Entries by Larry Willis

33,000 likes? Henrico Schools’ “signing day” for students entering the workforce strikes chord on social media

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Henrico, Va., April 16, 2018 – Recognizing students entering the workforce is a compelling idea, if the online response to Henrico Schools’ first-ever “Career and Technical Letter-of-Intent Signing Day” is any indication. A school division Facebook post about the event drew a huge response after it was reposted by actor Mike Rowe, well-known for hosting […]

Henrico, Va., April 16, 2018 – Recognizing students entering the workforce is a compelling idea, if the online response to Henrico Schools’ first-ever “Career and Technical Letter-of-Intent Signing Day” is any indication. A school division Facebook post about the event drew a huge response after it was reposted by actor Mike Rowe, well-known for hosting Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” as well as other projects.

The March 28 signing-day celebrated students graduating from Henrico Schools’ Career and Technical Education program. The event emulated ceremonies that have become common for high school athletes signing letters-of-intent to play for NCAA programs. Students and representatives of their future employers signed symbolic letters of agreement, as families and members of the media looked on.

As of Monday, the school division’s April 11 description of the event and accompanying photos had been viewed on more than four million screens, been “liked” more than 33,000 times, been shared more than 24,000 times, and had generated more than 3,100 comments. 

“This is the way forward,” Rowe wrote on his Facebook page, which has more than 5 million followers. “No attempt to close the skills gap will ever succeed, until or unless we celebrate those who are willing to learn a skill that’s in demand. This is not just a terrific idea, it’s a model for every other technical school in the country. A big thanks and a hearty congratulations to whomever pushed this idea forward. Here’s hoping others will follow Henrico’s lead.”

“Thanks Mike,” responded Beverly Cocke, who represents the Brookland District on the School Board and serves as the School Board’s representative on the HCPS Career and Technical Education Advisory Board. “It was our Director of CTE, the most awesome Mac B[eaton], who came up with the idea!

“As a HCPS School Board member, I can honestly say it was one of the most inspiring events I’ve attended this year. The parents were proud, the students were confident in their futures and the employers were grateful – winners all around. We’re already planning next year’s event. We would love to have you visit anytime and see the great things going on!”

“My compliments to Mac,” said Rowe. “Invite me to the next one. If I can make it, I will.”

Henrico County Public Schools’ original post can be seen on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HenricoCountyPublicSchools/posts/1679712538789231. Rowe’s comments can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/TheRealMikeRowe/posts/1882478288428972. For more information about Henrico Schools’ Department of Career and Technical Education, go to https://henricocte.com. 
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Listening sessions: Henrico Schools seeks community input on equity

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Henrico, Va., April 13, 2018 – Henrico Schools’ new Office of Equity and Diversity wants to hear from members of the community. Monica Manns, the office’s new director, will hold listening sessions at five Henrico County Public Library locations in late April and early May to hear residents’ ideas about equity and diversity in the […]

Henrico, Va., April 13, 2018 – Henrico Schools’ new Office of Equity and Diversity wants to hear from members of the community. Monica Manns, the office’s new director, will hold listening sessions at five Henrico County Public Library locations in late April and early May to hear residents’ ideas about equity and diversity in the school division.

“I appreciate all the community support and feedback around these issues that I’ve heard so far,” Manns said. “These sessions will be a chance for me to listen further and learn more. If we identify themes emerging from the talks, those will be possible areas of focus for the Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee.”

The application process for the new advisory committee is in the planning stages; it will be comprised of students, parents, staff and community members. More information will be forthcoming.

The sessions will begin with an introduction and an update on the advisory committee. The bulk of the time will be for reserved for citizens to talk. Feedback received at the listening sessions will be shared with School Board members, Henrico Schools administrators and the new advisory committee. In addition, a survey will be forthcoming. The data from both will help guide the division’s next steps.
The equity and diversity listening sessions include one in each of Henrico’s five magisterial districts:  

April 23 (6-7 p.m.)
Sandston Branch Library
23 E. Williamsburg Road
Sandston, Va. 23150

April 24 (6-7 p.m.)
Fairfield Area Library
1001 N. Laburnum Ave.
Henrico, Va. 23223

April 25 (5-6 p.m.)
Glen Allen Branch Library
10501 Staples Mill Road
Glen Allen, Va. 23060

April 30 (5:30-6:30 p.m.)
Tuckahoe Area Library
1901 Starling Drive
Henrico, Va. 23229

May 1 (4-5 p.m.)
Twin Hickory Area Library
5001 Twin Hickory Road
Glen Allen, Va. 23059  

More information about Manns and Henrico Schools’ efforts to increase equity and diversity across the school division can be found at henricoschools.us/henrico-county-public-schools-hires-director-to-oversee-equity-and-diversity-efforts.

