Henrico County Public Schools has been recognized by the National School Boards Association for a sweeping overhaul of the school division’s approach to student supports. HCPS was one of five large U.S. school systems recognized with a first-place honor in the 2017 Magna Awards, presented Saturday in Denver at the organization’s annual conference. The awards recognize school divisions and leaders “for taking bold and innovative steps to improve the lives of students and their communities,” according to the group.
The award recognizes Henrico Schools’ efforts of the past several years, from re-examining its policies to implementing more support systems. After a two-year conversation with the community through public hearings and other feedback, HCPS adopted a revised Code of Student Conduct for the 2015-16 school year. The revised Code categorizes conduct violations more thoroughly and then prescribes a range of intervention options.
Besides the Code revision, the award recognized HCPS’ recent moves to increase behavioral support systems and interventions. The division’s Student Support and Disciplinary Review Office adopted an aggressively proactive role, adding staff members to focus on prevention, intervention and support. The school division has added school-based family advocates, along with school-based crisis resource teachers and behavioral instructional assistants. A pilot program also brought a full-time psychologist and a social worker to the Campus of Virginia Randolph, providing more in-school counseling. A resulting 58 percent drop in out-of-school suspensions has prompted an expansion to more schools.
Micky Ogburn, School Board representative from the Three Chopt District, and Superintendent Pat Kinlaw accepted the award as part of their participation in the conference.
For more information about Henrico Schools’ current initiatives for enhancing student achievement, go to http://henricoschools.us/how-were-improving/.