Henrico County VA
Education

Glen Allen woman urges School Board to enhance ESL program

Few other speakers comment on proposed budget

As the final stragglers made their way into the auditorium of Douglas Freeman High School Feb. 3 for a public hearing on the Henrico County Public Schools’ proposed 2016-17 budget, it became clear that the turnout would be low. The hearing contained little fanfare and — until its final moments — little contention. For a while, it seemed as if it would stay that way, but then Zahra Lakhani approached the lectern. And she was determined to have her say.

Lakhani is the mother of Glen Allen High School freshman Shahzaib Lakhani, 14, who has Down syndrome. She lashed out at shortfalls and a perceived lack of action and interest and asked the board to allocate money for more custodial staff. Her son, for the second time since 2011, had been given a disinfectant product and told to clean the classroom, instead of studying music with his classmates, she said.

Deep Run robotics team hosts meet

Deep Run High School's FIRST Robotics Team 1086 Blue Cheese hosted an FLL (FIRST Lego League) tournament as well as a Jr. FLLExpo Nov. 2.

The event featured 18 FLL teams and five Jr. FLL teams from Henrico and surrounding counties, totaling more than 200 participants. In addition to the competitions, WRIC meteorologist Matt DiNardo spoke about meteorology and natural disasters, and Lynn Norris, the director of the Center for Information Technology at Deep Run, spoke about the importance of science and technology education in schools.

HCPS to host job fair Dec. 4

Henrico County Public Schools' Human Resources department will host a job fair on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at the Virginia Employment Commission Resource Workforce Center, 121 Cedar Fork Road, Henrico 23223. The event will take place in two sessions: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

In addition to candidates for full-time and substitute bus driver positions, HCPS is seeking applicants for substitute positions as custodians and cafeteria assistants.

A dialogue about diversity

Students from Godwin, Hermitage, Highland Springs and Varina high schools, as well as the GRAD Center at PLC, attended the fourth annual Diversity Dialogue Day, sponsored by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities Nov. 14 at the University of Richmond.

In total, more than 150 10th, 11th and 12th grade students and educators from high schools in the region attended the event, which offered a hands-on workshop to teach lessons about diversity, discrimination and respect.

Students discuss Thanksgiving, favorite meals

In preparation for Thanksgiving, the Citizen asked two Echo Lake Elementary School kindergarten classes to answer questions about the holiday. Their responses appear below.

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?

Because it’s fun. –Addison

So we can celebrate what we’re thankful for. –Autumn

For turkeys. –Brendan

Rivers Edge dedicates Sensory Garden

A year’s worth of work is now sprouting beautifully at Rivers Edge Elementary School.

Earlier this month, the school dedicated its new Sensory Garden, which was designed using the input of Rivers Edge students, beginning in 2012. It engages the beholder’s five senses – a section of flowers for sight, an herb garden for taste, a section of plants with different textures to touch, a section of fragrant plants for smelling and a section of wind chimes and music for one’s listening pleasure.

HCPS forming performance task force

Henrico County Public Schools is forming a community-based Student Performance Task Force whose members will serve as liaisons with the community at large and strive to improve student performance and help close the achievement gap among students. The school system is accepting applications and nominations for task force members.

Potential members could include students, parents, teachers, school leaders, central office staff, School Board members, Board of Supervisors members, other elected officials, faith-based leaders, representatives of advocacy organizations and others.

Russo resigns as Henrico’s superintendent

UPDATE: NOV. 14, 8:54 P.M. – Embattled Henrico County Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Russo and the Henrico School Board have reached an agreement that will end Russo's employment with the system Nov. 15 and pay him the equivalent of half his remaining salary – more than $186,000 – in one lump sum.

School Board Chairwoman Beverly Cocke announced the agreement and read a resignation letter from Russo, who had been on paid leave for more than three months, at the board's monthly meeting Nov. 14. Russo's contract was set to expire June 30, 2015.

"Dr. Russo's employment contract provides that, at any time, the contract could be ended by the mutual agreement of the parties," Cocke said. "The parties have reached such agreement and the matter is now closed."

Hermitage student named to U.S. Army All-American Marching Band

Hermitage High School tenor sax player Danny Santos (pictured) was named to the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Oct. 22 during a ceremony at the school.

Santos is one of 125 musicians and color guard members from the United States who earned spots on the band, which will showcase its talent during a halftime performance at the nationally broadcast U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Tex., on Jan. 4, 2014.

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Professor and science writer Margaret Wertheim will present “The Intersection of Nature, Technology, Arts and Math: Contributing to the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef” at The Steward School, 11600 Gayton Rd.… Full text

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