New job on your holiday list? Come to HCPS’ Dec. 5 job fair

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Get yourself a little something this holiday season: a career you’ll love. Henrico Schools will hold a job fair Dec. 5 to talk with people interested in joining the dedicated team of Virginia’s sixth-largest school division. HCPS is seeking full-time and substitute registered nurses, instructional assistants, bus drivers and school nutrition workers.

Representatives from the HCPS Human Resources Department will be on hand for the event at the Eastern Henrico Government Center. Also present to talk with interested candidates will be representatives from the HCPS Pupil Transportation and School Nutrition Services departments.

Qualified bus driver candidates will be paid while they train.

Applicants are encouraged to apply online in advance at henricoschools.us/careers.

Job fair for candidates for full-time and substitute registered nurses, instructional assistants, bus drivers and school nutrition workers

When: Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Eastern Henrico Government Center (multipurpose room), 3820 Nine Mile Road, Henrico, Va. 23223

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 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.

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Come see the creative, hands-on ways Henrico students are learning at the Henrico Education Foundation’s Innovative Grants Showcase

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Greenwood Elementary Garden

Greenwood Elementary School students work with two of the school’s tower gardens. Greenwood created the towers with an innovative grant award from the Henrico Education Foundation, in order to provide students with opportunities for interactive learning.

Growing salads in the cafeteria? Using camera-equipped drones to teach coding skills to elementary students? The Henrico Education Foundation awarded $71,925 in grants this fall to Henrico County teachers and principals with innovative classroom ideas. Find out more about these groundbreaking projects at the Henrico Education Foundation Innovative Grants Showcase on Nov. 28.

The showcase will feature the foundation’s recent innovative grant recipients from schools across Henrico County. Drop in and see demonstrations of grant projects on full display, talk to teachers and principals, and ask questions. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 5-7 p.m. (drop-in)

Where: The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, Va. 23060

The grant-funded projects on display at the showcase are affecting more than 14,500 students, teachers, and staff and community members. Some of the projects that will be featured:

Makerspace Hub Grant: Elko Middle School received a $9,133 innovative grant award to transform the school library into a “makerspace hub.” The project is part of a schoolwide initiative to bring interactive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning opportunities into the classroom.

Tower Garden Grant: Greenwood Elementary School received a $3,210 innovative grant award to provide tower gardens to engage students in grades K-5 in interactive STEM classroom learning. Through the grant, students are learning about plant life cycles, while growing healthy food in their classrooms.

Artist in Residence Grant: Fair Oaks Elementary School received a $3,950 innovative grant award to engage students and families in a collaborative literacy experience that concluded with a visit from Eric Litwin, author of the “Pete the Cat” children’s book series.

Since 1993 the Henrico Education Foundation has played a vital role in meeting the educational needs of our community’s children. The nonprofit does more than just provide additional funding for public education; it works with parents, teachers and administrators to continually identify and develop initiatives that improve school performance and student achievement. The foundation supports all schools in Henrico County, working to provide every student and teacher the support and resources they need for success. For more information, go to http://henricogives.org/.

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Adding buses with seat belts a first for Henrico County Public Schools, state

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HCPS School Buses

Henrico County Public Schools is the first school division in Virginia to add buses with seat belts for general student use.

Henrico Schools has added some school buses with seat belts for general student use, a first in Virginia. Buses with 3-point shoulder-and-lap belts were purchased to replace older buses. The addition to the fleet includes 22 buses for general student use and two for students in the division’s exceptional education program.

The buses began transporting students at 48 schools this month. The HCPS Department of Pupil Transportation has been making the buses available around the county so that students and families can hop aboard and try out the belts. Henrico Schools’ bus drivers have received training in the belts’ operation, so they can make sure students understand how they work.

Director of HCPS Transportation Josh Davis

Josh Davis, Henrico County Public Schools’ director of pupil transportation, demonstrates a seat belt on a new school bus. The school division is the first in Virginia to add buses with seat belts for general student use.

“Our school buses are already extremely safe, due to the compartmentalization provided by the strong, heavily padded seats that are near each other,” said Josh Davis, the school division’s director of pupil transportation. “These seat belts will provide an extra level of protection.”