March 14 “Walkout” – An update for Henrico County students and families

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Dear Henrico families,   This message is primarily for those with students in high school and middle school. Many students across the nation – including large numbers of students in Henrico County – are planning to walk out of classes for 17 minutes on Wednesday, March 14 at 10 a.m. in response to the tragedy […]

Dear Henrico families,

 

This message is primarily for those with students in high school and middle school.

Many students across the nation – including large numbers of students in Henrico County – are planning to walk out of classes for 17 minutes on Wednesday, March 14 at 10 a.m. in response to the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Your family may have already received information about this from your school’s principal. Henrico County Public Schools has specific plans to address these unique circumstances at our middle and high schools (no elementary school involvement is anticipated at this time.)


What is the position of Henrico County Public Schools on this issue?

We believe that students are participating in the walkout to honor the 17 victims and to raise awareness of our community’s collective belief in safe schools. While we do not encourage walking out of class, students do not forfeit their First Amendment rights when they enter school. Such a walkout may present significant safety and classroom instruction concerns, but it also presents opportunities for learning and growth. Henrico Schools believes in engaging our students in diverse educational, social and civic learning experiences that inspire and empower students to become contributing citizens. Out of this unspeakable tragedy, a valuable teaching moment has emerged.

School principals and their administrative teams have been working this week to maximize the instructional opportunities while minimizing safety concerns. For example, schools have:

  • Worked with student leaders to identify the goals of the walkout and to set expectations.
  • Asked what Standards of Learning can be met through planning and participating.
  • Asked how students can participate safely.
  • Asked how to accommodate students who do not wish to participate.
  • Developed a plan to take attendance before and after the walkout.
  • At the middle school level, required parents/guardians to give written consent.

Plans may differ from school to school based on unique safety concerns, the goals of student leaders, and the outcome of continued discussions between students and their school administrators.

What is our expectation of students for these 17 minutes?

Our expectation is that students will act peacefully and remain on school property in a designated safe space. Leaving school property without permission is a “category one” violation of the Code of Student Conduct. We expect students to return to class promptly after the 17 minutes of reflection.

Do students face disciplinary action (such as a suspension) for participating?

Generally, no. Students may receive a follow-up discussion (a “teachable moment”) based on their actions. Should other issues arise beyond leaving class for 17 minutes, then normal disciplinary procedures would be considered and applied as needed. All students must remember: disorderly conduct that disrupts school operations is not acceptable.

What is the role of Henrico County Public Schools employees?

Employees will not be active participants in the walkout. School Board policy precludes employees from engaging in any activity supporting or opposing a partisan political cause while on duty, while on school property during school hours, or while representing the school division. While some may consider the occasion to be partisan or political in nature, others may consider it a non-partisan moment of remembrance and honor for the Parkland victims. Either way, we believe the effort is, and should be, student-led, yet monitored by adults. Employees, while on school time, will carry out their professional duties.

What about students who choose not to participate?

Schools will provide designated areas where students opting not to participate will be supervised. In most cases, this will likely be their classroom.

What about visitors to school property during the walkout time?

We expect that adults, such as parents and other relatives, might want to participate. However, as is true at any time during the school day, the campus is not open to unlimited access by the public. Anyone who enters the campus during the school day must follow normal procedures that begin with signing-in at the school’s main office.

What can I do before the walkout takes place?

We encourage families to have a discussion with their student(s) about his or her beliefs related to the walkout. Discuss your family’s expectations for their actions and behavior on March 14. Remind students that their school division is interested in respecting their wishes while being protective of everyone’s safety.

