Students in six Prince William County Public Schools will get extra help coping with special academic, social, and emotional challenges that come with military-related life, thanks to a five-year, $1.5 million Department of Defense Education Activity Grant.
The funding allows for direct student assistance from tutors, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) coaches, and counselors. It provides after-school help, and supports Divisionwide development of specialized program. Equally important, it also provides training for teachers, administrators, counselors and other staff who help families deal with military-related sacrifices, from deployment of a loved one to frequent relocation.
“These students may move between vastly different schools and expectations during their education, or have to cope with the absence of a parent,” said PWCS Superintendent Steven Walts. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to give extra support to those whose families sacrifice so much for all of us.”
Special emphasis on STEM allows students to develop knowledge and skills vital to success in college and careers. “This will give them a competitive edge anywhere in the world their families may be sent,” said Supervisor of Elementary Counseling, Dr. Deborah Ransom, who wrote the successful PWCS grant application.
Grant funding will flow primarily to Ashland, Henderson and Old Bridge Elementary, Porter Traditional, Potomac Middle, and Forest Park High Schools, each with military-related enrollments of 10-40 percent. Additional benefits will ultimately improve programs and practices across PWCS.
More than 5% of PWCS students are a dependent of a member of the Armed Forces or of a civilian employee of the Department of Defense who works on Federal property.
Carolyn Custard, Director
Teesha Peak, Executive Secretary
The programs and services provided by the Office of Student Services (OSS) are within seven major areas: school counseling; school social work; school health services; student assistance programs; attendance services; positive youth development, and student support services. In addition, considerable emphasis is placed on infusing the 40 Developmental Assets® framework in all K-12 schools. The Early Identification Program (EIP) and GEAR UP programs are coordinated through this office to provide first generation college students with post-secondary educational opportunities. Prevention and intervention programs and strategies are available to build assets in students; thus enabling them to resist involvement in bullying, violence, substance abuse, cultural bias, truancy, and other harmful behaviors.
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