Henrico, Va. Sept. 17, 2019 – Four December days that had been scheduled for early release for HCPS high school students will now be full school days. Dec. 17-20 had been designated for midterm exams at Henrico’s nine high schools, with students being dismissed after they take exams. After getting feedback from families and staff members, Henrico Schools has decided to reimagine traditional midterm exams in order to restore more classroom instructional time. High school teachers will still be able to use other assessments that aren’t in a traditional midterm format.

While Dec. 17-20 will now be full school days for high school students, the change won’t affect middle and elementary schools, because they were already scheduled for full school days.

Henrico Schools’ Division Leadership Team recommended this change after hearing from an HCPS committee studying ways to improve how the school division approaches testing. That committee – comprised of teachers, administrators and central office instructional staff members – noted that midterm exams have been canceled in five of the past six years because of inclement weather. Feedback the committee got from high school teachers also suggested that, when exams were administered, they resulted in the loss of valuable instructional time. In the months ahead, students and families should expect further details about assessments and grading to come from their schools.

The fresh look at testing was one of the recommendations made by Amy Cashwell, HCPS superintendent, in “Amy’s Passport.” The booklet and blog include Cashwell’s next steps for the school division, in addition to her Henrico County travels, reflections and progress updates. To see the “Amy’s Passport” digital booklet and progress report, go tohenricoschools.us/amyspassport/.

To view updated HCPS calendars, start by going to henricoschools.us/calendars.