I still have specific questions and concerns about my student and/or my student’s school. Where do I go for answers?

Your school principal will be happy to discuss additional questions or concerns.

What about the next national walkout scheduled to take place on April 20, 2018?

We will continue to monitor plans and share updates in the coming weeks.

Please know that we are proactively working with students, school faculties and local law enforcement to ensure any student-led efforts are handled in the most peaceful, respectful way and in the best interests of our children. Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

Patrick C. Kinlaw
Superintendent

Michelle F. “Micky” Ogburn, Chair
Henrico County School Board
Three Chopt District

Marzo 14, 2018 “Demostración” – Un mensaje para los estudiantes y familias de las Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Henrico

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Estimadas familias de Henrico, Este mensaje está dirigido principalmente para estudiantes de escuelas medias y secundarias. Muchos estudiantes de todo el país, incluyendo gran cantidad de estudiantes en el Condado de Henrico, planean hacer una demostración saliendo de las clases durante 17 minutos el miércoles 14 de marzo a las 10 a.m. en respuesta a […]

Estimadas familias de Henrico,

Este mensaje está dirigido principalmente para estudiantes de escuelas medias y secundarias.

Muchos estudiantes de todo el país, incluyendo gran cantidad de estudiantes en el Condado de Henrico, planean hacer una demostración saliendo de las clases durante 17 minutos el miércoles 14 de marzo a las 10 a.m. en respuesta a la tragedia en la Escuela Secundaria Marjory Stoneman Douglas en Parkland, Florida. Es posible que su familia ya haya recibido información sobre esto del director de su escuela. Las Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Henrico tienen planes específicos para abordar estas circunstancias especiales en nuestras escuelas medias y secundarias (no se anticipa la participación de escuelas primaria en este momento).

¿Cuál es la posición de las Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Henrico sobre este tema? Creemos que los estudiantes están participando esta demostración para honrar a las 17 víctimas y difundir a nuestra comunidad la convicción colectiva de que las escuelas son seguras.   Si bien no los alentamos a salir de las clases, los estudiantes no pierden sus derechos de la Primera Enmienda al entrar a la escuela. Tal retirada puede presentar preocupaciones significativas de seguridad y de instrucción en el aula, pero también presenta oportunidades para el aprendizaje y el crecimiento. Las Escuelas de Henrico creen en involucrar a nuestros estudiantes en diversas experiencias educativas, sociales y de aprendizaje cívico que inspiran y capacitan a los estudiantes para convertirse en ciudadanos contribuyentes. De esta tragedia indescriptible, ha surgido un valioso momento de enseñanza.

Los directores de las escuelas y sus equipos administrativos han estado trabajando esta semana para maximizar las oportunidades de enseñanza mientras se minimizan las preocupaciones de seguridad. Por ejemplo, las escuelas:

  • Trabajaron con líderes estudiantiles para identificar los objetivos de la demostración y establecer expectativas.
  • Preguntaron qué estándares de aprendizaje se pueden cumplir a través de la planificación y la participación.
  • Preguntaron cómo los estudiantes pueden participar de manera segura.
  • Preguntaron cómo acomodar a los estudiantes que no desean participar.
  • Desarrollaron un plan para tomar asistencia antes y después de la demostración.
  • En ciertas escuelas medias, se les pidió a los padres / tutores que den su consentimiento por escrito.

Los planes pueden diferir de una escuela a otra en base a preocupaciones de seguridad únicas, las metas de los líderes estudiantiles y el resultado de discusiones continuas entre los estudiantes y sus administradores escolares.

 ¿Cuál es nuestra expectativa de estudiantes para estos 17 minutos?

Nuestra expectativa es que los estudiantes actúen pacíficamente y permanezcan en la propiedad de la escuela en un espacio seguro designado. Salir de la propiedad de la escuela sin permiso es una infracción de “categoría uno” del Código de Conducta Estudiantil. Esperamos que los estudiantes regresen a clases puntualmente después de los 17 minutos de reflexión.

¿Los estudiantes enfrentan una consecuencia disciplinaria (como una suspensión) por participar?

