public Schools was recently recognized for Exemplary Public Relations Activity by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).  The school division was given a Golden Achievement Award for its "Why Choose Manassas City Public Schools" newspaper campaign.

MCPS also received honorable mention in the Publications and Electronic Media category for its print publication highlighting profile information. 

The National School Public Relations Association has been providing school communication training and services to school leaders throughout the United States, Canada, and the U.S. Dependent Schools worldwide since 1935.

7/09/08 > Parent/Teacher/Student Association Announces OHS Teacher of the Year
2007-2008 OHS Teacher of the Year - Shirley Cash

Shirley Cash was recently named the 2008 Teacher of the Year at Osbourn High School, Manassas. She was presented a plaque, a crystal apple and a $100 gift certificate from the Osbourn Parent/Teachers/Student Association which sponsors the annual event.

Cash incorporates new teaching strategies into her classroom to create a positive learning environment. She has single-handedly created, with much success, an ESOL keyboarding course to assist ESOL students to attain some computer literacy. She works tirelessly to ensure that no child is left behind in her classroom. Mrs. Cash is an advocate for all of her students, but she has an uncanny sense of connection with her students who are special needs, ESOL or at risk. She is the voice of reason, support and calm for many of her students and co-workers.

Cash participates regularly in the Virginia Business Education Association Conference (VBEA) where she is a regular presenter of topics that showcase her expertise. She is also a member of the National Education Association (NEA), Manassas Education Association (MEA), National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE), National Business Educators Association (NBEA), and Southern Business Educators Association (SBEA).

It is not uncommon, during the course of a day, for Cash to compare notes or share with co-workers the triumphs and woes of student achievement as well as teaching practices of the day. She is very creative and gives much care and time to activities in her classroom. She is willing to share her ideas and encourages other teachers.

Cash exemplifies a true professional in ALL areas. Her quiet dedication and commitment to the students is beyond what many role models in her position would be willing to do. Nothing less than being the best is what she strives for.  To work with her is to experience the meaning of respect, caring, learning, and true professionalism. To many of her students and co-workers she is looked at as the quiet heroine who is positively changing the lives of many young people.

6/05/08 > City of Manassas Public Schools Education Foundation Awards Scholarships to Osbourn Students

The City of Manassas Public Schools Education Foundation recently awarded scholarships to five Osbourn High School seniors during an elegant breakfast at the Foundation restaurant. The breakfast was sponsored by Mr. Charles Gilliam and his friendly team at the Foundation.

Speakers for the event included Education Foundation President, Stephanie Lykins of Virginia Commerce Bank and Denyse Carroll of Micron Technology Virginia who serves as the Education Foundation's Chairman of the Scholarship Committee.  Dr. Gail Pope, Superintendent of the City of Manassas Public Schools and Manassas City School Board member, Mrs. Sheryl Bass were also in attendance.

The following Osbourn students received generous scholarships from the Education Foundation:

  • Kelsey Kidd received the James E. Upperman/Dianne P. Mero Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who plans to pursue a teaching career.  Kelsey's scholarship was presented by Mr. Gerry Peters, Education Foundation Treasurer.
  • Peyton Tucker received the Fine Arts Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who plans to pursue studies in an artistic field such as art, music, theatre, etc.  Peyton's scholarship was presented by Mr. Jack Papp of Lockheed Martin.
  • Alicia Kohn and Benjamin McIvor both received scholarships in Science and Technology.  This scholarship is awarded to two students who plan to pursue a career in a science or technology field.  The scholarships were presented by Ms. Denyse Carroll of Micron Technology Virginia.
  • Maria Jividen received the Delegate Harry J. Parrish Community Service Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who is a proven leader and has been an active participant in community service throughout their high school career.  The scholarship was presented by Ms. Mattie Parrish and Mr. Rick Ratcliffe.
The City of Manassas Public Schools Education Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization "Dedicated to Excellence" in the Manassas City Public Schools.  Visit their website at http://www.mcpsef.org/mcpsef.html.
6/02/08 > Education Foundation Makes Donation to Osbourn High School Choral Group
Check presentation to Mrs. Jackie Watkins, Choral Director of OHS, along with Stephanie Lykins, President of the Education Foundation and Larry Rose representing Williams Gas Pipeline.  Mr. Ros

