principals message


August 5, 2019


Dear Gainesville Parents/Guardians and Students:

I hope that you have enjoyed your summer and are ready for an amazing 2019-2020 school year at Gainesville Middle School for the Arts and Sciences. Our hardworking staff has been preparing to greet you at Open House on Wednesday, August 21st and the start of school on Monday, August 26th.      

Back to School Celebration/Open House

All students and parents are invited to attend Open House on Wednesday, August 21st.  During Open House, students and parents will become acclimated/reacclimated to the school, have the opportunity to complete all beginning of the year paperwork, purchase P.E. workout gear and GVMS spirit wear, set up a lunch account, and obtain schedules and locker combinations.  Through this experience, our hope is that students will feel comfortable and prepared on the first day of school.  Students will have time to become familiar with the layout of the school, to practice opening lockers, and to find their classes.  Parents, during this time, we also hope that many of you will volunteer to join our PTO and/or School Advisory Council and become more familiar with how to use two important communication tools, Parent Vue and School Messenger.

Please see the enclosed Open House flyer for additional information.

First Day of School

For those of you unable to join us for Open House, we look forward to seeing you on the first day of school, Monday, August 26th.  The school day begins at 8:10 a.m. and concludes at 2:50 p.m. We welcome students into the building at 7:55 a.m., and buses are released at approximately 3:05 p.m.   Parents, if your child plans to ride the bus to and from school on a regular basis, we would ask that you refrain from driving your child to school on the first day as there will be long lines at the “kiss and ride” and they should get used to riding their bus.  If you do choose to drive your child to school, and he/she is taking the bus home, please make sure that your child knows which bus number he/she is to ride.  Bus schedules will be available at  Also, please ensure that your child knows his/her home address and what subdivision he/she lives in prior to the first day of school. 

Sports try-outs

All students who wish to participate in athletic programs must have a sports physical dated after May 1, 2019, be academically eligible, and complete mandatory concussion training before they are allowed to try out for or participate in any sports.  Returning 7th and 8th grade students may use the online training program to meet the concussion training requirement. Online training can be accessed at  Rising 6th grade students and new students to Prince William County must participate in the mandatory face to face concussion training session scheduled for Thursday, August 22nd at 6 p.m. in the school gymnasium.  An opportunity to obtain an Athletic Sports Physical is also available on Thursday, August 22nd from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.  The cost is $25.00, and checks can be made payable to Dr. Kohli.

There will be a cheerleading interest meeting on Monday, August 26th at 6:00 p.m. in the school cafeteria.  Cheerleading tryouts will take place Tuesday, August 27th through Thursday, August 29th from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Fall athletic try-outs will take place Wednesday, August 28th through Wednesday, September 4th after school and include Football, Boys’ Soccer, Girls’ Volleyball, and Girls’ Track. Activity buses for athletic teams are provided during tryouts and depart at 5:15 p.m. 

Beginning mid-September, Gainesville will also offer a range of after-school clubs and activities that do not require tryouts.  If you have not already done so, I encourage you to visit our website at for additional information.

Back to School Nights

Be sure to save the date and join us at our Back to School nights:  6th grade – September 10th, 7th grade – September 11th, and 8th grade – September 12th at 6:30 p.m.  Meet your child’s teachers and hear about the exciting and engaging learning experiences your child will have this year.

I look forward to a great school year!

In partnership,


Catherine Porter-Lucas


“Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day”