Cardinal Connections

Cardinal Connections

 

 

Check out our previous Cardinal Connections communications here.

April 5, 2024

Welcome back Gainesville! We hope that each of you had a restful and enjoyable Spring break! Below are some reminders of things that are on the horizon or of help to our families.

Spring Play and Night of the Arts

Night of the Arts will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Grey Commons at Gainesville High School. This is Gainesville High School's first school wide art show celebrating the visual arts, performing arts, and the culinary arts. View amazing artwork created by Gainesville art students, sample delicious ice cream created by culinary arts students, listen to fabulous music, and finish your night off by watching the Gainesville Drama Department perform "Spamalot." Spamalot will be performed on April 5, 6, 11, 12 at 7 p.m. and April 6 at noon. Tickets can be bought on Hometown Ticketing.

End of Marking Period 3

The last day of MK3 is Monday, April 8. Families can review grades in ParentVUE and StudentVUE for live grade updates. Families can reach out to teachers with any questions or concerns regarding grades as we close in on the finish of this school year.

Senior After Grad Party Tickets are now on Sale

On May 29, 2024, from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., GHS PTSO will provide a safe and supervised event where students can celebrate graduation with unforgettable memories in a substance-free environment. Tickets are $50.00 each and can be purchased at https://www.gainesvillehighptso.com/senior-after-grad-tickets. Ticket sales end Monday, May 27, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. No extensions or exceptions. Tickets will not be available at the door the night of the party. More specific information about the After Grad Party can be found in the link above.

April PWCS Family Engagement Series

There are 3 upcoming webinars that are helpful to families and students, especially those with juniors and seniors, and we encourage our families to attend. These include Junior Post-High School Planning session, Financial Aid Award Letter Overview session, and Rising Senior Common Application Overview. For full information, including registration details, please check out the Family Engagement Series website.

Summer School 2024

If your student is interested in summer school, there are a couple of options. Students who are looking to earn new credit, they will take courses through Virtual Prince William (VPW). Summer school registration is currently open through the VPW website, courses cost $375, and registration closes May 24th.

If your student needs to recover (retake) credit from a previous course failure, they can participate in the Launch program. This will be at Unity Reed HS this summer, and registration opens on April 8 through the PWCS Summer School site. Registration closes May 24th. There is no cost for students who need to recover credit. This program is not for those looking to earn new credit. The Launch program also includes an SOL remediation and retesting program. Teachers and school counselors will work with students and families who be a good fit for this program.

It is important that students and families communicate with their student’s school counselor about any plans to take summer school courses to ensure that we have accurate plans in place for their 2024-2025 schedule and for the student’s academic plan.

Senior Scholarship Survey

Those in the class of 2024 should submit all offered scholarships they receive via the 2024 Scholarship Survey. The information that is input there will enable us to know which students should be recognized at the Senior Scholarship Awards on May 20th. Only students who submit their accepted scholarships via the survey will be recognized at this event. The last day students can submit the survey to be recognized is April 30th.

Course Requests for the 2024-2025 School Year

Families should review their student’s course requests for the 2024-2025 school year in Student and Parent VUE under Course Requests. The final day for any course request changes is May 3.

PTSO 5K Run/Walk

GHS PTSO is sponsoring a 5K Run/Walk fundraising event on Saturday, April 27, 2024. Student registration is only $20.00. General registration ends April 26th and is $40.00. The first 100 registrants are guaranteed a race T-shirt. For race information and to register, please go to https://runsignup.com/Race/VA/Gainesville/GHSCardinal5K 

If you are interested in volunteering or sponsoring our 5K event, please send an email to [email protected], Donations to the 5K event can be made at https://www.gainesvillehighptso.com/sponsorbusiness-donations 

Lost and Found

The Gainesville High School lost and found has an impressive collection of coats, sweatshirts, and water bottles. If your student has lost any items, they can come by the main office to search for the lost and found. Items not picked up by Friday, April 12, will be donated.

March 20, 2024

It’s hard to believe that we are only days away from the start of Spring Break (March 25th – March 29th). When we return from break on April 1st, we will only have eight and a half weeks until graduation.

Congratulations to HOSA students Farheen Rahman, Kyle Oh, and Sowmya Ramesh. They participated in the Virginia State HOSA competition for Biomedical Debate. Their arguments around whether AI should be used in medicine placed them 4th overall in the state of Virginia.

GHS Robotics recently had two teams represent the school in the state tournament in Doswell VA. Both teams ended in the middle of the field of 58 competition teams and logged several wins along the way.

Congratulations, also, to the GHS Choirs for their fantastic performances at last week's district assessments. Bass Choir earned an Excellent Rating and Combined Treble Choir earned a Superior Rating, along with Combined Concert Choir. Thanks to the efforts of Symphonic Band, Chamber Orchestra, and Gainesville Singers for earning Superior ratings at their assessments, the GHS Music Program has earned the highly coveted Blue Ribbon Award of Musical Excellence for the third consecutive year!

SAT Day

All 12th graders are to work asynchronously from home on March 21, when our Junior class takes the daytime SAT. Our teachers have assigned required assignments for our seniors to complete that will be considered for attendance purposes.

All 11th graders are taking the SAT during school hours and should report to their test location at the start of the school day on Thursday. 9th and 10th graders will be attending class that day as normal. 11th grade students and parents received a message on Thursday March 14 with full details on this testing day.

Spring Play and Night of the Arts

Night of the Arts will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm in the Grey Commons at Gainesville High School. This is Gainesville High School's first school wide art show celebrating the visual arts, performing arts, and the culinary arts. View amazing artwork created by Gainesville art students, sample delicious ice cream created by culinary arts students, listen to fabulous music, and finish your night off by watching the Gainesville Drama Department perform "Spamalot".

Gainesville High School Theatre presents Monty Python's "Spamalot". Prepare to embark on a hilarious musical journey through the mythical land of Camelot, filled with daring knights, quirky characters, and terrifying rabbits. Mark your calendars for April 5, 6, 11, 12 at 7 PM and April 6 at noon. Tickets can be bought on Hometown Ticketing.

Prom Information

Prom will be held on Saturday, April 13 at 7 PM at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. The theme this year is Masquerade. Ticket sales started Monday, March 18 during all lunches. Tickets are $55 each and will be available to seniors the week of March 18. Ticket sales are open to all Juniors and Seniors on Monday, April 1 during lunches.

The prom agreement located here, must be completed and turned in when purchasing your ticket. If you are bringing an outside guest, the outside guest form, found at this link, must be completed and turned in at time of ticket purchase. Both forms can be picked up in the office as well. Information about Prom and forms can be located on our website.

We are also looking for food and drink donations for Prom. You can go here to sign up for donations.

Parent Survey

One of our continuous improvement goals is to give students a chance to explain their learning in class, to ensure that students know what they are expected to learn, and to understand how they are assessed. As we approach spring break and the division wide Climate and Culture Survey, we ask for your help. As educational partners with families, please fill out this mini survey to provide us with 3rd quarter feedback.

New Attendance Procedures

We will have a new procedure for our early dismissal process starting Monday, April 1, with hopes of expediting the process. To arrange for an early dismissal, the parent/guardian can email [email protected] at least 1 hour in advance of the requested time of departure. Include your student’s name, reason for early dismissal, the requested time of the early dismissal and if your student is a driver. Please reference the phrase EARLY DISMISSAL in the subject line of your email.

The attendance administrative assistants will verify the request, reply to your email and include your students’ school email indicating they are allowed to leave school on the requested date and time. This email will be your student’s early dismissal pass. Students need to show the email to their teacher and report to the main office for their early dismissal.

Parent/guardian will need to have a photo ID when coming into the building to pick up your student. Parents are strongly encouraged to use ParentVUE to monitor their student’s attendance. ParentVUE should be used to excuse full day absences on the day of or in advanced of planned absence.

To excuse past absences, parent/guardian can email [email protected]. Include your student’s name, reason for absence and dates, as well as a contact phone number. Please reference the word ABSENCE in the subject line of your email.

If a student arrives to school after 7:30 a.m. they are considered tardy to school. To excuse a tardy, your student will need to bring in a dated, signed note from their parent/guardian with a valid excuse or the parent/guardian can email [email protected]. Please reference the word TARDY in the subject line of your email message. Be sure to include the full name of your student, reason for tardy and dates, as well as the contact telephone numbers.

Course Requests for the 2024-2025 School Year

Families should review their student’s course requests for the 2024-2025 school year in Student and Parent VUE under Course Requests. The final day for any course request changes is May 3.

March 8, 2024

Congratulations to the Gainesville Band Program on a strong showing at their Concert Band Assessment this weekend! Both the Concert Band and Symphonic Band earned straight Superior ratings from their adjudicators, a huge feat within itself. Combined with our Superior rating at Marching Band Assessment in the Fall, the Gainesville HS Band program has earned Virginia Honor Band status for the '23-24 school year, 2nd year in a row! This is our "Michelin Star" for outstanding musical excellence awarded by their governing body, VBODA. We will celebrate this achievement at our Spring Concert on April 30th, open to all.

Parent Survey

One of our continuous improvement goals is to give students a chance to explain their learning in class, to ensure that students know what they are expected to learn, and to understand how they are assessed. As we approach spring break and the division wide Climate and Culture Survey, we ask for your help. As educational partners with families, please fill out this mini survey to provide us with 3rd quarter feedback.

Course Requests for the 2024-2025 School Year

Families should review their student’s course requests for the 2024-2025 school year in Student and Parent VUE under Course Requests. The final day for any course request changes is May 3.

SAT Day

The Junior SAT is almost here! All 11th graders will take the SAT on March 21 during the school day. All 12th graders will work from home asynchronously that day, and 9th and 10th graders will have school as usual.

Night of the Arts

Gainesville is hosting a NIGHT OF THE ARTS on Saturday, April 6 from 4:30 - 7 in the Grey Commons. This is Gainesville High School's first school wide art show celebrating the visual arts, performing arts, and the culinary arts. View amazing artwork created by Gainesville art students, sample delicious ice cream created by culinary arts students, listen to fabulous music, and finish your night off by watching the Gainesville High School Players perform "Spamalot". It's a night of the arts that you don't want to miss!

Prom Information

Prom will be held on Saturday, April 13 at 7 PM at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. The theme this year is Masquerade. Ticket sales start Monday, March 18 during all lunches. Tickets are $55 each and will be available to seniors the week of March 18. Ticket sales are open to all Juniors and Seniors on Monday, April 1 during lunches.

The prom agreement, located here, must be completed and turned in when purchasing your ticket. If you are bringing an outside guest, the outside guest form, found Prom and forms can be located on our website.

We are also looking for food and drink donations for Prom. You can go here: Prom 2024 Donations to sign up for donations.

Senior After Grad Party

Senior class members are invited to a PTSO sponsored After Graduation Party at GHS. The celebration will occur on May 29, 2024, from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am and our PTSO has planning well under way to provide a safe and supervised event where students can celebrate their graduation with friends in a substance-free environment. Students will be able to enjoy inflatables, laser tag, caricature drawings, henna, live DJ, special 2024 Graduation Craft Keepsake item, photo booth, large floor games and other fun surprises. Tickets are $50.00 each - go to this link to purchase your ticket. Ticket sales end Monday, May 27, 2024, at 5:00 pm.

Senior Trip

Seniors! The Class of 2024 Senior Trip will be on Saturday, April 20, 2024. We will be going to Busch Garden's Williamsburg. We will be leaving GHS at 7:30 a.m. and returning around 8 p.m. More information forthcoming.

Meal Deliveries

Students are not permitted to have delivery services drop off food during the school day. We do not have staff available to deliver food within the building, nor do we want unknown delivery drivers seeking to gain access to the school through various doors around the building. Families, we appreciate your help in monitoring this trend if your student uses Grub Hub, Uber Eats, or other vendors. As ever, parents are welcome to drop off food for your student. However, we ask that you come into the main office and leave the delivery with a member of the clerical or administrative staff.

Parking Passes

All students who drive to Gainesville are required to purchase a parking pass. The good news is parking passes are now available for ½ price. The price is now $50. Students are reminded they are not permitted to park in visitor and staff parking spaces or go to their cars during school hours.

March 4, 2024

It has been a big week for our clubs and athletics!

Congratulations to the Indoor Track team on their success at the state meet. Our first state individual titles in school history were won by Caroline Tribett and Trent Daniels. Caroline ran 10:36.47 to run away from the competition in the 3200-meter run. Trent won both the 1600- and 3200-meter runs. Trent ran 4:09.34 in the 1600 and 9:27.34 in the 3200. Farah Nasir finished third in both the 500- and 300-meter races earning herself more All-State honors. The girls and boys 4X800 meter relays set new school records with the girls finishing 7th and the boys' finishing 9th. Olivia Wilcoxen and Emily Johnson both tied the school record, jumping 9'6" in the girls' pole vault.

Our Girls Basketball team completed another highly successful season, finishing in the State quarterfinals. Congratulations to our players and coaches!

We had five students qualify for the All-State Honor Band, Orchestra, and choirs! Congratulations Noah Tipton, Casey Murray, Aaron Buford, Daniel Wilson, and Mara Cerven.

We had a group of students travel to the FBLA Spring Germanna Regional Leadership Conference and 15 students are eligible to compete at the State Leadership Conference in April. We are incredibly proud of the work of our CTSOs, thank you sponsors and students for your hard work and dedication!

Upcoming Events:

PWCS Career Fair

There will be a spring Career Fair at Woodbridge High School on March 7, 5-7pm. Students and families can learn about internships, future jobs, and summer employment. For more information check out the PWCS Career Fair page.

PWCS Transition Fair

PWCS is hosting a Transition Fair from 9am to 4pm on Saturday March 16 at Colgan HS. This fair is for students with disabilities and their families to help plan for life after high school. Full information can be found on the PWCS website.

