GVMS - Welcome Back 2020-21
Posted on 08/07/2020

Middle School

for the Arts & Sciences

8001 Limestone Drive Gainesville, VA 20155 703.753.2997 FAX 703.753.4331 gainesvillems.schools.pwcs.edu

Catherine Porter-Lucas, Principal

August 7, 2020

Dear Gainesville Families:

I hope that you are doing well, are enjoying your summer, and are getting ready for a unique but amazing 2020-2021 school

year at Gainesville Middle School for the Arts and Sciences. Our staff has been working diligently to prepare for the start of school on September 8, 2020.  Today I am writing to provide you with basic information about supplies, resources, and

upcoming events that will help you prepare for the start of the school year.   Over the next few weeks, I will provide weekly updates as we finalize our plans. Although this year we face new challenges, together as a team we will ensure that all of our students are successful!

What school supplies do I need?

According to the PWCS Return to Learn Plan, the first quarter of the school year will entail complete virtual learning for most students.  First quarter begins September 8, 2020 and ends October 30, 2020.  During this time period, resources will primarily

be provided on-line/digitally.  The School Supply List is posted on our Gainesville website.  We know that some of you may

want to take advantage of tax-free shopping this weekend so here is the link:  GVMS School Supply List 2020-2021

What can we do now to start preparing for the school year?

There are several tools and resources that will be utilized this year, but you can begin by ensuring that you know how to access ParentVUE/StudentVUE, Canvas, and Zoom. 


ParentVUE is a tool that gives parents/guardians access to their child’s assignments, bus information, class schedules, grades, attendance information, and more.  You can access ParentVUE online at parentvue.pwcs.edu

If you are unsure of your password, click on “More Options.”  If you have never used your ParentVUE account, click on

“More Options” and “Activate Account”.  Students can access their StudentVUE account by using their Microsoft 365 username and password credentials. Contact the school should you have any questions. 


PWCS has purchased a new learning management system called Canvas.  Canvas provides a platform for teachers to create virtual classrooms, supporting both real-time (synchronous) and self-paced (asynchronous) learning. There are several

videos available to help become familiar with this tool. You will want to check them out prior to the start of school.  Here are

a few:


GVMS teachers will be using Zoom to provide engaging and interactive online lessons to students.  PWCS has purchased a Zoom domain with added security for students and teachers for video conferencing. Students will need to activate their PWCS Zoom accounts.  Go to PWCS Zoom. Click on “Sign In” and have your child sign into their Office 365 email. Once they create a PWCS Zoom account, students will be able to join their zoom meetings in Canvas. We are here to help so if you have questions, feel free to contact the school and we are happy to assist.

What do I do if we need a laptop/device?

For families who requested a device through the PWCS survey, distribution will take place the week of August 24, 2020.

If you did not indicate that you needed a device, but would still like to request one, please contact the school.  Next week the details and instructions for the distribution days will be sent to families who requested a device.

Will there be an Open House or any help sessions for parents and students prior to the start of school?

We are currently planning a “Tech Week” to help students and parents with various tools and resources and also a Virtual

Open House.  Again, I will be sending out weekly updates to provide details for these and other exciting events, as well as information about the virtual bell schedule, individual student schedules, and 504/IEP meetings. Stay tuned!

I look forward to meeting our new students and families and reconnecting with our returning students and families.  

In partnership,

Catherine Porter-Lucas

Proud Principal