The Panda Press

September 7, 2020

Signal Hill Office Team

Elizabeth Eberly, Nurse

Anna Houseworth, Assistant Principal

Staci King, Secretary

Stephanie Thomas, Registrar

Carrie Webb, Principal

Karen Wilson, Bookkeeper

Main School Phone Number: 703-530-7541

A Note From Mrs. Webb

Dear Parents,

We are very excited for our first day of school! Will there be some glitches with technology? Yes and we have a way to help you if the information in the technology tips section doesn't work for you. Mrs. McKay, ITC will have Open Office Hours on Tuesday, September 8th from 8:30 AM-11:30 AM on Zoom (see information below).

Meeting ID: 976 7216 4476

Passcode: signal

We encourage you to access this zoom link for assistance instead of calling the school. The purpose of this dedicated link for assistance is to help you as quickly as possible and also so that our office team can take care of the other first day calls they receive.

Our staff has been so excited these past few weeks getting their teaching areas ready for the new school year! There is so much learning to be done and there are many new ways to teach and learn! It is true that it takes a village. I've thought about this a lot. A village is a very close and tight group of individuals but everyone has their own separate space. A village has unity and strength! A village works together to do what is best for their entire village. I am very proud to be a part of our Signal Hill "village" because I know that when we all work together, amazing things are going to happen! In this case, many of you will have a front row seat to your child's education. How cool is that? :)

Here's to the start of an amazing school year! We are all in this together and we will celebrate the good times and work through the difficult times TOGETHER!

Very Respectfully,

Carrie Webb


Parent Tech Night-Navigating CANVAS September 10, 2020 6:30-7:30 PM

Please join us for a presentation on Navigating Canvas THIS Thursday evening from 6:30-7:30 PM. A Zoom Link will be sent out via school messenger and through your child's teacher this week. Please note that this is note a question/answer sessions. We may have time for a few questions afterwards but our main purpose is to show parents how to navigate Canvas.

K-5 Pick up of Materials/Resources Scheduled- Monday, September 14, 2020

Our teams have put together materials and resources for our students to use at home. We have set aside designated times for families to drive through to pick up these materials/resources. The route will be like last year's pick up of materials. We will have you go immediately to your right when you enter, around the bus loop, to the front of the school by the gym where you will then stop. Remain in your car, roll down your window and confirm your child's teacher/grade level with the staff member who approaches your vehicle. This will be a very quick process so that we can keep our lines moving and also so that we are practicing appropriate social distancing guidelines. Staff will be wearing masks and we would appreciate anyone receiving items in vehicles to do the same (age appropriate). If you cannot pick-up items during your scheduled time, please make arrangements with your child's teacher to pick them up on a different day/time.

Thank you!

Monday, September 14th

Kindergarten 9am – 10am

1st grade 10:15am – 11:15am

2nd grade 11:30am-12:30pm

3rd grade 12:45pm – 1:45pm

4th grade 2:00pm – 3:00pm

5th grade 3:15 – 4:15pm


Morning Announcements will begin on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

HOW TO LOGON TIPS and Questions about Technology and Virtual Learning

Thank you to Mr. Matt Sims, IT for Signal Hill Elementary and Yorkshire Elementary for putting these tips together in one place for everyone to access.

For technical assistance, parents can call the Help Desk @ 703.791.8826 or


Our family is able to purchase technology for our student(s), what specifications does PWCS recommend?

Laptop specifications:
Processor – Intel Core i3 or i5
Memory – 4 GB RAM
Hard Drive - 64 GB minimum
Operating System – Windows 10 v1803 or later, Mac OS 10.14 or later, iOS 13

iPad 7th Generation
iPad Air 3rd Generation
iPad Pro 4th Generation

Camera access – Built-in or attached

Can my student use a Chromebook for PWCS virtual learning?

