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.”

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

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.

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.

College and Career Night: One-stop shopping for your future

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College & Career nightIt’s never too early to get a jump on your future. Students of all ages are invited to investigate options for life after high school at Henrico County Public Schools’ 2017 College and Career Night. The annual countywide event offers a chance to talk with representatives of more than 100 universities, colleges and professional programs, as well as about 50 representatives of career options such as businesses and branches of the military.

The event recently saw the introduction of a timesaving feature: pre-registration barcodes. In past years, aisles could sometimes be glutted with students and parents filling out information cards to leave with colleges. Students are now asked to fill out a brief questionnaire ahead of the event at www.gotocollegefairs.com to receive a personal barcode. When they find colleges at the event that pique their interest, students can quickly transfer their contact information by having a personal barcode scanned. 

When: Wednesday, Nov. 1 from 6-8 p.m.
Where: Henrico High School, 302 Azalea Ave., Henrico, Va. 23227

Confirmed college participants as of Oct. 23
Institutions not on the list may be present at the event, but have not confirmed their availability. 

Alderson Broaddus College

Allegheny College

Applachian State University

Averett University

Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Barton College

Belmont Abbey College

Bluefield College

Bluefield State College

Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing

Bowie State University

Bowling Green State University

Brandeis University

Brevard College

Bridgewater College

Bryant & Stratton College – Richmond

Bryant University

Bryn Athyn College

California College of the Arts

Campbell University

Capitol Technology University

Catawba College

Cedar Crest College

Central Virginia Community College

Centura College

Charleston Southern University

Chowan University

Christopher Newport University

Clemson University

Coastal Carolina University

Colby College

Colgate University

College of Charleston

Columbia College

Columbia University

Concord University

Culinary Institute of Virginia – ECPI

Dabney S. Lancaster Community College

Danville Community College

Davidson College

Davis & Elkins College

East Carolina University

Eastern Mennonite University

ECPI Medical Careers Institute

Elizabeth City State University

Elon University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Emory and Henry College

Fairmont State University

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

Ferrum College

Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Southern College

Fortis College

Francis Marion University

Frostburg State University

Gardner-Webb University

George Mason University

Glenville State College

Greensboro College

Guilford College

Hampden-Sydney College

Hampton University

High Point University

Hollins University

Hood College

Howard University

Indiana Institute of Technology

ITT Technical Institute

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College

James Madison University

Jefferson College of Health Sciences

John Tyler Community College

Johnson & Wales University

Johnson C. Smith University

Juniata College

Kansas State University

Keystone College

Kent State University

King University

Lenoir-Rhyne College

Liberty University

Lincoln College of Technology

Lincoln Memorial University

Living Arts College

Long Island University

Longwood University

Lord Fairfax Community College

Louisburg College

Lousiana State University

Lynchburg College

Marshall University

Mary Baldwin College

Marymount University

McDaniel College

Mercer University

Meredith College

Methodist University

Mid-Atlantic Christian University

Milligan College

Mississippi State University

Montana State University

Moore College of Art & Design

Morgan State University

Mount St. Mary’s University

National College

Norfolk State University

North Carolina A & T State University

North Carolina Outward Bound School

North Carolina State University

North Carolina Wesleyan College

Norwich University

Nova Southeastern University

Ohio Technical College PSI

Ohio Valley University

Old Dominion University

Patrick Henry College

Pennsylvania State University

Pfeiffer University

Potomac State College of WVU

Queens University of Charlotte

Quinnipiac University

Radford University

Randolph College

Randolph-Macon College

Regent University

Richard Bland College

Ringling College of Art and Design

Roanoke College

Rutgers University

Saint Augustine’s College

Saint Leo University

Saint Vincent College

Salem Academy and College

Salisbury University

Savannah College of Art and Design

Sentara School of Health Sciences

Seton Hall University

Shaw University

Shenandoah University

Shepherd University

South University

Southern Methodist University

Southern Virginia University

Southside Regional Medical Ctr Professional Schools

St. Andrews University

St. Bonaventure University

St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Stevenson University 

Stratford University

Strayer University

Susquehanna University

Sweet Briar College

The Apprentice School

The Art Institute of Virginia Beach

The Art Institutes

The Citadel

The College of Saint Rose

The College of William and Mary

The Council on International Educational Exchange

The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Tidewater Community College

