Ensuring student safety in Henrico | Pg. 3
Learning through service | Pg. 5
Spotlight on: College Readiness Center | Pg. 8
The Achievement Gap A Year Later: Building a Foundation for Student Success It has been a full year since Henrico County Public Schools held two community meetings to address the division’s achievement gap. Since then, the school system has made great strides in an effort to close this gap. After the two community meetings, HCPS made the achievement gap the topic for the 2012 Community Priorities Workshop (CPW). The CPW offered participants from across the community the opportunity to provide input on the identified barriers to closing the achievement gap. Participants ranged from board members, business owners, parents, students, teachers and administrators. This group worked together to attain consensus and helped shape the district’s priorities. Members of the community who attended the CPW narrowed the “Barriers to Success” found at the community meetings down to the three most important. The three “barriers” that were decided to be the most important were: instructional rigor, including uneven expectations of students from school to school, lack of parental involvement and learned helplessness of students. In order to address the three “barriers” that were labeled the most critical, Henrico County Public Schools has implemented the Graduation Initiative and credit recovery programs to make it easier for struggling students to gain credit toward graduation. Mentorship programs have also been expanded, and there are currently parent facilitators at several schools to support parent involvement. So far 10 schools have facilitators, but the number of schools with facilitators could increase as early as next year. Darryl Williams is a parent facilitator at Highland Springs Elementary School and considers his job to be key see THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP, Pg. 3
One-On-One In-Home Tutoring • All Subjects • All Ages • SAT/ACT Prep • LD/ADD • Study/Organizational Skills • Affordable Rates • Qualified Tutors Call Us Today:
Reaching out from start to finish Dr. Patrick Russo
Superintendent of Schools
W The Henrico Education Foundation’s 2nd Corporate April 11, 2013 at University of Richmond’s Jepson Alumni Center 3:30 - 6:00 pm
Call 652-3869 to learn more. team. Sponsor a Z! of the BUZ BEE part
elcome to the home stretch of the 2012-2013 school year! As the days get longer (and warmer), it’s tempting to look ahead toward the summer. But first, there are some exciting things happening at HCPS this spring. By the time you read this, we will have made great strides toward finalizing the 2013-2014 budget proposal. HCPS had a $9.5 million budget gap to close, and we accomplished that daunting task without resorting to layoffs or increasing our pupil-teacher ratio. Reductions over the last four years have totaled nearly $70 million and we’ve experienced an almost 17 percent reduction to our total operating budget. Even with these significant reductions, every staff member has maintained his/her job, there has been minimal impact to instructional programs and our staff received a 2.4 percent salary increase in 2011-12. Quite an accomplishment despite the most difficult budget crisis in the history of HCPS! The budget would not have been possible without the support of our stakeholders, starting with the excellent leadership of our school board.
These five dedicated representatives have provided strong direction, allowing HCPS to move closer to its vision of being The Premier School Division in the United States! Thoughtful input and feedback have also been provided by teachers, parents and staff throughout the past year in the areas of budget development, the Excellence with Equity initiative (Closing the Achievement Gap), laptop adoption and many more. That outstanding guidance has been invaluable as we work toward the mutual goal of providing the best education for our children.
exhaustive list of potential improvements during our Safety and Security Community Forum in January in which more than 300 stakeholders provided feedback. We invite you to review those ideas by visiting www. henrico.k12.va.us. We always want to keep that open dialogue with our public as we strive for the continuous improvement of HCPS. On April 29, we will host our fourth annual Community Priorities Workshop, which brings together more than 200 invited parents, staff, and community members to provide feedback on how we can get better. I don’t believe there is another school division in the country that reaches out to ALL its stakeholders and solicits the type of feedback that makes HCPS so unique and special. This is your opportunity to help mold the future of HCPS as we work to achieve our vision of becoming The Premier School Division in the United States! If you’d like more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to a smooth and successful conclusion to the 2012-13 school year. Thanks to all of you, our special stakeholders, for giving us the opportunity and support to serve you and your children every day!