Spamalot

Our talented theatre students will be putting on Monty Python's Spamalot School Edition April 5, 6, 11, and 12 at 7:00 pm and April 6 at noon. Tickets will be available through Home Towne Ticketing soon.

Night of the Arts

The Night of the Arts featuring artwork from Gainesville High School Students will occur in the late afternoon April 6th, prior to the evening production of the spring musical Spamalot. More details to come soon.

Prom

Gainesville High School’s Prom, Grand Masquerade, will take place on April 13, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, VA. Tickets will be $55 and sold during all lunches. Ticket sales will be first available to Seniors from March 18th – 22nd, and open to Seniors and Juniors April 1st – 5th.

Other Reminders

Buy a Yearbook

It's been a year like no other and the 2024 yearbook will help capture those memories for students and family. Preserve your child's memories by reserving your copy of the yearbook. Parents of seniors also have a limited opportunity to purchase a personal ad for their student. Space is limited and sales will be first come first serve. Order your yearbook HERE.

Cap and Gown Distribution

Jostens will be returning to distribute Caps and Gowns on April 4th during all lunches. If you have not yet ordered your cap and gown, please do so as soon as possible. Cap and Gown units are on sale online at www.jostens.com.

February 24, 2024

As we approach the halfway point of the 3rd marking period, we encourage families to monitor student progress via ParentVUE. If you have questions regarding your student’s progress, please contact their teachers directly.

Winter sports are starting to wrap up. Our wrestling team continued to build off last season’s success. In the district tournament, we advanced 6 wrestlers to regionals, highlighted by Owen Sankey and Jon DeMarco capturing individual titles. At the regional tournament, we advanced 2 wrestlers, Jon DeMarco and Spencer Krawchuk to the state tournament. At states, Jon DeMarco capped off his high school career with a 3rd place finish. Jon finishes his career as a 3x Cedar Run District Champion, 2X Region 6B Champion, and 2X Division 6 State Place winner. Congratulations to our wrestling team and coaches.

Our swim team continues to improve each season. We were well-represented in the District, Regional, and State Tournaments. State results include: Olivia Buckley 8th in 100 Breast, Hailey Edenburg 9th in 200 IM, Christian Carroll 9th in the 50 Free and 100 Back, Ava Zimmer 12th in 500 Free, Lexie Brazier 14th in 500 Free, and Sam Ha 21st in 100 Breast. Congratulations to all our swimmers and coaches.

More next week on other winter sports teams!

Meal Deliveries

Students are not permitted to have delivery services drop off food during the school day. We do not have staff available to deliver food within the building, nor do we want unknown delivery drivers seeking to gain access to the school through various doors around the building. Families, we appreciate your help in monitoring this trend if your student uses Grub Hub, Uber Eats, or other vendors. As ever, parents are welcome to drop off food for your student. However, we ask that you come into the main office and leave the delivery with a member of the clerical or administrative staff.

PWCS Transition Fair

PWCS is hosting a Transition Fair from 9am to 4pm on Saturday March 16 AT Colgan HS. This fair is for students with disabilities and their families to help plan for life after high school. Full information can be found on the PWCS website./p>

Junior SAT

All 11th graders at GHS will take the SAT during the school day on March 21. Students should bring a fully charged device that day. 12th graders are working asynchronously that day and will complete assignments from teachers via Canvas while at home. 9th and 10th graders will attend their classes as usual. If your student would like to sign up for SAT prep course being held at GHS in March, please sign up via the SAT Prep Class link by 2/27. This class is first come, first serve.

Spring Testing Information

The spring testing schedule is posted on the GHS website. This includes SOL, AP, and SAT testing dates. It is important that students are present in the building and ready to test on the day of their assigned assessment.

Family Engagement Series

PWCS offers almost weekly information sessions for families on topics relevant to our community. This includes attendance, scholarship searches, NOVA information sessions, and many other topics. Please check out the Family Engagement Series website for full details.

PWCS Career Fair

There will be a spring Career Fair at Woodbridge High School on 3/7, 5-7pm. Students and families can learn about internships, future jobs, and summer employment. For more information check out the PWCS Career Fair page.

NOVA E-Summer Program

NOVA’s E-Summer Program Is designed to introduce Hispanic and underrepresented minority students to STEM and the energy industry. Interested juniors and seniors should take a look at the NOVA site for more information and/or attend an information session on 2/28. The application is open 3/1 to 5/1.

Parking Passes

All students who drive to Gainesville are required to purchase a parking pass. The good news is parking passes are now available for ½ price. The price is now $50. Students are reminded they are not permitted to park in visitor and staff parking spaces or go to their cars during school hours.

Buy a Yearbook

It's been a year like no other and the 2024 yearbook will help capture those memories for students and family. Preserve your child's memories by reserving your copy of the yearbook. Parents of seniors also have a limited opportunity to purchase a personal ad for their student. Space is limited and sales will be first come first serve. Order your yearbook HERE.

February 21, 2024

Congratulations to Mr. Bergman’s and Ms. Sidener’s students for the success of the GHS Law Club's first Mock Trial at the PWC Court House last Saturday. The event saw participation by six high Schools and eleven teams. Thirty-eight GHS students attended this year's mock civil case. The GHS plaintiff team was headed by Natalie Ebbits, Ethan Bernier, and Autumn Allen. The Defense team headed by Ava Reed, Rhita Igout, and Jordan Nesbitt. Each team had three witnesses who testified and acted the parts of the witness. Nya Jackson, Elizabeth Morris, and Elina Jones for the defense. Joseph Hobson, Josiah Martinek , and Laila Britford for the plaintiff. The teams each competed against the opposite councils from Hylton HS. They were divided up into groups and sent to different court rooms to hear the civil case and then deliberate, with real judges and attorneys sat on the bench to oversee the proceedings. We will look forward to more events for the Law Club here at GHS.

Senior After Grad Party

Senior class members are invited to a PTSO sponsored After Graduation Party at GHS. The celebration will occur on May 29, 2024, from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am and our PTSO has planning well under way to provide a safe and supervised event where students can celebrate their graduation with friends in a substance-free environment. Students will be able to enjoy inflatables, laser tag, caricature drawings, henna, live DJ, special 2024 Graduation Craft Keepsake item, photo booth, large floor games and other fun surprises. Tickets are $50.00 each - go to this link to purchase your ticket. Ticket sales end Monday, May 27, 2024, at 5:00 pm.

Junior SAT Day

PWCS is conducting SAT School Test Day on March 21 for all 11th graders. Students will test during the school day in the comfort of their own school. PWCS will register all 11th graders for the SAT; families do not need to register their student. We encourage students to prepare via the College Board Official SAT Practice. More information on this will be sent directly to 11th grade families in the coming week.

When 11th graders take the SAT on March 21, they will be allowed to send 4 free score reports to the colleges of their choice. We encourage families to discuss the schools to which score reports should be sent with their student prior to the March 21 SAT.

Academic advising for 2024-2025 has begun!

Once a student has met with their school counselor for their one-on-one meeting, a student’s course requests will be visible via Student and Parent VUE under Course Requests. The final day to make changes to requests is 5/3/24. Full information on academic advising can be found on the GHS Counseling Canvas page.

Spring Testing

The spring testing season is starting soon. A reminder that SOLs are required for graduation and are important indicators of student progress. We ask families to ensure their student is present and ready to test on their assigned days. The first set of testing is on March 6 and 7 for the Writing SOL (multiple choice) and March 12 and 13 (essay portion) for those students in English 11/AP Language & Composition. More information regarding the Writing SOL will come directly from English 11/AP Language & Composition teachers. To see student testing requirements, families can check Test History in Parent and Student VUE.

February 12, 2024

We had a busy weekend at GHS. Our Unified Basketball team hosted a 12 team tournament, and a gym packed with student athletes and spectators. Dr, McDade even stopped by to enjoy some of the games. In the performing arts wing, we hosted over 300 students for the District Choir concert. It was great to see so many talented students and community members attending these events on Saturday.

Athletically, we end our winter sports regular season and have already seen numerous GHS teams and individuals compete in District and Regional competition. Our student athletes and their coaches have dedicated huge amounts of time and effort to practice and compete, representing Gainesville High School. We’re proud of our student athletes and appreciate the contributions they’ve made for our school and the community.

Counseling

PWCS is conducting SAT School Test Day on March 21 for all 11th graders. Students will test during the school day in the comfort of their own school. PWCS will register all 11th graders for the SAT; families do not need to register their student. We encourage students to prepare via the College Board Official SAT Practice. More information on this will be sent directly to 11th grade families in the coming week.

Academic advising for 2024-2025 has begun! Once a student has met with their school counselor for their one-on-one meeting, a student’s course requests are visible via Student and Parent VUE under Course Requests. The final day to make changes to requests is 5/3/24. Full information on academic advising can be found on the GHS Counseling Canvas page.

GHS will be sending mid-year transcripts for the class of 2024 no later than February 15. Mid-year transcripts include 1st semester grades and the student’s preliminary GPA. The preliminary GPA includes grades for classes that are complete and classes that are in progress. Students that have requested initial transcripts be sent to school will automatically have mid-year transcripts sent. There is no action required as long as an initial transcript request was submitted in Naviance. Final transcripts will be sent to the school(s) students indicate on their Senior Survey they are attending; the Senior Survey is taken in April and is required for all graduating seniors.

Students will be completing the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice and Department of Education Virginia School Survey of Climate and Working Conditions during advisory on Monday February 12th. These results are anonymous. You may preview the questions asked in the student survey at this website: https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/virginia-center-school-and-campus-safety/school-safety-survey/secondary-school-climate-survey.

Senior After Grad Party

Join us on May 29, 2024, from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM at GHS for the inaugural Senior Grad Party hosted by the PTSO. We are dedicated to providing a safe and supervised event where students can celebrate their graduation with unforgettable memories in a substance-free environment. Tickets are $50.00 each and include the following:

  • Entertainment - Inflatables, Laser Tag, Caricature drawings, Henna, Live DJ, Special 2024 Graduation Craft Keepsake item, Photo Booth, Large Floor Games and other fun surprises.
  • Food - All of your favorite places!!
  • Prizes - Everyone will receive a raffle ticket upon entry for a chance to win some awesome prizes such as TV's, laptops, headphones, and gift cards.

If you have any financial challenges, don't let the admission price keep you from enjoying this event. Please have the graduating senior speak with their school counselor for further assistance.

Check-in is from 9:45 PM to 11:30 PM. Photo ID will be required for entry. There will be no admittance after 11:30 PM. Go to this link to purchase your ticket. Ticket sales end Monday, May 27, 2024, at 5:00 PM. No extensions or exemptions. Tickets will not be available at the door the night of the party.

Gifted Education

Questions about the Gifted Identification Process in PWCS?

The Office of Gifted Education and Talent Development is hosting an information session on Tuesday, February 20th for parents who are interested and/or have questions about gifted identification. Gifted services in PWCS are provided for students in need of additional enrichment services above and beyond the classroom setting.

Register here to attend the virtual information session. If you have questions about identification or gifted services at GVHS, please contact Beth Christensen [email protected] or Rob Dulin [email protected]

Spring Sports Athletic Paperwork

We will utilize the activity registry for turning in physicals and concussion training. Just a reminder that all athletes must have an updated physical (dated after 5/1/2023) and completed concussion training to tryout. If you have any questions about the registry, please contact Ms. May at [email protected]

Winter Sports are coming to an end. Please come out and support your Cardinals as they compete for post-season play!! All game schedules can be found at https://gainesvillecardinals.com

February 5, 2024

The week of February 5th is National School Counseling Week. GHS school counselors are proud to serve our students in all areas, and they are grateful for the families, students, and staff with whom they get to work. If you see your school counselor this week, be sure to say thank you for all they do!

Congratulations to the 16 GHS students who were selected to participate in this weekend’s All-District Honor Band. Having 16 students selected, including two 1st Chairs, and 7 All-State audition eligible students, continues the positive growth that our performing arts program has experienced in the last two school years.

Academic Advising

Academic advising started for rising 12th graders this past week. A reminder to families to use Parent VUE after their student has their academic advising meeting. Courses that students request will be listed under Course Requests.

Dual Enrollment (DE) Opportunities in PWCS

PWCS’ Advanced Academics team is offering a DE information session on February 7, between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Our team will explore numerous opportunities to earn credit, ways to leverage those credits, as well as eligibility and the registration process for students. Families interested in attending must register; if you require language accommodations, please complete the request form by 2/5.

SALC Leadership Class Project

Our Leadership Class is hosting a Warm Clothing Drive! Please donate any gently worn or unworn clothes, mittens, coats, socks, sweaters, scarves, hats, etc. Donations will be collected through February 16. Donations can be dropped off in front of the main office, labeled "SALC Warm Clothing Drive.". All donations will go to the House of Mercy in Manassas. Together, we can spread warmth and kindness in our community.

Buy a Yearbook

It's been a year like no other and the 2024 yearbook will help capture those memories for students and family. Preserve your child's memories by reserving your copy of the yearbook. Parents of seniors also have a limited opportunity to purchase a personal ad for their student. Space is limited and sales will be first come first serve. Order your yearbook here.

Spring Sports Athletic Paperwork

All athletes must have an updated physical (dated after 5/1/2023) and completed concussion training to try out for spring sports. If you have any questions about the registry, please contact Ms. May at [email protected]

Upcoming Events

Principals Advisory Council (PAC)

The GHS Principal’s Advisory Council (PAC) is meeting on Monday, February 5, at 6:30 p.m. in room 1146. Please enter using Door #3. Parents, students, faculty and staff are welcome.

Support our GHS Athletes

Cardinal fans, please come out and support our winter athletes as they will be competing in District and Regional Championships.