Towson University

Tusculum College

United Assoc of Mechanical Trades School

United States Air Force Academy

United States Coast Guard Academy

United States Merchant Marine Academy

United States Military Academy

United States Naval Academy

Universal Technical Institute

University of Alabama

University of Charleston

University of Dayton

University of Delaware

University of Florida

University of Georgia

University of Kansas

University of Kentucky

University of Maine

University of Mary Washington

University of Maryland-Baltimore County

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

University of Miami

University of Michigan

University of Missouri

University of Mount Olive 

University of North Carolina at Asheville

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

University of North Carolina Wilmington

University of Notre Dame

University of Richmond

University of Scranton

University of South Carolina

University of South Carolina–Aiken

University of Tennessee: Knoxville

University of Virginia 

University of Virginia’s College at Wise

Vanderbilt University

VCU Clinical Laboratory Science

VCU Division for Health Sciences Diversity

VCU School of Allied Health

VCU School of Dentistry

Virginia College in Richmond

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Intermont College

Virginia Military Institute

Virginia State University

Virginia Tech

Virginia Union University

Virginia University of Lynchburg

Virginia Wesleyan University

Virginia Western Community College

Wagner College

Wake Forest University

Warren Wilson College

Washington and Lee University

Wellesley College

Wells College

West Liberty University

West Virginia State University

West Virginia University

West Virginia University Institute of Technology

West Virginia Wesleyan College

Widener University

William Peace University

Wilson College

Winston-Salem University

Winthrop University

WyoTech

York College of Pennsylvania

An important message from the Henrico School Board regarding Short Pump Middle School

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Dear Henrico Schools Community Members,

The Henrico County School Board is deeply concerned by the actions of students in the video taken in a Short Pump Middle School (SPMS) locker room. Adamantly, behavior of this type will not be tolerated in our schools. As noted in the HCPS Student Activities Contract, “Participation in athletics and other student activities is a privilege and as such, requires that students adhere to certain rules.”

As a consequence of the students’ actions that came to the school’s attention on Monday, the remaining football games for the SPMS football team will be forfeited; however, practices will continue. A mandatory component of practices will be discussions that focus on reporting responsibilities, accountability, ethics, sexual harassment, and racial tolerance. We acknowledge that all team members were not involved in the incident; however, we believe there are important lessons/reminders that should be reinforced with all team members.

The school division will also develop action steps for preventing such incidents in our schools. We will include staff, parent, administrator and student representatives in this dialogue. Our hope is to use this very unfortunate event as a meaningful learning opportunity for students moving forward.

Again, there is no place in HCPS for the kind of behavior portrayed in the video. We have extremely high expectations, and students who fail to meet the Code of Student Conduct standards will be addressed promptly and appropriately. While we realize many families would like to know more, we are prohibited from providing information pertaining to students.

As we move forward, we welcome your thoughts and comments as we work to better our school division and community.

Sincerely,

Beverly L. Cocke, Chair
Roscoe D. Cooper, III, Vice Chair
Lisa A. Marshall
John W. Montgomery, Jr.
Michelle “Micky” F. Ogburn

October 20, 2017

2017-18 REB Awards: Nominate an outstanding principal

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The REB Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership provide a tangible, public way to recognize an outstanding 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.

Thousands of Henrico County students will walk the walk Oct. 4

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Henrico County students will walk the walk in October. Students at some schools will take part in International Walk to School Day Oct. 4 by walking to school, walking at school and participating in associated events during October. The day is a celebration of the benefits of walking and biking to school.

Henrico Police will assist with street crossings for schools participating in Walk to School Day Oct. 4.

Nearly 4,000 schools across the nation have signed up with the National Center for Safe Routes to School to hold similar events that day. Some schools with limited pedestrian and bike access will hold “Walk at School” events instead, where students walk around a track or campus after arriving.

Walking and biking to school can yield a host of benefits, including increased fitness and greater safety awareness. Environmental benefits include less particulate matter and carbon emissions from vehicle use. Benefits to communities can include heightened neighborhood identity; safer streets; lower transportation costs; and improved accessibility. Because sidewalks and bike infrastructure can create greater access to businesses and higher property values, communities may see economic benefits as well. To find out more about Walk to School Day, go to walkbiketoschool.org.