En general, no. Los estudiantes pueden recibir una discusión de seguimiento (un “momento de enseñanza”) en función de sus acciones. En caso de que surjan otros problemas más allá de dejar la clase por 17 minutos, entonces los procedimientos disciplinarios normales se considerarán y se aplicarán según sea necesario. Todos los estudiantes deben recordar: la alteración del orden que interrumpe las operaciones escolares no es aceptable.

¿Cuál es el rol de los empleados de las Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Henrico?

 Los empleados no participarán activamente en la demostración. La política de la Junta Escolar impide a los empleados participar en cualquier actividad que apoye o se oponga a una causa política partidista mientras están de servicio, mientras están en la propiedad de la escuela durante el horario escolar, o mientras representan a la división escolar. Mientras que algunos pueden considerar que la ocasión es de naturaleza partidista o política, otros pueden considerarla como un momento no partidista de recuerdo y honor para las víctimas de Parkland. De cualquier manera, creemos que el esfuerzo es, y debe ser, dirigido por los estudiantes, pero monitoreado por adultos. Los empleados, mientras están en horario escolar, llevarán a cabo sus tareas profesionales.

¿Qué pasa con los estudiantes que eligen no participar?

Las escuelas proporcionarán áreas designadas donde los estudiantes que opten por no participar serán supervisados. En la mayoría de los casos, este será probablemente su salón de clases.

¿Qué pasa con los visitantes a la propiedad de la escuela durante el tiempo de la manifestación?

Esperamos que los adultos, como los padres de familia y otros familiares, quieran participar. Sin embargo, como es cierto en cualquier momento durante el día escolar, el campus no está abierto al acceso ilimitado por parte del público. Cualquier persona que ingrese al campus durante el día escolar debe seguir los procedimientos normales que comienzan con el inicio de sesión en la oficina principal de la escuela.

¿Qué puedo hacer antes de que ocurra la demostración?

 Animamos a las familias a tener una discusión con sus estudiantes sobre sus opiniones relacionadas con la huelga. Discuta las expectativas de su familia sobre sus acciones y comportamiento el 14 de marzo. Recuérdeles a los alumnos que su división escolar está interesada en respetar sus deseos y proteger la seguridad de todos.

 

Todavía tengo preguntas e inquietudes específicas sobre mi estudiante y / o la escuela de mi hijo. ¿A dónde busco las respuestas?

El director de su escuela estará encantado de analizar preguntas o inquietudes adicionales.

 

¿Qué pasa con la próxima demostración nacional programada para el 20 de abril de 2018?

 Continuaremos monitoreando los planes y compartiremos las actualizaciones en las próximas semanas.

Por favor sepa que estamos trabajando proactivamente con los estudiantes, el cuerpo docente de la escuela y la policía local para garantizar que los esfuerzos dirigidos por los alumnos se lleven a cabo de la manera más pacífica, respetuosa y en el mejor interés de nuestros niños. Gracias por tu tiempo y atención.

Atentamente,

Patrick C. Kinlaw
Superintendente

Michelle F. “Micky” Ogburn
Presidente, Consejo Escolar del Condado de Henrico
Representante del Distrito Three Chopt

An important message about school safety

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  Henrico County Public Schools families, In the week since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., we have received numerous requests for information about school safety. We are most appreciative of our community’s concerns, and we would like to address the following questions: Where can I find detailed information about […]

Un mensaje importante sobre la seguridad escolar

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Familias de las Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Henrico, Después de una semana desde la tragedia en la Escuela Secundaria Marjory Stoneman Douglas en Parkland, Florida, hemos recibido numerosas solicitudes de información sobre la seguridad escolar. Agradecemos las inquietudes de nuestra comunidad y nos gustaría responder las siguientes preguntas: ¿Dónde puedo encontrar información detallada sobre […]

11 more creative classroom ideas will come to life, thanks to Henrico Education Foundation grant program

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Henrico, Va., Feb. 1, 2018 – From literacy resources to teacher training, the Henrico Education Foundation’s latest grants will empower students with creative, evidence-based ways to learn. The foundation has selected 11 classroom projects to receive a total of $34,759 in the second round of its Innovation Grants for 2017-18. The foundation expects the funded […]