  • 2/5- Swim Regionals @ PWCS Aquatics 5:30 p.m.
  • 2/6- Region Gymnastics @ Patriot 5:30 p.m.
  • 2/6- District Track and Field @ Battlefield (Field events) 2:00 p.m.
  • 2/7- District Semi-final's for Basketball @ GHS, Girls game: 5:30 p.m., Boys game: 7:30 p.m.
  • 2/7- District Track @ Unity Reed (Running events) 2:00 p.m.
  • 2/9- District finals for Basketball @ TBD
  • 2/9- District Consolation game @ TBD

District Events Ticket Link

Region Events Ticket Link

Unified Basketball

Gainesville High School will be hosting our third annual Unified Basketball Tournament this year on February 10, and we are asking for your help. We are asking for snack donations from our community for your student athletes. We ask that all donations be brought to the school by 3:00 p.m. on Friday February 9. If you are willing and able, please see our form here: https://forms.office.com/r/ueAX4pu8Ji. If you have any questions, please reach out to Mrs. Megan Negulici at [email protected]

1st Annual Cardinal 5K Run/Walk

GHS PTSO is sponsoring a 5K Run/Walk fundraising event on Saturday, April 27, 2024. Student registration is only $20.00. Early Bird registration is $35.00 and goes until February 17th. General registration starts February 18th and goes on until April 26th. The first 100 registrants are guaranteed a customized Finisher Medal and a T-shirt. For race information and to register, please go to https://runsignup.com/Race/VA/Gainesville/GHSCardinal5K

If you are interested in volunteering or sponsoring our 5K event, please send an email to [email protected], donations to the 5K event can be made at https://www.gainesvillehighptso.com/sponsorbusiness-donations 

January 28, 2024

The newly redesigned PWCS High School Course Catalog for the 2024-25 school year is now available on the PWCS website. The course catalog is a resource provided to support the design of each student’s academic schedule to prepare them for launching their thriving future. Families will find information about specialty programs, career pathways, and post-secondary education options, in addition to descriptions of all the courses offered in PWCS high schools. Translations are provided in several languages to ensure ease of use for all families.

New Courses Offered at GHS

Gainesville High School will offer new courses for the 2024-2025 school year. These courses include DE English 12, English 10 Seminar, PLTW Biomedical Innovations DE Multivariable Calculus, and AP African American History, among others. The full list of courses offered for 24-25, can be found in the Academic Advising module on the GHS Counseling Canvas page. Please note these are offered courses are not guaranteed to run. Factors such as student interest and staffing determine which courses will ultimately run.

Academic Advising

Academic advising starts for rising seniors on January 31! Counselors will start meeting with current juniors in their US History classes, all GHS students will have a one-on-on meeting with their school counselor before spring break. Students had a lesson on the academic advising process on 1/11. This lesson video is posted in the GHS Counseling Canvas page under Academic Advising -> Academic Advising Resources. Full information on academic advising at GHS can be found on the GHS website and the GHS Counseling Canvas Academic Advising module.

If your student is a member of the class of 2025 and you missed the Junior Family Webinar, it is now posted on our GHS YouTube page. Check it out!

Tutoring Available at GHS

Students, as the end of marking period 2 approaches, please check with your teachers about any additional supports that are available at Gainesville High School, if you feel they could benefit you. Beyond the in class supports our teachers offer, there are also student-led tutoring sessions that occur in some subjects:

  • Math Honor Society Tutoring: Every Tuesday and Thursday after school in 2107.
  • Science Honor Society Tutoring: Tuesday and Wednesday after school in room 2301

Also, students and families can use the free Paper Online Tutorial for 24/7 for all subjects. Students can access Paper via the login page, type in Gainesville High School, and then sign in with the student’s Clever account.

Buy a Yearbook

It's been a year like no other and the 2024 yearbook will help capture those memories for students and family. Preserve your child's memories by reserving your copy of the yearbook. Parents of seniors also have a limited opportunity to purchase a personal ad for their student. Space is limited and sales will be first come first serve. Order your yearbook HERE.

Spring Sports Athletic Paperwork

All athletes must have an updated physical (dated after 5/1/2023) and completed concussion training to tryout. If you have any questions about the registry, please contact Ms. May at [email protected]

District Choir Donations

Please help us host the District 9 Honor Choir event in February! This is our first big choir event being hosted at GHS (about 500 people!) so we need your help to make it successful. We need food donations, product donations, and volunteers to help during the event. EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS, even if you do not have a student participating. Please check out the links below; thank you so much in advance!

District Choir Volunteer Sign Up

District Choir Donation Sign Up

District Choir Amazon Wish List (ships directly to us!)

1st Annual Cardinal 5K Run/Walk

GHS PTSO is sponsoring a 5K Run/Walk fundraising event on Saturday, April 27, 2024. Student registration is only $20.00. Early Bird registration is $35.00 and goes until February 17th. General registration starts February 18th and goes on until April 26th. The first 100 registrants are guaranteed a customized Finisher Medal and a T-shirt. For race information and to register, please visit our website.

If you are interested in volunteering or sponsoring our 5K event, please send us an email. Donations to the 5K event can be made at our website

Lost and Found

The Gainesville High School lost and found has an impressive collection of coats, sweatshirts, and water bottles. If your student has lost any items, they can come by the main office to search the lost and found. Items not picked up by Friday, February 2, will be donated to a local organization.

Reminder

Students are not permitted to order from food delivery services for lunch, nor are they permitted to leave campus to pick up lunch. Parents may bring their children’s lunch to the front desk if desired. Please remind your students of this school policy.

January 22, 2024

We hope that the GHS community enjoyed the first snow days of 2024 this past week. A reminder that if PWCS calls a Code Orange, students are expected to log on to their teachers’ zoom during their classes. Full information including the Code Orange Bell Schedule can be found on the GHS website.

We are happy to announce that the GHS Visual Arts Department secured more placement in the Off the Wall art contest than any other PWCS high school! Congratulations to the following students for their well-deserved awards: Kearstin Stafford (1st place Photography), Natalie Chunn (2nd place Photography), Lyn McCuen (1st place Digital Art), Isaiah Minnis (Honorable Mention Digital Art), and Jai Park (Honorable Mention Painting and Drawing). We are proud of our talented Cardinals.

Dual Enrollment (DE) Opportunities in PWCS

PWCS’ Advanced Academics team is offering a DE information session on 2/7, 6-7 pm. The team will explore various opportunities to earn credit, ways to leverage those credits, as well as eligibility and the registration process for students. Families interested in attending must register; if you require language accommodations, please complete the request form by 2/4.

New Courses Offered for 2024-25

Gainesville HS will offer new courses for the 2024-2025 school year. These courses include DE English 12, English 10 Seminar, PLTW Biomedical Innovations The GHS staff is happy to announce new courses being, DE Multivariable Calculus, and AP African American History, among others. The full list of courses offered for 24-25, can be found in the Academic Advising module on the GHS Counseling Canvas page. Please note these are offered courses are not guaranteed to run. Factors such as student interest and staffing determine which courses will ultimately run.

2024-25 High School Course Catalog

The newly redesigned PWCS High School Course Catalog for the 2024-25 school year is now available. The course catalog is a resource provided to support the design of each student’s academic schedule to prepare them for launching their thriving future. Families will find information about specialty programs, career pathways, and post-secondary education options, in addition to descriptions of all the courses offered in PWCS high schools. Translations are provided in several languages to ensure ease of use for all families.

January 12, 2024

Greetings from the NEST,

The new year is underway, and we are two weeks away from the end of the first semester. Students and families please take a moment to review ParentVUE/ StudentVUE to check grades and communicate with your student’s teachers if you have any questions or concerns with how your student is currently progressing in class, as this is a good time to identify supports available.

I would also like to stress the importance of good attendance, especially between now and February 1. We have generations of research in education that reiterate the impact daily attendance, on time, at the bell, in every class can have on students’ success. We ask for your support as we work with students to reduce absences, and tardies and have a strong finish to the first semester.

The good work happening in our school goes beyond the gradebook, and I wanted to take a moment to share accolades we have received recently. Gainesville High School earned a Blue Star Status for the 22-23 school year. This is a distinction earned by only 150 schools nationwide for students’ outstanding performance on the 2022-2023 W!SE financial literacy certification test. This is an assessment students take in Economics and Personal Finance, and we are proud of the work of our students and teachers in earning this distinction.

Also, we congratulate our Art students featured in the Off the Wall High School Art Competition. If you would like to see the work our students featured, they will be featured in an Open House on January 22nd at the ARTFactory, 9419 Battle St. Manassas, VA.

Tutoring Available at GHS

Students, as the end of marking period 2 approaches, please check with your teachers about any additional supports that are available at Gainesville High School, if you feel they could benefit you. Beyond the in class supports our teachers offer, there are also student-led tutoring sessions that occur in some subjects:

  • Math Honor Society Tutoring:
    • Every Tuesday and Thursday after school in 2107.
  • Science Honor Society Tutoring:
    • Tuesday and Wednesday after school in room 2301

Also, students and families can use the free Paper Online Tutorial for 24/7 for all subjects. Students can access Paper via the login page, type in Gainesville High School, and then sign in with the student’s Clever account.

Academic Advising

Academic advising season is almost upon us. Students had a lesson on the academic advising process in their advisory class on January 11th. This lesson video is posted in the GHS Counseling Canvas page under Academic Advising -> Academic Advising Resources. All GHS students will have a one-on-on meeting with their school counselor before spring break, starting with rising 12th graders in late January. Full information on academic advising at GHS can be found on the GHS website and the GHS Counseling Canvas Academic Advising module.

Meal Deliveries

Students are not permitted to have delivery services drop off food during the school day. We do not have staff available to deliver food within the building, nor do we want unknown delivery drivers seeking to gain access to the school through various doors around the building. Families, we appreciate your help in monitoring this trend if your student uses Grub Hub, Uber Eats, or other vendors. As ever, parents are welcome to drop off food for your student. However, we ask that you come into the main office and leave the delivery with a member of the clerical or administrative staff.

Lost and Found

The Gainesville High School lost and found has an impressive collection of coats, sweatshirts, and water bottles. If your student has lost any items, they can come by the main office to search the lost and found. Items not picked up by Friday, January 26, will be donated to a local organization.

Graduation 2024

Graduation will be on May 29, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. at EagleBank Arena on the George Mason Fairfax campus. Please visit our Class of 2024 page on the website for more information.

Spring Sports Athletic Paperwork

All athletes must have an updated physical (dated after 5/1/2023) and completed concussion training to tryout. If you have any questions about the registry, please contact Ms. May at [email protected]

Winter Sports are continuing. Please come out and support your Cardinals. All game schedules can be found on the GHS athletic website.

Upcoming Events

Unified Basketball

Gainesville High School will be hosting our third annual Unified Basketball Tournament this year on February 10, and we are asking for your help. We are asking for snack donations from our community for your student athletes. We ask that all donations be brought to the school by 3:00 p.m. on Friday February 9. If you are willing and able, please see our form here: https://forms.office.com/r/ueAX4pu8Ji. If you have any questions, please reach out to Mrs. Megan Negulici at [email protected]

Night of the Arts

The Night of the Arts featuring artwork from Gainesville High School Students will occur in the late afternoon April 6th, prior to the evening production of the spring musical Spamalot. More details to come soon.

Rising 9th Grade Webinar

Do you know any rising 9th graders coming to GHS in the fall of 2024? If so, please encourage students and families to register and attend the Rising 9th Grade Webinar on 1/25 at 6pm.

January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 25: Rising 9th Grade Webinar

January 26: End of Marking Period 2

January 29: Teacher Workday

Stay Connected with GHS

January 7, 2024

Code Orange

In the case that PWCS calls for a Code Orange all students will receive live virtual instruction in all their classes from 9 a.m. - 1:50 p.m. Students should check their Canvas courses for links to attend their online instruction. As with any school day, teachers may provide new learning as part of the delivery of instruction during regular scheduled classes. Students will need to turn their cameras on and participate in the class to be counted as present. Students can utilize blurred or other backgrounds. If a student has trouble logging in on a Code Orange Day, Families should contact the PWCS Help Desk at 703-791-8826. For more information about Code Orange and other weather-related closures, please see the PWCS Inclement Weather page and Gainesville HS Page for the Code Orange Bell Schedule.

Graduation 2024

Graduation will be on May 29, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. at EagleBank Arena on the George Mason Fairfax campus. Please visit our Class of 2024 page on the website for more information.

Cap and Gown Orders: Caps and Gowns are available for purchase on Jostens.com, a unit includes the cap, gown, and tassel, and the cost is $50. Please make sure to buy these soon as the price will increase in January. If you need assistance with a Cap and Gown, please contact your school counselor.

Senior Pictures: Seniors who are still in need of graduation pictures should contact Victor O'Neill Studios to set up an appointment. Their phone number is 703-532-0013 and website is https://www.vosphoto.com/ 

Counseling

The GHS Counseling team is hosting a Junior Parent Webinar on January 11th. Representatives from 2- and 4-year schools will be there, and we will also have reps from NOVA to discuss financial aid. Families of 11th graders should register via the 11th Grade Family Webinar link. Please complete this form to help us prepare as we would appreciate family and student feedback on questions they may have.

As you may know, there are many changes coming to the FAFSA this year. Please visit the GHS webpage to learn about those changes, see frequently asked questions, and get updates on future workshops and events.

The ASVAB test has been rescheduled to Tuesday, January 16th. Students who are interested may register to take the test in Naviance under college visits. Please see Mrs. Harris if you need assistance.