Each seat contains three seat belts that can be used by smaller children. Larger children can sit two abreast, using two of the belts. Use of the seat belts is encouraged, but won’t be mandatory.

Henrico Schools’ bus fleet contains more than 600 buses. As older buses age out of use, they will be replaced by new ones, equipped with seat belts.

Current Virginia laws requiring minors to use seat belts in passenger cars do not apply to school buses. The 2017 General Assembly considered a bill requiring seat belts on new school buses, with a goal of all buses in the commonwealth having seat belts by 2027, but the bill did not become law.

While this is a first among Virginia school divisions for traditional school buses, others, including Henrico, have previously used seat belts on buses used to transport exceptional education students. HCPS buses built since 2008 used for exceptional education have had 2-point lap belts, either in all the seats or in the first four rows of seats. Additionally, some students have Individualized Education Plans, or IEPs, that specify the use of seat belts.

More information about Henrico Schools’ seat belt program can be found by going to henricoschools.us and clicking on “Transportation.”

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Foundation recognizes Henrico County teachers with grants, awards for classroom excellence

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The Community Foundation has recognized nine Henrico County teachers for outstanding instruction for 2017. Five winning HCPS teachers were awarded professional development grants in the annual REB Awards for Teaching Excellence. Four others were named finalists. Across the Richmond area, a total of 16 winners and 14 finalists were selected from among the 112 teachers nominated by students, parents and colleagues.

The foundation’s awards identify, recognize and support teaching excellence in the Richmond area. The grants enable area public school teachers to continue their love of learning by pursuing adventures of a lifetime. This year’s Henrico honorees received professional development grants ranging from $6,500 to $12,000, given to nominees who have distinguished themselves by inspiring classroom performance.

2017 Henrico Schools REB Award winners:

  • Jerome Fleming, Short Pump Middle School: $10,300 to explore America’s historic cities and create a photo/video diary of each city to illustrate the culture and history that has made America into the diverse nation it is today.
  • Jonathan Lauder, Mills Godwin High School: $6,500 to travel to Paris, Vienna, Munich and Philadelphia to explore the ideas of the Enlightenment and the social and political revolutions brought to the western world.
  • Lindsey Pantele, Glen Allen High School: $12,000 to visit several European cities to study literary periods: Heroic and Classical Greek; Renaissance; and Modern.
  • Todd Ritter, Henrico High School: $10,600 to participate in Commedia Dell’arte and mask-making workshops in Florence, Italy and to visit several theatres spanning from ancient Rome to the modern day.
  • Gregory Townsend, Douglas S. Freeman High School: $12,000 to explore the culture, archaeology and geology of Central and South America while learning the Spanish language in an immersive setting.

Finalists (all receive $750 grants):

  • Jeannine Chewning, Hermitage High School
  • Rebekah Goemaat, Virginia Randolph Education Center
  • Kirkland Jackson, Tuckahoe Middle School
  • Kasey Kolste, Three Chopt Elementary School

More information is available at tcfrichmond.org about the REB Awards for Teaching Excellence, as well as the REB Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership.

REB Finalists

The Community Foundation recognized nine Henrico County teachers in the 2017 REB Awards for Teaching Excellence. From left to right, are:
Gregory Townsend, Douglas Freeman High School
Jerome Fleming, Short Pump Middle School
Patrick C. Kinlaw, HCPS superintendent
Lindsey Pantele, Glen Allen High School
Todd Ritter, Henrico High School
Kasey Kolste, Three Chopt Elementary School
Rebekah Goemaat, Virginia Randolph Education Center
Kirkland Jackson, Tuckahoe Middle School
Jeannine Chewning, Hermitage High School
Jonathan Lauder, Mills Godwin High School

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Teens face some big issues; How can you help them navigate?

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It isn’t always easy to know how to help teenagers. Come to “Critical Teen Issues: Workshops for Educators and Parents,” talk with experts and learn about effective ways to help teens navigate a host of important issues. The informal workshops will be on Nov. 30 at Hermitage High School. Attendees may choose one workshop lasting two hours or one or two workshops lasting one hour.

Who: Parents, guardians, educators and members of the media are invited to attend.

When: Nov. 30 from 5:30-8:15 p.m.