The City of Manassas Public Schools Education Foundation recently presented a check in the amount of $50,780 to the Osbourn High School Choral Boosters.  The money was raised through a bowling tournament fundraiser sponsored by the United Way and the Education Foundation with matching funds from Williams Gas Pipeline.

These funds have greatly assisted the choral students in the purchase of equipment and allowed them to participate in competitions in New York and Hershey, Pennsylvania. On April 11th they competed in New York where they won First Place in the Jazz Choir Division and First Place Overall with a superior rating. 

The competition in Hershey was held on May 3rd. "CenterStage"  made a HIGHER "Superior" in this competition than in New York City!  One of Osbourn's students, Sanford Williams won "Best All Around Vocalist".  This was Osbourn's first year competing as a "Jazz" Choir.  The Concert Choir did a great job with an "Excellent" rating that was only 2 points from a "Superior".  They competed on the same level as "CenterStage" - which is the highest level

Jackie Watkins, choral director, along with accompanists Kevin Feltmann and Milton Rodgers, and a host of parent chaperones traveled with the students for these exciting competitions. 

5/30/08 > MCPS Launches Alert Now Rapid Communication System

Manassas City Public Schools is pleased to offer a new way of communicating with our school community!  By now, many of our families have already experienced receiving a call from the school division's Alert Now Rapid Communication Service.  This call system allows us to deliver thousands of voice and text messages within minutes to telephones or any Internet-enabled device, including mobile phones and computers.

The Alert Now system can be used to inform parents about the following:

  • Important student events, such as musicals, science fairs, etc.
  • Operational events, such as delayed school bus routes, unexpected field trip arrival or departure changes, and weather-related closings
  • Academic activities, such as upcoming tests and report card distribution
  • Extracurricular activities, such as club meetings and sporting events, and
  • Important division-wide events or news

Parents will still be able to use our current ParentLink service to track student grades and attendance, but to communicate important messages to our families, the school system will utilize the Alert Now system. 

More detailed information will be sent at a later date through school newsletters and posted on our websites.  We look forward to keeping you "in the know" with the new Alert Now communications system!

4/29/08 > Baldwin's Family Fun and Fitness Night

On April 25, Baldwin Elementary held its first Family Fun and Fitness Night.  Organized by the Baldwin Wellness Committee, more than 250 people enjoyed an evening that featured activities focusing on bike safety and physical fitness for the entire family. 

One hundred eighty bike helmets, supplied through a grant from the Virginia Department of Health, were given to children who attended the event.  After donning their new helmets, bikers had the opportunity to participate in a bike rodeo designed to teach safe biking habits.   Other fun fitness activities included yoga, aerobics, rock wall climbing, jumping rope, and karate.  Twenty Osbourn High School students from the Key Club, National Honor Society and S.A.D.D. helped man the various fitness and safety stations.  Participants were also treated to free popcorn and water thanks to a donation by the Baldwin PTA.  The evening ended with four students winning bicycles donated by the Manassas City Police Department.

Community members Marcia McClellan of the Yoga Connection, Anita Lickiss of the Virginia Cooperative Extension and Lauren LeBlanc and Michael Young from the American Kenpo Karate Academy were also on hand to help make the evening a success.