Walk to School Day

When: Wednesday, Oct. 4
Where:

  • Carver Elementary School
  • Chamberlayne Elementary School
  • Crestview Elementary School
  • Dumbarton Elementary School*
  • Gayton Elementary School
  • Glen Allen Elementary School*
  • Lakeside Elementary School
  • Maybeury Elementary School
  • Pemberton Elementary School*
  • Ridge Elementary School
  • Rivers Edge Elementary School
  • Tuckahoe Elementary School
  • Tuckahoe Middle School*

Other times:

  • Fair Oaks Elementary School* (Walk at school Oct. 18)
  • Holladay Elementary School* (Different grade levels walk at school each day from Oct. 16-20)
  • Longan Elementary School* (Parade Walk Around the Block Day on Oct. 31)
  • Nuckols Farm Elementary School* (Walk at school Oct. 18)
  • Springfield Park Elementary School* (Different grade levels walk at 7:20 a.m. each day from Oct. 2-6)
  • Pocahontas Middle School* (Walk at school Oct. 11)

*Walking at school on track or around campus

For the most current list of participating schools, go to walkbiketoschool.org/registration/whoswalking.php.

6 more Henrico schools gain full state accreditation; Total number of fully accredited schools at five-year high

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Six more Henrico County schools regained full state accreditation, according to information the Virginia Department of Education released today. Adams, Donahoe, Holladay, Lakeside, Longdale and Sandston elementary schools are all now fully accredited. The total brings to 10 the number of Henrico County schools regaining full state accreditation in the past two years. And to keep the momentum going, all other fully accredited Henrico County schools, including all nine high schools, maintained their top ratings.

The number of fully accredited schools rose to 54 of the school division’s 67 K-12 schools, or 81 percent – the highest number of fully accredited schools in five years.

In the period since 2014-15, the school division has cut by more than half the number of schools not fully accredited; during that stretch, the number of schools not fully accredited has shrunk from 28 to 13.

“Our goal is full accreditation for all our schools, and seeing 10 schools regain accreditation in the past two years is significant progress,” said Superintendent Patrick C. Kinlaw. “We’ll keep moving forward. We still have work to do. What we’re so proud of is the commitment and dedication we’ve seen in supporting our students – not only from our staff members and the School Board, but from families and the larger community.

“In the coming year, we’ll keep building on what’s working and introduce some new strategies. Our intense focus on literacy is paying off and we’ll continue to make that a fixture of what we do. We’re also embarking on a transformation of our middle schools that we believe will engage students in ways that encourage success. We’ll also continue to concentrate on engaging families, as well as fostering cultural competency and equity.”

While six Henrico County schools regained full state accreditation, additional evidence of progress includes:

  • Divisionwide, every sub-group of students saw improvement in reading. Subgroups are: black, Hispanic, white and Asian students; along with students with disabilities; students who are economically disadvantaged; and English learners.
  • Divisionwide, every sub-group of students saw improvement in math.
  • At the Henrico County middle schools that have not yet regained full accreditation, there was an average per-school improvement of 6 percentage-points in math. John Rolfe Middle School saw a math increase of 15 points.
  • The elementary schools that weren’t fully accredited a year ago averaged a 6-point growth in reading. Adams Elementary School’s reading improvement was 15 points and Highland Springs Elementary School’s was 12 points.

The Virginia Department of Education’s accreditation categories include:

  • Fully accredited
  • Partially accredited: Approaching benchmark (Schools that are not fully accredited but are within a narrow margin – 2 points – of the adjusted SOL pass rates required for full accreditation in one or more subject areas.)
  • Partially accredited: Improving (schools making progress toward meeting SOL criteria, as defined by state guidelines).
  • Partially accredited: Warned (Schools which may be seeing higher scores, but are not making enough progress toward state guidelines to be designated as improving).
  • Partially accredited: Reconstituted (Schools which may be making progress, but fail to meet state requirements for full accreditation for four consecutive years. Reconstituting a school may include restructuring its governance, faculty, instructional program and/or its student population to improve instruction and raise student achievement.)
  • Accreditation denied
  • For a school to earn full accreditation, students must achieve adjusted pass rates of at least 75 percent on English reading and writing SOL tests, and at least 70 percent on assessments in math, science and history. High schools must also meet a benchmark for graduation and completion. Accreditation ratings may also reflect an average of achievement over several years.

School leaders encourage Henrico County citizens to get involved in schools to help students succeed. For information on how to become a mentor, school-community partner, volunteer or PTA member, go to henricoschools.us and click “Community.”

