Henrico County Public Schools expresses a divisionwide commitment to every student by communicating a vision of inclusiveness: “The right to achieve. The support to succeed.” The school division also embraces four critical cornerstones: Student Safety and Wellness, Academic Growth, Equity and Opportunity, and Relationships.
The school division has a long history of academic excellence and opportunity, and is recognized regularly as an educational leader in the Richmond area, Virginia and beyond. The school system serves the families of Henrico County, Va., a diverse community of more than 330,000 which wraps west, north and east of the independent city and state capital of Richmond. Henrico is Virginia’s sixth-most populous locality, and HCPS is the commonwealth’s sixth largest public school division.
The school division includes 74 schools and program centers in Henrico County. Our schools reflect the geographic and social diversity of Henrico County, and lie in bustling near-urban and suburban settings; small towns; and quiet rural areas. Click here to view a map of the school division.
Dr. Amy E. Cashwell became superintendent of Henrico County Public Schools in July 2018. A longtime educator, Cashwell came to Henrico with a wealth of experience and a passion for public education.
The five-member Henrico School Board consists of one elected representative from each of Henrico County’s five magisterial districts. The Board elects a chair and vice chair from within its ranks. The Board holds its monthly meetings and work sessions at the New Bridge Auditorium, 5915 Nine Mile Road, Henrico, Va. 23223.
Among central Virginia school divisions, HCPS employs the most teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Completion of the rigorous process is the profession’s highest mark of accomplishment. In 2022, 15 more HCPS teachers achieved national board-certification. HCPS is No. 4 statewide for board-certified instructors on staff.
HCPS was home to both 2022 Virginia school counselors of the year — Christina Tillery of Highland Springs High School and Holly Guelig of Greenwood Elementary School. The Hermitage High School library program was named the commonwealth’s best.
The division has robust programs and support services for families of students with special needs; gifted students; homebound and homeschooled students; and students learning English as a second language.
Each of the division’s high schools is state-accredited and hosts an academic specialty center. The specialty centers enable students with clear interests the chance to focus on a preferred area, such as engineering, the arts or world languages. The 2022-23 school year added two more compelling options for students: the Center for Environmental Studies and Sustainability at Varina High School, and the Center for Allied Health and Human Services at Hermitage High School.
Career and technical education: The division also has cutting-edge programs in career and technical education, at individual schools and at its Advanced Career Education centers. From learning about sustainable seafood in culinary arts classes to applying technology concepts at Richmond Raceway, HCPS’ Department of Workforce and Career Development helps students become effective participants in rapidly changing fields of the international economy.
Charting our course:
Destination 2025: In 2018, HCPS adopted a seven-year strategic plan, “Destination 2025.” The plan’s goals for improvement mirror the division’s four areas of focus: Student Safety and Wellness, Academic Growth, Equity and Opportunity, and Relationships. How does HCPS know if it’s meeting the goals of the strategic plan? One way is by asking our stakeholders. Every two years, parents, students, HCPS employees and business leaders are invited to give their views on what Henrico Schools is doing well and what the division could do better. Check out results from the 2020-21 survey.
Building for the future: In fall 2022, Henrico voters authorized a bond referendum with 86% approval that provides $340.5 million for school projects, and will rebuild or renovate five schools built between 1958 and 1971. With passage of the referendum, our community will be able to:
- Rebuild Quioccasin Middle School
- Rebuild and increase the capacity of Jackson Davis Elementary School
- Rebuild and increase the capacity of R.C. Longan Elementary School
- Rebuild Highland Springs Elementary School
- Renovate Charles M. Johnson Elementary School
Construct an environmental education building at Wilton Farm, on the James River, for use by HCPS students.
- Build a new Fairfield area elementary school to accommodate residential growth.
- Build a new West End elementary school to accommodate residential growth.
The 2016 bond referendum, approved by 84%, built new campuses for J.R. Tucker and Highland Springs high schools, which opened for the 2021-22 school year, and a major addition to Elizabeth Holladay Elementary School. A renovation of Jacob Adams Elementary School is targeted for completion during the 2023-24 school year. In addition to bond funds, the high schools were financed with funds from the 2013 voter-approved meals tax. Renovation and expansion projects at the ACE centers at Hermitage and Highland Springs are expected to be completed during the 2023-24 school year.