PWCS recommends a Windows-based or Apple device (see details above) for best experience. A Chromebook can be used, however, some applications such as Microsoft Office 365 will only be accessible through the web browser and some specialty class computer programs (such as with certain electives at high school) may not be compatible with Chromebook.

Does PWCS have any discounts for families to use to purchase technology?

Yes, Comcast is extending its Essentials Program, offering two months of free service for eligible people who sign up for Internet Essentials until the end of this year. They also extended the amnesty program until the end of this year for people with bad debt. >Learn more about Comcast Internet Essentials.

Verizon has a Lifeline Discount Program (a government assistance program for those who qualify). Learn more about Verizon Lifeline Discount

HP is offering students and teachers special discounts on quality, refurbished computers and printers. Learn more about HP refurbished devices

Is PWCS providing any Wifi internet access for students?

PWCS) has developed outdoor “Wifi Hotspots” in the parking lots at a number of schools around the county, allowing students and others to have free internet access. Anyone in need of internet access may visit one of the PWCS school parking lots listed below. No password is needed. Find information for students and families, as well as a map of available school locations on the Information Technology webpage and the My PWCS mobile app.

Where can my family find discounts for internet service or cellular hotspot (such as a MiFi)?

Home Internet Service:

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete

Verizon Lifeline

Cellular Hotspots:




How do I reset my Office 365 password? (Employee/Student)

· If you know your password and would like to change it, navigate to and log in using your current username (the part of your email before the @ symbol) and password. Once signed in select the Change Password button in the upper left of the interface. Toolbox will provide instructions for setting a new password.

· If you don't know your password, use the forgot my password link at and select Forgot My Password - Student. Follow the on screen instructions.

How do I log in to Zoom? (Student/Employee)

· From a web browser: Log into your Office 365, click on the grid in the upper left corner of the screen, select all apps, find Zoom in the list (it will be at the bottom). Or sign in at

· From the Zoom application: Select Sign in with SSO, if asked to provide a company domain enter pwcs-zm-edu, hit continue, You will be prompted to sign in to Office 365 and then prompted to "Open Zoom Meetings"

How do I log in to Office 365? (Student/Employee)

· In a web browser, navigate to

· Sign in with your email address (your username with or on the end of it) and your password.

How do I login to Canvas? (Student/Employee)

Log in to your Office 365, click on the grid in the upper left corner of the screen, select all apps, find Canvas in the list (it will be at the bottom).

How do I get parent access to Canvas?

You will need a pairing code to access Canvas, more detail on that process can be found on the Instructional Technology web page.

The canvas log-in page for parents is here:

How do I get a computer for my child?

Contact your school and verify they have you on a list for device distribution. Schools are typically available by phone on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but you can also email the school staff. Staff Directories are available on most school websites.

How do I log in to my child’s computer that I received from PWCS?

At the login screen enter:

· Username: .\pwcsstudent

· Password: pwc$stud3nt

If you receive a message, “the username or password is incorrect. Try again” confirm that the CapsLock & NumLock keys on the keyboard are off. Try using the number keys that are located directly above the letter keys.

If you receive a message, “We can’t sign you in with this credential because your domain isn’t available..” for the username field, verify that you are typing in the period and backlash key correctly (.\) before typing pwcsstudent (the backslash key (\) is the slash located above the Enter key)

Current wifi parking lot locations:

Battlefield High School

Benton Middle School

Fitzgerald Elementary School

Forest Park High School

Fred Lynn Middle School

Hylton High School

John Jenkins Elementary School

Mullen Elementary School

Old Bridge Elementary School

Parkside Middle School

Potomac High School

Reagan Middle School

Rippon Middle School

Saunders Middle School

T. Clay Wood Elementary School

Woodbridge High School

Return to Learn Link:

ITS webpage with Wi-Fi parking lot information that is updated as we go:

*PWCSHELPDESK@PWCS.EDU current auto reply message:

Setting up Parent Vue:

The email containing the activation code for your account was sent to the email address you used when your student was registered with PWCS. If that email address has changed you would not have gotten the email with the code. Please send an email to your child’s school’s registrar if you need a new activation code. You can find the emails for the registrar at elementary schools here Middle Schools here And High schools here We strongly recommend emailing your registrar rather than attempting to call the school.

