Important Message from the Principal - Updated 5/4/22
Posted on 05/04/2022
Message from the Principal with an apple, piece of paper, pen and a name plate saying Dr. NicholsUnity Reed Lions logo

May 4, 2022

Dear Parents and Guardians:

The safety and security of our students and staff is our number one priority. In her letter to the community on Friday, April 29, the PWCS Superintendent shared information concerning the recent drug-related deaths of students in Prince William County. The Prince William County Police has issued an alert that the deaths appear to be connected to counterfeit forms of the drug Percocet laced with fentanyl.

The opioid crisis impacts individuals of varying age, gender, race, and income. It is important that families have awareness of the dangers of these drugs and speak with your children about it.

As part of this education effort, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, PWCS will be hosting a special Family Engagement Series session called “Substance Abuse-Let’s Talk About It.” This virtual event will provide our parents and other caring adults with the tools needed to start conversations with our students. You may register for this virtual session and review other helpful resources, including signs of drug and alcohol abuse, at our Substance Abuse Prevention webpage. The session will be recorded and shared on this webpage by Monday, May 9.

If you have concerns about your child, or your family, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Contact 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for assistance. SAMHSA also has a treatment locator available on their website. In addition, you may also reach out to our school for support.
Thank you for your continued support as we work together to keep our students safe and healthy.

Dr. Richard Nichols


Dear Unity Reed Families:

We are quickly approaching the end of the 3rd Marking Period at the end of this month, March 31,2022. This has been an unusual year but a productive one as students have returned to in-person instruction and we are slowly getting back into a normal routine. I am excited to announce that Graduation will be held this year on June 7,2022 at 6 pm at Jiffy Lube Live. This continues our quarter century tradition of graduation at this venue, which allows us to include all family members and guests to witness our Commencement Exercises. More specific details will be forthcoming as we get closer to the ceremony.

There are great number of significant events that have been happening at Unity Reed since we returned in January. Senior Shawn Murphy was honored as the Dick Butkus National Linebacker of the Year and has enrolled at the University of Alabama as of January. Congratulations to Shawn and his teammate Shane Eller, Class of 2023, who were both selected to the Virginia Football Team All-State First-Team. 

Recently our Band competed in Virginia Assessment and under the leadership of our new Director, Mr. Malechek, both the Concert and Symphonic Band received a Superior Rating. Both the Choir and Orchestra will compete in state assessment later this month. Congratulations to all of our students in the Music programs at Unity Reed. It is great to be back after a year and a half with no musical performances. 

Unity Reed has also had a great deal of participation in various clubs and organizations this year. Some of the highlights include our Law Club, sponsored by our Social Studies teacher's Ms. Reinshuttle, Ms. Simonds and Ms. Saland, participating in a mock trial. A new formed Gaming Club, co-sponsored by Business Teacher's Mr. Gummo and Ms. Griffith. The SALC, co-sponsored by Ms. Miller and Mr. Donatelli, organizing a Co-Ed Volleyball Tournament, Mr. Unity Reed Pageant, Wellness Week, a Black History Assembly and countless other events and activities for the student body! Unified Basketball (Special Education) is also back with SALC, JVG, Cosmetology and Special Education students participating. These are just a sample of the over 50 Clubs and Organizations available for student participation at Unity Reed this school year!

There numerous upcoming events at Unity Reed this Spring. On March 24th at 6 pm in the Auditorium PWCS will host a Renaming Ceremony for Unity Reed High School at 6 pm in the auditorium. This event has been delayed well over a year by Covid, students and families are welcome to attend. On April 22nd the Junior Class will host Prom for the Junior and Senior class at Sweeney Barn in Manassas. On May 23rd we will hold our annual end of the year awards ceremony for Underclassmen at 2:30 and Senior Awards Ceremony at 6 pm in the auditorium. This spring we will also host numerous sporting events, end of the year concerts and an International Night in May for our school community.

My hope is for a smooth ending to a successful school year! In May we will hold both SOL/IB/AP/CTE testing for students participating in these courses. I am excited about our progress to date and am looking forward to all of the upcoming events to come! 

