After repairs, “outpouring of support,” Baker ES students slated to return to improved school in the fall


April 24, 2017 – Baker Elementary School students will complete the 2016-17 school year at other locations and will return to a restored building in fall 2017. School leaders made the decision in order to provide ample time for repairs to be completed at the fire-damaged school, and to avoid further interruptions to instructional time.

Baker students have been attending Mehfoud and Varina elementary schools, along with New Bridge Learning Center, since a March 19 fire at the school at 6651 Willson Road in eastern Henrico County.

In addition to repairing smoke-and-water damage, the central space that houses the mechanical and electrical systems is being replaced. When students, faculty and staff return to school in September, Baker will have a new mechanical system for heating. Parts of the building’s electrical system have been replaced. Some areas of the roof were affected by heat and smoke, and those are being replaced as well. Other affected spaces will get new ceilings and a thorough cleaning of all surfaces and furnishings.

The school’s principal cited community support as essential in moving the school forward.

“The outpouring of support from the community has been phenomenal, and we are so grateful for that,” said Dr. Beverly Allen-Hardy, Baker principal. “This has been a challenging time for our students, families, faculty and staff, and that community support has made all the difference.”

A video thank-you message from Baker students and staff members can be seen at Henrico Schools’ Facebook page,

School Board Meetings Thursday, April 27


The County School Board of Henrico County, Virginia, will hold the following meetings on Thursday, April 27, 2017, according to the following schedule:

School Board Work Session 1:00 p.m.
School Board Monthly Meeting 6:30 p.m.

These meetings will take place in the auditorium of New Bridge Learning Center, 5915 Nine Mile Road, Henrico, Virginia. Closed sessions will be held during the work session as deemed necessary.

The meetings are open to the public and interested citizens are invited to attend. Also, a live stream of all School Board work sessions and monthly meetings is available on the main HCPS website, To view “BoardDocs”, where meeting agendas can be found, please click here: If anyone wishing to attend is disabled and needs assistance, please contact Andy Jenks at 652-3724.



For 18th straight year, Henrico County Public Schools named a “Best Community for Music Education”


For the 18th year in a row, Henrico County Public Schools has been named one of the best communities in America for music education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. The school division has earned the designation in each year the group has given the awards.

The designation is based on a detailed survey of a school division’s commitment to music instruction through funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction. The award recognizes the commitment of school administrators, community leaders, teachers and parents who believe in music education and work to ensure that music education accessible to all students.

“This reflects the daily dedication of our music educators and the support of our administration for a strong arts program,” said Rick Tinsley, the school division’s music education specialist. “Our community demands a first-class music education for our students, and we’re grateful for those high expectations.”

The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation is funded by music trade association activities and donations. The foundation works to promote music education as an important part of the core educational curriculum. Studies have shown an association between exposure to the arts and academic and civic engagement.

Henrico ARTS Festival: Artists, Residents, Teachers and Students


Henrico County Public Schools’ annual spring arts festival moves into its fourth year with a weekend of music and fine art. ARTS Festival events – the acronym stands for Artists, Residents, Teachers and Students – will kick off with a musical performance Friday night, April 21; events will run through Sunday, April 23. This year’s festival will be held at Henrico High School.

Friday night at 7:30 p.m. the Center for the Arts at Henrico High School will hold the first of two weekend performances of its Musical Theatre Showcase, a selection of musical numbers performed by Center for the Arts students. Tickets for the Musical Theatre Showcase are $5 and will be available at the Henrico High School box office starting at 6:45 p.m.

Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will feature free diverse musical performances, interactive stations, miniature golf, displays of fine art from every school in the division and activities sponsored by local community partners and cultural centers.

Saturday night will feature two Center for the Arts events. From 5-7 p.m. the Center will hold its Visual Arts Showcase exhibit. Admission to the Visual Arts Showcase is free. At 7:30 p.m. there will be a second performance of the Center for the Arts Musical Theatre Showcase. Tickets to the Musical Theatre Showcase are $5 and will be available beginning at 6:45 p.m.

As with Saturday’s daytime activities, Sunday, April 23 will feature more free musical performances, activities and art displays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival aims to use Henrico Schools as a hub for building arts connections across the community.

“The past three years we’ve had a wonderful turnout. This year we hope to grow the festival by offering more interactive opportunities for students and families,” said Mike Kalafatis, Henrico Schools art specialist. “We’ll have more community groups and cultural centers. Our goal is to have it become an all-encompassing festival – not just fine art.”

Friday, April 21
7:30 p.m.: Center for the Arts Musical Theatre Showcase ($5)

Saturday, April 22
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Performances, exhibits and activities (free)
5-7 p.m.: Center for the Arts Visual Arts Showcase (free)
7:30 p.m. Center for the Arts Musical Theatre Showcase ($5)

Sunday, April 23
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Performances, exhibits and activities (free)

Henrico High School, 302 Azalea Ave. Henrico, Va. 23227

Great plants, prices: Check out spring sales at Henrico schools


Two Henrico schools want to put some spring in your step with beautiful plants at great prices. Stop by spring plant sales at the Advanced Career Education Center at Hermitage and the Academy at Virginia Randolph. The sales feature a large selection of flowers, vegetables, herbs and hanging baskets at terrific prices. Students at the two schools have been hard at work preparing plants for the annual events.