Three years ago, HCPS embarked on a mission to upgrade our safety and security systems in all of our schools. Security cameras were added to schools, keypad entry systems were installed in most of our schools and School Resource Officers maintained a constant presence on our high and middle school campuses over the last few years. The collaboration and partnership with Henrico County’s police, judges, and sheriff ’s office has made HCPS a model for Sincerely, other school divisions throughout the Commonwealth and the United States. In addition, we compiled an
Helping Hand Volunteer of the Month and ABCD Awards
he Helping Hand Volunteer of the Month Award recognizes volunteers who make a difference in our schools. One winner is recognized each month for commitment, helpfulness, and maintaining good relationships.
Suhr from Elko Middle won for the month of February.
The ABCD award is presented to various Henrico County Schools support personnel who have made significant contributions that improved job efficien James Kingsley from Hungary cy, quality of services, safety, or Creek Middle won for the month of conserved resources; performed December winners (L to R) Sadawy December, Stea humanitarian or heroic act; or Tawodros, Hicham Elgarouch and Jermaine phen Gwyn (not who responded proactively by Henderson. pictured) from anticipating needs and solving Carver Elemenproblems without specific di The Henrico Education Foundarection. These people have gone tary won for the tion in partnership with the Henrico Above and Beyond the Call of month of JanuFederal Credit Union joins us in recDuty. ary, and Beverly see ABCD AWARDS, Pg. 8 Kingsley
y THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP in helping to encourage parental support and involvement throughout the school. Williams holds workshops and events at the school for parents to attend that help them to develop parenting skills. He is also involved with the Henrico Man Up Fatherhood Initiative, which targets positive male role models for students.
At Chamberlayne Elementary, this coalition has allowed for great strides. There has been a huge decrease in referrals and suspensions because of the school-wide behavior plan. After a lot of collaboration among the coalition, Chamberlayne also implemented a responsive classroom model.
HCPS has also mandated that each school in the county have a Coalition for Equitable and Inclusive Schools. The Coalition for Equitable and Inclusive Schools is a team of teachers and administrators that lays out a school-wide discipline and academic plan to cater to that school’s specific needs. This team meets quarterly to discuss successes at the school and things on which the school needs to improve. In doing so, there is a constant conversation about what works and what doesn’t. Coalitions from schools across the county also join in conversations with each other about any ideas that they have successfully executed, and this helps to generate collaboration between schools with similar demographics.
According to Chamberlayne’s Principal Muriel Brinkley, the responsive classroom has made quite the impact on students there. The fact that students are starting to learn about each other has helped them to collaborate and teach each other. This has led to more encouragement between students and has increased student confidence in the school overall. “The responsive classroom model…that’s made the biggest difference,” she said. “With morning meetings in the classroom and a feeling of closeness in the group, there is a lot
more caring in the classroom community.” By educating and providing multiple support programs for students, parents, administrators and teachers, HCPS hopes to make a positive impact on closing the achievement gap and reaching excellence with equity. Henrico has streamlined
resources and increased efficiency by focusing on the most critical components to student success. The achievement gap is not something that is going to be fixed overnight, however, by addressing the issue head on and without hesitation, Henrico is steadfastly moving in the right direction and plans to put every effort into closing this gap as soon as possible. For more information on the HCPS Excellence with Equity Initiative, visit http://www.henrico.k12.va.us/closingthe achievementgap/index.html
“There are various goals within this program, considering it’s a pilot program,” Williams said. “One of our main goals is to coordinate parent volunteers for the school…we want parents to know that they can come in at any time and help us out…we are also trying to help reduce the truancy rate, which is probably our number one task. We want to make sure students are here on time and get the most out of their school day.”
“The responsive classroom is trying to make your classroom into a community so your kids get to know each other better,” said firstgrade teacher Kelly Johnakin. “They learn to respect each other more and will understand what is going on in each other’s lives.”