Specialty Program Information Night

What is your Pathway? On Wednesday, January 17, we will host our final Pathways Program Information Night starting at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium. Families interested in applying for transfer to GHS for the 2024 – 25 school year are invited to learn more about this innovative, inclusive specialty program. We will outline the various pathways available to transfer students and introduce the Extended Learning Experience option for juniors and seniors. For more information, interested students should visit with their counselor or reach out to Dr. Scott at [email protected] or 571.248.3265.

Please also keep in mind that any student planning to transfer to another high school’s specialty program (except for performing arts at Colgan) must apply for transfer before February 1. Information about the specialty programs and the application process can be found on the Specialty Program page of the PWCS website. Student acceptances will be communicated in mid-to-late February, and families must accept an offered seat by March 5, 2024.

Early Online College

NOVA is offering free online classes to current 11th and 12th graders in the spring of 2024 through the Early Online College (EOC) program. Registration is open until 1/8/24 at 5pm. These classes are for NOVA credit only, not for PWCS. More information on the EOC program can be found on the PWCS EOC website. A recording of an information session held in November can be accessed here; the password is 2t.DZ%W8. Presentation slides from this event are also available.

Spring Sports Athletic Paperwork

With the return of Ms. May, our athletic trainer, we will utilize the online activity registry for turning in physicals and concussion training. Just a reminder that all athletes must have an updated physical (dated after 5/1/2023) and completed concussion training to tryout. If you have any questions about the registry, please contact Ms. May at [email protected]

Winter Sports are continuing. Please come out and support your Cardinals. All game schedules can be found on the GHS athletic website.

December 18, 2023

Greetings from Gainesville High School! It is hard to believe that we are finishing up the final few days of 2023. As we reflect on the many amazing accomplishments of our students, we look forward to a new year and continued accomplishments. Congratulations to our Unified basketball team. They had their 2nd game against Patriot this past Tuesday and our student body showed up to support them in a huge way. This week also saw outstanding performances during our Choir, Orchestra and Band holiday performances, and our strings program was selected to provide entertainment during the recent School Board swearing in ceremony. We wish our Gainesville community happy holidays and a restful winter break. We look forward to seeing everyone back in January 2024!

Code Orange

In the case that PWCS calls for a Code Orange all students will receive live virtual instruction in all their classes from 9 a.m. - 1:50 p.m. Students should check their Canvas courses for links to attend their online instruction. As with any school day, teachers may provide new learning as part of the delivery of instruction during regular scheduled classes. Students will need to turn their cameras on and participate in the class to be counted as present. Blurred or other backgrounds can be utilized by students. If a student has trouble logging in on a Code Orange Day, Families should contact the PWCS Help Desk at 703-791-8826. For more information about Code Orange and other weather-related closures, please see the PWCS Inclement Weather page and Gainesville HS Page for the Code Orange Bell Schedule.

Graduation 2024

Graduation will be on May 29, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. at EagleBank Arena on the George Mason Fairfax campus. Please visit our Class of 2024 page on the website for more information.

Cap and Gown Orders - Caps and Gowns are available for purchase on Jostens.com, a unit includes the cap, gown, and tassel, and the cost is $50. Please make sure to buy these soon as the price will increase in January. If you are in need of assistance with a Cap and Gown, please contact your school counselor.

Counseling

The GHS Counseling team is hosting a Junior Parent Webinar on January 11th. Representatives from 2- and 4-year schools will be there, and we will also have reps from NOVA to discuss financial aid. Families of 11th graders should register via the 11th Grade Family Webinar link. Please complete this form to help us prepare as we would appreciate family and student feedback on questions they may have.

During advisory on December 8th, students were shown a video on how to access their PSAT and SAT scores. This includes a video from the College Board on how to interpret test scores. These videos are posted on the GHS Counseling Canvas page under PSAT and SAT Resources. Check them out!

As you may know, there are many changes coming to the FAFSA this year. Please visit the GHS webpage to learn about those changes, see frequently asked questions, and get updates on future workshops and events.

The ASVAB test has been rescheduled to Tuesday, January 16th . Students who are interested may register to take the test in Naviance under college visits. Please see Mrs. Harris if you need assistance.

GHS hosted its first Curriculum Fair on December 5th. Thank you to our staff and families who attended this event. The presentation from two of the events, AP Capstone and Academic Advising 101, are posted on the GHS Counseling Canvas page under Academic Advising -> Academic Advising Resources.

Virginia School Survey of Climate and Working Conditions

In cooperation with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Department of Education, GHS is conducting the Virginia School Survey of Climate and Working Conditions. We will survey students in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12, as well as classroom instructors and staff in February 2024. The purpose of the student survey is to measure student support, student engagement, school discipline, and safety conditions in each school. This information will be used to guide educational practices that produce a safe and supportive school environment.

The survey is voluntary and you and/or your child can decide they prefer not to participate. No action will be taken against you, your child, or the school if your child does not participate. If you do not wish for your child to participate, please notify the school office by telephone by January 31, 2024. You may preview the questions asked in the student survey on the VDCJS site.

Specialty Program Application Deadlines

The Specialty Program Application Portal is now open. Information about Specialty Programs and the application process can be found on the PWCS Specialty Programs webpage. Please note that applications for the Center for Fine and Performing Arts Program at Colgan High School are due by 11:59 p.m. on December 14, 2023. Late applications will not be accepted.

All other applications for Specialty Programs are due by 11:59 p.m. on February 1, 2024.

Student acceptances will be communicated in mid-to-late February, and families must accept an offered seat by March 5, 2024. For more information on the process, please reach out to Dr. Scott at [email protected] 

Specialty Program Information Night

What’s your Pathway? On Wednesday, January 17, we will host our second Pathways Program Information Night starting at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium. Families interested in applying for transfer to GHS for the 2024 – 25 school year are invited to come learn more about this innovative, inclusive specialty program. We’ll outline the various pathways available to transfer students and introduce the Extended Learning Experience option for juniors and seniors. For more information, interested students should visit with their counselor or reach out to Dr. Scott at [email protected] or 571.248.3265

Early Online College

NOVA is offering free online classes to current 11th and 12th graders in the spring of 2024 through the Early Online College (EOC) program. Registration is open until 1/8/24 at 5pm. These classes are for NOVA credit only, not for PWCS. More information on the EOC program can be found on the PWCS EOC website. A recording of an information session held in November can be accessed here; the password is 2t.DZ%W8. Presentation slides from this event are also available.

Spring Sports Athletic Paperwork

With the return of Ms. May, our athletic trainer, we will utilize the activity registry for turning in physicals and concussion training. Just a reminder that all athletes must have an updated physical (dated after 5/1/2023) and completed concussion training to tryout. If you have any questions about the registry, please contact Ms. May at [email protected] 

Winter Sports are underway. Please come out and support your Cardinals. All game schedules can be found at https://gainesvillecardinals.com/page/2917/mn 

Senior Pictures

Seniors who are still in need of graduation pictures should contact Victor O'Neill Studios to set up an appointment.

https://www.vosphoto.com/ or Phone: 703-532-0013

December 4, 2023

Greetings from the Nest,

We’ve made it to December, and I’m pleased to report that as I circulate throughout the building, teachers and students are focusing on instruction and working to make as much academic progress as possible before winter break. With November behind us, these three uninterrupted weeks are a great opportunity for students to check in with teachers, ask questions regarding challenging learning targets, and complete assessments. It’s a chance for everyone to go into winter break feeling as though January will bring us a strong end to fall semester.

With that in mind, the potential exists for us to experience some inclement weather in the coming months. With the resources we have available, PWCS will most likely utilize more Code Orange days than our traditional Code Red closings. I’ve asked teachers to review Code Orange procedures with students on Monday and Tuesday. However, briefly, students should be prepared to log in to their teachers’ Zoom classrooms (via Canvas in a “Code Orange” module). Students should turn their cameras on and follow the posted Code Orange schedule. We will continue with our normal array of classes, including Nest and Advisory blocks via Zoom. Students who do not log in or turn their cameras on will be marked absent in accordance with PWCS expectations. In the event that your neighborhood loses power during a storm, we’ll take that into account as we tally attendance. The faculty, staff, and I are hopeful that Code Orange days will help students maintain headway against curriculum goals regardless of our Northern Virginia weather.

In good news this week, I was proud of the nearly 200 students who qualified for induction into the National Honor Society this week. Applicants showed sufficient scholarship, leadership, character, and service to gain membership into this prestigious society. I appreciate all that our teachers and parents did to support applicants in the process. Also, our winter sports teams have been hard at work and are already off to a strong start. Please see the schedule below and join us for a basketball game, wrestling match or gymnastics meet this month.

Finally, I’m pleased to pass on that we’ve had 11 students’ artwork accepted into this year’s “Off the Wall” exhibition at the Manassas Art Factory. Students’ work will be on display from December 21 – January 30. Don’t miss this chance to help us celebrate some of our most talented and creative artists. For more information, check out the Art Factory webpage.

Specialty Program Application Deadlines

The Specialty Program Application Portal is now open. Information about Specialty Programs and the application process can be found on the PWCS Specialty Programs webpage. Please note that applications for the Center for Fine and Performing Arts Program at Colgan High School are due by 11:59 p.m. on December 14, 2023. Late applications will not be accepted.

All other applications for Specialty Programs are due by 11:59 p.m. on February 1, 2024.

Student acceptances will be communicated in mid-to-late February, and families must accept an offered seat by March 5, 2024. For more information on the process, please reach out to Dr. Scott at [email protected]

Attendance Reminders

All day absences should be reported in ParentVue each day. Please allow up to two school days for attendance to be updated online. Absence notes should be turned in to the attendance office within five days of the absence.

If your student needs to leave early, use the form under the Attendance tab on the school website. By submitting this form, you do not need to call the office to report each early dismissal, but office staff may need to contact the parent/guardian to verify the dismissal request.

If your student arrives late to school, they need to have a note, signed and dated, with a valid excuse. Otherwise, the tardy will be considered unexcused. Please reach out to Ms. Johanna Portillo at [email protected] or 571.248.3200 if you have questions.

Curriculum Night

GHS is hosting a Curriculum Night for students and families on December 7 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. This is to help families prepare for academic advising for the 2024-2025 school year. This event will include tables from our departments and programs such as Project Lead the Way: Biomedical Sciences and Teachers for Tomorrow. We will also be hosting 3 information sessions for families and students to attend. Please check out the detailed agenda, and we hope to see you on 12/7!

Little-Known Secrets of Paying for College

The cost of a college education is higher than ever. The College Funding Coach® is here to help families figure out HOW to pay for college and still retire one day! You'll discover strategies that may enable your student to qualify for financial aid, minimize your out-of-pocket costs, sources for scholarships, and strategies for maximizing your wealth and minimizing your tax exposure giving you greater cash flow for funding a college education. Please join Gainesville High School on December 11 at 5:30 p.m. for this in-person presentation, as The College Funding Coach presents their nationally acclaimed free parent workshop called “Little Known Secrets of Paying for College.” This is information you can't afford to miss! To register for this FREE event click here!

GHS Spirit Store

Want to purchase GHS Spirit wear and can't make it out to a game. Check out the GHS Online Store. All items purchased will be mailed directly to you.

Spring Sports Athletic Paperwork

With the return of Ms. May, our athletic trainer, we will utilize the activity registry for submitting required physicals and evidence of concussion training. Just a reminder that all athletes must have an updated physical (dated after 5/1/2023) and completed concussion training to try out. If you have any questions about the registry, please contact Ms. May at [email protected].

Finally, winter sports are underway. Please come out and support your Cardinals. All game schedules can be found on athletic website.

November 17, 2023

As we look forward to Thanksgiving break next week, I hope all our students and families take some time to unwind and spend some time enjoying the company of friends and family. If you didn’t get a chance to go to the Gainesville Theatre’s presentation of Macbeth last weekend, there are two more opportunities this weekend, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students.

Congratulations to the 13 GHS orchestra students selected for the PWCS All County Honors Orchestra and the 10 GHS orchestra students selected for the PWCS All County Select Orchestra! Students in the Honors Orchestra auditioned against 194 students from all 13 high schools to earn a spot in the ensemble. Only 82 students are chosen each year based on the quality of their audition. Gainesville HS had the second highest number of students successfully complete the Honors Orchestra audition. All students will perform at the PWCS High School All County Orchestra event in January at Forest Park High School.

“Like” Video in Advisory

On November 21st, in advisory, students will be watching a documentary called LIKE. This 50-minute video explores the impact of social media on our lives and the effects of technology on the brain and on learning. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about and discuss how social media impacts their day to day and overall growth. I encourage our families to engage in conversations with their student(s) about some of the benefits of unplugging from electronics and social media even for a short period of time.

Talent Show

The Class of 2026 is hosting Gainesville High School’s First Annual Talent Show! We have a lot of exciting acts planned to include dancers, singers, instrument players, and more! The Talent Show will take place on Friday, December 1st at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30pm. We hope to see you there! Tickets can be purchased on Ticket Spicket using the following link: https://events.ticketspicket.com/agency/8695ad96-b2a0-4f9f-bfe8-f9898300775d/events/fa6c795d-0b0f-40b3-94c8-78c1616b9adc

Counseling Corner

Students who took the PSAT at GHS on the November 16th can now access their score reports. Please visit the link for additional information. gainesvillehs.pwcs.edu/news/2023/11/psatscorereport

Juniors and Seniors have the opportunity to take the ASVAB on December 1st. If interested in signing up, students can do so in Naviance.

Naviance-->College-->College Visits-->Find ASVAB-->Click Register

Gainesville is hosting its first Military Panel on November 30th in the Library! Students will be able to ask questions and hear from various branches about their experiences in the Military. Students from any grade are welcome to attend but must sign up in Naviance under College Visits to reserve their seat. Thank you to the parents who volunteered to be panelist!

