Citizen Staff Reports Education
Eleven high school seniors accepted into Henrico County Public Schools’ new Teacher Scholars’ program will have guaranteed teaching jobs waiting for them when they graduate from college. The program is a way to address the need for teachers in content areas where there aren’t enough qualified applicants. The 2015 group includes:
By Tom Lappas, Citizen Editor 12/18/2014 Education
Henrico County Public Schools will expand its preschool program for 4-year-olds next fall, thanks to new funding from the federal Preschool Expansion Grant.
The school system is one of 11 high-needs systems in Virginia that will share a total of $17.5 million in federal money, which will be dispersed in Virginia through the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI). Virginia was one of 18 states to receive a portion of $226 million in federal preschool grant dollars.
Henrico currently serves 774 preschool students in 43 classrooms at 22 elementary schools and the New Bridge Learning Center. The new funds will allow HCPS to add 10 preschool classes and serve 180 additional students, according to HCPS Director of Foundational Learning and Family Engagement Gail Jones.
Citizen Staff Reports 12/01/2014 Education
Grace Y. Lee, a senior at Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, recently won the Outstanding Interpretation Award at this year’s Reflections Contest in the category of photography, the Virginia PTA announced last month.
Lee will be honored in the Reflections Award ceremony in February 2015. As the first place winner, Lee will have her entry judged at the district level.
The Virginia PTA provides the opportunity with students in pre-K through grade 12 to participate in the National PTA Reflections Program.
Citizen Staff Reports 11/27/2014 Education
Three Henrico County Public Schools teachers recently won grants as part of the 2014 REB Awards for Teaching Excellence, while three other HCPS teachers were finalists for the awards. The six were honored at a ceremony held earlier this month at the Virginia Historical Society.
The Community Foundation’s yearly awards identify, recognize and support teaching excellence in the Richmond area. Honorees receive professional development grants of $4,000 to $12,000, given to nominees who have distinguished themselves by their inspiring classroom performance.
Citizen Staff Reports 11/26/2014 Education
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.
By Tom Lappas, Citizen Editor 11/26/2014 Education
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.
By Eileen Mellon, Special to the Citizen 11/24/2014 Education
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.
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.”
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.
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