Top left, During the Community Priorities Workshop, students spoke about the achievement gap and what barriers they thought were the most prominent at their schools. Bottom left, John Montgomery, the school board member for the Varina District, voted on what barriers to success he thought were most important to address.
Ensuring student safety in Henrico County
enrico County Public Schools and Henrico Police came together to host the county’s first Safety and Security Community Forum. School and police leaders shared details on safety procedures.
tonight knowing, from the heart of your police chief is, we are doing everything we possibly can to make sure these schools are as safe as they can possibly be,” Middleton said.
more about procedures that are already in place.
Police Chief Col. Douglas Middleton followed Dr. Russo and assured parents and members of the Henrico community that the police department makes school safety one of its chief priorities.
Henrico County Public Schools already had further security measures at school locations in the works prior to the forum. HCPS will invest nearly $400,000 for hardware to supplement the installations that have been gradually implemented over the past several years. The prioritized actions ensure a consistent security methodology for similarly constructed schools across the county. These enhancements include: • Completion of the installation of door access security mechanisms at all elementary schools, middle schools and select specialty center high schools.
“We know things happen, and not everything can always be prevented, but what I want you to walk out of here
Members of the community came together to discuss school safety tibule at Hermitage High at Henrico’s first-ever Safety and Security Forum. School and Highland
“We’ve been putting more security cameras in our schools, security cameras in our buses, and we put more security locks in our schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick Russo while addressing the crowd. “That all has happened over the last three years, not in reaction to something, but being proactive in knowing that our children and our staff are our greatest commodity.”
Later, in smaller break-out groups, community members made recommendations for improving school security and listened to administrators to learn
Construction of a ves-
Springs High School so that all “contained” high school campuses are configured to direct all visitors to the main office prior to entry to the school. • Standardization of interior locks so that staff does not require multiple keys. • Installment of key pad entry systems for faculty access to secured remote doors of certain schools. For highlights of the security forum, visit the HCPS district website at: http:// www.henrico.k12.va.us/ *Note: Community recommendations are under consideration in accordance with numerous factors including Virginia law and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of HCPS and Henrico Police.
A Spellbinding Ending
fter a grueling 25 rounds at the longest-ever district-wide spelling bee in recent Henrico schools history, Aditya Kannoth of Moody Middle and Tejas Muthusamy of Rivers Edge Elementary were still battling it out. The two spelled words like “nescient” and “jurimetrician” with ease and ended the bee late in the evening with a tie. They met a week later to face off yet again and break the tie. During the 26th round, Kannoth got his chance to edge out his determined opponent after Muthusamy stumbled over the word “appurtenances.” In the 27th and final round, Kannoth correctly spelled “bivouac” and was named the winner.
He hugged his parents and could not wipe the smile off his face after he was named Henrico’s Spelling Bee Champion for the fifth year in a row. His incredible five-year winning streak is also a county record. Kannoth competed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Regional Spelling Bee on March 9th. He did well throughout the competition, spelling such words as styptic, hegemonic and baleen. In round 13, Kannoth stumbled over ratafia — earning him a third-place award.
y sam u h t u M
UNder no restrictions
Teachers think outside the box at the UNconference
eachers, administrators and instructional technology resource teachers (ITRTs) from all over Virginia got together to participate in the RVA UNconference at Glen Allen High School. The hope was to make “a most unorganized, unscripted ed(ucational) tech(nology) unconference where conversations (weren’t) limited by agendas and recycled powerpoints. No presentations, keynote speakers, or prefabricated professional development,” were allowed, according to the RVA UNconference’s website. Topics were suggested by attendees, and the only “supplies” needed at the UNconference were computers, examples, ideas, and an open mind. The entire conference was completely participant-driven. “We hope to open the lines of communication from various people around the state…and hope we’ll be able to network a little bit,” said Katie Grootegoed, an ITRT at Freeman High School and an organizer of the event. “The result is hopefully that it all goes back into the
classroom and we can learn things here and network here to try and make some changes to help perfect student learning and student achievement.”