Save the date! GHS is hosting a Curriculum Night for students and families on December 7th. This is to help families prepare for academic advising for the 2023-2024 school year. More information to come.

Upcoming Events

  • Thanksgiving Break (no school) 11/22-11/24
  • National Honor Society Induction 11/30
  • PTSO Meeting 11/30
  • Curriculum Night 12/7

November 10, 2023

As we start the 2nd marking period, we remind families to use tools such as ParentVUE to access grades and track student progress. If you have questions about specific classes, please contact your student’s teachers directly. We are proud of the work our students and teachers did in the 1st marking period, and we look forward to what is accomplished this fall and winter.

Best of luck to our Girl's Cross-Country team and Trent Daniels as they compete in 6A State Championships. In addition, best of luck to our Varsity Football team as they travel to Colonial Forge for their Regional Quarterfinal match-up. Let’s go Cardinals!

Happy Veteran’s Day to those who served! We are grateful for our staff and community members who served in the Armed Forces, and we honor their commitment. A reminder that in celebration of Veteran’s Day, there is no school on Friday November 10th.

Macbeth

The Gainesville Theatre proudly presents William Shakespeare's Macbeth opening this Friday at 7 PM. The play will occur on 11/10 at 7pm, 11/11 at noon and 7pm, 11/17 at 7pm, and 11/18 at 7pm. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for students, and free for faculty/staff.

Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test

GHS ninth graders should plan to take the NNAT during their World History class on Monday or Tuesday, November 20 & 21. This 30-minute, online assessment yields data to help in identifying students who may be eligible for additional gifted & talented services. All ninth graders should attend that block with a fully charged device for ease of test administration. Students already identified as gifted do not need to participate.

Little-Known Secrets of Paying for College

The cost of a college education is higher than ever. The College Funding Coach® is here to help families figure out HOW to pay for college and still retire one day! You'll discover strategies that may enable your student to qualify for financial aid, minimize your out-of-pocket cost, sources for scholarships, and strategies for maximizing your wealth and minimizing your tax exposure giving you greater cash flow for funding a college education. Please join Gainesville High School on December 11th @ 5:30pm for this in-person presentation, as The College Funding Coach presents their nationally acclaimed free parent workshop called “Little Known Secrets of Paying for College”. This is information you can't afford to miss! To register for this FREE event click here!

Apprenticeship Week

Apprenticeship Week is November 13-17th! We will celebrate by having various businesses visit throughout the week. Students can visit the business of the day during their lunch in the cafeteria to learn about an exciting new profession. Businesses that will be there include: Caliber Collison, Lockhead Martin, Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Steamfitters Union 602, Virginia Court Reporters, Universal Technical Institute, and more.

Lost and Found

The Gainesville High School lost and found has an impressive collection of coats, sweatshirts, and water bottles. If your student has lost any items, they can come by the main office to search the lost and found. Items not picked by Friday, November 17 will be donated to a local organization.

Upcoming dates

Principals Advisory Council 11/13

Academic Awards Night 11/15

Specialty Information Night 11/16

Underclassmen Pictures 11/16

Senior Pictures 11/30

PTSO Meeting 11/30

November 3, 2023

This week we wrap up the first quarter of the school year, it has been a strong start, and we hope you take the time this long weekend to recharge and get ready for the second quarter of the school year.

Congratulations to our 2023 Girl's Cross Country Regional Champions! The Girl's brought home our school's first team Regional Championship. Best of luck at State Competition to Caroline Tribett, Isabella Savage, Riley Long, Faith O'Shea, Emily Johnson, Jamie Davis, Emily Miller, Eliana Bernarte, Josephine Swonger, and Anna Gidaspova. Go Cardinals!

Congratulations, also, to the Cardinal Marching Band on an outstanding finish to their competitive season! The Cardinals delivered a strong performance at the USBands Maryland-Virginia State Championships, winning Best Percussion and Best Ensemble Music in their class, and were crowned 3A Virginia State Champs!!

Our Varsity football team looks to close out the regular season with victory over Unity Reed, which would push their record to 8-2 on the season. The Cardinals have already qualified for next week's 6B Regional playoffs, which start on November 10th.

Underclassmen Pictures

Underclassmen make-up pictures will take place on Thursday, November 16. Please note the criteria below to retake pictures:

  • This photo day is for students who were absent, new to the school, or who were not happy with their original PURCHASED package (NOTE: Students are required to return their original package to the photographer prior to taking a new photo. Students will not be allowed to just leave class to retake pictures). Passes will be sent to students who were absent or are new to the school.
  • In an effort to minimize unnecessary student absence from class, we have a list of criteria for underclass makeup day to reference here, vosphoto.com/retakes.

Please feel free to direct Parent/ Guardian questions to our office, using the following email: [email protected].

Military Panel

Are you a military connect family? Mrs. Harris is holding a Military Panel on November 30th from 9-10 am and needs volunteer panelists. This event will include each branch of the military and will provide students with an opportunity to hear from each panelist about their journey as well as ask questions about the military. Contact Mrs. Harris via email at [email protected] if you are interested or have any questions.

“Like” Video in Advisory

On November 21st, in advisory, students will be watching a documentary called LIKE. This 50-minute video explores the impact of social media on our lives and the effects of technology on the brain and on learning. If you wish to have your child opt-out, please fill out this Microsoft form by November 17th. 

Specialty Program Information Night

What’s your Pathway? On Thursday, November 16, we will host our first Pathways Program Information Night starting at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium. Families interested in applying for transfer to GHS for the 2024 – 25 school year are invited to come learn more about this innovative, inclusive specialty program. We’ll outline the various pathways available to transfer students and introduce the Extended Learning Experience option for juniors and seniors. For more information, interested students should visit with their counselor or reach out to Dr. Scott at [email protected] or 571.248.3265.

Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test (NNAT)

GHS ninth graders should plan to take the NNAT during their World History class on Monday or Tuesday, November 20 & 21. This 30-minute, online assessment yields data to help in identifying students who may be eligible for additional gifted & talented services. All ninth graders should attend that block with a fully-charged device for ease of test administration. Students already identified as gifted do not need to participate.

JMU Brain Bee

Students interested in competing as part of Gainesville’s 2024, JMU Brain Bee Competition team should plan to attend an information meeting after school on Wednesday, November 15 in room 2021. Team sponsors and former student competitors will be on hand to share information about the competition. Registration opens November 17. See your gifted or BioMed teachers for more information.

MLK Competition

Students interested in competing in this year’s MLK Oratorical Competition, there is still time to prepare a speech and enter the GHS round of competition. Speeches need to be drafted shortly after the Thanksgiving break, so be sure to see Dr. Scott in the next two weeks for more information.

GHS Spirit Store

Want to purchase GHS Spirit wear and cannot make it out to a game. Check out the GHS Online Store. All items purchased are mailed directly to you.

Upcoming Events

Teacher Workdays 11/6, 11/7

Veterans Day (no school) 11/10

Principals Advisory Council 11/13

Academic Awards Night 11/15

Specialty Information Night 11/16

PTSO Meeting 11/30

October 27, 2023

Greetings from the Nest! This week was a week of accomplishments for many of our students and athletes at Gainesville. The Gainesville Marching Band succeeded at the VBODA Assessment! The band earned a straight Superior rating in all Captions. A first in program history! Be sure to see their final performances of the season at Friday’s Senior Night football game and Saturday at the USBands VA/MD Championships.

Congratulations to our Golf, Volleyball, and Field Hockey teams on a successful season. Field Hockey and Volleyball were one game away from qualifying for regionals. The Golf team advanced to regionals, with Jack Schimler and Christian Carroll qualifying for states. Our Girls Cross Country Team won our schools first ever District Title on Monday, our Boys Cross Country Team finished 3rd and both teams advance to Regionals on Thursday. Standout performers were Trent Daniels, who won the boys District race, and Caroline Tribett, who placed second in the girls race. Congratulations student athletes. Our Football team is well on its way to securing a spot in the regional playoffs come the end of regular season. Go Cardinals!

Graduation 2024

Graduation will be on May 29, 2024 @ 7 P.M. at EagleBank Arena on the George Mason Fairfax campus. Please visit our Class of 2024 website for more information.

Cap and Gown Orders

Caps and gowns are available for purchase through Jostens. A unit includes the cap, gown, and tassel. The cost is $50. Please make sure to buy these soon as the price will increase in January. If you need assistance with the cap and gown, please contact your school counselor.

Senior Pictures

The next senior make-up picture date will be Monday, November 6. All students who have pre-registered for a time slot, please be sure to arrive at the auditorium at least 5 minutes prior to their reservation. ALL TIME SLOTS ARE BOOKED FOR November 6. There are no remaining spots available.

Underclassmen Pictures

Underclassmen make-up pictures will take place on Thursday, November 16. Please note the criteria below to retake pictures:

  • This photo day is for students who were absent, new to the school, or who were not happy with their original package (NOTE: Students are required to return their original package to the photographer prior to taking a new photo. Students will not be allowed to just leave class to retake pictures). Passes will be sent to students who were absent or are new to the school.
  • In an effort to minimize unnecessary student absence from class , we have a list of criteria for underclass makeup day to reference here, vosphoto.com/retakes.
  • Please feel free to direct Parent/ Guardian questions to our office, using the following email: [email protected] 

Impact Aid Survey

The Impact Aid survey is now open and available for completion in ParentVUE. All parents should complete this survey as soon as possible. Please visit the PWCS Federal Impact Aid website for instructions on how to complete the survey. For assistance with your ParentVUE account, please contact the school.

SALC presents... Scream on the Green!

Bring your family, friends, chairs, and blankets for a free, fun-filled movie night on the Gainesville High School Football Field on Saturday, October 28th! Our feature film is Hotel Transylvania.

Gates open at 5:30 for entry. Games and activities will be available before the movie starts at sundown (approximately 6:30).

We look forward to seeing you all there!

National Honor Society

Invitations to apply to the Gainesville High School National Honor Society were sent out to eligible Juniors and Seniors, via email on October 13, 2023. Applications are due Oct 31st. Reach out to Mr. Baird at [email protected] with questions.

Meal Deliveries

Students are not permitted to have food delivery services drop off food during the school day. We do not have staff available to deliver food within the building, nor do we want unknown food delivery employees seeking to gain access to the school through various doors around the building. Parents: we appreciate your help in monitoring this trend if your child uses grub hub, uber eats, or other vendors.

GHS Spirit Store

Want to purchase GHS Spirit wear and cannot make it out to a game. Check out the GHS Online Store. All items purchased are mailed directly to you.

Upcoming Events

Scream on the Green 10/28

Teacher Workdays 11/6, 11/7

Principals Advisory Council 11/13

Specialty Information Night 11/16

PTSO Meeting 11/30

October 23, 2023

Greetings from the Nest! We’ve had an exciting past few weeks at Gainesville. This past week our underclassmen took the PSAT test and group of our seniors went to Washington, DC to compete in the Amazing Race scavenger hunt competition. We will now turn our focus to the end of the first quarter. Congratulations to Mara Cerven who was selected to attend the Virginia Senior Honor Choir in Richmond from November 16-18th! It is the most challenging audition and choir experience available within the state of Virginia and the guest conductors that they secure are world-renowned. Mara earned the 2nd highest score in the state on her voice part, which was an added accomplishment and a testament to her hard work! Congratulations Mara!

Impact Aid Survey

The Impact Aid survey is now open and available for completion in ParentVUE. All parents should complete this survey as soon as possible. Please visit the PWCS Federal Impact Aid website for instructions on how to complete the survey. For assistance with your ParentVUE account, please contact the school.

MLK, 2024

Students interested in writing and performing a speech for this year’s Martin Luther King Oratorical Competition should plan to meet with Dr. Scott during any lunch this Monday or Wednesday, October 23 or 25 in grey commons. He will share details regarding the competition and how to record and submit your speech for judging. This year’s theme is Pursuing the Dream through Service and Commitment. See Dr. Scott for more information.

College Essay Prep

Seniors – if you haven’t started drafting your college admissions essays, now is the time to begin. Stop by the Career Center for one of GHS Counseling’s essay preparation sessions. We’ll offer startup tips, reminders, and guidance regarding the array of essays in the common application and how to tackle those challenging first drafts. If you’re already working on your essays, we’ll address how to ensure your final edits are ready to go by your application deadline. Sessions will run during all lunches on Tuesday, October 24.

Athletic Paperwork

As winter season approaches, we are going to continue to collect paperwork both by hand and online. If you choose to turn in paperwork, please submit it to Ms. Luna or Ms. May. Just a reminder that all athletes must have an updated physical (dated after 5/1/2023) and completed concussion training to tryout. Please check the athletic website soon for sport specific tryout information.

SALC presents... Scream on the Green!

Bring your family, friends, chairs, and blankets for a free, fun-filled movie night on the Gainesville High School Football Field on Saturday, October 28th! Our feature film is Hotel Transylvania.

Gates open at 5:30 for entry. Games and activities will be available before the movie starts at sundown (approximately 6:30).

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Senior SAT Day is on October 26th

Students who are taking this assessment will be given their testing location on Tuesday October 24th. SAT Student Guides were given out during lunch on October 19th. If you student did not pick one up, they can stop by the counseling center to get one. Seniors who opted out of the SAT are expected to report to school on the 26th and attend class as regular. It will be a normal bell schedule for all other students.

If your senior needs help with applications, Ms. Harris, College and Career Counselor, is hosting application workshops on 10/23, 10/25, and 10/27. Seniors can sign up via Naviance under College -> Visits.

Attendance Letters

Attendance is the best predictor of student graduation and dropout rates. PWCS is partnering with A2A (Attention to Attendance) to help monitor student attendance. These letters act as a notification of where a student stands with regards to missed school days. Please know that your child is too ill to attend school if she/he has a contagious disease, a temperature over 100 degrees, symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, chronic illness, or other conditions with written orders from a doctor to stay home. If there are persistent health problems that we should be aware of please let us know.

