Henrico County Public Schools wins national awards for innovative programs

Henrico, Va., Nov. 16, 2022 — Five Henrico County Public Schools programs have been recognized in the 2022 National Association of Counties Achievement Awards. The annual awards recognize groundbreaking county government programs across the nation. Two of the programs also received awards from the Virginia Association of Counties. Representatives of HCPS departments with winning entries were recognized at the Nov. 10 School Board meeting.

The school division’s winners were:

Kids of Promise (Department of Teaching, Learning and Innovation). The new after-school pilot program at Laburnum Elementary School seeks to identify historically underrepresented gifted students, including those from poverty environments and culturally diverse families, and to develop students’ potential through enrichment programming. The program also won an award from the Virginia Association of Counties.

Communication for All Students and Families (Department of Teaching, Learning and Innovation). This partnership among school, government, nonprofit, business and faith-based entities enhances communication to meet the needs of our growing population of multilingual residents and those speaking limited English.

Safety around the Water: Learn2Swim Program (Department of Teaching, Learning and Innovation). This safety program brought together HCPS, YMCA of Greater Richmond, and NOVA of Virginia Aquatics with the goal of saving lives through water safety education and swimming instruction. Ninety-eight percent of participating students demonstrate improvement in psychomotor skills and water safety awareness. The program also won an award from the Virginia Association of Counties.

Staff Retention (Department of Equity, Diversity and Opportunity). This program uses affinity groups to help support and retain HCPS teachers. Educators in the monthly groups, particularly the Black educators affinity group, have gained support, professional development opportunities and greater opportunities to participate in workshops that promote belonging and identity.

Culturally Responsive Education Model (Department of Equity, Diversity and Opportunity). The department developed and provided divisionwide professional learning for a Culturally Responsive Education Model, which encourages educators to examine their own cultural awareness. To date, more than 400 principals, assistant principals, content specialists, curriculum writers, school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers and some teachers have completed meaningful professional development using the model.

Across all departments and agencies, Henrico County earned 21 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties. Henrico won the most awards of any county in Virginia for the 17th consecutive year and the ninth most nationally.