Participants walked eagerly from classroom to classroom to discuss topics ranging from rubric style and student participation to how to best use websites and other newfound technology.
“You never feel like you have enough time as a teacher to…just be idealistic and innovative and this is the time where you get to go do that. To just sit down with not as much structure and show up with your ideas and enthusiasm is great,” Baker said. “We get plugged back in. I
think its really important because it’s winter time, you’re half-way through and you start to feel the crunch…students get to see teachers coming back in with new ideas and it reminds of us of the kind of teaching we should be doing.”
“We love it, it comes at the perfect time of year, its right when the first semester ends and you need to gear up for the second semester,” said Drew Baker, a teacher at Glen Allen High School. “It’s really a great time to be with like-minded, really innovative educators…some really good ideas come out of this thing.” According to Grootegoed, networking with people face to face holds a lot of clout and goes a long way, and the idea of an UNconference gives people the freedom and ability to talk about whatever they want.
Teachers, administrators and ITRTs from all over Virginia got together at Glen Allen High School for the UNconference, where they shared new ideas and information and revamped for the second semester of the school year.
Learning through service is Fairfield teacher’s philosophy
manda Hall didn’t start out as a teacher, but instead graduated with a degree in environmental science and was doing fieldwork concerning petroleum for big corporations. But at the end of the day, Hall didn’t feel like she was having a positive impact on the world around her. She wanted to do her part to make the world a better place, and knew she wasn’t going to do so in the field she was in. “I felt like I wasn’t making a difference so I thought about it and asked myself what I could do to really make a difference and the idea of teaching came to me,” Hall said. “Because then you can impact 120 kids a year. You can open their eyes to a bigger world and bigger possibilities and give them opportunities to really make a difference.” Since leaving fieldwork six years ago, day in and day out, Hall has made a
difference in the lives of her students. Her ultimate goal is to enact positive change within the education system through service learning, one student at a time, and on her journey to accomplish this, she has turned more than a few heads. The Too Smart To Start Coalition in Henrico named her a Community Champion for her efforts in community service, mentorship and bettering the lives of youth, which is what she does in and out of the classroom every day. She is not only the Fairfield Science Department’s eighth-grade team leader, she is a part of Fairfield Middle School’s mentorship program, is the Do Something Club’s Sponsor and the Environmental Awareness Club’s sponsor. The Do Something Club is a service club that focuses on making a difference by improving individual character, the school, the community, and the world through education, awareness and volun-
Amanda Hall talks to her students about future projects they’ll be working on in Physical Science.
teer efforts. The club has participated in the Teens for Jeans drive to help underprivileged youth for three years running, and this year, students collected nearly 2,000 pairs of jeans. The club takes part in multiple community service initiatives because, according to Hall; service learning is what will help students to truly learn a subject. She believes both knowledge and action have to be components for a student to grasp a subject well.
“The term ‘service learning’ is fairly new,” Hall said. “In the past we have focused more on just community service. And there is a lot of need for it, especially in an urban environment where kids can get involved, but service learning is taking that community service aspect and tying it to the curriculum so it becomes meaningful and they can take ownersee SERVICE LEARNING, Pg. 8
Black History Month
High Varina the t a nt in udents to st s involveme s k l a ’ reen t family Mr. G about his t. l en Schoo hts Movem ig R il Civ
Tucker High Omer Ustic from painted Jimi School penciled and ck History Hendrix during a Bla Month project.
