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Department of Assessment, Research and Evaluation (DARE)


The Henrico County Public Schools Department of Assessment, Research and Evaluation — or DARE — is responsible for the administration of division-level assessments and management of the Virginia Assessment Program. Assessments are part of the school division’s teaching and learning process. With a focus on developing life-ready learners, HCPS is committed to a balanced assessment program using purposeful (diagnostic, formative and summative) measures of various types, aligned with content standards and guided by the Henrico Learner Profile. 

We strive to facilitate a reliable assessment program which includes the administration of assessments such as the Cognitive Abilities Test, ACCESS for ELLs, the PSAT, Growth Assessments and Virginia Standards of Learning. Using a combination of assessments can enable students, families and educators to get timely and meaningful student data to support, guide and maximize learning. 


DARE staff members research, collect, interpret and disseminate data to monitor progress toward achieving goals established in HCPS’ strategic plan, Destination 2025. The plan’s six goals state that HCPS will strive to:

  • Foster academic excellence.
  • Cultivate and maintain collaborative partnerships.
  • Create an equitable and secure environment.
  • Foster an inclusive, safe and supportive climate.
  • Recruit, retain and reward educators.
  • Pursue strength in diversity.

Program Evaluations and Research

DARE staff members conduct research to support the development and implementation of programs. Research may take the form of surveys, interviews, focus groups and literature reviews. Staff members often collaborate with external researchers.

The department accepts applications from researchers to conduct research studies or collect data within the division. Applications are evaluated four times a year by a committee that includes appropriate staff from other HCPS departments. The Research Proposal Application below contains detailed information on the application process along with the application.


HCPS welcomes the opportunity to partner with external organizations such as institutions of higher learning or businesses on grant proposals that benefit the division‘s teachers and students. The grant proposal must be submitted to the HCPS Office of Grants Coordination for review and approval before submission to the grant funder, whether or not HCPS is named as a formal recipient of the grant funds. (Applications for Henrico Education Foundation funding are submitted to the HEF program officer, not the Office of Grants Coordination.)

Following the division’s established approval process will ensure that:

  • The project is consistent with the division’s goals, objectives and program efforts.
  • HCPS has the capacity to accomplish the proposed activities.
  • The grant conditions and stipulations can be met without conflicting with Henrico School Board policies or state and federal law.

Contact Cheryl Gray Ball in the Office of Grants Coordination at 804-652-3370 or to discuss grant opportunities.

  • Staff Member Position Phone Number
    Dr. Tiffany Hinton Director 652.3838
    Patty Solomon Administrative Assistant 652.3830
    Tabitha Taylor Education Specialist (State Reporting) 652.3841
    Diane Joyner Education Specialist Research (State Reporting) 652.3834
    Joy McDonald Education Specialist Research (Data Systems) 652.3343
    Dr. Philip Riddle Education Specialist Research (Research & Evaluation) 652.3767
    Dr. Helen Whitehurst Education Specialist Research (Research & Evaluation) 652.3831
    Cheryl Gray Ball Education Specialist Grants 652.3370
    Kelli Brown Education Specialist Assessment 652.3839
    Angela Bell Education Specialist Assessment 652.3367
    Michael Seay Testing Support Technician (Test Material Management) 652.3836