Winchester Public School

OUR MISSION at Winchester Public Schools, a vibrant and diverse community of learners, is to have the courage and commitment to inspire every student’s passion for excellence in learning. This is accomplished through innovative instruction and the empowerment of every student by a dedicated staff, committed families, and dynamic community partnerships. This educational experience is indicative of the community that supports it. The City of Winchester knows that every student’s success is paramount to the success of the city, creating a richly supportive environment between the school, and the community as a whole.

WPS’ richly diverse students hail from all over the world and speak a vast array of languages!

We ensure students have the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to embrace rigorous challenges, navigate personalized pathways, and enrich their civic communities.  

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Winchester Public Schools is a great place to work and in Human Resources we are committed to investing in our greatest asset – our employees. Whether you are considering coming to work here, having your first day, have been with us for a while, or are celebrating your retirement we are here to support you in every step of your career.


  • Our EMPOWER 2025 Strategic Plan is designed around the idea of building a foundation of empowerment – empowerment of learners, staff, community & family, and organization. Winchester Public Schools has spent considerable time, energy and dedication convening a diverse group of stakeholders to help shape and build our strategic plan and we are excited for the work ahead as we use this foundation of empowerment to help propel students forward in an environment where they can thrive!

Equity Commitment

Winchester Public Schools is committed to creating and maintaining an equitable environment that welcomes, values, respects, and supports individuals and communities who affirm human decency. Winchester Public Schools provides opportunities for learning, growth, engagement, and transformation to champion a diverse, equitable, and inclusive school division.

The Office of Equity and Family Empowerment is deeply committed to providing leadership, guidance, and oversight of the Division’s equity framework. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is central to our mission and is a key component in enhancing the success of diverse students, staff, and the community, as part of our all-encompassing goal of “Learning For All, Whatever It Takes.” The equity and family empowerment coordinator supports and leads efforts by ensuring that equity is embedded in the work of all departments, schools, and central administration. This work is accomplished by creating the space for courageous conversations, celebrating diversity, expanding perspectives, implementing culturally responsive teaching frameworks, continuous delivery of equity-based professional development, developing capacity for cultural competency, and commitment to equity and inclusion. The office – led by Dr. Veronique N. Walker – is comprised of division-wide equity facilitators and school-based equity leads who drive the division’s efforts to create a welcoming, inclusive, safe, and equitable teaching and learning environment.

Students for educational equity & diversity

Winchester Public Schools is committed to fostering an inclusive culture by embracing diversity and equity in all its forms. It’s important that our students, staff, faculty, and guests feel included and represented throughout our division. We insist on a climate of diversity, equity and inclusion, not just because it creates a safe place for everyone, but because we’re all better and more empathetic people when we learn what it’s like to live in someone else’s shoes.

Students for Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) advisory council is an integral part of creating a more inclusive and welcoming climate at Winchester Public Schools The purpose of the council is student advocacy. This group will review existing practices, advocate for change, and provide a platform for students to voice concerns about school culture and climate. The council will be made up of a diverse group of students at John Handley High School, Daniel Morgan Middle School, and Daniel Morgan Intermediate School. 

The mission of the Students for Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) advisory council is to serve as an advisory group to the Coordinator of Equity and Family Empowerment and Principal, providing strategic advice and recommendations based on observations, reports, and monitoring concerning diversity at their respective schools. 

The SEED Council acknowledges that our community is reflective of many perspectives and life experiences. Diversity in our community refers to social identities such as race, socio-economic status, ethnicity, indigenous background, immigration status, nationality, gender identity/expression, language, ability/disability, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, political views, age, and physical appearance. 

We aim to be a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff that engage with one another across differences in meaningful conversation and use differences to strengthen, build and embolden a WPS community of engaged global citizens.

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Our History
In 2015, Winchester Public Schools embarked on a bold strategic planning process that included redefining our course beliefs and mission. From that discussion and subsequent data analysis, it became evident that we needed to adjust and focus our work to match our beliefs. One of those areas was in relation to increasing academic and social outcomes for students of color, students with disabilities, and students with economic disadvantages.

Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?
Equity in education is a significant challenge nationwide. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2017 the majority of public-school students were students of color, and more than half of public school students qualify for subsidized meals due to low family income. Public education has struggled to serve these students both adequately and equitably. When inequity in education persists, there is a cost to all involved including missed opportunities for economic development, greater dependence on government supports, and fewer Americans ready to serve and lead. School board members, superintendents, teachers, and families play a critical role in creating a climate and curriculum where all students receive the resources they need, so they graduate prepared for success after high school. (VSBA Newsletter, 2020)

Our Mission

We ensure students have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to embrace rigorous challenges, navigate personalized pathways, and enrich their civic communities.

Our Vision

We aspire to be an inclusive community that empowers all students to thrive.


We aspire to be an inclusive community that empowers all students to thrive.

Every student has the right to an excellent education in a safe, experiential and imaginative learning environment.

Every student deserves equitable opportunities to learn, grow, lead and serve.

An intentional focus on future ready skills and dispositions, integrated with essential academic knowledge, develops an empowered 21st century graduate.

Mental, emotional, and physical health are essential conditions for optimal learning.

Collective efficacy and shared accountability are vital ingredients to a productive, empowered workforce.

Winchester Public Schools must be learner-centered, agile and courageous in modeling the power of public education across our Commonwealth, country and world.

A vibrant public education system positively impacts the social, economic and civic well-being of Winchester.

Embracing the diversity of our students, their families and our community is a strength that unifies us.

To achieve equity, we must clearly define and monitor the extent to which all learners and groups are empowered through access, diversity and inclusion.



12 N. Washington St.
Winchester, VA 22601



“Winchester Public Schools is a fantastic school division and we are proud of our work as we serve every child, every day, doing whatever it takes. The rich diversity that makes up the Winchester division is truly our strength as one community comes together for one purpose – Learning For All.

I want to start by celebrating the hard work of our staff and students over the past year. Through the dedicated effort of our staff and students, the Winchester Public Schools continues to deliver a high quality education for all students.

In the 2021 – 2022 school year, I look forward to continuing the good work with our community, staff and students to ensure that every student is able to pursue all of their hopes and dreams in life. Our work is more than academic preparation, and I am excited to work with our staff to promote the aspirational aspects of student learning so that our students’ dreams are nurtured and stretched beyond their imaginations. Our Empower 2025 strategic plan will be our driving force in unleashing the potential of our students, staff and families.

In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am confident that our teachers, administrators and staff will continue to deliver a high quality education for every student. Last year, we were one of only a few school divisions in Virginia to attend school in-person, while executing all the safety protocols recommended by the CDC. I am proud of our approach and our dedication to our students and we will do the same thing this year – maximize learning AND safety!

As you explore our school division, I believe you’ll find that we embrace innovative ideas and that we are kid focused. I am very proud of the accomplishments of the Winchester Public Schools and we look forward to partnering with you to develop great young people and future adults!”

Dr. Jason Van Heukelum




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12 N. Washington St.
Winchester, VA 22601

Telephone: 504-667-4253

School Hours: M-F: 8am – 5pm