Stude nt in a “ s at Ashe Wax Muse Elementary Black um pa Histo ry Mo ” event to rticipate nth. celebr ate
Students at Glen Lea Elementary get up and get movin’
tudents at Glen Lea Elementary School are finding out what it means to be healthy. With the help of their teacher, Ms. Sanyour, students brainstormed what it meant to live a healthy lifestyle and how they could best implement healthy decisions into their own lives. After their brainstorming session, students were given the task of creating artwork that represented healthy living. Once the projects are complete, they will be sent to the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and the best projects will be hung in the new Healthy Lifestyles Center located there.
(Above and below) Students get up and get moving during Ms. Sanyour’s class to reinforce that exercise is a healthy life habit.
The Healthy Lifestyles Center opened in October 2012. The multidisciplinary team of specialists provides care to children and adolescents with overweight and obesity issues and their families, focusing on making sustainable lifestyle changes.
Elementary students will help to create a warm and inviting environment in the center. We are thrilled with the gorgeous and creative expressions of health and are looking forward to displaying them on our walls for all to admire.” “This project is encouraging students and young children to have a healthy lifestyle. It’s teaching them how to eat right, be active and exercise,” Sanyour said. Ms. Sanyour makes it a point in her art class to let kids break to dance to a song in order to get them up and moving. “We watched a video about how important it is to be active, and in it, Michelle Obama danced to Beyonce’s song ‘Get Moving,’” Sanyour said. “The kids loved it and it made them eager to dance and exercise.”
“In designing the Center, we hoped to create an environment that is conducive to positive and encouraging interactions with our families. As a result, we are very excited about our collaboration with the art students at Glen Lea Elementary, led by their teacher Molly Sanyour! We needed help decorating our walls, and could not think of better artists than local children,” said Melanie Bean, an assistant professor of pediatrics and psychology at VCU. “The artwork created by Glen Lea
According to Sanyour, the more teachers reiterate healthy living in everyday life, the more likely students are to make it a habit. “See it, talk it, draw it, dance it, it helps to relate to the kids and the things they like,” Sanyour said. “All kids are different when it comes to how they learn.” According to Sanyour, this project is exciting because there aren’t specific guidelines students have to follow. “Some kids are drawing jump roping, healthy food, working out,” she said. “It’s cool because students are able to have their own creative freedom to make their own artwork and they are really proud of what they are creating.”
Students created works of art representing the meaning of “healthy” in Ms. Sanyour’s class at Glen Lea Elementary.
Highland Springs student to bring joy to kids everywhere as the 2013 Snow Queen
organ Barnes was not even sure she met the criteria when she applied to be 2013’s Snow Queen for the Children’s Museum. Candidates were supposed to show balance between sports, academics and community service, which definitely described her. She played second base on the varsity softball team, swam, played tenor saxophone in marching band, volunteered to help with community plays, had been an improv player at ComedySportz for eight years, and is part of the The Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars, all while still being in good academic standing. But then there was a bullet on the criteria list about promoting the creativity of children—as a student in the Center for Engineering at Highland Springs High School, she wasn’t sure if she really embodied the word “creative.” But once she really thought about it, she realized she was a prime candidate.
It was important to Barnes to show little girls that they could be creative when choosing their profession, whether it was a scientist, a ballerina or an engineer like herself, she wanted to show them they could be whatever they wanted to be, no matter their gender. Once she put her mind to applying and getMorgan Barnes was crowned the 2013 Snow Queen by the Children’s ting voted in as the Snow Museum of Richmond and received a $1000 scholarship. Queen for 2013, there was no stopping her. Barnes put “You don’t see many… female engi- up posters with tear tags around the enneers, so showing people that I want to tire school, emailed everyone she could do this shows kids not to be afraid to do think of, and even had the support of her what you want to do,” Barnes said. “If entire church congregation when her you don’t see many people like you doing little cousin stood up and asked that evwhat you enjoy doing, you can still do it, eryone help Morgan to win. In no time, it doesn’t matter.” she was getting a call to let her know she
was officially 2013’s Snow Queen and that she’d be inducted at The Children’s Museum’s Snow Days Festival. Barnes said it feels awesome to be a role model for kids and to represent the Children’s Museum as Snow Queen for so many children to look up to. “It’s a huge responsibility but it’s an awesome one to have,” Barnes said. According to the application for Snow Queen, the winner “Will serve as a role model for young girls, exemplifying inner beauty and character, and reflecting and celebrating the Children’s Museum of Richmond’s commitment to inspiring creativity and individuality in all children.” The title comes with a $1000 scholarship as well. Next winter, she will sit with Legendary Santa and meet with children at all three Children’s Museum locations.