Frequently Asked Parent Vue Questions:

  1. I do not see the edit button or it is greyed out.
    1. The edit button is only available in a web browser. You may also need to contact your school’s Registrar via email if you still do not see or cannot click the edit button even when using a web browser.
  2. I do not see all of my children in ParentVue
    1. You may have multiple accounts in ParentVue, if you do not know the login for this account please reply to this email and let us know which students you see and which you do not.
  1. I do not have my Activation code for ParentVue
    1. Please contact your child’s school to obtain a new one, please email the registrar listed below.
  1. How do I reset my ParentVue password?
    1. On the ParentVue login screen, click more tools and then forgot password. A password reset email will be sent to the email address you have on file in ParentVue with instructions for changing your password.
  1. Many parents have been asking how to update the emergency contact info in ParentVue.
    1. This feature is disabled until 8/17/20, if you cannot wait until then contact the Registrar at your child's school.

Contacting Your School’s Registrar:

We strongly recommend emailing your registrar rather than attempting to call the school. Signal Hill's Registrar is Mrs. Stephanie Thomas and her email address is:

Password Self Service:

Staff and students can now reset their passwords from outside the network by clicking on Password Self-Service from the Information Technology Department PWCS webpage. This self-service feature is only available to staff members who have previously entered their mobile phone number in the Contact Information Section of Employee Self-Service (ESS) and/or a personal email address in the Profile section of Toolbox. Students will be prompted for their username, student number/ID and date of birth to reset their passwords.

Staff and Student Public WiFi is available at:

Fitzgerald Elementary School, Forest Park High School, John Jenkins Elementary School, Mullen Elementary School, Old Bridge Elementary School, Parkside Middle School and T. Clay Wood Elementary School. WiFi is accessed from school parking lots or bus loop areas. Please remain in your car while accessing the Internet.

Online Learning Resources:

Prince William County Schools provides high quality resources and tools to PWCS students and staff. The information below provides information about our resources and tools and how they can be accessed by staff and students.

· Office 365 (OneNote, OneDrive, Teams, Teams Meeting (Skype), Word, Excel, PowerPoint,) Outlook E-Mail and Conversations in Class Teams in Office 365, Grades 3-12:


· Clever or access the Clever app in the Office 365 Waffle

o Clever is a single sign on portal that provides our students and teachers with easy access to many curriculum resources and tools

o Clever can be access using a student’s Microsoft Office 365 credentials which should be their PWCS login followed by

§ Applications available to all students in Clever include:

· BrainPOP


· Kodable

· Newsela

· Worldbook Online

§ Individual schools purchase additional applications that are made available to students.

· Discovery Education

o Access to high quality digital content that supports curriculum (video, audio, images, text)

o Students can create multimedia projects

· VoiceThread

o Students and staff log in with their PWCS login, not email

o VoiceThread is a communication, collaboration, and creation tool that allows users to create, share, and interact with content

· Adobe SPARK

o Accessed through Office 365

o Adobe Spark is a cloud-based creation/publication tool that integrates a variety of media

For technical assistance, parents can call the Help Desk @ 703.791.8826 or e-mail

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

If you happen to snap a picture of your child(ren) this week while working at home or of your family reading and you don't mind sharing it, we would love to post pictures of our students and families in our newsletters (to keep our village together)! Keep in mind that your picture should only include members of your family, otherwise we may not have permission to publish them in our newsletter. You may email them to BOTH Mrs. Webb and Mrs. Houseworth with the SUBJECT LINE: First Week Pics. The subject line is important because that is how we will sort the emails to find the pictures for the newsletter!