Henrico County VA

HCPS officials propose budget, await clarity


Uncertainty about the components of the state's next biennial budget – which legislators are crafting this month – has Henrico County Public Schools officials awaiting clarity as they work to propose their own budget for the coming fiscal year.

HCPS officials are hopeful that Gov. Terry McAuliffe's plan to fund new teaching positions statewide – which would partially cover 46 new elementary school jobs in Henrico in FY16-17 (and another 42 secondary school positions the following year) – will take shape, but for now their budget doesn't include them.

They anticipate that McAuliffe's proposed 2-percent pay raise for teachers will lead to a similar pay raise for all county employees, but for now their tentative school budget does not include one. > Read more.

Student campaign hopes to ‘@HelpSaveTheDay’ for playground


Can tweets build a new playground? Students at the Advanced Career Education Center at Hermitage are waging a social media campaign this week to win funds that would refurbish the playground at Longdale Elementary School and make it more accessible.

The students’ proposal made it to the final five in a nationwide contest by SkillsUSA and Lowe’s. To win, the project must create the most social media interaction during the week of Feb. 7-11.

Students at the center are promoting their entry using social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and Vine. The project uses the handle @helpsavetheday or simply, Help Save the Day. > Read more.

Smart Beginnings earns $180K grant

Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond, a regional school readiness initiative, received a $180,000 grant from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) to benefit quality early learning opportunities for young children in the greater Richmond region. The investment by VECF supports collaborative efforts that enable children to start school healthy and ready to learn, which is the first stage of the workforce pipeline. > Read more.
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McAuliffe touts ‘new Virginia economy’


Gov. Terry McAuliffe told an optimistic story about the state of Virginia’s economy, while emphasizing the need to improve education, before a crowd of more than 275 business people from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

McAuliffe said more Virginians today have better-paying jobs than before he was elected. Some statistics he quoted implied that the state’s economy is stronger than it has ever been. He said:

• 568 new economic development projects have occurred during his tenure.

• $9.34 billion in new capital has come to the state in that time – nearly double the amount under any other governor in Virginia history. > Read more.

Massie’s bill seeks to enhance colleges’ responses to sexual assaults


A bill proposed by Henrico Republican Del. James P. Massie III would increase the number of school officials required to respond to college sexual assaults and exclude some information about such assaults from public records.

“We are just trying to improve the communications between the universities and the local law enforcement: the more communication, the better,” Massie said.

Massie’s bill, HB 1016, would exclude the records of a sexual assault response team from required public disclosure and require additional college officials on that team. > Read more.

House Republicans outline education agenda


House Republicans outlined their agenda for education on Tuesday, saying they want to expand early education and charter schools and give parents more options on where to send their children to school.

Speaking before the House, Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta, lauded his colleagues for a successful bipartisan effort in 2015 that brought “more money into the classroom.”

Landes, who chairs the House Education Committee, said he hopes to continue to work across the aisle to improve what Education Week ranked as the fourth best public education system in the nation. > Read more.

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Community

Architect of World Trade Center Memorial to speak in Henrico


Michael Arad, the architect of the World Trade Center Memorial, will be the keynote speaker for The 2016 Adolf-Adams JCC Forum on Sat., Jan. 30, 2016 at 7:30 p.m., at the Carole and Marcus Weinstein Jewish Community Center in Henrico.

Arad’s “Reflecting Absence” architectural design was selected from more than 5,000 competitive entries as the template for the Memorial’s construction in New York City. During the forum, Arad will discuss the significance and symbolism of the design, as well as his inspiration. The event, which is a highlight of the Weinstein JCC’s Patron of the Arts series, is open to the public > Read more.

Environmental Film Festival planned for February


The Sixth Annual RVA Environmental Film Festival (RVA EFF) will be held Feb. 1-7, 2016 at various locations, including in Henrico County.

A partnership of The Enrichmond Foundation, Capital Region Land Conservancy, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and Falls of the James Group - Sierra Club, the festival will feature a number of insightful films designed to raise awareness of environmental issues relative to all residents of the planet and Richmond citizens in particular.

A detailed schedule will be released at a time closer to the festival, but the popular children's portion has been set for Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Byrd Theatre in Carytown. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Start celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early with Susan Greenbaum at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. She will present “An Evening of Love Songs.” Other fun events this weekend include Henrico Rec & Parks’ 30th annual One Act Showcase; “The Lego Movie” playing at the Henrico Theatre (tickets are only $!); and Robin and Linda Williams who will be performing at the Shady Grove Coffeehouse. And homeowners will really appreciate the free Home Improvement Seminar taking place at Harvie ES. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.






 

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