Students at Greenwood ES learn from Young Scientists
tudents at Greenwood Elementary School got the pleasure of experiencing hands-on learning when a group from Young Scientists came to visit their classes. The Young Scientists is an organization that goes around to schools across the area and provides in-house field trips that teach students about science while making it extremely engaging and entertaining. “We believe in a multi-sensory approach to best allow students to retain information being taught,” said firstgrade teacher Krystina Stansberry. “The lessons that the Young Scientists (teach our students) offer support of our ongoing scientific investigation model being practiced…during the rotation part of the lesson, the students were able to collaborate and communicate with one another.” Students were wowed by creepycrawly animals in tanks, got excited to see organisms through a microscope, and loved the idea of matching up animals with their habitats. As they went
Mrs. Stansberry shows her students an insect fossil at a learning station during the Young Scientists’ visit.
Read More Books Initiative makes for eager readers
“The students enjoyed the hands on aspect of the lesson and all of the visuals,” Stansberry said. “Using the microscopes and the ‘once live’ insect models were especially stimulating for them… the classes are already looking forward to our next lesson with Young Scientists!”
Nutzy, the mascot of the Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball team, visited first and second-grade classes and gave out high-fives and pats on the head. In addition, the I Have a Dream Foundation secured Kathryn Starke, a local author and literacy specialist, to Nutzy, the Richmond Flying Squirrels mascot, came to visit students during the Read More Books Initiative.
from station to station in the classroom, their level of enthusiasm was evident. Some students even built their own organisms out of putty.
“This meant the world to students, teachers, and administration,” said Principal Dana Baldacci. “Books can open so many doors and take you to places that you could never imagine. The smiles on students’ faces were priceless as they each received a gift wrapped book.”
tiative,” said HEF’s Program Manager, Paula Roop. “An engaging author visit, new books for every student and a fun visit from Nutzy all serve to spread the joy of reading throughout the school!”
tudents at Montrose Elementary ecstatically flipped through pages of brand new books after The Henrico Education Foundation (HEF), along with I Have A DreamRichmond, provided books for every student in each classroom as a part of the Read More Books Initiative. Volunteers from Capital One came and distributed “presents” to excited students and stayed in the classroom to read the class a story. After the story came to an end, students were allowed to unwrap their presents, which consisted of books ranging from Curious George and the Pizza Party to chapter books for older students.
Veronica Jackson, a first-grader in Mrs. Stansberry’s class at Greenwood Elementary, takes a closer look at some organisms through a microscope during the Young Scientists’ visit.
Greenwood Elementary School students learned about all different kinds of organisms in a hands-on way when the school hosted the Young Scientists.
come and present to Montrose’s second and third graders at an assembly. She shared her book “Amy’s Travels.” Starke also led a speed -reading contest with the teachers, and the winner received a box of books for his or her classroom. “We continue to be grateful to the I Have a Dream Foundation-Richmond for their support of literacy in challenged Henrico County schools through their Read More Books ini-
Capital One volunteers handed out books to students at Montrose Elementary during the Read More Books Initiative.