Best wishes for a relaxing Spring Break April 11-15 and for a great end to the school year! Go Lions!

Dr. Nichols 


Dear Unity Reed Parents and Guardians:  

I am writing to provide you with an update regarding our spring Touch Base (Parent/Teacher Conference) program, which was planned to be held on Monday, February 7. Due to the number of weather-related closures we have had this year, our spring Touch Base program will be canceled to allow schools to make the most out of the instructional time left in the semester. February 7 will now serve as a normal instructional day with normal school hours and bus schedules. However, the cancellation of the program does not limit parent opportunities to meet with their student’s teachers. If a parent-teacher conference is desired, parents are encouraged to reach out to their student’s school counselor to schedule an in-person meeting or email their student’s teacher to schedule time for a virtual conference via Zoom or telephone. As always, our school staff remains available and ready to assist in creating intervention and support plans to aid student growth and achievement. 

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly. 

Richard Nichols, Ph.D.

Unity Reed Lions:
There is a disruptive and destructive national trend occurring nationwide on the social media platform 'Tik Tok.' Unity Reed has had some incidents of vandalism in the restrooms as have other Prince William County middle and high schools. As we return from virtual learning to in-person instruction it is critical our school community focuses on learning. This 'Tik Tok' challenge is a distraction that could lead to potentially serious consequences if a student has or elects to participate in the future. 
Next month (October) the 'Tik Tok' challenge, encourages students to engage in an activity which is legally defined as an assault. I trust our students to recognize this is entirely inappropriate and has both school and legal ramifications. Any violation of the Code of Behavior pertaining to this 'Tik Tok' Challenge will result in an out-of-school suspension; and a principal's informal conference to include severe disciplinary consequences.
I trust that all our student body will be responsible and focus on our return to learning and enjoy a spirited Homecoming Week. 
Dr. Nichols

Dear Unity Reed Families,

As the first day of school approaches, I wanted to reach out to our families regarding the distribution of student laptops for the 2021-22 school year.

First, all student laptops from last school year, including those that were used during the 2021 Summer School program, must be returned to Unity Reed as soon as possible.

All laptops for the 2021-22 school year have been updated and prepared for the new school year.  Students who did not return their laptop from last year will discover that the devices will not work with the current updates and therefore will have delayed access to technology.

Students may continue to drop off their laptops to the main office Monday-Friday, 7 AM – 3 PM.

Second, each student will be issued a student laptop on the first day of school, August 23.  There will be no distribution of student laptops prior to August 23.  Each laptop has been sanitized, updated and is ready to provide students access to CANVAS and other important learning platforms.

Third, we highly encourage each family to take advantage of the optional insurance being offered through a partnership with Securranty and Prince William County Public Schools.  This is a group policy discount that provides coverage for the HP Probook laptops that are issued to each student for accidental damage, flood, fire, vandalism and more.  Families will be responsible for any damage, including accidental damage, that occurs to student laptops and this insurance coverage can help provide peace of mind.

To maintain the integrity of the use of digital devices, all students and parents/guardians must acknowledge and agree to the conditions of use. The new school year packet located in ParentVUE will contain a device loan-agreement that must be signed by each student’s parent or guardian.

We look forward to our students returning to Unity Reed and are committed to providing our students with the technology they need to be successful.


Richard Nichols

This additional information is for parents of students attending virtual only classes at Unity Reed High School for the 2021-2022 school year. If your student is attending classes virtually this 2021-2022 school year, and needs a school-issued device, please come to the main office between 7 AM and 3 PM between Monday, August 16 and Friday, August 20. Parents do not need to be present at device distribution, but student should bring identification and a mask. For all students who will be attending classes in-person, devices will be issued on the first day of school during 1st period.  

Whether your student is virtual or in-person this school year, all Parents/Guardians must sign the Digital Device Loan Agreement found on ParentVUE before your student is issued a device. We appreciate your compliance in maintaining the integrity of the use of digital devices while attending Prince William County Schools.