Education

Henrico to receive third round of pre-K funding


Henrico County and 10 other Virginia localities will receive a third round of funding through the federal Preschool Expansion Grant, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday. In total, Virginia will receive $17.5 million through the grant, which will allow the 11 localities to continue to serve at-risk four-year-olds in pre-kindergarten programs.

A total of more than $247.4 million was awarded to 18 states across the country in this third round of Preschool Expansion Grant awards. Virginia has received $17.5 million annually since 2014, following a rigorous application process.

HCPS seeks budget input for FY 2015-16

Henrico County Public Schools is seeking input from the public about the FY 2015-16 HCPS budget.

The school division will develop a budget proposal using feedback from stakeholders. The proposal will then be made public in January. An extensive public review process that is expected to last through April will follow.

There will be opportunities in December for input on the budget at Henrico public libraries and at the monthly meeting of the Henrico School Board.

State SOL committee proposes changes

UPDATE: NOV. 26, 5:08 P.M. – A state committee established to review Virginia's public education assessment system has proposed its first 12 recommendations, and they could result in major changes to the way student achievement is evaluated statewide.

The proposals from the SOL Innovation Committee would relax, in several ways, the standards of accountability that are tied directly to Virginia's Standards of Learning tests. They also would allow school districts to measure student achievement in other ways – not just through the SOLs.

The committee recommended that the state allow more leniency for schools that fail to earn accreditation but whose students overall show significant improvement on the SOLs from one year to the next. Such schools might be labeled "provisionally accredited – significant progress demonstrated," for example.

Student helps sprout ‘STEM’ growth


Disappointed by the fact that women are under-represented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career fields – often because they have lacked other women in the disciplines to emulate – J.R. Tucker High School senior Sierra Semel was motivated to address the issue.

Semel, who is part of the Advanced College Academy specialty center at Tucker, became interested in engineering in the eighth grade and quickly began to realize her interest was a rarity amongst other girls her age. After completing a research paper on the lack of women in STEM fields for Robert Meister’s AP composition class, she decided to do something about it.

Steward School gives interim head of school permanent title

UPDATE: NOV. 21, 2:15 P.M. – The Steward School today named Interim Head of School Dan Frank as the new head of school.

The Steward Board of Trustees and Head of School Search Committee conducted a national search but determined that the best candidate for the job was the one who already held it. The board and committee unanimously supported Frank's appointment.

“We are absolutely confident that we have selected the candidate who best fits the needs of our school community," Board Chair Maria Brent Jones said. "Dan is an exceptional leader who brings a passion for innovation and community, as well as a deep understanding of Steward, to this leadership role.”

Henrico HS closed again Friday

UPDATE: NOV. 21, 9:55 A.M. – The contractor whose employee accidentally destroyed the power supply to most of Henrico High School Tuesday – causing the school to be closed for more than three days this week – is unlikely to face financial penalties from the school system as the result of the incident.

School officials are focused on efforts to restore power to the school, HCPS spokesman Andy Jenks told the Citizen.

"But at a later date, we'll get together with the contractor and discuss responsibility," Jenks wrote in an email.

HCPS students offering holiday plants for sale

Horticulture students at Hermitage Technical Center and the Academy at Virginia Randolph will be holding plant sales in November and December at both campuses. The events will offer holiday-themed plants, such as poinsettias and flowering kale, Christmas cacti and others.

The Academy of Virginia Randolph will host its pre-Thanksgiving sale on Monday, Nov. 24, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and its holiday sale Dec. 2-3, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Red, white and pink poinsettias will be available for $7 each at both events. The school is located at 2204 Mountain Road in Glen Allen.

Chamberlayne ES creates ‘Readbox’

When Chamberlayne Elementary School second-grade teacher Michelle Mayer began looking for a way to participate in HandsOn Day, an Oct. 18 service day organized by HandsOn Greater Richmond and the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence, she didn't have to go far.

Mayer organized a book collection project that involved students at several Henrico County schools, including Chamberlayne. About 700 books collected during the project will be distributed to students at Chamberlayne and Laburnum elementary schools.

HCPS workshop to educate parents about suicide prevention

Henrico County Public Schools' Department of School Counseling will host a workshop Monday, Nov. 24 designed to educate parents and guardians of students about suicide awareness and prevention.

The workshop will be held in the Glen Allen High School auditorium, 10700 Staples Mill Road in Glen Allen, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4,600 young people between ages 10 and 24 die from suicide each year. Many more are treated for unsuccessful suicide attempts.

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Girlology will present “Puberty: Something New About You” for fourth- and fifth-grade girls and a parent from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital-Forest, Williamsburg Conference Room. When girls learn about puberty before it happens, they face it with greater confidence and even excitement. The group will have healthy, factual conversations on topics such as growth and development, hygiene, menstruation, moods and emotions, internet safety and more. Cost is $50 per pair. For details, visit http://tinyurl.com/Girlology. Full text

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