Where: Hermitage High School, 8301 Hungary Spring Road, Henrico, Va. 23228

More Than Sad (6-8 p.m.): Learn to recognize signs of depression and other mental health problems in teens, and how to get them help. With Shirley Ramsey of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Assessing and Treating Substance Use in Adolescents (6-8 p.m.): Learn the warning signs and symptoms that can indicate risk for substance use disorders, and how to talk to teens about substance use. With Barbara Burke of Family Counseling Center for Recovery.

Eating Disorders (6-8 p.m.): Gain insight on early detection, intervention and support of children with eating disorders. With Beth Ayn Elisabeth Stansfield of Stay Strong Virginia.

Teens and the Grief Journey (6-7 p.m.): Discuss ways to best support teens who are grieving the death of someone significant to them. With Allyson Drake of Full Circle Grief Center.

Side by Side with LGBTQ+ Youth (6-7 p.m.): Learn about LGBTQ+ identities, risk and protective factors and how to be a supportive adult. With Ted Lewis, executive director of Side by Side.

Building Healthy Relationships (7:15-8:15 p.m.) Get tools to promote healthy relationships with teens and help them better understand consent, cyber safety and red flags for human trafficking. With Elena Brooks-Perkins of Safe Harbor.

The Impact of Trauma on Children and Adolescents (7:15-8:15 p.m.): Get information on how trauma in childhood and adolescence affects cognitive and social-emotional development. With Cara Jean O’Neal, HCPS school psychologist.

In addition to the workshops, visitors can talk with local community groups and check out resources in the exhibitor area beginning at 5:30 p.m. Food will be available for purchase (cash-only). In order to reserve an adequate number of rooms, parents, guardians and community members should register in advance. However, registration is not required in order to attend. Register at https://tinyurl.com/register-criticalteenissues.

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Can a strategic plan meeting really be entertaining? Yes!

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Helping create a school division’s new strategic plan is a critical task – but can it also be entertaining and inspiring? If you have doubts, Adolph Brown III may cause you to reevaluate. The prominent teacher and speaker, who will appear Nov. 29 at Hermitage High School, is well-known for his dynamic style, inspirational message and use of humor. Brown will speak as part of Henrico Schools’ process of creating a new strategic plan for the years 2018-25. His appearance is being made possible by support from the Henrico Education Foundation.

The experience will align with the HCPS cornerstones “Closing Gaps” and “Relationships” and will be followed by a question period.

Brown is nationally recognized for his ability to use his varied life experiences to connect audiences to evidence-based material. He was the first member of his family to graduate from high school, and later earned a master’s degree from the College of William and Mary and doctorate from the Virginia Consortium for Professional Psychology. Watch a clip of Brown’s dynamic speaking style at https://youtu.be/IYy4tj9i04U.

The school division is asking citizens for their input in helping chart HCPS’ future, including school-based focus groups, community input events that are open to the public, online comments and at least one public hearing. Find out more about the school division’s strategic plan process by going to henricoschools.us. Look under “Hot Topics” and click on “Get Involved in Henrico Schools’ 2018-25 Strategic Plan.”

What: Speaker and teacher Adolph Brown III (http://www.docspeaks.com)

Who: The event is free and open to the public.

When: Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Hermitage High School, 8301 Hungary Spring Road, Henrico, Va. 23228

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Thursday is the deadline to nominate a principal for the REB Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership

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Thursday, Nov. 16 is the last day to nominate an outstanding principal for the REB Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership. The awards provide a tangible, public way to recognize a principal at a Henrico County school. The Community Foundation’s yearly awards identify, recognize and support leadership excellence in the Richmond area. Honorees receive an unrestricted $7,500 cash grant, and $7,500 to be used for school initiatives. Eligible are principals from public schools in Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover counties and the city of Richmond. Nominees should have served in their current positions for at least three years.

To find out more and download a nomination form, go to tcfrichmond.org and click on “Grantseekers,” then “Awards,” or go directly to tcfrichmond.org/Grantseekers/Awards/REB-Awards-for-Distinguished-Educational-Leadership.

