Henrico County VA
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SOL test results mixed for Henrico students

Students exceed state averages in 19 of 33 tests
Results are in from last year's Virginia Standards of Learning tests, and the numbers for Henrico County public school students are mixed.

Overall, Henrico students improved their average SOL pass rates in 14 of their 33 test subjects during 2011-12, when compared with the previous year's results, but suffered decreases in 13 other subjects. Pass rates remained the same in six subjects.

Henrico students fared best in history (improving in six of the eight tests, when compared to the 2010-11 results, while remaining the same in one) and reading (improving in four of the seven tests, while remaining the same in one).

But they – like other students statewide – struggled with the new mathematics tests, which last year included new, more rigorous standards adopted by the state's Board of Education in 2009.

Average math pass rates in Henrico fell in eight of the nine SOL tests – including significantly in the third-grade test (a 67 percent pass rate, down from 93 percent the previous year) and eighth-grade test (a 41 percent pass rate, down from 82 percent the previous year).

Sixth-grade students were the only ones to improve from their previous math results, jumping from a pass rate of 61 percent in 2010-11 to 72 percent in 2011-12.

In math, Henrico students fared worse than the state average in the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade math tests, as well as in the Algebra 1 test.

Overall, the county's students exceeded the state pass rates in 19 of the 33 SOL tests (four in English, six in history, four in math and five in science) but fell short of the state averages in 12 other categories.

“As school divisions align curriculum and instruction with the new standards and focus on strengthening students’ problem-solving skills, I am confident that we will see higher achievement in mathematics and more graduates who are truly college and career ready,” Board of Education President David M. Foster said.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell agreed.

“Raising standards was the right thing to do and in the long-term interest of Virginia students and our economy,” McDonnell said. “I commend all of our teachers and students for their excellent efforts in adapting to and embracing these challenging new standards. This is a necessary step in ensuring that Virginia students are ready to excel in our globally competitive economy. It is a challenge we must meet if we're going to succeed in the economy of the decades ahead.”

Hanover County students outperformed their Henrico counterparts in 27 tests, while Chesterfield students scored better than Henrico students in 19 tests.

SOL science results in Henrico were relatively stable, with pass rates in biology and Earth science up slightly (to 94 and 92 percent, respectively) and third-grade, fifth-grade and chemistry results remaining the same (92, 93 and 97 percent, respectively).

Writing scores were up from 90 to 92 percent at the secondary school level, down from 89 to 87 percent at the eighth-grade level and stable at the fifth-grade level at 89 percent


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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