County recommends
taking flu precautions

Several Prince William County schools had high rates of absences early last week because of students with flu-like symptoms, said Irene Cromer, a spokeswoman for the school system. By Thursday, absences at Lake Ridge, West Gate and Yorkshire elementary schools were down a bit, to below 10 percent, Cromer said in an e-mail.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this year’s flu season has been worse than average, and flu activity has become widespread in every state but Tennessee and Hawaii.

According to the CDC, flu symptoms include fever, chills, aches, fatigue, cough and a runny nose. The county recommends the following precautions to prevent the spread of flu in schools:

→Keep children home for a minimum of 24 hours after vomiting, diarrhea or fever.

→Wash hands frequently with soap and water; use an alcohol-based cleaner if soap and water are not available.

→Cover the nose and mouth with a sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

→Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.

→Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms.

→Seek care for you or your child if needed, and call ahead to your health care provider’s office to tell them what symptoms you have, so they can see you quickly and prevent exposing other people in the waiting room.

→Use a bleach solution (one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water) to kill germs on surfaces.

Superintendent to present
budget at Feb. 6 meeting

Prince William County School Superintendent Steven L. Walts will present his proposed budget for the period beginning July 1, and the Capital Improvements Program for 2014-23, to the School Board at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 .

The meeting will be in the School Board meeting room in the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Rd., Manassas.

The budget presentation will be broadcast live on PWCS-TV — which is Comcast Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 36 — and via Web cast at The superintendent’s presentation will be posted online after his presentation to the School Board.

The public can comment on the proposed budget at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 in Room 1101 of the Kelly Leadership Center. Those who wish to speak must sign up at the door before 7 p.m. Speakers will be limited to two minutes each. School Board members will be present to hear comments.

The School Board will have budget work sessions after its public meetings Feb. 20 and March 6. A special work session for final markup on the fiscal 2014 budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 13.

A public hearing on the budget will be March 20, after which the School Board is scheduled to vote on the superintendent’s proposed budget. The School Board will then present its budget to the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.

Ribbon-cutting scheduled for new nursing laboratory

Lifelike mannequins and special monitors will be on display at the ribbon-cutting to mark the opening of a simulation lab at the Prince William County School of Practical Nursing. The ceremony will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 28 at the school, which is at Osbourn Park High School, 8909 Euclid Ave., Manassas.

Potomac Health Foundation provided funding for the learning laboratory.

Gar-Field to host VHSL
leadership conference

Gar-Field High School will host the 2013 Virginia High School League Student Leaders Conference on April 12 and 13, with students from across the state.

The conference offers students a chance to gain leadership skills and network with student leaders across Virginia. All school districts are invited to send a delegation.

For information or to register, are at Discounted registration is available through Feb. 19.

SPARK foundation offering
at least eight scholarships

SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County public schools, will award at least eight scholarships to graduating seniors this year. Applications are at for the Dr. Edward L. Kelly Memorial Scholarship, the Derek Crow Scholarship, the Career and Technical Education Scholarship and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Scholarship.

The Derek Crow Scholarship allots $2,500 to two graduating student athletes. The Kelly Scholarship offers $1,000 apiece to three graduating seniors who intend to become teachers. The CTE scholarship, sponsored by the Micron Foundation, offers $1,000 to a graduating high school senior who plans to pursue a professional certification. The STEM scholarship, also sponsored by the Micron Foundation, offers $1,500 to at least four graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue careers in the STEM field.

For information, call 703-791-8001.

MLK Youth Oratorical
Contest will be Monday

Prince William County students will compete in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Oratorical Contest at 11 a.m. Monday, at C.D. Hylton Memorial Chapel, 14640 Potomac Mills Rd., Woodbridge.

Students who won contests at their schools and will compete include: Zoree Jones, Buckland Mills Elementary School; Olivia Stieler, Montclair Elementary School; Nicholas Kash, Pennington Traditional School; Hamza Mir, Porter Traditional School; MacKenzie McCrae, Signal Hill Elementary School; Jazmyn Baker, Battlefield High School; Abbas Idris, Osbourn Park High School; and Cynthia Johnson, Stonewall Jackson High School.

Winners of a writing contest for fourth- and fifth-graders will be honored and announced at the program, as well.

For information, visit

— Compiled by
Mari-Jane Williams