Who: The Community Foundation invites nominations from students, parents, colleagues, school personnel and administrators and the community at large. Nominations should take the form of a completed nomination form, downloaded from the foundation’s website, a one- to two-page typeset letter describing the nominee’s distinguished educational leadership. It can be accompanied by up to three one-page letters of support. Principals may not nominate themselves.

When: Nominations must be mailed or hand-delivered, and must be received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2017. Emailed or faxed nominations are not accepted.

Where: Please mail nominations to:

REB Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership
The Community Foundation
Attn: Stacey Keeley, Donor Engagement Officer
7501 Boulders View Drive, Suite 110
Richmond, Va. 23225

For questions regarding nominations, please contact Leslie Traylor, HCPS human resources specialist, at 804-652-3671. More information is also available at tcfrichmond.org.

Award recipients will be announced in March 2018.

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Henrico County Public Schools creating position to oversee equity and diversity efforts

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Henrico County Public Schools is creating a new Office of Equity and Diversity, and will hire a director-level position to oversee it. The new director of equity and diversity will oversee Henrico Schools’ efforts at increasing equity and diversity across the school division. Superintendent Patrick C. Kinlaw made the announcement Thursday evening at the School Board’s work session. The school division will also create the HCPS Equity and Diversity Task Force, a new group comprised of students, parents, staff and community members.

“This will move us closer to our goals,” said Kinlaw. “For several years we’ve adopted equity and cultural competency as one of our areas of focus and this is an important step. It complements and brings together the things that our schools are already doing and adds a strong and needed dimension.”

“We want to thank the county manager and Henrico County government for supporting the school division in this endeavor to make our schools more inclusive,” said Beverly Cocke, chair of the School Board and Brookland District representative.

Among other responsibilities, the new director will develop, implement and assess the division’s short- and long-range cultural diversity plans in pursuit of the division’s goals, and coordinate related professional development for staff members. He or she will collaborate with other HCPS departments on academic programs and curricula; help to recruit and retain a diverse workforce; serve as a contact point for parent and employee concerns about cultural diversity; connect with community organizations; and serve as a coach and trainer for students, families and employees on cultural diversity issues. The director will also facilitate the new Equity and Diversity Task Force.

The school division will forge new relationships with some community groups on issues of equity and diversity. HCPS will also expand its work with the nonprofit Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. The organization will provide Henrico Schools with ongoing guidance and support with challenges such as bullying, equity, racial relations, harassment, ethics and cultural responsiveness. The group was recognized in 2013 and 2016 by the General Assembly for its work with schools, businesses and communities.

Formation of the new Equity and Diversity Task Force will begin when the new director has been hired. Task force members may apply or be nominated for consideration. More details about the process will be announced in January.

The position is expected to be posted and advertised next week.

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School Board Meetings Thursday, Nov. 9

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The County School Board of Henrico County, Va., will hold the following meetings on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, according to the following schedule:

School Board Work Session 2:30 p.m.
Budget Public Input Session 5:30 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, Va. 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, henricoschools.us. To view “BoardDocs,” where meeting agendas can be found, please click here: http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/henrico/Board.nsf/Public. If anyone wishing to attend is disabled and needs assistance, please contact Andy Jenks at 804-652-3724.

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Share your thoughts on HCPS’ budget for fiscal year 2018-19

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Henrico Schools will hold seven meetings prior to the release of the superintendent’s budget in January to get community input on the school division’s budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. A short presentation by HCPS budget staff members will be followed by opportunities to comment and ask questions. As is customary, the school division will develop a budget proposal using feedback from stakeholders.

The input opportunities will be:

  • Nov. 9* at 5:30 p.m. (New Bridge Auditorium, 5915 Nine Mile Road)
  • Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m. (Twin Hickory Public Library, 5001 Twin Hickory Road)
  • Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m. (Fairfield Public Library, 1001 N. Laburnum Ave.)
  • Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. (Tuckahoe Area Public Library, 1901 Starling Drive)
  • Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. (Libbie Mill Public Library, 2100 Libbie Lake East St.)
  • Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. (Varina Public Library, 1875 New Market Road)
  • Dec. 14* at 5:30 p.m. (New Bridge Auditorium, 5915 Nine Mile Road)

*These meetings will not include a presentation from HCPS staff members.