he College Readiness Center is a program that will be housed at L. Douglas Wilder Middle School, and will provide support to students from peers and adults. Services will include extra academic support, advising, and enhanced parental communication. The center will feature curriculum and staff training that will address student preparedness and expectations through: • Providing a college-ready academic program that includes an instructional framework aligned to college-ready standards • Supporting enrollment in district college preparedness courses and HCPS Specialty Center programs • Exposing students to the college experience through field trips • Building individual student beliefs in high school and college success
College Readiness Center
• Assisting students and their parents in understanding issues of college affordability and financial aid Performance-based assessment and a longer instructional year (students will meet eight weeks in the summer) will drive increases in critical thinking and problem solving. This will lead to greater mastery of content and position students for success in high school and college. In its first year, the program will house 100 sixth-grade students who are academically capable, but are not yet reaching their full academic potential. Seventh and eighth-grade students will be phased in during years 2 and 3 as students advance through the program. Ultimately, the program will include a total of 15 full-time staff to serve 300 students in grades 6-8.
y ABCD AWARDS ognizing these individuals by providing a check to each recipient. The winners for December were: Jermaine Henderson of Varina High, Hicham Elgarouch of Tuckahoe Middle and Sadawy Tawodros of Maybeury Elementary. The winners for January were: Ron Brown of Fairfield Middle, Emily Dickerson of Tuckahoe Middle and Sigrid Suddarth of Ridge Elementary.
The winners for February were: Sue Evenson of Montrose Elementary, Terrell Mack of Holladay Elementary and Mary Wendel of Baker Elementary.
To learn more about the College Readiness Center, contact Principal Sharon Pope at (804) 515-1100 or email@example.com.
ship of it. They’re not only giving back to the community, but they are receiving as much as they give in that they are acquiring knowledge from the hands-on experience tied to the curriculum. They can tie (the experience) back and it becomes meaningful.”
students. She constantly includes more which hopefully encourages them to “outside” experiences, or educational continue to make a difference and pay it experiences that allow students to inter- forward,” Hall said. “By giving back inact with nature in a hands-on learning stead of receiving, it does a lot in raising environment. Her students are not only confidence and provides a lot of skills made aware of environmental issues as that (students) need in the classroom.” science issues, but she ties in the political, While working on her Master’s, Hall social, economic, has studied the efand cultural asfects of service pects that need to learning within her be addressed in own classroom. the curriculum for “I’ve proven students to become that it works with fully environmendata and numtally literate. In her bers. Empowering mind, once they are students through able to relate envicommunity service ronmental issues to their own personal Students from the Fairfield Middle School efforts actually imcultures and beliefs, Do Something Club tend to their community proved SOL test scores significantly,” a value system will garden. Hall said. begin to take shape.
Her emphasis on service learning as an innovative way to close the achievement gap in the urban setting is her main focus while working on her Ph.D. at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is something that she implements in her classroom at Fairfield Middle School. It is Hall’s mission to create knowledgeable, literate, and environmentally aware
“It gives (students) an outlet and allows their voice to be heard in a really important way that they don’t always have the opportunity to share. It empowers them to feel important and to feel needed. It makes them say ‘Hey I may not always have the best grades and I may not always have the best home life, but I can do this, I made a difference,’
February ABCD and Helping Hand winners (L to R) Sara Evenson, Terrell Mack, Mary Wendel and Beverly Suhr.
y SERVICE LEARNING
January winners (L to R) Ron Brown, Sigrid Suddarth and Emily Dickerson.
Henrico County School Board Beverly L. Cocke Chair Brookland District
Lisa A. Marshall Vice Chair Tuckahoe District
Lamont Bagby Fairfield District
Diana D. Winston Three Chopt District
John W. Montgomery Jr. Varina District
Dr. Patrick Russo Superintendent
P.O. Box 23120 3820 Nine Mile Road Henrico, VA 23223-0420 804.652.3600 www.henrico.k12.va.us
“During our first meeting together… it was clearly evident that service learning drives what Amanda does,” said Fairfield Middle School’s Principal, Art Raymond. “Amanda is driven by a mission to serve our community, and she leads by example. Her classroom, therefore, literally extends to the grounds of Fairfield, into the metro area, and beyond.”
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