For more specifics on how Henrico Schools is improving, go to http://henricoschools.us/how-were-improving/.

HCPS schools fully accredited for 2017-18

Schools in bold regained full accreditation

Elementary schools:

  • Adams
  • Ashe
  • Baker
  • Carver
  • Chamberlayne
  • Colonial Trail
  • Crestview
  • Davis
  • Donahoe
  • Dumbarton
  • Echo Lake
  • Gayton
  • Glen Allen
  • Greenwood
  • Harvie
  • Holladay
  • Johnson
  • Kaechele
  • Lakeside
  • Longan
  • Longdale
  • Maybeury
  • Nuckols Farm
  • Pemberton
  • Pinchbeck
  • Ridge
  • Rivers Edge
  • Sandston
  • Seven Pines
  • Shady Grove
  • Short Pump
  • Skipwith
  • Springfield Park
  • Three Chopt
  • Trevvett
  • Tuckahoe
  • Twin Hickory
  • Ward

Middle schools:

  • Holman
  • Hungary Creek
  • Moody
  • Pocahontas
  • Quioccasin
  • Short Pump
  • Tuckahoe

High schools:

  • Deep Run
  • Freeman
  • Glen Allen
  • Godwin
  • Henrico
  • Hermitage
  • Highland Springs
  • Tucker
  • Varina

The status of Fair Oaks, Highland Springs, Mehfoud, Montrose, and Varina elementary schools, and Brookland, Fairfield and John Rolfe middle schools have not yet been officially determined by the Virginia Department of Education. Glen Lea, Laburnum and Ratcliffe elementary schools, along with Elko and L. Douglas Wilder Middle Schools, were denied accreditation.

Highland Springs High School English teacher chosen as teacher of the year for Central Virginia

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Greenlee Naughton - Teacher of the Year for Central VirginiaGreenlee Naughton’s accolades keep growing. The Highland Springs High School English teacher was named Monday as one of Virginia’s eight 2018 regional teachers of the year.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe surprised Naughton Monday morning with an announcement at a school assembly that had been billed as a celebration of Highland Springs’ second straight year of full accreditation. In May Henrico County Public Schools named Naughton its top teacher for 2017.

One of the eight regional winners will be selected as the commonwealth’s 2018 teacher of the year, an honor that will be announced Sept. 18 in a ceremony at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Naughton was selected as the winner for Region 1, which stretches from Goochland to Sussex and includes 15 counties and cities. The 2018 Virginia Teacher of the Year will be the commonwealth’s nominee in the National Teacher of the Year awards.

Greenlee Naughton with Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Highland Springs High School English teacher Greenlee Naughton is congratulated by Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a surprise announcement Monday at the school.

“It was a complete and utter shock,” Naughton said after the announcement.

“Both my parents were teachers. I tell people I ignored it for many years and went into a different field. When I was home on maternity leave the shootings at Columbine High School happened. It’s interesting that today is 9/11, because I know there were a number of people who joined the military after 9/11 and I’ve kind of likened that to my situation with Columbine. I remember watching the coverage and thinking, ‘I really should be a teacher.’

“This is the pinnacle of my career – to be recognized for something I chose to do later in my life. I couldn’t be happier or prouder of my students and what they accomplish, which is the ultimate goal as a teacher.”

Naughton is originally from Suffolk and is an alumna of Randolph-Macon College. She received her master’s degree from the University of Richmond and her doctorate from VCU. Before joining the Highland Springs faculty in 2014, she taught at Hanover High School for eight years and for six years at schools in Charlotte, N.C. In 2012, she won an REB Award for Teaching Excellence from the Community Foundation.

Highland Springs High School English teacher Greenlee Naughton poses with Gov. Terry McAuliffe and a group of state, county and school division officials Monday at the school.

Highland Springs High School English teacher Greenlee Naughton poses with Gov. Terry McAuliffe and a group of state, county and school division officials Monday at the school.

A panel reviewed nominees’ portfolios and selected the eight regional teachers of the year. The panel included classroom teachers, representatives of professional and educational associations, representatives from the business community and 2017 Virginia Teacher of the Year Toney McNair Jr. of Chesapeake’s Indian River Middle School. The same panel will interview each of the eight regional teachers to select the 2018 Virginia Teacher of the Year.

