Henrico Schools wins 8 national awards for innovation

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Henrico, Va., Oct. 29, 2018 – Eight Henrico County Public Schools programs have been recognized in the 2018 National Association of Counties Achievement Awards. The annual awards recognize groundbreaking county government programs across the nation. HCPS winners were:
 
Feeding a Need for Real-World Experience (CTE, ACE Center at Hermitage)
Based on employer feedback, students in the culinary arts program Advanced Career Education Center at Hermitage needed more on-the-job experience in a real-world setting. A new program lets students develop skills by preparing luncheons and dinners for school and government functions. Students take part in the planning, ordering, preparing, serving and cleanup needed for any event while getting hands-on experience in the fast-paced world of culinary arts.
 
 
“Printing” is More Than Just What You Read (CTE, ACE Center at Hermitage)
Sometimes time and cost are obstacles that make it difficult for schools and county agencies to get important information printed. Through the Graphic Communications program at the Advanced Career Education (ACE) Center at Hermitage High School, items are produced at a fraction of the cost of a commercial printer. Customers get a high-quality product, and students have the opportunity to get hands-on, real-world experience in all aspects of the operation, including customer interaction, design, cost estimates and producing the finished product. 
 
 
Art, Reading, Science and Community: From a Tiny Seed a Garden Grows (Fair Oaks ES)
“From a Tiny Seed a Garden Grows” was a collaborative project that combined visual arts, reading and science at Fair Oaks Elementary School. Through a grant provided by the Henrico Education Foundation, students in kindergarten through fifth-grade received garden books and worked together to plan and paint a hallway mural and decorate rocks and plant flowers in the courtyard. Taught under the guidance of a Richmond artist, the project has created a community atmosphere, increased reading levels and deepened students’ knowledge of art and science.
 
 
Maggie Walker Governor’s School: Remaking an Old-School Application Process (HCPS Operational Technology and Gifted Education departments)
What was a burdensome and inefficient process of for HCPS staff and nearly 1,400 applicants to the Maggie Walker Governor’s School became efficient and far more manageable using a new online portal. Staff members don’t have the arduous manual requirements they had before. The innovative solution to an old process allows them the time to focus on other areas of importance.
 
 
Spreading Goodwill Through Books (HCPS Library Services Department)
HCPS’ Department of Library Services and Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia established a partnership to supply books to Henrico students and families. Goodwill’s Central Virginia support center processes around a million donated books a week, most of which end up being recycled. HCPS Library Services has coordinated a weekly opportunity for HCPS staff members to attend Goodwill and choose free books for school use. The weekly “diving for books” opportunity has yielded books in support of a host of HCPS initiatives.
 
 
The Work-Van Project: Students Upgrade Skills and County Vehicles (CTE, ACE Center at Highland Springs)
While work vans used by Henrico County are in good mechanical shape, the exteriors of the vans show the wear and of constant use and weather. The auto body department at the Advanced Career Education Center at Highland Springs helped its students’ lessons become reality by forming a partnership with Henrico County to paint Henrico County’s fleet of work vans. Students get valuable experience while Henrico County is able to have the vans painted at substantial savings.
 
 
Video Training for Secure School Testing (HCPS Department of Communications and Public Relations, Human Resources Department, HCPS Office of Testing, the Center for the Arts at Henrico High School and HCPS Department of Legal Services)
Virginia’s SOLs require a secure environment and consistent procedures to ensure the integrity of test results. HCPS provides all instructional staff members with security training using a video produced by HCPS. The video includes short scenes of common security violations from past testing events and gives staff members standardized training in an engaging and effective way. The video was created in 2015 and updated in 2016. After nine successful quarterly training sessions, a new video is being created for the 2018 testing program. 
 
 
The Academy at Virginia Randolph’s 100 Men Challenge (Academy at Virginia Randolph)
The program is an effort to provide strong role models for male students at the school. The Challenge invites 100 men from various professions onto campus one day per month to motivate, encourage, and support the school’s male student population. The program aims to provide stability and security that will enable students to view life through a different lens and, ultimately, to empower and enhance their lives. 
 

The Academy at Virginia Randolph’s 100 Men Challenge was a dual winner – the mentoring program was also recognized with an award from the Virginia Association of Counties.

Across all departments and agencies, Henrico County earned 24 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties, plus two Best of Category awards. Henrico’s 24 awards are the most of any county in Virginia for the 12th consecutive year, and were the seventh most nationally. The counties finishing ahead of Henrico, such as Los Angeles County, Calif. and Miami-Dade County, Fla., all have much larger populations. Those counties all contain between 1 million and 10 million residents, while Henrico County has about 328,000 residents.  


Caption: Representatives of Henrico Schools departments were recognized at the October monthly School Board meeting for winning national awards for innovation in county government.

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