For more information and to see details about past budgets, go to henricoschools.us and click on “Public input opportunities for 2018-19 Henrico Schools budget” under “Hot Topics,” or go to http://henricoschools.us/budget-finance/.

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Come hear an education visionary and help Henrico Schools chart a course for the future

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David Stephen

Boston-based education guru David Stephen will speak Nov. 8 as part of Henrico Schools’ process of creating a new strategic plan.

Henrico County Public Schools wants input from Henrico citizens in the creation of a new strategic plan for 2018-25. Kicking off the process will be a talk by education guru David Stephen, co-founder of Boston-based New Vista Designs for Learning. Stephen’s cutting-edge work in curricula, programming and school design is informed by this essential question: How can the design of school programs and buildings best support the changing needs of 21st century students and teachers?

The 45-minute speech will align with one of Henrico Schools’ four cornerstones (“Academic Progress”) and will be followed by a question period.

Who: The public and members of the media are welcome to attend.
When: Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m. (The program will last about an hour.)
Where: Hungary Creek Middle School, 4909 Francistown Road, Glen Allen, Va. 23060

You are also invited to give us your thoughts on the new strategic plan by completing a short online survey or applying for a steering committee of 15-20 people. Visit henricoschools.us, look under “Hot Topics” and click on “Get involved in the Henrico Schools 2018-25 Strategic Plan.” Look for other ways to get involved throughout the school year.

Save the date: On Nov. 29 another prominent speaker will appear as part of Henrico Schools’ planning process. Adolph Brown III will talk about the HCPS cornerstones, “Closing Gaps” and “Relationships.” The location has not been determined. The speech is being made possible by funding from the Henrico Education Foundation. Brown is a nationally recognized speaker and teacher who uses humor and his varied life experiences to connect audiences to evidence-based material. He was the first member of his family to graduate from high school, and later earned a master’s from the College of William and Mary and doctorate from the Virginia Consortium for Professional Psychology. More information about Brown’s talk will be shared in the future.

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Grant for almost $600,000 will enable HCPS, foundation, to increase after-school and summer academic opportunities

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Thanks to a grant from the Virginia Department of Education, more Henrico students will get tutoring and academic opportunities outside of regular school hours. The state agency awarded a federal grant for $593,193 to the Henrico Education Foundation to expand a program at Glen Lea Elementary School run jointly by Henrico Schools and the foundation. The 21st Century Community Learning Center grant will be awarded over a three-year period.

The Glen Lea program will expand from three days a week to four; daily program hours will also be extended, growing from two hours a day to three. The program will provide after-school academic enrichment opportunities such as tutoring, literacy support, robotics, cultural arts and hands-on instruction in STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math). The Glen Lea program will triple in size from 50 to 150 students in grades 3-5, and add a six-week summer academy. The grant will also fund additional student field trips.

Family engagement opportunities will get a boost as well; the program will hold workshops on topics such as family financial literacy, and helping students avoid a drop-off in knowledge during the summer. The foundation will work closely with Henrico Schools departments, such as the Department of Family and Community Engagement, to implement the grant in innovative and effective ways.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the students of Glen Lea,” said Mike Taylor, executive director of the Henrico Education Foundation. “With the support of the grant, we are helping close the opportunity gap and provide real-world, hands-on learning opportunities. Some families don’t have the financial resources for tutors or supplemental academic programs, and we want to change that. Our goal is to provide every student with access to quality after-school educational programs.”

The Virginia Department of Education awarded the grants to recipients in Virginia after receiving the funds from the U.S. Department of Education.

The nonprofit Henrico Education Foundation was created in 1993 as a public-private partnership with Henrico County Public Schools. It works with parents, teachers and administrators to identify, develop and help fund research-based initiatives that enhance learning in the classroom. The foundation provides grants and resources to HCPS students and teachers to fill the gap between taxpayer funding and the resources needed to drive educational innovation and achievement in all Henrico County schools.

Funding provided by 21st Century Learning Center grant award No. S287C170047; 59 percent of the annual project will be provided with federal funding ($197,731) and 5 percent provided by local nongovernmental resources ($16,532). This does not include other programming and staffing supports provided by the Henrico Education Foundation.

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