4/11/08 > School Board Approves 2008-2009 School Calendar
The Manassas City School Board approved the 2008-2009 School Calendar at their April 8, 2008 regular meeting.  Click here to view a copy of the calendar.
4/11/08 > Mayfield Student Earns State's Top Honor for Arbor Day Poster
Arbor Day 1st Place Artwork

Months after gazing through a monocular at the zoo's African elephant, Alan Gonzales-Vitela re-created the scene to become Virginia's 2008 Grand Prize Winner in the Arbor Day Poster contest. "I remembered looking at the elephant's skin close up when he was eating leaves," said the Mayfield Intermediate School 5th grader, "and when my teacher told us about the drawing contest, I knew I wanted it in the picture," Alan said. His poster earned first-place from among 1,500 entries submitted by fifth-grade students throughout Virginia to the National Arbor Day Foundation for its annual Arbor Day contest. This year, students showed their interpretation s of how "Trees are Terrific ... Inside and Out!" Alan's poster represents Virginia in the national contest held next month.

Alan included his favorite animal--the giraffe, as well as birds, bird nests with eggs and details of the trees, including an underground perspective of tree roots. He drew four trees "leaf by leaf," which took him about one hour per tree, he said. 'I wanted to draw the trees that have the big leaves," like he had seen in on the Discovery Channel, his dad's favorite television station. Alan, his parents, teacher Mrs. Marion Goodell, and Principal Jeff Abt will travel to Roanoke in early May to be honored at a luncheon for the state's top ten poster contest winners. Also attending will be another potential future contest entrant, Alan's 8-year-old brother Ulises, who Alan says, is "very good at drawing too. His favorite animal is the cheetah." Alan says he draws almost every day in his notebook at home, but only "after I finish my homework."

3/26/08 > Mayfield Students Rewarded for Million Minutes of Reading
Mayfield students watch as Principal Jeff Abt tackles the obstacle course.

Mayfield Principal Jeff Abt burst into the crowd of 5th and 6th graders shouting "I'm ready for this!" as the boom box on his shoulder blared out the theme to "Rocky."  Facing him in the front loop of the school were six students challenging him to an obstacle course race. The explanation for all of this hoopla? The Mayfield Intermediate School student body achieved the goal of reading a million minutes during the month of Feburary. As a reward, Mr. Abt agreed to race in an obstacle course against the three readers in each grade who accumulated the most reading minutes. The top readers were:  D'Andre Weeden (10,730 minutes read-highest in the school!), Matthew Imngern, Zuria Smith, Jasmine Cortes, Jacob Holder and Sheyra Raman, who ran the fastest obstacle course time. Mr. Abt recorded a respectable time on the course and ended the race by jumping into Nurse Jan Gartner's wheelchair!

Students who read a minimum of 600 minutes during the month celebrated at an ice cream social sponsored by Mayfield's PTA and hosted by volunteers from Lockheed Martin. The Lockheed Martin volunteers also judged the Million Minutes posters and awarded first place to the following classes: Mrs. Story, Mrs. Corretjer, Mr. Jadlowski and Mr. Megenhardt. Students and staff all enjoyed the day and look forward to making the Million Minutes Reading Challenge an annual tradition at Mayfield. Congratulations to all of Mayfield's magnificent million-minute students!!


1/28/08 > Baldwin Elementary Rocket Club Receives National Recognition

Congratulations to the Baldwin Elementary Rocket Club on being recognized by the national organization, Kids Care Clubs, a program of Points of Light & Hands On Network.  Kids Care Clubs seek to develop compassion and to inspire a spirit of volunteering in elementary and middle school age youth.  They provide young people with hands-on volunteer opportunities to help others in their local and global communities.   Read about Baldwin's story using the following link: http://www.kidscare.org/clubcentral/clubsofthemonth/baldwin-rocket-kids-care-club

Congratulations Dr. Ashley Cramp (principal), Michelle Cowin-Gantz (guidance counselor) and the entire Rocket Club team!

1/11/08 > Two Manassas City Schools Receive State Awards for High Performance

Two Manassas City Public Schools Receive
State Awards for High Performance

George C. Round Elementary School is one of 475 Virginia public schools to meet the rigorous criteria required to earn the Virginia Board of Education's VIP Excellence Award. This award is the second-tier honor under a new incentive program for schools and school divisions created by the Board of Education to advance Governor Tim Kaine's "competence to excellence" agenda.  

