Education

Middle school redistricting process to be delayed


The start of a redistricting process that could alleviate crowded conditions at Hungary Creek Middle School is on hold for another seven months or so while Henrico County Public Schools officials first consider the possible implementation of new instructional programs at the middle school level.

The Henrico School Board had hoped to begin the redistricting process this fall, but Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Beth Teigen told the board last week that it wouldn't make sense to start yet. That's because officials are weighing the possibility of establishing special "academies" at some middle schools to provide focused instruction in several topics – potentially including leadership, coding and/or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

HCPS among national leaders in reducing suspensions


Henrico County Public Schools has made significant progress in finding alternatives to student suspensions. A new UCLA study lists the division among the most-improved large school systems in the nation for reducing student suspensions between the 2009-10 and 2011-12 school years.

The rate of suspensions in the division decreased from 31 percent to 13.8 percent during that time. Suspensions of black students were down 29 percent; suspensions of Hispanic students decreased 16 percent; and suspensions of white students were down 8 percent.

“We’ve made real progress with initiatives, training and the hard work of our staff,” said Patrick C. Kinlaw, the division’s superintendent.

UR names new president

UPDATE: FEB. 23, 11:40 A.M. – The Board of Trustees of the University of Richmond announced today that is has elected Ronald Andrew Crutcher as the institution’s 10th president. Crutcher will take office on July 1.

Crutcher, the president emeritus of Wheaton College in Massachusetts (2004-14), is considered a national leader in higher education, an accomplished administrator and a distinguished classical musician

“The Board is thrilled to have Ron Crutcher as the University’s next president,” said Patricia L. Rowland, W’77 and GB’81, rector of the board of trustees. “He embodies the excellence that defines the University and is deeply committed to the teacher-scholar model that allows Richmond to make a transformational difference in students’ lives. He brings to Richmond’s presidency more than four decades of academic and administrative achievement at a diverse range of institutions. We believe he will provide outstanding leadership to continue the University’s strong trajectory and standing among the nation’s leading institutions.”

VDOE nominates Steward for national award


The Steward School is one of four schools nominated by Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) for 2015 national Green Ribbon School awards, a U.S. Department of Education program recognizing energy efficient and environmentally friendly schools that promote environmental awareness, community engagement and student wellness.

Steward was nominated for its instruction and cross-curricular activities that incorporate wellness, sustainability, watershed experiences, ecology, engineering and biomimicry. The school’s community outreach includes presentations featuring leading authors on ecology and nature.

Fairfield MS counseling program earns acclaim


The counseling program at Henrico County’s Fairfield Middle School recently earned an elite designation from the American School Counselor Association, which named it a “Recognized ASCA Model Program.”

The designation means that Fairfield’s counseling department has implemented a national model stressing comprehensive, data-driven school counseling. Schools must have an established counseling foundation, deliver services effectively, put management systems in place and have ways to measure counseling performance.

Fewer than 600 schools nationwide have received the honor since it was first awarded in 2004. The designation is valid for five years, after which schools must reapply.

Scott earns national Head Start award

Congressman Bobby Scott, whose Third District includes a portion of Henrico County, recently received the National Head Start Association’s PROMISE (PRotecting Opportunities for our Most Important Students Early) Award for his commitment to advance the needs of Head Start children and families. Scott is the ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

More than 300 Head Start teachers gathered in Washington, D.C. recently to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Head Start program, an early childhood education program.

HCPS counselor honored at White House ceremony


Dumbarton Elementary School counselor Liz Parker was honored at a White House ceremony Jan. 30 as a national finalist for 2015 School Counselor of the Year. The American School Counselor Association selects an annual winner for the award.

First Lady Michelle Obama presided over the ceremony honoring the five finalists for the award, as well as semifinalists. Also present was actress Connie Britton, who portrayed a school counselor on the TV show “Friday Night Lights.”

The judges considered such criteria as counseling innovations, effective programs, leadership skills and contributions to student advancement.

Education Secretary Holton visits Harvie Elementary


Harvie Elementary School hosted Virginia Education Secretary Anne Holton Jan. 30. Holton toured the school, met with students and teachers and participated in a roundtable discussion with teachers.

Harvie is using a number of creative approaches in an effort to achieve full accreditation.

“The educators, parents, and students at Harvie Elementary are doing great things,” Holton said. “I was struck not only by the dedication of the staff, but by the innovative approach the teachers and administrators have taken to ensure student success.”

HCPS announces winners in contest to eliminate inefficiencies

Henrico County Public Schools this week announced the winning entries in Superintendent Pat Kinlaw’s “Un-Initiative” contest launched at the start of the 2014-15 school year. The contest invited HCPS employees to suggest ways that the school division could operate more efficiently and effectively. Kinlaw promised to write personal checks to three individuals who came up with the winning ideas.

In most cases, many different HCPS employees submitted the same winning ideas. The HCPS Division Leadership Team selected the individual prize winners anonymously, after evaluating suggestions for value, content and clarity. A number of other ideas will be reviewed and evaluated by administrators.

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