Tucker H.S. recognizes graduates of online program

Officials congratulate a graduate of the Education2020 program at J.R. Tucker High School during a June 3 ceremony.


J.R. Tucker High School held a luncheon earlier this month to recognize students who had completed courses online through the Education2020 program during the past year.

Education2020, or e2020 for short, is “a web-based online curriculum that is aligned to Virginia state standards for graduation,” e2020 representative Christine Sellers said. The online program is accessible 24 hours a day and offers more than 80 courses in Virginia, as well as SAT and ACT test prep courses.

The 2010-11 academic year marked the first year that e2020 was used not only in J.R. Tucker, but in all public high schools in Henrico. In total, 550 courses were completed by Henrico County high school students, 109 of which were completed by students from J.R. Tucker. As a result of the credits earned from these courses, 16 J.R. Tucker students obtained a promotion to the next grade level.

Among the students recognized at the June 3 luncheon were 33 seniors who are scheduled to graduate on time with their peers thanks in part to credits earned via e2020 courses. Many of the seniors ended up using the e2020 program to catch up in courses that they had fallen behind in for various reasons.

One graduating senior, Sarah Carpenter, was homebound for about a month and a half due to back surgery on two herniated discs, which caused her to fall behind in her Algebra II class. Rather than try to play catch-up, Carpenter decided to enroll in the e2020 version of the course.

“[e2020] is a very convenient thing for people who get far behind,” said Carpenter, who plans to continue her education online at American Military University. “Without e2020, I wouldn’t have graduated [on time] and would’ve needed to take night school.”

Sellers agreed.

"The individualized instruction [of the e2020 program] is a big help and allows the students to work at their own pace," she said.

The e2020 program is similar to the traditional classroom style of teaching in that students are allotted a class period to work solely on their online courses, and they have 18 weeks to complete the courses.

“The most difficult part [of an e2020 course] for the students is that there is no teacher, so if they don’t know something, they have to either Google it or consult the textbook,” said Terri Kilmer, e2020 Classroom Facilitator for J.R. Tucker High. As classroom facilitator, Kilmer is the closest thing e2020 students have to a teacher, as she monitors students while they work online.

“I try to help them [with the subject matter] as much as I can, but usually I don’t know initially and end up doing some research on the topic to help students out,” Kilmer said.
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Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas has appointed Edward N. “Ned” Smither Jr. to serve as director of the Department of Finance, effective July 1.

Smither has served Henrico since 2013 as director of the Accounting Division in Finance. He will succeed Eugene H. Walter, who has delayed his retirement until June 30 to ensure an orderly transition within the department.
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State honors EMS officials this week

There were nearly 1.5 million emergency medical services calls and 4,063 incidents per day in Virginia just last year.

This week, May 21-27, declared as National EMS week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, recognizes the more than 34,000 EMS personnel and 631 agencies in the state and commends their efforts and commitment to Commonwealth citizens.
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Norfolk man arrested at RIC after TSA catches him with gun

A Norfolk man was arrested at Richmond International Airport May 18 after Transportation Security Administration officers detected a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the traveler’s carry-on bag.

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Police release photo of hoax bomb

Henrico Police have released a photo of the clock that resembled a bomb that led to the arrest of a Richmond woman in Shot Pump earlier this week.

The device, which the woman told police she purchased at a yard sale, was visible in her car at the Whole Foods at West Broad Village May 19, and a passerby called police, fearing it was a real bomb. Police responded as they would have had the device been real, they said, because they weren't sure if it was real or not.
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Henrico school buses with compliance issue to be fixed this summer


The 176 Henrico school buses that have been purchased since March 2011 will be fixed during the summer, Henrico Schools spokesman Andy Jenks told the Citizen. The bus manufacturers will retrofit the buses at no cost to the school division, he said.

The brake interlock device is required on all automatic transmission buses in Virginia that were purchased after March 2011, which is when the device was added to the state Board of Education's requirements for school buses. As many as 4,000 school buses in the state may be affected, according to the Virginia Department of Education.
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Each month, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Richmond Chapter conducts support group meetings to provide the community with an opportunity to meet for mutual support and to exchange coping skills. A Rare Dementia Support Group, for caregivers and individuals with other dementias, will meet at 2 p.m. at the VCU Neurological Orthopedic Wellness Center, 11958 W. Broad St. For details, call 967-2580. Full text

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