Round has met all state and federal accountability benchmarks for at least two consecutive years and has made "significant" progress toward goals for increased student achievement and expanded educational opportunity set by Governor Kaine and the Board of Education. 

Baldwin Elementary School is one of 322 schools earning the Board of Education's VIP Competence to Excellence Award, which is the third-tier of the Governor's multi-tiered program.  This award recognizes schools that have met all state and federal accountability benchmarks for at least two consecutive years and have made progress toward Governor Kaine's goals for increased achievement and expanded educational opportunity.  

Each school will receive a resolution of commendation from the Board of Education for this achievement.  For more information regarding the Governor's Award for Educational Excellence and to view the requirements for the awards, visit http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/NewHome/pressreleases/2008/jan10.html .

Serving over 6,400 students, Manassas City Public Schools is committed to creating an educational environment that fosters learning and develops the skills students need to succeed in the 21st century.


1/07/08 > Outstanding Educator Honored by Weems Elementary
Gloria Jackson, former principal of Weems Elementary, addresses a crowd of hundreds during a dedication ceremony for a wing that now bears her name.

Outstanding Educator Honored by Weems Elementary

Gloria Jackson stepped to the podium as hundreds of well wishers recently gathered at Weems Elementary to pay tribute to her.  Jackson, a retired educator with Manassas City Public Schools, was honored as the school system named the newly constructed wing of Weems Elementary School.  

Jackson received a standing ovation from the crowd and thanked Manassas City Schools for naming the addition in her honor.  "During my twenty-seven year tenure, I tried to provide a positive and caring learning environment for the students", said Jackson.  "I hired teachers of the highest standards to promote academic excellence.  Thank you all or being a part of our Weems team which made our school a success."

Many of Jackson's former staff and students, as well as local leaders and community members joined the celebration and extended their thanks and support to Jackson, who began her work at Weems as vice principal in 1977, Manassas City Public Schools' founding year.  Two years later, she was named principal of the school, a position she held for twenty-five years before retiring in 2004.  Jackson led the school with equal amounts of strength, caring and innovation.  Her legacy has left a lasting impact on her administrative peers, her teaching staff, Weems parents, and former students alike.  After her retirement, Jackson continued to lend her expertise to MCPS for two years as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Elementary Education. 

Jackson also took the opportunity to thank the many individuals who she says helped to make her into the person she is today, including her first principal, Mr. Holmes and Mr. Joe Johnson, the first School Board Chairman for Manassas City Public Schools.   

As the crowd prepared for a guided tour of the new wing, Jackson continued to reflect on the many years she invested into Weems Elementary and summed her emotions up by stating, "May the work I've completed at Weems speak for me."  By the outpouring of love and appreciation from all those who filled the multi-purpose room, her work has spoken loud and clear.

11/29/07 > Six MCPS Locations Enter Limited Lock Down

On November 28th at approximately 1:15 p.m., six MCPS buildings entered a limited lockdown as a safety precaution in response to police activity in the area.  The affected locations included Osbourn High School, Johnson Learning Center, Baldwin Elementary School, Metz Middle School, Jennie Dean Elementary School and the division's administrative offices on Tudor Lane and Main St.  Adminstrators, at the direction of local law enforcement, lifted the lockdown at approximately 2:30 p.m. 

11/02/07 > Baldwin Students Welcome Senator Charles Colgan

Students from Baldwin Elementary School recently welcomed Senator Charles Colgan to their school as a lead in to the Virginia School Boards Association's "Take Your Legislator to School Month" which will be celebrated during the month of November.

Many students were excited to see the Senator and gave him fond greetings and hand crafted gifts upon his arrival.  "We were honored to extend hospitality to Senator Colgan and allow