GPMS Counseling Office


Helping GPMS Families through the Coronavirus Pandemic

Welcome all GPMS students and family members.

We hope that everyone in our community is doing well and working to stay safe and healthy.

We know that the sudden closure of school for this academic year is unprecedented and anxiety producing for many.

Our hope is that some of these resources are useful to you in terms of promoting student academic achievement and emotional well-being.

Please click on the various links below and learn how to talk to children about the virus, watch our Counseling staff’s presentation on dealing with stress and many more tidbits.

How to talk to children about COVID

GPMS Counseling’s Staff Coping Strategy Video

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PWCS Updates on COVID-19 Response - March 23

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) is providing the following update regarding changes caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. Please note PWCS staff members are working daily to coordinate key information and develop guidance based on new information. Your patience and support are appreciated during this extraordinary time.


  1. SCHOOL BUILDINGS CLOSED TO STUDENTS THROUGH JUNE – By order of the Governor of Virginia, all Prince William County Public Schools will remain closed to students through the end of the 2019-20 school year (June 2020), due to the health concerns caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read More
  2. SACC – School age child-care (SACC) is canceled through June 2020.
  3. GRADUATIONS – all in-person graduation ceremonies and proms planned through June are canceled. PWCS will work to determine alternative ways, or future events, to safely celebrate the Class of 2020 (they’ve earned it!).
  4. ACTIVITIES, SPORTS – all activities including sports are canceled through June 2020.

  1. COMMUNITY USE AND FACILITIES – all community use at any PWCS facility is canceled through June 2020.
  2. ACCESS TO BUILDINGS – all PWCS buildings remain closed to any visitor, except limited support staff per guidance sent last week. We recognize that students and staff would like access to the buildings to retrieve personal belongings and other items; however, the health and safety of all staff and students is the top priority and at this time PWCS cannot risk potential COVID-19 community spread through such activity.
  3. FOOD SERVICE – PWCS will continue to provide to-go meals from 9–11 a.m. at locations across the County. More details.
  4. IB TESTING – the International Baccalaureate (IB) May 2020 examinations for Diploma Program and Career-related Program candidates will no longer be held. Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student's coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor, and quality control already built into the programs. PWCS IB Coordinators will share further details with students as available.
  5. GRADES – students on track for graduation should still expect to graduate. PWCS expects guidance from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) this week regarding student credits. Once PWCS has this information, a further determination will be made regarding student grading for this year.
  6. SPECIAL EDUCATION – PWCS is awaiting further state and federal guidance on providing special education services and conducting IEP meetings. Once clarification is received, PWCS will provide an update.
  7. DISTANCE LEARNING - PWCS is exploring opportunities for equitable distance learning while ensuring compliance with all federal and state requirements.
  8. HOME INSTRUCTION – details regarding expectations for optional at-home instruction during the current closure were sent to all PWCS staff and families last week. Visit the PWCS Home Learning Resources webpage for more information.


DR. Walts Video

Brain Pop Video on COVID-19

Coronavirus BrainPOP

Please remember all of the things that we are able to control and try to spend more time focusing on those items.

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Next Weeks Newsletter

Stay tuned for next weeks newsletter which will include:

  • More coping skills and different ways to deal with anxiety and stress.
  • Mrs. Garecht will give instruction on how our 7th grade students and parents can complete there Academic Career Plan on line.
  • More information on distance learning ideas and ways to continue practicing positive emotional health.