Meal Deliveries

Students are not permitted to have food delivery services drop off food during the school day. We do not have staff available to deliver food within the building, nor do we want unknown food delivery employees seeking to gain access to the school through various doors around the building. Parents: we appreciate your help in monitoring this trend if your child uses grub hub, uber eats, or other vendors.

Community Outreach

In an effort to expand our community outreach and partnerships we ask families and/or staff members if you own a local food establishment or other family-owned business and are interested in working with GHS to please complete this form. We are interested in collaborating and working with local businesses to support different events throughout the school year to include Homecoming Dance, Prom, Teacher Appreciation, etc.

National Honor Society

Invitations to apply to the Gainesville High School National Honor Society were sent out to eligible Juniors and Seniors, via email on October 13, 2023. Applications are due Oct 31st. Reach out to Mr. Baird at [email protected] with questions.

GHS Spirit Store

Want to purchase GHS Spirit wear and can't make it out to a game. Check out the GHS Online Store. All items purchased are mailed directly to you.

Upcoming Events

Senior SAT 10/26

Scream on the Green 10/28

October 13, 2023

Greetings from the Nest! It has been a fun-filled spirit week for our students as we celebrated this year’s homecoming. Grade levels competed to be crowned the most spirited during our spirit days such as Barbie Day, Pajama Day, Duo Day, Student vs. Teachers Day, and Class Colors Day. The week culminated in an outside pep rally this afternoon in the stadium where students competed in a series of games and activities, and various groups performed for the crowd. More information about this weekend’s homecoming game and dance can be found below.

Homecoming Game

Come out and support our Cardinals as they take on Battlefield High School tonight! The game starts at 7pm. The theme is Blackout, so wear your black clothing. At halftime, the GHS dance team and GHS marching band will perform. Following their performances, we will present our 2023 Homecoming Court, and crown our Homecoming Royalty, the two senior students who were chosen by their classmates. Tickets for the game can be purchased on Ticket Spicket.

Homecoming Dance

As a reminder, the Homecoming Dance will take place Saturday, October 14 from 7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. at Gainesville High School. Students should bring their paper copy of the ticket and a photo ID. Students without photo ID can use StudentVUE to verify their identity. For students who did not get a paper ticket or lost their ticket, there will be a staff member available to tell students their ticket numbers. For students that purchased their ticket on Ticket Spicket and did not receive or pic-up their homecoming ticket, there will be a station for them to check in to enter the dance. No tickets will be sold at the door. Parents pick up your students at Door #1 at 11:00 p.m.

Outside guests must have a completed outside guest form that was submitted to GHS earlier this week. Outside guests who do not have an outside guest form submitted will not be permitted to attend, regardless of ticket purchase. No refunds will be given for students or guests who do not attend.

College Fair

The PWCS College Fair will be hosted at Battlefield HS on Monday October 16th, 6-8 pm. All grades are welcome. There will also be information sessions on military college pathways, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Naviance senior overview, and an overview of the Common App.

PSAT

GHS will be hosting the PSAT for 9th, 10th, and 11th graders on October 18th. Students should arrive that day with a fully charged device and their power cord. On-time attendance is essential for that day, and we ask that families not pick up their students early. Students who leave mid-test will have their scores canceled. Full information about the PSAT can be found on the GHS website.

Attendance Letters

Attendance is the best predictor of student graduation and dropout rates. PWCS is partnering with A2A (Attention to Attendance) to help monitor student attendance. These letters act as a notification of where a student stands with regards to missed school days. Please know that your child is too ill to attend school if she/he has a contagious disease, a temperature over 100 degrees, symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, chronic illness, or other conditions with written orders from a doctor to stay home. If there are persistent health problems that we should be aware of please let us know.

Meal Deliveries

Students are not permitted to have food delivery services drop off food during the school day. We do not have staff available to deliver food within the building, nor do we want unknown food delivery employees seeking to gain access to the school through various doors around the building. Parents: we appreciate your help in monitoring this trend if your child uses grub hub, uber eats, or other vendors.

Community Outreach

In an effort to expand our community outreach and partnerships we ask families and/or staff members if you own a local food establishment or other family-owned business and are interested in working with GHS to please complete this form. We are interested in collaborating and working with local businesses to support different events throughout the school year to include Homecoming Dance, Prom, Teacher Appreciation, etc.

National Honor Society

Invitations to apply to the Gainesville High School National Honor Society were sent out to eligible Juniors and Seniors, via email on October 13, 2023. Applications are due Oct 31st. Reach out to Mr. Baird at [email protected] with questions.

GHS Spirit Store

Want to purchase GHS Spirit wear and can't make it out to a game. Check out the GHS Online Store. All items purchased are mailed directly to you.

Upcoming Events:

Homecoming Football Game vs. Battlefield High School 10/13 at 7:00 pm

Homecoming Dance at Gainesville High School – 10/14, 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

PWCS College Fair @ Battlefield High School 10/16

PSAT for 9th, 10th, and 11th graders 10/18

Senior SAT 10/26

October 6, 2023

Greetings from the Nest,

While it may feel as though we’re just getting the 2023 – 24 school year off the ground, our annual Homecoming festivities are upon us. With Monday, October 9 off for Touchbase Conferences, our students kicked off their Homecoming celebrations on Friday with a Barbie Pink Out for our home game against Patriot High School. At the time of this writing, I’m not certain if we won the game against PHS; however, either way, next Friday’s Homecoming game against Battlefield is shaping up to be the contest of the season for our Cardinals. I hope to see everyone out supporting our still-undefeated squad.

As a reminder, other Homecoming themes include:

  • Tuesday, October 10 – PJ Day with our senior night volleyball game at 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday, October 11 – Duo Day with our annual powder puff football game at 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, October 12 – Teachers vs Students Day
  • Friday, October 13 – Class Colors Day with our 7:00 pm game, a black out, against Battlefield
  • Saturday, October 14 – The Homecoming Dance from 7:00 – 11:00 pm
  • Tickets for all games and events are available via Ticket Spicket. Purchase tickets in advance to speed up your admission process!

While I encourage all students to participate enthusiastically in Homecoming week, I need to remind everyone that this is still a school week, and the Code of Behavior applies for all outfits, costumes, and evening events. For more information, be sure to check the Homecoming page.

In other good news, I ask that you join me in wishing Jack Shimler and Christian Carroll the best of luck as they compete in the VHSL State Golf Championship in Harrisonburg. Reaching the state final match is a great accomplishment for any young player. Good luck Jack & Christian!

Touch Base Conferences

Touch Base will be held on Monday October 9, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. These 3-5 minute meetings are designed for brief check-ins between teachers and families regarding student progress. There will also be information sessions, spirit wear sales, and information tables set up by the Cardinal Athletic Boosters Club. We encourage families to explore the Touchbase agenda prior to the event.

AP Family Night

The GHS Gifted team will be hosting an AP Family Night on Tuesday October 10, 5:30-7 p.m. Current and prospective Advanced Placement students and their families are invited to select breakout sessions hosted by faculty and students, all of which will address common questions and offer helpful insights about taking AP coursework. Topics include growth mindset, the student experience, digital tools, and college credits.

PSAT – Device Readiness Checks

To prepare for this year’s PSAT administration, all students in grades 9 - 11 are required to bring their fully-charged laptop/device to advisory on Wednesday, October 11. Advisory teachers will guide students through an online pre-registration device readiness check and ensure that students’ login/testing registration information is correct and functioning properly, so we have time to troubleshoot issues prior to the scheduled PSAT administration. Twelfth graders will have the option during that advisory period either to register to vote in the library, to complete planning paperwork with our counseling staff, or to work on SAT prep materials provided via Canvas.

PSAT Testing

GHS will be hosting the PSAT for 9th, 10th, and 11th graders on October 18th. Students should arrive that day with a fully-charged device and their power cord. On-time attendance is essential for that day, and we ask that families not pick up their students early. Students who leave mid-test will have their scores canceled. Full information about the PSAT can be found on the GHS website.

New Weather Detection System

A Perry Weather System has been installed at Gainesville High School. This system will warn students, staff, and spectators when dangerous weather is approaching. The system will detect wet-bulb temperature conditions, wind chill, and lightning. If lightning is detected within 10 miles of the school, a siren will sound a 15 second warning, and a strobe light will flash and continue to flash until 30 minutes have passed without lightning. Once the area is lightning-free, the siren will sound off three short blasts to let everyone know it's safe to return outside.

National Honor Society

Eligible juniors and seniors will receive invitations to apply to Gainesville's chapter of National Honor Society by the end of the day on October 13. These invites will be sent through students' PWCS email accounts, so be on the lookout. If students receive an invitation to apply, applications are due by October 31. Contact Mr. Baird with questions.

Senior Makeup Pictures

Seniors can make up their missed portraits on October 16, October 17, and November 6. The attire for the school’s yearbook pose will be in the traditional Tuxedos and Drapes. Victor O'Neill Studios (VOS) will provide the Tuxedo and Drapes. If you have questions, please email [email protected] and mention Gainesville High School.

Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) Survey

Students will take the “Equal Opportunity School Survey” on Friday, October 27 during their advisory period. Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) is a national non-profit education organization, with the aim of examining and developing the learning culture within our schools and develop strategies to increase student participation in challenging high school coursework. Survey questions will solicit feedback from students about their views on coursework, school experience, and how our school supports their educational goals.

Upcoming Dates:

Touch Base - October 9 (7:30 AM – 9:30 AM)

AP Family Night - October 10 (5:30 PM @ Gainesville Auditorium)

Powderpuff Football – October 11 (6:30 PM @ Gainesville Stadium)

Homecoming Game - October 13 (7:00 PM Kickoff @ Gainesville High School)

Homecoming Dance - October 14 (7:00 PM – 11:00 PM @ Gainesville High School)

PSAT for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students October 18

Senior SAT - October 26

Trunk or Treat/Movie Night – October 28 (6:00 PM @ Gainesville Stadium)

Fall Theatre Production – November 10, 11, and 17

September 30, 2023

Greetings from the Nest,

We are six weeks in and enjoying a good head of steam as we prepare for spirit week, homecoming, PSAT/SAT assessments, and what will hopefully be a productive few months of academics between now and winter break. As temperatures fall in the region, our teachers will be ramping up expectations for students to draw inferences, make connections, and demonstrate what they know or can do in engaging assessments designed to measure learning so far. While every fall semester can be enjoyable, everyone looks forward to exciting activities and sporting events – especially when GHS athletes are in the hunt for district and regional honors. If you haven’t yet been out to support one of our fall teams, the next two weeks are packed with competitive events that will test coaches and players alike. Don’t miss our homecoming game, October 13, against Battlefield – it’s shaping up to be a battle between the two top teams in the district.

Not to be outdone, our golf, volleyball, and field hockey teams have made an impressive showing this season, and both men’s and women’s cross country squads have runners who’ll be among the top finishers in the region.

In other good news this week, we learned that GHS has had eleven students receive National African American Recognition Awards, three students receive National Hispanic Recognition Awards, and one student receive a National Indigenous Award. To be recognized, these students have GPA and PSAT scores among the highest achievers in the nation. We’ll plan to celebrate each of them as part of senior awards during spring semester. Until then, congratulations to each recipient for this impressive accomplishment.

Underclassmen Pictures

School Picture Day is coming Thursday October 5 & Friday October 6, 2023. Images will be available to view and purchase approximately two weeks following our school's picture day. Save time and pre-order online via the 2023-2024 picture day sign up. For questions about ordering please email [email protected] Please direct all questions about your school's upcoming event to [email protected]

Class of 2024

Seniors and families please make sure you check the Class of 2024 page on the website for the most up to date information on upcoming events and graduation. Next Thursday, October 5, a representative from Jostens will be at all lunches to help students with cap and gown sizing and orders, announcements, as well as class ring orders.

Senior Makeup Pictures

Seniors can make up their missed portraits on October 16, October 17, and November 6. The attire for the school’s yearbook pose will be in the traditional Tuxedos and Drapes. Victor O'Neill Studios (VOS) will provide the Tuxedo and Drapes. In addition to the yearbook session, VOS also offer sessions that include casual/personality portraits and cap and gown portraits. Please look for the link via School Messenger on or before Monday, October 2 to choose your session type and appointment time. If you have any questions, please email [email protected] and mention Gainesville High School.

Touch Base Conferences

Touch Base will be held on Monday October 9, 7:30-9:30 a.m. These 3-5 minute meetings are designed for brief check-ins between teachers and families regarding student progress. There will also be information sessions, spirit wear sales, and information tables set up by the Cardinal Athletic Boosters Club. We encourage families to explore the Touch Base agenda prior to the event.

AP Family Night

The GHS Gifted team will be hosting an AP Family Night on Tuesday October 10, 5:30-7 p.m. Topics will include digital tools to support AP students, study skill and the student experience, the impact of taking AP classes on transcripts and transfer credits, and how to develop a growth mindset. The target audience for this event are students currently in AP Classes and their families. GHS will be hosting a Curriculum Night in December for those interesting in taking advanced coursework in future school years.

Spirit Week/Homecoming (October 9 – 14)

Students and staff will be showing off their school spirit the week of homecoming by participating in themed spirit days this week. For all things spirit week/homecoming (tickets to the powderpuff game, the homecoming dance, guest approval form, etc.) please see the Homecoming page on our website.

PSAT

The PSAT will be offered to all 9th, 10th, and 11th graders on October 18 during the school day. Families can learn more about the PSAT and NMSQT on the PWCS PSAT site.

Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) Survey

Students will take the “Equal Opportunity School Survey” on Friday, October 27 during their advisory period. Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) is a national non-profit education organization, with the aim of examining and developing the learning culture within our schools and develop strategies to increase student participation in challenging high school coursework. Survey questions will solicit feedback from students about their views on coursework, school experience, and how our school supports their educational goals.

National Honor Society

National Honor Society will be inviting prospective members to apply at the beginning of October. This organization is open to junior and senior students who have shown strong scholarship, leadership, character, and dedication to service throughout their high school career. 11th and 12th grade students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher will be invited to complete an application via their PWCS email. The applications will then be reviewed by a faculty council, who will make final admissions decisions. Students who are admitted will be inducted in a ceremony at Gainesville High School on November 30. Please reach out to Annemarie Moore ([email protected]) and Michael Baird ([email protected]) with any questions.

Upcoming Dates:

Touch Base - October 9 (7:30 AM – 9:30 AM)

AP Family Night - October 10 (5:30 PM @ Gainesville Auditorium)

Powderpuff Football – October 11 (6:30 PM @ Gainesville Stadium)

Homecoming Game - October 13 (7:00 PM Kickoff @ Gainesville High School)

Homecoming Dance - October 14 (7:00 PM – 11:00 PM @ Gainesville High School)

PSAT for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students October 18

Trunk or Treat/Movie Night – October 28 (6:00 PM @ Gainesville Stadium)

Fall Theatre Production – November 10,11, and 17

September 22, 2023

Greetings from the Nest,

Thanks to our students for their diligence and patience in navigating the implementation of our security scanners this week. After day two of full implementation, our “alarm” rate has already dropped by 50% from day one. This is testament to the positive attitude of our students in ensuring the start of our school day goes smoothly. So, thanks to our students and community for helping ensure that we started this implementation well.

The class of 2024 has had an exciting start to the school year. Between senior meetings, senior lessons, senior interviews, Senior Information Night, and senior parking spot painting, the class of ’24 is making their mark! Don’t forget to refer to the Class of 2024 webpage on the GHS site.

Congratulations to our various Cardinal teams for a great start to the fall season! Our varsity football team is 4-0, varsity volleyball is at 6-5, and varsity field hockey is 4-4 and our Cross Country and Golf Teams have had strong showings in recent competitions, including individual wins. In addition, our Marching Band finished 1st place in Class AA at the Woodbridge Viking Invitational this past weekend. Great job, Cardinals and thank you for all of your hard work.

PSAT

The PSAT will be offered to all 9th, 10th, and 11th graders on October 18 during the school day. Families can learn more about the PSAT and NMSQT on the PWCS PSAT site.

Touch Base Conferences

Touch Base conferences will be held at GHS on October 9 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. This event is an opportunity for parents/guardians to meet briefly with their students’ teachers. We will also be hosting information sessions on various topics. More information to come as we get closer.

Meal Deliveries

Students are not permitted to have food delivery services drop off food during the school day. We do not have staff available to deliver food within the building, nor do we want unknown food delivery employees seeking to gain access to the school through various doors around the building. Parents: we appreciate your help in monitoring this trend if your child uses grub hub, uber eats, or other vendors.

Community Outreach

In an effort to expand our community outreach and partnerships we ask families and/or staff members if you own a local food establishment or other family-owned business and are interested in working with GHS to please complete this form. We are interested in collaborating and working with local businesses to support different events throughout the school year to include Homecoming Dance, Prom, Teacher Appreciation, etc.

Underclassmen Pictures

School Picture Day is coming Thursday October 5 & Friday October 6, 2023. Images will be available to view and purchase approximately two weeks following our school's picture day. Save time and Pre-order online via the 2023-2024 picture day sign up. For questions about ordering please email [email protected]  Please direct all questions about your school's upcoming event to [email protected] 

Senior Makeup Pictures

Seniors can make up their missed portraits on October 16, October 17, and November 6. The attire for the school’s yearbook pose will be in the traditional Tuxedos and Drapes. Victor O'Neill Photography will provide the Tuxedo and Drapes. In addition to the yearbook session, we also offer sessions that include casual/personality portraits and cap and gown portraits. A link with information on how to choose your session type and appointment time will be coming soon. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]  and mention Gainesville High School.

Free SAT Prep for High School Students

Help your high school student get ready for college admissions. PWCS is providing in-person SAT prep options to all high school as they prepare for the SAT testing. This opportunity is free to all high school students and priority will be given to seniors testing on October 26. Transportation will be provided. Click here to let us know if you’re interested in having your student participate in SAT Prep. The deadline to sign up for SAT Prep is Friday, September 29.

Cardinal Athletic Booster Club

Our school year is in full swing and Cardinal Athletic Booster Club (CABC) is working hard to grow. We are focused on adding more members, engaging with other clubs & activities, and helping to promote “Cardinal Pride” within our student body & parents. If you’d like to learn more about how you can support CABC checkout these links: CABC Important Sites

Upcoming Dates:

No School September 25

Touch Base October 9

AP Parent Night October 10

Homecoming Game October 13

Homecoming Dance October 14

PSAT for 9, 10, 11 October 18

Senior SAT October 26

September 18, 2023

Greetings from the Nest,

Students have been working hard and had a strong start to the year. As we approach the mid-point of the quarter, I encourage you to reach out to your student’s teachers if you have any questions or concerns with how your student is currently achieving in class, as this is a good time to identify supports available.

Last week’s introduction to the safety screening system (Evolv) has been helpful in preparing for tomorrow’s full implementation. Students have had a chance to go through the system, and identify items that are being flagged. We continue to ask our students to plan ahead by emptying unnecessary items from bookbags that will be flagged by the scanners. We also ask students to be alert and ready to pass through the scanners as they approach the school entrance each morning.

Here are some suggestions to continue to make this process efficient:

  • Phones, Keys, Air pods, and chargers are generally not flagged, and students can keep these items in their possession.
  • Three ring binders with metal clips are often flagged and should be passed around the scanner with laptops. Glasses cases are generally flagged, also.

We ask our parents to remind students that all exterior doors should remain locked during the school day, and that students should only enter the building through one of the four designated entrances in the morning. Any student who is identified opening an exterior door for another student, parent, or vendor, etc., will be addressed in accordance with the PWCS Code of Behavior.

This week is Annual National Security Officer Appreciation Week, we are privileged to have a robust team including one security officer, three assistants, and a school resource officer that are hardworking, highly trained individuals, who ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff at Gainesville HS. If you see any of our security staff this week at drop-off or events, please take a moment to thank them for their tireless dedication to our GHS community.

Bus Evacuation Drill

Wednesday, September 20, Gainesville High School will hold our bus evacuation drill at morning drop off. Students are reminded to wear clothes, pants and shoes, conducive to jumping out of the back of the bus.

PSAT

The PSAT will be offered to all 9th, 10th, and 11th graders on October 18th during the school day. This is a great opportunity for students to practice for their SATs, a common requirement for college admissions. The PSAT for 11th graders is also the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT); this testing opportunity may open up scholarship opportunities for current 11th graders. We encourage all GHS students to take advantage of this opportunity. Families can learn more about the PSAT and NMSQT on the PWCS PSAT site.

Senior SAT Opportunity

We are excited that seniors are being offered a chance to take the SAT on October 26th during the school day. We recognize that some seniors have already met this application requirement and do not wish to test again. Seniors who do not plan to take the SAT on 10/26 must complete the SAT School Day Opt-Out Form before Monday September 19th in order to be exempt from testing. We appreciate your help in ensuring we have accurate numbers for the Senior SAT test day.

Touch Base Conferences

Touch Base conferences will be held at GHS on October 9th 7:30-9:30 a.m. Please note this is a date correction from last Cardinal Connection. This event is an opportunity for parents/guardian to meet briefly with their student’s teachers. We will also be hosting information sessions on various topics. More information to come as we get closer.

Student Laptop Chargers

We have had students request additional laptop chargers for the student issued devices. If you are interested in purchasing an additional laptop charger or replacement charger for your students device, there is a $25 fee that can be paid through Ticket Spicket. The charger can be picked up from Mr. Justin Holly, in room 2007.

Upcoming Dates and Activities

October 5 & 6 – Underclassmen pictures

October 9 – Touchbase conferences (no school for students)

Week of October 10 – Homecoming

October 16 & 17 – Senior make-up pictures

October 18 – PSAT, 9th-11th graders

October 26 – Senior SAT Day

November 3 – Last day of Quarter 1

Athletic/Activity Event Schedules go to gainesvillecardinals.com

September 9, 2023

Greetings from the Nest,

We had another positive week at Gainesville High School. Our students have settled into academic routines and have progressed quickly into the curriculum.

During our advisory lessons this week, our students took Emotional Needs Assessment that was provided by PWCS. We will have a chance to review and respond to these data in a week or two. Additionally, we asked about 400 students to visit the Evolv safety scanners to “practice” entering the building with their belongings to see what was flagged, and how to best save time upon entry to the school.

Here are some things we found:

  • Metal glasses cases are always flagged by the scanners.
  • Laptops are almost always flagged by the scanners and will need to be passed around the scanning system to a staff member on duty. Students should have their laptop out of their bookbag before entering the building. It’s a good idea for students to label or put an identifying sticker on their laptop for easy recognition during scanning.
  • Three ring binders with metal clips are often flagged. These could be removed from a book bag prior to entry for scanning or replaced with all plastic products (if possible).
  • Phones and jewelry have not typically been flagged by the scanner.

Starting Tuesday, September 12, we will practice students entering the building through the Evolv safety scanning systems. Students will be asked to pass laptops around the system, learn how to move through the line quickly, and identify the types of items that could be flagged when we go live on September 19. We ask our student to plan ahead by emptying unnecessary items from bookbags that will be flagged by the scanners. We also ask students to be alert and ready to pass through the scanners as they approach the school entrance. More information will be sent next week. In the meantime, please view the FAQ page from PWCS.

Attendance Letters

Attendance is the best predictor of student graduation and dropout rates. PWCS is partnering with A2A (Attention to Attendance) to help monitor student attendance. These letters act as a notification of where a student stands with regards to missed school days. Please know that your child is too ill to attend school if she/he has a contagious disease, a temperature over 100 degrees, symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, chronic illness, or other conditions with written orders from a doctor to stay home. If there are persistent health problems, we should be aware of please let us know.

Counseling Department

A message to the class of 2024 and their families was sent earlier in the week that includes upcoming events and information. We encourage families to review this message together. Seniors, please also visit the class of 2024 page on our website for announcements, upcoming events, and graduation information.

PWCS offers many opportunities for families to learn about their student’s education and how best to support their learning process through the Family Engagement Series. This includes a session entitled Academic and Career Planning for Secondary Students on 9/28/23 at 6 p.m. More information on future sessions can be found on the PWCS Family Engagement Series webpage.

The PSAT will be offered to all 9th, 10th, and 11th graders on October 18th during the school day. This is a great opportunity for students to practice for their SATs, a common requirement for college admissions. The PSAT for 11th graders is also the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT); this testing opportunity may open up scholarship opportunities for current 11th graders. We encourage all GHS students to take advantage of this opportunity. Families can learn more on the PWCS PSAT site.

Seniors are being offered a chance to take the SAT on October 26th during the school day. Recently GHS sent out an interest form to gather information on how many seniors may want to take the SAT that day. PWCS will be sending a survey out soon for seniors to opt out of taking the SAT; seniors who do not plan to take the SAT on 10/26 should complete the opt out form.

Touch Base conferences will be held at GHS on October 10th, 7:30-9:30 a.m. This event is an opportunity for parents/guardian to meet briefly with their student’s teachers. We will also be hosting information sessions on various topics. More information to come as we get closer.

Get involved?

Parents interested expanding their partnership with Gainesville High School are encouraged to consider the array of options available. There are lots of ways to be involved at GHS and interested parents can use the link here to let us know if you would like to be contacted to help throughout the year.

Upcoming Dates and Activities

September 11 – Principal’s Advisory Council Meeting at 6:30 p.m.

September 14 – Senior Information Night

October 5 & 6 – Underclassmen pictures

October 9 – Touchbase conferences (no school for students)

Week of October 10 – Homecoming

October 17 – 18 – Senior make-up pictures

October 18 – PSAT, 9th-11th graders

October 26 – Senior SAT Day

November 3 – Last day of Quarter 1

Athletic/Activity Event Schedules go to gainesvillecardinals.com

September 1, 2023

Greetings from the Nest,

Thanks to everyone who came to Back to School Night on Wednesday evening. We thankful for the positive turnout and good feedback from the event. I enjoyed meeting many new and returning parents, and hope that the event was useful to our families.

Last week’s football game capped off a great first week of the school year. We had strong student support with our cheerleaders leading the way. On show were outstanding performances from the Dance Team, and Marching Band, and the first home win of the season for our football team. Remember we have another home game against Gar-Field High School this evening. We hope that there’s a good community attendance for the game.

Safety Screening Kick-Off

Next week, we will begin a two-week process of introducing the safety screening system to our students, ahead of our September 19th start date. Students will watch a short video during Advisory, which you can also watch here, prior to several classes walking through the Evolv scanners to test identify items that may be flagged when we go live. More information will be coming out ahead of the start date, in the meantime, please view the FAQ page from PWCS.

Attendance Letters

Attendance is the best predictor of student graduation and dropout rates. PWCS is partnering with A2A (Attention to Attendance) to help monitor student attendance. These letters act as a notification of where a student stands with regards to missed school days. Please know that your child is too ill to attend school if she/he has a contagious disease, a temperature over 100 degrees, symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, chronic illness, or other conditions with written orders from a doctor to stay home. If there are persistent health problems we should be aware of please let us know.

Counseling Department

A message to the class of 2024 and their families was sent earlier in the week that includes upcoming events and information. We encourage families to review this message together. Seniors, please also visit the class of 2024 page on our website for announcements, upcoming events, and graduation information.