24 Henrico County schools earn Virginia Index of Performance awards for academic achievement

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Twenty-four Henrico County schools have earned 2017 Virginia Index of Performance awards for advanced learning and achievement, and Short Pump Middle School was one of only nine schools in the commonwealth to earn the highest designation. Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the Virginia Board of Education announced that 386 schools statewide had earned the designation, along with 17 school divisions.

Henrico Schools’ 24-award total was the most in the Richmond area.

The awards fall into three tiers, based primarily on state and federal benchmarks and progress during 2015-16 toward goals set by the governor and the Board.

A complete list of HCPS schools earning 2017 Virginia Index of Performance awards is below.

Henrico County schools earning 2017 Virginia Index of Performance awards:

Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence
The awards’ top tier, these are schools and school divisions meeting all state and federal achievement benchmarks and achieving all applicable excellence goals for elementary reading, enrollment in Algebra I by the eighth grade, enrollment in college-level courses, high school graduation, attainment of advanced diplomas, increased attainment of career and industry certifications, and, if applicable, participation in the Virginia Preschool Initiative.

  • Short Pump Middle School

Board of Education Excellence Awards
The awards’ second tier, these are schools and school divisions meeting all state and federal benchmarks and making significant progress toward goals for increased student achievement and expanded educational opportunities set by the Board.

  • Colonial Trail Elementary School
  • Echo Lake Elementary School
  • Gayton Elementary School
  • Glen Allen Elementary School
  • Kaechele Elementary School
  • Nuckols Farm Elementary School
  • Rivers Edge Elementary School
  • Shady Grove Elementary School
  • Short Pump Elementary School
  • Three Chopt Elementary School
  • Tuckahoe Elementary School
  • Twin Hickory Elementary School
  • Holman Middle School
  • Pocahontas Middle School
  • Glen Allen High School
  • Mills Godwin High School

Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Awards
Schools meeting all state and federal benchmarks and making progress toward the goals of the governor and the Board.

  • Crestview Elementary School
  • Jackson Davis Elementary School
  • Pemberton Elementary School
  • Pinchbeck Elementary School
  • Springfield Park Elementary School
  • Trevvett Elementary School
  • Deep Run High School

Help spread the word: HCPS seeks to fill slots for teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians before fall

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Henrico Schools needs your help spreading the word as the school division seeks to fill important positions before the start of the school year. In order to get 2017-18 off to a successful start, HCPS needs to fill slots for teachers, bus drivers, school nutrition workers and custodians. Henrico Schools is seeking teachers for grades K-12, with a particular need for teachers in reading, math, English, Spanish and technical education. HCPS is also recruiting for substitutes in all fields, especially teachers.

Representatives from the HCPS Human Resources Department will be on hand for a job fair Aug. 10 at the school division’s Central Office headquarters in eastern Henrico County. Also present to talk with interested candidates will be representatives from the HCPS Pupil Transportation, School Nutrition Services and Custodial Services departments.

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

Good bus driver candidates will be paid while they train.

When: Thursday, Aug. 10 from noon to 4 p.m.
Where: Eastern Henrico Government Center/HCPS Central Office (Community 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 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 County Public Schools educators will attend retreat on developing inclusive classrooms, closing gaps

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A group of educators from Henrico County Public Schools will participate in a workshop that helps participants develop more inclusive learning communities. The retreat gives educational leaders the chance to focus on eliminating disparities based on race and socioeconomic status in all areas of school life and academic achievement. Called the Henrico Educational Equity Initiative, the workshop will include faculty from four HCPS schools: Donahoe and Fair Oaks elementary schools; Elko Middle School; and Varina High School. The retreat is organized by the nonprofit Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.

Held at Sweet Briar College from July 17-20, HCPS educators will learn about how bias and prejudice can affect learning and teaching. Through interactive workshops and small group discussions, participants will design different approaches to creating a supportive learning environment. At the conclusion of the retreat, educators will design action plans for schools, focusing on closing gaps in opportunity and achievement, and on creating an inclusive school atmosphere.

The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities works with businesses, communities and school divisions to achieve success by eliminating prejudice through workshops and retreats. The program is funded by the Robins Foundation. The workshop’s goals align with Henrico Schools’ current areas of focus, which include cultural competency and equity, as well as family engagement.

For more information about Henrico Schools’ current initiatives for enhancing student achievement, go to http://henricoschools.us/how-were-improving/.