A new approach: A new telehealth clinic at Glen Lea Elementary School is part of a major initiative that will expand the use of schools. It’s no secret that challenges students face outside of school — such as inadequate health care or nutrition — can affect their success in the classroom. The new full-service community schools strategy will create one-stop shops where students and families can connect with groups providing needed services.
Renovations at the old Highland Springs High School — now dubbed the Oak Avenue Complex — are adding dedicated areas for a variety of programs, such as expanding the An Achievable Dream Certified Academy program to middle school. The vision includes spaces for access to health care, mental health services and dental services; classrooms where family members can take classes or pursue a GED; and a food pantry. (Health services require the permission of parents or guardians.)
Organizers hope to create similar hubs in Henrico’s other four magisterial districts, with “spokes” — more limited program sites — at nearby schools. The joint project of the Henrico Education Foundation, HCPS and area nonprofits is patterned after careful study of what’s worked in similar communities.
A national and state leader
- HCPS’ annual “Career and Technical Letter-of-Intent Signing Day” has drawn international interest and spawned a host of similar events. The signing day is a career and technical education version of the common practice of athletes publicly signing letters-of-intent for NCAA athletics. Seniors sign agreements in front of families, future employers and the media. An HCPS Facebook post about the first signing day drew 36,000 likes and 3,400 comments. The event was championed by Mike Rowe of Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” and HCPS students and staff were featured on national TV.
- As part of our continuing intense focus on literacy, HCPS teamed with Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia to give students more reading options. People give about a million books to Goodwill each week in the region, most of which end up being recycled. The “Spreading Goodwill Through Books” program, coordinated by HCPS Library Services, lets staff members choose books for classroom libraries and distribution. More than 250,000 books have been reclaimed for students and families.
- Henrico County Public Schools earned five awards for innovative programs in 2022 from the National Association of Counties. Across all county agencies, Henrico County earned 21 awards, the most of any Virginia county for the 17th straight year and ninth most nationally.
- For the 23rd straight year, the National Association of Music Merchants named HCPS one of America’s “Best Communities for Music Education” for its commitment to music instruction.
- Four HCPS students were named Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners in 2022. The Henrico Center for the Arts has had four of the 75 national portfolio winners since 2014 — more than 5% of all winners during that time.
- In March 2022, Varina added the 2022 Class 4 state boys’ basketball title to its fall state football title — making the Blue Devils quite possibly the first Richmond-area public high school to win state titles in both football and boys’ basketball in the same school year. Highland Springs brought home the Class 5 state title in boys’ basketball. Douglas Freeman won big, with titles in girls’ lacrosse, girls’ tennis and baseball, and Mills Godwin won a boys’ swimming championship. Deep Run won a state title in boys’ tennis and, for the fourth time since 2017, won the prestigious Class 5 National Guard Cup for yearlong athletic success.
Henrico County Public Schools believes in the right to achieve and the support to succeed for all.
Henrico County Public Schools, an innovative leader in educational excellence, will actively engage our students in diverse educational, social and civic learning experiences that inspire and empower them to become contributing citizens.
Just the Facts
Schools and Centers
- Elementary: 46
- Middle: 12
- High: 9
- Advanced Career Education (ACE) centers: 3
- Alternative program centers: 3
- Henrico Virtual Academy: 1
Total schools and centers: 74
- Elementary: 21,483
- Middle: 11,108
- High: 15,798
- Other: 588
Total students: 48,977
- Elementary: 19.1
- Secondary: 18.3
(Includes students learning in person and at Henrico Virtual Academy.)
- African American: 35.2%
- Asian: 13.2%
- Caucasian: 33.5%
- Hispanic: 12.5%
- Multiple Races: 5.2%
- Other: 0.4%
- Economically deprived: 43 %
- Languages spoken across the division: 100+
- Total graduates: 3,716
- On-time graduation rate: 90%
- Plan to continue education: 73%
- Scholarships accepted: $21.9 million
- Total teachers: 4,256
- Total employees (full-time equivalent): 7,468
- 2022-2023 operating budget: $762.9 million
- Per-pupil expenditure: $14,133