Academy at Virginia Randolph Annual Spring Plant Sale
Among the flowers for sale are marigolds, impatiens, begonias and petunias. The vegetables and herbs include a large selection of tomatoes, peppers, basil and rosemary. Only checks and cash are accepted.

When: April 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m
Where: The Academy at Virginia Randolph, 2204 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, Va. 23060

– Hanging baskets starting at $6

– 4-and-6-inch bedding plants starting at $3

– Vegetables and herbs starting at $1.99

Advanced Career Education Center Greenhouse and Landscape Plant Sale
The sale features a huge variety of annuals and perennials, from marigolds to moon vine and dianthus to daylilies. Vegetables and fruits include peppers, cucumbers, watermelon and many varieties of tomato. Only checks and cash are accepted.

When: May 2 and 3 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Advanced Career Education Center at Hermitage, 8301 Hungary Spring Road, Henrico, Va. 23228

– Hanging baskets: 10-inch ($10) and 12-inch ($15)

– Four-packs ($1.50) and six-packs ($2.50)

– Succulents starting at $2

– Pots: 3.5-inch ($1), 4.5-inch ($3), 6-inch ($5) and gallon ($6)

Athletic “feets”: From preschool to high school, Henrico students with intellectual disabilities prepare to compete


Three spring events will give Henrico students with intellectual disabilities a chance to compete alongside their nondisabled peers. The three competitions – one each for elementary, middle school and high school students – feature track and field events and other outdoor activities. High school students will serve as volunteers for the competitions.

The three annual competitions, coordinated by Special Olympics Virginia, are:

Big Feet Meet (high school competition): April 18, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Highland Springs High School, 15 S. Oak Avenue, Highland Springs, Va. 23075

Little Feet Meet (elementary school competition): April 21, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Douglas S. Freeman High School, 8701 Three Chopt Road, Henrico, Va. 23229

Meet in the Middle (middle school competition): May 1, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Collegiate School, 103 North Mooreland Road, Richmond, Va. 23229

Admission to the events is free. The public is invited to come cheer on and celebrate the participants.

More than 400 high school athletes are expected to compete in Henrico Big Feet Meet; more than 800 athletes and their partners from 34 HCPS elementary schools are expected to attend Little Feet Meet; and more than 250 students with and without disabilities from 12 HCPS middle schools are expected to attend the middle school event.

The events are part of the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools initiative, which seeks to create a day of fun, collaboration and inclusion among students who may not spend time together in classes. The initiative seeks to give students with and without intellectual disabilities the opportunity to train together, to create friendships and to foster mutual respect.
For more information about Special Olympics Virginia, go to

As spring arrives, is your career blooming? Come talk with Henrico County Public Schools


Spring is a time of regeneration, and that could include new career possibilities. Henrico County Public Schools is seeking candidates for full-time and substitute bus drivers and full-time and substitute school nutrition services workers. Members of the HCPS Human Resources, School Nutrition Services, Custodial Services and Pupil Transportation departments will be at Henrico County Public Library’s Glen Allen branch on April 18 to talk with interested candidates.

Applicants are encouraged to apply online in advance at

Good bus driver candidates will be paid while they train.

When: Tuesday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Glen Allen Branch Library (HCPL), 10501 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, Va. 23060

Questions? Call the HCPS Human Resources Department at 804-652-3664.

Applicants without computer access or having trouble with the online application may contact the HCPS Human Resources Department at 804-652-3664 or stop by the department office at 3820 Nine Mile Road in Henrico to use our computers and get help if needed.

Candidates for full-time and substitute bus drivers must: be at least 21 years old; have a high school diploma or equivalent; have a valid Virginia driver’s license; obtain a CDL Class B instructional permit or hold a CDL Class B license with endorsements in P (Transporting Passengers)/S (School Bus) and airbrakes; pass a physical and drug test and have no felony convictions.

Henrico Schools will also hold a job fair for bus drivers and nutrition workers May 11 from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. The May 11 job fair will be at Henrico County Public Library’s Libbie Mill Library.

HCPS middle school redistricting: Public input opportunities coming, new option added


Members of the community have several opportunities in April and May to comment in person on draft options for the 2018-19 phase of Henrico Schools’ middle school redistricting process. The school division has also added a new draft option to the mix – Option D – and made some updates to existing options in response to feedback from the community and to incorporate the approved first phase of the two-year process.

How can I comment on the current options for the 2018-19 phase of the redistricting process?
There are two in-person events specifically designed for public input:

At an informal open-house-style community input session April 6 from 6-7:30 p.m. at L. Douglas Wilder Middle School (6900 Wilkinson Road), members of the public can drop by, see maps of proposed options displayed in the gym and discuss the draft options with School Board members, staff members and the redistricting consultant. Spanish and Arabic translators will be present.

A public hearing May 11 from 6-7:30 p.m. at New Bridge Auditorium (5915 Nine Mile Road) will be a more formal format with an agenda that will include a chance for members of the community to address the Board. Each person’s remarks will be limited to three minutes.

Community members are also encouraged to weigh in by using the online survey/comment form. The form, along with news and detailed information about the most current options, can be found on HCPS’ website, at

The Henrico County School Board made a decision at its monthly meeting on March 23 on the small-scale first phase of the two-year middle school redistricting process. With the 2017-18 shift decided, the process now focuses on draft options for more extensive 2018-19 changes.

The redistricting process will not affect current middle or high school students.