A reminder that PWCS is offering seniors to take the SAT during school hours on 10/26. If your student is interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please have them sign up via the Senior SAT interest form. This form closes on 9/5 and late sign-ups will not be accepted.

Senior Information Fair

The GHS Counseling Team is hosting a Senior Information Fair on September 14, from 6 - 7:30 pm. Families will have the opportunity to attend breakout sessions that will help seniors explore their post-secondary options. Representatives from the Princeton Review, Laurel Ridge Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, and ECMC The College Place will be presenting. We hope to see you there!

Get involved?

Parents interested in partnering with Gainesville High School are encouraged to consider the array of options available. There are lots of ways to be involved at GHS and interested parents can use the link here to let us know if you would like to be contacted to help throughout the year.

Upcoming Dates and Activities

September 1-4 – Labor Day Weekend

October 5 & 6 – Underclassmen pictures

October 9 – Touchbase conferences (no school for students)

Week of October 10 – Homecoming

October 17 – 18 – Senior make up pictures

October 18 – PSAT, 9th-11th graders

October 26 – Senior SAT Day

November 3 – Last day of Quarter 1

August 25, 2023

Greetings from the Nest,

On Monday we welcomed 2400 students to Gainesville High School, a couple of hundred students below our capacity. As we approach the end of our first week, I thank our faculty and staff, parents and guardians, and community members for the combined efforts that helped us open the school year smoothly. Our students have been wonderful this week, adjusting to a new schedule, quickly getting into good habits, and learning from the first bell. Thank you for your support in getting the school year off to a positive start. In no time at all we’ll be organizing our Homecoming activities and then looking forward to Thanksgiving break. I appreciate everyone’s efforts to maximize learning throughout these early weeks.

Home Game This Evening

We’re eager to see how each of our athletic teams fare this year, and it’s exciting that we host our first home football game this evening. However, tonight’s game does coincide with a concert at Jiffy Lube Live and traffic will undoubtedly be heavy around campus. Please try to arrive early for the game and access the school from Limestone and Wentworth Drive, if possible. Also of note is that we moved to online ticket sales last year. Tickets for all of our sporting or performance events can be purchased via Ticket Spicket. Having this link on your phone will ensure that you’re always ready to join us for a game or a concert. Purchase Tickets for GHS events.

Back to School Night

We will host Back to School Night on August 30, starting with an optional open house between 5:30 and 6:45 pm. The open house will include a drop-in curriculum and activity fair in our gym as well as three, 20-minute information sessions for parents between 5:30 and 6:45. The “traditional” back to school night where parents and guardians rotate through their child’s schedule (advisory period, followed by periods 1-7) will start at 6:45 pm and run until about 8:20 p.m. Additional details can be found on the GHS website.

Transportation

Four days into the school year, our transportation office continues to work out the kinks in our bus schedule and routes. We are also working to accommodate the significant uptick in student driver and drop-off traffic in the mornings. I appreciate everyone’s patience as our administrative staff work with the PWCS transportation team to get everyone back and forth as efficiently as possible. As a reminder the Find My Bus app is a useful resource to monitor bus locations and times.

Lockdown Drill Update

On Tuesday, August 29, during advisory period, we will conduct a scheduled lockdown drill. During the drill, a voice announcement will inform faculty, staff and students to respond as if we were in a lockdown situation. The drill will last approximately 5 minutes before we return to normal instructional conditions.

Senior Information Fair

The GHS Counseling Team is hosting a Senior Information Fair on September 14, from 6 - 7:30 pm. This evening will include information tables with 4- and 2-year universities, military recruiters, possible employers such as Amazon Web Services, and even a representative from Jostens to discuss cap and gown orders. Students and parents are welcome to attend. Bring questions! This is a great opportunity to start thinking about your post-graduation plans.

PTSO News

The Gainesville High School PTSO is up, running, and actively recruiting members for the 2023-2024 school year. If interested, please visit our website: https://www.gainesvillehighptso.com/. Our next meeting will be on September 28th, at 6:30 p.m. in the GHS Library, and will also be available via Zoom.

Get involved?

Parents interested in partnering with Gainesville High School are encouraged to consider the array of options available. There are lots of ways to be involved at GHS and interested parents can use the link here to let us know if you would like to be contacted to help throughout the year.

Upcoming Dates and Activities

August 30 – Back to School Night

September 1-4 – Labor Day Weekend

October 5 & 6 – Underclassmen pictures

October 9 – Touchbase conferences (no school for students)

Week of October 10 – Homecoming

October 17 – 18 – Senior make up pictures

October 18 – PSAT, 9th-11th graders

October 26 – Senior SAT Day

August 16, 2023

Cardinal Connections - Back to School Edition

Cardinal Students and Families,

Welcome to year three, 2023-24 at Gainesville High School. Speaking for the faculty and staff, I want to share how excited we are to get the year started. The 2022-23 experiences will be difficult to top; however, I am looking forward to working with all of you - students and parents - as we tackle an array of exciting and challenging new undertakings together. The administrative and counseling teams have been hard at work to ensure that all students will enjoy a rigorous, engaging schedule of classes that lead all of us to another year of outstanding achievements across academic departments.

Before we begin, there is a great deal of information I need to share. And while I promise that the remainder of our Cardinal Connection publications will not be as lengthy, this opening edition is filled with what I hope will be sufficient reminders and requests that all students and families will feel up to speed before buses run on Monday, August 21. If I've forgotten something or failed to anticipate information you might need, please visit the GHS website. I've asked our tech team to update the page regularly this year, expanding its role as a communication tool. Most of the links I'll mention in Cardinal Connections can be reached from our main page: https://gainesvillehs.pwcs.edu/

Additionally, the admin staff and I recorded a webinar of useful information I encourage you to review at your leisure. Granted, it echoes much of the content I'll outline in these pages. But please have a look, perhaps digesting it in smaller bites, since the whole presentation runs for about an hour. You can find that recording here.

Reminders for Families

NEST/ADVISORY periods

This year, the one significant change to our daily routine will be the addition of a NEST block into the bell schedule. Slated to occur between second and fourth blocks on even days, NEST is intended for remediation, relearning, and reinforcement and will progress on a rotation through all seven blocks with a new class scheduled for NEST every other day. Teachers and counselors can help students understand the new schedule, and in no time we'll all have it down to a science. Every eighth rotation will be for our new ADVISORY. Similar to NEST, this time is intended for support and relationship building, plus a chance for staff members to address schoolwide initiatives or assessments without interrupting the normal bell schedule.

Cell-Phone Usage

While we understand how important cell phones are and how they keep busy families in touch throughout the day, again this year, the staff and I are asking that students put cell phones away during instructional time. Unless authorized by the classroom teacher as part of instruction, cell phones are not to be used in classrooms during instructional time. Nor should they be used in locker rooms or bathrooms (for reasons of privacy). I understand that this is a weighty request. However, the time we forfeit to cell phone distractions is critical for students to demonstrate progress and truly learn the content. Recent research suggests that American teens spend about 7:20 daily on their cell phones, approximately 45% of their waking hours. I hope you'll agree that this represents an alarming trend and that we need to work together to keep the 90 minutes between the bells free from this level of distraction.

I am happy to have students check their phones in the corridors between classes, before and after school, or during lunch.

Attendance

Last spring, GHS wrapped up the 2022-23 year with an 18.9% chronic absenteeism rate.

As plainly as I can say it, this needs to improve. As we prepare for school to begin, I'm asking all students and parents to commit maintaining good attendance, because the recipe is simple: Students can't learn effectively if they're not in the classroom with the teacher.

I've asked teachers to document tardies and contact parents when students are late to class more than three times in a quarter. Alpha administrators will assign detentions for those late to class on four or more occasions. If students need to be away from the building, I ask that parents use ParentVue or this link from the GHS website to report absences or arrange early dismissals. For other attendance questions, please visit the GHS home page.

Meals

As you get ready for the first day of school, families who qualify for free- or reduced-price lunches should apply on the PWCS Nutrition page. Similar to pervious years, your My School Bucks account can be activated and updated for ease of purchasing lunch. These links and more can be found on the Back to School tab on the GHS website.

Get involved?

Parents interested in getting involved or staying in touch with faculty, staff, or events this year are encouraged to consider the array of options available. From the Principal's Advisory Council to PTO events or our booster organizations, a growing student body (and faculty) require more assistance organizing and hosting events, raising funds, or just communicating throughout the community. Interested parents should use the link here to let us know which roles might work best for you. Thanks!

Campus Security

New Evolv Technology

As you are probably aware, GHS has had Evolv weapons screening technology installed at Doors 1, 6, 30, and 33. Everyone entering school after 7:00 a.m. will be required to pass through one of these systems for screening. Because each unit will be operated by school staff, no students or other visitors will be permitted to enter the building before 7:00 a.m. Please plan accordingly. Parents who have historically dropped children off prior to 7:00 a.m. should keep in mind that students will have to wait outside until the Evolv systems are staffed and operating. I am hopeful that we will only require a few days to get into a smooth routine with our Evolv units in early September. I will be in contact regarding this process in the coming weeks. For now, suffice to say that the fewer large metal items that students carry into school (laptops aside), the easier everyone's morning entry will be.

Morning Arrival

For parents or guardians who drop off or pick up students on campus, the Kiss & Ride traffic pattern has been updated. Traffic will now flow down into the football stadium parking lot, loop around by the softball field, and then return to the building for drop offs at the Evolv Doors 30 and 33 (near the auditorium and Grey Commons). I ask that all drivers - parents and students - remain patient with our security staff as they direct traffic, especially in the first few days of the year. Please see the graphic at the end of this document or review the Kiss & Ride portion of our Back to School webinar for more information.

Transportation

Students who ride buses can find their bus number, route, and pick-up/drop-off times in Student Vue or Parent Vue in the coming weeks. Please check for this information around August 16. If transportation confirms that route information will be delayed, I will reach out to the community with an update. To date, we currently have no plans for activity buses.

For students who drive, please plan to purchase a valid 2023-24 parking pass from Mr. Wall or our security staff. For more information on student parking and expectations, please visit the GHS webpage or reach out to Mr. Wall when you return to campus.

Counseling Updates

Counseling Staff

As enrollment has grown, so has our counseling staff. I'm excited at the talented people we-ve hired to work in the Counseling Office and encourage all students to find a time to visit with your counselor - even just to introduce yourself and say "hello" in the coming weeks.

For students who need to discuss something important with a counselor, please use the Bookings app on the school website. Parents or guardians can call or email for an appointment time. Also, please check the webpage to ensure that your child's counselor hasn't changed. Adding 400 students this year, we've adjusted the alpha-assignments for each counselor. Your assigned counselor might have changed.

Schedules

Student schedules will be available online in StudentVUE and ParentVUE on Wednesday, August 16. Prior to gaining access, parents must have completed the Annual Back to School Packet. This will activate your account for use. Students, please keep in mind that the schedule you see on the 16 th might not be your final version when school opens on Monday, the 21 st. There is always the possibility that a slight change or edition might be made in the master schedule over that last weekend. So please come to your second block class on opening day, log into StudentVUE, and use that schedule as your official copy.

Students, also . . . only come to counseling for a schedule change if there is an error in your schedule, and plan to attend during the block that is incorrect. No other schedule change requests will be honored.

Immunizations

Parents, please keep in mind that there are required immunizations for students to attend public schools. Our clerical staff have been reaching out to families with incomplete or missing immunization records. These must be updated prior to Friday, August 18 for students to attend classes on Monday, the 21 st. Please check Parent Vue->Health->Immunizations or contact one of our alpha secretaries for more information. Records are easy to update in Parent Vue, or feel free to bring a copy to Ms. Smith in our clinic.

Laptops

All students have the option of using a PWCS provided laptop (and charger). These will be distributed during the ADVISORY on the first day of school, Monday, August 21. If students have a device already, they are welcome to use them. However, PWCS technology staff are not able to provide tech support for personal devices.

Activities Updates

Sports and Athletic Events

Fall athletic seasons are getting under way, and I hope that everyone in the GHS community will find time to cheer on one of our sports teams in the coming months. The Athletics link from the school's home page will take you to our comprehensive sports and activities calendar. However, as you plan for the next month, here are a few important dates/times. I hope to see you out supporting our student athletes this season.

8/21/23 Volleyballvs. Woodbridge 5:45, 5:45, 7:00 pm

8/22/23 Field Hockey vs. Battlefield 5:30, 7:00 pm

8/22/23 Golf vs. Multiple Schools @ Prince William Golf Course 5:00 pm

8/25/23 Varsity Football vs. Potomac 7:00 pm

8/28/23 Freshman Football vs. Paul VI 5:30 pm

8/28/23 JV Football vs. Gar-Field 7:00 pm

Other Upcoming Events

Some additional dates to keep on the calendar include:

August 17 - New Student Orientation (7:45 am - 11:30 am)

  • Express bus stops will be provided - please watch for email and GHS web posts for details
  • This event is for students. An optional parent session with Mr. Beech will run from 9:00 am - 9:45 am in the auditorium. Please enter door 32 at 9:00 after dropping off students.

August 21 - First Day of School (7:30 am - 2:10 pm)

  • Students attend second block (see Student Vue)

August 30 - Back to School Night

September 1-4 - Labor Day Weekend

October 5 & 6 - Underclassmen pictures

October 9 - Touchbase conferences (no school for students)

Week of October 10 - Homecoming

October 18 - PSAT, 9 th-11 th graders

October 26 - Senior SAT Day

October 17 - 18 - Senior make up pictures

Updated Kiss & Ride Map

This picture has a map of the campus with red lines showing the path parents dropping off their students should take. The path turns green when the parents get to a point on the path where they should drop their students off.